MSB Technology Link D/A converter Measurements part 3

The MSB's linearity error was negligible down to a superb -110dBFS (fig.7), while its waveform reproduction of an undithered 1kHz sinewave at -90.31dBFS (fig.8) was well-nigh perfect. Simple distortion was just a hint of second-harmonic, even into a demanding 600 ohm load (fig.9), while any intermodulation (fig.10) was similarly low.

Fig.7 MSB Link, departure from linearity (2dB/vertical div., right channel dashed).

Fig.8 MSB Link, waveform of undithered 1kHz sinewave at -90.31dBFS, 600 ohms load.

Fig.9 MSB Link, spectrum, DC-1kHz, 50Hz at 0dBFS, 600 ohms load (linear frequency scale, 20dB/vertical div.).

Fig.10 MSB Link, HF intermodulation spectrum, DC-22kHz, 19+20kHz at 0dBFS (linear frequency scale, 20dB/vertical div.).

Finally, I assessed the Link's jitter using the Miller Audio Research analyzer and a Meridian 500 CD transport, connecting the units with a 1m generic 75 ohm cable, a 6' length of Illuminati D-60, and a 1m TosLink fiberoptic cable. The absolute jitter level didn't vary much, ranging from 246ps with the D-60 to 228ps with the TosLink connection. Data-related jitter was low in all three conditions, but was lowest (40ps) with the optical connection. However, as can be seen from fig.11, the highest jitter sidebands were not data-related but lay at ±60Hz and ±120Hz—brown markers "3" and blue markers "4"—meaning that they are power-supply-related.

Fig.11 MSB Link, Meridian 500 CD transport via TosLink connection, high-resolution jitter spectrum of analog output signal. (11kHz at -6dBFS with LSB toggled at 229Hz.) Center frequency of trace, 11kHz; frequency range, ±3.5kHz.

The MSB Link offers superb measured performance at any price. For $350, this is astonishingly good value.—John Atkinson

COMPANY INFO
MSB Technology
14251 Pescadero Road
La Honda, CA 94020
(650) 747-0400
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