MSB Diamond DAC V

MSB Technologies

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Diamond DAC V is our top-of-the-line DAC including our best Diamond DAC modules. The Diamond DAC V offers unbelievable performance with full DSD playback on all inputs. It provides our best DAC modules for the most refined sound quality and the Femto 140 clock is included. The Diamond DAC is without question one of the finest DACs in the world. 


The Diamond DAC V is the reference DAC in the world today. It is flexible, upgradable, with customized features and color, and offers the most life-like sound possible. It was designed in a way that it can be used as the last component in your system before the amplifiers.  With the added convenience of having multiple digital inputs and one or more Analog inputs you can easily eliminate your preamp. You may connect your turntable through the analog input and all your digital sources directly to the DAC V.   The Analog Output is volume controlled (if the optional Volume Control is installed).  

About the Sound

The Diamond DAC V takes your listening experience to a new high.   The lower noise and distortion allow the dynamics to come to life with more room for the music.   The top end is much more open and the bass response is more musical and more resolving.  It may be hard for owners of the DAC IV to believe that the DAC V can get much better, but it can.  All we can say is listening is believing.

About the Clock / Jitter Control 

Jitter control devices (and inputs on most DACs) normally clean up or phase lock loop the input signal from which the DAC clock is derived in an attempt to lessen the jitter of the DAC clock. The Diamond DAC V does no such clean up. We actually pay no attention to the clock on the input signal.  All DAC clocks are generated by the  Femto 140 clock. This extremely low jitter - less than 140 femtosecond clock sets a new industry standard. Since the input clock is no longer related to the clock of the DAC, an intelligent half-second buffer is used to maintain data synchronization. 

The Femto 140 clock is mounted in a clock socket and it can be replaced with the amazingly low jitter Galaxy Femto 77 or Femto 33 Clock. These clocks are the lowest jitter clocks in the world, with less than 33 femtoseconds of jitter. These clocks can be easily installed. No setup is required.

Keeping the Source in Sync 

We have demonstrated very clearly that a major sonic improvement can be experienced if the source device can be clocked off the DAC clock. Our PRO I2S interface keeps our transports in sync, by sending the super low jitter clock generated in the DAC out to the transport. Some servers also support this PRO I2S interface and run in sync. Other servers provide a clock input, and the MSB Clock Adapter can be plugged into either the PRO I2S output or the older MSB network output. The BNC output is a LVDS level 512x master clock output that can be used to keep the server in sync. This is a great upgrade and has already been approved by Aurender.

About DSD playback

The DAC V is able to accept DSD in all of its digital inputs, not just the USB input like most DACs. You can play .DXD, .DFF and .DFS files and can play 64x DSD and 128x DSD and with the Quad Rate DSD USB Input, can play 256x DSD native. Please note, you must have a 192 kHz USB input rate for 64x DSD and a 384 kHz USB input rate for 128x DSD. (You have been wondering why MSB has been shipping 384 kHz inputs for years now!) The extreme speed and resolution of our DACs provide a DSD experience unlike any in this world. You must hear it to believe it.

About the Diamond Attenuator 

Our Preamp philosophy is based on the belief that from the moment analog audio is created, every transition that is made degrades the quality. This is why we have used a passive attenuator and a single op-amp within the Diamond DAC V, to achieve the simplest, shortest possible signal path with the least possible degradation of the true music. This volume module is greatly improved over the Diamond DAC IV module.  The Volume is controlled in 1 dB steps from +9 to -69 dB.  Half or quarter db steps can be selected as a menu option.  The Volume Control is completely bypassed when at 0 dB.  It is individually shielded to provide the lowest noise floor possible, at least 5 dB lower than the Signature Volume Module.

History of the DAC

The Diamond DAC V is the result of wild abandon in the engineering budget. MSB had several good years of sales and we decided to invest the proceeds in finding out just how precise a DAC could be made, and whether it would be noticeable or if other system limitations would mask the improvements. The project was surprisingly successful and the outcome most gratifying. By 2007 we had a concept that was theoretically going to exceed the accuracy of our outstanding Signature DACs. In mid 2008 our first rough prototype indeed provided clear sonic improvements over the very high precision Signature DAC. In 2009 the final design was finished and the results were outstanding. Not only has the DAC still been the limiting factor, but it has been a significant limiting factor. (For more information on How DACs Work!   see this simple but accurate explanation.)

Now that is just the begining of the Diamond DAC V. In late 2013 we made another breakthrough with the ultimate SELECT DAC. This DAC became the new reference in 2014. It was based on the Diamond DAC but with some very key improvements. It included new DSP code, new volume controls and a new propriatary componant, the key to the additional low level performance. 

Now the Diamond DAC V has ALL the technology of the 2014 Select plus some more improvements. So how is it different than the Signature DAC V?

  • Diamond DAC Modules vs Signature DAC Modules = 1 More Bit of Resolution -- You might think one more bit of resolution is just a little thing, but it actually doubles the size of the DAC module. Our Analog DAC has one 25 bit sign-magnitude DAC per channel resulting in 25 bits of resolution. The signature DAC V has two 25 bit four-quadrant DACs per channel resulting in 26 bits of resolution and improved accuracy. The Diamond DAC contains four 26 bit DACs per channel for a true 27 bit resolution with greatly improved accuracy.
  • Hand Shielding -- So here is the story with shielding. As electrical noise is minimized magnetic and temperature effects begin to dominate. The Diamond performance has reached a place where the remaining noise is magnetic in nature. Stray magnetic fields are unpredictable. Fortunately an amazing nickel alloy exists with which shunts magnetic fields about a hundred times more effectively than steel. The Diamond DAC modules themselves are made of this material, and shields are installed in the power supply, over the critical clocks, and around the volume controls. Then we set the unit up to our measurement system and begin the process of optimization. Each unit is a little different, so we work out what shields should be put where to get the best possible result. Remember that this material shunts magnetic fields so more is not always better. Just the right size shield must be put in just the right place. The result is stunning, with noise reductions of 10 or 15 dB!
  • Half the Output Impedance The Diamond DAC has an output impedance of 250 ohms, half that of the Signature DAC. Half the impedance means twice the output current and twice the noise immunity.
  • Greater Reliability and Temperature Insensitivity -- The Diamond DAC Motherboard, volume controls and DAC modules are coated with a low dielectric conformal coating that makes them impervious to surface contamination, moisture effects, ionic contamination and reduces sensitivity to vibration. The advanced heat pipe thermal management keeps the DAC modules at the same temperature.
  • Diamond vs. Signature Volume Modules -- Although both modules have been improved over DAC IV standards, the Diamond module is still lower noise than the Signature.

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