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
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!!!
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!
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.
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