Octave MKII and Hex are really close in terms of sound sig. Moreover, after an A/B test between both of them on my EC 4-45 (RCA input) who have an helpfull input switch, they were so close that I sold my Hex and keep the Octave MKII.
For me, Hex worth the investment only for a balanced set-up.
That is worrying. I have the Metrum Octave II and also an Audio Note DAC 4.1 which is also NOS but uses tubes. The jump to my Audio Note DAC from the Metrum is massive, really night and day.
I keep the Octave for a second 'portable' system. Maybe you guys should try the Audio Note DACs, they take the NOS further with tube regulated PS and transformers on the output. Another game changer Audio Note have done, is remove the brick wall filter on the digital board, it takes away another layer and makes vocals and percussion for example sound incredible.
Basically the Audio Note design philosophy is RedBook straight through - digital to voltage conversion. No oversampling, no wave shaping, no filtering, no messing with the sound.
The sound is so lifelike it's untrue, better than my old LP12 and way better than any delta-sigma stuff I have owned over the last 15 years. I have stopped looking now, very happy indeed.
BTW you can get the DAC 3.1 and 4.1 as a kit and save 60%.
Edited by astrostar59 - 12/26/14 at 3:01am