The Centrance HiFi M8 thread
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jexby

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Any durability test or drop test done? Slightly worried about the volume knob or other protruding parts.
 
Wow, a very good question from a consumer standpoint-  one I hadn't thought of before.
That being said, the mental vision of CEntrance engineers dropping M8s off desktops makes me shudder with anxiety.
:wink:
ha!   Would not be "fun" having to harm a few M8 sacrificial lambs to collect this data IMHO.
 
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ButtUglyJeff

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Is there dac only part? I can add external amp ... Looks bigger than hp ..so its prolly dac/amp?
Im looking for dac only pair with iphone ?

They sent me here.
 
No, you can only use this unit as a DAC/amp combo.  Some "flavors" offer optical out to go to another external DAC.  But non allow for DAC only.
 
You might want to look at the offerings from Cypher Labs or Venturecraft. They are DACs only.  Of maybe look at the Fostex HP-P1.  Its a DAC/amp that you can use as only an DAC...
 
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mitsu763

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Michael mentioned the M8 can technically be used as a dac feeding into another amp on account of the output signal being so clean. Although, this will probably be redundant and of minimal benefit unless you are feeding an amp with a completely different signature.
 
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moodyrn

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Michael did say this could be used as a dac with the volume knob at 3:00 if I remember correctly.
 
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mgoodman

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Any durability test or drop test done? Slightly worried about the volume knob or other protruding parts.
We threw it against a concrete wall several times. We learned that if you do it with vigor, and it lands on a corner, the corner will bend. We never managed to land it on a pot squarely. Having said that, extreme drop testing in the field is not encouraged. Handle with care.
 
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mgoodman

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Just to be sure, the M8 should be significantly more powerful than the DACport, right?  That's what I'm using now with my LCD-3's (where I typically have the volume setting between 2:00 and 3:00).  I'm already taking it for granted that the M8 will sound better than the DACport. :smile:
Yes, more power. Plenty for LCD-3. And both products sound great!
 
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mgoodman

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No, you can only use this unit as a DAC/amp combo.  Some "flavors" offer optical out to go to another external DAC.  But non allow for DAC only.

You might want to look at the offerings from Cypher Labs or Venturecraft. They are DACs only.  Of maybe look at the Fostex HP-P1.  Its a DAC/amp that you can use as only an DAC...
Not exactly so.

HiFi-M8 with the 4-pin XLR output version and also the one with 4-pin RSA output version will give you SPDIF optical out. That output gives you digital signal prior to DAC. This way, it becomes a transport, exactly like Cypher Labs product you mention. You can choose to not use the DAC and amp portion of the HiFi-M8 and use an external DAC.

Alternatively, you can run the ANALOG output of the HiFi-M8 into an external Amp. The output is so clean that this is fully justified. In this case, you would use HiFi-M8 as a USB DAC, followed by your own HP amp.

We believe that you will end up using the integrated functionality, meaning the built-in transport, DAC and Amp, but the flexibility is there to use HiFi-M8 as a component device as well.
 
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aamefford

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Quote:
Not exactly so.

HiFi-M8 with the 4-pin XLR output version and also the one with 4-pin RSA output version will give you SPDIF optical out. That output gives you digital signal prior to DAC. This way, it becomes a transport, exactly like Cypher Labs product you mention. You can choose to not use the DAC and amp portion of the HiFi-M8 and use an external DAC.

Alternatively, you can run the ANALOG output of the HiFi-M8 into an external Amp. The output is so clean that this is fully justified. In this case, you would use HiFi-M8 as a USB DAC, followed by your own HP amp.

We believe that you will end up using the integrated functionality, meaning the built-in transport, DAC and Amp, but the flexibility is there to use HiFi-M8 as a component device as well.
I can verify that the DacPort used this way was indistinguishable form the DacPort LX to my ears.  I've owned both the Dacport and the Dacport LX, did the comparison and sold the LX.  I would expect that the HIFI-M8 will work similarly well or better.
 
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mitsu763

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With that said, I used to own the Dacport LX and ran my headphones straight from it to great effect. I simply adjusted volume within iTunes or whatever.
 
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So if you ran the analog output from the M8 into an external amp (as I would do into my audio system), would you set the volume control to the max?  That's what I do with my DACport, but would the output level be perhaps too high from the M8?
 
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mitsu763

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I'd think that would be too high. Therein lies the big question. Where to set the volume dial to approximate a typical source voltage?
 
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Michael did say this could be used as a dac with the volume knob at 3:00 if I remember correctly.

Again, if I remember correctly.
 
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Just got a little box from FedEx... 
 
Topping off the charge first - nice power supply, Michael - that thing is nearly the same size as the M8!  
 
I peeked over at CEntrance site and saw the notice about the in-house firmware update later this year and that's not a problem for me.  One thing I did notice as a possible fix on future units is to maybe extend the housing around the power toggle so that it doesn't inadvertently get turned on/drained while transporting it in a pack or bag.  It'll be a few more hours before I can hook up some cans and give it a listen, but it's nice to have the kit in my hands.  Feels solid.  Congrats on another milestone!
 
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mgoodman

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Quote:
So if you ran the analog output from the M8 into an external amp (as I would do into my audio system), would you set the volume control to the max?  That's what I do with my DACport, but would the output level be perhaps too high from the M8?
This is where HiFi-M8 is so-ooo much better than DACport -- it has 3 position gain switch (gain is switched in the analog domain so no digital signal loss happens). That switch allows you to "scale" the output signal to match your equipment.
 
If I'm not mistaken (need to check my math) the leftmost position should allow you to crank the volume knob all the way and achieve an appropriate line level for downstream amps, etc. The middle position may be a tad too hot and the rightmost position will definitely be too hot to run into an amp with the volume knob fully on. You'd need to bring the gain knob way down to avoid distorting the amp's input.
 
This all is very easy to see in practice however. Once you have your hands on a unit, you will try all three positions and see which one best fits your amp.
 
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