As time wears on, interest in digital devices that can decode and replay DSD and high resolution PCM is increasing. This has lead to an overabundance of DACs on the market that, via USB, can handle these file types with varying degrees of success – none of them terrible. Fewer, though, have been the disc players that can also handle SACD discs while acting as a DAC for files from other sources. I’ve discussed my feelings about players of this type before – that the very small catalogue of SACD material out there, most of it classical, makes the SACD portion of limited appeal. Still, such a player will also spin up Red Book CD, so for those who haven’t yet turned their computer into a playback device, I can understand the appeal of a disc player, and Playback Designs does offer an SACD/CD player with DAC in their MPS-5.
In the case of the MPS-3, SACD is not a part of the offering but CD disc playback is. For those who have not invested in SACDs, this less expensive (by half!) disc-player might be more appealing. Most appealing in this case (at least for me) is that this is another Andreas Koch design, and therefore we’re not talking about an also-ran device but of something hewn from the hands of a digital master, a veritable Zeuss among digital gods. Were I shopping for a DAC/Disc Player combo right now, the MPS-3 would probably be among those at the high end of my “wish list” (as I don’t own any SACDs, the MPS-5 wouldn’t ping my radar).
Now that Playback Designs has an Italian distributor, our favorite Italian reviewer has gotten his hands and ears on the MPS-3 and shares his insights with us as he puts this Playback pony through its paces.
You can see his review in English [button color=”redlight” text=”white” url=”http://www.audio-activity.com/playback-mps-3-en.html” window=”_blank”]HERE[/button]