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Metrum Octave MKII


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The new Octave is a one boxed design. It adds the USB input (M2Tech OEM board with internal power supply) same as the one used in Hex. Also it supports 192 by default (1 in 100 supports 192 in the original version).

 

The designer claims the sonic improvement is marginal compared to the original version.

 

I owned a Valab NOS DAC (8 x TDA1543) and the 47 Labs Shigaraki NOS DAC (single TDA1543 with minimal parts) but I found these two are only good at mid-range (less detailed and less dynamic than a good modern DAC chip based DAC).

 

Some people say Metrum NOS DACs sound different than other NOS DACs. I'll really appreciate it if you can comment on the sound signatures of Octave and Hex.

 

More information about Octave MKII: http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/2013/03/metrum-acoustics-launch-mkii-octave-dac/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=metrum-acoustics-launch-mkii-octave-dac

Octave-MKII-580x435.jpg

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Hex is much better. I had two side by side in my system. It has much better resolution, much better HF extension, decay trails hang in space much longer, soundstage is deeper ... it just lets you hear much deeper into the recording.

 

It is much more open sounding on top - with the Octave I always had the feeling that it is slightly rolled off (which in fact is true when you look at the freq response - Octave is -3dB @ 20kHz due to the NOS design). Not so with the HEX. This DAC must also have the same slight roll off on top (per design), but it is not as noticable, and in fact it didn't bother me at all.

 

If anything, Octave might have a slightly better PRaT and be a bit more direct sounding than the more expensive HEX. Probably because it doesn't have the output transformers in the signal path.

 

Both are GREAT sounding DACs, very natural and fluid sounding, with excellent value for money.

Adam

 

PC: Hot rodded CAPS v4 Pipeline: Teradak ATX linear PSU, MojoAudio super regulator, Pink Faun Ultra OCXO USB card

Digital: Lampizator Pacific DAC

Amp: Dan D'Agostino Momentum Stereo

Speakers: Magcio M3

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Hex is much better. I had two side by side in my system. It has much better resolution, much better HF extension, decay trails hang in space much longer, soundstage is deeper ... it just lets you hear much deeper into the recording.

 

It is much more open sounding on top - with the Octave I always had the feeling that it is slightly rolled off (which in fact is true when you look at the freq response - Octave is -3dB @ 20kHz due to the NOS design). Not so with the HEX. This DAC must also have the same slight roll off on top (per design), but it is not as noticable, and in fact it didn't bother me at all.

 

If anything, Octave might have a slightly better PRaT and be a bit more direct sounding than the more expensive HEX. Probably because it doesn't have the output transformers in the signal path.

 

Both are GREAT sounding DACs, very natural and fluid sounding, with excellent value for money.

 

Thanks Adam. Did you compare Hex to similarly priced oversampling DACs?

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My guess is the MKII is improved with the parts they brought over from the Octave. Could be closer than before?

 

Hex is much better. I had two side by side in my system. It has much better resolution, much better HF extension, decay trails hang in space much longer, soundstage is deeper ... it just lets you hear much deeper into the recording.

 

It is much more open sounding on top - with the Octave I always had the feeling that it is slightly rolled off (which in fact is true when you look at the freq response - Octave is -3dB @ 20kHz due to the NOS design). Not so with the HEX. This DAC must also have the same slight roll off on top (per design), but it is not as noticable, and in fact it didn't bother me at all.

 

If anything, Octave might have a slightly better PRaT and be a bit more direct sounding than the more expensive HEX. Probably because it doesn't have the output transformers in the signal path.

 

Both are GREAT sounding DACs, very natural and fluid sounding, with excellent value for money.

A Digital Audio Converter connected to my Home Computer taking me into the Future

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