Originally Posted by FrankCooter
Originally Posted by astrostar59
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.
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.