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Just received: M2Tech Hiface USB interface


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Just received my M2Tech Hiface USB/SPDIF(BNC) interface. Preliminary listening via Amarra mini indicate that it is at least as good as my Konnekt 24D via firewire at 44.1. All the typical qualities of a low jitter device are there... refined treble, spacious soundstage..

 

Kamil

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Kamil, I also received my HiFace (BNC output) yesterday and have been playing with it since then, non-stop. This is a very impressive device! I've been trying to find a solution to the USB limitations (as discussed in this forum), and haven't been very happy with M-Audio Transit and Edirol UA1X USB, Focusrite Saffire (FireWire input, which I currently use for non-professional sound editing). These are superb interfaces but, so far, the HiFace beats all these options, and it's not even burned in (for those who believe in such things - I do).

 

However, I have encountered one annoying problem: Sometimes, when I select a new track, I can hear a "click" noise between the song that was being played and the new track. It's not always there, but it's distracting. I wrote M2Tech to find out if they have a solution; I look forward to their response. If you know something about this and have had a similar experience... I use Foobar, and I'm also bypassing Windows (Vista, 64bit - but will switch to 7 next week).

 

Overall, my impression is very positive, despite the minor inconvenience described above. I'll keep you posted.

 

 

 

Walcascar[br]My system: Mac Mini > Exasound e22 (digital) > VPI Classic 3 (analog) > McIntosh C50 preamp & McIntosh MC302 amp > B&W Nautilus 802D (Cables: All Cardas)

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Walcasar, I solved that. The exact same thing happens on my Macbook running OSX. It turns out that Hiface will still play USB to SPDIF into my DAC even if I select a different device in the sound output preferences. Somehow when I did that, the clicking disappeared. Funny how the same problem also exists on a different operating system.

 

Kamil

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Thanks, Kamil, but I'm not sure I understand what you did on your Mac. On my laptop PC, I followed exactly what the manual describes in order to "obtain the best sound quality", i.e., to use it in kernel streaming mode (I also downloaded and installed foo_out_ks.dll). I use Foobar. As a precaution, I also deactivated all the sound-related software (microphone, optical output, RCA outputs, etc - everything is off). In sum, I still hear that clicking sound when I change tracks manually. Update: Still no news from the guys from M2Tech, but I only sent my message two days ago, on Thursday...

 

Walcascar[br]My system: Mac Mini > Exasound e22 (digital) > VPI Classic 3 (analog) > McIntosh C50 preamp & McIntosh MC302 amp > B&W Nautilus 802D (Cables: All Cardas)

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I just got my M2Tech but I haven't connected it up yet b/c my new computer comes tomorrow - new HP desktop with windows 7 professional 64 bit. I am wondering what settings you guys have on your PC's using windows 7? What do I need to do when I set up the computer?

 

I am using a PS Audio Digital Link III DAC and I think I am going to use Media Monkey. Do I need to use WASAPI or ASIO? I am coming from an XP machine using ASIO but read that W7 has a better audio path so I am wondering if I even need it? Did you guys just use the disc that came with the M2Tech or did you go to the site to get the latest drivers?

 

Thanks!

 

jb

 

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So I just got my computer with W7 x64 and I installed the drivers but I can't get it to play any sound. I went into Media Monkey and under the output there isn't anything to select other than REALtek or primary sound driver. When I plug my dac in with usb it recognizes as usb codec and it works fine.

 

What am I doing wrong?

 

Thanks

 

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I finally got my hands on one of these (thank you Keith @ Purite Audio). As it now has software available to download for Mac and I have been keen to use it with Amarra.

 

I am a legacy DAC owner as I am still using my beloved Audio Note DAC.

 

To date I have been using a DDDAC USB to SPIDF interface.

 

This, like most, is limited to 48kHz and 16 Bit and is based on the ubiquitous PCM 2707 chip. My DAC will actually handle 96kHz.

 

This accepted, the DDDAC is an excellent implementation of this chip and has bettered the USB input of many DACs including the MHDT Havana and Audio Note DACs.

 

It seems many DAC manufacturers have stuck on rather poorly implemented USB interfaces which are often after thoughts, very few have proper USB inputs like the Wavelink/Ayre DACs so the Hiface is could be an excellent upgrade even if your DAC has a USB interface.

 

In comparison to my DDDAC the M2Tech is an absolute joy, and works very well with Amarra. Music has more detail ,space and poise and just feels better.

 

I have quite a few higher resolution files such as Fleetwood Mac Rumours, Frank Sinatra at the Sands, and Dark Side Of The Moon plus a growing collection of archived vinyl at higher resolution.

 

Here the HiFace excels, so it is almost happy days – this thing only costs around £100!

 

The ‘almost’ is because it does sometime crackle momentarily when changing sample rates and I can’t get Audiomidi to load it up when I start my computer, so it has to be dome manually each time I boot up – this could well be my error.

 

I am still waiting for the really big USB/Firewire to SPIDF showdown – Weiss INT202 Vs Wavelength Wavelink Vs Empirical Audio Off Ramp Vs Sonicweld Diverter, but in the meantime this Italian ‘thingy’ has come from left field and set the bar very high, and at a price!

 

When the big four are all wheeled out I think Chris will need a new Forum Topic of ‘Computer to DAC interfaces’. I suspect there will going to be an almighty dust up!

 

 

Trying to make sense of all the bits...MacMini/Amarra -> WavIO USB to I2S -> DDDAC 1794 NOS DAC -> Active XO ->Bass Amp Avondale NCC200s, Mid/Treble Amp Sugden Masterclass -> My Own Speakers

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Hello HiFace users. This is just to give you an update on the HiFace "clicking" problem that I described earlier (I heard a click whenever I pressed play, pause, stop): It has completely disappeared when I upgraded my system to Windows 7. All I can say is that HiFace is one of the best (and cheapest!) upgrades I've added to my system. It's particularly impressive when playing hi-res music. After having burned-in HiFace for about a week, I am now comparing it to M-Audio Transit ($80 - usb-toslink), Focusrite Saffire (via Firewire, $400), and Bel Canto's USB Link 24/96 ($600) using my Bryston DAC. From my initial (non-scientific) observation, I can easily say that HiFace (BNC connectors) beats these three products, especially with hi-res music. Playing 16bit 44.1KHz music the different between the three is not noticeable, but switching to higher resolutions... Oh my. I never knew the soundstange could be that precise in width and depth! I'll be updating this with some more specific feature of the HiFace vis-a-vis the other three products in the near future (possibly in the New Year).

 

I'd like also to let you know that Marco (from M2Tech) and Michael Garner (from Tweekgeek.com) have been very helpful in finding a solution to my problem. Michael even volunteered to send me another unit to make sure it was not a hardware problem. Thanks Marco and Michael - problem solved.

 

In sum, after I was able to fix the clicking problem, I have only positive things to say about HiFace. An impressive product that costs only $150-180.

 

 

Walcascar[br]My system: Mac Mini > Exasound e22 (digital) > VPI Classic 3 (analog) > McIntosh C50 preamp & McIntosh MC302 amp > B&W Nautilus 802D (Cables: All Cardas)

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Walcascar, is there an improvement with the hiface and Bryston over just the Bryston's USB input?

 

Bryan

 

Dedicated 240V balanced power, Torus RM20-BAL. Mac Mini/Ayre QB-9. LSA Group Signature integrated. Eminent Tech LFT8B speakers. Real Trap and GIK bass traps.

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Brian, the short answer is YES. Not because of the Bryston, which is in my opinion one of the best DACS in the market, but because of the "USB limitations", which cannot output high resolution, as discussed here and in the audiophile media (Stereophile, Absolute Sound). The BNC and RCA (coaxial) inputs in the Bryston are way superior to the USB, and that might be one of the reasons why I prefer the sound via a USB-SPDIF converter, the HiFace.

 

Walcascar[br]My system: Mac Mini > Exasound e22 (digital) > VPI Classic 3 (analog) > McIntosh C50 preamp & McIntosh MC302 amp > B&W Nautilus 802D (Cables: All Cardas)

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Walcascar, can you explain what the audible differences are that you hear between direct USB versus the hiface in to the BDA? I'm interested in what the differences are. Is it increased resolution because of less noise or jitter? Is it a more analog, smoother sound?

 

Bryan

 

Dedicated 240V balanced power, Torus RM20-BAL. Mac Mini/Ayre QB-9. LSA Group Signature integrated. Eminent Tech LFT8B speakers. Real Trap and GIK bass traps.

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Brian, the difference is mostly noticeable when playing high-res music, especially 24bit-96Khz and above. I believe jitter is considerably reduced, thus contributing to a more analog sound. But what really impressed me was the soundstage, as described in my earlier comment. I'm planning to write a comprehensive review of the HiFace when I return from my vacation in early January, comparing it to three products that I have with me at the moment: the Transit, Focusrite, and Bel Canto (which I really like - it's my second favorite). I'm too busy at the moment and I can't stop re-listening to all my music files.

 

Walcascar[br]My system: Mac Mini > Exasound e22 (digital) > VPI Classic 3 (analog) > McIntosh C50 preamp & McIntosh MC302 amp > B&W Nautilus 802D (Cables: All Cardas)

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Hi there

I received my Hiface today and I have to say that straight out of the box it has made a noticeable difference to my Havana dac. Recommended.

 

Having said that am looking forward to the Linux drivers for MPD.

 

Cheers

Andrew

 

Best Wishes

Andrew

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Is the hiface an interface adapter only, or is it also a reclocker? I'm still not sure I understand exactly what a reclocker is.

 

Dedicated 240V balanced power, Torus RM20-BAL. Mac Mini/Ayre QB-9. LSA Group Signature integrated. Eminent Tech LFT8B speakers. Real Trap and GIK bass traps.

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