Cosmetic B-Stock Mystique X SE DACs

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Mystique X and X SE User Manual

What is the Mystique X?

The X stands for "extruded chassis."

The Mystique X is the entry-level version in our new Mystique X series of ultra-purist digital-to-analog converters. The Mystique X has several ala carte options which come standard in our Mystique X SE. This allows our customers to get the highest value and highest performance for the money by not paying for options they won't use. For example, if a person is only using the USB input, or the USB input is the only high-performance input they require, they would not need to pay additional for our S/PDIF upgrade option. And if a person is only using headphones, there would be no need to pay additional for our advanced anti-resonance option.

The circuit and most of the component parts in the Mystique X and X SE are identical to our award-winning EVO series. It is our new isolated power supply layout, shortest analog signal path, and advanced anti-resonance and shielding typologies, which lower our already incredibly low noise floor, and take our new X series to an even higher level of performance.

The Mystique X is result of decades of DAC design. It incorporates all of our latest technology with a few well engineered compromises that significantly lower the size and weight. The big size and weight saving is that the digital power supplies are capacitive input rather than LC choke input as with our EVO series. And there are only 9 Belleson SPX regulators in the Mystique X compared to 16 Belleson SPX regulators in our EVO series.

Among the upgrades are ultralow-noise zero recovery SiC Silicon Carbide Schottky diodes in all power supplies and film capacitors at all consumers. The combination of power supply upgrades and power supply compromises yield overall performance which is actually higher than our considerably larger and heavier EVO series.

The Mystique X sets a new standard in digital-to-analog conversion.

Time, tune, tone, and timbre.

Our Mystique X digital-to-analog converter incorporates the same no-compromise ultra-purist non-oversampling direct-coupled R-2R circuit as our award-winning Mystique EVO.

With no pre-digital filtering, digital noise shaping, upsampling, oversampling, or error-correcting algorithms, our digital signal path is the purest possible.

The result is the most natural time and tune you can get from a digital source. Effortless micro-dynamics and incredible micro-detail preserve the tone, timbre, texture, and spatial cues that bring you closer to the original musical performance.

Error prevention vs. error correction.

Five independent power supplies isolate each stage to eliminate bit read errors. Each power supply incorporates Mundorf M-Lytic AG+ 4-pole capacitors which in turn feed nine Belleson SPX ultralow-noise ultrahigh-dynamic regulators, to isolate each type of IC chip, discrete module, and clock. The power supplies for the analog sections are LC choke input and use the same custom Lundahl chokes as our EVO series.

The analog output stage is direct-coupled to provide the most linear and extended frequency response possible by eliminating output coupling capacitors and transformers that color the sound, narrow the bandwidth, and cause phase and time distortion. For ultimate transparency the direct-coupled output stage incorporates Staccato class A discrete op amps and ultralow-noise Vishay TX2575 "Nude" resistors laser matched to 0.1% tolerance.

Our hardware-based demultiplexing circuit has notably lower noise than any processor or FPGA demultiplexer. It assures 100% phase and time coherency between channels by using a bank of six ultralow-noise logic gates to perfectly align the bits of the left and right digital words to the same clock cycle.

To optimize linearity left and right channels each have an independent fine-tune circuit that adjusts the voltage of the most significant bit (MSB) at the zero voltage crossing.

For isolation from grounding noise an advanced hybrid star/plain grounding schema is used to isolate input, digital, and analog grounds. And a DC ground lift switch isolates signal ground from Earth, chassis, and AC grounds.

Our unique ultra-purist approch lowers noise floor and optimizes linearity.

Three 24-bit 192KHz PCM digital Inputs.

Our Mystique X digital-to-analog converter converts PCM format files up to 24-bit 192KHz via Femto clocked USB, coaxial S/PDIF, or balanced AES.

The fifth of our independent power supplies powers our digital input board. Five Belleson SPX ultralow -noise ultrahigh-dynamic regulators isolate the USB input from all other power supplies and eliminates the need for USB buss power or any external USB reclocking or regeneration devices. Each stage is independently powered and all stages are galvanically isolated from USB input data and USB buss power.

Another unique feature in our Mystique X is a USB lift switch to 100% eliminate noisy clocking inside the chassis to lower noise floor even further and optimize S/PDIF and AES performance.

Uncompromising design.

  • Built around Analog Devices' legendary monolithic AD1862 R-2R ladder DAC chips.
  • Converts PCM format files up to 24-bit 192KHz via USB, coaxial S/PDIF, and balanced AES.
  • Direct-coupled ultrahigh-performance Staccato class A discrete op amps.
  • No output transformers or coupling capacitors to narrow bandwidth or distort phase.
  • Ultralow-noise hardware-based demultiplexing to ensure perfect phase and time coherency.
  • Independent circuits optimize linearity for L and R channels at the MSB zero voltage crossing.
  • 9 Belleson SPX ultralow-noise regulators isolate IC chips, discrete modules, and clocks.
  • Vishay TX2575 "Nude" resistors matched to 0.1% in analog signal path.
  • Cryo'd Kimber VSS VariStrand wire between main power supply and digital input board.
  • Rel-Cap Polystyrene film and tin foil capacitors in the anti-aliasing filters.
  • Furutech rhodium plated low mass RCA connectors directly soldered to the PC board.
  • Neutrik gold plated male and female XLR connectors directly soldered to the PC board.
  • Schurter AC input module and medical grade advanced AC input filtering.
  • Ground lift switch to isolate DC signal ground from Earth, chassis, and AC grounds.
  • NEW: USB lift swith to optimize S/PDIF inputs and eliminate clocking noise.
  • NEW: 3-point Herbie's Audio Lab Fat Dot anti-resonance footers.
  • NEW: Low-resonance high-rigidity extruded aluminum chassis.
  • Optional: Ultra-fast ultralow-noise zero recovery SiC Schottky rectification diodes.
  • Optional: Five independent power supplies each with 22,000uf Mundorf 4-pole capacitors.
  • Optional: Lundahl amorphous core LC input chokes in the analog power supplies.
  • Optional: Lundahl amorphous core input transformers on S/PDIF and AES Inputs.
  • Optional: Additional advanced anti-resonance and EMI/RFI shielding.
  • Field convertible from 110VAC to 250VAC both 50Hz and 60Hz.
  • 9"W x 4"H x 16"D and 19 pounds.

Additional Info

Additional Info