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Centrance Hifi-M8 and Hifi-M8 LX (8 versions!) impressions thread - Page 12

post #166 of 1319

Finally got the M8. So far, its sound absolutely fantastic with 1p2 (IEM). No hiss whatsoever on 1 ohm. A little hiss on 2ohm but I notice that the mid scale up a little bit. Love it so far, I may post some impression later.

post #167 of 1319

I have listened to a HiFi-M8 for the last two days.  Source material is lossless 44.1/16bit, typically coming via USB from my Mac Air, though I have played with my iPhone 5 and iPod Nano to be sure they function correctly.  So far, >95% of the listening has been with a pair of HD800.  I haven't played with any of the sound shaping switches (left them in neutral position).  In general, I have been very happy with the HiFi-M8, though it's no so good that I am tempted to simplify my system and sell off my Lavry DA-11 and Headamp GS-X mk2 (which the minimalist in me  and my bank account would like to do). 

 

In the last two days I have been switching between my previous portable system and the HiFi-M8:

 

  • Mac Air -> HiFi-M8 -(balanced)->HD800
  • Mac Air -> AQ Dragonfly -> Headamp Pico Power -(3 wire)->HD800

 

I have matched levels within 1db between the units and send sound to both at the same time which makes it easy to switch between the two systems, even mid-track.  I haven't yet don't blind A-B-X comparison.  It's a sighted switch between the two unit.

 

In Common:

 

Both of these systems deliver surprisingly good sound, competitive with moderately priced desktop DAC / amplifiers. IMHO both systems are a significant improvement on the Fostex HP-P1 I used earlier this year. If someone was looking for end-game system that was easily transportable, either would be a good choice.  Neither reaches the performance of  my Lavry DA-11 -> Headamp GS-X mk2, but it's not a night -vs- day difference. Both the HiFi-M8 and the Pico Power are able to drive the HD800 with authority at medium gain.  Bass is tight with no sense of distortion or clipping even when playing music at high levels.  The differences between these two systems weren't significant at a casual level to my ears.  Sometimes I would lose track of which system I was listening to as I was getting work done, and would need to look down to know for certain which system I was listening to.  I found the sound from both systems engaging and fairly neutral with decent sense of space, though lacks the 3D rendering I get from the DA-11+GS-X.

 

Differences:

 

The HiFI-M8 is an integrated unit with both DAC and amplifier. The AQ Dragonfly + Pico Power are separates. My sense is that the that the DAC in the HiFi-M8 sounds a lot like the DACport. As noted above, there wasn't a huge difference in how the systems sounded.  The HiFi-M8 seems slightly richer / darker.  The Dragonfly+PicoPower seems to have a bit more sparkle, and seems a bit more transparent.  I would say that the the differences between the DACs are really a matter of taste, but I think the PicoPower is a superior amplifier.  I reached this conclusion because in the past when I compared the DACport and the Dragonfly into the GS-X I slightly preferred the DACport. In the last two days, I noticed that as I was switching between the units while working, that I had a tendency to leave the headphones plugged into the Dragonfly+PicoPower longer than the HiFi-M8.  I think this indicates that I have a slight preference to it's sounds, though both are quite pleasing.

 

While I like both systems, I am going to sell the AQ Dragonfly and Pico Power (sniff) because I only need one portable system, and the HiFi-M8 gives me exactly the functionality I need in one neat package.

 

In a few weeks I will try to write up a bit more when I have had more time to listen to both systems, used my IEMs, and done some blind A-B-X testing.

 

--Mark


Edited by verber - 8/27/13 at 1:37pm
post #168 of 1319
Thread Starter 

Centrance Hifi-M8 and Hifi-M8 LX (8 versions!) incoming impressions and appr...

Some up to date specs i will add to the front page sometime.

3yqe6u7u.jpg
post #169 of 1319

My setup now. I am loving every moment of it. One of the best I have heard on portable. No hiss on Tralucent 1p2 on 1 ohm (IEM). So far so good... Report more later

 

 

 

 

post #170 of 1319
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiowood View Post

My setup now. I am loving every moment of it. One of the best I have heard on portable. No hiss on Tralucent 1p2 on 1 ohm (IEM). So far so good... Report more later

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let us know how that turns out. What was the amp you used beforehand for the 1Plus2? 

post #171 of 1319
Quote:
Originally Posted by nk77 View Post

 

Let us know how that turns out. What was the amp you used beforehand for the 1Plus2? 

For portable amps I have used Meier Stepdance, ALO RX3 combo with Cypher labs solo dac & RSA Hornet. I just switch to TH900 now and boy this M8 sound really good... no kidding..

post #172 of 1319

What ohm setting are you using with the TH900?

post #173 of 1319
Quote:
Originally Posted by nk77 View Post

What ohm setting are you using with the TH900?

Using 1 ohm & playing Enya now.

post #174 of 1319
Like what am reading on this thread , so far
Still waiting on my late birthday present to come
post #175 of 1319

My iCompatible M8 has been burning in for about a day now (it is getting better over time).  It sounds really good.  I just A/Bd it against my Sony PHA-1 and it's clearly better - bigger soundstage, more detail, better separation - just better.  It's definite and very nice.  This was with a Touch 4G, a qusp low-profile USB lod, playing lossless into MG6PROs with a Twag cable.  Not balanced, and with all the switches on baseline - haven't played with them much yet. 

 

(And if this doesn't make you jealous I'm seeing Robert Plant tonight, outdoors in Brooklyn...) 

post #176 of 1319
Thread Starter 

Centrance Hifi-M8 and Hifi-M8 LX (8 versions!) incoming impressions and appr...

@barbes-any difference using the qusp lod compared to the Centrance lod?
Edited by ExpatinJapan - 7/27/13 at 2:10pm
post #177 of 1319
Quote:
Originally Posted by verber View Post

In the last two days I have been switching between my previous portable system and the HiFi-M8:

 

  • Mac Air -> HiFi-M8 -(balanced)->HD800
  • Mac Air -> AQ Dragonfly -> Headamp Pico Power -(3 wire)->HD800

 

 

Originally I was planning to keep one system and sell the other, but at this time I am likely going to keep both. For me, the HiFi-M8 is more convenient to use much of the time, and it being able to take input from my i-devices is a very useful, but I seem to have a slight preference for the sound of the Dragonfly + PicoPower and when I am using my Mac Air it's a more compact system.

 

In a few weeks I will try to write up a bit more when I have had more time to listen to both systems, used my IEMs, and done some blind A-B-X testing.

 

--Mark

 

I suspect that the Dragonfly vs. the M8 DAC section may be the system equalizer.  CEntrance has always been known for their DAC implementation.  What I would like to see are some comparisons between the M8 and selected external portable amp setups, such as the Leckerton UHA-6S.MkII, utilizing the M8 line out option such as it is (volume full out; gain on middle position (2)) and the M8 as a stand-alone system. 

post #178 of 1319
I'd be very interested in hearing comparisons on the DAC section of the M8 as 50% of my usage would be connected to my home system.
post #179 of 1319
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacal01 View Post

 

I suspect that the Dragonfly vs. the M8 DAC section may be the system equalizer.  CEntrance has always been known for their DAC implementation.  What I would like to see are some comparisons between the M8 and selected external portable amp setups, such as the Leckerton UHA-6S.MkII, utilizing the M8 line out option such as it is (volume full out; gain on middle position (2)) and the M8 as a stand-alone system. 

I don't still own a DACport, but the HiFi-M8 seem to sound like I remember the DACport sounding.  That is $3 with get you a cup of coffee.

 

I don't have a Leckerton to test, but for grins I will do the HiFi-M8 running as "line output" into my GS-X mk2 at some point, but I am not expecting a huge improvement.  The build in amplifier is pretty good.  My experience in the past has been that if a DAC with integrated amplifier has enough power to drive a pair of headphone in question with authority (the HiFi-M8 does with the HD800), that adding a better amp makes at best, a small, incremental improvement.  It also seems like a silly use of the HiFi-M8, which has been positioned as a DACport with a beefy amplifier.  If you plan to use some external amplifier, you might as well go with the simpler, cheaper, and easier to power DACport.

 

--Mark


Edited by verber - 7/27/13 at 7:43pm
post #180 of 1319

DACport is USB powered, not battery.  Different application, requiring a notebook at minimum.

 

The M8 as DAC and GS-X MkII may surprise you.  But the M8/DAC + pico power would be the more appropriate comparison.


Edited by jacal01 - 7/27/13 at 10:08pm
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