The Select DAC 18.104.22.168 Update
MSB Technology is proud to release a new version of the Select DAC software that comes with an amazing improvement to the playback of 16bit-44.1kHz sources. This update follows shortly after 22.214.171.124 which brought improvements to high-resolution playback. Already at the leading edge of digital to analog conversion, it is remarkable to see even further improvements in the legendary performance of the Select DAC. This update is provided to all customers free of charge right now! MSB is committed to keeping our customers product up to date with the most relevant formats and highest possible performance for the industry. If you haven’t updated yet, we strongly encourage you to do so!
link to page: http://www.msbtechnology.com/faq/select-firmware/
Here are a few thoughts from some who have already installed the update.
Matej Isak, Mono and Stereo:
“I’ve just completed MSB Select II firmware update with a grand smile on my face. As with hardware upgrades, these days software can introduce way bigger and much more constitutional changes that most people want to believe. MSB Select II already performed in the realms of purity, transparency and unrestrained dynamics, yet this update brings even more serenity and depth in music. Digital to analog conversion is onerous process. Intriguing and inspiring MSB Technology Select II DAC now uses very different, but most effective mechanics, that brings even more realistic audio illusion. The uncompromising stance, where listener stops nitpicking about the sound and starts enjoying the music was already established from ground up, however, this particular software update explores even further the MSB Select’s sonic forward driving momentum.”
Vince Galbo, MSB US Sales Manager:
“Four years ago when I first heard the new Femto series of MSB clocks, I decided that digital sound was now (finally) sounding like analog. I guessed there were possible opportunities to improve further. The engineering team at MSB has always felt it was important to have the original native file. At the time, that belief was evidently true in all comparisons. Over time, this truth proves to be increasingly so. Having the original file, bit depth and sample rate are most important. Hi res PCM like 24/192 and also DSD are efforts to get “more real data more often” (assuming it was recorded that way or transferred from analog tape that way). So what do the higher res formats do for us? Presumably supplying more real data-more often (assuming native format, not upsampled…), they give less-precise DACs a better chance of reconstructing the analog wave form exactly like it was recorded. But what about 16/44.1? If the original recording was originally captured in 16/44.1 (some very large number of recordings we all own over 25 + years), then what can be done to optimize that format? MSB’s well known ladder DACs and Femto Clocks are a leading industry effort using aero space grade precision to achieve true analog sound quality with out artifact errors. Over time the evolution of MSB’s technologies and sound reveal that 16/44.1 CDs and files continue to “give it up”. Every time I suspect we have reached an audible limit to the resolution of the16/44.1 format, revealing fine harmonic information (delicacy), extension each individual instrument, and soundstage, I am most often shocked at the new level of performance and realism. I dare say the overall sound presentation has now crossed the threshold into the realm of “believability” for 16/44.1 , hi res PCM, and DSD.
And so it is with MSB’s new digital filter. MSB is in it’s 16th year evolving newly invented and very proprietary ladder DAC technologies. The speed and precision of MSB’s extraordinary ladder DACs along with the Femto grade clocks allow our engineering team to write ever improving digital filters that load into very large scale, programmable memory chips. These filters can be extraordinary because the engineers are not limited by an off the shelf (DAC) chipset. The newest 16/44.1 filter is much higher resolution both technically and audibly than anything that previously existed. I first A/B’ed this filter at CES 2017 (we kept it in for the show), and then again at the MSB listening lab the following week. Doing blind A/B tests, we went through several files (songs) to determine which ones might show the biggest improvement using this filter. All of the recordings showed an improvement in the aforementioned delicacy, extension and soundstage. We came upon an Allision Krause song on the Female Audiophile Voices CD. When we compared the “A” version, I was immediately reminded why I don’t listen to Allison Krause much, although I like her music her recordings are similar to Norah Jones with seemingly excessive sibilance which I find very annoying. Yet as it was, the recording had remarkable articulation of two well recorded, probably close miked acoustic guitars and what seemed like a large and very well captured soundstage. When we switched to the new digital filter and started the song again…..I was shocked. In the first 1/10 second when the mics open but before the first string was plucked the soundstage infinitely expanded and we were no longer in our listening lab. The “ tails” on the guitars just went on. The sibilance in her voice was gone! The extension of the harmonics on the acoustic guitars was beautiful. Guitars players like myself know what this beauty sounds like and it is the sort of character that causes us to prefer certain guitars. As we went through the other recordings the benefit varied somewhat but all recordings gained something significant. Now we find that most recordings we assumed were middle-quality are actually….wonderful. The goods news is, instead of a small percentage of our PCM recordings being top quality audiophile, actually a very large percentage of our recordings are in fact, just that. Audiophile!
The ability to download this new digital filter is a perfect example of why MSB DACs are virtually future proof. The engineers cannot imagine a format that will come along in the future that they cannot write the decoding software and digital filters for. It is important to point out here that the ladder DACs do not know anything about formats or even that they are converting music! They are highly specialized engines that simply convert data into an analog voltage with extreme ( I say insane…) precision. In a similar future proof effort, the engineers cannot imagine a new input connection , that may not exist yet, that they cannot accommodate with a new input module. These modules can be user installed in minutes! No need to sell your existing DAC and buy the next model. Firmware updates seem to never be limited and new input modules with new abilities can go on for many years without compromise!
The new MSB digital filter is a free download that yields extraordinary improvements in the “believability factor” already enjoyed by MSB DAC owners. It is another demonstration of how MSB customer’s investment is protected with our best future-proof efforts.