As alluded to in my Munich report some two months ago, today comes confirmation from Metrum Acoustics’ of their impending entry-level DAC switcheroo. After five years of dutiful service the Octave (now MKII) is being retired. In its place comes the Musette, which ditches its predecessor’s ‘secret’ industrial chip in favour of the Transient technology developed for the flagship Pavane. The Musette therefore holds tight to Cees (“Case”) Rujtenberg’s NOS (non-oversampling) design philosophy.
Metrum followers will know that the big Pavane runs with four Transient modules per side. With a pair R2R chips sealed inside each one, that’s a total of sixteen decoding chips handling the conversion. The Musette will come loaded with two modules, presumably one per channel, for a total of four slices of R2R.
On this new module, designer Rujtenberg says, “The result of this process is extremely fast and accurate behavior, taking the listening experience to a higher level. Despite the fact that both DAC modules are built on the same board, an extremely high channel separation of 100 dB is realised. This contributes to flawless positioning of instruments. In other words, a DAC we are rightly proud of.”
A pair of S/PDIF inputs – one more than the outgoing Octave – and (oddly) coloured according to output convention will handle up to 24bit/192kHz PCM, a single toslink will do 24bit/96kHz whilst the USB input goes large with up to 384kHz compatibility, again at 24bits. No DSD, no worries.
Props to Mr Rujtenberg for keeping Musette pricing as per the Octave: €1199. A taste of Pavane then for a whole lot less than its €4950 asking price. Buyers outside the EU can subtract 21% VAT.
Shipping of the Musette begins end of September. Black or silver finishes available.
Further information: Metrum Acoustics