The CEntrance Hi-Fi M8 V2 Thread
Jan 26, 2021 at 7:52 PM Post #527 of 725

talan7

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I ordered an item from a company once and didn’t receive it until over a year later, so I know the feeling. I also ordered items that I never received, remember the Cyberdrive fiasco? I lucked out and received my refund just a little before they stopped refunds, and then went out of business.
 
Jan 26, 2021 at 9:48 PM Post #528 of 725

doctorjazz

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And, then there's The LH Labs ordeal...Michael is a pleasure to deal with, especially after that (even NOT using that low a bar...)
 
Jan 26, 2021 at 9:56 PM Post #529 of 725

doctorjazz

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Getting the hang of these, listening with my relative new UM 3dt, and my just back from it's (I lost count how many times) repair/refurbished acs Encore (while I was sending it back and forth, the US branch changed management). Listening balanced, both wired and Bluetooth, the sound is really terrific! The UM in particular, which I had been listening to using a balanced Pono (which is itself a fine player), needs the M8 to get a grip on the bass, makes an incredible difference.
I agree that the volume wheel is not as good as the volume knob on the V1. I also don't love the recessed switches (hate using a paper clip to change these settings). But, they magically got more into the box, while making it a smaller, pocketable box, which is worth these small trade offs, imo.
 
Jan 27, 2021 at 3:57 AM Post #530 of 725

newworld666

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As Centrance is telling that there is no real improvements to expect in "burning" a bit the M8 V2, I decided today to spend a pair of hours to make some A/B comparison in first with the bluetooth connections using a Sony IER-Z1R with a Galaxy Z Fold 2 (USB Player Pro playing Qobuz in hires mode) :
-> Sony WM1A with LDAC connection at 990kps (max 24bits 96Khz) (in source-direct mode with no DSEE-HX or other sound improvements).
-> Centrance M8 V2 with aptx connection (probably max 384Kps 16bits 48Kz not sure about it so can be 16bits 44.Khz) with no low or high frequencies improvements.

By the way, even if it's not a dealbreaker for playing music in real life, it would have been nice on the M8V2 to get a colored light indicator to know what the DAC is decoding as frequency (44.1kz, 48kz, 88.2Kz, 96Khz, 172Kz and DSD).
I am never sure if DSD is passing through-out of my players (M11, WM1A, Kann Alpha to the M8V2) when I test an all-to-DSD function (for USB connection).

Unfortunately, as I expected it a bit, we can definitely catch the difference in A/B comparison between the M8V2 and WM1A with the IER-Z1R (unfortunately I can't use a more demanding headphone like HEDD's one as none of my players can drive this properly at all).
Though sound is not bad on bluetooth's input of the M8V2, there is a clear real room for improvements in the dynamic range => at the same volume level, the WM1A goes deeper, faster with more powerful kicks in low frequencies and is also clearer in higher frequencies. Even pushing louder the M8V2, it can't compensate these lacks and volume starts to be painful doing this.

I wonder if it's definitely a hardware limitation, or if we can expect in the future a new firmware to improve the Bluetooth on M8V2, at least to go a bit higher transmission with an APTXHD codec, not to say a full LDAC ? even at a cost of lower battery life (which is impressive as it is right now).

PS : as I am using a cooked MrWalkman firmware, I am not sure the WM1A has not some improvements active even in direct-source mode from BT connection, which can alter my A/B impressions. The WM1A gives noticeably better results from hires Qobuz music (24/96) issued from the Galaxy Z Fold 2 via BT
 
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Jan 27, 2021 at 8:24 AM Post #532 of 725

newworld666

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For testing completely the Bluetooth experience, I just tried an A/B compare of my Sony Z7M2 between a Xduoo XD-05+ with the dédicated BT5.0 LDAC Spdif Dongle and the Centrance M8V2 and its limited aptx BT.
This time, the Centrance M8V2 comes with noticeable better results though it's only an APTX connection. The Z7M2 seems to support very well the XLR4 connector of the hot side and, though the xDuoo can deliver a quite fair amount of volume (with some good margin with the volume knob), the low and sub-low frequencies in the Z7M2 are richer cleaner/less muddy with the M8V2, with maybe some extend in the upper band (a kind of larger stage feeling).
But this "victory" in quality of the M8V2 can be also concerned with the fact that I am obliged to use a 4.4 balanced to 3.5 unbalanced adapter on the output of the xDuoo XD-05+ needs.. it may have a real impact with the Z7M2 on the sound.
 
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Jan 27, 2021 at 9:21 AM Post #533 of 725

SDBiotek

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So it's the QUESTION from the beginning..why did not CEntrance include LDAC codec and proper BT chipset, which is everywhere nowdays, even in chip chinese daps and receivers <$50
It wasn't offered, and there was no major cry from potential customers to include LDAC. There are also licensing costs and additional testing involved, not just hardware. For the limited number of M8V2, probably not worth the extra expense to a small company like CEntrance. Or, our cost to buy it would need to be considerably high.
 
Jan 27, 2021 at 10:13 AM Post #534 of 725

newworld666

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It wasn't offered, and there was no major cry from potential customers to include LDAC. There are also licensing costs and additional testing involved, not just hardware. For the limited number of M8V2, probably not worth the extra expense to a small company like CEntrance. Or, our cost to buy it would need to be considerably high.

The major issue was the monstrous delay between the end of the pre-order period (end may 2020) and even giving the final specs and the delivery of the M8V2.
It was claimed by Centrance to leave room for improvements till the last moment of production.
LDAC was long time ago asked and we are some to pre-order the Bluetooth option which was not included in the M8V2 till June 2020 (then included in pre orders and no more an option).
It's clear, that in June 2020 LDAC could have been one of the "small improvements" included in the final specs (that came only a few weeks ago).
 
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Jan 27, 2021 at 11:01 AM Post #535 of 725

SDBiotek

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The major issue was the monstrous delay between the end of the pre-order period (end may 2020) and even giving the final specs and the delivery of the M8V2.
It was claimed by Centrance to leave room for improvements till the last moment of production.
LDAC was long time ago asked and we are some to pre-order the Bluetooth option which was not included in the M8V2 till June 2020 (then included in pre orders and no more an option).
It's clear, that in June 2020 LDAC could have been one of the "small improvements" included in the final specs (that came only a few weeks ago).
Perhaps CEntrance did have something like this in mind originally, but I'm sure you're aware of the many setbacks encountered along the way. However, LDAC still requires dedicated hardware, licensing, etc. We're lucky to just get our units as-is. At least you have quite a few options if you really need LDAC in a device. Going wired is really the way to go if you want to take full advantage of the m8V2 potential sound quality.
 
Jan 27, 2021 at 11:02 AM Post #536 of 725

hardtimes

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Thanks, everyone, for the clarification on shipping; I should have gone back and looked at the very beginning of the thread. It is frustrating that I had to come here to get that explanation/reminder, and that my multiple emails to Centrance have all been ignored. Again, I fully understand how much pressure they’ve been under and how much covid has disrupted their supplies and every other part of their business - but if they can email asking me to send them more money, but it seems like they could answer when I ask them a question about it.
Regardless, really excited to get/try my unit - will post more once I do!
 
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Jan 27, 2021 at 11:14 AM Post #537 of 725

newworld666

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Perhaps CEntrance did have something like this in mind originally, but I'm sure you're aware of the many setbacks encountered along the way. However, LDAC still requires dedicated hardware, licensing, etc. We're lucky to just get our units as-is. At least you have quite a few options if you really need LDAC in a device. Going wired is really the way to go if you want to take full advantage of the m8V2 potential sound quality.

Of course, I was aware of the first production issue.

And of course going wired, is the way when I am sitting somewhere in my home or office ..
On the go, M8 V2 bluetooth connected to my smartphone is the only practical way (that's why I pre-ordered in May and paid the BT option with knowing the limitation with Aptx).

I tried this morning many Bluetooth options to estimate the gap/loss in sound quality with my WM1A, M11 and A&K Kann Alpha and my smartphone... I won't sell the Centrance M8V2 because of this issue, it's not a real dealbreaker as none of the other options/alternatives on the market can manage to do better (Cayin C9, Ifi Diablo and Ifi Signature) with a smartphone without any BT connection or are under powered for home/office uses (M11, WM1A).
 
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Jan 27, 2021 at 11:42 AM Post #538 of 725

SDBiotek

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@newworld666, I completely understand. I tend to just think of bluetooth mostly for convenience, so I am not the type to worry about whether or not a proprietary codec is included or not, regardless of it's potential improvements over AptX, etc. On the go, for me, most likely I will be too distracted, or it will be too noisy, to actually notice much of a difference, if any.
 
Jan 29, 2021 at 1:53 AM Post #540 of 725

nsk1979

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On the go, for me, most likely I will be too distracted, or it will be too noisy, to actually notice much of a difference, if any.
That is correct. Most of the time while I am using my DAP on the go - there is no way for detail music listening experience, IMHO. So I am not expecting too much difference between LDAC & AptX in such conditions.
 

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