This is without exception the best sounding DAC I have ever heard and it is easy to use and set up. The price in this advertisement is for the 8 Channel DAC and I can get you the Stereo DAC for $10,500 delivered. My Customers who have purchased this DAC all love it and have replaced top of the line DACs from other manufacturers with it.
this is from Kalman Rubisons review in Stereophile the connectivity issue he describes has been solved since the review came out.
Merging Technologies NADAC Multichannel-8 DAC
For some years now, the Swiss company Merging Technologies has been at the fore of high-resolution technologies for recording studios. Their digital-audio workstation (DAW) software, such as the Pyramix Virtual Studio and Ovation Media Sequencer, are capable of up to DSD256 and DXD, and have been adopted by cutting-edge recordists and studios worldwide. The backbone of the Pyramix and Ovation packages is their adoption of Ravenna IP Audio technology, an Ethernet-based subset of the AES67 Audio over Internet Protocol (AoIP), which permits the precisely timed, error-free transfer of audio data among multiple devices, regardless of the number of participating devices. Although this is essential to large studio operations, it's also desirable for home networks with multiple zones, as it can accommodate access to all resources from multiple zones. With Ravenna as the native connection technology, runs of Cat5e and Cat6 cable can be as long as 100 meters.
More recently, Merging Technologies introduced the Horus and the Hapi, two Ravenna-powered networked audio interfaces—hardware amenable to a number of chores, including D/A and A/D conversion—aimed at professional users. And in October 2015, at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, Merging Technologies introduced a pair of Ravenna-compatible products designed for the consumer market: the Merging+NADAC Stereo ($10,500) and Merging+NADAC Multichannel-8 ($11,500) DACs. As NADAC stands for Network Attached Digital to Analogue Converter, these products should be judged not only for their performance as DACs but also for their networking capabilities.
At 17" wide by 3.7" high by 17" deep and weighing 24.2 lbs, the NADAC Multichannel-8 is one of the largest, heaviest DACs I have ever used. Unpacking it recalled my first sight of Theta Digital's awesome Generation VIII DAC, which I reviewed for the February 2004 issue. But while the NADAC is more expensive (though not in 2004 dollars), it's also more graceful and intelligent—and, most important, it has more than two channels!
It may seem strange that the difference in price between the two- and eight-channel NADACs is so small, but other than the latter's six additional output amplifiers and six more pairs of analog output jacks, the two models are almost identical. Both use an ESS9008S Sabre Reference Audio DAC chip with eight DACs, but the Stereo has four D/A outputs per channel, summed to provide better linearity, greater dynamic range, and a lower noise floor. (The Multichannel-8 can be switched to work in precisely the same manner, as Stereo DAC.) In both NADACs, the headphone output has its own converter IC.
The Multichannel-8's Ethernet interface (gigabit Ethernet only) is used for the playback of computer-based files through a Ravenna ASIO driver at any resolution up to 384kHz, DXD, and DSD256, as well as through up to eight channels. Incoming data are placed in a large memory buffer and clocked by a precision clock. Along with Ravenna's IEEE1588 Precision Time Protocol (PTP), this is intended to eliminate the jitter problems associated with other interfaces. The Multichannel-8 also handles AES/EBU and S/PDIF digital inputs up to 192kHz, and will accept DSD over PCM (DoP).
The case is a low-slung square just under 4" high, with gracefully rounded vertical corners, and is anodized in a satin silver tone. On the left of the front panel, an illuminated MT logo serves as an On/Mute/Off switch and indicator. To the right is engraved "MERGING-NADAC," and past that is a small but eminently communicative digital display. Then comes a large knob that serves as the control for both volume and configuration. At far right are two headphone jacks, one each for 3.5mm and ¼" plugs.
At the center of the NADAC's rear panel is a row of eight balanced analog outputs (three-pin male XLR); below them is a row of eight corresponding unbalanced outputs (RCA). These are merely labeled 1 through 8, not with specific channel names. To their left are clustered input connectors for: Ethernet Ravenna/AES67 (Neutrik EtherCon RJ45 jack), AES/EBU (three-pin female XLR), S/PDIF (TosLink), coaxial (RCA, 44.1–192kHz PCM), and Word Clock (BNC). To the right of the rows of analog outputs are an IEC power inlet, a DC power inlet, and a master power switch.
Physical hookup was easy. I connected the provided Ethernet cable between my gigabit network switch and the Multichannel-8, and the analog outputs to my Audio Research MP1 preamp with Kubala-Sosna Anticipation RCA and XLR interconnects. I installed the MT's ASIO driver on my Baetis XR2 server, and JRiver Media Center recognized the NADAC Multichannel-8 as an output zone. Unfortunately, this didn't work. Merging Technologies' Dominique Brulhart informed me that I needed either to add to my network a managed switch, or to make a direct connection to my server. I chose the latter, and that worked well enough for the ASIO driver panel to see the Multichannel-8, and for the Multichannel 8's display to tell me that it had recognized the server output (footnote 1).
Still no love from the Multichannel-8: It displayed the source name in red, which meant that that source was not connected. Again I contacted Brulhart, who told me of a so-far undocumented NADAC quirk: The only way to make the initial handshake between the Multichannel-8 and the server is to play a file of the precise format (DSD64) displayed, by factory default, on its front panel. (Brulhart said that this glitch—which, I suspect, remained undocumented because MT had expected to resolve it before the NADACs' launch—will soon be corrected.) Indeed, when I played a file of the right format, the handshake succeeded, and everything played brilliantly.
And I mean everything. From 16/44.1 to DXD to DSD256, in mono, stereo, or multichannel, the NADAC Multichannel-8 operated flawlessly. Its buffering inserted one to two seconds of delay in addition to JRiver's latency, but I heard nary a hesitation after the sound began. And even admitting to a positive expectation bias, I was impressed with the sound. A very familiar 24/96 recording, Willie Nelson's Night and Day (DVD-A, Surrounded-By SBE-1001-9; out of print), was presented with a smoothly continuous ambience linking and integrating the instruments, which were distributed among all five loudspeakers surrounding me.
The latest from Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Beethoven's Symphonies 5 and 7 (SACD/CD, Reference Fresh! FR-718), are dashing performances that conjure reference to Carlos Kleiber's ground-breaking renditions of these works with the Vienna Philharmonic (SACD/CD, Deutsche Grammophon 471 630-2). Via the Multichannel-8, that continuous spatial envelopment spread the PSO widely across the front stage, their sound entirely incorporated into the hall's ambience. Brass sections were almost explosively exuberant in both symphonies, yet remained musically integrated with the rest of the performance, and the dynamic range was staggering. Then, listening to Kleiber's classic readings, I was equally impressed with the Multichannel-8's reproduction—the often edgy sound of these recordings from the mid-1970s was nearly gone, without any loss of clarity or dynamics. Listening sessions with these masterpieces through the NADAC at near-concert levels have been some of my most thrilling listening experiences.
I have some unreleased files that demonstrated that the NADAC Multichannel-8 is on top of some formats still not widely available. Tom Caulfield, a Grammy-winning recording engineer who has worked for Channel Classics and other labels, recently sent me a multichannel DSD256 file from a session with Color Field, a group comprising musicians of the Chicago Lyric Opera and the Chicago Symphony, for a recording of James Matheson's String Quartet, to be released this year on Yarlung Records. The opening notes were startling—I had the disturbing but exhilarating feeling that music was actually being made in my room, not merely reproduced. The sound was no more "multichannel" than it was "stereo"—the four players seemed almost within reach, and my room seemed to expand around me. Caulfield had included a few photos of the session, held at the Segerstrom Center, in Costa Mesa, California. When I looked at them—by George, that's exactly what I'd heard. Not only was I completely transfixed: I kept thinking, If others could only hear this, hi-rez multichannel music would take off.
I did also hear and appreciate some great and transparent two-channel sound with the Multichannel-8 in stereo mode, both from my Bowers & Wilkins 800 Diamond speakers as well through a pair of Bowers & Wilkins P5 headphones. I was also able to compare the NADAC directly with the exaSound e28 by setting JRiver to link the two DACs' outputs and switching my preamp between them. That was maddening—in quick A/B comparisons, they were indistinguishable. However, after I'd listened to one DAC for half an hour or so, a switch to the other could reveal some very tiny differences. Consistently, the e28 had a bit more bass and a slightly more forward sound. The NADAC's bass was excellent but less emphatic, and the front of its soundstage was barely more distant. Those minuscule differences might aid those who can afford either in choosing between them, but they didn't help me (footnote 2).
Still, I found the NADAC Multichannel-8 flawless. It provided some of the best sound I have ever heard in my home. With Merging Technologies' Ravenna-based network linkage, multiple NADACs can operate independently in different zones without requiring additional wiring or less-reliable wireless connections. I can't see any reason why one would not choose the NADAC Multichannel-8 for a modern multichannel or two-channel system.
Please contact me with questions my phone # is 720 308 4000
My email is Neal@soundsciencecat.com
Or make an appointment to stop by and listen to it.
My Return policy says no returns and I encourage you to ask for a Demo so you can know with certainty this is the ultimate DAC for you.