MQA. "Hopefully we can send you Morpheus in two weeks. Right now the module is with MQA for certification. Compared to Metrum, I decided on a full hardware bypass so standard data don't touch the MQA module. As soon as standard MQA (old recordings) or MQA pro (recent recordings with full MQA process) are detected, a multiplexer routes that data to our optional MQA module. By default non-oversampling converters have perfect impulse response or time behavior so MQA cannot improve these properties. Our decision to offer MQA as an option means that our customers can exercise their freedom of choice. If the big music providers like Warner, Universal Studios and Sony decide to distribute a lot more new content in MQA, adding the module could be attractive. Still, it seems to me that for now, MQA only serves a very niche part of our audience."

These measurements show why Cees cancelled the planned upsampler module.

That'd not be moi. Our library includes not a single MQA track. Cees could send my loaner without the optional module and not miss a beat. Whilst tracking his Facebook page, I saw him already at work on the Hermes streamer and the Kratos compact mono amps. Sonnet Digital would soon be about more than just digital. So definitely both pills.

With speakers under the Acelec brand already, one could soon assembly a complete Cees Ruijtenberg system. "When we started Sonnet, we'd not counted on the fact that our old dealers would come back to us. This is of course fantastic and means that the brand can build a reputation much faster than expected. We are grateful to these people because they have faith in us when the real products haven't seen the light yet."

Those dealers and their customers could think the same. They're just grateful that Cees is back at the helm.

As the manual explains, a combination of push/hold maneuvers on the frontal controls enters then navigates the menu.

Here one can set any desired output voltage in non-volatile memory if Morpheus is to be used with a preamplifier or integrated.

Here one can dim the display after a chosen period from 1-60 seconds; or disable all MQA/DSP functions.

A 'no data' error message signals lack of lock with a source. The 'F' after 'dB' is visual reminder for 'fixed volume'.

In variable mode, default turn-on volume is -40dB to avoid surprises.

At left we see the MQA module installed. As explained already, even with it installed, non-MQA data entirely bypass it. They process as though the card weren't there at all. It ensures that listeners get the full benefit of Sonnet's proprietary non-oversampling tech untainted by 3rd-party DSP.

If MQA ends up becoming the next big thing, Morpheus is fully ready for it and the buyer decides when exactly it is sufficiently big to bother. If it remains an ultra-niche proposition 99% of consumers aren't even aware of, Morpheus won't carry its fingerprint.

It'll remain an ultra-purist machine and you won't have paid for a what-if feature.