MyST DAC 1851 OCU review: Combines love music too. Almost peusaect!

The current prices of audio and not only audio have nothing to do with the production costs and often nothing to do with the sound quality. The main thing is to gather the target audience and keep it near you, selling expectations and new illusions profitably. The moment of “luxury” and prestige is installed exactly in the brain, forming a community of “maydanuts” around a particular brand. This audience is prepared beforehand to enthusiastic response to any novelty at any price – like this is really cool!

However, there are other brands on the market. One of them is MyST. The guys pay maximum attention to technical side, but not to advertising tinsel. It’s a very different approach when the beauty and harmony of the music trumps the price tag increase. The hero of today’s review is a clear proof of that. Like all MyST products of this brand, it is modest in design, but has a great voice and an excellent price tag – much lower than competitors. So, today we are listening to the MyST DAC 1851 OCU combo..

Thanks to mycroft online for providing a sample for listening


DAC + headphone amplifier MyST DAC 1851 OCU


Playable Frequency Range: 20-20000 Hz

Output Voltage: 40V

DAC: 2 x AD1851 R-2K, multibit

Digital inputsOptical, USB, coaxial RCA Neutrik

Digital outputs: none

Analog inputs: none

Analog outputs: Linear RCA Neutrik + 2 * headphone Neutrik

Dimensions: 240*170*55 mm

Weight: 2 kg

Warranty: 12 months.

Headphone Amplifiers

The look..

The device comes in a regular cardboard box, packed in a sturdy bag. In the kit you can find a 220V power cable, a USB A-B cable to connect the DAC to your PC.

The housing is black and made of aluminum. The device has a serious look and decent size: 240*170*55 mm. It weighs about two kilograms. You get your hands on one of those things, and you respect yourself even more!

But this is not always the case. Me and my friend once opened some DAC from SCHIIT brand and at first we thought that they forgot to put the stuffing in the case. Hidden in the big device is a small board with three chips, a few resistors and a couple of capacitors. And that’s it – nothing else! Sounds, though, the lightweight DAC was quite pleasant…

In MyST DAC 1851 OCUA there is no lightness. Everything is brutal here, starting from the stuffing and finishing with a reliable case, neutrik connectors and Nikitin volume control. Here, by the way, is a wonderful gizmo! Turning and twisting this knob, the volume changes smoothly, almost perfectly! In case you don’t know, we’re talking about a 7-digit DSP with 128 volume levels and infinite travel. I’m telling you, the Nikitin is the best!

Audio equipment

MyST DAC 1866 OCU has been living and working for many years. And I am happy, I can not get enough of this device! From the sea of tested DACs and amplifiers, this model satisfies me a hundred percent! Reliable, technically well made device with excellent sound! I have been listening to it for at least five years for 8-9 hours and I don’t want to change it yet.

The new MyST DAC 1851 OCU combo differs from the “veteran” solely by the chip, and as a consequence, has its own nuances in sound. The previous device uses chip from Analog Devices AD 1866, but the new one has double mono, that is, two chips AD 1851, made by NOS circuit Non Over Sampling . Chips are 16-bit, it is quite enough for delicate hearing, if not to bother your head with advertising magic of numbers 24 and 32 bit and Hi-RES labels. By the way, I’m not hooked on any particular chips – multibits or sigma delta. The main thing is how the device is made, what hands..

The amplifier in MyST DAC 1851 OCU, as in the case of 1866 OCU, works in class “A”. Output to headphones is more than 30 volts, it is enough to drive the tightest headphones, even isodynamic ones. The frequency range of the DAC 1851 OCU, from 20-20000 Hz.

On the front panel of the combo there are On/Off toggle switch, two 6,3 mm headphone outputs, three indicators of the working input and the Nikitin regulator. When you press the button, it switches between opt/coax/usb modes.

On the rear panel there are line output 2 RCA , coaxial 1 RCA input, optical and USB inputs, and 220 V plug.

And now let’s make a full immersion into the world of sounds, this is the most exciting space, which creates MyST DAC 1851 OCU!

Audio equipment

Listening to

Listening was conducted with the headphones: HifimanHE-4, Beyerdynamic DT250/250 ohm, FostexT50RP-MK-3, PHONONSMB-02, and MEZE 99 NEO. With all headphones the DAC 1851 OCU played at a very high level, with plenty of power left over.

Genre universality of the device is amazing, whatever you put under it: hard metal, NEW WAVE, Classic ROCK, Noise, Shoegaze, classical or Jazz, it will play it all back brilliantly! That’s how well done he is!

From the first sounds, this is a powerful, assertive, detailed and neutral sound. The pitch is solid, layered, solid and yet very musical.

For example:

The Cars “helloagain”

In spite of the flaws of mixing, the composition sounds very decent! The sound is firm, precise, crushing you into an armchair and makes you feel the bass relief moves with your whole body. The percussion, with which you start rocking to the beat, is so assembled, powerful and precise that it gives you goosebumps.

The vocal of Ric Ocasek strikes with its naturalness, guitars strumming in real, “new-wave-postpunk” way, without a bit of falsehood, as if you were transported back to the times of 80th..

The keys clearly create a background while interacting with the guitars and bass, all together sounding smooth, neutral and without the slightest hint of distortion. With all this vintage moniker and density of sound, the overall picture clearly conveys the emotional component of the composition. Though “color palette” is closer to cold and maximum neutral, everything sounds very melodic, without any timbre coloring. In short, the pleasure of listening is unbelievable!

“Oh, youpassedonmercy

You tried the rest

You gave your body

You gave your best..”

Chic, solid and very detailed, with a “vintage” flavor, you can’t take your eyes off it!

Grace Potter And The Nocturnals “Paris”

Uh! This is a blues-rock flurry with indie tone that gets you drunk and down on your feet from the first notes! The composition is powerful, sweeping you off your feet like a tsunami. GracePotter’s freaky vocals are punchy, emotional, and with an edge that’s delivered as authentically as possible! The guitar’s roar brings the adrenaline in your body like a strong wind, and the guitar solos pull at the strings of the innermost – you’d shake a little bit. The percussion is timbrebre sharp. Every drum boom, every beat, every boom, the transition from one to the other is awe-inspiring! Everything is so cool, powerful, utterly natural and very musical that emotions run over the edge.

The main difference between the new DAC 1851 OCU and my DAC 1866 OCU is a little more emotional, a little better treble, giving the sound more “air”, and a slightly different low-frequency delivery.

Actually the difference is not global, but if we don’t speak about any cardinal differences, we can say at once that DAC 1851 OCU sounds more musical, more audiophile-like. And the model 1866 performs something more professional, closer to the prof. To the equipment, which for me personally is probably more suitable, although the question is debatable..

MyST DAC 1851 OCU boasts good handling of the attacks, excellent speed characteristics, powerful punch, sound as close to natural as possible and absence of any distortions. What more could you ask for to enjoy your favourite music??

Headphone Amplifiers

Bottom line

The unit is neutral, genre-neutral, with serious mature sound and great musicianship. In it both details and powerful sound are perfectly combined with the monitor’s emotionality.

The tweeter is smooth, precise, a little cool, without the slightest hint of harshness or crumbliness.

The mid-range is smooth, detailed, emotionally rich, timbre-deep, without peaks and dips. Magnificent midrange!

The woofers are focused, fast, well-proportioned, with an excellent, powerful punch. Power and fun!


A great product! I don’t even know what to complain about. It is very pleasant that in spite of the common sound concept of MyST products, each of them has its own personality, its own “voice”. Every customer can choose the right unit for him. And the price tag is simply brimming with humanism: the price for MyST DAC 1851 OCU in Mycroft store is 58 000 Dollars. For a combo like this, I assure you, it’s just a bargain price tag.

Pros of

Sound, build quality, reliability, price.


Lack of accessories.

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