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Musical Fidelity V-DAC II

Stereo digital-to-analog converter

10 Reviews

Item # 778VDACII

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Our take on the Musical Fidelity V-DAC II

The first thing Musical Fidelity did was give the V-DAC II a classy brushed-metal exterior with thicker, machined aluminum end caps for added sturdiness and a handsome, high-tech look. Then, they upgraded its USB input to handle high-res 96kHz/24-bit music files for ultra high-fidelity computer audio. The V-DAC II's USB connection also employs asynchronous re-clocking technology. This advanced circuitry precisely controls the timing of your computer's USB output for vanishingly low levels of jitter — errors in the timing of the data stream that can make music sound harsh and edgy, and smear subtle details. Finally, Musical Fidelity improved on the original V-DAC's already low distortion numbers, and increased stereo separation to deliver even more realistic sound.


Bring your digital music to life

The original V-DAC was a major hit with music lovers, delivering warm, detailed sound that easily rivaled D-to-A converters costing much more. But not everyone loved its utilitarian looks. So Musical Fidelity gave this budget DAC champ a face-lift, and added some new goodies under the hood to make it an even better value. The V-DAC II will breathe new life into the sound coming from your computer, network music streamer, CD, or DVD player. Simply connect it in line between your source component and your amp or receiver, and you'll enjoy added depth, clarity, and focus with your favorite tunes.

New looks, improved sound quality

The first thing Musical Fidelity did was give the V-DAC II a classy brushed-metal exterior with thicker, machined aluminum end caps for added sturdiness and a handsome, high-tech look. Then, they upgraded its USB input to handle high-res 96kHz/24-bit music files for ultra high-fidelity computer audio. The V-DAC II's USB connection also employs asynchronous re-clocking technology. This advanced circuitry precisely controls the timing of your computer's USB output for vanishingly low levels of jitter — errors in the timing of the data stream that can make music sound harsh and edgy, and smear subtle details. Finally, Musical Fidelity improved on the original V-DAC's already low distortion numbers, and increased stereo separation to deliver even more realistic sound.


The V-DAC II sports multiple inputs to handle your digital sources.

Versatile connections for your system

The V-DAC II gives you three ways to connect your digital source components to your home audio system:

  • coaxial digital input is ideal for connecting a CD or DVD player, Logitech Squeezebox™ Touch, Sonos® ZonePlayer™ 90, or any other digital audio component with coax out, and taking advantage of the V-DAC II's high-performance processor for better sound.
  • optical digital input is ready to take on almost any HDTV, set-top box, game console, or other digital source with optical digital output, and feed a high-quality audio signal into your stereo system.
  • Type B USB jack feeds the output of your computer into the V-DAC II's high-resolution digital-to-analog converter, bypassing your computer's sound card to yield much higher quality sound with stored music files and Internet radio.

A pair of gold-plated RCA outputs lets you connect the V-DAC II to your home audio system's amp or receiver, or a pair of powered speakers for a high-end, compact desktop stereo.

Product Highlights:

  • 192kHz/24-bit upsampling DAC
  • asynchronous USB technology for reduced timing jitter and better sound with computer audio sources up to 96kHz/24-bit resolution
  • 3 digital audio inputs — optical, coaxial, and USB (Type B)
  • line-level stereo RCA audio output
  • built-in driver for USB connection
  • signal-to-noise ratio: 117dB (A weighted)
  • frequency response: 20-20,000Hz (+0, -0.1dB)
  • THD: 0.004% (20-20,000Hz)
  • low-jitter design reduces timing errors for improved clarity and detail
  • outboard power supply included
  • weight: 12.25 ounces (without power supply)
  • 3-3/4"W x 1-11/16"H x 6-11/16"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • If connecting to a TV, please make sure you can select "PCM" output in its audio menu. This DAC is not compatible with Dolby® Digital signals.

What's in the Box:

  • Digital-Analog-Convertor
  • AC power adapter (with attached 6' DC cord)
  • Instructions

Musical Fidelity V-DAC II Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(10 Reviews)

Excellent DAC

Larry from Atlanta, GA on 2/8/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Before I share my experience with V-DAC II, let me address some of the other reviews here. Hissing sound, not as good as Yamaha? I understand that it is easier to come here and write irrelevant review than to find a ground loop issue. This DAC has zero, and I do mean zero noise. Surely no hissing sound whatsoever. V-DAC II outright beats my Yamaha receiver that I don't even use anymore because it has inferior sound quality. V-DAC II also has much better sound quality than my Denon AVR-3805, my Marantz SR-5007, Marantz CD-6004. Should I continue? Inaccurate advertising? What is inaccurate about it? Only the fact that someone bought wrong piece of equipment without really understanding what it does and how it works? Tried to connect analog output of a CD player... Irrelevant reviews aside though, Musical Fidelity V-DAC II is an excellent piece of equipment. My system consists of MacBook Pro running Audirvana Plus (24/96 iZotope upconvertion, direct/INT mode), MF V-CAN II (headphone amp), MF V-PSU II (premium power supply), AudioQuest USB/RCA cables, and Beyerdynamics DT990/600 Ohms headphones. Every time I turn it on, this system blows my mind away with its crystal clear mids and highs, plenty of strong, tight, and well controlled bass, and ability to resolve details. Soundstaging is excellent, sound is very musical and full. Try Pink Floyd, "The Wall", and you'd be shocked how good it sounds. I would rate this DAC 6 starts, if I could.

Pros: Details, resolutions, overall clarity, crystal clear mids/highs, strong and tight bass, great soundstaging, musicality and fullness of sound

Cons: Makes me stay up late night until 2am because I just cannot turn it off - it sounds that good

hissing sound

Anonymous from columbus, oh on 7/11/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Not worth it. I got this to replace the DAC that was built into my Yamaha RX receiver so that i could output to a second zone, but there is a hissing sound. I am returning it, it is not as good as the Yamaha built in DAC.




Glen from Tiburon, CA on 5/17/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I've tried a number of different DACs with my Squeezebox Touch and each DAC seems a bit too clinical in their presentation of music... some would do beautiful highs, deep lows yet seemed to leave out the whole mid-range... some just seemed hard, too sharp, missing all of the organic nature of music. I purchased the MF V-DAC II and a alternate power supply and tried it out -- I was very disappointed. The MF V-DAC II was just as cold as any other DAC I tried and I was going to ship it back until I removed the alternate power supply and plugged in the stock wall wart the V-DAC II comes with and then - WOW!! The V-DAC II presented the music exactly like I wanted -- it is rich, full, organic, layered and stereo separation is wonderful. This thing really is a great addition to my system. You'll see a lot of suggestions regarding this DAC needing a regulated power supply - I just don't buy it. The stock power supply is perfect to my ears. I like my music to sound warm and organic and the V-DAC II with the standard power supply delivers!

Pros: A first rate addition to a Squeezebox Touch. Outstanding sound replication... fluid and warm with just the right dynamics.

Cons: None!

V Dac 11 unit

frank from Morrisville,north carolina on 5/5/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The V Dac 11 Unit offers excellent sound.Bass,treble and midrange.I puschased a new desk top 2.1 speaker unit-.Klipsch, which improved the sound over my older unit The reason that I ordered both was because on the last note of any musical selection, the note sounde an octive higher My ears heard this on every selection.My intention was to get rid of this annoying sound.Neither the Klipsch system nor the V dac 11 helped ..Is there something that I'm missing.?




Gregory M from Syracuse Ny on 4/2/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I have a very nice set up with a 200 watt per channel rotell amp a rotell receiver and klipsch rf-63. I also have sony sacd player. The system sounds very well and i didnt think it could get much better. This little box is amazing. The analog signal is far superior to the digital in my opinion. I am very very pleased i am revisting my entire cd collection even the ones that sounded bad sound awesome.

Pros: Very supportive customer service easy to hook up just needed an optical cord to plug in to cd player

Cons: None

Met My Requirements

NWLanding from Olympia, WA on 2/16/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The requirements that needed to be met with this purchase: 1) Eliminate the on-board SoundMax 16bit audio bottleneck on my HTPC, 2) support playback of my 24 bit music, 3) support analog out so I could use my AV receivers powered Zone 2, 4) asynchronous USB connection to reduce jitter, 5) don't break the bank or over match my sound system, and 6) hopefully improve audio performance,. Obviously the first four requirements where easily met with the stated specs for this product. I have no idea the production costs associated with the range of USB DACs available these days but it sure seems like they're overpriced, I'm just saying. But given what's available for the price of this unit I'd say it's reasonable value. The fit and finish is well done and attractive. When I first plugged the unit in there was not a huge difference in sound quality, but at 16 hours there began an improvement of the overall openness of the sound and improved imaging. After about 24 hours these two values continued to become noticeably improved and I began to notice more accurate bass notes, and the generally washed out and veiled sound that existed before the addition of the V-DAC II was gone. There is now a noticeable improvement to the sound stage and now I can say that all my requirements have been met. I like the small unobtrusive footprint of the device. Windows 7 Pro immediately recognized the device and loaded the USB driver.

Pros: Well built and spec'd to produce a relatively affordable solution for improving the use of computer audio with quality sound. This device is well suited for linking my PC based music library to my modest Onkyo TX-NR808, out to my Adcom GFA-5400 amp, out to my Polk Audio TSi400 floor standing speakers. I would recommend this product without hesitation to anyone looking for a similar solution.

Cons: I suppose it's better to give consumers affordable yet scaleable solutions, but given the available evidence about using a cleaner power supply than the ubiquitous wall wart, it should be standard. But I was able to pick up a Pangea power supply for a very affordable price.

A Real Improvement

jimpal from Minneapolis, MN on 2/8/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I use my first generation Apple TV to act as a jukebox providing all of my digital music to my house sound system. While the Apple TV is an excellent and versatile device, its built-in DAC provides only mediocre conversion of the digital sound to its analog output, which my house amplifier requires. Inserting the V DAC II, using the Apple TV's optical output has transformed the sound quality of my system. It's a huge change in fullness, clarity and bass at a modest price.

Pros: V DAC II delivers it's promised results

Cons: Why didn't I do this sooner?

Musical Fidelity VDAC II

GaryI from Seattle, WA on 2/7/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

On the advice of a friend, I purchased this DAC to set up a Mac computer-based music server with toslink fiber-optic connection for the digital data. No setup problems whatsoever; simply plug-and-play. A toslink optical cable with 1/8" mini-optical plug adaptor at the computer end was required. This is the most revealing sound I have ever heard from any digital recordings, reproducing my CDs and the occasional audio file from other sources in exquisite detail (or excruciating detail in some cases -- it seems that recording engineers in the "digital age" still have a lot to learn.) Be that as it may, I can wholeheartedly recommend this DAC for its plug-and-play convenience and smooth, detailed audio output. Dynamic range, transient response, and channel separation appear to be flawless, with an inaudible noise floor. I have never heard this quality audio from a standalone CD player.

Pros: Superb audio quality, flexible data input choices: USB, coax, optical; simple, compact and sturdy housing; easy plug-and-play setup.

Cons: None observed

Inaccurate Advertising

Richard B from Bethlehem, PA on 1/29/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Crutchfield has several different description versions in their catalogs on the V-DAC praising the virtues of this unit. They make it sound as if any system will benefit from the upgrade. While the V-DAC probably does an impressive job when connected to a computer I could not tell any appreciable difference when connected to my stereo system. Since my Onkyo CD player is 25 years old, Marantz Receiver 15 yrs., I anticipated a noticeable "sonic" difference but I could not even connect the CD player to the V-DAC converter because it only had analog output cables to begin with. I then connected it to a first generation Samsung BluRay player (via optical cable) and I still don't know if there is any improvement. What they should and don't mention in their catalogs is that most quality systems won't benefit at all. Each player has its own internal converter. The quality of that converter dictates whether or not you'll notice a difference. I found this out when calling Crutchfield to discover why I wasn't experiencing an improvement. Luckily, there is a money back guarantee, but who wants to go thru that hassle.

Pros: none if you already have a decent system

Cons: doesn't produce, faulty advertising

A good purchase!

Dave from Central IL on 12/10/2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I had been playing audio files from my laptop on my stereo by using the headphone jack connected to RCA inputs. This was less than satisfactory because the sound lacked "dynamics" It was sounded just like it did on cheap headphones. With the VDAC I now have a much fuller sound from my digital music files. I don't believe, however, that it has the dynamic range that good old vinyl LPs provide. As so many reviewers have mentioned, many thanks to the Crutchfield staff. They certainly pointed me in the right direction. I'll shop here again.

Pros: It does just what I wanted it to do. It gives my digital music files better audio dynamics and more "depth" It was easy to set up.

Cons: Nothing yet.


Hands-on research

Product Research



Overview: The Musical Fidelity V-DAC II is an external digital-to-analog convertor operating at 24-bits, 192kHz with true up-sampling. The V-DAC II has extremely low noise, very low distortion, wide bandwidth, and outstanding linearity. The V-DAC II digital-to-analog convertor with asynchronous technology will make substantial sonic improvements to almost any CD player, computer, or other digital source. Simply connect the V-DAC II between your digital audio device (via optical, coaxial, or USB) and your home stereo receiver (via analog stereo RCA).

Aluminum Construction: The Musical Fidelity V-DAC II is constructed of brushed silver aluminum for a sleek look & long-lasting durability.

24-Bit/192kHz DAC: The Musical Fidelity V-DAC II features a built-in 24-bit/192kHz Burr-Brown (DSD1796) digital-to-analog convertor with an asynchronous up-sampler (SRC4392). The V-DAC II provides lower noise, better linearity, a ruler-flat frequency response, excellent stereo separation, ultra-low distortion, and incredibly low jitter compared to most integrated DACs found in today's CD/DVD players, game consoles, computers, and other digital audio sources.

Asynchronous USB Port: The Musical Fidelity V-DAC II external digital-to-analog convertor features an asynchronous USB (type-B) port for the connection of your Windows PC or Mac computer, so you can listen to your stored compressed music files with high-quality sound. The asynchronous USB allows the audio data transfer to be governed by the V-DAC II, as its master clock is effectively disconnected from those within the potentially noisier environment of your PC or Mac. As a result, the V-DAC II lets your compressed music files sound like a high-quality CD player.

Note: The V-DAC II's USB (type-B) port supports Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP, Vista, and 7; as well as MAC OS X.

Digital Inputs (optical/coaxial): The Musical Fidelity V-DAC II is equipped with an optical & coaxial digital input for connecting your CD player, DVD player, game system, or other digital audio device. The V-DAC II's surpasses most digital-to-analog convertors found in your digital audio source device.

Note: If connecting to a television set's optical output, please make sure that you are able to select PCM as the default optical out audio format from your television's Audio menu. This DAC is not compatible with multi-channel audio signals and will not work with televisions that do not output PCM.

Analog Output: The Musical Fidelity V-DAC II is equipped with a gold-plated, stereo RCA output for connecting the device to your home stereo receiver.

Input Select: The Musical Fidelity V-DAC II is fitted with a input select toggle switch which lets you choose between the a digital coaxial or USB input connection.

LED Indicators: There are 2 LED lights to indicate operating status.

  • Blue LED: There is a Blue Power LED indicates the unit is powered on and ready for use.
  • Green LED: The Green Status LED indicates the presence of a digital signal.

External AC Power Adapter: The Musical Fidelity V-DAC II operates off of standard household current (120V AC, 60Hz) using the supplied AC power adapter. The external power adapter is separate from the digital-analog-converter to further improve sound quality.

  • Input: 120V AC, 60Hz, 0.2A
  • Output: 12V DC, 0.5A, 6W

Note: This product has been designed so that it may be left on indefinitely.


Up-Sampling: 24-bit/192kHz

Output Impedance: 47 Ohm

Maximum Output: 2.2 Volts

Frequency Response: 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz (+0, -0.1dB)

Total Harmonic Distortion: 0.004% @ 20-20kHz

Signal-to-Noise Ratio: -117 dB ("A" weighted)

Crosstalk: -104 dB @ 20-20kHz

Total Jitter:12ps

Power Requirements: 12V DC, 0.5A

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.