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M3 - Second Biggest Disappointment Ever

post #1 of 249
Thread Starter 
My M3 finally came today from SFT Audio. It looked good (Though the metal had a bunch of "burn" marks or whatever those brown-ish stains are supposed to be). Nice and heavy. I immediately plugged it in and gave it a listen.

The first thing I noticed when I plugged it in was "Where's the bass?" After a few more minutes of listening I discovered more bass. However, it was in the form of impact and not quantity. The M3 seems to have less bass than my stereo's amp, but the M3 does have more impact on its bass. The sound is a tad bit softer/smoother, making it a bit more coherent and identifiable.

That's it. It costed me $360 shipped and those are the only differences I've detected. I know a bunch of people are going to say that my source is at fault, but I know that's a load of bull. I realize that this hobby isn't for me. A source probably wouldn't make any difference at all, especially considering what little difference there was between my stereo's supposedly low-quality headphone amp and the M3. People might say that I can't be this sure since I've never listening to a good, high quality source. However, I know from prior experience that it won't make any bit of a difference at all. This prior experience is from my experience the SR-80s. The difference between the A500s and SR-80s was minimal (Less bass, more forward sound). I've realized that you guys (Or rather, audiophiles in general) are so enthusiastic about this hobby that they over-exaggerate (understatement) every detail. I honestly doubt my hearing is at fault, but rather that I'm listening with all honesty and reporting the real deal, without the audiophile's exaggerated words; just honestly reporting what the actual difference is to those that aren't detail-freaks (no offense) and want an honest/realistic opinion.

So, now I'm sitting here with a $360 metal block that can barely out perform the miniscule headphone circuitry in my 7+ year old budget home stereo system. I'm thinking I should just sell this thing (Though I know that I'm still going to take a hard hit when I resell it since I had to pay $45 for shipping and I had to pay for the PayPal fee) and spend the money to some good, tangible use (Video games, music CDs).

EDIT: I'm thinking about selling my SA5k's as well to downgrade to the SA1k's.
post #2 of 249
Yikes...
I found the M^3 too bright for my Grados.... but that particular amp was designed for Sennheisers. So that was to be expected.

What OP amps are in your amp?

Garrett
post #3 of 249
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kramer5150
What OP amps are in your amp?

Garrett
AD8065
post #4 of 249
What source are you using? The amp won't amplify bass that might not be in the signal in the first place.

I would also bring the possibility of a less than ideal synergy. The M3 and the SA5000 are probably two bright/fast/snappy components that might not match too well together.
post #5 of 249
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsaavedra
What source are you using? The amp won't amplify bass that might not be in the signal in the first place.
Ah, there it is, right on schedule.

My old Pioneer cd player from my old budget stereo system. Pioneer PD-M403.
post #6 of 249
there may be a reason that the m3 has the bass boost option ON THE BOARD.

there may also not be.
post #7 of 249
Well, I was going to say something about burn-in, sources, and just training your ears, but I am guessing that you don't believe any of that do you? That question isn't meant to be mocking, but just a straight-up question.

There's nothing wrong with not finding what you expect in this hobby, since everyone hears differently. Look at it this way, at least you found out that this hobby isn't for you somewhat early. Better earlier than later, since you end up saving more money. Sure, you'll take a hit when you have to sell your stuff, but it's better in the long-run anyways.

But remember that just because you don't hear the differences doesn't mean the differences don't exist for other people. It's perfectly fine to say that you don't, but I suggest that you don't go bashing on us "crazy" audiophiles just because you don't.
post #8 of 249
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikongod
there may be a reason that the m3 has the bass boost option ON THE BOARD.

there may also not be.
I'm overall neutral about the bass. It's slightly less quantity, but slightly more impact. The M3 having more bass than my stereo's amp won't change my overall sentiment about the M3. It's still barely any improvement.
post #9 of 249
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by humanflyz
So I'm guessing you don't believe in burn-in (physical and/or psycho-acoustic) either right? That question isn't meant to be mocking, but just a straight-up question.
Physical burn-in in headphones I believe in. In amps I don't believe in it. And I consider psycho-acoustical burn-in to be one of the greatest loads of bull I've heard of in this audiophile world.

(My CE595 should be coming in this Friday, to those that are commenting on source)
post #10 of 249
Sorry to hear about your disappointment. I have a similar experience. My $60 DVD player is not noticeably inferior to my "proper" CD player NADC542. My understanding is that the differences between amps are miniscule compared to the differences between sources. I have several smaller amps (though with very different designs) and apart from the slight bass boost on the PA2V2 they all sound very similar to me. They all sound good by the way. I also have an Mcubed (AD843) which I do like but it is my only stationary amp and I have never really tried seriously comparing it against my other amps. I suspect that the difference would be slight, this is why I dont change kit anymore and just buy music. It is possible you could learn to love your new amp with time but that would be you adjusting to it and not vice versa - sorry.
post #11 of 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by Azure
Physical burn-in in headphones I believe in. In amps I don't believe in it. And I consider psycho-acoustical burn-in to be one of the greatest loads of bull I've heard of in this audiophile world.

(My CE595 should be coming in this Friday, to those that are commenting on source)
That's fine, I was just curious about your take on the whole burn-in phenomena. I say you should just sell your stuff and use that on whatever other hobby you might have.
post #12 of 249
I didn't think that there could be much difference between 2 players, then I switched from a old Denon DCD-615 CDP to my Pioneer Elite universal player(still nothing special I know)...there was a big improvement in bass quantity and quality.
post #13 of 249

Question?

I'm curious if you discussed your current system and your expectations of the M3 with SFT audio, when you ordered it? I would assume they could, to some extent, build the M3 to synergize with your system.

Maybe this is a sign to just get the h*ll out of here, fast!
post #14 of 249
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by humanflyz
That's fine, I was just curious about your take on the whole burn-in phenomena. I say you should just sell your stuff and use that on whatever other hobby you might have.
That's what I'm planning on doing. I'll probably downgrade to the SA1k's or maybe just get an all-around pair of cans (Such as A900s) and then leave this place for good

Though I think the market for SA5k's is rather weak at the moment, so that might pose a problem in selling it (I'd like to unload this gear as soon as possible and spend the money to some good, immediate use).
post #15 of 249
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by utep10
I'm curious if you discussed your current system and your expectations of the M3 with SFT audio, when you ordered it? I would assume they could, to some extent, build the M3 to synergize with your system.

Maybe this is a sign to just get the h*ll out of here, fast!
Nope, I simply asked here what I should request from SFT Audio for the amp and had the amp built with those specs. I doubt that an amp can be modified to such an immense extent to synergize with a system that my impressions would be that much different. As someone previous said, the differences between amps is supposedly not as grand as people make it out to be. Thus, the differences between amp configurations of the same amp would be even smaller.
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