Subtraction. Take the Mytek Brooklyn (and not the Plus). Shrink the box volume by a factor of three to remove the colour LED display and dancing signal level meters but maintain balanced outputs by converting the associated rear panel socketry from XLR to TRS (and offer TRS-XLR adaptors as an option). Keep hold of its internal ESS Sabre 9018K2M DAC chip and bypassable internal power supply but take away its MM/MC phono stage and analogue volume control to leave digital attenuation*. Stir in the Brooklyn Plus’ output stage upgrades for improved sound quality. Keep one of the 6.4mm headphone sockets for single-ended drive but lose the balanced output option. Now implement upgradeable firmware via Windows/MacOS software app and USB connection.
Nothing left to lose? Not quite: halve the asking price to US$995.
What are we left with? Answer: Mytek’s latest DAC, the Liberty (as in ‘Statue of’). A DAC that gives end users abundant freedom of choice on output connectivity or input format. A DAC with digital volume control that outputs to an amplifier or powered loudspeakers via 2 x single-ended RCA or 2 x balanced TRS sockets; or to headphones via a single 6.4mm hook-up for up to 3 Watts/300mA from 0.1 Ohms. A DAC that talks MQA, native DSD256, DXD and PCM up to 384kHz via asynchronous/driverless USB or up to PCM 192kHz and DOP-d DSD64 via AES/EBU, TOSLINK or 2 x coaxial.
Designed in the USA. Made in Poland. Shipping now.
Further information: Mytek Digital
*Digital volume attenuation cannot be applied to MQA or (native) DSD.