The Mytek Stereo 192 DSD DAC at MCRU - diyAudio
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Old 24th August 2013, 04:55 PM   #1
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Default The Mytek Stereo 192 DSD DAC at MCRU

A very revealing device and surely one of the very best at it's price is how David Price described the Mytek DAC in his review this month in Hi-Fi Choice magazine.

Click the image to open in full size.

The DAC is in stock at MCRU in silver and black, we have used it in our own system as both a DAC, pre-amp and headphone amplifier and it performs admirably in all it's guises.

DSD material is gaining in popularity, it does sound exceptionally good and we believe it will improve the listening pleasure for 1000's of audiophiles in the near future. The Mytek
handles DSD, 24/96 and 24/192, it has a plethora of inputs and has to rank as one of the most versatile DACS currently made.

Available from our website here.

1140.00 is the UK RRP.

A review is here from Digital Audio Review

Another review from positive feedback

There are many more reviews online all saying how good the dac is.

Click the image to open in full size.

Below is an exclusive interview with the founder and CEO of Mytek Mr Michael Jurewicz....


Where is Mytek from, and where is the kit made?

Founded in 1992, it's a professional audio manufacturer that's the brainchild of Michael Jurewicz – a Polish-graduated electronics engineer who started his professional career as technical engineer at The Hit Factory Recording Studios in New York in 1989. Up until 1999, Mytek products were manufactured in the United States. In 2000, Mytek's sister manufacturing company was established in Warsaw and now employs twenty people. Such an arrangement helped Mytek to compete with products made in Asia whilst maintaining high standards of quality and production control. Manufacturing in Poland also offers convenient and economical products in the EU, together with quick and effective customer service for the EU market.


Who designs Mytek products?

A team of engineers headed by Michal Jurewicz; over the past twenty years, Michael has built over twenty models of various analogue-to-digital and digital-to-analogue converters for professional use. A new design is generally laid out by Michal with another senior designer specialising in low-level digital design, Marcin Hamerla. Then various parts of the circuit are done by dedicated engineers and programmers. Typically three-to-four prototype hardware revisions are built and corrected before the product is deemed perfect for release. Michal is heavily involved in prototype listening tests and necessary related amendments. Michal also heavily collaborates with major mastering and recording engineers in New York and asks them to try the DAC, listen and provide feedback.


Why does the DAC offer Direct Stream Digital, given there are currently so few DSD files around?

Mytek wants to promote DSD because we consider it the best sounding standardised digital audio format. The quest for the best sounding conversion is the foundation of the company. Mytek's expertise in DSD began in 2005 with Sony commissioning the development of a DSD master recorder. Our insight into this cutting-edge format was especially helpful, not only from a technical perspective but also a marketing one. It was a hunch during the initial development of the Stereo192-DSD DAC, that DSD downloads would begin to gain prominence now that the SACD had more or less left the stage. Audiophiles still value SACD, and DSD is considered to be the digital format of the superior quality. With increased internet bandwidth, more record companies selling online, and – at the time – only one other DAC able to play DSD, Mytek saw an opportunity to capitalise on a confluence of events. As it happened the Mytek DAC was the first affordable DAC to offer DSD when launched at Rocky Mountain hi-fi show in 2011. DSD gave it a huge spotlight, which resulted in over 3,000 units sold to date, primarily to users interested in DSD playback.
Wayne Gretzy, an American hockey player once said, " I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been"...

Would you define the DAC as a 'pro audio' product, or is it a
consumer one dressed up to look like a studio device?

This DAC blurs the line between pro and consumer. The original design idea was an honest precision DAC for mastering engineers, where the premise is to accurately extract all digital detail recorded, the main requirement for a mastering DAC. As it happened, computer audiophile enthusiasts had the same requirement – and this DAC was perfect for both. At the highest levels of pro you find some of the finest examples of hi-fi products. Wilson, Dunlavy and McIntosh have been choices for top mixers, mastering engineers, and musicians. The Stereo192-DSD DAC is purpose-built to be a transparent, accurate representation of bit-accurate digital media. That being said, design invariably leads to decisions that fork in distinct ways, in which the technical merit of each may be the same or one exceeds the other. In these situations the Mytek philosophy is to use critical listening and judge what choice best conveys the musicality of the original source. Often, the more technically accurate better spec'd solution does not sound pleasing. And no matter how advanced the measuring equipment, the human ear can discern sonic information a machine just can't comprehend. The Stereo192-DSD DAC aims to provide a solution sonically that will reveal the most amount of detail possible, audiophiles and music producers alike can equally benefit from such a tool. And as such, many hi-fi enthusiasts and accomplished music veterans choose the Mytek Stereo192-DSD DAC

Which variant of the ESS Sabre DAC is used; how many DACs in total?

Mytek uses the ES9016 which in fact is the same silicon die as all other Sabre DACs. In our initial prototype tests the choice of Sabre chips did not seem to have a major impact on the sound. Spending more on power supplies, clocks, etc., seems to offer bigger impact. The parts for the DAC were budgeted very carefully to get the best value in overall performance, resulting in overall sound quality challenging $10,000-plus DACs. It uses the stock digital filters, but we will be adding more choices in future firmware releases. Having said that, the choice of filters is most important for 44.1kHz oversampling. At 192k, filter impact is very small. Of course, one reason why we like DSD is that there are no steep filters there.

Are any special 'audiophile' components or wiring used inside?

A number of components were chosen based on our extensive, twenty-plus years of experience in designing digital converters. Mytek does not, for example, use standard audio op-amps or regulators. The resistors are miniature low distortion metal film, capacities are high speed and the special low distortion, power supply is double regulated linear and so on. It's not one component but the choice of them that makes a difference.

How would you describe its sound quality?

Honest and accurate with precision detail and precision sound. Unlike most of our competitors we do not design the DAC to have an 'ideal' imaginary sound based on playback alone. Instead, we design an ADC and DAC chain which is then compared to a straight wire coming from the sound source (both high quality recording and live). We then listen, measure, listen again and tweak the design of the ADC/DAC chain to match the straight wire as close as possible. That's why mastering engineers trust this DAC. It plays back exactly what was recorded.
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