Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Source Gear › Centrance Hifi-M8 and Hifi-M8 LX (8 versions!) impressions thread
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Centrance Hifi-M8 and Hifi-M8 LX (8 versions!) impressions thread - Page 56

post #826 of 1227
Wow. This PanAm vs M8 talk is making me want to try out centrance's new toy more and more. I like the Pan Am quite a bit.

Agreed that tubes can improve or at least alter the PanAm to suit one's listening preferences. This should be a great comparison as both play in the same price range (with the passprt in tow of course).
post #827 of 1227
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatmanSize48 View Post

fraggler,

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.

Not a clue.  This was a meet last year.  Not even sure who owned it.  Listened via HD800 and LCD3.  I might not be using quite the right words.  It just didn't seem very smooth through the mids to the treble.  Very atypical of tubes.  Again, it wasn't bad or anything, it just didn't impress me for the price.  The meet conditions could have hamstrung it.

post #828 of 1227
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrSheep View Post
 

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.

 

That I will be quite interested to hear feedback on that pairing.  Since my Thunderpants fell through, I've been considering what would be a good alternate.  And the Alpha Dogs seem to fit the bill...

post #829 of 1227

The Fedex man delivered my M8 today.  I've only had the chance to try it for a few minutes using my iPod Classic connected in balanced mode to the LCD-3 via Q cables.  My initial impression is very positive...a very clean sound with plenty of power when output is set in the medium position.  

 

I really want to try connecting to a MacBook Pro Retina via Pure Music as well as auditioning some streaming services such as MOG and also some You Tube live music uploads.

 

I had the opportunity to hear the Focal Grand Utopia speakers ($180k+ a pair) this weekend and it would be ludicrous to say that the M8 sounded better.  But it wasn't THAT far behind.  

 

Fit an finish were excellent, and It made a nice fit for the IPod Classic.

post #830 of 1227

I went walking with the M8 today, using the iPod Touch 3rd gen as the source.  I found an old pleather bag that was slightly oversized to give the rig some protection, and put the iPod/M8 rig in my pants front pocket.  A bit of a squeeze, but it worked just fine.  My headphone of choice today was the VSonic GR-07 BE, which isn't particularly hard to drive, but it has almost no cable microphonics, and I get a good seal with a pair of Comply Tx-400 foam tips.  

 

What I noticed immediately -- the extended bass.  The GR-07 BE is a bass-oriented IEM, but this bass was more extended than I remember.  Then I thought back to the rig I was mentally comparing it to:  an iPod Video feeding a Fiio E12 via a LOD.  Normally I don't use the bass boost on the E12, and I recall that the E12 rolls off the bass a little bit (the iPod should not out of its LOD, but I have not checked).  My memory served me well:

 

http://www.jensign.com/FiiOE17/RMAA/CompareE17E12/Compare_E17_E12.htm

 

Notice the bass rolloff to -1.5dB at 20Hz.  Tyll's measurements of the E12 Mont Blanc show the rolloff continuing to -2.5dB at 10Hz.  

 

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/AllAmpsJuly2013.pdf

 

I'm guessing that the M8 is ruler flat at low frequencies.  I didn't think this difference would be noticeable, but it definitely is.  

 

Material used to evaluate:  Daft Punk, Random Access Memories

post #831 of 1227
Quote:
Originally Posted by NZheadcase View Post

Wow. This PanAm vs M8 talk is making me want to try out centrance's new toy more and more. I like the Pan Am quite a bit.

Agreed that tubes can improve or at least alter the PanAm to suit one's listening preferences. This should be a great comparison as both play in the same price range (with the passprt in tow of course).
Looking back, I now believe that it is the M8's DAC that allows it to produce a cleaner, more detailed sound than the Pan Am does. I remember feeding my ODAC into the Pan Am and being rewarded with extra detail and clarity.
post #832 of 1227

Received my M8 today. Breaking it in with my JH5's currently, and my HE-500's soon enough. I can provide comparisons to the ALO National, if anyone is interested.

 

Planning to sit with the unit for a while before really digging into impressions.

post #833 of 1227
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzman7 View Post

 

Material used to evaluate:  Daft Punk, Random Access Memories

Awesome; that album is one of my faves for the morning packed-train commute.  I downloaded some maniac`s 24/96 vinyl to FLAC rip of that album last night and can`t wait to compare it to my CD version. . . 

post #834 of 1227

Here's an update, as promised, on the M8/HD800 combo.

 

Balanced: No difference is perceived between balanced and unbalanced. Color these ears deaf?

 

Pan Am (Siemens tubes; the Mullards just were not for me) vs M8

 

Treble:

 

The Pan Am's treble is smooth as silk with the Siemens tubes, yet, as mentioned previously, is nowhere near as detailed as that of the M8 due to its rather (relatively) sub par DAC.  On poorly mastered tracks, the M8 does bring out the slightly bright treble often bemoaned by HD800 users; this may be attributed to the M8's accurate, distortion-free presentation.

 

By any standards, a draw.

 

Mids:

 

The Pan Am's midrange, though lush and inviting, provites an ersatz representation of the source material. There is no substitute for neutral mids, as those portrayed by the M8.

 

A clear win for the M8.

 

Bass:

 

This next section really depends upon the type of bass one prefers. Bassheads musn't take notice of this post; the HD800 most likely is an unsuitable headphone for such listeners. Proponents of "analytical" bass, such as that proudly flaunted by the K702 and UERM, rejoice. The boomy bass that oozes through the Pan Am is handily vanquished by the taut, controlled response of the M8. Detail finally is allowed to claw through the Pan Am's layers of silt and filth and reach the ears of the now enlightened listener. Of course, the real difference is not as dramatic as these words imply; by a moderate, but not insignificant margin, the M8 emerges victorious. 

post #835 of 1227

Massively useful, these last few HD800-related posts.  

 

Thanks all,

 

d

post #836 of 1227
So, I got my CEntrance HiFi-M8 XL4 iDevice on Mon, originally purchasing it in January.
For its arrival I have been creating a new iTunes library and re-organising my 160GB iPod Classic 6G 1st Version (no revision) circa Sept 2007.

---

As a side note, the 6G iPod Classic 3rd Version (2nd Revision) circa Sept 2009 is often mistaken as the 7G, which does not exist atm. Check this link out.
Indeed, Apple have not update the iPod Classic line since 2009, yet...

---

Click here for a short story about my iTunes and iPod woes for just over four years, but you can skip this bit. (Click to show)
In mid-2009, my iTunes library go corrupt and 4 years (then) worth of lossy music was lost on my PC,  leaving my iPod as the only other device that had the vast majority of my music intact. My lossless files were ok.


The year before I was going to get a 1TB HDD but then the banking crisis occurred, and an unfortunate natural disaster, massive flooding, struck Thailand and ruined the HDD/SDD's factories.


With spiraling university and academic costs, I didn't pick up a new HDD and could not backup my iPod.


Cue four years and in Feb I picked up a 3TB HDD for a song! Then my PC died. Yeah. YEAH. :'(


Somehow I managed to save my main data, but not the operating system.


Anyway, with the help of my sisters netbook, a USB 3.0 SATA HDD/SDD's dock and a Samsung SE-218CB ultra-slim optical DVD writer, I was finally able to back up my iPod (backed up my old iTunes library manually, and then used CopyTrans to make an iPod iTunes library). Once done, I archived both to my 3TB HDD.


My music tastes and consumption changed much in four years, so though I miss my old music, I was never going back to most of it. I also use mostly FLAC/Apple Lossless audio files with rare exception to MP3 downloads.


So I created a new, up-to-date iTunes library specifically for my HiFi-M8 and iPod Classic. This is solely for music that is below 24 bit/44.1 kHz,  and is going to hold Apple Lossless music files as far as possible. My Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will handle high-resolution FLAC/Apple Lossless formats.


---

With my newly organised iPod Classic and my Heir Audio 4.Ai IEM's with the Magnus cable, and CEntrance's own iDevice USB cable, here is my first impression:
EARGASM'S APLOMB!!! \m/

For the first time I have stopped using my JDS Labs C5 amp, and all my headphone amps have been from JDS Labs, but the CEntrance HiFi-M8 destroys it utterly.

Granted, I still love the monstrous and detailed bass boost available on the C5, but the sheer clarity, dynamics, soundstage, depth, visceral detail and tonality from the HiFi-M8 are simply astonishing and beautiful.

My NuForce Icon amp (1st Gen with 23W PSU) is not even worth comparing. No, really, the HiFi-M8 lives far beyond on another league.

My tonal controls are set as follows:
Impedance = 3rd setting (11 ohms),
Gain = 1st setting, normal,
Treble = 2nd setting, +,
Bass = 2nd, +, or 3rd, ++, setting depending on the music, but usually the middle 2nd setting.

I am astounded by the sound quality and tech gone into it, and I am glad I pre-ordered in Jan.

The tone settings are very, very subtle but with revealing gear are very obvious. This is not hypercritical, but with some headphones you my not notice the difference. I personally don't think they truly add much value to the music,  but I have only just started using the HiFi-M8. Conversely they don't rob anything away from the music neither.
HOW DID YOU MANAGE TO DO THAT MICHAEL &  CO.!!! :O

About the bass:

Listening to Metallica’s Through the Never soundtrack via my Heir Audio 4.Ai's, the bass volume and power that my JDS Labs C5 provides is lost but the sheer clarity and dynamics through the epic noisy tracks is a marvel. I can actually hear the layers of music and the finger/hand/feet movements of the instrumentalists. I feel like I am back in the IMAX cinema, but the Heir Audio 4.Ai is not the right audio gear (even if it sounds realistic). Need to get my Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro's that I lent to a friend back ASAP so that I can enjoy the bass again for some of my music collection.

Don't mistake this to be that the HiFi-M8 is weak on bass (that could not be further from the truth,  as the bass is truly brilliant and detailed) but for my tastes on select albums I need more bass power, which my Heir Audio 4.Ai's cannot provide unless I use my JDS Labs C5, though that does reduce music detail retrieval by a large margin.

The Through the Never is so far the only album that left me wanting more bass, though Deadmau5, Massive Attack, Daft Punk, and NIN have been perfect with the HiFi-M8 (bass setting mainly at + or sometimes ++) .

I don't own mega expensive desktop audio gear or portable amps, but if what I read by the vast majority of owners is correct, then this may very well be the most powerful feature rich portable amp on the planet, followed closely by the CypherLabs Theorem, PortaPro, and the other soon-to-be-released feature rich DSD capable amp Sony PHA-2.

Unfortunately, I must criticise the HiFi-M8 for having no analogue inputs as this disables it for use with my Xbox 360/TurtleBeach 7.1 DSS Sound Processor.
There are other devices I would like to also use with the HiFi-M8 (for use with my John Blue Audio JB3 speakers directly) but this is an unfortunate missing feature of the HiFi-M8.

At least the JDS Labs C5 is an amazing gaming amp then! wink.gif

Right now I really want to use my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 for my high-resolution audio (especially NIN's Hesitation Marks Audiophile Master and The Civil Wars The Civil Wars), but I am waiting on a cheap OTG cable until Frank from Toxic Cables can complete a really unique, and wildly expensive, 4-wire/channel Silver Widow Type-B to Micro-B OTG cable.

He also happens to be making me a far more expensive 4-wire/channel Silver Widow IEM cable with Heir Audio/UE/Westone pins and a special male 4-pin XLR with silver pins, and a matching adapter cable with a female XLR connector and a Furutech 3.5mm connector.

Yes, I have been doing overtime at work (the grand total is just under my main monthly wage packet!) for these cables and Xbox One console + games (I like PS4, but my friends are on Xbox Live and I prioritise that over anything. However, GTA V, Batman Arkham Origins, Halo Reach/4 and Dark Souls are more important on my Xbox 360. Can't wait for Dark Souls II WOOO!).

Until I get my COP's back, and whilst I am awaiting new pads for my AKG K 701 (stock cables on both), impressions with both these cans will come later. 
Until then I shall continue my aural bliss with my iPod Classic, Heir Audio 4.Ai's, and HiFi-M8.

<3


Written on my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with SwiftKey keyboard replacement App and Anker Ultra-Slim wireless Bluetooth keyboard.
Edited by TheOneInYellow - 10/23/13 at 11:14am
post #837 of 1227
I have finally received my HIFI M8 and I am happy that I took the IEM Mod, because this is my most prominent use. And on high gain I can still hear hiss with my UM reshelled TF10.
They sound spectacular through this Amp/Dac combo. And the difference with the Impedance swith is more than subtile. With the Shure SE535 the Hiss is less prominent.

Still inbalaced Mode there is still enough power for my HE500. The Grado GS 1000 sounds spectacular too. The biggest supprise is the AKG Q702. The Bass switch made wonders for the sometimes the anemic AKG. Perfect Synnergy in this case.
Edited by cucera - 10/23/13 at 9:17pm
post #838 of 1227
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOneInYellow View Post

So, I got my CEntrance HiFi-M8 XL4 iDevice on Mon.....

Right now I really want to use my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 for my high-resolution audio (especially NIN's Hesitation Marks Audiophile Master and The Civil Wars The Civil Wars), but I am waiting on a cheap OTG cable until Frank from Toxic Cables can complete a really unique, and wildly expensive, 4-wire/channel Silver Widow Type-B to Micro-B OTG cable.
 

 

Does that mean that, with the appropriate cable, using your Note3 you can play 24/96 files (or even 24/192 ??) on your HiFi M8 WITHOUT having them downsampled to 16 bits in the process ?  

 

- How do you manage to do this ? (I thought that Android so far still is limited to 16 /44 "USB out'" )

 

- What player are you using ??

 

- Is it only with the Note3 that this can be done ???

 

thanks

post #839 of 1227
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmichels View Post

Does that mean that, with the appropriate cable, using your Note3 you can play 24/96 files (or even 24/192 ??) on your HiFi M8 WITHOUT having them downsampled to 16 bits in the process ?  

- How do you manage to do this ? (I thought that Android so far still is limited to 16 /44 "USB out'" )

- What player are you using ??

- Is it only with the Note3 that this can be done ???

thanks

Look for the Android and USB DAC thread and find your device. For just about all android devices, you will have to use USB audio recorder pro for hi res music if you don't want downsampling.
post #840 of 1227
Quote:
Originally Posted by FraGGleR View Post


Look for the Android and USB DAC thread and find your device. For just about all android devices, you will have to use USB audio recorder pro for hi res music if you don't want downsampling.

Thanks.  I know about USB audio recorder pro for hi res , but... i want to be able to play High-res with a decent interface that support playlist & album cover !  so, I am looking for a more user friendly player that can play High-res.

 

I wonder if the Note 3 does with the stock player ??

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Portable Source Gear
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Source Gear › Centrance Hifi-M8 and Hifi-M8 LX (8 versions!) impressions thread