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The Centrance HiFi M8 thread - Page 16

post #226 of 4632
thats a large oversimplification, in class A it doesnt , the amp class A bias and power supply are likely to be limiting factors here, as will the lower headphone/load impedance the amp sees
Edited by qusp - 10/15/12 at 12:12am
post #227 of 4632
Quote:
Originally Posted by pekingduck View Post

HeadphoneAddict has posted some initial impressions of the M8: http://www.head-fi.org/t/623236/rocky-mountain-audiofest-denver-co-oct-12-14th-2012#post_8777555

 

Thanks Larry biggrin.gif

 

At RMAF I set up two rigs at the CEntrance table, side by side and compared them.  One was a laptop with lossless music feeding the M8, the other was an iPad with the same lossless music and camera connection kit feeding a DACmini.  I plugged in a "dual 3-pin to single 4-pin XLR" adapter into the M8, and a "singled ended 1/4" to 4-pin XLR" adapter into the DACmini.  

 

After volume matching the two rigs, using my LCD-2 with Silver Dragon 4-pin XLR cable, I was able to play the same song on both rigs and move back and forth quickly between the two rigs.  The result was that the M8 sounded just like the DACmini in every way - great balance and PRAT, great extension, detail, transparency, weight and body, and immersion into the music.  Despite the noisy meet environment, it was clear that the M8 gave up nothing to the DACmini, and it's still a prototype.  This is better than we could have hoped for in such a small package.  

 

See my photos http://www.head-fi.org/g/i/700446/a/699604/sort/display_order/

 

And the DACmini was not held back by the iPad with CCK because it does an excellent job at jitter rejection and has always sounded the same as USB input from my Macbook Pro.  I really don't think that swapping the transports to the other's rig would have made a difference.

post #228 of 4632
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post

 

At RMAF I set up two rigs at the CEntrance table, side by side and compared them.  One was a laptop with lossless music feeding the M8, the other was an iPad with the same lossless music and camera connection kit feeding a DACmini.  I plugged in a "dual 3-pin to single 4-pin XLR" adapter into the M8, and a "singled ended 1/4" to 4-pin XLR" adapter into the DACmini.  

 

After volume matching the two rigs, using my LCD-2 with Silver Dragon 4-pin XLR cable, I was able to play the same song on both rigs and move back and forth quickly between the two rigs.  The result was that the M8 sounded just like the DACmini in every way - great balance and PRAT, great extension, detail, transparency, weight and body, and immersion into the music.  Despite the noisy meet environment, it was clear that the M8 gave up nothing to the DACmini, and it's still a prototype.  This is better than we could have hoped for in such a small package.  

 

See my photos http://www.head-fi.org/g/i/700446/a/699604/sort/display_order/

 

And the DACmini was not held back by the iPad with CCK because it does an excellent job at jitter rejection and has always sounded the same as USB input from my Macbook Pro.  I really don't think that swapping the transports to the other's rig would have made a difference.

Larry, do you mean that the m8 sounds almost the same as the dacmini? Have you noticed any subtle difference between them?

post #229 of 4632

I have had some trouble with 3rd party 30pin connectors and most cases. Whereas the apple made connector is thin and fits with all cases, often 3rd party connectors are thicker and require removing the case in order to use. Have centrance tested the connector with any iphone cases? I have mostly used speck cases and they, like may others I have seen, have pretty small openings for the connector:

 

 

This may seem nitpicky and very unaudio related, but it is a pain to have to remove the case to make use of the 30 pin port.

 

 

[Edit: I submitted a picture of the connector opening and, while it previews fine, it does not seem to show on the final post]


Edited by AudiOh - 10/15/12 at 6:42am
post #230 of 4632
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post

 

At RMAF I set up two rigs at the CEntrance table, side by side and compared them.  One was a laptop with lossless music feeding the M8, the other was an iPad with the same lossless music and camera connection kit feeding a DACmini.  I plugged in a "dual 3-pin to single 4-pin XLR" adapter into the M8, and a "singled ended 1/4" to 4-pin XLR" adapter into the DACmini.  

 

After volume matching the two rigs, using my LCD-2 with Silver Dragon 4-pin XLR cable, I was able to play the same song on both rigs and move back and forth quickly between the two rigs.  The result was that the M8 sounded just like the DACmini in every way - great balance and PRAT, great extension, detail, transparency, weight and body, and immersion into the music.  Despite the noisy meet environment, it was clear that the M8 gave up nothing to the DACmini, and it's still a prototype.  This is better than we could have hoped for in such a small package.  

 

See my photos http://www.head-fi.org/g/i/700446/a/699604/sort/display_order/

 

And the DACmini was not held back by the iPad with CCK because it does an excellent job at jitter rejection and has always sounded the same as USB input from my Macbook Pro.  I really don't think that swapping the transports to the other's rig would have made a difference.

 

Perception is a funny thing!  HeadphoneAddict- you refer to this as small, and I looked at your photos and thought to myself - Ahhh, I get it - this thing is BIG - as in transportable, not portable!  It is still an interesting proposition.  For MY use, at least at this juncture in my head-fi world, it becomes possibly no better than a DAC-Mini.  With this size, I would set it on a desk, and plug in with a laptop, battery would offer limited utility to me.  The digital out from an iDevice is less appealing necessary / useful to me in this larger than I had thought form factor.  This does not diminish the excellence of the device, but kind of says I'm not quite the target market for it, at least right now.  Thank you so much for your photos, and for including the iPhone, which really helps provide some scale.

post #231 of 4632
Quote:
Originally Posted by qusp View Post

thats a large oversimplification, in class A it doesnt , the amp class A bias and power supply are likely to be limiting factors here, as will the lower headphone/load impedance the amp sees

 

Fair point, hence why I said assuming each channel can keep up with the power draw.

 

Did I completely miss reading that this thing runs class A? Wow, that's a lot of power to dissipate... blink.gif

post #232 of 4632
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post

 

Fair point, hence why I said assuming each channel can keep up with the power draw.

 

Did I completely miss reading that this thing runs class A? Wow, that's a lot of power to dissipate... blink.gif

 

Not surprising though - the DacPort also runs class A, and gets pretty warm.  Would make a nice hand warmer on a winter day.

post #233 of 4632
Thread Starter 

Its one heck of a beast, Class A, 1.5W and at that size. I thought it would be a AB since its on batteries. 

post #234 of 4632
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post

 

At RMAF I set up two rigs at the CEntrance table, side by side and compared them.  One was a laptop with lossless music feeding the M8, the other was an iPad with the same lossless music and camera connection kit feeding a DACmini.  I plugged in a "dual 3-pin to single 4-pin XLR" adapter into the M8, and a "singled ended 1/4" to 4-pin XLR" adapter into the DACmini.  

 

After volume matching the two rigs, using my LCD-2 with Silver Dragon 4-pin XLR cable, I was able to play the same song on both rigs and move back and forth quickly between the two rigs.  The result was that the M8 sounded just like the DACmini in every way - great balance and PRAT, great extension, detail, transparency, weight and body, and immersion into the music.  Despite the noisy meet environment, it was clear that the M8 gave up nothing to the DACmini, and it's still a prototype.  This is better than we could have hoped for in such a small package.  

 

See my photos http://www.head-fi.org/g/i/700446/a/699604/sort/display_order/

 

And the DACmini was not held back by the iPad with CCK because it does an excellent job at jitter rejection and has always sounded the same as USB input from my Macbook Pro.  I really don't think that swapping the transports to the other's rig would have made a difference.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zuqi View Post

Larry, do you mean that the m8 sounds almost the same as the dacmini? Have you noticed any subtle difference between them?

 

I'm pretty sure in the quote above I said, "The result was that the M8 sounded just like the DACmini in every way".  Basically, if someone was swapping the cable between the M8 and DACmini while I had my eyes closed, I'm not sure I could identify which one I was listening to, a feat that is easier to do with the DACport. 

 

Granted, this was under meet conditions with noise leaking in, so I can only go so far into the music before background noise interferes.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by aamefford View Post

 

Perception is a funny thing!  HeadphoneAddict- you refer to this as small, and I looked at your photos and thought to myself - Ahhh, I get it - this thing is BIG - as in transportable, not portable!  It is still an interesting proposition.  For MY use, at least at this juncture in my head-fi world, it becomes possibly no better than a DAC-Mini.  With this size, I would set it on a desk, and plug in with a laptop, battery would offer limited utility to me.  The digital out from an iDevice is less appealing necessary / useful to me in this larger than I had thought form factor.  This does not diminish the excellence of the device, but kind of says I'm not quite the target market for it, at least right now.  Thank you so much for your photos, and for including the iPhone, which really helps provide some scale.

 

Well, I did say it was 1/3 the size of the DACmini, before I posted pix.  And posted that it's about the size of the CLAS + ALO Rx Mk3 stack.  I also see myself using this as a transportable desktop replacement DAC/amp.  In my bedroom rig I'm using a Nuforce iDo digital dock to feed my iPhone into the DACmini via Coax digital.  This setup takes up a bit more space than the M8 which is an all in one unit.  When I travel I end up taking a DACport and SR-71b with one nice headphone, and this M8 "all in one" is more convenient than having a DAC and an Amp and an extra cable.

 

I don't know anyone that walks around the mall with a full-size headphone and balanced CLAS/ALO Rx Mk3 on battery.  As I said before, I don't think the target market for this is those wanting to walk around with their balanced JH13Pro custom IEM.  I want this for going onto my back patio and watching the sun set over the mountain, while I listen to my LCD-2, HE-500 or HD800 with a beer.


Edited by HeadphoneAddict - 10/15/12 at 3:23pm
post #235 of 4632
The question for me is, how does this compare to the new clas balanced dac/alo mk3 combo or new clas/sr-71b combo. If it can achieve the same level of sound for less money and in a one box solution as well, then I will be all over this.
post #236 of 4632
Quote:
Originally Posted by moodyrn View Post

The question for me is, how does this compare to the new clas balanced dac/alo mk3 combo or new clas/sr-71b combo. If it can achieve the same level of sound for less money and in a one box solution as well, then I will be all over this.

 

Well, without having compared them that's a tough question.  However, not impossible to answer vs the SR-71b.  

 

First, we know (or I know) that the DACmini and M8 sound alike so far, and I have a DACmini (stock 10 ohm output, gain of 8).  I have been feeding my DACmini RCA-out into my SR-71b and I can switch between the DACmini headphone out and the SR-71b balanced output.  I have found the SR-71b to be a great amp, and it can give me more volume than the DACmini with many phones like LCD-2, but it's slightly darker and slightly less airy sounding than the DACmini.  So, I mostly find myself using the DACmini's headphone amp unless I want to use my balanced SR-71b with the HD800.

 

So, the chain of reasoning would put the M8 ahead of the SR-71b as well, with most phones except the HD800. If nothing else changes between now and production.

post #237 of 4632
Thanks, that was very helpful.
post #238 of 4632
Now that's a tough call between this for $560 and SR-71B's brother The Intruder for $650

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/rmaf_2012/friday/part2.htm

The latter is more compact with even higher gain for driving HE-6 but not sure about what battery life would that result in.

A comparion between HiFi-M8 and The Intruder would be nice.

Thank you.
post #239 of 4632

^I'm guessing the DAC on the M8 is it's strong suit, and the amp on the Intruder is IT'S strong suit.smile.gif

post #240 of 4632

New blog post: http://centrance.com/products/new/blog/2012/10/16/preorder-process/

 

In short, email hifi-m8@centrance.com to receive instructions to preorder.


Edited by eron - 10/16/12 at 2:53am
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