Musical Fidelity Digilog DAC broken - is it worth fixing?

Theodogdinho

Standard Member
Hi,

I inherited a separates system from relatives when they upgraded which comprises a Sony CDP-710 - Musical Fidelity Digilog - Quad preamp and 405 amp - Musical Fidelity MC-2 speakers.

However the Digilog DAC has stopped working. When I inherited it the digital coaxial cable was jammed into the CD input but that stopped and for a short while I was able to use it on a different input but that gave up too.

I've tested the cable but it's fine. There is an optical option but I don't want to spend a lot on another cable when it's likrly that the unit itself is broken.

The loss to the whole system is enormous: the soundstage and depth of the sound using the CDPs internal DAC is so far inferior as to remove most of the enjoyment of listening.

Does anyone know if it's worth getting it fixed? Have you had the same problem (probably several years ago before you upgraded!)?

Or should I consider replacements.

In which case suggestions and experiences with alternative DACs would be very welcome.

Or, indeed, do most CDPs now come with such good internal DACs that I should just upgrade that instead?

Thanks - Theodogdinho
 

Knyght_byte

Novice Member
might be worth visting the MF website and calling their number or writing a letter (they dont do online support as such) asking if this model can still be fixed and what it would likely cost.....

go to a dealer and there is a good chance of being told it'll cost a fortune and be better to just buy a new model.......might not, but its more in their interests....

if you like the way this thing sounded, i'd suggest you try the former option first ;)
 

overkill

Distinguished Member
Agree with Knyght_byte. Contact MF before any local dealers as quite often the manufacturer will give better, or at least less commercially orientated, advice.

I had a Digilog with my old CD2 and a very fine combination it was too. The CD2, while great, could sound a little 'lush'. But with the Digilog it opened right up.

I would keep it tbh, and as pbirkett has done, get it modded.
 

drykloke

Active Member
I have a MF A324 DAC, and the coaxial input chip is quite unreliable. MF fixed it for free for me once, but that lasted only a few months before it broke again.

I bought an optical TOSlink from fleabay for a couple of quid, and it works perfectly. That is probably a cheaper option for you than to send it to MF - the courier charged me almost 20 quid!

The MF DACs are very good in terms of sound quality.
 

Theodogdinho

Standard Member
One reason that I haven't tried an optical signal is that the CDP only has a coaxial output. But I notice that there are conversion boxes...

I could find out if the unit works by buying a cheap optical cable and pugging my DVDP into it. If ok then I would need to buy a decent cable and a conversion box. So I'm looking at c.£65-odd in total.

Question is whether saving up for a new £300 CDP would ultimately give me a better, internal, DAC than the Digilog...

Or saving up to buy a new DAC? But not sure how much that would cost...

Shame that my freeview box doesn't have any audio outs because if it had an optical output then I'd be much keener to try and get the DAC up and running again.

I totally agree that the Digilog is great when it's working.

Thanks :smashin:

PS: Anyone able to fill me in regarding modifications?
 

overkill

Distinguished Member
One reason that I haven't tried an optical signal is that the CDP only has a coaxial output. But I notice that there are conversion boxes...

I could find out if the unit works by buying a cheap optical cable and pugging my DVDP into it. If ok then I would need to buy a decent cable and a conversion box. So I'm looking at c.£65-odd in total.

Question is whether saving up for a new £300 CDP would ultimately give me a better, internal, DAC than the Digilog...

Or saving up to buy a new DAC? But not sure how much that would cost...

Shame that my freeview box doesn't have any audio outs because if it had an optical output then I'd be much keener to try and get the DAC up and running again.

I totally agree that the Digilog is great when it's working.

Thanks :smashin:

PS: Anyone able to fill me in regarding modifications?
I wouldn't bother saving up for a £300 CD player. Under £500 (probably more) you aren't going to hear any major improvement over the current setup - when it's working. There are some great budget players, but the Digilog is very transparent and detailed and you will have to go a long way to improve on it.

If you are worried about the cost of repair, then scour ebay for the Digilog. Two have come up recently and usually come out at around £100-150. A lot less than your budget. Or, you could look at getting a new CDP from ebay altogether. You can pick up some pretty hot kit for less than £300 to be honest.
 

WhyAyeMan

Well-known Member
I didnt do the mods for mine as i wouldnt know how to, but i saw this on ebay and decided to take a chance, i am glad i did. The list of mods he gave were as follows:-

have re-worked this one all the electrolytic capacitors have been upgraded to the best sounding ultra low impedance types

the silicon rectifiers have been upgraded to schottky types which dont add a burst of rf energy to the raw dc supply as silicon types do resulting in a cleaner sound

the original design had electrolytic input and output capacitors these have been upgraded to mit multicaps rtx for digital input (yes they do make a difference) and ppmfx for the outputs

the multicap design is brilliant each capacitor is made up of 10 individual sections in parallel 'self bypassed' as mit put it the result is a capacitor with the best pulse characteristics out there it sounds simply excellent which is why audio research use them!

finally it has been converted to zero oversampling (nos) and zero digital filtering which improves the sound further

the digilog circuit is a truly elegant design the current to voltage stage and output stage are combined there is only a single stage after the dac contrast this with the majority of designs employing two or three stages post dac

discrete super regulators for the critical components rarely seen in even the most expensive equipment

the end result is an exceptional dac that does prat really well and comminicates the musical message with aplomb

it can compete with the finest dacs and cd players on offer today my own opinion is that it hammers them! but i'm biased towards the tda1541a anyway
Dunno if that helps?
 

WhyAyeMan

Well-known Member
Oh and FWIW, someone was saying they used TOSlink instead of Coax. I also use TOSlink since i somehow broke the coaxial input just by trying to plug a cable in :eek:

I'd swear though it sounds better through TOSlink than through coax which is odd cos most audiophiles think it should be the other way around.

The Digilog is based on the Philips TDA1541A chipset BTW, which has recently found favour again in audiophile circles, and is the same DAC as used by some Naim CD players (which are very expensive as i'm sure you know). From what i've heard of mine, no way will a new £300 player beat this DAC.
 

overkill

Distinguished Member
Oh and FWIW, someone was saying they used TOSlink instead of Coax. I also use TOSlink since i somehow broke the coaxial input just by trying to plug a cable in :eek:

I'd swear though it sounds better through TOSlink than through coax which is odd cos most audiophiles think it should be the other way around.

The Digilog is based on the Philips TDA1541A chipset BTW, which has recently found favour again in audiophile circles, and is the same DAC as used by some Naim CD players (which are very expensive as i'm sure you know). From what i've heard of mine, no way will a new £300 player beat this DAC.
That's odd, because mine definitely did sound better through the co-ax!:eek: :D

Agreed, the Digilog, while a first gen DAC, is still head and shoulders above £300 modern CD players.
 

Theodogdinho

Standard Member
Thanks guys, you've been really helpful. I'll try and find some time to give MF a call and see what they quote for repair.

I agree that it is a wonderful unit but not having had much opportunity to listen to other systems I couldn't really evaluate it's worth compared to current products but you've convinced me.

Do you think MF would mod it for me, or are we now talking silly money?
 
A

Aelfric

Guest
I had a Digilog with my old CD2 and a very fine combination it was too. The CD2, while great, could sound a little 'lush'. But with the Digilog it opened right up.
How did you hook up the CD2 to the Digilog? My CD2 has no optical outputs.

Thanks,

Mark.
 

phil t

Well-known Member
Question is whether saving up for a new £300 CDP would ultimately give me a better, internal, DAC than the Digilog...
The short answer to that question is NO. A few years I auditioned the MF 3.2 cdp and the similarly priced (£1000) Naim. I also took along my transport and Digilog. Whilst I wouldn’t claim the Digilog was as good as either cdp, it certainly wasn’t light years away.

:)
 

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