Manhattan DAC II (Owners Thread)


(Kerwin Adduru) #1

Hi Everyone,

I don’t have a Manhattan DAC II, but I want one and it will probably be my next purchase! I’d like to hear what all the Manhattan DAC II owners out there think of this DAC. Please share your thoughts, experiences, and issues with it.


(John Aiello) #2

I had both the Manhattan II with the network card installed and the Brooklyn DAC+ installed in my system at the same time to try them out. I could easily A/B back and forth between them. Maybe my system is not highly resolving enough but I really could not hear a difference between the two DACs. They truly sounded identical to me. I saved a lot of money and returned the Manhattan II and kept the Brooklyn DAC+. I then added the UpTone Audio JS-2 power supply to the Brooklyn as it has a 12V input and it made a difference I could hear and I also use an ultraRendu for Roon so I guess I saved about $3,000. Obviously YMMV.


(Kerwin Adduru) #3

Thanks for sharing. I have the Brooklyn DAC+ now powered by an Sbooster set to 13.2V and it sounds amazing through my headphones. From what you remember, would you say that the DAC+ with the JS-2 sounds better than the Manhattan II or the same?


(John Aiello) #4

Good question. I did not have the JS-2 when I did the comparison. I thought that the JS-2 took the Brooklyn up a notch or two so if they were even before I got the JS-2 then I guess I would have to say that the Brooklyn DAC+ with the JS-2 sounds better but I sure would like to hear them again side by side to confirm that. Also once you see the screen on the Brooklyn it’s hard to like the dot matrix type screen on the Manhattan.


(Robin Carmack) #5

I have the Manhattan with the network card and it is incredible. I prefer it over the uR via USB. I wanted one unit with analog volume control and streaming via ethernet. I had the Liberty which is a really good dac but the Manhattan is another planet for me. It is nice to not have to worry about usb cables or power supplies. I am SOLD on this setup. I have not heard the Brooklyn Dac+ so I can’t speak to it but I sure can for the Dac ll. I was listening to Lyn Stanley’s new release - London Calling - via NativeDSD this afternoon and could not be more impressed. Check one out with a network card if you get the chance. You won’t be disappointed :wink:


(Kerwin Adduru) #6

Thanks for your input! Do you use it with headphones or speakers?


(Robin Carmack) #7

Speakers. There is a review somewhere about the Manhattan with headphones. I will post the link if I find it


(Robin Carmack) #8

I believe this is it:


(Thomas Rosander) #9

I have the Manhattan II in my main system and the Brooklyn in my reading corner.
The Brooklyn replaced a Bladelius Embla, crushed the Embla by so much I had to have a look at the Manhattan.
Bought the Manhattan and put the Brooklyn in the reading corner.

I’m extremely happy with both.
I feed the Brooklyn with coaxial from a Allo rpi and analogue in form of vinyl. The riia is great to have and actually sounds more than good enough. Previously I had a pair of Hifiman HE-1000mk2 connected to it which it didn’t quite muster. The Hifiman needed more power! But since then I changed to a pair of Audeze LCD-XC, since someone in the house thought that she didn’t want to hear my music that much, and now I don’t feel the need of extra power. I run them balanced by the way.

So what about the Manhattan? Better. A huge difference actually. Both when it comes to the dac in itself but also as a headphone amp. Is it worth it? Yes. It just more of everything in a really good way but still keeping a similar sound to it.

So now I run the Manhattan via usb from my Mac Mini and it will stay put for a long while I hope.
Highly recommended!


(Kerwin Adduru) #10

We have very similar setups @Thomas_Rosander! I’m currently running the Brooklyn DAC+ with a pair of Audeze LCD-XCs running balanced like you. The only difference is that my Brooklyn is being powered by an Sbooster power supply.

How exactly is the Manhattan better than the Brooklyn in terms of the LCD-XC?


(Thomas Rosander) #11

Hi Kerwin!
Cool! Truly great setups for sure.
Well, first of all I haven’t heard the Brooklyn+ and I haven’t tried my Brooklyn with an external PSU.
That said I’m not sure how much closer to the Manhattan the Brooklyn would be if driven by an SBooster or similar PSU.
But as stock units I’d say the Manhattan is a better dac to begin with. It is more open or airy and gives more punch altogether. They are very similar in general but the Manhattan dac is just more of everything. On top of that it seems like the Manhattan is way more powerful when it comes to the headphone amplifier. SO in total that makes a difference between the two that is clearly possible to hear and appreciate.

Hm, might have to look into an Sbooster as well.


(Kerwin Adduru) #12

I had a chance to listen to the original Brooklyn, so I know that going from it to the Brooklyn+ was a small, but noticeable improvement. Adding the Sbooster made that delta even greater.

Thanks for giving me your impressions. CanJam NYC is coming up, I’ll definitely have to give the Manhttan II a long listen.