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Metrum Acoustics Octave - Page 32

post #466 of 666

Dammit, I have to partially correct myself, and I am glad to have to do so... I have just received the iFi Power usb reconditioner. Also, I am using a filtered socket, for both the Metrum power cord and for the iFi psu. I am using the Forza Audioworks twin usb cable I have, from the iFi power cleaner to the Metrum. The improvements, combined, are amazing. The resolution and treble detail is much much higher. More interestingly, a layer of sound, listening to the AD2000, is uncovered. Soundstage is also wider and deeper. I am very very surprised. I must say, this is the sum of several changes: the power filter, the iFi, the iFi PSU out of the same filter... so I will need to isolate the effects of these things. The Metrum keeps retaining the same character but it is much bigger. The sound improvement is definitely better than when using the Audiomeca Mephisto and Belkin cable, at a friend's house, using a similar quality power filter. I will be adding up more impressions when I form them.


Edited by antonyfirst - 5/3/13 at 1:31pm
post #467 of 666

Hi guys,

 

I'm looking for a nice transparent, detailed and neutral DAC and considering the Octave MK1 as an option.

Can anyone tell me if the Octave is 110/230V user switchable ?

 

Thanks.

post #468 of 666
Quote:
Originally Posted by anton2dan View Post

Hi guys,

 

I'm looking for a nice transparent, detailed and neutral DAC and considering the Octave MK1 as an option.

Can anyone tell me if the Octave is 110/230V user switchable ?

 

Thanks.

You might want to contact Metrum.  I received a reply to my question the next business day. 

 

For my MK2 model, to go from 115VAC to 230 VAC, it looks like it would be pretty easy.  I would have to remove a jumper end and solder it to a new location.  Then, a fuse would have to be replaced with one that has half the rating. So, I suspect whether the MK1 is user switchable depends upon your willingness to pull out a soldering iron.

post #469 of 666

Antonyfirst: I look forward to your experiments with different equipment.  Your reviews of the sound pretty much match my experience.  The DAC is very good and I do not regret the purchase.  As you put it, there is a lack of bass slam and the slightly subdued treble.

 

Something that I am considering is increasing the transformer size and replacing the regulators with some modification from Paul Hynes.  I probably won't do that anytime soon.  I would have to mount the DAC in another enclosure, but I have an idea of how to proceed.  The post describing the mods can be found here: http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=106868.0

post #470 of 666
I asked Metrum about the voltage change (230 to 110) and they replied:
 
"It is a matter of soldering a jumper to another position and replacing the right fuse (200 mA slow blow)"
 
Then I replied with a photo showing what I would do and they answered that I was correct:
 

 

 
Finally I did not change the voltage anyway. :)
post #471 of 666
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveMN View Post

Antonyfirst: I look forward to your experiments with different equipment.  Your reviews of the sound pretty much match my experience.  The DAC is very good and I do not regret the purchase.  As you put it, there is a lack of bass slam and the slightly subdued treble.

 

Something that I am considering is increasing the transformer size and replacing the regulators with some modification from Paul Hynes.  I probably won't do that anytime soon.  I would have to mount the DAC in another enclosure, but I have an idea of how to proceed.  The post describing the mods can be found here: http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=106868.0

 

Cheers Dave

 

that's useful. I would only be interested in mods not involving changing enclosure: it would be much easier to buy something more expensive, at that point (being it the Hex or anything else).

 

I will look into the thread when I have time

 

 

As to further investigations: I am playing around with cables, and am waiting for a normal bias connector to play with the SRM-727 and Lambda's

 

But honestly, the AD2000 and Headamp AE2 sound so good with the Metrum, for so cheap, that I am questioning the necessity to keep a Stax setup costing over 1000 Euro more than the AD2k one..........

 

Still needing to find time to isolate the gains obtained by the iFi Power conditioner, and by the filtered outlet

post #472 of 666
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveMN View Post

Antonyfirst: I look forward to your experiments with different equipment.  Your reviews of the sound pretty much match my experience.  The DAC is very good and I do not regret the purchase.  As you put it, there is a lack of bass slam and the slightly subdued treble.

 

Something that I am considering is increasing the transformer size and replacing the regulators with some modification from Paul Hynes.  I probably won't do that anytime soon.  I would have to mount the DAC in another enclosure, but I have an idea of how to proceed.  The post describing the mods can be found here: http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=106868.0

DaveMN, if you have the MKII enclosure...which is larger, you may be able getting around having to do this part. It would be worth asking anyway.

post #473 of 666

I had the MKII for 2 weeks (with 200hrs burn-in), I did extensive comparisons to my friends fully modded Ayon CD-2>Antipodes Reference>Emotiva Stealth 8s and I found it to be the opposite of 'Vinyl-Like'. This dac represented high Fs in a ruthlessly revealing 'digital-like' way that hurt mine and his ears after 5 mins listening. It made all source material SO ridiculously detailed that it just sounded quite unnatural. Eg, on the opening track of Kevin Kendle’s ‘Spring,’ the trickling water sounded so digital/tinny/bright, I was wondering how the claims for vinyl replication could even be conjured. This character was noticible with everything we threw at it.
I had to put a -6db EQ in Foobar for >2kHz as that seemed to be the offensive area but even then, it still had a harshness causing sever ear fatigue.
The dac DOES have ridiculous control and presence far beyond his $7k modded Ayon, however, it lacks the Tube Ayon’s beautiful tonal richness and euphonic character.
At 21, my ears maybe too sensitive for a dac like this and I couldn’t justify the $1400. One thing I think is true is that beyond a certain point, the quantity of money spent DOES NOT linearly equate to enjoyment factor. My SRH840s are a dream match to my old Galaxy S and I still get eargasms from them. basshead.gif

I will be doing some DIY next as this seems to be the best way to learn new things and my NFB-10SE just doesn't cut it anymore

Jeremy

post #474 of 666

IMHO there has to be something SERIOUSLY wrong here.

I could never describe the Metrum as   ruthlessly revealing or 'digital-like'.  

Its certainly one of the least digital like DAC's I have ever heard, which is why I purchased one! 

I presume you are using it through USB?

Either the DAC is faulty or the problem lies elsewhere I would suggest.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by floorpug View Post

I had the MKII for 2 weeks (with 200hrs burn-in), I did extensive comparisons to my friends fully modded Ayon CD-2>Antipodes Reference>Emotiva Stealth 8s and I found it to be the opposite of 'Vinyl-Like'. This dac represented high Fs in a ruthlessly revealing 'digital-like' way that hurt mine and his ears after 5 mins listening. It made all source material SO ridiculously detailed that it just sounded quite unnatural. Eg, on the opening track of Kevin Kendle’s ‘Spring,’ the trickling water sounded so digital/tinny/bright, I was wondering how the claims for vinyl replication could even be conjured. This character was noticible with everything we threw at it.
I had to put a -6db EQ in Foobar for >2kHz as that seemed to be the offensive area but even then, it still had a harshness causing sever ear fatigue.
The dac DOES have ridiculous control and presence far beyond his $7k modded Ayon, however, it lacks the Tube Ayon’s beautiful tonal richness and euphonic character.
At 21, my ears maybe too sensitive for a dac like this and I couldn’t justify the $1400. One thing I think is true is that beyond a certain point, the quantity of money spent DOES NOT linearly equate to enjoyment factor. My SRH840s are a dream match to my old Galaxy S and I still get eargasms from them. basshead.gif

I will be doing some DIY next as this seems to be the best way to learn new things and my NFB-10SE just doesn't cut it anymore

Jeremy


Edited by complin - 6/12/13 at 3:52am
post #475 of 666
Quote:
Originally Posted by complin View Post

IMHO there has to be something SERIOUSLY wrong here.

I could never describe the Metrum as   ruthlessly revealing or 'digital-like'.  

Its certainly one of the least digital like DAC's I have ever heard, which is why I purchased one! 

I presume you are using it through USB?

Either the DAC is faulty or the problem lies elsewhere I would suggest.

 


+1

post #476 of 666
Quote:
Originally Posted by philo50 View Post


+1

+2

post #477 of 666
Quote:
Originally Posted by avl06 View Post

+2

+3

 

The Metrum Quad is overall brighter (= more neutral?) than the NFB-27 (which, in turn, is brighter than the NFB-10). You might well be used to smooth and warm sound and didn't like to hear more treble presence.

 

The Metrum has a non-fatiguing sound that is extremely hard to find in other DACs. My NFB-27 needs a very special care to power conditioning to remove the hardness in the sound. Yet, it is warmer than the Quad so treble quantity doesn't have anything to do with that "digital" effect.

By comparison, the Quad could run off my cheap power strip, with a cheap power chord and I didn't hear any hardness or digital nasty things, even on the HE-4 which has tilted treble and is non-forgiving here.

post #478 of 666
Quote:
Originally Posted by complin View Post

IMHO there has to be something SERIOUSLY wrong here.

I could never describe the Metrum as   ruthlessly revealing or 'digital-like'.  

Its certainly one of the least digital like DAC's I have ever heard, which is why I purchased one! 

I presume you are using it through USB?

Either the DAC is faulty or the problem lies elsewhere I would suggest.

 

Yes I was using usb with the appropriate driver.

 

Just as a reference, I did NOT hear a difference between 100 and 200 hours of burn-in. Burn-in was done with a combination of "Purist Audio Design - System Enhancer Rev-B" and "The Orb's - Orbus Terrarum".

I sent back the unit to Mike from Magenta Audio and he initially thought that there was something wrong with the Dac. He had it burning in over night and reevaluated it the next day. He said that the extra burn in time significantly helped to 'smooth out' the harshness that he heard the day before. He also said that in his 20 years of experience that digital devices like this need at least 500-600 hours running time before 'The Transformation' happens.

I find it very difficult to believe that burn-in of this nature would make all the difference when 200hours didn't seem to make much. It would have been a good idea to record a track before and after burn-in with an A/D converter just so a direct A:B comparison could have been done
If one is listed on StereoNet with good use, I will try to audition it as the first unit I had could have been faulty or needed the full 600 hours.
Experiences with sound given how all our ears differ so greatly can be difficult to convey via terms like warm or natural or neutral. I will try to convey it in terms of a photograph.
If the music were a good photo, the Octave MKII up-sampled the pixel count and turned the Contrast and clarity way up. In comparison, a friends all vinyl system would sound like the photo's clarity was turned down and the colours were a bit blurred & saturated in a slightly dream-like way... both seemed like polar opposite ends of the spectrum.

Tell me if using photography terms to describe audio is going beyond being a wanker.. lol biggrin.gif
 

post #479 of 666

I said it before, people often says it needs 30 days non stop to burn in but I really believe it needs at least 3 times more than that to settle.

The improvements after the first 30 days should be very obvious and this harshness goes away and everything expands to a whole new level.

post #480 of 666
Quote:
Originally Posted by complin View Post

IMHO there has to be something SERIOUSLY wrong here.

I could never describe the Metrum as   ruthlessly revealing or 'digital-like'.  

Its certainly one of the least digital like DAC's I have ever heard, which is why I purchased one! 

I presume you are using it through USB?

Either the DAC is faulty or the problem lies elsewhere I would suggest.

 

 

My guess is what's adding the harshness is the Stealth 8s. I took apart the smaller sister model of these, the original OEM one by QMS which Emotiva badge-engineered. It sounded dreadfully bright and harsh but I managed to fix this up - the electronics was to blame.

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