Home > USB AUDIO > New Version of Musiland Monitor Mini

New Version of Musiland Monitor Mini

December 1, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Musiland has released a new version of the Monitor 01 Mini.

Notable changes are a new DAC chip and enabling of the spdif through a mini toslink jack (same as what Apple has been doing in their computers). According to the press, the optical output is a “high end type” that supports up to 24bit /192K PCM and can pass Dolby Digital and DTS (better than what find in Apple devices which are limited to 24/96K)

The following pictures show the new board with the spdif circuit enabled through the 220 ohm resistor (R22) – click images for larger size

Coincidentally, I had modded my (previous version) Musiland Mini by installing a 221 ohm resistor in position R22 in order to enable the spdif output.

The DAC chip in the original MINI is PCM 1754. The new DAC chip is PCM1781. (can’t tell much of a difference based on the data sheets). The following picture is the old DAC

This is the new board and new DAC. Notice also that the I2S traces have a slightly better layout making tapping those lines a little easier.


Since I used the spdif output of the MINI, I had been “stuck” with driver version 1.0.8.x as the newer drivers disabled the spdif output. (Yeah, I know I could have used the I2S connections)

I just downloaded the latest driver (build 20101129 is a released driver, not beta) and the spdif output is back. You can find the drivers here: http://www.musiland.com.cn/downloads/drivers/

The new driver seems much easier to install. Previously I had to go through several iterations including reboots. With the new driver:

  • Close the Musiland control panel and unplug the Musiland from the USB
  • Delete old drivers
  • Install new drivers
  • Plug Musiland into USB; OS (Using Vista) does the rest. I didn’t even need a reboot

Numerous reports from the Musiland forum indicate that the new driver improves the sound. In addition, from a technical perspective the new enhancements are:

  • Support for the new MINI (thus support for spdif out)
  • Bug fix regarding stopping playing when removing another USB device

Musiland Control Panel for Musiland Monitor MINI

And of course, the s/w HDCD decoder is a bonus. To enable HDCD:

  • Go to directiory C: \ Program Files \ MUSILAND \ Monitor Series (USB)
  • Open file “Config.ini”
  • Change the hdcd value from 0 to 1, save file
  • Close the Musiland control panel and restart it



Soomal has done an evaluation comparing the old MINI with the new MINI. This is what they have found:

  • Dynamic range, dB (A): Old: 93.8; New: 95.5
  • Total harmonic distortion,%: Old: 0.0042; New: 0.0012
    • In dB: Old: -87.5 dB; New: -98.4 dB
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