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Metrum NOS Hex Flagship DAC - Page 32

post #466 of 487

As promised, some thoughts on the Hex and the Yggdrasil.  I had an Yggy here for a few weeks, of which the Hex overlapped by a few days so I was able to compare them directly. I was able to A/B them via multiple zones in JRiver on the same Asus G751 laptop (Windows 10), with both DACs feeding into a Schiit Ragnarok and on to my HE1000 headphones via 4-pin XLR. Both DACs were connected to the amp via their XLR outputs.

 

Here's a snippet of some earlier thoughts I had about the Yggdrasil when comparing it to a couple of good Sabre dacs I have.  These thoughts also apply to the Hex:  I hear the biggest difference in voices...the minute textures in, for example, Nick Drake's voice on "Way to Blue" are totally smoothed over on the Sabre dacs, whilst the Yggy is showing me all these little micro-sounds that make his voice so much more human.  When he holds a note, I'm hearing the slight rasp in his voice....think in terms of a slightly jaggedy horizontal line, whereas the other two dacs show a straight flat line, more of a one-note sound.  I've heard this song probably hundreds of times...never heard these little details. The Yggy also avoids that uncomfortable mid-range push you can sometimes get when a voice gets stronger/louder momentarily...on the Yggy these ebb and flows of volume sound natural, whereas the other two dacs both exhibt that annoying (to my ears) push.

 

When comparing the Hex and the Yggdrasil, it's more of a level playing field as to my ears they both exhibit a similar level of micro-detail retrieval and avoid the weak points of the two Sabre dacs I have.  I did hear some differences between them though.  The Yggdrasil puts the details a bit more in your face...it's "overtly" detailed, if that makes sense, whilst the Hex has a less showy presentation, a bit smoother and perhaps more realistic/natural. For short periods of listening, I think the Yggy could be considered a bit more fun, whilst the Hex kind of grows on you over time.  I often listen for many hours per day, so the easy-to-listen flavour of the Hex is fine for me. This doesn't mean the Hex isn't engaging...it certainly is...it's just a little less "hifi" sounding than the Yggy.  I did detect a slight dryness overall and a lean-ness in the bass of the Yggdrasil compared to the Hex, but we're only talking small differences here. One thing I will say, I tried the Yggy in my speaker system and it presented a 3D image of the music that I really enjoyed.  If I were shopping for a DAC for that system, then the Yggy would probably be my choice at this price point.

 

For my headphone system, honestly I'd be super happy to own either of these DACs and if I was faced with paying the same price for either it'd be a really tough choice. One thing I do prefer about the Hex is the form factor.  The Yggdrasil really is a big ugly beast, although of course this may be irrelevant for many people. The extended warm-up characteristics of the Yggy are also a bit of a bind in some situations.  As it stands, I had a chance to buy a new old stock Hex for well under half the price of a new Yggy.  For that price differential it' was a no-brainer for me, so I now own a Hex. I'd still quite like an Yggdrasil for my speaker system though!

post #467 of 487


Thanks for that comparison

post #468 of 487
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedalhead View Post
 

As promised, some thoughts on the Hex and the Yggdrasil.  I had an Yggy here for a few weeks, of which the Hex overlapped by a few days so I was able to compare them directly. I was able to A/B them via multiple zones in JRiver on the same Asus G751 laptop (Windows 10), with both DACs feeding into a Schiit Ragnarok and on to my HE1000 headphones via 4-pin XLR. Both DACs were connected to the amp via their XLR outputs.

 

 

 

Very helpful pedalhead.

 

 Appreciated.

post #469 of 487

Wondering on how others perceive the bass of the hex compared to myself.

 

I received my hex a few days ago and the openess which allows the detail to shine is fantastic, Strings and piano and drums, particular cymbals sound superb.

 

I've read a number of times that the bass is well extended and linear. Now i'm using the woo wa2 so i understand this brings its on colour.

I'm currently finding the bass "kind of" bloomy AT TIMES. Not overly bloomy but I cant quite find the exact word. It's definitely extended but i'm finding the bottom end is quite plentiful, not too far over but plentiful. Well at least my ears gravitate to that somewhat when listening to my gear, as opposed to my music.

 

As mentioned I am using a tube amp so that is a contributing factors via my chosen tubes but how do what are others' more experienced views on this?

 

Having said that I've never heard led zep sound better on my previous gear 


Edited by thecrow - 10/29/15 at 3:29pm
post #470 of 487
Not boomy at all in my experience. In fact the first time I listened to the Hex (and my reference at that time was the Ayre QB9 DSD) I wonder where the bass was! I realised later with some cello recordings the Hex was just right and the QB9 was coloured, with boomy bass. Steven Isserlis uses a baroque cello with gut strings and its sound is very different from, say, Yo-Yo Ma's.
The Ayre was exaggerating these differences, the cello was too upfront and tge dac was acting like a magnifying glass.
The Hex on the other hand was more correct, giving the instrument the right size, the bass frequencies were not boomy and did not spoil the midrange.
Some dac and amplifiers have the defect to change the size of the instruments, making a violin or a flute as big as a piano: not bad if you want to show off your system to your friends but very 'unnatural ' on long term listening sessions, one of the defects I really can't stand
post #471 of 487
Quote:
Originally Posted by realmassy View Post

Not boomy at all in my experience. In fact the first time I listened to the Hex (and my reference at that time was the Ayre QB9 DSD) I wonder where the bass was! I realised later with some cello recordings the Hex was just right and the QB9 was coloured, with boomy bass. Steven Isserlis uses a baroque cello with gut strings and its sound is very different from, say, Yo-Yo Ma's.
The Ayre was exaggerating these differences, the cello was too upfront and tge dac was acting like a magnifying glass.
The Hex on the other hand was more correct, giving the instrument the right size, the bass frequencies were not boomy and did not spoil the midrange.
Some dac and amplifiers have the defect to change the size of the instruments, making a violin or a flute as big as a piano: not bad if you want to show off your system to your friends but very 'unnatural ' on long term listening sessions, one of the defects I really can't stand


Thanks for responding with your experience.

 

I'll keep enjoying the hex, which is easy to do - started with Led Zep again tonight. 

 

Thinking about it it's got to be in most part the colour from my amp, which has some warmer/richer toned tubes (gec 6as7g) and me adjusting to this new sound by listening (and enjoying) in an analytical/demo mode. It does vary between albums of course.

 

I'll keep listening to the dac without "listening" to the dac - sounds simple to do, eh?

post #472 of 487
I'm loving my hex dac. My dac searching days are over.

Any advice on usb cables for the hex? Not needing a change but just curious. I bought my hex second hand without the stock usb cable being provided.

Thanks
Edited by thecrow - 12/3/15 at 7:34am
post #473 of 487
Quote:
Originally Posted by PATB View Post
 

According to Metrum's facebook page, a new model is expected to come out end of the year.  Given that it has 4 transient modules, must be the Hex replacement.

 

 

 

 

Have heard that the Hex's replacement will be named the Menuet, and will sport 4 of Cees' in-house Transient modules as reported above.  ETA Jan 2016.

 

Should present a more refined sounding upgrade over the Musette with double the number of Transient modules, plus a regulated & filtered power supply for the USB module. (Musette can prob. still hold its own at its bargain price point tho!)

 

Menuet's price point reportedly similar to the Hex, so may give Yggy some competition...likely will do some things better than the Hex at any rate...

 

 

post #474 of 487
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecrow View Post

I'm loving my hex dac. My dac searching days are over.

Any advice on usb cables for the hex? Not needing a change but just curious. I bought my hex second hand without the stock usb cable being provided.

Thanks


Do a search for Nordost Blue Heaven USB.

 

I dont own a Hex, however judging from reports on its warmer sound sig the Nordost may work out well.

 

Regardless, nice DAC you have there, enjoy it.


Edited by Mortalcoil - 12/3/15 at 9:06pm
post #475 of 487
Don't choose a fancy cable, the Hex usb input is powered internally so you only need a data only cable. Get a USB2 compliant cable and disconnect the 5v wire.

And I disagree about the Hex being warm (if that mens roll-off highs and midrange presence): tonally it is on the bright side, but not in the 'head-fi bad way', if you see what I mean,it is just the tonal balance. I've owned the Hex flr a while. FWIW.
post #476 of 487

I suppose you could cover up the 5v pin if thats what you mean maybe with some tape or something along those lines.

 

A great deal to be had currently on a real nice cable http://www.amazon.com/Belkin-Hi-Speed-USB-Cable-Feet/dp/B00004Z5M1

 

Combine this cable with a top tier DAC like the Hex for super results, or in other words spend a wad of $$$ on a DAC and then $8.00 on a USB cable for it. :confused:

post #477 of 487

 

6 Moons' Dec review of the Musette makes mention of the forthcoming Menuet (Hex replacement) - of particular interest (to me at any rate ;) is the "revelation" there that the Menuet has inherited the 'forward correction' FPGA module (making use of an innovative data splitting algorithm) that was previously unique to the flagship Pavane:

 

 

 

"Here I actually felt that, heresy alert, the Musette had the edge over the Hex. Perhaps it explained why the Hex had just been replaced by the €2'730 ex VAT Menuet shown above. It doubles the Transient artillery to four modules, hence four DACs per channel. Then it splits the digital data into two 12-bit clusters like the Pavane to net true 24-bit resolution. Finally it gets 4V XLR outputs. In short, the Musette had inched far too close to its bigger sibling to not kill it off in the process. Dutch fratricide? Done!"

 

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews2/metrum2/4.html

 

 


Edited by audiobloke - 12/24/15 at 8:28am
post #478 of 487

Looks like Metrum also has special pricing going on for the Menuet until Feb. Just got a Musette but I think i'll exchange for a Menuet. Also Hex prices seem to have gone down as well.

post #479 of 487
post #480 of 487
Hi all. This might be a bit of a long shot but has anyone had experience it connecting there hex into active monitors like the jbl 2325's.

I tried today through my woo wa2 but this double amping here doesnt always work with music chosen.

And going from the hex to the monitors with software volume control isn't a suitable solution either.

Any ideas what I could look at (eg particular preamps or anything else) to try to get the hex goodness into my monitors?

Thanks
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