The MAN301 uses a stainless steel chassis with a solid 10 mm aluminium front plate.
Two separate power supplies are employed, one for the computer section and another one for the digital and analog audio sections. The audio section power supply uses a toroidal transformer with a combination of switching and linear voltage regulators. The standby power is at a very low 0.5 W maximum.
An internal high precision/low jitter clock generator is responsible for clocking the audio section. The sampling frequency of that generator is switched automatically according to the sampling frequency of the track played. In addition there are word-clock input and output on BNC connectors for external synchronization purposes. All standard sampling frequencies up to 192 kHz as well as DSD64 and DSD128 are supported.
Digital inputs for external audio sources: AES/EBU or S/PDIF formats on XLR, RCA, TOSLINK.
Available with the DAC version of the MAN301: The built-in D/A converter is of similar design to our renowned DAC202 unit. It uses four D/A conversion channels per audio channel for extremely low noise and distortion and an excellent linearity. The SERVER type of the MAN301 (i.e. the version w/o DAC) can be (user-) updated with the D/A Converter module at any time.
Available with the DAC version of the MAN301: Analog outputs on XLR and RCA connectors. The basic output level of these outputs can be set in four coarse steps in the analog domain. In addition they can be fine trimmed in the digital domain. The main fader, finally, works in the digital domain as well. The quality of this level control scheme is extremely high due to the excellent linearity of the D/A Converter and due to the dithering applied to the digital signal.
Digital outputs to external D/A Converters: AES/EBU on XLR and RCA, Firewire, USB. The XLR and RCA connectors can be combined into a dual wire type output for sampling frequencies of 176.4 or 192 kHz.
Front panel controls
The power switch allows to switch on or off the MAN301 unit. A three-color LED indicates the current system state. The slot-in type drive takes up CDs for ripping and/or direct playback.
All features of the MAN301 are controlled via an Apple® iPad or iPad Mini. All iPad generations work.
Back panel elements from left to right
– XLR and RCA type analog output sockets. For the SERVER version of the MAN301 the XLR sockets are missing and the RCA sockets are not connected internally. The SERVER version can be easily user-updated with the D/A Converter option.
– RCA type sockets for digital input and output.
– XLR type sockets for digital input and output.
– TOSLINK type socket for digital input (optical).
– BNC type sockets for word-sync synchronization input and output.
– Ethernet, USB and two Firewire 800 sockets.
– IEC type mains receptacle.
– WiFi antenna socket.
External music storage
The music files are stored on an external storage device, e.g. on a NAS (Network Attached Storage) or DAS (Direct Attached Storage) like e.g. a USB hard-disk. There is no internal storage available for music files. Recommendations for suitable NAS devices are supplied in the MAN301 manual. Multiple NAS units can be added for unlimited storage.
The Ethernet socket connects to a NAS and the local network. The WiFi (WLAN) implementation in the MAN301 supports at the same time an Access Point (i.e. the iPad can connect to the MAN301 directly if preferred) and an Uplink (i.e. the MAN301 can connect to the local WiFi network).
Some of the many software features of the MAN301 in a nutshell:
– Multiple MAN301 devices can be controlled from within a single iPad.
– Multiple users per MAN301 device are supported, each with his/her own music library, playlists, searches etc..
– All common audio file formats (uncompressed, lossless compressed, lossy compressed) are supported for playback and ripping.
– Music library displayed according to album names, artist names, genres, recently played, recently added.
– A powerful search facility allows to store searches, which result in dynamic playlists.
– Playlists are easily added, edited and can be set safe.
– Volume control in 4 coarse analog steps and with a high resolution, dithered digital fader.
– Start, stop, skip controls.
– Repeat single track or repeat whole playlist function.
– Powerful cover art search in multiple databases including Gracenote and Google.
– CD ripping in all common audio file formats.
– Direct CD playback without the need to rip the CD.
– Metadata fetching from various databases including Gracenote. (Gracenote is the most powerful database for CD metadata and cover art).
– Comprehensive user interface on iPad, easily to be handled even by computer novices.
– Software upgradeable via Internet.
– Internet radio streaming.
– Future software upgrades will include various signal processing facilities.
The MAN301 serves as a complete audio system including audio source and pre-amplifier. It can be connected directly to power amplifiers or active speakers, allowing for a sleek, minimal system. A typical configuration is to connect the MAN301 to an Ethernet router which in turn is connected to the Internet and to a storage device, like a NAS unit.
The MAN301 comes in three versions, the “DAC” version includes a D/A Converter (the MAN301DAC), the “SERVER” version has digital outputs only for connecting an external D/A Converter (the MAN301SERVER). The “DAC-B” version finally includes the latest D/A converter design with its discrete output amplifier stage.
The SERVER version can be user upgraded to the DAC or DAC-B version at any time.