MSB Technology DAC Owners (Question)

I own an MSB Discrete DAC, two power supplies, paired with a LUMIN U2 streamer, via AES cable. All upsampling options are turned off on the LUMIN.

MSB Technology staff are out of the office until the new year, January 2024, hence why I am posing my question to LUMIN and MSB DAC owners.

I noticed when I am playing music with various sample rates, the MSB Discrete display will, intermittently, show two horizontal lines/hyphens, followed by the letter “k”. The DAC does show the different sample rates in the display at times, but it frequently displays the aforementioned, followed by the letter “k”.

Are you aware of any MSB DAC owners that have a LUMIN streamer experiencing this? If so, do you know what is causing it?

I recently spoke to an MSB retailer and they experienced it as well and they think it may be a result of the settings in some streaming services. My buddy who owns an MSB DAC thinks it may be the settings in the streamers or streaming services as well, but he hasn’t experienced this with his MSC DAC.

See photos below.

Thanks in advance!

1 Like

DAC, regardless of brand and connection type, needs time to lock on to the signal when you change the sample rate. As long as it does so successfully within a finite time without introducing intolerable noise, then it is perfectly normal. (I assume you mean the hyphen display is transient and quickly changes to the actual sample rate, but if the display does not show the sample rate value for the whole track duration but playback is normal, then you need to follow up with the manufacturer for this minor cosmetic issue.)

For those who does experience incorrect locking resulting in white noise, the standard answer in Roon is to increase the resync delay. I think this basically gives the DAC more time to lock on to a signal change.

Likewise, TV needs time to lock on to resolution change, HDR/SDR change and frame rate change. If you connect a Windows computer to TV and run a video player software that changes frame rate / HDR dynamically, you’ll know. My TV occasionally locks on to the HDR/SDR signal wrongly and I need to retry it again.

1 Like

Unfortunately, the sample rate only displays for a few seconds, then the volume level populates when using the DAC as a preamp, which is what I’m doing. I believe the sample rate remains in the display when the DAC is used with a preamp as the DAC would not be using the volume control. So, maybe the sample rate does eventually populate in the display after the music file has been playing a few seconds, but the MSB Discrete doesn’t have an option to switch between sample rate and volume level on the display, so I have no idea? However, the music file plays flawlessly, so I think you have a point that it’s most likely a cosmetic issue if the sample rate will not populate in the display long after the music file has been playing.

I had a Holo Audio Spring 3 DAC that is known for lagging while trying to lock in different sample rates. The word “Locking” would actually appear in the display and the music took several seconds before it would play and show the sample rate in the display, so I know why you’re talking about. This only happens when using the other digital inputs, not so with the their USB input and that is what I used with the Holo Audio.

I’ll let you know what MSB has to say in the new year.

Thanks Peter!

This is exactly the Dac combo i’m looking to upgrade to. Do you take the output directly to a pre or a power amp?

Yes, I removed my Holo Audio Serene preamplifier from the chain as I concluded the MSB Discrete DAC sounded better when connected directly to my amps.