I will post a mini comparison
Of M7 Hugo and direct stream.
That’s great Al, thanx!
I believe that this DAC is ideal for Senn HD800. Pair it with a good preamp and headp-amp (+ cables) and you will get great bass punch and unbelievable level of naturalness and musicality with HD800.
And the bass detail: I do not have any DACs on the same level at the moment but a good preamp and head-amp can help and show that the bass detail is not bad. I do not not know if the M7 generally lacks in the bass detail area but the overall naturalness and musicality of my setup is so good that I do not complaint of the M7 bass detail at all :)
Yeah, I am desperately trying to give a honest critique of the M7 without appearing to bash it. I absolutely love the dac and the lack of bass detail is very tiny imo. I have absolutely no plans to replace it being that I have owned a ton of dacs previously and the M7 is the closest to perfect I have gotten. You hit the nail on the head with your last sentence.
I have heard the HUGO as being reported a little bright compared to the DirectStream.
Just checking in for AL's reviews of the HUGO vs, Directstream.
Hope AL can do a review on PCM only version and DSD only version..
One thing Directstream and PS Audio have it going for em is the designer Ted Smith who has experience as a software engineer at Microsoft for over 10+ years. I think continuous software upgrades can make this DAC very versatile... But measurements can only bring a small part to the table.. voicing done by PS Audio Paul who has been around audio for considerable amount of time with his experience shows a lot of poetentioal for this DAC.
In a word No! USB does not connect when the Short Block is in the path to the Off Ramp 5. The M7 HDMI cable is disconnected for testing. So I have some compatibility issue. Thanks for reminding me as I sent Empirical an Email this morning.
It does seem the bass quality of the Master 7 is affected by what input you use. I first noticed this on USB32 perhaps three or four generations of firmware ago (early 2013). At the time I would switch to the AP1+PP on the BNC input #1 and the bass amount and quality improved dramatically. Same with RJ45 I2S and experimenting with various CAT cable types. Switching to HDMI I2S and the bass is certainly more consistent and focused. I haven't experimented with the various inputs and sources in a while but at the time felt lowering jitter helped fuzziness in the highs and to solidify the bass. But like Al states, the M7 is a very musical DAC and enjoying it for what it is at the moment.
A useful comparitive review.
Exactly which MSB setup do you have? I did a quick search, but couldn't find the details.
To my ears the Master 7 is a good dac, with Offframp 5 (i2s) it’s fantastic. Its sounds so revealing, transparent, dynamic and accurate. Big, big improvement IMO!
To me Master 7 thru USB 32 didn’t sound as good as my Hegel HD 20 with AP+PP. Now with the Offramp 5 thru I2S it sound much better. I would say that the Hegel HD 20 with AP+PP is very musical with good technicality and that the Master 7 with Offramp 5 (i2s) is as musical but with superior technicality, if that make any sense
I haven’t got a liner PSU for the Offramp yet, but think I will buy one later. May be a Teddy Prado. Any one tried it?
Thanx for your review Al looking forward to the PCM!
I see that Audio-GD is planning to release an USB interface soon. See the homepage: "A purchase made during this promotion is also entitled to a 15% discount for one USB Digital Interface (2014 version to be released in July) purchased within one year."
I asked many questions to Kingwa:
"Can you please advise how it will be? Will it have a battery pack inside or do you plan an external psu?
What TCXO will it have? Will the I2S work with my Master 7? What will be the cost? Do you have some pictures?"
He reverted stating that it will be powered 5 groups class A PSUs built inside, and that more information will come when it will be advertised on the website. Of course I2s will be compatible with A-GD products.