MERASON FREROT DAC is a Breakthrough at its Price. Plus Swiss Engineering? At this price?
Now at True Audiophile
*Note. These are so popular that the go out as soon as they come in. We suggest you buy one when it's available (it won't be for long) or reserve one. Our latest shipment is completely sold out and we never even saw them.*
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 and we have it. This is a, ok we're going to say it, Killer DAC. Its smooth and musical and more analog than digital. Get the coming LPS power supply and you can piss off your friend who paid double and the performance won't be nearly that if it even competes.... TA
The Best DAC under $1500
See the video review above
I was impressed with the width of that immense soundstage, as most people are, but I felt that so much of the music was flanking me, settling out further on the horizontal plane than I’ve heard in a long time. Hmmm, the Merason Frerot was starting to capture my attention.
At this point I was ready to say that the Merason Frerot, at $1350 USD, was easily the best DAC experience I’ve had at home. Solid digital sound, plenty of color and texture to the music, some extraordinary imaging and soundstaging fireworks as I mentioned, and an ease of use that simply hasn’t been matched. I plugged this in without even consulting the owners’ manual, I knew where the wires needed to be plugged, and boom! Been happy ever since—until Mark S.. dropped a bomb.
The Merason Frerot DAC now had an optional matching LPSU (linear power supply unit) for an extra $900 that, in Mark’s opinion, took the DAC to a whole new level of performance.
Mark S... was right. The Pow1 LPSU made a huge improvement to the sound of the already thrilling Merason Frerot. The music simply expanded in every direction, bigger, more transparent, more finger-poking realistic. That incredible digital sound at those high-end shows, the one that eluded me at home? This was it, finally.
In other words, the Merason Frerot DAC with the Innuos Zen Mini Mk. II, both units with their respective LPSUs, is easily the tool I could use to pry myself away from the burden of physical formats.
I love this stuff!
"The small toy DAC conjures up a wonderfully elegant, harmonious sound experience. That is almost intoxicatingly good."
HiFi IFAs (Germany)
"Without overtaking its big brother DAC-1, the D / A converter Frérot has all the good genes of the family: musicality as well as a feeling for emotion and space. With a healthy shot of warmth, the little brother confidently pushes plenty of sound to the amplifier. This works with all genres from classical to electro. With the Frérot, the music lover can buy a great ticket to the world of all audiophiles for a slim 1,000 euros."
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
"Smooth and Silky
The designers said their goal was to create a very analog-sounding DAC at a very reasonable price. With the Frérot, they have succeeded at this goal.
The Frérot DAC has an incredibly smooth and silky sound, which I find surprising from PCM files. It is also, as you would expect from the Swiss, a very precise and detailed sound. This is a great combination with the smooth and silky sound…
voices played using the Frérot sound natural, articulate, and beautiful. Individual instruments sound true to the sound of real instruments and they have good timbre and harmonics. Bass instruments played through the Ferot have a tight, fast, and very deep sound…How Does the Frérot Sound?
Of course, as audiophiles, most of us want to know more about how it sounds. Let me start by saying that the soundstage of the Frérot DAC was huge. It was exceptionally deep and instruments and vocals were precisely placed within it. The soundstage could also be described as holographic. If soundstaging is important to you, this little DAC gives you much more than would expect at this price range…
The quality of the bass is fast and tight and extended very deep when played through my DeVore gibbon Super Nines. The leading edge on bass instruments was very easy to hear and had good slam. The upper bass and lower midrange frequencies were precise, but they were not quite as organic as I would like.
Vocals, stringed-instruments, and pianos came through with great clarity. I could hear every note and breath. Horns and reed instruments sounded life-like, but they lacked some of the bite they should have had. I think many audiophiles will actually appreciate this. The top-end was well extended and passed my test by not drawing attention to itself. I never felt that it was lacking or aggressive. This is a nice accomplishment for a DAC at this price!"
The Audio Beatnik 10/30/20
"The designers said their goal was to create a very analog-sounding DAC at a very reasonable price. With the Frérot, they have succeeded at this goal." - The Audio Beatnik
Made in Switzerland
MERASON FREROT DAC
After the MERSON DAC-1 caused a sensation in the audiophile scene, the Swiss manufacturer Dafraud is now introducing a little brother to the DAC-1. The suitably called frérot - "little brother" - is based on the large DAC-1 in terms of sound and technology and comes with a much smaller housing.
In terms of sound, the MERASON frérot is synonymous with analog music playback; technically Dafraud relies on the proven BurrBrown 1794A converters as with the DAC-1 While two of these chips work in mono mode in the DAC-1, a single 1794A is responsible for both channels in the frérot. The signal processing is also carried out symmetrically in the frérot. The analog class A output amplifiers are built discretely. At the inputs, the frérot USB offers two RCA sockets for S / PFDIF signals and two optical Toslink connections. The input is selected using a high-quality Elma coding switch on the front, and the analog output signal is output symmetrically at XLR sockets and unbalanced at RCA sockets. The MERASON frérot processes only PCM data up to 24 bit / 192 kHz.
The housing of the MERASON frérot measures only 7 x 9 x 2 (LxWxH). This means that the compact device is also suitable for use in a high-quality secondary system - for example in a holiday home, mobile home or boat. The housing is powder-coated, the lower part is made of 3 mm thick aluminum, and the cover is made of galvanized steel.
Dealers who have heard this have been inspired to write reviews of their own. While we await professional reviewers we challenge you to locate a better DAC for the price. Once the coming power supply is available the Frérot will make another leap.
This is a pure and simple DAC dedicated to music and not specs. Topping out at 24/192 kHz is the same as all the best streaming companies top out at. This is a no brainer for the Innuos series.
PCM: 44.1 / 48 / 88.2 / 96 / 176.4 / 192
24 bit PCM
2 x USB2, 1 x S / PDIF (RCA), 2 x Toslink (optical)
1 pair unbalanced (RCA), 1 pair balanced (XLR)
9V DC Supply - via DC barrel connector
Power supply option
Outboard Linear PSU - via 5-PIN DIN connectot
Black or White