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m2Tech announce Rockstars series, updated Young DAC

  • From (almost) under the shadow of its leaning tower, Pisa’s m2Tech have overhauled their website to (in part) launch a new set of products. The Italian company’s Rockstars Series will ultimately provide everything needed for a complete hifi system: just add loudspeakers and a turntable.

    Landing in October will be the Nash MM/MC phono stage and the Crosby Class D power amplifier.

    Before that comes the Young MKIII DAC/pre-amplifier that is both the same and different to its predecessor, the Young DSD.

    On the new model we note: the same Xilinx FPGA marshalling data; the same PCM1795 chip handling D/A conversion; and the same proprietary output buffer with “a passive anti-alias filter and servos removing I/V offset and directly driving a CS3318 volume control/buffer” (so says the press release).

    More from that same m2Tech-supplied release: “The Young MkIII takes advantage of many refinements on the original design, namely in the supply circuit and in the analog section.”

    Does it do MQA? Does it do MQA? Does it do MQA?

    Yes, it does MQA – cool yr jets. The overhauled XMOS USB receiver will also handle DSD natively up to DSD256. That’s hi-res obsessives taken care of.

    For the opposite end of the audio quality / convenience / music supply spectrum, designer Marco Manunta has specified an aptX Bluetooth receiver chip which additionally permits (Android only) smartphone app remote control.

    More unusually, the Young MKIII also features a single-ended analogue input for full pre-amplifier functionality. Spying the rear of the Young MKIII (above), that means this DAC’s analogue output is balanced/XLR only. Adaptors are provided.

    Switchable voltage doubling that lifts the XLR output to 10Vrms and single-ended to 5Vrms (via adaptors), should see this DAC/pre-amplifier converse nicely with both sensitive and insensitive power amplifier inputs.

    For the exterior, the interface has reportedly been “greatly improved” with a new, high-contrast OLED display and a new IR remote control.

    Alas, the optional “extremely low noise power supply” isn’t called Stills. Opportunity missed? Perhaps.

    According to m2Tech, the Van Der Graaf MKII’s “crystal clear current supply” positively impacts clock timing, jitter and SNR, all for elevated sound quality.

    The Van Der Graaf MkII offers four outputs: 2 x 9V or 2 x 15V and three voltages (5V, +15V and -15V) from a 4-pin XLR for legacy products such as m2Tech’s Marley headphone amplifier or yet to be announced Rockstar Series products.

    How much, yo? The Young MkIII is priced at €1190 + VAT and the Van Der Graaf MkII at €775 + VAT.

    Further information: m2Tech

    Written by John

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

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