Metrum Acoustics Pavane DAC listening impressions

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by jexby, May 15, 2016.

  1. nachocheese70

    nachocheese70 Almost "Made"

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    I would double check with ZMF that the price includes import duties and VAT. I wouldn’t be surprised if the “taxes” referred only to local USA sales tax. My experience with international purchases is those fees are paid for by the buyer, based on the declared value. Given typical VAT in most EU countries, that would easily explain the difference.
     
  2. Thenewerguy009

    Thenewerguy009 Friend

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    hifiheaven.net is also selling it cheaper than Metrum is selling it on their website.
    The price Metrum is selling might be their suggest MSRP & a 3rd party sites are allowed to sell it cheaper?

    Is there any online retailers that are selling the Pavane in your region?
     
  3. Grahad2

    Grahad2 Red eyes from too much anime

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    Besides, the Schiit SYS is a pot based attenuator (with a common ground), not a resistor type. Resistor type typically refers to (expensive!) discrete resistor pots not the wiper pots.
     
  4. StefanAC

    StefanAC Acquaintance

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    @David De Lucena

    The ZMF webside clearly states that they are selling the current Pavane Level 3 - for 4750 USD.

    @nachocheese70

    It is obvious that the price doesn't include shipping and taxes! My rough calculation was as follows:

    4750 USD for Pavane plus 200 USD shipping to Germany equals 4950 USD or 4000 EUR. Than you have to add about 20% import duties and VAT. Which makes about 4900 EUR if you add some headroom for handling charges etc.
     
  5. Anjo De Heus

    Anjo De Heus MOT - Metrum Acoustics

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    Dear Stefan, this is Anjo from Metrum Acoustics and instead of everybody guessing or getting annoyed over this the following. Disclaimer: normally I would not intervene as a vendor, but this is too important for me. Let’s establish the fact that we at Metrum care about our customers and deceiving them is not our style nor intention, au contraire we always go the extra mile to make things right.
    Having said that please be aware that we also deal with dealers who clear their stock. Mostly you will see Pavane and Adagio being discounted when they have level 1 chips in them. This is annoying as I have realized as well it is not always obvious which chip level set is in the product. Despite asking for transparency it seems to go on, against our wishes and guidelines. The problem becomes even bigger when the client wishes to have an MQA or i2s upgrade, which is not possible with the older releases. For that reason there is no need for WTF or other swearing imo as the only price for the most actual products is the price published on our website. We only deliver the latest Dac chips and if at all we are dealing with over stock we write it off but will not sell it. Last, there have been some cases of excessive discounting recently but this should be history now. There is a Msrp and if dealers do not comply, we will not continue with them in the future. Thank you for this airtime. BTW we just released the ROON endpoint, AMBRE
     
  6. Anjo De Heus

    Anjo De Heus MOT - Metrum Acoustics

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    And always feel to contact us at [email protected] which we monitor ongoing :)
     
  7. StefanAC

    StefanAC Acquaintance

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    @Anjo De Heus

    Thank you for responding as MOT and clarifying the situation. But as a potential customer it is difficult bordering on impossible to distinguish between the claims on your website and what ZMF has to say:

    http://www.zmfheadphones.com/ampsanddacs/metrum-pavane

    By the way - I was made to believe that the Adagio always had the Level 3 modules installed.
     
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  8. Anjo De Heus

    Anjo De Heus MOT - Metrum Acoustics

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    I see your point and it annoys me more than you. I will address this to Zach and have him raise the price as we do not approve of this. FYI I have helped a number of customers lately who assumed they had the latest Dac chips in their acquired products and this was not true. At Metrum we have replaced the motherboards at our own expense. But unfortunately I can not always browse the website of dealers and manage them like I’m their daddy, I rather spend my time getting you the best product ever. As said if dealers won’t comply there will be a cease or desist letter, and than it’s up to them.
     
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  9. 9suns

    9suns [insert unearned title here]

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    Welcome @Anjo De Heus and thanks for the explanation!

    Please, can you also explain a bit more on the "Adagio with Level 1 chips"? Was it a typo?
    Like @StefanAC, I believed that Adagio always had the DAC TWO, Level 3 modules installed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018
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  10. Anjo De Heus

    Anjo De Heus MOT - Metrum Acoustics

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    In my car and on the road kind of typo open for intepretation. Adagio always has been DAC 3 chips. Apologies for the confusion
     
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  11. lithiumnk

    lithiumnk Rando

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    Metrum Acoustics Pavane Level 3 i2s + Ambre:

    After auditioning Metrum onyx, I was very impressed by the sound signature.

    So I went ahead and got Pavane L3 i2s + Ambre.
    Decided to sacrifice USB altogether.

    Setup:
    Roon(iMac)-->RJ45--> Metrum Ambre -->i2s--> Metrum Pavane Level 3--> Audioquest Water RCA--> Violectric V281--> Audeze lcd i4 (Balanced Effect Audio Horus).

    Last 24 hours has completely changed my perception of music. The tonality is simply outstanding. The pitch black background, deep & tall soundstage is a treat for ears.

    The mids are bodied, natural, emotional, textured & lush. There is an excellent imaging & layering of instruments, vocals in a three dimensional space. Instruments have natural timbre

    A special word on the black background/noise floor. Pavane has a very low noise floor -155db at 2v rms. This helps in presenting the subtle background sounds which gets drowned in noise (RF,EMI,ground loops).These sounds just elevate the music enjoyment to an another level.
    The microdetails are so evident, one does not require extra effort to focus on these sounds, They are just there in front of you.

    I had auditioned Chord Dave alongside my hugo2 around a month back. I didn't experienced the same level of enjoyment or eargasm.
    The sound from pavane is just effortless.There is no element of fatigue.
    NO harshness/edginess/sibilance. Some may think its HF roll off, that's not the matter at all. It has fast transients, well extended trebles with non fatiguing/non ear piercing sparkling character.

    It is a definite step up from Metrum onyx in all the departments.

    I don't miss Chord Dave at all tbh.

    The built quality is awesome. It weighs around 10 kgs. The black glass top adds class to its body.

    Metrum recommends 3-4 weeks of burn in for Pavane & 1-2 weeks for Ambre.

    Thank you @Anjo De Heus for helping me out with the purchase & solving all my queries.

    Pavane is the best DAC I have ever heard in my short audiophile journey. Metrum have hit the bulls eye with pavane.
     
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  12. johnnypaddock

    johnnypaddock Rando

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    Has anyone happened to compare the USB and AES inputs on the Adagio? I've read a number of posts on this forum indicating that Metrum USB implementations aren't all that great. I've had nothing but good experience going from my Mac Mini directly to the Adagio, but I'm thinking of experimenting with something like a Mutec MC-3 if it might make a significant difference.

    I'm sorry if this is the wrong place for this question, but there is no dedicated thread for the Adagio.
     
  13. skem

    skem Friend

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    The USB is very glitchy. I haven’t used the AES. The spdif is fine with a good source.
     
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  14. johnnypaddock

    johnnypaddock Rando

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    Thanks. I've been lucky and haven't experienced any dropouts or clicks through USB, but maybe the sound quality would be even better through one of the other inputs.
     
  15. skem

    skem Friend

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    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
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  16. Thenewerguy009

    Thenewerguy009 Friend

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    I would definitely recommend anything other than usb.
    If you want to hook your DAC to your PC directly, use the i2s module & install a soundcard with a rj45/is2 input
    https://www.pinkfaun.com/shop/pink-...-interlink-i2s.html#/198-i2s_termination-rj45
     
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  17. skem

    skem Friend

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    I’d be curious to compare I²S to SPDIF. One member gave his impressions here, which is not the final word but illustrates the issue I’m about to raise.

    While I²S is ‘more native’ to a DAC’s internal architecture, as an interconnect it means you’re relying on your source to handle all the clocking and praying for minimal cable effects. From Wikipedia (fwiw):

    Whereas:

    Both approaches can result in data errors. However, the Metrum DAC is *not* taking I²S and giving you back pure converted audio of that stream. It does FPGA preprocessing on the digital side (presumably to correct for nonlinearities in the R2R ladder?). Given this digital manipulation, buffering and reclocking seems inevitable and *I* don’t see the value in having the I²S clock split out at the cost of more cable sensitivity. But this is a hunch.

    Maybe @ultrabike can give us a mini-lesson on this topic. :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
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  18. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    LOL! mini-lesson...

    I feel that whatever the FPGA does, it happens after input extraction from I2S or SPDIF, so it's likely irrelevant.

    What is likely not irrelevant is the fact that I2S is a high speed serial bus interface standard (actually a parallel stream with clock, data and word select running through separate physical lines). It does not seem to be a protocol designed to support user equipment interconnects. Indeed, in most cases, forcing things to work this way on long haul may cause all kinds of noise and data alignment issues.

    On the other hand, SPDIF is a high speed serial stream with a single physical line. It was designed to support user equipment interconnects.

    I would use USB before using I2S over long lines with most equipment. AFAIK I2S is used for DAC/ADC board level data interfaces (short length matched traces). I2S probably will not work as well if using it to connect a DAC and an amp 10 meters away from eachother using 3 or more coax cables of random lengths.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  19. Thenewerguy009

    Thenewerguy009 Friend

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    How about using a short i2s cable, just a few inches?
     
  20. lehmanhill

    lehmanhill Acquaintance

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    I can partially answer, based on Onyx not Pavane/Adagio. Still, it should apply.

    Metrum uses direct i2s where others, PS Audio or Gustard, used LVDS (low voltage differential signal). Like balanced vs single ended, the LVDS can use a longer cable because it is measuring differential signal and subtracting out common mode noise.

    At one point, I tried feeding the Onyx with i2s direct from a Raspberrry Pi. The cable needed to be VERY short to get reasonable sound out. I'm not sure what is happening inside the Ambre, but my guess is that they are buffering the i2s signal so that it can drive a somewhat longer cable between the Ambre and the Onyx/Pavane/etc.

    I am currently using an RPi with a Pi2AES hat. The Pi2AES outputs buffered direct i2s, differential i2s for PS Audio and Gustard, balanced AES, single ended AES, and SPDIF (both optical and RCA). Using buffered i2s and a 4 inch cable, the Onyx plays nicely. Comparing the buffered i2s to balanced and single ended AES, all are quite good, but I prefer the buffered i2s. It seems to have a bit more stage depth and slight improved micro-dynamics.

    Regarding clocking, as skem mentioned, how you get the clocking done matters. In the Pi2AES, the data stream is reclocked by the Pi2AES with the data coming directly from the RPi. I you don't have an i2s source with some sort of buffering and reclocking, it would be hard to make i2s useful except internally.

    I agree with ultrabike that i2s isn't really intended to be used this way, especially on a long run. But with buffering of the signals a somewhat more consumer friendly i2s is possible. As for why i2s sounds better, I can think of 2 explanations;

    1. I am fooling myself.
    2. Not having to convert formats (source i2s to SPDIF/AES to dac i2s) may reduce the errors. Maybe the higher speed helps too.

    Jac
     
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