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Merason DAC1 MK II - Making good even better

The Merason brand essentially has two products, namely two D/A converters: the Merason frérot and the Merason DAC1. The latter is now available in a new, already second generation as the Merason DAC1 MK II.

The manufacturer niedal audio lab AG wants the name of the Merason DAC1 to be understood as a sign of what they are aiming for with the solution from Switzerland. Mera stands for unique, and son for sound, so the company is committed to fine sound and sees technology as a means to an end. And now this D/A converter is available in a new, second generation, the Merason DAC1 MKII.

For more than a year, the company has been working on making good things even better and is very happy with the result. The success story of the Merason DAC1 can thus be continued with the Merason DAC1 MKII.

Merason DAC1 MKII with new design

As a major innovation of the Merason DAC1 MK II compared to the previous version, the manufacturer cites a new design. The structure and the routing of the circuit board have been completely redesigned so that a significantly lower impedance could be achieved, which in turn, according to the manufacturer, leads to an almost loss-free power supply of the individual components.

Furthermore, according to niedal audio lab AG, the shielding has been improved again so that external interferences cannot have any negative effects on the delicate sound processing.

Increased use of SMD components

It is interesting to note that the new Merason DAC1 MK II is increasingly based on high-precision SMD components, which, according to the manufacturer, are supposed to have superior performance characteristics. The manufacturer states that SMD components, in contrast to the THT components used so far, have a significantly shorter contact path to the PCB and thus considerably lower losses.

In addition, the two low-pass filters of the Merason DAC1 MK II will now use capacitors with polystyrene as dielectric, which niedal audio lab AG describes as a material that has proven itself in high-performance audio applications.

Sophisticated cooling concept for the power transistors

The manufacturer also reveals an exciting detail about the cooling of the power transistors, which is said to be a particularly sophisticated assembly process. The transistors rest on the heat sink by means of a balanced disc spring, which achieves an optimal temperature balance. This leads to drastically reduced distortions.

The manufacturer describes the new Merason DAC1 MK II as a solution that performs at a significantly higher sound level than its predecessor, and is not at a loss for superlatives to describe it.

“All these measures result in an even wider and deeper sound stage. The dynamics have clearly increased, the fast transient response and the attack bring the live experience even closer. Although the measured output level has remained identical, the impression is that the Mk II plays louder with more quietness at the same time. Micro and macro details are better resolved, new details become audible in familiar recordings. The sound is even clearer, airier, lighter and more relaxed, and the bass has gained in weight and precision. All in all, a transducer that plays in a higher league.” niedal audio lab AG

Upgrade for Merason DAC1 possible

It should be explicitly mentioned that users of a Merason DAC1 can upgrade their system to the latest version, but this requires contacting their specialist dealer, who will initiate the necessary steps via the sales department.

Prices and availability

The new Merason DAC1 MK II is available immediately from specialist dealers in silver, black and, brand new, the cider version. The manufacturer niedal audio lab AG quotes a recommended retail price of € 7.962,- for this solution, so the D/A converter has become considerably more expensive from the first to the second generation, the Merason DAC1 was finally priced at “only” € 4.900,-.

It should also be mentioned that you can optionally rely on pure silver RCA connections, this measure costs another € 344,-.

The upgrade for the Merason DAC1 to the new Merason DAC1 MK II costs € 3.362,- according to niedal audio lab AG.

Getting to the point

According to niedal audio lab AG, they have been working for over a year to further improve the successful concept of the Merason DAC1 and are very pleased with the results achieved with the Merason DAC1 MK II. According to the manufacturer, it was possible to achieve a new level of quality in all respects. However, this also has its price, which is now significantly higher than that of the predecessor. The fact that there is now a huge gap in the product range has of course been recognised by the Swiss and they promise that they are already working on a solution…

PriceMerason DAC1 MKII € 7.962,-
Upgrade Pure Silver RCA € 344,-
Upgrade Merason DAC1 to Merason DAC1 MKII € 3.362,-
Manufacturerdafraud GmbH
Distribution GermanyCM-Audio – Flöter Technology Service
Distribution SwitzerlandSoundrevolution Sarl
More about this manufacturer at HIFI BLOG
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Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and sempre-audio.at, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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