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Centrance Hifi-M8 and Hifi-M8 LX (8 versions!) impressions thread - Page 55

post #811 of 1319
Originally Posted by Dopaminer View Post

fantastic with HD800 ????  


I have been waiting for this amp for my HD800 portable system (currently ALO contiV2) but it doesn`s seem like anyone is raving about this combo. . .   

Or have I missed something ?  (highly probable)



I certainly like what I am hearing.  I have heard better, but not out of a portable and not for at least $500-1000 more.

post #812 of 1319
Originally Posted by flyfish2002 View Post

I recently left a iPod 4G/CLAS/SR-71b rig for a AK100/SR-71b rig, as all of my music is either WAV or lossless, uncompressed FLAC - and about 40% of it is 24/96.  I was using two different third party apps on the iPod to play WAV and FLAC, it was hard to carry a three piece rig and I was limited to 16/48.


I plan to enjoy the new combo for a while, but think about replacing the SR-71b with an M8 LX - by passing the AK100 DAC. Basically, using the AK100 as a digital source with the M8 LX providing the DAC and amp.


Don't know if I will ever pull the trigger - the AK100/SR-71b rig sounds great and it has a very small footprint.  The AK100 is smaller than the SR-71b.


That being said, I see the M8 LX for those who just don't want to live in the Apple universe, but want convenience and high quality.



Is somewhat like my consideration only with the international... the A&K is its a DAC to have purchased it and not use it feels a bit off... needs to be a comparison between DAP's played with their own DAC's and played through another with it bypassed, more power yes but does that translate to better sound?


The M8 really needed an analogue line in.

post #813 of 1319
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post


Are you using a PC?  


It's great with a Mac, but in the past I've compared the same USB DAC on a PC vs on a Mac, and the PC always sounded bad.


That can be fixed with software.  There are a few threads here that address software that will bypass the Windows sound mixer and improve the sound quite a bit.  Also your music player software can affect the sound on a PC a bit too.  I'm a Mac guy, but I seem to have read a lot of PC users using Foobar 2000 player and ASIO4ALL or other software that gives the player direct access to the USB ports.

No, I'm using a Mac...that's what's confusing me!  But hopefully I'll get a chance to try it out with my Mac Mini desktop system tomorrow (been too busy today), to determine whether it's a problem with my laptop or with the HiFiM8.

post #814 of 1319

My M8 was sent on Wednesday and scheduled for delivery Monday, but the Fedex man came early today!  First impressions...


The M8 is very,very well built.   The curved sides make it quite nice to hold and carry around.  


I've mainly been using it with an iPod Touch 3rd gen as the source..  The M8 really goes well with an iPod Touch.  The thinness of the Touch makes it seem more like a thick DAP with a screen than a two-piece rig.  I am using a short 3cm 30-pin to USB cable that is a little shorter than the Centrance supplied cable.  With this cable, the M8 with Touch fits nicely inside a CaseLogic hard drive case I have without having to disconnect the two.  


I also briefly tried it with an iPhone 4 on iOS7 two ways -- the normal iDevice way to the USB A port on the M8, and with a 30-pin CCK connected to the computer USB B port on the M8.  Both connection methods work, and both produce audio from 24/96 files, although I cannot confirm whether the M8 is running native or resampling, or whether the iPhone is feeding it 24/96 in the iDevice mode.  I do know that the HRT microStreamer decodes the signal at 96kHz (as it has a status light to show it) using the CCK with the app I am using.  I assume that the M8 does the same thing with the CCK -- i.e. 96kHz playback when connected by the USB B port and with a specialized app.


On the sound:  The M8 driving the W1000X puts a smile on my face.  It think my hunt for a better headphone may be slowed a bit with the M8.  I need more time to listen, so I will try it more tomorrow with my T50RP w/Alpha Pads, a much harder to drive headphone, as well as my older Senn HD580.   

post #815 of 1319
Originally Posted by LionTamer View Post

I received my HiFiM8 today, and am finally giving it a listen 7 months after ordering...it was worth the wait!  So far, I've tried 2 configurations:


1)  USB out of my MacBook Pro, which is SSD equipped, using iTunes via BitPerfect


2)  iPod Classic, hooked up the "normal" way.


I'm not sure how much of it is the USB implementation on the M8 and how much is the difference between iPod Classic and the computer, but the iPod version sounds a *lot* better than via USB.  In comparison to the awesome, clean, powerful, detailed sound that makes my LCD 3's sing when the M8 is hooked up to the iPod, the USB connection to my computer sounds muffled and lacking in power with the same headphones - requiring volume to be at maximum to hear anything (with the iPod connection, my volume is below half).


So...while I'm not quite satisfied with the USB performance at this point, I am absolutely loving the iPod performance.  And that's fine with me, since the purpose of this amp/dac is to use it with my iDevices - I have the Woo to use with my Wavelength USB DAC for computer use.  But I am intrigued by this difference.


Has anybody else noticed this difference?  I've read the last few pages of this thread and not seen much actual talk about the sound of the M8...


I'll keep experimenting with headphones and different computers and iDevices to see if this is maybe an issue of my laptop just having crappy audio output.

A followup...I'm listening now through my Mac Mini, and it sounds much better than it did from my Macbook Pro - it has as much kick as the iPod direct, and HiRez is sounding better - in fact the whole thing seems a bit smoother than the iPod, so the sound is a slight upgrade over the iPod now when using the USB input.  Conclusion:  the HiFiM8 is fantastic, but the USB/digital audio output from my laptop is wonky.  It's an older machine that's not under Applecare anymore, so I'll just use the Mac Mini when portability isn't needed and the iPod when it is needed...eventually a new, fully functional laptop will enter the picture, and then I'll have quality audio reproduction on the go with my laptop again!


As a quick comparison to my Wavelength DAC/Woo amp desktop setup (that costs ~10 times the price), the HiFiM8 isn't wanting for clarity - it loses out in the flow/silkiness/texture of (especially) the midrange, but that's to be expected.  The HiFiM8 has plenty of juice, clarity and character to make the LCD3's open up, which is more than can be said for lots of desktop systems that I've tried.  A truly impressive product.

post #816 of 1319

My FedEx delivery came early too. I have been unable to discern the difference between WASAPI playback and the digital out from my IPC/IP5--both sound excellent. I must say that the M8 possesses a very different sound to that of the ALO Pan Am; for better or worse, I am yet to tell. 

post #817 of 1319

I haven't had a chance to do my comparison yet with another portable rig -- an iPod Video 5.5gen with LOD to a Fiio E12.  But I have been listening this evening to the M8 driving the Fostex T50RP modded with the Alpha Pads.  The T50RP is hard to drive, and I have never been truly satisfied using it with any other portable DAP+amp setup including the iPod/E12 rig.  The M8 works amazingly well with the T50RP.  I put the entire contents of my iPod Touch on shuffle and was loving each song that came up -- effortless sound.  

post #818 of 1319

Would really love to hear more impressions with HD800.  What I`ve read so far hasn`t been super positive. . . . 

post #819 of 1319
Originally Posted by Dopaminer View Post

Would really love to hear more impressions with HD800.  What I`ve read so far hasn`t been super positive. . . .

Then you have been reading the wrong thing, as almost every impression I read about the M8 with the HD800 are extremely positive.

post #820 of 1319
Originally Posted by DrSheep View Post

Then you have been reading the wrong thing, as almost every impression I read about the M8 with the HD800 are extremely positive.

Where? Could you point me in the right direction?

post #821 of 1319
post #822 of 1319

I am one of the few it seems that does the bulk of his listening to the HD800s with the M8.  I have posted brief impressions in the past, but I can reiterate here that I really like the pairing.  I feel like the last thing you want to do is have a DAC/amp that doesn't do precision or detail well when using the HD800s.  Why hamstring them that way?  The M8 does precision and detail very well and I think goes very well with the HD800s.  Tons of headroom for volume, and the bass enhancement switch is beautifully done, giving the HD800s a tiny kick in the pants when needed for certain tracks.  I think one thing to keep in mind is that many people don't find the HD800s "fun" or "musical" so it won't matter what DAC/amp you pair them with for those.  Others prefer more colored equipment to pair with the HD800s to give them that touch of magic.  While I can agree that sometimes I miss the syrupy warmth of my HD650s, I love the honesty that the HD800s have and I like them with the M8.  I am still rebuilding my Bottlehead S.E.X. so I can't do any useful direct comparisons yet.  The HD800/M8 pairing is definitely better than the HD800/Nuforce HDP that I was using prior (not a bad combo at all, by the way).  Relying on memory, the S.E.X./Concero pairing might be a better listen, but that combo has cost me double what the M8 did, and it can't even pretend to be portable.


I have listened to my HD800s out of a Ray Samuels Intruder a couple times, and while the size and gain of the Intruder was impressive, I just felt that the M8 did a better job of nuance.  For roughly the same price, I like the sound better out of the M8, and when you add in the versatility, it is a no-brainer for me (though the Intruder wins on overall portability).  I also enjoyed the M8 more than an ALO Pan Am that I tested out.  I felt that though the Pan Am did add a nice touch of warmth to the HD800s, it was slightly grainy.  Take those impressions with a grain of salt, though since they were at meets (decently small, quiet meets, but noisier than my normal listening environments for sure).  I am going to a local meet in a couple weeks where I should have access to an Intruder again and will try to hide away and do a better comparison.

post #823 of 1319

Thanks DrSheep.  

The last article was good, included this "the HD800 sounded marvelous with the M8 and the volume knob stayed at around the 10 o'clock position for most of the tracks. The bass sounded taut and deep. The highs were smooth and controlled. The mids were airy, crisp and full. This was the first portable device I've tried which could drive the HD800 well. It could be even better in balanced mode."  


The headphonia article doesn`t include the HD800, btw.  



post #824 of 1319

No, that one was for your reference only.  I was in the same boat about the M8 with the HD800, but now I sort of changed my mind and will be going with the XLR version of the Alpha Dog instead due to cost.

post #825 of 1319

I'm right with you on the Pan Am/M8 comparison. The M8 is more detailed and neutral than I ever remember my Pan Am to be, but I don't recall the Pan Am having a grainy treble, at least with my tubes. Is there any way you could find out what tubes were used? They make a big difference to the Pan Am's performance.
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