So I was the original poster for this thread. I was looking at the msb reference at the time. My dealer nor did Vince had a reference DAC as a loaner but they did have a select II, with the dual powerbases, pro usb and the streamer. The select II was awesome, I really could find no faults. The only other DAC I had to compare it to at the time was the dsd, and obviously there was no comparison between the two.
I ended up not purchasing the msb because after some thought it didn’t seem to make sense to me to have such a high end piece in my non treated living room. For about the cost of the Select II I was able to retrofit an existing media room into a professionally designed and treated, sound isolated listening room.
While I’ve been waiting on construction to start, I heard about the Holo Audio May DAC and ended up purchasing that. I’ve been so impressed with it that I haven’t even thought about either MSB. There was too far of a time between having the select II and the May but from what I remember they both had a lot of the same characteristics but the msb does take the cake with its modular approach. I would definitely give it a try prior to looking at the MSB given it cost less than the dsd and the msb discreet. It such a hot item that I doubt it would take that much time to sell it on the used market if you ended up not liking it.
If I were looking for a top flight DAC, I’d try the Playback Design first before considering the MSB. I know this isn’t conclusive, but I preferred the sound of the Playback Design DAC, to the MSB, when OCD Mickey and Jay did a shoot out between the two.
OCD Mikey preferred the Playback Designs DAC, and Jay preferred his MSB DAC. Oh course Mikey is a Dealer for Playback Designs, so that might’ve influenced his preference. But I’m sure Mikey would say the reason he became a dealer for that brand is because it was what he felt was the best DAC for the money, and according to him, one of the best DAC’s period, because of it’s organic and musical presentation.
How do you get to a min price of $49K USD for a Nagra DAC? The Tube DAC is about half that price. You can certainly negotiate… I hope no one pays retail… and you can add the improved power supply and isolation base later.
I haven’t met anyone who has heard both MSB and Nagra prefer MSB. I’m sure MSB is fantastic, but just saying…