Mytek Manhattan DAC IIMytek Manhattan DAC II
Mytek Manhattan DAC II

Mytek Manhattan DAC II: Technically advanced USB DAC

The Mytek Manhattan DAC II is the manufacturer’s most expensive and technically advanced USB DAC. Its release was actually timed to coincide with the appearance of the new flagship DAC chip – ES9038 Pro. Mytek traditionally adheres to this approach; this is not the first or second generation of products of this kind based on the flagship chips of ESS Technologies. To fully realize the potential of the converters, the manufacturer uses a unique linear power supply and a Mytek Femto Clock clock generator, also of its own design. On the front panel there are two headphone outputs, where you can connect 2 pairs of regular headphones or demanding Hi-End models via a balanced connection, via an adapter to 4-pin XLR. The declared power of the amplifier is 6 W, impedance 0 Ohm.



As can be seen from the inscription on the back panel, the Mytek Manhattan DAC II device is manufactured in Poland, while the case is made in California. There are three color options: black, gold and matte silver. We had the last of them in our tests. The body dimensions and weight are quite impressive: 432x267x50 mm, 8 kg. It is possible to install the housing on rubber feet or on the supplied spikes. Also included in the set is an IR remote control, this is a standard Apple Aluminum IR remote.

In addition to being an excellent USB DAC with MQA support and a balanced headphone amplifier, the Mytek Manhattan DAC II can be expanded into a network player with an optional internal board. And linear inputs allow you to redirect the signal of any analog source to a headphone amplifier or to a line output and then to a power amplifier. That is, Mytek Manhattan DAC II is capable of working not only as a pure DAC, but also in the mode of a high-quality preamplifier, with purely analog signal level control. As a nod to the manufacturer’s professional background, the Manhattan DAC II features Word Clock I/O, AES I/O, and balanced analog XLR connectors for connecting professional powered speakers. The internal contents of branded equipment are always interesting. The large dimensions of the case made it possible to comfortably place all the modules and remove them from each other to avoid interference, as well as power them with separate power. The connection connectors are connected to the main board with high-quality large-section wires.

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The linear power supply is made on toroidal transformers enclosed in a double metal shield. This is necessary to avoid electromagnetic interference on internal electrical circuits. To smooth out pulsations there is a whole line of containers. Since the device requires several power rails of different voltages, such a large number of capacitors are used. The power supply circuit is placed on a separate printed circuit board. In general, the large size of the case and the weight of 8 kg are explained by the built-in linear power supply.


Not all devices with a linear power supply can work with both European 220 V and American 110 V power at the same time. Fortunately, the Mytek Manhattan DAC II can work with any network. The mains voltage switch is located on the back side, next to the power connector.


The digital part of the Mytek Manhattan DAC II is very interesting. Here the manufacturer has collected all possible types of processors that can be seen in such devices: XMOS XU216, STM32, FPGA Altera Cyclon V and NXP microcontroller. The manufacturer does not disclose details about the operation of the digital part. In our opinion, XMOS is used for USB and exchange with the control panel of the card in Windows and macOS X, STM32 is used for control from the IR remote control and displaying information on the screen, Altera is engaged in the generation of digital signals, and NXP can handle the optional Ethernet connection and streaming functions.


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We can safely assume that the Mytek Manhattan DAC II was a success for the manufacturer as a flagship. All the good features are there: sound with high detail, wide panorama and crystal clear high frequencies. The sound is noble, the potential of the ES9038Pro is felt very well. On good recordings, this transparency and lightness of sound is very attractive. At the same time, there is no synthetics and sediment, for which we all dislike the first generation of devices based on the 9018S. Let’s put it this way: if you want one of the best implementations of 9038Pro devices, then the Manhattan DAC II is clearly worth your attention. This applies to linear outputs.


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