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Metrum NOS Hex Flagship DAC - Page 3

post #31 of 491
Originally Posted by antonyfirst View Post

First impressions... I am using the Hex with Stax Lambda normal bias and a heavily modified SRM-727A (under Kevin Gilmore's instructions), which is basically a more modern version of the stock KGSS (with current source modification and the samet transistors as the KGSSHV, albeit not reaching the same voltages as the KGSSHV). It's not just the spritzer mod, it's a deeper modification. If I am not mistaken, Kevin will publish such instructions... otherwise, he has already allowed me to help in case anyone wanted to have some guidance to mod their SRM-727A. I have baptised my amp the KGSS-A.

Right now, this is the best setup I have ever heard and/or owned.

The Hex is much, much better than the Octave Mk2. Their main resemblance is in tonal intensity (or color saturation, if you prefer).
The Hex has much more deep bass power and dynamics, to the point that listening to the Lambda, you would never apply the word "light" to them. It's a continuous exhibition of power. Where the Octave has some bloom in the upper bass, the Hex is more linear. The Hex has similarly thick midrange to the Octave (which is where they share similar tonal saturation) but the Hex tends to be more forward in the upper midrange. The Hex manages to be as euphonic as the Octave, but much more balanced. There is still the same sense of romantic sound and fullness.

The biggest difference (if we try to "split" differences in departments) are in the treble. Where the Octave tends to be smooth, and lacks ultimate resolution, the Hex is super resolving. It offers a huge sense of layering, and super precise instrument placement. It has tons of information and nuances, and shows the micro-modulations of certain tunes (sorry, I wouldn't know how else I could call the effect, I am not very used to it with the other DAC's).

Anyway, the Hex is much better than the Octave Mk2. It's a no-compromise DAC... probably the first one I have encountered, albeit I need to listen to the AMR again, with this Stax setup.

I don't use all these superlatives without a reason, but it totally exceeded my expectations... well, now at least I can understand better what 6moons said by "Octave on caffeine". Albeit I'd have used "an Octave in need for exorcism".

Similarly to the new Yulong DA8, the Hex is an inspired and active "player". It's warmer, fuller and more complete than the Yulong DA8, and has superior spatial capabilities.

Listening to Okami soundtrack is particularly enjoyable.

How perfect?
With certain songs (I have yet to investigate if it depends on the track itself, it mainly happens with Television, or Queen), the screaming vocals can be too much. It needs to be evaluated how much of it depends on Stax Lambda, or if it depends on the Metrum Hex itself.
Soon, I should receive another Omega 2, so I will be able to test this behaviour.

Again, how perfect? It must be evaluated, in the long run, if being an "Octave on caffeine", as sixmoons said, will keep being enjoyable for every moment, but I might be paranoid at this point.

Thank you Tony, I've found your comments very focused, and I enjoyed your comparison with the DA8, which is another DAC I am currently evaluating for purchase (along with the Matrix X-Sabre, Audio-GD M7). The HEX is a lot more expensive though, doesn't do DSD, no HP amp (seen as a bonus), that makes the decision tougher.


From your description I think It would be a perfect match with the Senn HD800.

post #32 of 491
It's always amazing what the combination of an electrostatic and a quality source can do, isn't it... Any complaints of light bass, bad dynamics, insufficient heft, and all that, just disappear. The level of realism and emotional involvement you can get still surprises me even after doing this for years, and I don't think it will ever stop. The only issue I have with 'stats is that they can be a little dry at times - but that's what tubes are for.

Nice impressions, the Hex sounds like my kind of DAC, but as with all things in this price range I've realized that it's a good idea to try before you buy. I'm reasonably happy with the Opus 21 in any case, though it's not perfect.
post #33 of 491

@Tony: I see you ranked the Hex in your Tier 1, that's reassuring! biggrin.gif


The more I think about, the more I want to get the HEX and be done with the evergoing DAC trials and simply enjoy the music (which I didn't really have since I sold... my Quad!).


I ordered some decent quality USB cable: if they don't bring the sound of my NFB-27 back to it's full potential, I'll sell both it and the Eximus and get the HEX mad.gif

post #34 of 491

I'm saving for the HEX now...Sometime, next time year I hope.

post #35 of 491

I have bought a Revelation Audio USB 2.0 cable. I have read some nice things about it, from a very cool guru nicknamed 'bhobba'.

I will do some usb cable rolling, my friend who owns AMR DP777 owns Acoustic Revive twin cable, so we'll have some fun in making comparisons.

post #36 of 491
Really appreciate the Hex impressions. Keep them coming! I presently own an Octave and an Audio Note kit 2.1B. Although totally different designs, they both sound very refined, natural and organic without the sloppieness that often accompanies NOS designs. .Before I bought the Metrum I thought my "end game" dac would be upgrading the Audio Note to a level 4. Now I'm not so sure.
post #37 of 491

Hey Frank, cheers! I have compared the Audio Note 2.0 and Metrum Octave a while ago. It wasn't my system, so you should take impressions with a grain of salt, but the Octave sounded a bit more controlled and precise while the AN2 was more tubey and musical. In that specific setup the AN2 worked out better, since the longer decay of the tubes gave the bass a bigger and more realistic foundation. The AN2.0 was also very sensitive to the chosen coax cables, and behaved the best with Belkin Synapse.


The Hex has much deeper bass than the Octave Mk2, by the way.

Edited by antonyfirst - 7/22/13 at 3:28am
post #38 of 491

Double posting to add that I have received my new SR-007 Mk1. I will be making listening with it, maybe tonight already, and let you guys know.

Depending on which one has better tonality and musicality between the Lambda and the 007, the other will go. The 007 is technically spectacular, but it's not a given to make it sound real and colourful. Given the Hex basic character, though, I have high hopes.

post #39 of 491

Very excited to hear your reports Antony.  I'm considering the Hex as a replacement for my Anedio D2 for my KGSS->SR-007 MK1.  On an aside, I'm not exactly sure why, because I do love the Anedio, but I suppose this is Head-Fi and we all have an addiction.

post #40 of 491

Thoughts vs the Eximus, Antony? Almost bought a Hex but repurchased the DP1 since I missed it's 'they are here' presentation so much. Thanks.



post #41 of 491
Originally Posted by Failed Engineer View Post

Very excited to hear your reports Antony.  I'm considering the Hex as a replacement for my Anedio D2 for my KGSS->SR-007 MK1.  On an aside, I'm not exactly sure why, because I do love the Anedio, but I suppose this is Head-Fi and we all have an addiction.


This is my plan as well.  I want to match the HEX up with the KGSSHV.  

post #42 of 491
I am making my first listening with the SR-007 Mk1 (using my empowered SRM-727/KGSS) biggrin.gif
post #43 of 491

Quick and dirty picture taken before running at work... The two beasts:



Edited by antonyfirst - 7/23/13 at 1:05am
post #44 of 491

^ complimenti per la pecora :-D

post #45 of 491

SR-Lamb on a lamb-skin chair biggrin.gif

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