Meitner IDAT D/A processor Specifications

Sidebar 1: Specifications

Description: 21-bit digital/analog converter. Digital filtering: 8x-oversampling DSP-based "Intelligent" design. D/A conversion: four 20-bit DACs per channel in "Class-A Data Scheme," balanced in digital domain. Frequency response: 20Hz–20kHz +0, –0.3dB. THD+noise: less than 0.01%, 20Hz–20kHz (no level specified). Output impedance: 300 ohms unbalanced, 600 ohms balanced. Jitter: less than 100ps RMS, no periodic jitter. Inputs: coaxial on RCA jack, Toslink optical, ST-type optical (one each). Analog outputs: one unbalanced stereo pair on RCA jacks, one balanced stereo pair on XLR jacks. Digital outputs: one coaxial on RCA jack, one Toslink (EIAJ) optical, one ST-type optical.
Dimensions: 14.25" W by 7" H by 11.25" D (Translator), 7" W by 5" H by 10.5" D (power supply). Shipping weight: 105 lbs.
Price: $14,950 (1993); no longer available (2012). Approximate number of dealers: 15.
Manufacturer: Museatex Audio Inc., Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2B 1N5, (1993); company no longer in existence (2012). Since 1998 Ed Meitner has been the proprietor of EMM Labs, 119–5065 13th Street S.E., Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2G 5M8. Tel: (403) 225-4161. Fax: (403) 225-2330. Web:

Museatex Audio Inc.
(Company no longer in existence)

christopher3393's picture

Interesting news,,, for less than 1% of the world's population. Glitter people: talk amongst yourselves.

John Atkinson's picture

Interesting news...for less than 1% of the world's population.

Check the date of the review: March 1993. I find it notable that, when it comes to measured DAC performance, what it took heroic engineering and a megabuck price tag to achieve 20 years ago can now be obtained for <$1k. See, for example, But sound quality? Probably not.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile


hollowman's picture

I think it's important to realize that many of the MEASURED parameters/variables (i.e. OBJECTIVE phenomenon) used in audio measurements are less than 80 years old, and even fewer for digital audio science. I recall, several yrs after CD was consumerized (1982-3), "linearity", oversampling, and "jitter" were "discovered" -- and add to these, now we have pre-ringing, minimum phase and apodizing filters. And, of course, none of these predictably correlate with "good" sound. So what does? ... well, it may take another 20 years for clearer answers!

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Real science often involves slow, empirical processes and techniques. Acceptance of this is what I find lacking in the so-called "objective" community; IOW, the HydrogenAudio-type "objectivists" are impatient, and put all their immature eggs in the basket of academic or textbook science. But textbooks are moving targets, subject to perpetual revision, since MOST Natural phenomena are, at the fundamental level, uncharted/undiscovered gray areas. That is, until scientists focus in on bits and pieces of these areas and have them make some mathematical sense in a dynamic TOTALITY, and/or in multiple dimensions (like transducer waterfall plots). In essence, hard-core "objectivity" proponents are dimensionally or temporally trapped -- unable or unwilling to think proactively and outside the academic box (e.g., HydrogenAudio objectivists can't answer this simple question -- "why do so many educated & scientific-minded audiophiles, engineers, researchers, physicians, as well as musicians, composers and even the general public not put too much faith in blind/ABX testing, etc?" -- w/o resorting to an overly simplistic reply like  "it's due to their cognitive dissonance" or "it's a psycho-acoustic trick because ABX tests prove otherwise"). It's important to realize that blind/ABX tests are, ultimately,  subjective human choices. And this, IMO, rightly crushes much of what the objectivists propose & argue for/against.


Anyway ... all that said (and back to the topic!). First, many feel that single-bit (of which Delta-Sigma DACs are a variety [Delta-Sigmas comprise the majority of DACs used today by major manufs like Wolfson, AD, TI, CS, etc] have been --until very recently--sonically inferior to older multibit DACs. Indeed, a few "high-end" D/A's and some DAPs (HiFi Man) use older DAC chips like Philips TDA1543, TDA1541 (and non-oversampling at that!). So it may be that, for mostly economic reasons, DACs took a few steps backward for a while (esp. in the early 90's Bitstream era), and only the latest generation Sigma-Deltas are coming back to speed [the reasons behind this are complex and interdependent, including: older multibits were massive power hogs (e.g. > 200mA current draw!!) and $$ to manuf; the 1-bits were/are cheaper and more pwr efficient -- yes, pwr hungriness = higher manuf. $$ as the PS components/heatsinks needed to support these chips add to the cost/complexity, esp. in portable and automotive use]. Another way to think about it: first, contemplate the $$, hot-running,  complex/"hybrid" technology of the Meitner IDAT -- it took all that $$, ANALLY tweaked/optimizing-every-stage, volume-and-mass BULK of the IDAT to achieve decent SQ in 1993: What many SOP-sized monolithic DACs do today at much-smaller physical and pwr-consumpstion scales... and prices, of course.

I think non-digital components in D/A processors have also made significant gains. One clear winner in analog evolution is the op-amp. I recently installed some of the latest Analog Devices OPAs into a portable iPod-like DAP diy project. And they clearly blew away much-more-$ OPAs of only a decade ago. Ergo ... if a late-model D/A (or other digital/computer-audio component) does sound better than antiques like the Meitner, the reason may not be entirely "digital" after all.

audiodoctornj's picture

As a new EMM Labs dealer, we displayed the first and only example of Ed's latest ideas in digital at the recent New York Audio show, the DAC 2X SE, which at $15,000.00 certaintly isn't inexpensive, howerver, Mr. Meiter again shows why he is a genius at digital design.

On Saturday we had the pleasure of being able to play this dac with HD tracks 24/192 masters via USB into the DAC 2X Se, and the sound was remarkable, it was like you had the actual musicians in the room!

To be honest I don't know if it was the DAC or the true 24/192 track or the combination but the sound was transcendental.

The DAC 2X SE is completely new and use improved versions of Ed's unique technologies, we had an indepth conversation with Meitner's head of sales who told  us that both the Meitner MA 1 Dac and the DAC 2X SE share none of the previous algorithms which Adreas Koch worked on five years ago, so hopefully consumers will get to understand that Meiter's current products are unique in their implimenation of Ed's original technologies which he has been refining for years, and Meitner is back at the forefront of digital design, yet again.


silvertone's picture


It would make a fascinating comparison to review the new DAC2X, being at the same price point from this product twenty years ago.

John, anyway you can get your hands on one of these units?

Warm regards.