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Centrance Hifi-M8 and Hifi-M8 LX (8 versions!) impressions thread - Page 34

post #496 of 1308
Quote:
Originally Posted by aamefford View Post

You are in for a fun evening!
Yes sir wink.gif Now I'm wondering why I have sold my LCD-3 a couple of months ago frown.gif
post #497 of 1308
Quote:
Originally Posted by pfillion View Post


Yes sir wink.gif Now I'm wondering why I have sold my LCD-3 a couple of months ago frown.gif

Bummer, and I am just looking for a pair too.

post #498 of 1308
Quote:
Originally Posted by pfillion View Post

Yes sir wink.gif Now I'm wondering why I have sold my LCD-3 a couple of months ago frown.gif
A combo I'm really hoping to hear *cough mikemercer cough* ;-)
post #499 of 1308

This is an old-ish quote, but I received my M8 today, and I corroborate verber's observations below.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by verber View Post
... 7/26/13

"The HiFi-M8 seems slightly richer / darker.  The Dragonfly+PicoPower seems to have a bit more sparkle, and seems a bit more transparent." 

 

For the past few months, I've been enjoying the Dragonfly in this chain: Win7/Win8 laptops / Jriver18 / WASAPI / FLAC / Dragonfly / LCD-2 or UE10

 

(Yes yes, Dragonfly & LCD-2.  Chuckle chuckle, but highs and vocal presence with this combo is stellar.  I also own a Headroom balanced desktop amp, and recently sold my Lyr, and while they put out good power, neither amp had the musical synergy with the LCD-2 as compared with the Dragonfly.)

 

I love this sound and have become very accustomed to its open, airy, lively musical qualities.  Injecting the M8 into the chain today and keeping all JRiver EQ settings constant, the sound was indeed powerful and rich but quite different in tone and impression.  

 

It's obviously way too early to judge the M8, but the differences were so immediate and pronounced that I had to go back through this impressions thread to see if anyone echo'd similar sentiments.

 

Other thoughts / observations:

 

- There is hiss at lowest gain / 1 ohm using my UE10, that interestingly peaks at 3 o'clock and then goes back down at max volume.  That said, the level of hiss is a non-factor when playing music, so I won't pursue the hiss mod.  Further, volume pot movement is silent, not scratchy.  There is no discernible hiss using my balanced LCD-2s

 

- The volume pot physically tightens up at that same 2-3 o'clock spot, but it doesn't ultimately impact volume linearity / consistency

 

- Using the UE10, there is a clear shift (congested to open sound and vocals) going from 1 to 2 ohms, but no difference to 11.  No sound change at all using LCD-2. 

 

- All sources / content work perfectly fine using my iPad3, from streaming FLAC through Squeezeplayer, MOG, Apple Movie Trailers, etc.

 

- Using Jriver18 & WASAPI, I use the DSP output setting to make all my music (at varying sample rates) output at the SAME rate as the setting in the Centrance driver.  Otherwise, if I didn't use that DSP output config, I had to manually change the Centrance driver setting each time I played songs with different sample rates (ex. CD 44khz to HD Tracks 96khz).  Until I figured that out, Jriver would hang and give me an error msg.

 

- The M8 tone controls are very subtle, I'd actually like them a bit more impactful.

 

- To end, my biggest initial concern is the sound quality coming from my ipod classic 7G 160GB.  All tracks on the ipod are lossless ALAC ripped from CD.  I don't use the ipod's EQ, as it introduces distortion.  

 

The M8 / ipod combo is disappointing.  Loud, yes, but congested and dull compared to the M8 being fed by JRiver18 / PC, and then another step up in clarity is the Dragonfly / Jriver combo.  I recognize that JRiver has extensive EQ / DSP capabilities whereas the ipod is comparably flat in tone.  I wish its EQ was more effective vs. destructive to the sound.      

 

I expect that the M8 needs further burn-in and I love its portability & power.  I'm now wishing for analog and spdif / coax inputs, to use different sources.   

 

More impressions to come.  I've read positive things on how the M8 pairs with Mad Dogs, so that's something else to investigate.  Damn this hobby!

post #500 of 1308
Quote:
Originally Posted by deadie View Post
 

- To end, my biggest initial concern is the sound quality coming from my ipod classic 7G 160GB.  All tracks on the ipod are lossless ALAC ripped from CD.  I don't use the ipod's EQ, as it introduces distortion.  

 

The M8 / ipod combo is disappointing.  Loud, yes, but congested and dull compared to the M8 being fed by JRiver18 / PC, and then another step up in clarity is the Dragonfly / Jriver combo.  I recognize that JRiver has extensive EQ / DSP capabilities whereas the ipod is comparably flat in tone.  I wish its EQ was more effective vs. destructive to the sound.

What's your EQ settings for JRiver? Have you tried to do some A/B'ing with the EQ turned off?

post #501 of 1308

Of the JRiver DSP settings, other than the necessary Output Format, if I use EQ it's primarily the "Rock" (classic V) setting.

 

I don't use the Parametric EQ or the Crossfade.  The Rock EQ in conjunction with the Dragonfly's house sound is very appealing to me.  Removing the JRiver EQ variable, the music still sounded better vs. the ipod, using either HW (though DF sounded better).

 

The laptop plus a small DAC/amp provided a nice transportable / luggable solution with really good sound and I was hoping for something even more portable, still with high storage capacity, and with comparable AQ.

 

All that said, although this comparison was (I hope) reasonable given portability and price-point similarities, I likely need to view / critique what I have unto itself -- a very powerful, portable balanced amp, that's native idevice compatible.  That might mean switching to an ipod touch or using another headphone with perhaps better synergy, etc.  Who was I to think the search might be over?  Fool!

 

Other data:

 

- I'm having a couple of technical issues with no sound sometimes being output at music start (ipod shows it's playing), having to reset and remedy the issue by flipping the power switch back to the middle then again to right.  

 

Also, my 3 LED battery light indicator isn't... indicating, though it had charged up for hours.  All LEDs are off, power cable unplugged, on battery power, on either idevice or USB inputs.  I'll leave it charging overnight and check again tomorrow.  Michael has forwarded my issues to his engineers and so am waiting on follow up.

 

- I copied over a few ALACs to my wife's iPhone 4S, and the sound quality was a bit better than the ipod 7G, so I'm hopeful that maybe the newest-gen high capacity touch might be a better source solution.

 

- Just now I used my ipad3 as a source, it too sounds better than the ipod -- the ipad playing local stored ALACs as well as streamed FLAC using Squeezepad app.  

 

Both local and streamed songs sounded identical on the ipad, so that's good news, takes away one variable to wonder about.

post #502 of 1308

^ That's weird. Why should the Classic sound worse than other sources? Isn't the digital signal supposed to be bit perfect?

post #503 of 1308
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoichi View Post
 

^ That's weird. Why should the Classic sound worse than other sources? Isn't the digital signal supposed to be bit perfect?

 

Agreed.  I wish this wasn't the case.

 

It's still very early days.  I'm looking forward to reading confirmation or disputing impressions once more units are in the field.

post #504 of 1308
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoichi View Post
 

^ That's weird. Why should the Classic sound worse than other sources? Isn't the digital signal supposed to be bit perfect?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deadie View Post
 

 

Agreed.  I wish this wasn't the case.

 

It's still very early days.  I'm looking forward to reading confirmation or disputing impressions once more units are in the field.

Hmmmmm, the classic is what I've been using so far.  It sounds great.  I'll experiment of the next week or so.

post #505 of 1308

Michael and his engineering team requested my ipod classic info, which I'll also post here:

 

Model, back: A1238
Model, settings menu: MC297LL
Version, settings menu: 2.0.4 PC
 
If you're willing, pls post your ipod's info as well.  Let's take a quant approach and maybe we can correlate issues to ipod version / age / etc.
post #506 of 1308
Quote:
Originally Posted by deadie View Post
 

Michael and his engineering team requested my ipod classic info, which I'll also post here:

 

Model, back: A1238
Model, settings menu: MC297LL
Version, settings menu: 2.0.4 PC
 
If you're willing, pls post your ipod's info as well.  Let's take a quant approach and maybe we can correlate issues to ipod version / age / etc.

Mine's almost the same:

Model, back: A1238
Model, settings menu: MC297LL
Version, settings menu: 2.0.4 Mac
post #507 of 1308
Quote:
Originally Posted by deadie View Post
 

Model, back: A1238

Model, settings menu: MC297LL
Version, settings menu: 2.0.4 PC

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by aamefford View Post
 

Mine's almost the same:

Model, back: A1238
Model, settings menu: MC297LL
Version, settings menu: 2.0.4 Mac

 

So, this is finally settled: Mac is better than PC, after all :D

post #508 of 1308
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoichi View Post
 

So, this is finally settled: Mac is better than PC, after all :D

This is a classic case of type 2, or external validity, error.

post #509 of 1308
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoichi View Post
 

 

 

So, this is finally settled: Mac is better than PC, after all :D

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrSheep View Post
 

This is a classic case of type 2, or external validity, error.

Hey wait!  I have a masters degree - can I play?  I jest, I jest (well, I do have a masters, but I was just being a dink).  Yeah, all sorts of stuff wrong with the statement, but fun none the less.

 

I can test over the next week or two - Stated iPod classic, Touch 4G 64, iphone 4, iphone 4s, macbook air with itunes+Bitperfect.  I'll bet I don't hear much if any difference, either because there isn't one, or my ears and brain aren't well trained enough to hear it.  If the M8 is truly pulling 1's and 0's from all, there really shouldn't be a difference?

post #510 of 1308

It shouldn't, unless something slows it down and gets buffering errors.

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