I recently had the experience of shopping for DACs. I visited several audio stores to listen to the various products on the market. Many of them sounded analytical or just unpleasant. Feeling like there had to be something better out there, I kept researching my options. Fortunately, I ended up calling True Audiophile. And I'm so grateful I did! Gary suggested the Merason DAC1 if I was looking for a DAC that would produce natural sounding music. I did my research, looking at forums and reviews and they all said the same thing: Buy the Merason DAC1 if you are looking for a top notch, analog-sounding DAC. I now have it installed with the Innuous ZENith Mk3, which is a sublime pairing. Beyond happy with this high quality product, along with the service and expertise of TrueAudiophile. TrueAudiophile is my source for amazing audio equipment.
MERASON DAC1. Swiss Precision. Playback Perfection.
Now at True Audiophile
We have scoured the world looking for a entry DAC in price but not in performance. Of all places we found it in Switzerland. Switzerland? Land of insanely fanatical engineering and fabulously expensive gear? Well. They did it with the Frerot and the ultimate Merason: the DAC1. These are, ok we're going to say it, Killer DACs. They're smooth and musical and more analog than digital.....
From our Reviewer: One of the most refined and enjoyable DACS I have heard. It has a gorgeous non-fatiguing sound that I would describe as elegant. It throws a wide and deep soundstage that is impressively 3 dimensional. My only wish was that it played DSD formats. -- TA
The Ear - Editors Choice
"Under these circumstances the intoxicating immediacy of the Merason can be quite addictive, it does what few digital components do, strips away the polish and lets you hear the real meat of the music. Talk Talk’s Myrrhman has a mesmerising intensity that’s created with immense restraint and poise, you can’t hear the days and nights of studio time it took to make but you do feel a nervous energy that few converters bring home. The muscularity and depth of the bass is pretty gorgeous too."
The task of every MERASON product is to transmit the emotions directly - from artist to listener”
Anyone who owns a Merason DAC can confidently say to anyone who boasts of the latest technologies in digital-to-analog conversion:
"You're perfectly entitled to your opinion ... I hear music"
by WOLFGANG KEMPER | MAY 28, 2019
There are lots of excellent sounding DACs in this price territory. With an MSRP of $5,000, it’s my opinion the Merason DAC-1 is a serious contender for best DAC at any price. Sonically, it competes toe to toe with the high priced big boys. 5K is not exactly loose change but I’d still be impressed even if the DAC-1 was substantially more expensive.
What you get is a product that seems to be built for the audiophile that is primarily interested in performance and doesn’t require a lot of fancy features or gold-plated-with-a-screen visuals. I kind of missed a readout indicating sample rate, but whatever. Not a deal-breaker for me. Neither is a lack of DSD or MQA capability. And there are no user-selectable filter choices to mess with my head. Remote? Nope. The Swiss DAC that is NOT the Swiss Army Knife of DACs. And proud of it. Imagine that.
by Dave McNair. Read the full review here.
Hi-Fi News Verdict
The richness of the sound won't be to every taste, but it's never cloying or overplayed: instead, Merason's DAC1 backs up its smoothness with power and unforced detail to consistently appealing musical effect. True, the limited format handling may rule the DAC1 out for some – it takes a stand against digital expansionism! – but its singularity of purpose pays off in a sound as appealing as it is easy to enjoy.
Read the Full Review Here
Made in Switzerland
Output: max. 3 V RMS (balanced), max. 1.5 V RMS (unbalanced)
Frequency Response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz +/- 0.2 dB
THD+N: < 0.012 %
SNR: > 120 dB
DAC: Twice BurrBrown 1794A, discrete I/V stage
Power Supply: 120V AC / 50 to 60 Hz, 30 W
Ambient temperature 10°C to 30°C. Humidity max. 80 %, non-condensing.
During operation, the device heats up by approx. 20 K compared to the ambient temperature.
44.1 kHz@16 bit, 44.1 kHz@24 bit. 48 kHz@16 bit, 48 kHz@24 bit. 88.2 kHz@24 bit.
96 kHz@24 bit. 176.4 kHz@24 bit (USB). 192 kHz@24 bit.
Width: Height: 4"; Depth: 11.4" ; Width 18", Weight: 18lb