The final release of Massive for MK2 DAC

Thanks for the review.

Can you share some tracks where you found Bacch to sound completely wrong?
Could help us gain a better understanding of cross talk cancellation’s impact on various types of recordings.

I had the Bacch here in November. I didn’t keep notes and I don’t remember the specific tracks. If you have your system set up so that you can easily switch back and forth from listening with and without the Bacch it ought to be easy for you to make up your own mind about which tracks sound wrong or like some musical information is over emphasized or nearly left out. The changes the Bacch SP made were often quite dramatic and definitely not limited to changes in the soundstage. And I don’t mean to be negative on the Bacch. It made 90% of the material sound MUCH better to my ears.


I’ve been streaming my favorite track list on shuffle mode on Qobuz tonight and my system is really singing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always sound this good but tonight it’s perfection. I’m so happy with this new DAC of mine. I’ve had it for four weeks today. Worth every penny. They received my trade in and my credit card has been charged. It’s mine now. I wish all my purchases were as successful as this one. I never would have been able to wait as long as I did if I knew then what I do now. No doubt much is due to the Mt. Massive firmware. Can’t imagine what is in store for the next update. But maybe I will keep this one for keeps.


I’m glad you’re enjoying the MK 2 DAC. Your experience is very similar to mine — it’s an amazing piece of equipment.

I’ve recently been experimenting with Qobuz. It seems to be a mixed bag. I posted here about something I just listened to and it was outstanding. But a number of the albums I’ve checked out on Qobuz sound mediocre or worse. I think this is due to the source material that they obtained as opposed to any issue with my AirLens or DAC. Have you had this same experience?

Well, it’s a fact that recordings are all over the place in sound quality. That’s nothing new. Most are crap. I have to be very selective on what I add to my favorites list. Even then, some don’t stand and end up deleted. As a high quality source Qobuz is it for me. Too cheap to pay for multiple services. If I had access to another I could compare mediocre streams between services to see if there is a difference. Sounds like work. One thing I’ve noticed with Massive is though SQ can be great with CD quality the recordings that make you sit up and take notice are usually hi res ones. 24 bit with a high sampling rate certainly raises the bar on what’s possible. On the other had red book CD played locally can exceed hi res streamed. Go figure.

Using Aurender W20SE and dCS Apex Vivaldi, that is definitely not my experience. I am amazed at the quality provided, Qobuz certainly equals my locally stored files…

It is a wonderful unit.

Now with the Massive Final which brings the performance of the MK2 to such a high level, I’d thought I would do another comparison between my Esoteric N03T streamer and PST. The only difference would be with the streamer, I’m using the ChordMusic USB cable to the USB input of the MK2, and the PST uses the Dragon 48 HDMI cable to the I2S input of the DAC. The recording is the same Mo-Fi Santana Abraxas SACD ripped to a DSD 64 file played through the Esoteric.

The music through the PST sounded fabulous, better than it ever sounded on digital. But through the Esoteric, the music took to a different level. All traces of hardness and edginess is all but gone, replaced with a natural full bodied very high resolution presentation reminiscent of top quality analog. Yes, the Esoteric cost twice as much as the PST, but high performance is not cheap.


I am a little confused (still appreciate the info. though) by the comparison.

The Esoteric is not transport correct? So, how do you compare the PST (which is a transport) to the Esoteric?

Forgive my ignorance, are you running a USB stick into the PST and Esoteric with the same file or something?

Sincerely confused,



On second read, never mind. I understand the variables now. FWIW, I still tend to prefer ripped files over their original content-bearing Discs. So, personally, I am not surprised the Esoteric has the edge, all things being equal. [This experience/preference is currently with the use of the PSA DMP Transport, PSA AirLens and a modified (Edcor transformers & JKR analogue power supply) DS Sr. DAC. But I have always thought the files were generally better than spinners with my previous kit as well.]


Nice kit!

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Hi Scott. The Esoteric is a transport that streams from Tidal and Qobus as well as play digital files from a hard drive or NAS. I’m comparing the SACD played on the PST to a file ripped from the same SACD to a hard drive played back on the Esoteric. They should sound exactly the same, afterall it’s the same digits, but the quality of the playback transport does make quite a difference I’m afraid.

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I agree that, in my experience so far, the difference between reading a file ripped from a disc and rendering it from a storage location on one’s network, and reading and transmitting the “same” 1’s and 0’s from a transport spinning the same disc that the stored file was ripped from, can be signifiant.

Maybe one day I’ll have a disc spinner that outplays my network streaming of my ripped music? Then again, the convenience of the latter is hard to beat.

Thanks again for the comparison.


Even different streamers and servers that cost the same has considerable differences. I had my brother bring over his Aurender N-20 to compare with my Esoteric N-03T and the Esoteric still has a superior performance in clarity and resolution. It’s probably due to the detail and effort Esoteric goes thru designing the enormous double power supplies. My brother was considering selling the N-20 and get the Esoteric. But he did buy the right DAC, the MK2. It does sound marvelous with the N-20 reguardless.


I almost went for a N20, you made me feel a lot better about my Lumin U2 choice. The money I saved can be used for cables and fuses😆

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The comments sound a lot like many from comparing USB and I2S into the MK2. The sending device is not the only factor.

when i had PST at loan I tried compare CD/SACD to ripped files on USB thumb drive plugged into PST .
USB thumb sounded better until the discs got treatment just before playing (anti static and demagnetization) - then the SQ was on par with USB thumb drive.
The most profound effect of treating discs was like removing of “milky veil” , getting more realistic sound color (tone).

just my 2cents :slight_smile:

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You don’t get the ticking sound I get on SACD,s?

What do you use for demagnetization?

Telos CD demagnetizer: Telos Audio Designer | Quantum Magnetic Tuning | CD demagnetizer
I bought it even I do not have CD player any more (my cd collection is fully ripped for years now), I’m using it to demagnetize cables, tubes, speakers, vinyl and even cart.
Much safer and more effective than standard 50/60Hz demagnetizers.

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How did you rip the DSD file from the SACD?

You wouldn’t be able to easily…