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Majestic DAC impressions

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Ash View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ash Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2014 at 9:21am
Amazing, isn't it, when the designer knows exactly what he is doing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bradders Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2014 at 10:25am
So just to clarify for me and save me reading 85 pages of the design stuff this is a switchable DAC like(in function) my Rdac and a pre amp that I would power the Propius amps or Solo ulde with?SmileSmile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote morris_minor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2014 at 11:29am
Originally posted by Bradders Bradders wrote:

So just to clarify for me and save me reading 85 pages of the design stuff this is a switchable DAC like(in function) my Rdac and a pre amp that I would power the Propius amps or Solo ulde with?SmileSmile
I'm not familiar with the Rdac, but the Majestic can work as a pre-amp with 7 digital inputs and 1 analogue input. A (now) fixed line out on RCA phonos can go to a Solo, and variable pre-outs on balanced jacks to an amplifier. I use jack to phono adaptors to convert balanced to single-ended with great success, though I will, no doubt, be getting jack to XLR cables to get the best possible signal to my active speakers in due course.
Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fatmangolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2014 at 6:20pm
Yes the balanced outputs of the Majestic will happily feed a pair of Proprius amps, the unbalanced will do the same for the Solo ULDE.
Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote msphil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2014 at 9:20pm

I have recently read Bob's excellent review on the new Majestic and thought that as I have now had mine for 11 days I thought it was time I gave an update on my original review. This appeared on the 'Big DAC ' thread before this one was created. As it contains details of my system etc you might want to read it there if you haven't already done so.


I find it hard to disagree with the things that Bob has said about the Majestic DAC. He has confirmed my impressions. When I first listened to it I was overwhelmed by the clarity, detail and vibrancy of the sound that it produced. I couldn't believe that so much extra detail existed on familiar albums. why hadn't I been able to access this before? When you already think that you have something you think of as close to perfection just to know there is more available makes one very excited! I wanted to play all my old music to see what I've been missing! When you have thousands of tracks as I do this will take a long, long time! Having experienced the burn in of a Solo ULDE I knew that the sound and musicality of the Majestic would only get better.


I have now had the unit for 11 days and I haven't been disappointed! My original observations have been justified in spades! Unlike Bob I have only used the Majestic as a DAC so I am not qualified to talk about the many and varied other options available on the Majestic. All I know is that the unit has become even more musical while retaining its detail, space and balance. Before, everything was there, but not as integrated as it is now.


My overall impression is that the music I've played through the unit can be expressed with the words vibrant clarity!! There is nothing false about this 'vibrant clarity' it is my way of saying that one can hear the pluck of the string or the the core of the sound as the bow vibrates across the string. One becomes aware of the silence of the space around the music and the nature of the sound that breaks it. It is natural and moving!


A couple of years ago I attended a live concert where 'The Armed Mass For Peace' by Karl Jenkins was being played. I already had this work on CD but hearing it live proved to be a different experience to the recorded version. Live, the string section vibrated, the trumpets were sharp and piercing, the call to prayer echoed around the hall and the timpani shocked. The recorded version, when I returned home, seemed tame by comparison. One lost the individuality and power of the instruments as they melded into one orchestral sound. The choir lost its breath and the individuality of the singers in the the ambience of the hall. With the Majestic this has miraculously reappeared. It is vibrant and moving! I defy anybody not to be moved by the quality of the serene Benedictus in this lovely recording!


After 264 hours of being powered up, with many hours of playing, things which I noticed individually have settled in to a cohesive natural whole without losing its space and detail. The treble, mid-range and bass have become balanced so that no part dominates unless it is meant to. Thanks to Ash I have had the opportunity to try the unit using different headphones (HD560II and HD540II) to my Grado PS 1000. Without wanting at this stage to compare the headphones I can only say that each type of headphone is improved by the majestic. Each retains its own character but gives much more.


I have to admit that, on my headphones, I haven't noticed any lack of depth in the bass as Bob did it first. On my headphones the sound is deep, vibrant and detailed. There is nothing saggy or loose about this! Even on old recordings the bass sounds tighter and more detailed. Obviously one can't put detail where it doesn't exist However, I have some Billie Holiday, From The Original Decca Masters, and Ella Fitzgerald from The Great American Songbook and in both the overall sound is improved and the bass more defined.


With well recorded albums I had to smile and wonder at the scintillating verve of the sound! On the album Didn't It Rain by Hugh Laurie one can't help but be dazzled and impressed. From the breath of the saxophonist creating the sustained note of the saxophone reed to the barrelhouse sound of the piano’s dampened strings there is the awareness of a beautifully created sound stage. Nothing is missing! Equally, Paul Simon's Graceland is a delight as Ladysmith's Black Mambazo growl into action against the African style guitar riffs.


In my youth I used to play acoustic guitar in folk clubs, bars and restaurants in this country and in Europe. I had a range of good guitars including a Martin, and other handmade instruments. As a result I have a good idea how a good instrument should sound. I can confirm that the sound I get from recordings played through the Majestic faithfully reproduces the quality of sound that I know exists in reality. One can hear the vibrancy and sustain of the note together with the squeak of the fingers as they slide across the strings or hammer onto the soundboard. An acoustic instrument can be almost a living breathing thing, and this can be perceived.


In writing this review, unlike Bob who seems to have a musical vocabulary superior to my own, I have found that my words are inadequate to the job of describing the Majestic DAC’s sound and I have inevitably rambled. All I can say is that I cannot imagine being without it. And when I pay for it I will do so willingly. It is special and I believe that it is worth every penny!


Phil

'You are, through your soul not your body, a human being.'
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote morris_minor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2014 at 10:14pm
Good one, Phil!

It is a great piece of equipment, isn't it?
Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fatmangolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2014 at 10:23pm
Phil, thanks for another top notch review. Like Bob, you've captured the listening experience. I am expecting the same musicality the Reflex and Revelation bring to vinyl with instruments sounding real and music happening in front of me.

Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.
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