Platinum DAC IV plus
"If there is a digital converter that can convince a die hard vinylphile that digital has at
"The Platinum lacks the standard digital byproducts that have become a staple of "digital
sound" and by disposing of those artifacts has ended up sounding more analog-like than
Martin G. DeWulf, Bound for Sound
“To test the female voices, I chose Beautiful Female Voice in xrcd with many great artists
like Emy Fujita, Dominica and Maricel Bedana and many more. Here, I shook for a
moment. I've never loved, in digital, the extreme pursuit of detail with an often fake
outcome. You analog friends know very well what I'm talking about! Luckily, after a few
notes, I realized I was wrong. The DAC IV gives back very natural high notes, rarely tiring
Francesco Taddei, REMUSIC
“ The Platinum DAC IV (including Platinum Power Base) reviewed here cost a smidgin
over $15,000 and delivers performance that's as good--or better--than any other highend DAC I have ever heard, even models selling at twice the price and more.“
“ you'll see from the graphs, even the DAC IVs 'worst case' results are so
exceptionally good -- in most cases better than any other DAC I've ever seen -- that this
just won't be an issue. To conclude, I have to say that I was gob-smacked by the
incredibly high level of performance from the DAC: it truly and very effectively represents
Greg Borrowman and Steve Holding, Australia HiFi Magazine
The Platinum DAC IV plus was designed in a way that it can be used as the last
component in your system before the amplifiers. With the added convenience of
having multiple digital inputs and one Analog input you can easily eliminate your
preamp. You may connect your turntable through the analog input and all your
digital sources directly to the DAC IV plus. The Analog Output can be volume
controlled (if the optional Volume Control is installed).
The DAC IV plus package is simple and elegant. It has much needed integral
heat sinks, our amazing new MSB Isorack Damping Feet as well as a clean new
front panel, with full suite of programmable features.
About the DAC
The Second Generation Platinum DAC modules are of our own design, hand
made, discretely built R2R Ladder DACs. How DACs Work! A simple but
accurate explanation. The Platinum DACs draw from the older ladder
technology but with incredible improvements that allow them to operate up to 3
MHz. The Platinum DAC IV plus contains four of these 24 bit MSB DAC Modules
configured in a true balanced architecture for optimum balanced or single-ended
About the Digital Filter
Now after years of development, we have included our own Custom 32x Digital
Filter in the Platinum DAC IV plus. Previous versions of the Platinum DAC used
the MSB 16x filter, and before that, the Burr-Brown DF1704, which at the time
was the best Digital Filter on the market. Our new 32x Digital Filter is built to our
specifications and standards, and is designed to get the most out of the Platinum
DAC modules.
The performance of this new Digital Filter is amazing. Immediately you'll notice
the lack of fuzziness around voices and instruments of all frequencies. This new
filter also dramatically increases the resolution and dynamics of the
machine. This filter is also completely customizable; By playing a special .wav
file on a CD new filter coefficients, either temporary or permanent, can be loaded
into our DSP.
The Digital Filter is a 32x oversampling, single stage filter with 32-bit input
resolution, 80-bit computation, and 36-bit coefficients. More information on this
custom MSB Digital Filter can be found here.
About the Clock / Jitter Control
Jitter control devices (and inputs on most DACs) normally clean up or phase lock
loop the input signal from which the DAC clock is derived in an attempt to lessen
the jitter of the DAC clock. The Platinum DAC IV plus does no such clean up. We
actually pay no attention to the clock on the input signal. All DAC clocks are
generated by the Femto 140 clock. This extremely low jitter - less than
140 femtosecond clock sets a new industry standard. Since the input clock is no
longer related to the clock of the DAC, an intelligent half-second buffer is used to
maintain data synchronization.
Keeping the Source in Sync
We have demonstrated very clearly that a major sonic improvement can be
experienced if the source device can be clocked off the DAC clock. Our PRO I2S
interface keeps our transports in sync, by sending the super low jitter clock
generated in the DAC out to the transport. Some servers also support this PRO
I2S interface and run in sync. Other servers provide a clock input, and the MSB
Clock Adapter can be plugged into either the PRO I2S output or the older MSB
network output. The BNC output is a LVDS level 512x master clock output that
can be used to keep the server in sync. This is a great upgrade and has already
been approved by Aurender.
Superior DSD playback
The DAC IV plus is able to accept DSD in all of its digital inputs, not just the USB
input like most DACs. You can play .DFF and .DFS files and can play 64x DSD
and 128x DSD. Please note, you must have a 192 kHz USB input rate for 64x
DSD and a 384 kHz USB input rate for 128x DSD. (You have been wondering
why MSB has been shipping 384 kHz inputs for years now!) The extreme speed
and resolution of our DACs provide a DSD experience unlike any in this world.
You must hear it to believe it.
About the Optional Attenuator
Our Preamp philosophy is based on the belief that from the moment analog audio
is created, every transition that is made degrades the quality. This is why we have
used a passive attenuator within the Platinum DAC IV plus, to achieve the
simplest, shortest possible signal path with the least possible degradation of the
true music. The Volume is controlled in 2 dB steps from 0 to -68 dB. The Volume
Control is completely bypassed when at 0 dB.
This attenuator section is also designed to serve as a way to match the naturally
high output level of the Platinum DACs to any desired outboard preamp. This has
proven to be extremely useful for many of our customers that are happy with the
Preamp they have known and used for years. It allows the two devices to be
correctly matched with each other.
About the Power Base
The DAC IV plus is equipped with an outboard power supply. This remarkable
power supply has separate torroidal transformers for each voltage supplied. The
torroidal transformer produces a very small amount of magnetic radiation.
The Power Base includes a positive and negative analog supply and a digital
supply to run all the digital processors. But it also contains an entirely separate
extra clean digital supply to run the sensitive digital clocking circuits on the DAC
modules themselves. Each of these supplies is regulated and filtered in the box,
so no noise is introduced into the DAC chassis. See Power Base Comparisons
for an upgraded power base.
This Power Base can be upgraded. A digital only supply can be added to operate
an MSB Transport. These supplies are completely independent and their
combination do not degrade performance.
An optional front panel control can also be provided. This option moves the power
switch from the back panel to the front panel.
This is the Signature Power Base with DC transport supply installed.
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