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One can approach a possible answers in different ways. In my view two are most valid - the need to present something nobody else has yet; and the need to introduce a device capable to reproduce all available consumer formats including DXD, an archiving format developed for DSD characterized by 32-bit 384kHz. The first approach is clear. Every company attempts to be first with something. Regarding the second and ultimately probably more important factor, the M2Tech Young should be future proof except for currently not handling DSD files which need to be played with two sampling frequencies: 2.8 and 5.6MHz. Currently only the Playback Designs MPD-3 can do that but others will undoubtedly follow shortly. Regardless, the Young is a very advanced DAC which can receive the 32-bit 192kHz signal via the classic connections and 32/384 via USB. It has a fantastic big display showing selected input and incoming sample frequency and analog RCA outputs with higher than usual voltage – 2.56V instead of the CD standard 2V.

Sound - recordings used in the review: Tron Legacy, OST, muz. Daft Punk, Special Edition, Walt Disney Records, 9472892, 16/44,1, rip from CD, FLAC; T-TOC Data Collection Vol. 1, T-TOC Records, DATA-0001, 24/96+24/192, WAV rip from DVD-R; Vinyl Magic for High Fidelity, sampler, DVD-R, 16-24-32/44,1, WAV rip from DVD-R;  Al Di Meola, Flesh on Flesh, Telarc, 24/96, HDTracks, FLAC; Art Pepper, Intensity, Contemporary/Universal Music [Japan], UCCO-5114, CD; Brian Eno, Craft On A Milk Sea, Warp Records, WARPCDD207, 2 x 180g LP + 2 x CD + 24/44,1 WAV; Cassandra Wilson, Silver Pony, Blue Note, 29752, CD; Charlie Haden & Antonio Forcione, Heartplay, Naim Label, 24/96 FLAC; Clan of Xymox, Darkest Hour, Trisol, TRI 419 CD, CD; Depeche Mode, Personal Jesus 2011, Mute, cdbong43, MS CD; Eva Cassidy, Imagine, Hot Records, G2-10075, CD; Kankawa, Organist, T-TOC Records, UMVD-0001-0004, Ultimate Master Vinyl, 4 x 45 rpm 180g LP + CD-RIIα + 24/192 WAV; Mikołaj Bugajak, Strange Sounds and Inconceivable Deeds, Nowe Nagrania 001, 45 rpm LP+CD+WAV 24/44.1; Miles Davis, Seven Steps To Heaven, Columbia/Sony Music/Analogue Productions, CAPJ-8851, SA, SACD; Simon & Garfunkel, Bookends, Columbia/Sony Music Japan International, SICP 1484, CD; Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto, Getz/Gilberto, Verve, 24/96 FLAC; The Doors, The Doors, Elektra Records/Warner Music Japan, WPCR-12716, CD.

The Young as DAC with S/PDIF input and 16/44.1 material.
The Italian DAC was compared directly to reference players of Ancient Audio Lektor Air V-edition and Soulution 745 caliber to show something I’ve not heard for a very long time, perhaps five years and which—attention!—I missed in both the players. I refer to the incredible dynamics and energy of the treble. The Young was so direct that all other players seem a bit veiled by comparison. After longer listening this became less explicit and the more natural sound was judged to really come from the two reference CD players but - the impression of some loss with them stayed with me for long after disconnecting the Young from my system.

I remember a similar uncompromised presentation of dynamics and treble in top models from dCS a few years back which were replaced by new models I do not know. Only the Gryphon Mikado tried to repeat it later. Now the Young delivered almost the same—if not exactly the same—quality for a fraction of the money you needed to put down for a dCS or Mikado. Once heard, you keep searching for this trait in all other products.

These were incredible dynamics! Although heard each and every time on any disc, it made the biggest impression with albums that were rather withdrawn in the treble due to recording limitations or choices. That was the case with Art Pepper’s Intensity and Seven Steps To Heaven by Miles Davis. Especially with the former the Young seemed better at showing the leader’s saxophone in a stronger more selective way. Selectiveness is probably the keyword here. The whole sound is built around it. It’s a very worthy center of things.