The Part-Time Audiophile staff is very fond of the Merason DACs from Switzerland, brought to the US courtesy of Mark Sossa of Well Pleased AV. Dave McNair has reviewed the original Merason DAC1, and Marc Phillips has covered the entry-level Frerot. Today we’ve learned that an updated version of the DAC1, the Merason DAC1 Mk II, is now available. Here’s the press release:
Worb, Switzerland – We are very excited to announce the release of the new Merason DAC1 Mk II D/A Converter. Over a year’s time was spent carefully considering how to improve upon our award-winning design to offer customers around the world even greater musical enjoyment, and we could not be happier with the results (see below).
All existing DAC1 owners will have the ability to upgrade their units to Mk II status. The new Merason DAC1 Mk II will begin shipping later this month while upgrades will begin in early February. Please consult with your local distributor for more information.
New Design: The structure and routing layout of the PCB was entirely re-designed resulting in a significantly reduced impedance and loss-free power supply delivery to each individual component. In addition, the shielding against external interference was also greatly improved.
Components: High precision SMD components are now predominantly used throughout the design due to their superior performance characteristics. Unlike the THT parts previously used, the SMD components offer a far shorter component to conductor path resulting in much lower losses. The capacitors in both low-pass filters now have a dielectric made of polystyrene, a material well proven
for high performance audio applications.
Thermal concept: New in the Merason DAC1 Mk II is a sophisticated mounting procedure of the power transistors to their individual heat sinks using custom designed disc springs. This intricate method allows for a precisely defined contact pressure, achieving optimal temperature equalization of the paired transistors. This application has dramatically reduced harmonic distortion in the signal path.
Result: All these measures have led to an even wider and deeper sound stage. The dynamics are clearly greater, with the transient speed and attack reminiscent of live music. Although the measured output level has remained identical, one has the impression that the Merason DAC1 Mk II plays louder with a much quieter background. Micro/Macro details are resolved more distinctly, with new details emerging from familiar recordings that were not previously recognizable. The sound image has become even airier and lighter, with bass now much more weighted and defined. All in all, a converter that plays in a higher league!!
Pricing: $8000 USD
Available now, in silver, black, and cider