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Musetec Audio (LKS Audio) MH-DA005 Review (DAC)

Rate this DAC:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 195 83.3%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 25 10.7%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 3 1.3%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 11 4.7%

  • Total voters
    234

sqml

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i borrowed this lks dac from a friend and compared it to the doge 7. My opinion, LKS sounds more like "vinyl" with forward sound stage, bass heavy, rolled of treble. Everything sounds like mixed together with little seperation between instruments in a song. The doge 7 "killed" this LKS imo. Dont be offended by my opinion. Its just my opinion
 

HarmonicTHD

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As someone who does biomedical research for a living I disagree with your premise. The reason that measurements, laboratory tests, and diagnostic studies often fail - and sometimes miraculously - is because current knowledge explains only a sliver of a rumor of the human body. Only hubris allowed us to think that a biochemical reaction explains a mechanistic pathway, an animal model explains the cause of a disease, and an association study identifies causal risk factors. This is why more than 95% of randomized trials of well-reasoned medical treatments fail. I don't know enough about audio engineering to understand how much of audibility is explained by available measurements, but would guess it is a far larger fraction than in medicine.

Engineering
This is „just“ an audio signal ca 20Hz to 20kHz at easy to measure voltages we are talking here, no cutting edge, borderline extraterrestrial signal or signals which challenge today’s technology.

It is very very simple in engineering terms compared to other signals which are daily transmitted and processed or what today’s technology is capable off. So a comparison with unresearched complex interactions in the human body is a stretch.

From a pure engineering point of view there are better designed DACs as explained by Amir already.

Perception
If you are open. There are (audio related) studies which show that although people claimed differences in sighted tests, when tested blindly they could not anymore. If you think you can distinguish the DACs of your choice blindly, you can try it out. I personally failed miserably and sold my expensive DAC. But who knows maybe you will succeed.

Preference.
No one here wants to talk you out of your preferences. It’s futile to argue about taste and preferences. You might enjoy your chocolate ice cream as much as I (or someone else) enjoys their vanilla one.

However, there are studies that show what kind of measurements the majority of people prefer. It is good to know if you are a designer and want that as many people as possible buy your products. Sure where there is a majority there are also minorities and it might very well be that you particularly have a taste not aligned with the majority. Nothing wrong here either. I have many things the majority does not like, however that does not make this DAC objectively better.
 
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haen

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I gently patted my DX3 Pro+ a few times (though I'm still angry at Topping that they used a volume knob so prone to malfunctioning).
 

DanielT

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Supebt! Thanks Amir.:)

MH-DA005 is absolutely interesting.:D

Reading tests, reviews here at ASR feels like, being in some kind of strange parallel part of the universe. Check this the price .... and the performance, and then compare.:oops:

 

dmidu

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I must admit, that this DAC might measure not so well, but it sounds great. I currently own Gustard x26pro and Musetech-005. Gustard, that measures great, doesn't sound anywhere good as the 005. The only way I could make Gustard sound somehow close to Musetech 005 is by applying soxr-very high quality 384000Hz resampler. And even then, the Musetech sounds better bit perfect compared to Gustardx26pro upsampled. I really like the Gustard DAC, but it just sounds a bit dull and not so juicy compared to Musetech. Measurements do matter, but what you hear matters more.
 

AudioSceptic

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I must admit, that this DAC might measure not so well, but it sounds great. I currently own Gustard x26pro and Musetech-005. Gustard, that measures great, doesn't sound anywhere good as the 005. The only way I could make Gustard sound somehow close to Musetech 005 is by applying soxr-very high quality 384000Hz resampler. And even then, the Musetech sounds better bit perfect compared to Gustardx26pro upsampled. I really like the Gustard DAC, but it just sounds a bit dull and not so juicy compared to Musetech. Measurements do matter, but what you hear matters more.
Yeah, sure, whatever you say.
 

yyzsb

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Anybody wants to buy my Gustard x26pro in EU?
Hey ASR folks do not get upset if I do not believe in everything that is written here. DACs sound different to me and I like to foolishly spend my money on the DAC that sounds the best to me. However, I do come here for other info such as the following thread that helped me resolve a big DAC problem today. So, thanks for that thread.



BTW - I owned the following DACs in the last 2 years and compared them mostly with a Topping pre90 preamp or a Benchmark LA4 preamp. A lot of these are the darlings of the ASR measurements.

- Gustard X26 Pro
- Topping D90SE
- Audio Mirror Tubadour III SE
- Matrix Audio Mini-I 3 Pro
- Benchmark DAC3B
- Musetec 005
 

Lupin

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Measurements do matter, but what you hear matters more.
You hear what you see (sighted bias) so in the end what you see matters more than anything else.. :rolleyes:
 

MaxBuck

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Hearing is a psychoacoustic phenomenon, not purely an acoustic one. If people prefer what they "hear" with equipment that doesn't measure ideally, I'm at a loss as to what benefit arises from telling them they're wrong.

OTOH, I will continue to select my components primarily based on measurements. And those who feel compelled to relate their individual subjective impressions of gear might ask themselves exactly why they are here.
 

Garrincha

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Wait till you experience science in audio. It is exceptionally liberating when you know the "why" and "how." You will save a ton of money which you can then put into other life's enjoyments. Without science, you will be chasing you tail, believing in all kinds of things that are not real.....
Unfortunatley even as a PhD in theoretical physics, I have only a basic understanding of electronics. But this site is really eye-opening, and everybody playing it done with subjectivist arguments just does not get it. Sure, the hunt for lower and lower SINAD might seem sometimes exaggerated, since for dacs and amps these values approached the threshold of hearing probably many years ago (I made the Klippel distortion test, managed to get 50dB, which is already an above average value, think about it. I also have a cheap $20 chinese dongle bought years ago that does not sound worse to me than the best measured here). But still, it is extremely revealing to see and telling apart well done engineering and bullshitting, independently of the manufacturers being from China, the US, Europe, Japan or elsewhere. And to realize that a $100 dac might be better than a $10,000 one. And that this can be demonstrated and shown. Thanks Amir!
 
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dmidu

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Hey ASR folks do not get upset if I do not believe in everything that is written here. DACs sound different to me and I like to foolishly spend my money on the DAC that sounds the best to me. However, I do come here for other info such as the following thread that helped me resolve a big DAC problem today. So, thanks for that thread.



BTW - I owned the following DACs in the last 2 years and compared them mostly with a Topping pre90 preamp or a Benchmark LA4 preamp. A lot of these are the darlings of the ASR measurements.

- Gustard X26 Pro
- Topping D90SE
- Audio Mirror Tubadour III SE
- Matrix Audio Mini-I 3 Pro
- Benchmark DAC3B
- Musetec 005
Can you subjectively describe which one of those you like most in terms of sound?
 

Lupin

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Can you subjectively describe which one of those you like most in terms of sound?
Well I hope not.
I'm not interested in going through pages of posts where people describe their meaningless subjective opinion on how <insert name of DAC here> sound.
I will go to places like Head-Fi if I want to waste my time with that nonsense.

The day it becomes standard on ASR to discus subjective opinions on how a transparent DAC sounds is the day I will leave ASR. I avoid places like Head-Fi to not be bothered with that audiophile fairy tale and snake oil nonsense.. I seriously hope we're not going to start that on ASR.
 
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AdamG247

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Can you subjectively describe which one of those you like most in terms of sound?
Not here please. This is an official review thread and the conversation needs to remain rooted in the product reviewed and the Test bench results. Thank you for your understanding and assistance.
 

Garrincha

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Seems like some folks believe that the top 25 or so DACs on ASR's SINAD list, the ones starting at the top and down through the "excellent" category are all going to sound the same playing music driving an amp driving speakers in a high resolution system. They all test great using this measurement and others, yet feature different DAC chips, USB receivers, some balanced some single ended circuits, some with robust linear power supplies for digital and analog stages versus outboard switcher power dongles, unique circuit implementations of the both digital and analog stages...hard for me to believe.

Like if I took the OKTO Stereo and the SMSL DO 100 and listened to them in my system playing a range of music - jazz, blues, rock, classical...I wouldn't be able to hear a difference between them? The $250 DAC and all the economies made to produce it versus a $1500 product...its all just the casework and the source country labor cost differential?
It may be hard to believe, but it is like the emperors´s new clothes. If it is true, it is so, independently of what other people say or think. Facts are facts. The OKTO Dac isn´t by far the most expensive one. It is so nice that I am considering to buy it, if it will turn available again, it has also other features, like a built in streaming module. But I do not expect it so sound better than this SMSL, since both are transparent to the source, this is what hifi is about and it is amazing that this can be purchased today for $100.
 

HarmonicTHD

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I get the implications. Have listened to a lot of DACs over the years, from a buddy's high dollar dCS stack to much more mundane rig with a Mytek DAC versus a Wadia in same system. They all sounded different when playing music. For this to be true, the no clothes thing, then we are at "the end of times" with respect to progress in digital audio.

Kind of reminds me of what folks said when audio CDs were introduced in the 1980s to the market, "perfect sound, forever" was the promise. Having lived as a music lover and musician for the last 40 years, "perfect" has gotten way, way more perfect over that time period in terms of digital recordings sounding closer to the performances they captured.

Also find it very hard to believe that circuit designs, power supplies, USB receiver choices...have no impact on a DAC's ability to generate/output a high quality analog music signal for amplification or drive the inputs of an amp.
Any replicable actual proof to your personal beliefs?

… and what does your post have to do with the product which was reviewed?
 
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