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HiFace, sensitive information

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by shamu144, Jul 21, 2010.
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  1. Bubu1
    After getting up the nerve to actually open my modded hiface, here is a pic of the inside.  I ordered the HiFace from Tweekgeek on March 25, 2010 and then sent it to John for mods.  Looks like I was one of the "lucky ones" and have two big MEC clocks! This was a nice surprise as I was certain because of when I ordered it I would have at least one small clock!  I got this back from John back in June and have been enjoying it ever since.  Great little piece of kit. 
  2. upstateguy


    Looks like a slightly different mod technique than the other pics????
  3. Junliang
    Just asking, what kind of usb/spdif cables do you guys use with your hiface ?
    Super high end kind or just some radioshack cables ?
  4. Bubu1

    USG I'm not sure if John had to use a different place to solder because of the size of the clocks.  I will post some more pics.

    I use a Harmonic Technology Digital platinum cable (http://www.harmonictech.com/products/digital/digital-platinum.html) and a usb cable from monoprice (http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=103&cp_id=10303&cs_id=1030309&p_id=6504&seq=1&format=2) to plug the hiface into a powered USB hub.
  5. xdanny
    @Bubu - congrats, and thanks for posting the pic!  Question: are you using the powered USB hub because you have the AMD chip?
    @USG: I too think that the size of the clocks had to do with where he soldered the wires.  I'm sure John will chime in when he gets back from vacation. [​IMG]
    @Junliang:  2' Oyaide DB510 BNC, 6' RadioShack 75ohm BNC cables and 6' Belkin USB cables.
    I am running the Oyaide, but have bought the RadioShack BNC for the upcoming showdown: a "normal" big clock unit vs. my "one small, one big clock", both jkeny modded.  Stay tuned for the results...
  6. Junliang
    !! USD$400 Cable !!
    And i had great mind to get the oyaide bnc cable and thought its quite expensive already..
  7. Bubu1

    Junliang, its not quite that bad.  I purchased it from the Cable Co and "only" paid $255 for it.  I was a bit of a splurge and perhaps not necessary, but it is a well built cable and sounds good to my ears!


    Thanks! I'm actually using a 2007 macbook as a music server.  I am using a hub so that the 5V power going to the Hiface is coming from external AC source and not the USB port of my macbook.  I have the power adapter plugged into my furman AC 215 power conditioner.
    I look forward to your comparisons!!
  8. xdanny
    The "big oscillator" unit should be here any day now. 
    In anticipation of the upcoming test/comparison between the two, I would like to better understand a few things:
    1.  My unit has a big MEC oscillator and a small one, unlike other people who got 2 small ones.  Does it mean that one oscillator handles a frequency and its multiples, and if so is there a "easy" way to know which one?
    2.  How do the two work together?  Since there is a large one in the mix, would that contribute to an improvement over just having 2 small ones (ASSUMING that the small ones are inferior)?
    3.  I ran many tests with 44.1 original and upsampled to 48khz, as well as original 88 and 96khz.  ALWAYS the original sounded a bit better than the upsampled version.  How can this be interpreted with respect to having one big and one small osicllator??  (All upsampling was done with foobar's sox.  Also my unit sounds better than straight out of the pc card (bit perfect realtek)).
    4. I think that although fairly modest, my system is transparent enough to reveal a relevant sonic difference between the two units.
    5.  Here is a word by word copy of the email I got from Marco: 
    Hello Danny,
    for what relates to performance, the only difference between small and large oscillators is... the size. The supplier who gave us the small oscillators during a period in which the larger ones were not available, gave us warranties about performance level of the small units, Particularly, low frequency phase noise figure is even better than the large units...
    Best regMarco Manunta
    M2Tech Snc di Manunta & Marino
    Via Giuntini, 63
    I-56023 Navacchio di Cascina (PI)
    - Hide quoted text -

    Original Message

    From: Danny
    To: m.manunta@m2tech.biz
    Sent: Friday, August 20, 2010 1:43 PM
    Subject: hiface

    I have a hiface that I purchased about 3-4 months ago.  I am sure you are aware of the confusion over how some of the hiface units have two bigger MEC clocks versus 2 smaller ones.
    My unit happens to have one big clock (located near the BNC connector) and one small one.  A lot of people on the forums report considerable sound quality differences between the two, as the general idea is that the smaller clocks used are of lower quality. 
    Can you please tell what differences (if any) are between the bigger and smaller clocks M2Tech used in some of their hiFace units?

    In light of my tests and the fact that I can listen without any fatigue, I kind of tend to believe it.  BUT, the moment of truth is right around the corner.  (I just wish the Post Office would get off their butts and deliver the testing unit, it's been sitting either in their warehouse or customs since the 17th, according to the tracking site...
    We shall see!! 
  9. wuwhere Contributor
    How do you open the hiface without breaking the plastic case?
  10. regal


    Carefully with a sharp knife,  but it will never be the same.
  11. regal

    I don't see a headphone amp or even headphones in your sig,  I'm doubtful that speakers could reveal differences between the worst/best transports ???

  12. sleepy dan

    1.  That's right, the 22.xxx clock handles 44.1KHz and multiples, the 24.xxx clock handles 48KHz and multiples.
    2.  They don't work together as such.  The appropriate clock is selected according to the sample rate required.
    3.  According to your tests, the small clock is not causing significant degradation in sound.  I believe those claiming the small clock degrades the sound are mistaken, but I'll be interested to hear how you get on with the next test.
    4.  The original claim was that the small clock made the Hiface sound worse than a $50 sound card.  Even a very cheap system will show differences between a $50 sound card and a properly functioning Hiface.

  13. xdanny
    Ouch...  I did not see that coming...[​IMG]
    I must admit that I have never had the desire to dig deeper into headphone setups so I do not know much about the advantages of cans vs speakers except for you don't have to worry about speaker placement and room acoustics / treatment - and spending too much...
    I would like to think my system is accurate enough to spot meaningful differences - I've heard them with amps, preamps, recordings, xlr vs. rca cables and most recently spdif out of pc's soundcard vs. the hiface.  Therefore, I assume that there is a good chance to hear a difference between the two hifaces.  As some reported listening fatigue with the small oscillators, it's very possible that would be revealed in a decent speaker setup also, especially during extended listening sessions.
    LOL, but now I don't know anymore, and if indeed I will not be able to tell one from the other I will make it clear to everyone that headphones were not used for this test...
    I am going to start calling my friends to see if anyone has a decent amp/headphones I could borrow for this test.  The opportunity of having both hiface units together for a test does not present itself very often...
    regal, on a different note: can you comment a bit on my question about how the two oscillators work together, especially in the "one big, one small" configuration I have in my unit?
  14. xdanny
    @sleepy dan:
    Thank you for the explanation, I was answering to regal when you posted.  Now I understand it a bit better.  Is there a way to know which clock does the 44 and which one does the 48?
    Yes, I too think that having the two units, both modded by jkeny, both ran from similar xp machines with identical bnc cables into my dac which has 2 bnc inputs would be an interesting test.  I will be able to switch between the two at a push of a button, and I will have someone else plug the bnc cables into the dac so I won't know which one is which.
    sleepy dan, thanks again for your reply!!
  15. mmerrill99
    I believe your system will reveal the differences (if any) between the unit with all MEC clocks & your unit but best to maybe see if you can bring both to another system altogether so as to assure yourself that this variable is dealt with! Remember though that you only have a day to test this unit! I'm interested to hear the results of this test too! 
    Sleepy-dan has answered correctly your question about the operation of the clocks! The clocks will have 22.5792 & 24.576 marked on them!  
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