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The Centrance HiFi M8 thread

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by firev1, Aug 15, 2012.
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  1. eron
    How's the SQ vs the DacMini?
  2. cansman
    Wow...HiFi-M8 has a minimum phase delay filter...no pre-echo! That's cool Michael!
  3. qusp Contributor
    well that is apart from the ringing inherent in the ADC process, which cannot be avoided, also minimum phase (I presume apodising) does not have zero ringing in the filter, just much less than linear phase. where problems start to occur are where the preringing of the sigma delta (or delta sigma) ADC sinc filter is compounded with further ringing in the dacs digital filter.
    there are afaik no other types of high end audio ADCs available today other than delta sigma/sigma delta multibit types, so the ringing is there, nothing you can do about it other than laboriously processing all of your audio files in something like audacity to remove it.
  4. seeteeyou
  5. firev1
    Probably the same ship date since they are essentially the same product. I support more options but the LX version seems a little obsolete to me in this market since there is already a ton of good DACs that are portable but lack the stuff needed to be brought on the go. In comparison, the phone or tablet portable dac market only has fostex, CLAS, Sony and Go DAP. 
  6. eron
    Actually, I don't know of any compact desktop balanced amp with 4pin XLR that has a great DAC. Please let me know if there's!
  7. tas236
    Top of the post says "We are considering a second device..." doesn't sound definitive to me.
  8. mgoodman
    Thanks to everyone for keeping us energized. Your feedback and interest are very important to us and keep us going at high speed.
    Q: Is M8 LX is a real product?
    The design of HiFi-M8 is modular and can support various combinations of inputs and outputs. LX wouldn't have iPhone compatibility and while that's a simpler product, we still feel that there is a need for a portable USB DAC from CEntrance. We will soon find out if that's a valid assumption.
    There might be additional variations in the M8 family due to customer requests. We are currently working to define what that means. We don't want to have 5 different models in the M8 line, but 2-3 may be possible. These variations are quick to create, but we need to have a lot of interest, in order to commit to cutting metal. 
    So far, we have captured:
    1. 4-pin balanced jack vs. two combo XLRs
    2. 3.5mm headphone jack
    3. Line-level input on a 3.5mm jack
    4. SPDIF input

    These seem to have different degrees of priority. Please indicate your need for these and we will consider a "by request only" version. I cannot guarantee anything, but we are known to listen to feedback.
  9. elnero
    I have what may seem like a strange question, who exactly is the HiFi-M8 designed for? I initially assumed it was a pro crossover product like the DACport so I was more accepting of the dual XLR combo jacks and the need for a bulky adapter for 3.5mm, but I'm confused after reading this:

    "We made the call that the pro users will not be confused by HiFi-M8, since it's not really a product for them. We may be working on a piece for Pro users as well."

    As a consumer level product aimed at the portable market it doesn't seem to be taking into consideration the type of jack the majority of those users have on their headphones. There's certainly not going to be many portable users who have dual full size XLR's installed on their IEM's or portable headphones and the vast majority are going to use 3.5mm unbalanced not 1/4". Requiring the majority of the customer base to use a bulky adapter seems somewhat counter-intuitive, the whole point is to be small and light.
    From my perspective, if this is meant as a product aimed at the high-end portable segment the most obvious choices would be first and foremost a 3.5mm jack, which is what's installed on most IEM's and portable headphones, then second, considering the balanced nature of the HiFi-M8's design, a 4 pin XLR would seem to be the most logical choice. If there's space throw on a 1/4" jack as well, otherwise I think users requiring 1/4" or dual XLR's would be less likely to be quite as concerned by the added bulk an adapter would add.
    Don't get me wrong, I'm very intrigued by the HiFi-M8. I'm most excited by the prospect of DAC/Amp I can use with both my computer and my phone as well as the versatility offered by the gain and impedance switches but considering the target audience I am a  bit mystified by the output jack selection.
    SPDIF would be an interesting option, it's not something I'd personally require and I think most portable users would be more interested in the USB and the phone/tablet connection. Maybe in the LX version to replace the phone connection?
  10. eron
    I see Centrance's vision, and I'm excited by the vision, although it isn't communicated concisely. From what I gather, M8 is not exactly targeting at people wanting a real small compact dac/amp for their 3.5mm headphones or earphones. There are plenty of such devices around like the Pico DAC/AMP. M8 is targeting those that want the best quality DAC/AMP for their HQ (possibly balanced) headphones in a compact package. I can't comment on size because it's not released, but I'm confident that Centrance is wise enough to make it light and small enough for it to be called a portable. 
    The standout point for the M8 is the DAC+AMP that is going to interface directly with THE smartphone, giving the best SQ possible on a portable rig. Centrance has succeeded with their DacPort, and shown how well they can design their DACs in a small package. So it's exciting to see what they can come out with the M8. It will probably have an edge in certain areas over setups with the CLAS, or Fostex HP-P1, be it in size, SQ, many flexibilities, or simply by having a combo port.
    Thank you Centrance for being a market innovator. 
  11. elnero
    As you say, the standout feature is the ability to take digital out from an iDevice, no other DAC/Amp that I know of on the market will do this while also allowing for regular USB connection to a computer. This sort of goes against your comment that there are plenty of such devices around like the Pico DAC/Amp, this makes the HiFi-M8 unique in the portable market allowing it to carve out it's own place yet it seems to be shooting itself in the foot by not including the standard 3.5mm output jack used on the majority of portable headphones.
    Balanced headphones using dual XLR's is a niche market in high-end headphones, I would think users looking to use those headphones with a portable DAC/Amp, no matter how good, is an even smaller niche market. So here we have an innovative and unique product that is catering to a niche market within a niche market while requiring the majority of potential customers to use an adapter. Unless the HiFi-M8 is priced well beyond that of other higher-end portable DAC/Amps putting it out of reach of the vast majority of portable users, the output jack selection seems like an odd design decision to me.
    Despite the inconvenience of having to use an adapter, depending on price of course, I'll likely get one because it's other unique features are something I've been lusting after for awhile now but I'd still like to see a version that's actually aimed at the average portable user. To take advantage of the HiFi-M8's balanced capabilities, in my mind at least, the logical second connection on this version would seem to be a 4 pin XLR.
  12. eron
    You are right in the 3.5mm suiting the truly portable market more. There are a couple of Centrance responses towards queries on the output jacks, as to why there isn't 3.5mm, and why not one combo with a 1/4". Whilst the answer was an adaptor to 3.5mm will be provided, and different jacks will be considered as an upgrade in the future, I've not read anything about the justification of 2 combo jacks. So why Centrance? 
    To verify: Does the combo jack take a 4pin balanced XLR?
    I'm new to the scene, so I apologize for any lack of knowledge or experience. 
  13. elnero
    I believe the combo jack is a 3 pin XLR.
    Just to clarify, while my posts question the decision of the dual XLR, I'm not expecting that decision to change, the bulk of my response is meant as a reply to Michael's post requesting variation preferences with my reasoning for my thoughts on what I think another variation should be.
  14. eron
    That'll be a disappointment, as I'm after one with 4pin XLR. That explains why there are two 3pin XLR jacks. Guess I got overly excited too early! 
  15. elnero
    You need dual 4 pin XLR's?
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