Musician Audio Pegasus.

In my first review for Musician Audio I get to grips with the Pegasus DAC. Read on to find out more…

Disclaimer:
This is my unbiased view of the Musician Audio Pegasus.
Khai and the team at Musician Audio have kindly send this out for review.
Retail price at the time of this review is £863.11.

You can find the Pegasus and other Musician Audio products here in their distributor list:-
http://www.musician-audio.com/en/col.jsp?id=104

Review equipment and software:
Musician Audio Pegasus.
MacBook Pro Retina 2015.
Qobuz Studio Premier.
STAX SRM-700T.
STAX SR-009.
Cyrus ONE.
Bowers & Wilkins DM601 / S3.
Audiowalle TP1000 mains conditioners.
Audiocrast USB cable.

All other cables supplied by AF Audio & Custom Cans.

Music:
A collection of high res & Redbook tracks that I use for demo purposes.
You can find the playlist here:-
https://open.qobuz.com/playlist/3785941

What’s in the box:
1x Musician Audio Pegasus DAC.
1x Mains cable.
Documentation.
Warranty card.

Spec:
Proprietary R2R + DSD Architecture
True balanced 24BIT R2R + 6BIT DSD (32 steps FIR Filters)
Low Noise Power Supply
FIFO Buffer
Digital Signal Processing via FPGA
DSD1024, PCM1536 Supports On USB & I2S Input (the audio source needs to be compatible with the native interface)
Proprietary USB Audio Solution via STM32F446 Advanced AMR Based MCU
Licensed Thesycon USB Driver For Windows Platform
Driverless On Mac & Linux
DSD:
DSD64-DoP On All Input
DSD1024 On USB & I2S Input
PCM:
24bits / 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192KHz On All Input
1536kHz On USB & I2S Input
Sampling Mode: Non-Oversampling NOS / Oversampling OS
Digital Input:
Coaxial * 1 via RCA
Optical * 1
USB * 1
AES/EBU * 1
I2S via HDMI LVDS * 1
Analog Output:
RCA : 2.2Vrms
XLR : 3.55Vrms
Technical parameters:
Frequency Response: 10Hz~60KHz
THD+N: 0.002%
S/N Ratio: 123dB(A-weighted)
Dynamic Range: >120dB
AC Power Requirement: 110-240VAC, 50/60Hz (Worldwide Voltage)
Power Consumption: ≤20W
Dimension: 280 x 250x 50 mm
Package Dim: 375 x 330 x 115 mm
Package Content: DAC + AC power cable, No remote control.
Weight:3.9 Kg
Color: Silver / Black

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Build and finish:
The Pegasus in a word, is exceptional.
And I would expect nothing less at this price point.
Musician Audio sent me the silver version and it matches almost perfectly with the rest of my silver components, IE: the STAX SRM-700T & the Technics SL1200 MKII.
The finish is exquisite with a finely machined front panel and housing.
Beneath the DAC are four spiked aluminium feet with sorbothane or silicone inserts. Not only do they look cool, they sit the unit level and firmly in place.
Its aggressive looks make for a modern aesthetic, yet are subtle enough to remain classy!
One thing I vehemently dislike are overly bright, large and often garish LEDs.
Musician Audio have nothing to worry about in this regard as they have fitted small LED’s which are just bright enough to be seen. They don’t drown out the rest of the system and I really appreciated the use of orange LEDs. Along with the three subtle buttons in the centre, with firm, shallow clicks, Musician Audio have done a great job!


Complimenting its great looks and finish, the Pegasus is built extremely robustly.
During my time with it I had the STAX SRM-700T sat atop the Pegasus. The 700T is not lightweight in any way, however, the Pegasus had no issues with the added weight.
The rear panel is laid out well with the different segments for the input and output stages marked clearly. The RCA posts are heavy duty and fit the RCA plugs I used like a glove.
The XLR sockets are mounted securely and again fit like a glove with no wobble or give.
The same can be expected of the various digital inputs and the power inlet.

I must applaud the designers and engineers who created this DAC as it truly is a fabulous piece, oozing premium craftsmanship with lots of input flexibility!

Setup:

Installing the Pegasus into my system was straight forward.
As I am using a MacBook Pro I had no need to install any drivers or additional software.
Mac OS recognised the DAC immediately within the sound settings and Midi preferences.
Again, With Qobuz up and running, the app had no issue seeing the Pegasus.
Connecting to other devices either via coaxial or optical is easy.

Once you’re all hooked up, power the DAC up, select your input and you’re set.
Just about.
The Pegasus has a NOS button. No. this won’t give your car a boost.
In fact it enables you to turn oversampling on or off. No Over Sampling… NOS.

It is good to note that Musician Audio include windows drivers for anyone who requires them.

Sound:
The Pegasus presents itself with a wide, spacious soundstage with plenty of headroom.
Superb separation. Instrument separation is fabulous, even in busier pieces of music. I can still pick the performance apart.
Low end bass is plentiful. With a complimentary fast delivery and excellent definition.
Moving onto the midrange and we find a forward and crystal clear sound, paired with an airiness that brings a beautifully balanced and organic presentation of vocals and acoustic instruments.
Highs are tight, crisp and concise. Leaning toward a more neutral sound than I am used to but retaining a nice level of sparkle and speed.
I personally found it performs best after sitting powered up, warming up for a few hours.
Note that I listened 90% of the time with the NOS circuit off.
Though the short time I had it on, I noticed a slightly narrower, more focused soundstage with a wisp of roll off in the higher frequencies.

Final thoughts:
At £863.11, the Pegasus is a worthy investment.
It paired impressively well with the Cyrus ONE, bringing an excellent DAC solution to my system.
Paired with the STAX however, raised the bar, and then some.
I’ve used the more expensive Burson Audio Conductor 3X Performance with The SRM-700S
which was a formidable system and one that inspired my decision to eventually invest in the Conductor and a STAX system at home.
If my mind was not already made up, the Pegasus would be a firm contender for that place in my system. The Conductor only wins in my case due to also being a pre-amp and headphone amplifier.
But this is not a complaint against the Pegasus, just simple personal requirements.
I may even be tempted at some point to grab one for my desktop STAX system in my office space once that is finished. I enjoyed it that much.
Would I recommend the Pegasus? Yes. If I were in a position to buy one right now, I wouldn’t feel any regret in spending £30 shy of £900 on this DAC.

Many thanks to my readers for their continuing support. You are all fabulous!

And a huge thanks to Zhai and Arthur for arranging this review sample and being patient with me.

Please remember to like, follow and subscribe if you enjoy my reviews, and of course, please share! every little helps the blog to grow through more views and exposure.

Many thanks,
Paul.

Sponsor:
Thanks to Silver Note Tone Arms for the unwavering support and being there from the very beginning! Thank you Mark! 🙂

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