In this article we look at the $1,099.99 USD Musician Pegasus DAC.
Disclaimer: The Musician Pegasus was sent to us free of charge in exchange for this review by Aoshida Audio.
This is the first time that we feature the Chinese Musician Audio brand on Headfonia, so let’s have a quick look at the company.
Musician Audio in fact is a reasonably new brand, and they have only been around since 2020. The R & D team is formed by a group of enthusiasts with more than 20 years of audio research and development experience. Musician Audio is focusing on R2R discrete balanced DACs, balanced (headphone) pre-amplifiers, balanced amplifiers, headphones, passive speakers and many more.
Musician Audio uses a self-created R2R & DSD architecture with truly balanced 32 bit R2R & 6 bit DSD. R2R really is the hype of the moment, even if it has been around for ages already. Recently we have seen R2R in DAPs and even USB DAC/AMP dongles. R2R is popular and I have to admit I really like the typical sound as well.
If you want to find out more about Musician, you can find the full “About Us” on their website, right here.
We have on multiple occasions explained already what the R2R technology is all about, but if you’re not familiar with it yet then you can read up on R2R here:
We on Headfonia have reviewed the following R2R tech units: Deva Pro (wireless module), HiBy RS6, Luxury & Precision P6 & P6 Pro and the Cayin N6II R01.
I have already been using the Pegasus DAC for multiple months in my office system where it has quickly become my “go-to” DAC. I admit we’re a bit late to the party with this review and I apologize to Aoshida Audio for that.
The Pegasus is a pure DAC only and the dedicated web page on the Pegasus can be found here on Aoshida’s website or on Musician Audio’s website directly. There’s also a very extended thread on the Pegasus over at Head-Fi.
The Pegasus is selling for more or less $1,100 USD, which puts it in the Mid-Fi to High-End market. For a fully balanced R2R DAC with a lot of in and outputs, that’s actually a very correct price and some will even find it very affordable looking at what the Pegasus has to offer. The Pegasus offers the following inputs: Coaxial via RCA, Optical, USB, AES/EBU and even I2S via HDMI LVDS. That’s as good as it gets really.
I mostly have used the USB-input with my laptop (ROON), followed by the optical input directly from an Astell&Kern DAP and then the Coaxial input with multiple portable sources such as the L&P DAPs and the xDuoo X10Tii. Output wise, there is the choice between balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA. Another important Pegasus feature is the oversampling option. You can either choose to not use it (NOS) or to have the unit oversample automatically which you can clearly see on the front of the unit when it’s in use.
The Pegasus decoding capability is quite spectacular as you can see looking at the specs. A lot has also been described and explained by many of the other online Pegasus articles, so luckily for us, we don’t have to repeat all that. It really is a very complete and nice looking DAC with a lot of bells and whistles. Let’s have a look at the full list.
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Full Features overview
- 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
- DSD64-DoP On All Input
- DSD1024 On USB & I2S Input
- 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
- 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