MSB Technology Link D/A converter Measurements part 3
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