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The Centrance HiFi M8 thread

post #1 of 5087
Thread Starter 

Hifi-M8 and LX overview by expatinjapan

 

This post is a general copy and paste from the Hifi-M8 impressions thread:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/662881/centrance-hifi-m8-and-hifi-m8-lx-8-versions-incoming-impressions-and-appreciation-thread

 

*The impressions thread has reviews and an ever growing FAQs in posts 3 and 2.

 

UPDATE 7/2013. The LX version is ready for orders, the idevice capable model will begin shipping late August/early September. pre-orders are currently being done first.

 

Hifi-m8 impressions and information thread

http://www.head-fi.org/t/662881/centrance-hifi-m8-and-hifi-m8-lx-8-versions-incoming-impressions-and-appreciation-thread

 

Website with general information

http://centrance.com/products/hifi-m8/

 

Hifi-m8 blog

http://centrance.com/products/new/blog/

 

Jude of head-fi fame video review of the Hifi-m8 and LX August 2013.

 

 

NOTE:  If you can't see the embedded video above, please CLICK HERE to see the video.

______________________________________________________________________________

 

And one of the greatest designer of DAC/Amps etc of course, jokes are often directed at the ones we admire and love.

________________________________________________________________________________

 

Let’s recap:  There will be 8 versions of HiFi-M8 in total.

That’s four versions of HiFi-M8 and four versions of HiFi-M8 LX.

 

KEY POINT:

As a reminder, HiFi-M8 LX has S/PDIF input and USB input, while HiFi-M8 has iDevice input and USB input.

 

Each product will come with a choice of side panels, as follows:

 

– Unbalanced: 1/4″ jack, 1/8″ jack and Balanced 4-Pin XLR jack

– Unbalanced: 1/4″ jack, 1/8″ jack and Balanced 4-pin RSA jack

– 2x Neutrik Combo jacks offering balanced and unbalanced output

– 2x Neutrik Male XLR  jacks offering balanced output (this is the Pro version)

 

The “heart” will be the same across all products, but the connectors will differ. The side panel PCBs are making the different products possible.

 

Support for Unbalanced OR Balanced headphones, IEMs and overhead

x.gif bullet_vio.gif  

 

x.gif bullet_vio.gif  

 

x.gif1ohm, 2ohm, 11ohm. bullet_vio.gif x.gif

Three levels of output impedance, for best headphone linearity


voltage

  -2 dBV (nominal, max gain)use with less-sensitive over-the head headphones

   

-10 dBV (nominal, mid gain) use for connecting to line-level consumer audio equipment

   

-22 dBV (nominal, min gain) use with ultra-sensitive IEM headphones

bullet_vio.gif x.gif

Three levels of headphone gain, for headphone sensitivity matching

x.gifFlat, +, ++ bullet_vio.gif x.gif

Three levels of bass sonic shaping, for matching to various headphones

x.gifFlat, +, ++ bullet_vio.gif x.gif

Three levels of treble sonic shaping, for matching to various headphones

x.gif      

RE: Bass and Treble switches:

`Each gives a slight boost of about 3 dB in the ++ position. Bass accentuates the kick drum area and treble lifts the "sheen" at the top. These are not plain vanilla shelves found in consumer stereos. Both curves have complex shaping and come from years of studio recording experience. They are very subtle-sounding`- M.Goodman

 

 

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 90

 

 

Digital specs

 
x.gif

Resolution

24-bit (Also supports 16-bit)

x.gif

Sample Rate

USB: 44.1 kHz, 41 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz, 172.4 kHz, 192 kHz

 

Interface

USB Host and Device compatible

 

Local clock

10 ppm precision, unmeasurable jitter

 

Compatibility

iPad, iPhone, iPod, Mac, PC

 

Analog Specs

 
 

Freq. Response

20 Hz...50 kHz (flat EQ circuit)

 

S/N Ratio

113 dB (A-weighted)

 

THD+N

0.002 % (mid gain position)

 

Crosstalk

-103 dB (at 1kHz)

 

Output Impedance

1, 2, 11 Ohm, selectable

 

Output Power

1.4 W (max), 1 W (typical)

 

Headphones

16...600 Ohm

 

Output voltage

-2 dBV (nominal, max gain) use with less-sensitive over-the head headphones

   

-10 dBV (nominal, mid gain) use for connecting to line-level consumer audio equipment

   

-22 dBV (nominal, min gain) use with ultra-sensitive IEM headphones

 

 
   

+19.0dBV (600 Ohms load) (still verifying)

* Listening to IEMs or other high sensitivity headphones at maximum level may damage your hearing.

 

 

General Specs

 
 

 


Audio Output

 XLR balanced, 1/8" combo, 1/4"    unbalanced jack, model-dependent

 

Headphone Amp

Direct Class-A

 

AC Powering

Globally compatible, 90...240V AC power supply included

 

DC Powering

+9...+20V DC (3A) from external adapter, car, boat, etc.

 

Internal supplies

Battery-isolated, filtered ±10V, super-clean analog rails

 

Unit Dimensions:

127 mm (L) x 82 mm (W) x 33 mm (H)

 

Shipping weight:

the shipping weight is 905g (2.0lb)

The unit is 331g (or almost 12 oz)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/show-newport-2013-highlight-centrance-hifi-m8

post #2 of 5087

Thank you for your interest and for wonderful comments about our products. I can assure you that 1 Ohm output impedance will be available. The other things we will announced very soon.

 

What would you be using a line output for? Just curious...
 

Michael


Edited by mgoodman - 8/16/12 at 1:11pm
post #3 of 5087
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgoodman View Post

Thank you for your interest and for wonderful comments about our products. I can assure you that 1 Ohm output impedance will be available. The other things we will announced very soon.

 

What would you be using a line output for? Just curious...
 

Michael

line output would be nice for speakers would be nice but not necessary for a mobile product :) You could try it by putting a bypass switch for the line out perhaps? 

post #4 of 5087

http://centrance.com/products/new/blog/2012/08/20/balanced-outputs/

So it looks like it's going to be a portable DAC with a balanced headphone amp in one package.

I wonder what the inputs are. USB, line-in and SPDIF?

post #5 of 5087
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bayac View Post

http://centrance.com/products/new/blog/2012/08/20/balanced-outputs/

So it looks like it's going to be a portable DAC with a balanced headphone amp in one package.

I wonder what the inputs are. USB, line-in and SPDIF?

I think most likely it be usb, because as a product for hifi on the go, usb is fast becoming a popular option, especially with many getting devices with usb host(Samsung galaxy s3). Spdif and optical are less likely because not many portable devices support them.

post #6 of 5087
Thread Starter 

http://centrance.com/products/new/blog/2012/08/22/unbalanced-outputs/

 

Looks like the M8 will be sporting dual combo jacks, I wonder what will the form factor of this portable product be like, looks to me like a little smaller than Focusrite's Scarlett 2i2.

post #7 of 5087

I can't help wondering why they don't just use a single 4-pin XLR socket and separate TRS socket. It would take the same or less space and be closer to what is more common headphones these days.

post #8 of 5087
Dual xlr3 has advantages:
1. Two jack outputs (different Zout)
2. XLR3 connectors are readily available in the professional field.
3. You can use existing microphone cables as LONG headphone extensions.
4. Two mono cables are still better than one stereo cable. If you're going to bother with balanced headphones, go all the way.
5. You can use TRS balanced cables.
Edited by eugenius - 8/25/12 at 3:27am
post #9 of 5087
Quote:
Originally Posted by eugenius View Post

Dual xlr3 has advantages:
1. Two jack outputs (different Zout)
2. XLR3 connectors are readily available in the professional field.
3. You can use existing microphone cables as LONG headphone extensions.
4. Two mono cables are still better than one stereo cable. If you're going to bother with balanced headphones, go all the way.
5. You can use TRS balanced cables.


erm this is a portable device, dual 3 pins is strange, 2 x 3 pin XLR jacks alone is as big as most of the portable dacs available. crosstalk with a properly designed balanced device will be cancelled to within reasonable limits, you know, because its balanced and any error (crosstalk) would be common mode error....

 

2. XLR3 connectors are readily available in the professional field.

 

XLR4 connectors are just as available from the very same manufacturers as the 3 pins in use in pro audio

 

3. You can use existing microphone cables as LONG headphone extensions.

 

and why would one want to do that with a portable device?

 

4. Two mono cables are still better than one stereo cable. If you're going to bother with balanced headphones, go all the way.

 

no, no they arent, any miniscule crosstalk is meaningless in the greater scheme of things and fades in comparison to the advantages of using a single connector. using 2 x 3 pin XLR for headphones was an odd choice to begin with and even more odd now IMO

 

5. You can use TRS balanced cables.

 

again, why would you want to do that? to remove the ability to tightly couple the signal pair? phono is completely unsuitable for balanced and is at best a compromise

post #10 of 5087

even better would be a lemo or 4 pin mini XLR, which are also commonly available from neutrik, switchcraft and others. however I understand the wish to keep to somewhat of a standard, well guess what? 4 pin XLR is the new standard and is finally gaining widespread acceptance, forward thinking companies with new products should really be considering it as the way forward.

post #11 of 5087
Translation: a device that's made to be easy to use for pro audio has no place in my limited audiophile world ... smily_headphones1.gif
post #12 of 5087
Quote:
Originally Posted by eugenius View Post

Translation: a device that's made to be easy to use for pro audio has no place in my limited audiophile world ... smily_headphones1.gif

 

no, a device that is made with silly OLD audiophile headphone standards has no place in my logical and practical forward thinking world, particularly if its supposed to be portable

 

ask a pro whether he would prefer one headphone connector to 2, anyone who has the power to choose their connector these days and for some time now, will choose 1 x 4 pin. 2 x 3 pin is hardly a pro headphone standard. he will choose 1 x 4 pin for exactly the same reason as he is choosing 1 x 4 terminal speakon jack for his biamped studio or pro stage monitors, it takes up less room on a rack and causes far less headaches. you are the closed minded audiophile here


Edited by qusp - 8/25/12 at 9:10am
post #13 of 5087
LOL, the pro you presume to know uses those xlr's to to drive cables not headphones. Anyway ... my dacport is good.
post #14 of 5087
Quote:
Originally Posted by eugenius View Post

LOL, the pro you presume to know uses those xlr's to to drive cables not headphones. Anyway ... my dacport is good.


umm, hahaha, your not making any sense, you remember what thread we are in right?  is this line above suppose to somehow dispute what I said? it would seem so, but i'm finding it difficult to find the link. do you read before replying? the underlined part is exactly what I said, but somehow you seem to be trying to argue, lame. this product, the one in this thread is talking about balanced HEADPHONES and 2 x 3 pin is IMO an outmoded idea that was NEVER taken on in the pro field for headphones and IMO a strange choice for a home device, let alone a portable device. I dont expect you to understand at this stage, youve brought up some points, which I have disputed, since then youve been talking nonsense.

 

what i'm saying is, given the choice for connecting balanced headphones, ask an engineer or performer whether they would prefer one or 2 connectors, they will pick one, check out the racks at your next gig thats using active crossovers and notice the speakons, if there is 4 wires they will use a 4 pole, if there is 8 they will use an 8 pole, its what is driving the creation of these connectors, not audiophiles

 

XLRs today in studios are for connecting balanced ADCs, DACs, Mixers and microphones, not just to drive long cable runs. a cable is not balanced, a cable is neither here nor there.


Edited by qusp - 8/25/12 at 7:52pm
post #15 of 5087

It all depends whether this is intended to be a truly portable device, or a transportable one. If the former, then you may as well ditch the huge XLR sockets altogether and just do what RSA and ALO have done with their balanced portables.  If the latter, 4-pin XLR is more common, dual 3-pin XLRs being the result of the original HeadRoom Blockhead, which was two mono amps in one chassis, hence the separate headphone sockets used.

 

It takes only 5-10 mins to re-cable a pair of headphones with a 4-pin XLR plug too. 

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