Metronome DSC1 Digital Sharing Converter Review Page 3

Listening

I started with some 24-bit/44.1kHz WAV electronic ambient mixes by Poland native son Bartosz Kruczynski. His February 2019 release on the Emotional Response record label Selected Media 2016-2018, (available for download HERE) had snagged my attention since first hearing it on the radio courtesy of local university station CiTR while driving – which I had Shazam’d and then filed it away for the future. After letting it run several times in the background off-and-on the last week I decided to give it a spin at volume through the Metronome which revealed some hitherto unnoticed deep bass texture that added a level of engagement to tracks like “IX” which casual listening at lower volumes had glossed over. The electronic keyboard notes gained weight, momentum and spatial anchoring in the sound stage through the DSC1 which brought a human, elemental touch to an album some could consider cold, but here the dense electronic synth, effects, basslines and percussion had life breathed into it.

Acoustic explorations through the Metronome brought continued enjoyment with albums such as the TIDAL 16-bit/44kHz version of Neil Young’s 1978 classic Comes A Time (which I’ve been listening to on vinyl since I was a child and my father first bought it when it was released – I bring this up because I associate this LP with the sound of a needle dropping into a groove before the delicate strumming of Young’s six-string guitar plaintively opens up “Going’ Back” so I have an analog connection to it and the DSC1 had me right back between the speakers on the rug of my parent’s home) showing the streaming DAC’s ability to allow the unimpeded flow of rhythm and tempo with an almost tube-like emotive dynamic to playback that had guitars, bass, piano and drums all presented as life-sized consonants of drama and color between the DeVore Xs with a level of tonal and timbral accuracy I've come to expect from DAC designs at this price point: in a word, exquisite.

Another ’70s album I know well from black discs spinning in my past is Between Us, Murray Head’s third studio effort on A&M (Qobuz 16-bit/44.1kHz). The opening cut “Los Angeles” features Head’s signature almost-falsetto vocals emotively reeling you into the song’s lyrical fabric. The subtle acoustic-guitar shadings of this cut are given ample play through the Metronome with the sound of the jet landing (presumably at LAX) coming through with balance against Head’s string picking and plucking. Bass notes and percussion are deep and well-defined throughout the track and nestled in nicely behind Head and his guitar in the sound stage. Imaging (if it’s on the recording) is definitely one of the DSC1’s strong suits with a deep, wide sonic landscape laid bare with resolution and warmth regardless of genre or file type – even mp3 mixes I have by our resident mixmaster Scott Eastlick came alive without missing a beat, showing just how well this unit deals with any source given to it. For the record, while I prefer lossless or high-res files, I never turn up my nose at great music because of its sample rate.

In Conclusion

Explorations, whether they be of the type mapping uncharted waters and coastlines like Baudin – or of the musical variety like my time with with the DSC1, offer the chance to get out of your comfort zone and look (or listen) to things with fresh eyes (or ears). These journeys could offer disappointment or great reward while on deck, but I can say without rhetoric that my time on some (memorable) far-flung sonic shores with the Metronome had me listening more and more to both new works I was unaccustomed to and those classics committed to memory, a sure sign of a high-fidelity design built to stand both the test of time and musical enjoyment for the long haul. Compared to DAC/streamer brethren (of a similar price/performance category) I have on hand like the totaldac d1-direct and dCS Rossini, the DSC1 held its own unwaveringly with resolution, tonality, timbre and demonstrative emotive ability and while it did things with a different sonic flavour when held against both those heavyweight musical contenders, it never once had me wishing for another DAC to listen to other than in a comparative/relative manner. With Roon Tested/Ready implementation just around the corner, the DSC1 offers software versatility on par with both the totaldac and dCS. If I had to split hairs, I would say that strictly from a visual standpoint I prefer the Rossini's darker, less obtrusive LED screen and the totaldac's lack of a visual lighted presence as I run it without the screen activated at all... but again, that's splitting hairs.

Specifications

  • D/A Converter resolution: 32-bit/384 kHz technology, two conversion processors
  • Sample rate converter – dynamic range capacity: 175 dB/THD+noise: -140 dB Internal processing, 32-bit/I\input frequency range from 32 to 211 kHz
  • Analog stage line: Class-A international polarization
  • Solid state: Frequency bandwith: 10Hz~20kHz +/- 0.1 dB
  • Dynamic range capacity: 140dB
  • Digital inputs: All inputs accept from 44.1 to 192 kHz signal sampling rate: S/PDIF 75 Ohms, RCA: 2 connectors, AES/EBU 110 Ohms, XLR connector, Toslink connector, USB type-B connector, (signals >192 kHz) Ethernet LAN
  • Analog outputs: Unbalanced 3V RMS @0dB -47 Ohms – RCA connectors, Balanced 3V RMS @0 dB - 600 Ohms – XLR connectors
  • Power supply: EMI rejection by Schaffner filters, 4 main toroidal transformers and 10 separated independent regulation lines
  • Voltage: 100 VAC - 50/60 Hz Japan, 120/240 VAC - 50/60 Hz Other Countries
  • Other characteristics: Power consumption: 35 VA Dimensions (WxHxD) : 435 x 90 x 435 mm Weight : 17.5 kg

North American distributor: Wynn Audio Corp. Unit 31, 20 Wertheim Crt. Richmond Hill, ON, L4B3A8 Canada

1 (866) 995-2995

Wynn Audio

COMPANY INFO
Metronome
166 Rue du Castellet Z.A. Garrigue Long F-81600 MONTANS
contact@metronome.audio
+33 (0) 5 34 26 11 33
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