If the Mola Mola DAC impressed us in 2019, then now, fed from the MU1, it really became into its own. It was, quite simply, easier to listen deeper into mixes, with detail previously obscured made explicit and easy to discern.
This was as true with the finer nuances of the percussion on ‘Six Blade Knife’ from Dire Straits’ debut album as the textures of the instruments captured on the Andrew Manze /Rachel Podger / Academy of Ancient Music recording of Bach’s concertos for solo and double violins on Harmonia Mundi.“
The focus, space and the three-dimensional sound staging proved as breathtaking as it was involving –with a track such as The Dodge Brothers’ ‘Mr Jones’, it was thrilling to hearthe sound build from the stamps and handclaps of the opening, with each instrument joining in with superb character, all wrapped in the warm ambience of Sun Studios, Memphis.
Even with a dense mix such as ZZ Top’s ‘La Grange’, the combination does a wonderful job of maintaining information in each instrumental line, bringing the listener even closer to the performances.
The same is true with a complex orchestral recording such as the Bernstein / NYPO reading of Holst’‘Jupiter’, in which the rich textures of the instruments combine with the finest details of the percussion to winning effect.
Hearing it makes clear just what the engineers were trying to achieve. That the design has managed so much more, not only justifies the existence of the MU1 as a digital source, but also proves that a DAC is only as ‘good’ as its partnering digital front-end.
Tempting though it may be to think “but it’s just a computer and some storage”, Grimm Audio’s MU1is all about delivering the best possible digital data to your DAC.
To that end, this is an entirely convincing ‘transport’ solution, and is capable of sparkling results. The ‘analogue / digital’ thing may be a blind alley, but the MU1 still delivers one of the most musical sounds I’ve heard from digital to date.