By Dr. Panagiotis Karavitis
Mytek Digital has been a pioneer in digital playback both with their pro and consumer series, but this time they went beyond their usual “prosumer” style. The new Manhattan DAC was one of the most eye-catching products of the show, with a sculpted aluminum chassis and white LED display that words are not enough to describe.
Industrial design apart, the Manhattan offers DXD and quad-DSD sample rates, so chances are you won’t be needing to upgrade any time soon. Compared to the well-known stereo 192 DSD-DAC which is also built around the ESS SABRE 9018, the Manhattan offers double discrete regulated power supplies, a variable gain dual output headphone amplifier and new femto clock for lower jitter.
I gave it a listen and while conditions were far from perfect (ground-floor in an open booth), it sounded detailed, airy and very dynamic with the Lipinski 707A monitors coupled with Lipinski power stands, playing the “Allegro” by German baroque composer Schmelzer.
The Manhattan begins shipping in July 2014 at a SRP of $4995. Included in the price a complete set of cables (RCA, USB and Firewire)!