Audiolab M-DAC Digital to Analogue Convertor : Fabulous sound once run in

It is simple to use, well built, looks nice. For the price, this is a great product. There are a few ‘could be betters’. . Sometimes, you don’t get sound through the usb until you have switched to another input and back again. It would be nice if you could configure the inputs with your own text or select from pre-entered text such as ‘pc’, ‘tv’, ‘media centre’ and so on.

Excellent dac/headphone amp. Bought this as a step up from a beresford 7520 (which was already very good). Used mainly in combination with sennheiser hd650s and is excellent. Sound is well rounded but with bags of detail.

It’s really a fine piece of equipment. I would say it would be very hard if possible at all to find better sound for this price. The rate is not only for the sound quality, but also for the support we can get from john weslake himself (the product designer). As a bonus we get a class a amp for the headphones.

Comments from buyers

“Fabulous sound once run in, Excellent DAC/Headphone amp, about 60 hours to burn in and what a fantastic DAC, good sound stage extracts every musical chord , Very transparent detailed sound, very flexible, can be use as a digital pre-amp, Top notch quality product”

Very transparent detailed sound, very flexible, can be use as a digital pre-amp. As other reviewers have noted it take a few weeks to run in. Initially i preferred some of the smoother algorithms (e. G slow rolloff), but after a while settled on the optimal transient setting, which is stunning, i’ve never heard so much emotion in recorded music, especially the vocals where you can hear every intake of breath. The other great feature is that you can remove the pre-amp from your system, further reducing noise and interference. Set up sourced from a squeezebox (usb for 192k audio) and optical feeds from chromecast, apple tv, virgin media & blu-ray (i had to buy a optical 4-input switcher box, as the mdac only has 2 optical ins). The ribbon tweeters in the monitor audio pl200s really sing. Added -20db xlr attenuators to feed directly into a musical fidelity m6prx. Five stars because it’s amazing, but could be 6/5() if they dumped the co-axial inputs in favour of more opticals. Who uses co-ax digital these days?.

This dac needs at least a week for the sound to settle in – straight out of the box, it can sound a little ‘thin’. After being run-in, its sound is amazing – fabulous imaging: deep as well as wide with some height to the soundstage. Bass is deep & well defined, mids have great detail & the treble is very well defined without being edgy. The sound is also very ‘agile’ so transients are very noticeable. However, poor recordings will sound poor – no edges are rounded off as with some stereo equipment so this dac may well reveal failings in the rest of any system it is partnered with. The dac is well made, quite heavy with a fairly substantial external psu that has flying leads at both ends. It’s supplied with a small & narrow ir remote – plastic with a tactile feel but of reasonable quality. This remote controls the volume digitally, selects from usb, 2 optical & 2 coax inputs. The dac has a low jitter output & masterclock output – both optical.

I don’t expect you to buy such an expensive piece of equipment based on my review alone. You’ll probably read a lot of those online, and let me say it really is as good as they say. I did own a high-quality, external sound card before and i thought it was great. But this baby blew it out of the water. I was amazed by the amount of detail and – above all else – the quality of base response it produced. With the same headphones and speakers the bass was very much more detailed, got additional ‘texture’ that otherwise used to be just a ‘punch’. And i don’t want to sound cliché, but with this device, i’m really re-discovering some of my favourite pieces of music.