The small label above the blue dot on the front panel of the new Liberty DAC by MyTek sums up a lot about the company’s direction in terms of compatibility. Its going more mainstream (in terms of pricing) but is bringing along a slew of audiophile features along with it. While a cool grand is perhaps more than most mainstream digital listeners might pony up, the value is still carved into the idea with large strokes. With Myteks’s upstream aspirations landing a little more on the spicy side (Manhattan II – $6k, Brooklyn DAC+ $2.2k), a $1k DAC sporting a full back of connectivity options is mighty appealing for the target market that shops within this range.
Here is some more of the technical details from their recent press release:
“Mytek is now shipping the new Liberty DAC, a PCM/MQA/DSD USB2 Digital-to-Analog convertor, designed for high quality music playback and monitoring of all high resolution formats.
This USB2 DAC features several digital inputs, digital volume control, unbalanced as well as balanced audio outputs, and a high-performance headphone amplifier.
Designed as a little brother of the original Brooklyn DAC around the ES9018 Sabre chipset, the Liberty DAC provides robust performance, ability to stream MQA masters and state-of-the-art headphone output in a small 1/3 rack package. It’s also intended for general music studio use and desktop systems, as well as audio installations.
Available now in black (only) with a MSRP of $995. mytekdigital.com/hifi/
Up to DSD256, DXD, 127dB Dynamic Range.
We also caught up with the design team at CES’s “show before the show” called Pepcom. Mytek had one of its first pieces on display to introduce the new “consumer division” of products, which hopes to bring even more sound seekers into the fold from the mass headphone market with the CLEF ($299). Again, the portable DAC/AMP product is packed with specs you wouldn’t expect to see on the mainstream level, including DSD128 and MQA. The marketing speak around the product even attempts to tap into the still surging vinyl market, but both aptX for portable Bluetooth listening and solid codex support via computer USB will no doubt find a suitable home among traditional digitalists.
The both the Liberty DAC and CLEF are prepped for orders, with shipping starting now for the Liberty DAC and “very soon” for the CLEF.
More details and specs on the new CLEF from the full CES press release after the jump.
“Mytek Digital Now Shipping Clef, First Portable Hi-Fi System for Smartphones at CES 2018
Launching its consumer division, Mytek begins shipping Clef: the first portable Hi-Fi system for any analog headphones, designed to stream music with vinyl quality.
LAS VEGAS — January 9, 2018 — Mytek Digital, a pioneering creator of professional recording studio equipment since 1992, begins shipping and taking orders for Clef, the first of its kind portable Hi-Fi system with USB and Bluetooth inputs producing vinyl-quality sound on-the-go. This lightweight portable Bluetooth device features high resolution digital-to-analog conversion and amplification more than double the output volume of an iPhone. Intelligently crafted to cater to a new generation of vinyl enthusiasts who don’t want to compromise quality while outside of the home, Clef is compatible with all music streaming services, including Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal.
Clef is a collaboration with product designer Yousef Ali, industrial designer Egill Karlsson, and engineer Michal Bedyga. Clef represents a design-first pivot towards consumer audio for the Hi-Fi and pro-audio mainstay. “Music fans that grew up with iPods are simultaneously fueling the streaming revolution and the vinyl resurgence,” commented Yousef Ali, Clef product designer. “Clef represents a way to reconcile those two lifestyles.”
The first product in Mytek’s new consumer audio division, lead by Ali, Karlsson and Beldyga, Clef solves the problem of delivering vinyl-quality sound from a music streaming app to your headphones. Clef is lightweight and portable – weighing only 3.5 ounces and easily fitting into your pocket. It comes equipped with a built-in microphone to answer incoming phone calls while streaming without having to juggle devices. Clef also has a headphone amplifier and a hardware digital-to-analog converter for playing back the most demanding hi-res audio formats from DSD to Tidal Masters™. The battery capacity is approximately eight hours and charges via micro USB.
“We’ve been experts in manufacturing professional studio music recording hardware for over 25 years, allowing us to witness evolving creative and consumer trends with consumers demanding more sophisticated streaming products,” commented Michal Jurewicz, founder of Mytek Digital. “Music fans are trying to balance the warmth and quality of vinyl with the convenience of streaming while on the move or at the office. We’ve built that solution.”
Clef will be available in a Piano Black finish in February 2018 for $299. For additional information on Clef, please visit www.clefmusic.com.
● DAC resolution: up to 32bit/384kHz PCM, DSD128, 120dB Dynamic Range
● Headphone Amplifier: 2.2 VRMS output, 1.0 Ohm output impedance.
● Formats accepted via USB: up to 32bit/384kHz PCM, DSD128 via DOP, MQA® fully decoded via built in decoder, all other audio formats the computer can play (Flac, AAC, MP3, DTS, Dolby etc)
● Formats accepted via Bluetooth®: PCM up to resolution playable from cell phone or device, up to 384k, 32bit, ACC (Apple devices), AptX (with AptX equipped devices). AptX and AAC provide better Bluetooth audio quality
● Battery life: up to 8 hrs
● Weight 105 grams, 3.5 ounces, Size: wxhxd: 93x60x12 mm, 3.5×2.5×0.5 inch
About Mytek Digital
Mytek was founded by Michal Jurewicz in 1992, with a mission to improve the quality of recorded digital sound. Michal has worked at that time at two legendary New York City recording studios — the Hit Factory and Skyline Studio, forming many working relationships and friendships in the NYC audio engineering community that have continued to this date. He developed a series of Analog-to-Digital converters that improved the quality of digital mixes. Numerous recordings by Mariah Carey, James Taylor, James Brown, The Chic, Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed, and others from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s were recorded or mixed there with Mytek digital converters. The unique expertise in digital sound has been used for Sony commission of Super Audio CD dedicated professional DSD hardware. In 2011 Mytek has expanded to buit specialized audiophile hi-fi equipment and now has announced Clef- the first product in its new “Clef” consumer audio line. Mytek’s goal has always been technological innovation aimed at preserving the highest possible sound quality during the recording process. It was Mytek’s leadership position in Professional Audio since 1992 that convinced MQA, Ltd. to make Mytek its first standalone-hardware technology partner for high resolution music streaming.”