My question is how can a wave be square ?
...by ironing its PJs.
"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." André Gide
Yes, but no names named there either (no doubt), or was this not my view you were refering to?
I'm referring to reviews like this: http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/metrum/1.html and this: http://www.nosminidac.nl/downloads/octavehificritic.pdf and comments like this (post No.2): http://www.head-fi.org/t/611480/metrum-octave-vs-new-rega-dac-vs-eastern-electric
Hmm, they do indeed mention some names, the whole floweryness of the reviews stopped me from getting to the end of some of it. All very 'high end'.
In fact, the reviews, if they are to be taken seriously, seem to say far more about 'high end' equipment, than of the DAC under scrutiny and the comparison of this DAC to so many others at differing price points could leave some to believe that there is not a lot to separate many DACs in the first place, so the term 'giant killer' would mean rather less in this instance.
Mac mini > AVI ADM9Ts
Heard one in my system a few weeks back, very nice DAC indeed. The transport/streamer will need to be excellent otherwise being a NOS DAC the Metrum will show every flaw.
Our shared review is here: http://www.rdhworld.myzen.co.uk/smfcu/index.php?topic=20183.0
Cheers for that, a better read than the mag reviews!
They used active ATC SCM 150 speakers and B&W 802 for the listening. 729 pounds but the mag claim 10 times the price the for the sound.
Did they say what DACs were bested by this 'giant killer'? Many people make this type of claim, but never actually name names or provide evidence to back up said claims.
no names are necessary as some 99% of DACs (by my rough guess) are oversampling/ upsampling. you just can't get clean impulse response from such DACs. there'll always be pre- and/ or post-ringing digital artefacts from a up-/ oversampling DAC.
Giro, InTheGroove, Digit, ClassicOne, MG12
I bought the Octave a few months ago and am extremely happy with it. Almost exactly 30 years ago the first CD players hit the market and I just had to have one. They where very expensive for that time but I was so feed up with the fragility of records that I was willing to try this out. I first purchased a Yamaha player because it was ONLY $700. I was so excited to try it out but the excitement so turned to disapointment. Nothing sounded right! The music sounded synthesized. The sound that really drove me crazy was the cymbals. They sounded so fake I just couldn't stand it. 3 days latter the Yamaha went back in the box and back to the store. Sony had a player that was $1500 (stupid money for those days) but I tried it anyway and it was much much better. The cymbals still did not sound perfect but at least they where livable and did not distract my attention from the rest of the music. Players got better and better over the years and I was very happy with my Marantz CD5001 over the past several years. In the mean time, I have completely forgot about the cymbal issue, being quit satisfied (or adjusted to) the sound.
Fast forward to a couple of months ago when I received my brand new Metrum Octave after much research. Still, I was bracing myself for a quick sale on eBay it this didn't turn out to be any better then the dac in my HK990. I got the metrum and plugged it in, the first thing I thought was "wow, I never knew cymbals could sound so good". Of course my mind immediately went back to my first CD player and the difficulty of digital to reproduce this instrument to my satisfaction. The second thing I noticed was thet the acoustic steel guitar strings just sounded so good, so real, so authentic. With all that said, I believe that many people will simply not notice a difference. I have always been very picky about my sound but could also be satisfied with 'close enouph'. Its just nice to see close enouph get even closer and thats what I think the octave gives me.
Synology NAS>Sqeezebox Touch>>DI>Metrum Octave>Benchmark DAC2 Pre, Bryston 3B SST2>Dynaudio X12, Rythmik 12F
Now that is one very interesting, possibly even giant killing Dac.....
The guy i bought my Adam's from dumped a Weiss DAC202 and a Perfectwave for the Metrum
Blimey....David slays Goliath!
Quite possibly, not sure if it was a case of sounding better, fitting into the system nicely or the price to sound quality was very good compared to the 202 and Perfectwave.
He didn't like the 202 at all, saying it is hugely overrated (i never heard it) , i heard the Perfectwave and wasn't impressed, thought it to be quite clinical in presentation but that could be down the the rest of the system which from memory was either a Rotel or Arcam power amp and Vivid Audio V1.5. He did have a Pure Sound L300 in the room but is wasn't rigged up which is a shame it may of changed the presentation, its a monster pre as well, just massive.
I think the Metrum is worth consideration for anyone looking at DAC's who doesn't need USB input or balanced outs.
HiFi World have a review in their August edition. The claim is that the DAC basically reduces high treble, which would then explain the pleasant sound.
this statement is both true and untrue at the same time. it's true that Metrum DAC will reduce high treble (I never seen any measurements but since it's a NOS DAC it will have attenuated highest frequencies, read on). but it's untrue that it's the reason for pleasant sound.
with every DAC you get aliasing artefacts - essentially lotsa noise at half of sampling frequency, which in case of Red Book standard falls at around 22K Hz. but this noise has to be removed because it pollutes the original signal. so, with upsampling DACs you get the benefit of digitally filtering out of those unwanted frequencies and maintaining ruler flat freq response all at the same time. however, the drawback is that digital filtering adds ringing to the original signal. depending on the filter type you'll get pre and post ringing or only post ringing.
in case of NOS DACs there's no digital filtering involved so the signal comes out intact. but in order to get rid of aliasing artefacts passive analog filtering is most commonly used (telling frankly, I don't know how it's like with Metrum, but I suspect it's the way I describe). analog filtering is not as efficient as digital filtering, especially when you use shallow filter slopes to keep the filter as simple as possible. so the side effect is that you get slightly attenuated highest frequencies because you can't really set the cut off frequency at 20K Hz. it has to be slightly lower in order for the filter to do its job. but this attenuation should not really be audible as it affects the frequencies where there's little musical energy anyway. for instance; in case of AMR DP-7 DAC in NOS mode freq response starts rolling off quite soon at 3K Hz (obviously very shallow filter was used, possibly only 6dB slope). but at 10K Hz attenuation is only -0.5dB (it should be noted here that what we perceive as high treble resides around 10K - 12K Hz, higher are mainly harmonics), -3dB point resides at around 19K Hz. I bet you couldn't hear 20K Hz tone at normal listening volume levels anyway - up to some 80dB loud. in case of Peachtree iDAC, another NOS DAC, the situation looks very similar. rolling off starts at around 3K Hz. but at 10K Hz you get only -0.3dB attenuation and at 20K Hz only -1dB attenuation.
so all in all, those figures clearly show that it's not rolling off of high frequencies responsible for smoother sound of NOS DACs, because this attenuation, within audio band, is really meaningless with relation to human hearing acuteness. I tend to believe that it's the fact that there's no ringing artefact present in case of NOS DACs responsible for more analog sound of those type of DACs.
I bought the Octave a few months ago and am extremely happy with it....
Its just nice to see close enouph get even closer and thats what I think the octave gives me.
It looks like you just joined and made your first post to share with us how excellent this DAC is.
Thank you very much for your sharing.
For anyone interested, I've just had the Metrum Octave DAC delivered and, though it's still early days, I think it sounds great. Even makes my laptop sound good, something my DAC XP never could!
Study: Synology ds212j (+ DS Audio) & Sonos ZP90 (Spotify & Tune-In Radio)→ Metrum Acoustics Octave DAC→ Cyrus Pre-XP (with PSX-R) + 2 Cyrus X Power → Vienna Acoustics Hadyns (Study) & ATC SCM11s (Kitchen), Beresford TC 7220 speaker switch, HiFi Racks Podium
Living Room: Macbook Air (2012 - iTunes + Bit Perfect) → M2Tech HiFace 2→ Metrum Acoustics Octave DAC →Cyrus DAC XP with PSX-R + Cyrus Mono Xs→ Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Baby Grands
Great stuff, keep us up to date.
metrum is about to release a new dac. this time it's hex (and one chassis only, thank god)
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