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Audio GD Master-11(Combination from Master 7 and Master 9)

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by doyouknowsbmean, Jul 6, 2015.
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  1. bimmer100
    Much more than just changing the name and adding a volume knob has been done. It took over a year to design and test the new m11. It's similar to the reference 10.32 but fixed all of its shortcomings that made it so unpopular. The new amp on the m11 is pretty epic. I think it was a much needed upgrade. For me, it was the volume knob to be honest. I find buttons to be simply unacceptable.

    I think the m11 will be a success.
    I don't consider the sound signature to be U shaped unless it was more extreme. Maybe u shaped yet mostly balanced and neutral. The mids are pretty sweet and just slightly recessed to my ears. The upper details remain and treble is reduced compared to sabre dacs of course. This is definitely a good thing. No longer is it fatiguing at all!
    The tune of the m11 is close to perfect for all music types. I'm very pleased with its sound signature.
    I don't think any one dac/amp can please everyone... But the m11 might come close.

    I am getting the amanero combo 384 today in the mail. I hope to compare with the via32 and will post my update in the next week.
    I'm glad I don't have a Mac, seems some guy is having problems with his Mac and the amanero. Hope the bugs get worked out!
  2. defbear
    I have a Sennheiser HDVD800 headphone amp. Its sounds great with my HD800 headphones. Long shot, but has anyone heard both the M11 and HDVD800? Im thinking of getting the M11. I also use my Lcd2-f's quite a bit also.
  3. LancerFIN
    What other short comings did the Ref 10 have other than missing a volume knob?
    Lets put it this way. If this was called Reference 10 (2015) and didn't have a volume knob how many here would have still bought it? I wouldn't have bought it if it didn't have a volume knob. Calling it Master also helps.

    I forgot the raised power output on my first post but in the second I fixed that and didn't call it insignificant. Bigger numbers are more attractive. Only HE-6 owners would care about this power output. Yes there are like 2 other headphones that the Ref 10 couldn't drive but they aren't very popular. By the way  price is now $1950. Still pretty sweet deal considering the upgrades.
  4. doyouknowSBmean
    It seems that something needed to be clarified.
    M11 and M7 don't share the same signature as I described the "U' shape on M7. I prefer the rich midrange of M11.My whole system was Mac+M7+KGSSHV+009 the time I owned M7. I found the vocal was recessed in that system. 
    I believe M11 is different from reference 11.32. Not only the amplification part is enhanced but also the DAC part and the USB interface. The master 11 and reference 10.32 both have 4 PCM 1704uk chips which makes me feel that they are similar but you will find differences in comparing the inner photo of Master 11 and Reference 10.32. Like the Mark Levinson's NO. 30.6 they both have 4 PCM 1704 UK chips while 30.6 MSRP is simply $15000+ in the late 90s.
    The USB interface on Master11 is pretty. I have USB32 installed. I compare the OffRamp 5 and USB32 last weekend with my friend. We both believe that the difference is minor and the OR5 has a slightly forward sound while USB32 is rich but slightly recessed. 
  5. bimmer100
    I am in the middle of installing the Amanero Combo 384 to my Master 11. I'm stuck!
    I don't have instructions on where the random wire attached to the VIA USB32 goes... check this out.
    SWEET... as I was writing this, Kingwa replied with info. Hope this helps anyone who is doing the swap. The wire from the VIAUSB32 goes to the Amanero like shown.
  6. bimmer100
    I just installed the Amanero tonight and noticed an improvement of sound. I didn't expect anything to be quite honest. Kingwa said very slight. 
    The VIA USB32 is very good. But the soundstage is nice on the Amanero, but it just seems smoother.
    I have ONE issue with it and hope I can sort it out.... everytime it plays any sound for the first time, it stutters for one sec then catches up. Otherwise its fine. I can't see that it's anything to do with buffers though. Might be some other reason... I will try to figure it out.
    The sound quality is pretty epic I do have to say.
    I was experiencing a strange right channel drop out. as the right channel dropped about 6db quieter. I had to power cycle the M11 to fix it. Seems to be gone. But it happened twice in a row.
    Fairly annoying. It seems slightly buggy compared to the VIA USB32 IMHO.
  7. hyoboy24
    I have the same problem too when I start up the unit. The sound stutters at the first second when every new track loads. But I found that after an hour or so, this problem disappeared. Maybe it has to do with the clock or something?
    Just installed Windows 10 and initial impressions was that the Master 11's sound suddenly opened up, as if a thinly covered veil had been lifted off the music. Electronic music now feels a tad better with the Master 11. Now the music seems more energetic and aggressive with the Master 11.
    Still in the midst of burning in though.
    Without the Regen I felt the sound was a little grainier, less refined and less rounded, wasn't as smooth. Decay and transients are also less apparent without the Regen.
    Even though Siltech stuff is way overpriced here, but I'll check that out. Thanks!! :)
  8. bimmer100
    I havent received my Uptone Regen Amber yet. Hoping to get some kind of info to as when that should be shipped!!
    i'm using Elfidelity USB card,  powered by Linear Teradak U9 linear power.
    I modded my M11 with the EMI/RF 3M material. AB5050S last night! 
    A wise man knows he knows nothing.
    There is always room for improvement. Even on the highest TOTL gear. Kingwa has done a lot to get it to the state it's at.
    DIY'ers will continue to tweak and improve as they see fit. Some call it improvement, others call it simply changing the sound. Call it what you will. 
    If a modification makes a differences, that is a good thing to take note. Try it and see if you like it.
    I have and will try just about anything to tinker around and find that sound i'm looking for.
    I've got emi/rf material from 3M AB5050S 
    tons of little bits from Oyaide, like RCA plug filters, ac plug filters
    tons of Ferrite cores
    schiit wyrd for each Dac
    Uptone USB Regen (still on order!)
    Eifidelity PCIE power conditioners
    Eifidelity USB power conditioner - external powered
    fancy USB cables from Pangea 
    ordered the Amanero Combo 384's and installed last night
    fancy Pangea AC14SE power cables
    Norne Audio cables - with fancy connectors
    UPS cyberpower PSU's with power conditioners - Belkin PureAV power strip (for all my computer gear and other devices NON audio related)
    BrickWall Surge protector and power filter/conditioner (this is for all my audio gear) http://www.brickwall.com/collections/surge-protectors-home-theater-hdtv/products/two-outlet-audio-surge-protector
    I would love to order a SurgeX power strip http://www.surgex.com/products.html
    Call it what you will, but each "thing" or "tweak" makes a difference in some what. Maybe good or bad.
    I will not assume that Kingwa is the end all and be all of DAC/amp manufacturers. He won't use every single option to make the best possible sound, but he surely has done just about everything within a certain reasonable amount. I don't think it's any stretch to say that manufacturers won't use the 3M5050 grey film due to it's sheer ugly finish. It's best suited in small devices that are sealed shut and components are super tight. Kingwa has done some basic shielding at least. The components are layed out and beautiful as they sit. Sticking little squares over everything would look silly, no matter what the performance gain is. I will consider to add this stuff to the current chassis and on some components at some point. I know there is more to it than magical unicorns. Science is Science, and maybe it improves some things yet won't have any audible difference. "maybe" 
    I pulled part of this post from the DAC19 thread to share here. Hope I can help by mentioning some of these things. The master11 is awesome as it is, but why not tweak it some more? :D
  9. Stillhart
    Haha, you're burning in your OS for better audio fidelity??  That's something I haven't heard tried yet...
  10. gsr108

    Never tried it with the abyss. I like it with the HD800's and MHP-1000's.
  11. bimmer100

    I'm pretty sure he is talking about burning in the amanero's clock. It apparently takes time to warm up and function at 100%.

    I have issues with it starting. I added 1sec delay to startup in Jriver. Fixed the problem.
    Otherwise; no other glitches
  12. mojolo
    Grace recommended +3db or +6db option for me for driving the HE-560.

    I was thinking of going with +3db. Do you guys think this is needed? Can it hurt? I want to ensure best compatibility with future cans and may be running my LCD-3fs from the M11 as well.
  13. bimmer100

    I have the he560's and yes... +3 or +6 would be good if you listen to classical music. Otherwise... No. Most recordings are far loud enough. I find myself maxing out on classical and I don't have any headroom. I don't have the +3 or +6, but will be ordering it soon.

    It's basic. I think I will order +6 for good measure. :) downside is the volume will be less gradual for sensitive IEM's. Just a thought.
  14. doyouknowSBmean

    I will go for +6dB custom if there is a chance to reorder for me..
  15. Solude
    Go the full 9dB or don't bother.  3dB is next to nothing.
    As an easy test... if you have a headphone with single ended and balanced cables, plug in the 1/4" and then XLR.  That's 6dB.
    Articnoise likes this.
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