(From the Musical Fidelity press release)
Everybody knows that high performance, high end components have high prices. We asked ourselves, ‘Why are these pieces of equipment so expensive?’ To answer the question, we analysed a number of products to see what proportion of the cost was in electronics, front panels and general packaging.
Most high end products, and DACs in particular, have, at the most, five per cent of their cost in the electronic components that define the performance. In our view, manufacturers have a duty to give their customers value for money – and putting just five per cent of the product cost is not acceptable.
Most high end products offer little more than glamorous (or not) packaging, with the same stuff inside.
We feel that it is wrong for a manufacturer to charge vast prices for products that offer expensive boxes of air (most of it hot!) and almost nothing extra in performance. It is this fervent belief that has driven the development of the V90-DAC.
At the heart of the V90-DAC are state-of-the-art DACs and filters of the same types used in expensive products. These components define the performance potential. The purpose of every other part of the DAC is to extract the maximum performance (and from our point of view, cost as little as possible) from these state-of-the-art components.
The V90-DAC is small and compact. This means that it uses less metal and thus saves freight and packaging costs. Its small case houses a small printed circuit board (pcb), saving plenty of cost.
The amount of componentry on the V90-DAC’s pcb is no different to the heart of any state-of-the-art DAC. It is small because we do not spread the components out to fill up an unnecessarily large pcb area.
The V90-DAC has inputs for coax, 2 x optical and USB (24bit 96kHz Asynchronous). It will accept inputs up to 24-bits and 192kHz. As a result, the V90-DAC can be used with a vast variety of digital sources. All inputs are upsampled to 192kHz.
The technical performance of the V90-DAC is on a par with any other DAC at any price. Jitter is about 12pps, s/n ratio is -116dB (‘A’ weighted), linearity is +0.2dB at -116dB, stereo separation is -104dB at 1kHz, frequency response is ruler flat and distortion is 0.00025% at 1kHz and 0.0003% at 20kHz.
These technical figures are state-of-the-art. They demonstrate that our implementation is almost perfect. This ensures completely neutral and accurate digital-to-analog conversion of any digital input.
The V90-DAC has beautiful looks and has excellent build quality. The front panel and cover are custom made fine line extrusions. The finish is crystal bead shot blast, fine texture moonstone. The overall fit and finish gives the impression of an expensive high-end product.
Taken as a whole the V90-DAC gives cutting edge technical performance in a beautiful high quality package.
Despite its high value electronics, excellent build quality and superlative performance the V90-DAC is modestly priced. Some manufacturers charge many thousands of pounds for such performance, but not Musical Fidelity. The V90-DAC will retail in the UK for about £199.
The V90-DAC is rather like an F1 racing car. There is no unnecessary flab, no excess packaging, no excess anything, anywhere. It is just pure, unadulterated, state-of-the-art performance.