Metronome Technologie’s new Metronome DSC is an outstanding system in many respects. It combines a D/A converter, a streaming client and a digital preamplifier and is intended to satisfy nothing less than the highest demands of audiophile hi-fi enthusiasts.
Metronome DSC, or Metronome Digital Sharing Converter, is a solution that can hardly be compared to anything else on the market, even if it is a D/A converter, a streamer and a preamplifier.
However, it has to be said that the French company Metronome Technologie follows its very special approach in the conception of its products and thus creates such extraordinary solutions as the Metronome DS Range, to which the Metronome DSC also belongs.
Metronome DSC – Digital Sharing Converter
The French company emphasises one thing quite explicitly, and that is that with the Metronome DSC, they are aiming at users who absolutely do not want to compromise on quality, who want nothing less than perfection. The Metronome DSC meets the highest demands and offers a solution that is unique on the market.
Metronome Technologie states that this is a milestone.
Digital sharing means streaming first and foremost
From Metronome Technologie’s point of view, the name of the system stands for streaming, “sharing stands for streaming”. However, they decided to go the extra mile and add a D/A converter to the Metronome DSC, because it was obvious to implement a digital preamplifier. Ultimately, this should result in a solution that combines all the essential tasks of modern hi-fi solutions.
dlna-certified UPnP streaming client
Essentially, the Metronome DSC is a streaming client that uses the industry standard UPnP as a dlna-certified solution. From the French point of view, this offers the immense advantage that any Ap can be used for control that is based on this standard, and there are really countless apps for all relevant platforms. Finding the optimal solution for each user is therefore no problem.
However, the French company specifically favours the app mConnect Control, because, according to the company, it allows not only the user’s own content to be used in the network without any problems, but also various online offers.
Because UPnP alone would probably not be enough nowadays, of course Metronome Technologie recognised the trend that users, even in the absolute high-end segment, like to access streaming services directly, even if they cannot always offer the absolute best achievable quality.
Spotify, Deezer, Qobuz, TIDAL and vTuner
The Metronome DSC also directly supports the Spotify streaming service, which is by far the largest provider on the market.
In addition, Qobuz, TIDAL and Deezer are directly integrated, so that all relevant services are covered and can be used directly.
Those who like to consume music via “radio” in the broadest sense can of course also do so with the Metronome DSC, whereby Internet Radio is specifically meant here and thus a worldwide range of radio stations, but also podcasts, are available in direct access via vTuner.
Incidentally, integration into the network takes place here without exception via a classic network cable; the corresponding Ethernet interface in the form of an RJ45 can be found on the back.
Of course, there is one feature that should not be missing in this class, and that is the direct support of the Roon software from the developer Roon Labs LLC. It can therefore be stated that the Metronome DSC is Roon-ready.
This means that it can be directly integrated into the outstanding media management and multi-room audio streaming software, using the RAAT protocol, i.e. Roon Advanced Audio Transport, for bit-perfect music streaming.
Versatile D/A converter
In order to fulfil its task as a D/A converter in the best possible way, the Metronome DSC offers a wealth of interfaces. First and foremost, there is an optical and coaxial S/PDIF interface on the back of the system, as well as an AES/EBU and HDMI interface. However, it should be noted that this is not a conventional HDMI interface, but rather a so-called I2S interface, which many experts believe is by far the most reliable way to transmit audio in digital form.
Of course, there are two USB ports on the Metronome DSC. One is designed for the direct connection of corresponding storage media, the second is used for direct connection to a PC or Mac, so that the Metronome Digital Sharing Converter can be used as an outstanding audio interface. It goes without saying that the Metronome DSC relies on asynchronous data transfer, which means that the Metronome DSC alone has control over the data and its clocking, so that jitter is kept to a minimum.
32-bit, 384 kHz signal processing, DSD512 and MQA
At the heart of the Metronome DSC’s signal processing is an ESS ES9038PRO dual-mono D/A converter that supports linear PCM signals up to 32 bits and 384 kHz in DXD format, and is also equipped to handle DSD content up to DSD512.
It also processes content encoded in MQA, a lossy compression method with DRM (Digital Rights Management).
Preamp with Unique Volume Control
In its function as a digital preamp, the Metronome DSC has one outstanding feature in particular: the so-called Leedh Processing Volume Control. Metronome Technologie has partnered with Leedh Processing to provide volume control without any loss of resolution. This only affects the signal amplitude and does not cause any changes to the signal quality.
Unbalanced as well as balanced output stage
On the analogue level, audio signals leave the Metronome DSC in either unbalanced or balanced form. For this purpose, not only a pair of RCA sockets is available as analogue output, but also a pair of XLR connectors for a balanced connection, in this case directly to a pair of active loudspeaker systems or a power amplifier.
Three toroidal transformers
Metronome Technologie has repeatedly emphasised that every component of the Metronome DS Range and thus also the Metronome DSC has been designed to meet the highest demands, as we already mentioned in the introduction.
The fact that the Metronome DSC uses no less than three toroidal transformers with Schaffner filters and 14 independent voltage regulators for the different ranges shows how much attention was paid to every detail and no expense was spared.
We find the design concept chosen by Metronome Technologie particularly exciting. The French company speaks of a particularly elegant design, which should ensure that this solution fits into every high-end hi-fi system.
Well, it can be said that it is a really extraordinary design, whereas we personally would speak of a rather sober appearance. But, and this again speaks for the company’s decision to go this way, we are almost convinced that the taste of the intended target group has been perfectly met.
In any case, the fact is that the workmanship is impeccable. The chassis, made of aluminium, presents itself simply with a very decisive component on the front.
Generous touchscreen on the front
We’re talking about a touchscreen display that is very, very generously laid out and functions as the central control element. Clearly readable, even from a distance, all essential information is displayed here and a wide variety of parameters can be set.
Metronome Technologie also offers a suitable remote control as an accessory, which should of course be mentioned here.
The Metronome DSC measures 430 mm in width, 430 mm in depth and 105 mm in height. The weight of the Metronome Digital Sharing Converter, which is listed in the data sheet at 17 kg, shows how much effort has been put into the interior as well as the chassis.
“Our Digital Sharing range is becoming more and more popular, which shows that our decision to switch the company to streaming was the right one. Plug & play, easy to use and stable, that’s what we want with all our products, but as everyone knows, the famous Metronome sound will always be our first priority!”Jean Marie Clauzel, owner and designer of Metronome Technologie
Offered in a choice of black or silver, the Metronome DSC is available for purchase. It is available from dealers now, with a recommended retail price of €24,990.
Getting to the point
The Metronome Digital Sharing Converter, also known simply as Metronome DSC, marks the beginning of a new era for the French company Metronome Technologie. It is the first “three-in-one” device, as the company puts it, at the very highest level. The Metronome DSC combines an outstanding D/A converter, a versatile streamer and, most importantly, a digital preamplifier that incorporates Leedh Processing volume control for the highest signal quality.
|Distribution Austria:||Audio Exclusive GmbH|
|Distribution Germany:||H.E.A.R. GmbH|
|Distribution Switzerland:||Portier Hi-Fi|