I have also been impressed with Mr. Goodman and his handling of so many needs. What I think emerged ----no one could have predicted. But a basic board with modular inputs and outputs...that probably is the end ideal- like being able to swap the face plate with all the jacks...
I wish someone would just miniturize the full size XLR and instead of the full side XLR combo TRS1/4 I wish they made a combo jack that was a mini version of XLR with our mini TRS1/8 th jack.... To me that would be the best of both worlds.
I also wish someone would make louvre-tec contacts for all these headphone jacks using louvre-tec bands which are electrically transparent..and also have been used by AMP corporation (a division of te.com) for so many years. That would go a long way to improving sound... These high current connections are just amazing ....in something the size of an 1/8 jack diameter they have shown these bands to allow up to 25amps of current to pass....pretty cool. Overkill is a good thing in audio.
And it is projects like this HI-FI M8 crowd sourced input that gets people to start thinking and sharing thoughts from every walk of life.
Sure 90% to 95% of the suggestions aren't the optimum. Maybe even 99.7% are not...lol..... But even the thoughts that are about 85+% of the way to the optimum possibility of the product help stimulate thoughts and help challenge to make people defend their thoughts.
So much attention to connectors shows ....well ...shows any connector company...that There is a desire for something better. And even though it is a small market...it has a ready market of early adopters wanting it.
To test the available connectors for their ratings electrically...well that might give us a partial indication of SQ influence. For instance Cryroed copper RCA connectors on amplifiers make a difference in SQ that is easy to hear by almost any audiophile who cares and knows what helps approach live sound.
I am still debating on the level of DAC quality of the hi-fi M8 and whether it will meet my lofty sonic goals or if I would have to spend more for higher quality components , larger size and perhaps a more isolated layout ( the DAC mini looks pretty good) after hearing high quality discreet component construction used in full sized home tube amps... I still am not sure how close this product will come to my sonic goals having never heard a CEntrance product yet.
Are there any CEntrance DAC mini owners in Newport Beach?..I do not want to wait for T.H.E Show to hear one, I want to hear one this week, which I am working at anyhow how about long beach ?
Headphone addict (Larry) tends to have similar opinions to what I hear...and has been a huge help in determining good products (which IMHO makes him a great reviewer) I think he treads along that value/HIGHSQ continuum nicely where he gets great SQ without killing the wallet to the point of feeling guilty. He keeps it fun, and likes the CEntrance DAC mini, he used to like/own the Apogee mini DAC which was a great value when it came out. I used to own one too, and at times I miss it.
Anyhow, so while I stil am one the fence, I want to give Mr. Goodman my hard earned dollars to "fight the good fight" of a product designer who takes input from others, makes the right compromises in the correct places, and ignores suggestions that would compromise the very core beliefs of what is important in a product.
I think Mercedes Benz engineers were very good at making good design choices until focus groups and marketing screwed them up in the late 1990's...prior to that MB engineers made cars that they felt were best for customers and the engineers families ...without unneeded features that over complicated and did not add to the driving or ownership experience.
Sometimes I give people a ride in my 1994 Mercedes E500 I don't talk about the engine, suspension, or other things first..I instead marvel at the intelligent choices in the single interior light switch. One switch with 3 positions 1st one is for the passenger side light, next one is off( for leaving a door open and not draining the battery) , and the third position is for turning both driver side and passer side lights on at the same time, because that is the way it should be, you should not have to fumble with a light switch in the dark wondering which button will do what. Like why would you ever want the driver side bright light on without having the slightly dimmer passenger light on too? You wouldn't, even if you were looking for stuff and did not want to wake a sleeping passenger, you would take twice as long to find stuff with only the driver side light on, and if you had to look in the bottom of you drivers map pocket while driving with your interior lights on, Darwinian evolution should take care of your bad genes. These were intelligent engineering and safety decisions made by engineers that probably had meetings to decide what was the best choice. Now Mercedes are littered with light switches. WHY...?
Damn focus group driven design ...where marketing forces a myriad of wrong choices on engineering....ugh.Choices??? Like it's "just a different kind of wrong"' but wrong no matter what you pick ---> marketing only gives the engineers wrong choices to pick according to what some distracted befuddled housewife on prozac thought was a better idea in a late night focus group. So according to marketing, a housewife non technical person without an advanced degree in automobile engineering ...is somehow more qualified to make a choice than someone who spends 50 hours a week considering the trade offs?...WTF? And it happens every day. Marketing depts. using focus groups is ruining the customer experience. Like do we need 14 cup holders in a minivan?......with that many cups we should have catheters in it as well. Ask them what they want..and the women say cup holders, they use them to store all sorts of things... But the house wives don't tell marketing they need "intelligent storage solutions" instead of bad storage in cup holders so what do you get? A zillion cup holders instead of what people need.
The engineers who not only have the time, they have the logic to know what is best for the customer...to know even far better than the customer---> what is best for the customer.
Anyhow, if so much attention is given to a lowly light switch in my car, you know lots of attention was likely paid elsewhere too in far more important areas. I feel this same sense of security in Mr. Goodman as a designer that he will make the best choices...even if his customers will not appreciate those choices until a long time after they have owned his products. Gotta love the DAC Mini potentiometer drop protection bar! We can't see it, or hear it but if eventually we drop it we will be thankful it was thoughtfully designed into it. Probably Mr. Goodman had a few engineering samples fall face down and were damaged..so he put this feature in for the good of the customer... Whether they want to pay extra for it or not... When automobile seat belts came out... They were an option...not mandatory. Well someone intelligent decided they should not be an option. Good move, a great benefit that far outweighed the extra cost. Mr. Goodman keep making the good choices.
So Mr. Goodman, I searched your products today, determined it buy something from you...... ANYTHING, that fit my needs ( even vaguely) to help this concept of designing continue. To honor your design model. I proudly Bought a set of Masterclass speakers today...And I feel really good and confident about my purchase....
Mr. Goodman .,Keep fighting the good fight, I am impressed and you will benefit from it...I see no reason why the benefits of this design process of the Hi-Fi M8 should not be felt even In other areas of your company... Bravo. Don't be afraid to put that capacitor that cost more in the amp section, or to cryro it, or to spend more for a better volume control...make the choices that make it a better product, push SQ forward even if we as customers kick and scream over the long wait or silly rubber bands. Offer mods that make sense and broaden your products usefulness. You'll have a cult like following in no time.
I'm watching this thread, and there is a point where I will buy a product without even hearing it,..takes a huge leap of faith for me,,,and you are damned close to that point. Sure..."Welcome to Head-fi ......sorry about your wallet" applies here to this product, but I am thinking it might become (or already be) the best in its class.. I gotta hear it.
Finger on the "buy button".... Any DAC minis or DAC mini PX owners near me?....I would like to get on the waiting list for the HI-FI M8 I just need a listen.
Edited by Golden Ears - 4/27/13 at 2:02am