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Metrum Acoustics Octave - Page 5

post #61 of 612
Thread Starter 

So I lied, cruised into work yesterday and listened for 4 hours.

 

Initial impression - it's not quite what I was expecting, it doesn't sound like what I have in my head as 'the NOS' sound.  It's very fast, extended (@ both ends), detailed, energetic, etc, tipped a bit toward bright.  Has very good slam.  Sound signature-wise it probably has more in common with the Saber DACs I recently owned (Anedio/Minimax) than my Ack Dack, yet with better timber and a lack of digital sheen.  Unfortunately I no longer have those for a direct comparison, but it is certainly a significant deviation from my TDA1545 Ack.  This is more along the lines of how I'd expect one of Audio-GD's r2r reference series DACS to sound.  It's very athletic.  Honestly I was a bit fatigued after a 4 hour session, which is one of the reasons I believe I'm attracted to 'the NOS' sound, I can just sit back and relax for hours on end w/ my Ack!.  But the Ack! definitely has deficiencies - it doesn't 'rock', it's rolled off a bit on the top and bottom, it lacks resolution, and bass is a bit soft.   But this Metrum... threw on Appetite for Destruction, and wow, it really sounded better than I thought it could sound on my Edition 8s, the guitars sound just like they should, and it was a pleasantly brutal experience smily_headphones1.gif, at least thru my maxxed WA6Se w/ Sophia 274b.  So far just using Redbook, now have an Audiophilleo 2 on the way as well as an EML 274b for the Woo.

 

That's about all I should say for now; the designer instructs it needs burning in for a couple weeks to settle the treble.  Plus I'd like to hear what it does with higher res audio.  


Edited by bobeau - 9/25/11 at 3:19pm
post #62 of 612

It should settle down in a few days, just leave it on for awhile with intermittent off periods. 

 

My Audiogd Ref Dacs did not sound their best after about 700 hrs.  Then again I have owned Dacs that seem to need only a day or two to break in....

 

 

post #63 of 612
Thread Starter 

Yeah, I guess I'll probably do that over the next few days, just leave my computer on with music looping to the DAC and my amp shut off overnight, turn it off during lunch to let the caps discharge and cool down.  This is the 7th outboard DAC I've owned but all the others were used so this is a new experience to have to deal w/ burn-in.  It did seem to mellow a bit by the time I left yesterday, but I bet it was just my ears adjusting to the highs after several hours.

post #64 of 612

Keep those impressions coming, bobeau.

 

I wonder whether those "discrete DACs" that Metrum uses are similar principally to the UltraAnalog DACs that some DACs in the Sonic Frontiers line are using. 

post #65 of 612

Anybody tried the Octave with Squeezebox Touch as a source?

post #66 of 612

Guys, how do you perceive its soundstage and depth? And how is the bass sound characteristics (weight, slam, speed)?

post #67 of 612
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by korzena View Post

Guys, how do you perceive its soundstage and depth? And how is the bass sound characteristics (weight, slam, speed)?


Bass is fairly tight, impactful, and extends deep, without much in the way of a midbass hump or occlusion with the lower mids.  I perceive more width than depth in the soundstage on my Ed8s, which I think is more an issue with the phones themselves.  Performance in these aspects is similar to what I experienced with the Saber DACs but perhaps to a lesser degree - ie. at least I remember the Anedio to be razor sharp down low and presented more of an issue of width vs. depth.  In these aspects say on a continuum of where my Ack! is to where the Anedio is, the Metrum is about 70-80% of the way on the side of the Anedio, but the Metrum may have about the same heft in the bass.

 

One thing to be said is my interface is somewhat anemic - using a 10 year old Theta TLC jitterbuster to convert toslink to coax from my PC.  It will be interesting to see what the Audiophilleo adds.

 

 


Edited by bobeau - 9/26/11 at 4:49pm
post #68 of 612

Happy listening!

 

Looking for some more initial impressions after more burn in.

 

How about just using the toslink without the Theta.


Edited by gurus - 9/26/11 at 6:00pm
post #69 of 612

Hi bobeau,

Thank you for answering my question regarding the bass and soundstage.

Would you say the DAC adds any bass weight or it is neutral in this regard?

Best wishes!

post #70 of 612

I heard the Metrum Octave versus Audio-gd Reference 7 set up in NOS mode. I thought Id post my finding in case its of a little help to anyone but this is really just an impression .

 

The Octave I listened to had the 14v separate power supply and had been well played in. The Ref7 was also well burnt in. I put it into NOS mode via the DSP-1 jumpers .

 

Both DAC's were fed from Foobar to Audiophilleo 2 to a MingDa tube headamp running NOS tubes to HD800. Foobar was used to oversample 44.1 to 88.2 as the Octave gave much better resolution with that setting.

 

I heard almost exactly what bobeau posted above.

 

The Octave to me sounded very fast with the music in very clear relief. It gave a vivid and exciting musical ride. It was immediate captivating and fun. Bass dug in. Mids had body. Unfortunately the upper mids were a bit hard and forced at times and on one jazz track the cymbals were uncontrolled and splashed everywhere.With time the Octave for me became too aggressive.

 

The Ref7 in in contrast seemed less vivid and exciting until my hearing adjusted to perceive the nuances were there and with even more subtle detail but in a smooth and relaxed way.

 

Im not getting an Octave but Ive left the Ref7 in NOS mode and like it.

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by Nada - 9/27/11 at 5:58am
post #71 of 612
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobeau View Post


using a 10 year old Theta TLC jitterbuster to convert toslink to coax from my PC. 

 



My I ask are you use Windows???

post #72 of 612
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nada View Post

 

I heard almost exactly what bobeau posted above.

 

Thanks Nada, appreciate your impressions.  Just one question though - I recall you heard Bill's maybe a couple weeks ago, and he only had it for a month?  I'm not sure how much he has used it but just doing the math he probably would have had to been using it about 7 hours a day for it to hit 100 hours, which is what I'd consider minimum burn-in for conventional caps.  

 

I'm not really hearing what I detect a push in the upper mids - no sizzle in female voices, upper guitar notes, nothing really too forward, just overall bright.  That said I'm also not running cans nearly as neutral as 800s.

 

Something interesting too is that the battery conversion for the Audiophilleo is almost ready for primetime, Philip indicates its just an issue with his supplier.  Maybe another month or two. The chassis of the unit will be upgraded with an extra port and the internal power supply will be deactivated, so it may do more for the sound than the current DIY efforts have shown..

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dynobot View Post

 

My I ask are you use Windows???

 

Yes, unfortunately I have to, it's run off my work PC.  I'm using Jriver w/ wasapi.

 

Today the EML 274b came in so I'll begin running that in.  Although it's only a rectifier tube, it creates a pretty dramatic change to the sound vs. the Sophia 274b (recently had one that bit the dust so the sophia has been playing backup waiting for the new one).  It adds some sag that gives the illusion of good depth to the soundstage at the expense of some diffusion but it's a tradeoff I find acceptable.  

 

I'll also try running straight from the optical out on my PC to see what a heavy jitter signal does to the sound.  I recall finding some measurements on the TLC from years ago that showed it to attenuate jitter about 80% on a poor signal.  
 

 


Edited by bobeau - 9/27/11 at 9:53am
post #73 of 612
post #74 of 612
Thread Starter 

 

Cool!  I'm at hour 10 now and just popped in the EML, definitely more to my taste.  Interesting comment " The Audiophilleo1 doubles-up on the cleanliness - which means too much of the same (good!) thing.  At least it is for my tastes.  The Octave's detail and matter-of-fact-itude means the John Kenny MK3 USB-SPDIF convertor injects some smoothness and elasticity."

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by korzena View Post

Hi bobeau,

Thank you for answering my question regarding the bass and soundstage.

Would you say the DAC adds any bass weight or it is neutral in this regard?

Best wishes!

 

It adds weight compared to my previous NOS DAC, but using the Anedio as what some call a neutral reference, I would say it's fairly neutral.  It definitely doesn't get bloated or bloomy.  I don't get the sense that any frequencies are stepping over any others.  
 

 


Edited by bobeau - 9/27/11 at 10:55am
post #75 of 612
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobeau View Post


It adds weight compared to my previous NOS DAC, but using the Anedio as what some call a neutral reference, I would say it's fairly neutral.  It definitely doesn't get bloated or bloomy.  I don't get the sense that any frequencies are stepping over any others.  
 

 


Neutral is true listening terms is what you may call the Lavry DA10...having owned one.  Its a recording studio measuring instrument not exactly a listening device.  The Audiogd Ref dacs [I own a Ref 5 and Ref 7] are not neutral in that sense.  They do indeed have a flavor, slightly warm and true to the source they are very clean but not harsh in any sense of the word.  The AudioGd dacs are not analytical like the Benchmark or Lavry they are get-out-of-the-way warmish.  The TDA dacs on the other hand are warmish and extremely musical throughout the frequency spectrum all-be-it rolled off and soft on the bottom end compared to hard sounding dacs.

 

 

 

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