MSB Select DAC II impact/letter

Its always reviving to receive letter like this one from Simon. He’s conclusion about MSB Select DAC II are mirroring my experiences so far. I did hear SELECT II with two power supplies, but this will be summed up in the upcoming review. Below are his comments...

“I have been an avid reader of your site for some time. I thoroughly enjoy it and it is my go to place for up to-date high end Audio news, I particularly love the photographs you supply with each story.

I am writing to you about the MSB Select DAC II, I have one, I use it for Headphone use only and have built a ultra high end system around it. I have my Select configured with two of the power supplies, Femto 33 clock and both Balanced and Single ended outputs. It was not an easy decision to spend a lot extra for the dual power supplies so I had on loan the local distributors Select DAC II with a single power supply and the same Femto 33 clock. I was lucky enough to be able to directly compare my DAC with the dual power supplies with the same spec with a single power supply. 

Putting it simply there is no comparison it is a major upgrade and when I read how enthusiastic you were about the standard Select I thought it was appropriate to write to you and let you know my experience. My next upgrade is going to be the Headphone amp for the Stax SR-009’s. 

I have experimented a lot with different cables and inputs and was easily able to discern that the Aurender W20 with the additional word clock being directly fed off the Select’s clock and using AES 110 ohm produced the optimum sound. I used Gen 5 Transparent Ref XL BNC 75ohm for the Word Clock and the same cable in 110 ohm for AES. I also use the I2S connection for a MSB Transport, the Optical cable directly into my Mac Pro running Roon, I also have the USB connection so I have been able to compare it to the other outputs. I did not believe MSB when they told me that there would not be any difference at all between the outputs, however this is largely correct, the only difference being in the quality of the cables.

I have owned a succession of very good DAC’s, Audionote DAC Signature, Gryphon Kalliope, Nagra HD, Light Harmonic DaVinci Dual with seperate DAC’s for DSD and PCM, I have auctioned at length the full dCS stack and I found that not at all to my liking and frankly it sounded like something was wrong with it. I was assured that nothing was, however the 3 other people listening with me had the same reaction. 

I have been a vinyl lover all my life, I am now 50, so I have been searching like you for a DAC that finally could close the gap between what digital has been promising for so long but unable to deliver. I have finally found the answer in the Select II DAC. I strongly urge you to try and listen to it with the dual power supplies, it lifts the performance to out of this world musical quality. 

I have attached a couple of photos of my system, I love Valves so I use a Valve amp equipped with Takatsuki 300B and 274B’s running out of the single ended Select II outputs, again all cabled with Gen 5 Transparent Ref XL. For power I use an all Shunyata system with TOTL Sigma power cables. I found that for the analog power supply I use a Sigma Analog cable for the digital power supply I use the Sigma Digital. The dual power supply option is cleverly configured so that one PS powers the Digital section and the other the Analog section of the DAC. The power supplies are not simply 2 of the same one you get with the standard Select II they are improved with faster and higher specced devices.” - Simon.