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post #451 of 586

I have also received my Metrum Mk2.

 

I am really liking it. I am using Foobar2000 with Wasapi Event.

The sound is very organic, extremely musical It lacks a bit of treble definition, and actually pushes me to listen at higher volumes. The dac is the best pairing I have ever heard with the Audio Technica AD2000. The Metrum has this slightly midbassy/lower midrangey, sirupy sound, and it melts perfectly with AD2000, while other sources like the Eximus DP1 made the AD2k sound too hot in the upper midrange. The deep bass is good on the Metrum, quite impactful albeit a bit short from that of dac's like Museatex (Idat-44, Bitstream), the Eximus and few others.

Treble presence seems to be a bit subdued; slightly smoothered, but it also seems to improve / get slightly drier when setting Wasapi at 24 or 32 bit.

 

Anyway, these are only very first impressions because I have to do the following tweaks to my system:

- get a different amp than my Headamp AE-2 for the AD2000 (since, albeit being quite amazing with AD2000, it's not enough to provide them the best separation they are capalbe to offer)

- use my USB cable (Forza audioworks twin cable, with separate inputs for usb signal and power) with a battery instead of using two different usb ports on the pc...... I suspect that using separate battery power will make the Metrum digital input every bit as good as that of the Hex (which takes power differently from the Octave, and not from usb)

- listen to it with my Audiocats-modded Babystax

- wait for some components to arrive for modding my StaxSRM-727A to be ready for working with normal bias Lambda and use such system

 

So far, I think the dac is absolutely good value and very, very easy to listen to.

More specifically, Octave Mk2 + Headamp AE-2 (and even better a dynalo or Gilmore Lite, based on several users' comments) + Audio Technica AD2000 makes for a killer setup for the price, albeit a bit too saturated.


Edited by antonyfirst - 4/22/13 at 2:52am
post #452 of 586

Are you sure the Octave doesn't use its internal power supply?

Have one transformer doesn't mean it doesn't have a dedicated line for 5V supply.

 

That would be quite counter intuitive not to use a clean 5V on a integrated USB module confused.gif

post #453 of 586

Hmmm, that's what I have kept reading. I can tell you that, if I disconnect the power branch on my twin cable, it won't work.

post #454 of 586

Quote:

Originally Posted by antonyfirst View Post

Hmmm, that's what I have kept reading. I can tell you that, if I disconnect the power branch on my twin cable, it won't work.

 

That may be due to different designs among twin USB cables. Acoustic Revive USB-1.0SP or SPS, for example, won't work if you disconnect the power branch even when using a DAC powered by its own power supply. On the other hand, it will work with Kingrex uArt.

post #455 of 586

I got my Metrum MKII.

post #456 of 586
Antonyfirst,

What do you mean by a sound being "too saturated"?

Cheers

R
post #457 of 586

It will really need at least 100 hours burn in before it settles down and shows it true character I believe.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by otto88 View Post

Antonyfirst,

What do you mean by a sound being "too saturated"?

Cheers

R
post #458 of 586
Currawong used the term "intense" for the first x hours with his Octave (see earlier in this thread). Maybe what antonyfirst is hearing too?
post #459 of 586

I mean that the coupling Metrum / AD2000, mainly because of the AD2000, has very strong presence, it's very forward, full. Imagine extremely vivid colours in a picture. It's very good sound, though.

In fact, the Metrum / AD2000 combo has better tone than the Idat44 / Metrum combo.

 

The Metrum, anyway, sounds also too refrained: by comparison, the Idat has much better bass slam, the sound feeling much more "unleashed". The Metrum loses some of this important feeling.

 

I am waiting for some Stax diy stuff in order to do more universal evaluations between the DAC's. The Idat usually has more magical midrange, but the Metrum, which has some upper midrange darkness (which help adding up to its analoguish character) surely matches better with the AD2000.

 

I have done some other interesting tests, and in general, I believe the usb input of the Metrum is very very good; I tried a friend's multithousand cd player (Audiomeca Mephisto Mk2) with the Belkin cable. The Metrum sounded basically identical with the same tracks out of the cd player and out of my pc.

 

At the same time, in my opinion, it means that the Octave Mk2 is a very good "self contained" solution, but it also might not scale much higher with very expensive converters. If I had to bet some money, I'd trust the impressions I have gathered until now.


Edited by antonyfirst - 5/3/13 at 2:16am
post #460 of 586
Quote:
Originally Posted by antonyfirst View Post

 

At the same time, in my opinion, it means that the Octave Mk2 is a very good "self contained" solution, but it also might not scale much higher with very expensive converters. If I had to bet some money, I'd trust the impressions I have gathered until now.

 

I've tried the Kingrex/Concero/Ap1 with the Metrum (mk1). IMO it isn't worth it to pay more than 500 bucks on transport for the Metrum - the improvement doesn't justify the money spent (plus the cost combined can buy a better dac). I think the Metrum is more limited by its own SPDIF receiver rather than the transport.

post #461 of 586

It scales very well indeed if its much like the original Mk1.  It does not give you an immediate hi-fi WOW, or emphasize certain aspects to give the false impression of detail. Often the latter sound impressive at first but can become tiring to listen too, especially with headphones which are much more analytical than speakers.

In Martin Colloms review in HiFi Critic he says :

 

 

"It was not found wanting. In fact the Octave was so good it was able to give the reference MSB Platinum IV Signature DAC a close run if the latter was not properly set up with the right cables and interfaces. And at a fraction of the cost. In a good system, the Octave consistently delivers the kind of open, honest and joyful sound that makes you smile. Quite simply it is up there with the great audiophile DACs, with a sound quality which is quite evenly maintained over the whole frequency range. Indeed, without that well tuned MSB model around as a reminder, one could be forgiven for thinking that Metrum’s Octave was one of the best DACs around."
 
"Compared with truly exotic stuff like the MSB Platinum IV Signature there’s a tinge of extra sibilance and a slightly lightweight bass. Tune-playing is a shade less clear in the bass, and it also sounds a little ‘forward’ in the upper range, but without a trace of hardness or ‘filter’ type ringing, and with only slightly less than excellent depth and focus. However, micro dynamics are excellent, as is the low level detail, and it consistently sounds natural and musical. Better mains cable, and pointy rigid supports for the power supply and DAC, bypassing those little rubber stick on feet (which I increasingly regard as a menace to sound quality), and you would be forgiven for thinking that it was now perfected. The big MSB still has the dynamic and rhythmic edge, but the gap had certainly narrowed. What an amazing result."
 
"Fundamentally, the Metrum Octave has high resolution and flat frequency responses. A firm Recommendation is assured for such a high sound quality level irrespective of price, while the latter is so keen as to make this DAC a real game changing bargain."
 
Full review here 

 

 

octavehificritic.pdf 833k .pdf file

 

 

 

,Quote:
Originally Posted by antonyfirst View Post

I mean that the coupling Metrum / AD2000, mainly because of the AD2000, has very strong presence, it's very forward, full. Imagine extremely vivid colours in a picture. It's very good sound, though.

In fact, the Metrum / AD2000 combo has better tone than the Idat44 / Metrum combo.

 

The Metrum, anyway, sounds also too refrained: by comparison, the Idat has much better bass slam, the sound feeling much more "unleashed". The Metrum loses some of this important feeling.

 

I am waiting for some Stax diy stuff in order to do more universal evaluations between the DAC's. The Idat usually has more magical midrange, but the Metrum, which has some upper midrange darkness (which help adding up to its analoguish character) surely matches better with the AD2000.

 

I have done some other interesting tests, and in general, I believe the usb input of the Metrum is very very good; I tried a friend's multithousand cd player (Audiomeca Mephisto Mk2) with the Belkin cable. The Metrum sounded basically identical with the same tracks out of the cd player and out of my pc.

 

At the same time, in my opinion, it means that the Octave Mk2 is a very good "self contained" solution, but it also might not scale much higher with very expensive converters. If I had to bet some money, I'd trust the impressions I have gathered until now.


Edited by complin - 5/3/13 at 5:41am
post #462 of 586

My understanding is that the MkII Octave USB implementation is in fact identical to the HEX?

 

"Since the Hex received two awards for its extremely high performance, we decided to borrow the same electronics for the Octave MkII. We replaced its receiver section with that of the Hex to accommodate 192kHz sample rates. Data buffering reduces jitter to be isolated from irregular data reception. Besides standard coax and optical S/PDIF, the same optional USB module of the Hex is available. To achieve optimum specs, we performed critical parts matching, hence no external USB bridge is required to enjoy top sound from streaming audio sources."

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by antonyfirst View Post

- use my USB cable (Forza audioworks twin cable, with separate inputs for usb signal and power) with a battery instead of using two different usb ports on the pc...... I suspect that using separate battery power will make the Metrum digital input every bit as good as that of the Hex (which takes power differently from the Octave, and not from usb)

post #463 of 586
Quote:
Originally Posted by khaine1711 View Post

 

I've tried the Kingrex/Concero/Ap1 with the Metrum (mk1). IMO it isn't worth it to pay more than 500 bucks on transport for the Metrum - the improvement doesn't justify the money spent (plus the cost combined can buy a better dac). I think the Metrum is more limited by its own SPDIF receiver rather than the transport.

 

We do agree.

 

Complin: what I am actually saying is it won't scale much with more expensive transports. I think it gives its best with a good usb out already.

The dac is very good, anyway, here I am already comparing two dac's that are not designed to give the hifi 'wow' sensation.

post #464 of 586

I'm not sure its the receiver that is the issue but making sure the digital cable is a true 75 ohm.  Many of them sold as digital are just glorified RCA interconnects.

I have found the SPDIF input on the MK1 to be quite sensitive to impedance matching, so its best to have a well designed cable that the manufacturer will guarantee to be 75 ohm i.e. VanDen Hul the first ultimate MII, Black Cat Veloce, Lat international Signature.  Also dont stack the power supply and the DAC on top of each other if its the MK1 version.

 

If you have a large CD library like may of us have its still important IMHO to have a decent drive that is engineered well like a Philips Pro mechanism and a decent SPDIF output.  You can pick a great used CD transport that will get the best out of the DAC as many of the higher quality manufacturers produced separate transports and DAC's.  

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by khaine1711 View Post

 

I've tried the Kingrex/Concero/Ap1 with the Metrum (mk1). IMO it isn't worth it to pay more than 500 bucks on transport for the Metrum - the improvement doesn't justify the money spent (plus the cost combined can buy a better dac). I think the Metrum is more limited by its own SPDIF receiver rather than the transport.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by antonyfirst View Post

 

We do agree.

 

Complin: what I am actually saying is it won't scale much with more expensive transports. I think it gives its best with a good usb out already.

The dac is very good, anyway, here I am already comparing two dac's that are not designed to give the hifi 'wow' sensation.


Edited by complin - 5/3/13 at 8:46am
post #465 of 586
I think we are past the basics
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