LINN MAJIK DSM3 Review and Measurement

As commercially available Blu-ray/DVD/SACD players are not able to output high-resolution digital stream via their S/PDIF, the digital output is always falls down to 44.1/48kHz 16-bit format at most while high-resolution format as 88.2/96/176kHz 24-bit is recorded on those discs. One day in October 2016, I dropped into a showroom in Ginza Tokyo with my family and look at MAJIK DSM 3 working all day however it was only slightly warm. I had felt in love with it due to its HDMI inputs, which support high-resolution PCM formats of Blue-ray/DVD/SACD discs, compact size and minimalistic exterior design. Finally, purchased a silver one in December of that year at more than 500,000 JPY, which is much more expensive than budget Hi-fi audio components.

LINN MAJIK DSM3 is able to receive high-resolution PCM stream via its HDMI inputs and playback and drive 4-ohm speakers. While MAJIK DSM does not support DSD format, some of SONY Blu-ray players are able to playback SACD and if its configuration is correctly set to PCM audio stream to HDMI, MAJIK DSM3 can playback SACD with 176kHz 24-bit PCM quality. There are some tips for such SACD playback via HDMI when I used BDP-S380, which I bought years ago. No tips are required with my current player UBP-X700, which I locally bought recently after I moved to UK.

MAJIK DSM incorporates high efficiency analogue stereo power amplifiers with LINN patented CHAKRA technology, which composed by monolithic integrated circuits with power MOS-FET speaker driver and high current bipolar transistors manufactured by Sanken. The power dissipation of MAJIK DSM 3 is 32-33 watts when I measured under 100V AC mains in Japan, which is in similar range of ONKYO digital power amp A-7VL and I think that MAJIK DSM is relatively high efficiency considering its rated output reaches 100 watts x 2ch with 4-ohm speakers.

One of the reason of its efficiency comes from LINN's another leading technology DYNAMIK switch mode power supply (SMPS) module compatible with multi-voltage AC mains. I only had to purchase a BF type AC cord with IEC female receptacle as to use it in UK (AC 240V) after I moved from Japan (AC 100V). Switch mode power supply is still minor technology in Hi-Fi audio and I still see some negative opinions to SMPS. Actually, I see that "analogue DC power supply", which is composed by diode-bridge and chemical capacitors, creates a lot of harmonics noise of AC mains (50Hz) in audible frequency by FFT tools. These audible harmonics in DC power lines are supressed by emitter-follower circuit, however carefully designed SMPS can provide much more "clean" DC power to the electric circuits and also suppression by emitter-follower possibly makes far more "clean" results, which would be a virtue of LINN DYNAMIK power supply system.

The residual noise at the speaker output is 90~110μV measured by my circuit tester SANWA FD-730C AC volt mode, which is higher than TEAC's desktop power amplifier AI-501DA that is designed to hear music at desktop and near fields to ears. As my speaker systems is SONY SS-NA2ES and listening distance is 2-3 metres, the residual noise would not a major issue, however less residual noise would make better results.

The sound which MAJIK DSM3 produces is very stable and extends to the lowest audible frequency also I feel power and the shape/size of the singer's real mouth at the playback sounds from SS-NA2ES and MAJIK DSM3.

MAJIK DSM3 also has Konfig tool, which enables the customised configuration from your PC. There are many functions supported however I would emphasize the importance of "lip-sync" which is especially effective to cinemas and it is configurable from Konfig tool with the delay of video and audio.

The followings are my FFT measurement data of my MAJIK DSM3 line output.
I also measured my SONY Blu-ray BDP-S380, which is one of budget players however supports SACD layer playback and Digital Concert Hall by Berliner Philharmoniker, etc.

At first, the background noise of the total measurement system (electrically short circuit at the probe):

Residual noise of my MAJIK DSM3 at Line Out (input is digital zero):

Residual noise of my BDP-S380 at Line Out (input is digital zero with Audio Test CD):
While its nominal output level is lower than MAJIK DSM however the noise spectrum is over MAJIK DSM. Considering the gap of retail prices between them (500k JPY vs 19k), BDP-S380 can be said to be excellent in residual noise.

Next measurement is channel separation (R-ch to L-ch), which was measured with Audio Test CD COCO-75084 by DENON Nippon Columbia.
Approx. -120dB at 1 kHz, which is excellent.

Less than -120dB at 125Hz.

Approx. -120dB at 4kHz.

-116 to -118dB at 10kHz.

Still -118 to -119dB at 16kHz.

FYI, channel separation of BDP-S380 is -107 to -104dB at 16kHz, which is actually excellent among those budget players. I guess that this excellent channel separation comes from relatively simple circuits after its Wolfson D/A convertor.

As far as I searched online information, only Accuphase in Japan provides specifications regarding channel separation at all audible bandwidth and also they are assuring them.

Back to MAJIK DSM3, the channel separation results which I measured by me is fairly excellent and meet expected level of its retail pricing.

MAJIK DSM3 also features online playback (UPnP) from iPhones and Android players and I set up the functionality later in May 2017.

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