MSB Technologies Wows

Listening to HDTracks’ 24/192 download of the Jimmy Cobb Quartet’s Jazz in the Key of Blue, I finally heard what a well-tuned MSB system can do. “So musical!” I wrote in my notes. Instrumental timbres were excellent, with the warmth and fullness of Roy Hargrove’s trumpet portrayed with near tube-like roundness and warmth. Combined with the air and depth conveyed by the high-res recording, and the sheer presence of the drums, the experience opened a portal to audio nirvana. I could have spent hours exploring music in multiple formats on this system, and still have wanted more. It killed me to have to leave the room so soon. Only the reality of many more rooms to cover before show’s end kept me from staying longer.

Yes, all of this great sound comes at a price. I leave it to you to total up the cost of MSB’s Diamond DAC and Diamond Power Base ($27,990) with FemtoSecond Galaxy Clock ($9,950) and optional volume control installed ($995), Data CD IV transport which plays CDs and all WAV files up to 32/384k when burned to DVD ($3995), and S200 amplifier ($14,995). (All this gear was favorably reviewed by Jon Iverson in the October issue of Stereophile.) Then add in the system’s all-important YG Acoustics Anat III Studio Signature loudspeakers ($68,000/pair) and Analysis Plus cabling, including Big silver oval speaker cable ($2240/2m pair), multiple sets of Silver Oval IN interconnects ($1365/2m pair), and any number of Power Oval 2 power cords ($465/5ft).

Note that MSB has recently introduced their new entry level Analog DAC ($6995), which MSB National Sales Manager Vince Galbo says is based on technologies “trickled down” from their top-of-the-line Diamond DAC, and is startingly good. If the Analog DAC, with its optional volume control ($995), is as good as Vince claims, I may be lining up for one. Hey, it would be nice, for once, to discover a case of trickle-down economics that really work.

untangle's picture

I have had this ultra-high-end MSB stack in my home for a BAAS demo, and can attest that there are dozens of Bay Area audiophiles now singing its praises.

I also have one of their volume controllers in my reference stack. It is one of the most transparent devices that I have ever used.

This suggests to me that their new "Analog DAC" holds great promise in the highly-competitive $5-7K space.