NEWS

May 9 to 12, 2024

High End Munich 2024: Master Fidelity launches Next-Generation NADAC Line

Master Fidelity is set to launch its second-generation NADAC line at High End Munich 2024. Building on the legacy of the MERGING+NADAC, the new NADAC D DAC introduces several major technical innovations, including True 1-bit DSD for unparalleled decoding accuracy. This next-generation lineup promises to redefine the standards of audio fidelity.

The companion NADAC C Clock will also be released simultaneously. The products will be demonstrated at the hifideluxe event at the Marriott Hotel in Studio 3 in Master Fidelity room from May 10 through 12. It will also be on display in T18 at the MOC Halle 4 from May 9 through 12.

DSD has long been regarded as a much more accurate representation of the analog audio original, but the DAC technology available to the market has always been a compromise between price and performance. Although many of these components sounded excellent, they were not optimised to the hardware. NADAC D offers True 1-Bit technology for the first time, by virtue of its custom-designed Advanced ASIC-based discrete DAC. This solution can only achieve this level of accuracy if it is perfectly matched to the hardware components, extreme clock quality, high precision power supply and other key audio components. The Native Sound True 1-bit DAC is a truly remarkable paradigm shift in high-end audio technology.

The NADAC C, second generation clock will also be on display and once again, builds on the extraordinary performance of the MERGING+CLOCK. The crystal components used were spectacularly accurate and expensive but became increasingly hard to source. The NADAC C uses a host of revolutionary design features supporting a pre-aged, SC-cut crystal. Attention to detail in the design and choice of components, all contribute to such a low level of jitter that extraordinary high frequency accuracy can be achieved.

The Master Fidelity team will be in attendance to demonstrate and willing to discuss representation in several major territories.

May 2023

NADAC Evolution

Most great audio products originate from a passion to excel. The NADAC story is no exception, and its origins can be traced back to the professional audio world. Merging Technologies has had a passion for delivering the best audio tools for recording since its foundation in 1990. The company has been pushing the boundaries of digital recording from the beginning. This small company near Lausanne in Switzerland soon found itself in

partnership with two giants, Sony and Philips, to resolve the complexities of editing recordings for SACD. SACD uses a 1-bit high sample rate scheme called DSD, which is extremely difficult to post-produce in any way.

Merging’s answer was to invent DXD (Digital eXtreme Definition), a PCM system running at 24-bit, 352.8 kHz, that allows a transferred file to be edited and rendered back to DSD. This pragmatic solution preserved the best audio quality for the final result. In the meantime, DSD has evolved to DSD256, which operates at four times the sample rate of the original DSD. This superb quality can be found on many popular download sites and is particularly beloved in the world of classical music.

New A/D and D/A tools needed to be developed to handle these advances, and Merging embarked on a program to develop networked audio products to complement their Pyramix workstation, one of which directly links to NADAC. HAPI was introduced in 2014 as the smaller of two interfaces that could contain sufficient D/A conversion to handle multichannel DSD/DXD. It did not take long for some smart people in the industry to recognize its potential, and even though not well-suited to domestic use, HAPI found its way to prestigious high-end audio shows and garnered high praise for its audio quality and natural sound. Merging’s long-term partner located in Vancouver, Canada, believed that a product more compatible with other home audio equipment and having a gorgeous appearance may have the potential to sell in the West and Asia. A Canadian company named Merging Fidelity was established to help the Swiss hardware team, and MERGING+NADAC arrived just in time for the Munich High-End event in 2015. This was followed by the MERGING+PLAYER, the first DAC to embed a Roon Server, then an optional exceptionally high-quality power supply, the MERGING+POWER, and finally the revolutionary high-resolution clock, the MERGING+CLOCK. Component supply issues struck during and post-pandemic, resulting in several key parts being on long lead times or discontinued entirely, a complete redesign would be needed, and this was not something that Merging was able to commit to, as by now their focus was very much back to the professional audio business since joining the Sennheiser group.

Rather than admitting defeat and losing the goodwill that had been built up over the years, the Merging Fidelity engineering team in Canada committed to undertaking the redesign and incorporating the latest technology and lessons learned during the life of the earlier products. A new company, Master Fidelity, based in Canada too, was created to develop and market these completely redesigned products. DSD has long been regarded as a much more accurate representation of the analog audio original, but the DAC technology available to the market has always been a compromise between price and performance. Although many of these components sounded excellent, they were not optimized for the hardware. That was then, but this is now. NADAC D offers True 1-Bit technology for the first time since Philips released its own chip in the 90s, by virtue of its custom-designed Advanced ASIC-based discrete DAC. This solution can only achieve this level of accuracy if it is perfectly matched to the hardware components, extreme clock quality, oven controlled power supply, and other key audio components. The Native Sound True 1-bit DAC is a truly remarkable advance in high-end audio technology. This is a challenging and ambitious plan.

Advanced prototypes of the NADAC D were shown at The Munich High-End Show in May 2023, in Tokyo at the International Audio Fair in November 2023 and in Seoul in February 2024. The reaction at these events was extremely favorable, and it is now anticipated that the product will be ready for shipping and officially launched at the 2024 High-End Munich show.

The NADAC C, the second-generation clock, will also be on display and once again, builds on the extraordinary performance of the MERGING+CLOCK. The crystal components used were spectacularly accurate and expensive but became increasingly hard to source. The NADAC C uses a host of revolutionary design features supporting a pre-aged, SC-cut crystal. Attention to detail in the design and choice of components all contribute to such a low level of jitter that extraordinary high-frequency accuracy can be achieved.

The Master Fidelity team is determined to apply this no-compromise philosophy to other products, so further announcements can be expected in the near future. What is certain is that these will also offer levels of performance that will exceed expectations.

> read more on https://nadac.merging.com/