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Musical Fidelity MX-DAC Review (Balanced DAC)

pma

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Headless is a bit harsh IMO, it’s not terribly broken.
I agree, the technical imperfections seen would be inaudible. The distortion profile is OK. We can often see products with much worse measurements, especially cheap class D power amplifiers with engineering flaws, that end up as “recommended”. All in all, recommendations are purely subjective based, contrary to measurements.
 

respice finem

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If you spend $1000 and get a device with a cheap wall wart, you get what you deserve. At least the ChiFi options frequently come with beefy laptop power supplies.
Are you sure? A small "wart" needn't be [email protected], and the rest gets done in the unit's DC circuitry. From cheap to expensive:
 
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JWAmerica

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Are you sure? A small "wart" needn't be [email protected], and the rest gets done in the unit's DC circuitry. From cheap to expensive:
Do you intend to reinforce my viewpoint? If a manufacturer is willing to cheap out on the power supply, what other corners did they cut? In the case of RME, they have a fair amount of circuitry on the board to deal with the poor quality power supply. It's a design choice that you are still paying for in the end, and an exception to the rule. Not the case with this DAC.
 

respice finem

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Do you intend to reinforce my viewpoint? If a manufacturer is willing to cheap out on the power supply, what other corners did they cut? In the case of RME, they have a fair amount of circuitry on the board to deal with the poor quality power supply. It's a design choice that you are still paying for in the end, and an exception to the rule. Not the case with this DAC.
What I'm trying to say: It's a question of proper design, not size or price.
 
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amirm

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Can you clarify the specific test? A 24 bit, 44.1kHz, 1kHz fade to noise (dithered)? Or something else?
It is a 200 Hz tone. Very sharp bandpass is used to isolate all but this frequency. What remains is measured in level and compared to equiv. in digital domain. Sweep starts at -120 dB and goes to 0 dB. If the level is right, it would be a flat line with no deviation.
 

raif71

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JJB70

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I think the term broken is over used and abused really. To me something is broken is it cannot serve its intended purpose to a good standard. In the case of a DAC that means converting a digital signal to analogue without audible degradation. If a DAC does that then it's not broken. It may be hideously over priced and sold on the back of silly snake oil type ideas but that's not the same as the product itself being broken.
Or alternatively, it really is broken and doesn't work. I think the build and durability of equipment is not necessarily linked to audible performance and in some respects is more germane to most consumers than measured performance.
 

HorizonsEdge

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At the risk of not bringing anything useful to this review, I would like to suggest that pouring cognac into ones ears prior to conducting a subjective analysis might have played into the testimonials.
 

restorer-john

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I think the term broken is over used and abused really. To me something is broken is it cannot serve its intended purpose to a good standard. In the case of a DAC that means converting a digital signal to analogue without audible degradation. If a DAC does that then it's not broken. It may be hideously over priced and sold on the back of silly snake oil type ideas but that's not the same as the product itself being broken.
Or alternatively, it really is broken and doesn't work. I think the build and durability of equipment is not necessarily linked to audible performance and in some respects is more germane to most consumers than measured performance.

I agree, it's not broken, but it certainly isn't remotely competitive, it doesn't offer value for money or have any special redeeming features. I have plenty of 30 year old CD players with better performance than this. And that's with 16bit 44.1kHz...
 
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JJB70

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I agree, it's not broken, but it certainly isn't remotely competitive, it doesn't offer value for money or have any special redeeming features. I have plenty of 30 year old CD players with better performance that this. And that's with 16bit 44.1kHz...
One of the things which amuses me is the way the audio manufacturers and press have convinced so many that the DAC is some sort of cutting edge esoteric technology which is constantly improving in leaps and bounds. DACs reached technological maturity decades ago, I have an almost 30 years old Sony CD player which I still use and which plays CDs as well as anything I would buy today.
 

xaviescacs

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I bought this DAC some years ago at half the price, without any listening (what for?), just saw the offer and went for it after reading some reviews and see the specs (the webstite ones). Now, after this review I'm quite angry for two reasons:
  • I feel scammed because of the performance, specially this "typo" on the website. "state of the art...." they say... it's worst than their cheaper model, the V90! A headless CEO would have been better.
  • Before this review I was panning to sell this to make some money to buy an RME. Now it's clear I have to do it, the problem is that I'm going to get less money than expected.... Now I start to understand why some people don't like this forum, it's taking down the business xDD.
Many thanks :)D :mad:) to @amirm and to whoever send it to him.
 

JSmith

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Headless is a bit harsh IMO, it’s not terribly broken.
For $1000USD it is, absolutely. Cost of the product is taken into account in these reviews.

The high noise floor, distortion and linearity is poor... but even moreso when one considers the price of this unit.



JSmith
 

xaviescacs

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There are two DAC filters in there but only difference seems to be attenuation:

If the input signal is DSD there is an audible difference between the two filters, can you test that please? With PCM to me both sounded the same and now I see why.
 

xaviescacs

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I even bought this upgrade power supply at some point because the original was very noisy. Another scam....

IMG_20210923_093601686.jpg
 

PeteL

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I agree, the technical imperfections seen would be inaudible. The distortion profile is OK. We can often see products with much worse measurements, especially cheap class D power amplifiers with engineering flaws, that end up as “recommended”. All in all, recommendations are purely subjective based, contrary to measurements.
How can you do a "subjective" recommendation when the product haven't even been listen to? Or if it did there is no mention of it. We would think that this non-recommendation is based on measurements no?
 

xaviescacs

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How can you do a "subjective" recommendation when the product haven't even been listen to? Or if it did there is no mention of it. We would think that this non-recommendation is based on measurements no?
Subjectively based on measurements :) There is no point on listening this devices to know how they perform if you can measure them properly. Hearing would be the last option if you don't have anything else.
 

raif71

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How can you do a "subjective" recommendation when the product haven't even been listen to? Or if it did there is no mention of it. We would think that this non-recommendation is based on measurements no?
Guilty without a hearing? :D
 
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