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Metrum NOS Hex Flagship DAC - Page 22

post #316 of 330

Sounds good Massey. I read a review on the Hex and it benefits from a solid support. The reviewer

had it sat on a tiles floor which was better than shelves. I use Sorbithane feet under my DAC so drop

any energy in the casework. Later I am to upgrade the top, sides and front faceplate to thick aluminium.

I dislike bent steel casework, it gathers too much energy for my liking. Now I wish I still had a tool shed!

post #317 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by astrostar59 View Post
 

Sounds good Massey. I read a review on the Hex and it benefits from a solid support. The reviewer

had it sat on a tiles floor which was better than shelves. I use Sorbithane feet under my DAC so drop

any energy in the casework. Later I am to upgrade the top, sides and front faceplate to thick aluminium.

I dislike bent steel casework, it gathers too much energy for my liking. Now I wish I still had a tool shed!

What do you mean by this - and how would you know?

post #318 of 330

Wooh! I read the online review, and he sat the Hex on the floor and noticed a positive improvement. I can't remember the magazine, Google Metrum Hex and you will find it.

post #319 of 330

@astrostar59: I noticed you talked about the Octave e few posts above. Did you compare the Octave and the HEx ?

post #320 of 330
Prep asked about your "bent steel casework, it gathers too much energy for my liking" part, not what you read in the online review. That's why prep highlighted it in bold.

I'm curious too. How can you tell., i.e. how are the differences from bent steel casework gathering too much energy reflected in the sound?
Quote:
Originally Posted by astrostar59 View Post

Wooh! I read the online review, and he sat the Hex on the floor and noticed a positive improvement. I can't remember the magazine, Google Metrum Hex and you will find it.
post #321 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by AiDee View Post

Prep asked about your "bent steel casework, it gathers too much energy for my liking" part, not what you read in the online review. That's why prep highlighted it in bold.

I'm curious too. How can you tell., i.e. how are the differences from bent steel casework gathering too much energy reflected in the sound?

If you rest your hand on the top of the case, you can feel it picks up hum vibrations from both the Hex itself and surrounding noise. I have an issue with using speakers in near field, so it is double the effect for that.

 

Bent thin steel casework is typically how most manufacturers make the casework. The front face is thick, but the top and sides not. Also steel can be magnetic which DACs won't like too much.

 

I am having a custom case made for my DAC in 3 mm aluminium plate for the top, and 10 mm for the side cheeks. I quick and cheap way to reduce energy in the case is put a heavy paper weight on top.

post #322 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorrodje View Post
 

@astrostar59: I noticed you talked about the Octave e few posts above. Did you compare the Octave and the HEx ?

Hi Sorrodje

No, I have the Octave II which has half the chips from the Hex and the same USB input, though without (I think) the separate transformer for that). I have heard the Hex in a friends system, but not done an A/B on them yet so no is the answer to that. I have an Audio Note DAC 4.1 for my main system. The Octave is for a smaller 'portable' Stax rig when I am in the UK. The Octave is a nice DAC and great value for the money. My AN DAC is much better, more sophisticated, though this is also using an external M2Tech stack for the USB input. The Hex has a much more advanced USB implementation than the Octave as regards power supply, which is one of the things that can affect the SQ from a computer (dirty power).

 

I would love to test a Hex against the AN DAC. Both are none oversampling and no filter which is part of the success of these units IMO. Having tubes in the AN DAC I believe may advance the SQ in the midrange and treble in particular. But this belief is based on my experience with SET tube amps, so is not proven, only my thoughts.

 

Anyone heard an AN DAC and a Hex in the same system? 


Edited by astrostar59 - 8/19/14 at 5:22am
post #323 of 330

Ok thks for the answer ;)

post #324 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by astrostar59 View Post

Hi Sorrodje

Anyone heard an AN DAC and a Hex in the same system? 

 



I own an Audio Note kit 2.1b and a Metrum Hex. If you like NOS, both are excellent . I also own an Octave. If your reference standard is analog, the Octave is hard to beat for the money. Overall, the Octave is close to the Audio Note 2.1b, the main differences being that the Octave still has a hint (very small) of solid-state edge and the Audio Note is a little lusher but not quite as resolving. The Hex is on an entirely different level than either. It's ended my search for a digital source that can stand alongside a fairly decent analog system (Thorens 124, SME 3009, Denon 103, Altec 4722 step-up transformers DIY all tube phono stage). How the Hex would fare against a higher level Audio Note Dac I have no idea.
post #325 of 330

@FrankCooter Many thks for this informative answer :beerchug:

post #326 of 330

Very informative post, regarding the Audio Note dac, Frank.

I heard the Audio Note 2.0 and I had a similar impression than you, and in the end I preferred it to the Metrum Octave.

The Hex, as you say, is on a whole different level.

post #327 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankCooter View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by astrostar59 View Post
 

Hi Sorrodje

Anyone heard an AN DAC and a Hex in the same system? 

 

 



I own an Audio Note kit 2.1b and a Metrum Hex. If you like NOS, both are excellent . I also own an Octave. If your reference standard is analog, the Octave is hard to beat for the money. Overall, the Octave is close to the Audio Note 2.1b, the main differences being that the Octave still has a hint (very small) of solid-state edge and the Audio Note is a little lusher but not quite as resolving. The Hex is on an entirely different level than either. It's ended my search for a digital source that can stand alongside a fairly decent analog system (Thorens 124, SME 3009, Denon 103, Altec 4722 step-up transformers DIY all tube phono stage). How the Hex would fare against a higher level Audio Note Dac I have no idea.

 

Hi Frank

Yes, I thought that was your findings. I read a post a while back by you that said the same. I would love to hear the Hex against say an Audio Note 4.1 (kit). I bumped up my AN DAC by getting rid of the AN Copper caps for more revealing and transparent V-Cap Teflons. It remove a layer for sure. And using the Bendix 6X5 equivalent tube as the rectifier, it draws twice the current but has bigger dynamics the 6X5s. I will soon have the newer C-Cores in as well, so that might (via XLR) take it a bit higher.

 

I think once you (we) get to this level and on this architecture of NOS, it comes down to the DAC board and the power supplies IMO. The DAC boards on the AN gear is really basic (simple) and the Hex is much more advanced, as in lots of chip sets. The AN runs it's amp section in Class A and has tubes. It all alters the way it outputs the sound I guess. The Hex is very very solid and convieniant as in no heat, no tube hassle, easy to stack box etc. I can see why you dig it, as well as the SQ aspect. I did consider a Hex after I got the Octave II. The gap between the Octave and the AN 4.1 is big though.

 

The majority of the NOS DAC manufacturers out their seem to go tubes as apposed to SS. I am not sure why that is? Maybe the NOS market is turntable fans and traditionalists? Dunno, but I applaud Metrum for doing it their way. It is a great little company.

post #328 of 330

I've got the feeling the 4.1 is in a different league: Hificritic (the only magazine I trust) has given the 5 special a stellar review, and the 4.1 (not the kit version) costs about £10K...really can't compare them.

post #329 of 330

I agree the DAC 4.1 factory is 4 times the cost of the Hex. But the kit is the same price (3,500 US).

But the kit has to be built first so not quite comparable. I can dig the kit thing, as I can swop out

parts.

 

It is not possible (I think) to buy any Metrum products direct, as they have a dealer network established now.

50% mark-up has an impact....

post #330 of 330

I am by no means a DAC expert and only casually follow the whole digital audio world, but it seems to me that there is far too much emphasis on ever increased sampling speeds and bit rates and not enough attention paid to the output stage and it's attendant  power supply.  Audio Note addresses this issue in their DAC's by treating the output stage as a full-blown high quality amplifier. Metrum, to my understanding, avoids the output stage issues entirely by using a chip set that produces a high level analog signal that eliminates the need for an output stage. For me at least, both approaches seem to work.

 

I debated between upgrading my Audio Note or purchasing a Hex. I found a used Hex at an extremely good price, so I went in that direction. I'm sure I would have been just as happy upgrading my Audio Note ( I have heard up through level 5).

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