The biggest problem with some products these days is placing them into the right category. The Magnum Dynalab MD807T is a perfect example of this. It’s a DAB/FM tuner that’s also a valve 24/192 upsampling DAC, an internet radio, and a UPnP media renderer. You can even pull tracks from a front mounted USB port. Life was so much simpler when you could just say ‘tuner’!
In fairness to all, this is the nature of the audio beast now. Increasingly, we are moving away from a time where the user needs or wants a separate CD player, tuner and DAC for their computer audio, but wants the functionality of all three on the same shelf. The MD807T does just that.
In a way, the core of the device is relatively straightforward. Take a good quality digital front end – in this case, Frontier Silicon – tailor it to your needs, mix in a good Burr Brown upsampling 24/192 DAC for both this and external sources, mix in an FM tuner (with DAB in the appropriate territories), and end with a triode-based output stage (sporting two 6922 double triodes) that has proven uniformly popular among users. All this, and you get the usual thick front panel seen on more up-scale Magnum Dynalab products. It’s not hard to see why this is a heady mix.
Installation is relatively easy, although if you are coming to this cold there’s a steep learning curve with any streaming device. Basically the best way to think of this is to divide the MD807T into three distinct chunks. The tuner stage is fairly easy to process; you screw an aerial into the F-type socket and then control the tuner from the front panel or the learning remote. The DAC stage is similarly obvious, where you would choose the optical, coaxial or even USB front input, and the front panel for navigation (useful with USB drives). The other section is slightly more complex, in that you need to connect the MD807T into your home computer network. You can use Frontier Silicon’s internet tuner service to pull in thousands of radio stations worldwide (the quality of these is variable, yet can be outstanding at times), but a better way is to use the MD807T as a media renderer in a UPnP/DLNA digital music network.