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REVIEW: HiFi ET MA8 DAP - Page 2

post #16 of 51

Yesterday i`ve bought MA8 from Russian Dealer aleXmod

I`m very happy.

MA8`s sound is great.

I don`t know what would be much more better for this price and usability (rockbox) and battery time over 8 hours + sound.

I`ll recommend MA8 for evrybody for this price under $ 600 and may be more.

post #17 of 51

I tried to search but couldn't find... does this player have coaxial or optical out?
 

post #18 of 51

No.

Line-Out only

post #19 of 51
Are u using it standalone or with amp? I am also interested...
post #20 of 51

I `m using MA8 standalone and it is GREAT!!! 

I need no amp even for Beyerdynamic DT250 250 Ohm and Etymotic ER4-S.

And Rockbox (!!!) with stock soft using dualboot + over 9 hours playback time - i`m so happy!!!


Edited by FALEEV - 8/2/13 at 4:22am
post #21 of 51
Glad to hear that u r enjoying your new purchase...the reason for asking is that i read online u can change the amp card to balance amp card... For non technical consumer like myself will not know how to do it.. I guess i can solve half of my problem amping it with Intruder...
U can rockbox already? I suppose u can play 24bit files now.. MA8 is not listed on the rockbox site yet...
post #22 of 51
We have not official rockbox but full working from russian developers. It's works fine. No bugs no problems except some CUE files.
But i'm not use cue. I like flac in tracks only. So i' m happy very much. Head amp is so powerful that i can listen Beyerdynamic 250 (250Ohm version) and no need any external amp anymore!!!
Edited by FALEEV - 8/2/13 at 11:36am
post #23 of 51

Any comparison between MA8 and iHIFI960?

MA8 is significantly pricier ($550 vs. $400), does the sound difference justify the price difference?

What kind of earphones/headphones does one need to actually hear this difference?

Thank you!

post #24 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3stun View Post
 

Any comparison between MA8 and iHIFI960?

MA8 is significantly pricier ($550 vs. $400), does the sound difference justify the price difference?

What kind of earphones/headphones does one need to actually hear this difference?

Thank you!

 

 

I like the 960 better for headphone listening, using it as an all-in-one DAP. I like the MA8 slightly more when feeding an external amp though. I use it at home sometimes for quick and dirty amp comparisons. The 960 has digital out though, which is nice. MA8 has a slightly nicer design in terms of physical layout, button feel, etc. So it's a tough comparison. 

post #25 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post
 

 

 

I like the 960 better for headphone listening, using it as an all-in-one DAP. I like the MA8 slightly more when feeding an external amp though. I use it at home sometimes for quick and dirty amp comparisons. The 960 has digital out though, which is nice. MA8 has a slightly nicer design in terms of physical layout, button feel, etc. So it's a tough comparison. 

Thanks! So I believe you find the sound of 960 more engaging, than MA8, right? If we forget everything else, except pure sound of these devices themself (without any external devices).

Or maybe there are things / genres each of them is best at?

post #26 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3stun View Post
 

Thanks! So I believe you find the sound of 960 more engaging, than MA8, right? If we forget everything else, except pure sound of these devices themself (without any external devices).

Or maybe there are things / genres each of them is best at?

 

 

Yep, more engaging, just more fun to listen to. I really do think the 960 is a well balanced design. The MA8 has a great DAC section, but the amp portion just doesn't agree with me. Maybe others will hear it differently. 

post #27 of 51

Project86, 

Perhaps you could add a bit more detailed comparison between MA8 and iHIFI960 to the review, like you did with MA9 review? 960 is much closer to MA8 in price, than to MA9, so more sense to compare them. Stuff like lows/mids/highs, soundstage width/depth, separation, micro-detail, etc. 

Besides, from your reviews I got an impression that MA8 and iHIFI960 must be closer in sound signature as well... you mentioned that 960 is "more "modern hi-fi"  compared to MA9, and also more detailed. The same goes for MA8: 

"MA8 could possibly be described as more neutral, but I'd also throw in the description "lit up" and "highly detailed". It's definitely a more modern sound that some people would prefer and others would not"

 

I'm asking because there is not much information about MA8 across Internet and you might be one of only a few of people in the world who got the chance to compare it with other high-end players, so your experience and opinion on this one is extremely valuable for the audiophile-community... at least that's what I think!

 

And for those who are only using IEMs, possibly low impedance ones, would you still recommend iHIFI960 over MA8 due to amp-section issues?

post #28 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3stun View Post
 

Project86, 

Perhaps you could add a bit more detailed comparison between MA8 and iHIFI960 to the review, like you did with MA9 review? 960 is much closer to MA8 in price, than to MA9, so more sense to compare them. Stuff like lows/mids/highs, soundstage width/depth, separation, micro-detail, etc. 

Besides, from your reviews I got an impression that MA8 and iHIFI960 must be closer in sound signature as well... you mentioned that 960 is "more "modern hi-fi"  compared to MA9, and also more detailed. The same goes for MA8: 

"MA8 could possibly be described as more neutral, but I'd also throw in the description "lit up" and "highly detailed". It's definitely a more modern sound that some people would prefer and others would not"

 

I'm asking because there is not much information about MA8 across Internet and you might be one of only a few of people in the world who got the chance to compare it with other high-end players, so your experience and opinion on this one is extremely valuable for the audiophile-community... at least that's what I think!

 

And for those who are only using IEMs, possibly low impedance ones, would you still recommend iHIFI960 over MA8 due to amp-section issues?

 

 

I spent more time listening to them back to back yesterday, just to see what else I could add to the comparison. I was using either my Westone ES5 or Heir Audio 6.A LE, with a few minutes spent on VMODA M80 just to try that out too.

 

I still think I like the 960 better with the IEMs. Especially with the Heir 6.A LE, where top end extension and upper-midrange energy is fairly prominent - MA8 just seems a bit too aggressive for my taste. It follows that the same would be true of the JH13, the Cosmic Ears BA4, the UERM, the Hidition NT6, and any number of other IEMs with prominent top end detail.

 

With the Westone ES5, the MA8 does better - in fact I think this is a pretty good match. ES5 has a slightly smooth character up top and it plays well with the MA8, though upper mids still have some glare that I could do without. But it's not too bad overall. I'd say smoother IEMs would be a better match here - Heir 8.A, Aurisonics, 1964 Ears V3, Cosmic Ears BA2, etc. VMODA M80 sounded pretty good too - that's a combo I wouldn't mind playing with more often now that I've discovered how well it does. 

 

Generally speaking, the 960 amp section is still my favorite of the two, but MA8 does have some good pairings too. 

post #29 of 51

Thank you very much for adding this, Project86! Your information is indeed very helpful. The only thing is that you are using top-tier headphones, which are out of my league and I beleive this goes for a vast majority of head-fiers. Still can't complain, as a good source requires other side to be top-notch as well to shine...

 

I see that you consider iHIFI960 and MA8 to be more or less on the similar level of quality, with one doing better paired with certain IEMs and the other - with different earphones, right?

Which of them in your opinion does a better job of rendering mids, delivering the most energetic, natural vocals?

post #30 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3stun View Post
 

Thank you very much for adding this, Project86! Your information is indeed very helpful. The only thing is that you are using top-tier headphones, which are out of my league and I beleive this goes for a vast majority of head-fiers. Still can't complain, as a good source requires other side to be top-notch as well to shine...

 

I see that you consider iHIFI960 and MA8 to be more or less on the similar level of quality, with one doing better paired with certain IEMs and the other - with different earphones, right?

Which of them in your opinion does a better job of rendering mids, delivering the most energetic, natural vocals?

 

960 strikes me as being more organic and natural, while MA8 goes for a more detailed and vivid presentation. 

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