Metrum Acoustics Onyx (balanced Dac) and Jade (balanced Dac + Pre)

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by sacredgates, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    The Menuet wasn't nearly as good as the Pavane, occupying that mid-tier Metrum area. Musette, the lowest-tier, was kinda weird.

    Amethyst was noticeably better, more coherent, than the Musette, but still pretty colored. Definitely not superb with bass quality.

    Still, it was noticeably behind the Adagio (and Pavane lvl 2 or 3, by extension). I could be wrong, but I'd guess the Onyx/Jade are similarly a good bit behind the Pavane/Adagio in performance.

    The Pavane/Adagio in particular have always had much better staging, layering, low-end quality, and resolution over anything below them. I would be surprised if that doesn't hold true at least.

    You might actually prefer the Pavane Lvl 1 with the original DAC 1 modules. The OG Pavane. The DAC 2 modules have some benefits, no doubt, but definitely seem to have a thicker, bassier, warmer sound overall. Heavy hitting, smoother, blacker, etc., but definitely a different sort of sound over DAC 1.

    And the Pavane Lvl 1 was really the only DAC of that Metrum generation that actually seemed to have a proper implementation. All the trickle down products were odd sounding in comparison.

    Lastly, the Pavane/Adagio have decent OPTs for the RCA output. I think RCA output on the lower end DACs can suffer without the OPT. (I am guessing a simpler summing method but could be very, very wrong and stupid.)

    Sometimes it's not so much that NOS bass is worse than OS, but that certain tracks exacerbate NOS peculiarities that then mask performance elsewhere (forward presentation/less layering, for example, clouding what you hear in a sense). I have even heard weird cases where some headphones, and I'd assume speakers, just sound like absolute ass on NOS but fine on OS. Other headphones display only minor discrepancies. Maybe even ties into the whole amp + headphone/speaker chain and interactions between everything. Not sure.

    But, at the end of the day, you might just be more of an oversampling kind of guy. Most people are.
     
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  2. bengo

    bengo Friend

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    One of the most noticeable differences between Pavane and Amethyst was the additional "ease" of the Pavane, probably down to much bigger power supplies. I assume the same going from Onyx to Pavane but a lesser extent.

    As far as bass slam/authority, the Pavane did better than Yggdrasil A1 (or anything else I've heard).
     
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  3. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    Yggdrasil A1 I am familiar with. If Pavane > Ygg for bass slam, then that will be the ticket for me I think!

    Of the few that have heard Onyx and Pavane L3/Adagio, they conclude they're actually quite similar than different, and that Onyx/Jade offer the highest value of the Metrum line.
     
  4. data.noodle

    data.noodle Acquaintance

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    When looking at the I2S module on the metrum store website, I noticed that the onyx is no longer listed at all. Kind of strange...
     
  5. restrav3

    restrav3 Likes Audio-GD

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    Have you guys ever compared holo spring v1 to any of these metrums?
     
  6. data.noodle

    data.noodle Acquaintance

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    I haven't directly compared them, but my impressions when hearing the holo spring last year in NOS mode were that the holo spring was slightly smoother and darker sounding, but seemed a bit dull and less detailed vs the onyx I am used to. I also thought the onyx had more "texture" to the sound, but I'm an onyx owner so obv I'm biased / take that for what it's worth.
     
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  7. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    @restrav3 Yes. I compared the Springs vs the Menuet. The Menuet is kind of weird sounding, especially over SE outs. But with balanced out, the Menuet sounded airier, more layered, more nuanced, etc. Mind you the Audial Model S was even better with nuances and the like while not sounding weird.

    Spring is very bold...wide, very close/forward stage, aggressive, black background, brute force approach, lacks nuances and ultimate resolution.
     
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  8. Roman

    Roman Almost "Made"

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  9. data.noodle

    data.noodle Acquaintance

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  10. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

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    I used to own an Holo Spring v1 KTE 3, then I had the opportunity to evaluate the Onyx side-by-side with it for an extended period at home. @Hands said it better than I could. The metaphor I used before is that Spring goes for primary colors, big contrasts, while the Onyx shows more delicate, pastel colors. In addition, Onyx did a more balanced job with jazz drum sets overall over their wide frequency range from kick drum to snares and cymbals (I'm a modern jazz fanatic and I listen to a lot of live and recorded jazz).
     
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  11. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Had the Spring v1 KTE as well. Agree with @Hands and @earnmyturns on it. On speakers at least I found the soundstage larger on the Spring, but it was a U-shaped stage though (stuff on the sides closer than stuff in the middle). Image sizes were a bit exaggerated as well. But I found the Onyx stage was all between the speakers. Not very wide, and pretty forward too, but not aggressive at all from a tonality perspective.
     
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  12. uelover

    uelover Acquaintance

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    I had, at a point, owned the RME ADI-2 Pro, Modi Multibit, and the Onyx. I was feeding the Modi Multibit and Onyx via Singxer F1 (USB to Coax), while direct USB to the RME ADI-2 Pro.

    With my Headamp Gilmore Lite MK2 and Focal Clear, I find the sound stage of the Onyx to be quite narrow, and to lack the top end extensions of the ADI-2 Pro and Modi Multibit. In the end, I returned the Onyx to Metrum Acoustics under the 30-day refund program.

    It was the beginning an unfortunate incident (which I have shared on another forum a couple of days ago) about how Metrum Acoustics had, to date, refused to issue a refund. They had even cut all communication. This is despite them confirming via email that they had received the item and will proceed with the refund.

    I am currently pursuing this case with PayPal, and would like to bring up for greater awareness.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Walderstorn

    Walderstorn Friend

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    I had read about your situation and i can't say that i am shocked because i've seen it too often with other people and other companies. I hope that you get your situation resolved ASAP but i think that it's important to share this type of situation.
     
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  14. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Whoever is handling customer service, PR, website design, etc. for Metrum these days seems like trash.

    I had a poor experience asking technical questions about the Adagio.

    Basically got told, "Technical things are complicated, and you are dumb."
     
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  15. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    Well... they have a point.

    :p
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
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  16. lcmusiclover

    lcmusiclover Almost "Made"

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  17. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    I asked if I could get a response from Cees and more or less got told to get fucked.

    And the new site...lord almighty...it’s bad. Metrum used to have a kind of cool, niche, one man shop sort of vibe and now seems bloated and pompous.
     
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  18. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    completely agree.
    my interest in their products has been zero for months, even when liking the sound of Pavane 1.

    their crap USB input section plus new found Euro over priced wanker attitude means they lose educated USA customers.
     
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  19. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    What is the substitute?
     
  20. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    am solid with Yggdrasil A2 with magik USB input card developed by elves.
     
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