Audiophilleo vs Empirical audio offramp

I currently have a metrum octave DAC being fed by an Audiophilleo 2 converter. I've been thinking of replacing it with an Offramp 4 or 5, but am not sure if it is worth it. Has anyone compared these two directly (doesn't necessarily have to be with a metrum DAC)? Most say that the offramp is slightly better, but does this increase in performance make it worth 3x the price (since you will also need to buy a SPDIF cable for the offramp). Let me know what you think.
If you haven't tried the AP2 with the PurePower battery supply, you might want to consider that option first. It made a nice improvement in clarity and fine detail with my AP1.
You might have seen my other post over at the PC Forum, but in case you haven't: it might be worth connecting with member Elberoth over at computer for his view. His reference is a DCS Scarlatti, and he also has a Metrum Octave which he tried with both the OR5 and AP2 with Pure Power. He also tried an M2Tech full Evo stack.

+1 Elberoth. He simply has too much time and money. He clearly enjoys judging components on his own terms, on a great system in a well thought out room. I value his assessments greatly.
I've compared the AP2 and the old Off Ramp 3 with a BPT power supply. No contest, the Off Ramp 3 was the clear winner. And the Off Ramp 4 and 5 are supposed to be marked improvements over the Off Ramp 3.

Having said that, when I owned the AP2, there was no battery option. Probably worth trying.
I found a single thread on computer audiophile from elberoth, I guess that is the one you were talking about, he says that he prefers the AP over all others he's tested, including the Offramp. Most people disagree with this though. Anyone else?

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Here you go:

I have compared both into the Metrum Octave. The Off-Ramp is clearly better but the Audiophellio is better value. Of the people I have demoed it to its 50-50 if they think its worth the extra dosh.

I will repost what I had written on CA forum:

ORT5 and AP are a bit difficoult to compare, as they sound very different to each other.

ORT5 is a bit dark sounding. You will not get the vast sound stage that AP1/2 will throw, you will miss some spatial clues and decay trails. On the positive side, ORT5 has the best texture out of all converters I tried, and was the only converter that fully matched my Scarlatti CD/SACD transport in that regard.

AP has superior resolution and better microdynamics than the ORT5. If you voice your system around the AP, ORT5 will most likely sound a bit muted.

That being said, in some systems AP may be too much of a good thing. Some people reported that AP sounded a bit bright in their systems. I belive this is may be computer dependent (since AP is USB powered, it relies heavily on the quality of USB power, so cards like SOtM USB with their own ultra low noise voltage regulators can help here).

Both converters can be improved by adding a decicated PSU.

A friend of mine - Marcin of JPLAY fame - who borrowed ORT5 from me, reported what he called 10% improvement in SQ by substituting the supplied switch-mode wall wart PSU with his KingRex linear PSU. Aparently, Empirical even makes their own battery PSU, called Monolitic, but it adds another $1k to the hefty price of ORT5.

AP recently introduced what they call a PurePower battery PSU. This is a $449 option for both AP1 and AP2. I recently got one, and highy recommend it. AP+PP sounds smoother, has better texture and even better soundstaging that the plain vanilla AP.

AP+PurePower can now rival the M2Tech 3-box solution sound wise, but it is cheaper, much easier to use (no manual frequency change necessary), comes in a one box less and brings much less cables.

If you already have the AP2, I think that the most sensible option would be getting the PP upgrade installed. If you want to spend more, simply sell your gear and get the new $3k Metrum HEX with the USB input module option (no converter necessary).
The AP can also be improved by using Connectronics brand BNC / RCA adapters in lieu of those provided with the AP unit. They sound much better and a very inexpensive purchase from Markertek.

I also found a good coax sounds better than direct connection to the DAC. I use the BlackCat Silverstar.
The current power supply upgrade for the OR5 is the DYNAMO. This supply is AC powered and Hynes-regulator based. Sells for $699.00. Many customers say that the power supply is a bigger upgrade than the OR5 or the Synchro-Mesh makes.

The other significant upgrade that Empirical offers is the BNC-BNC coax cable with RCA adapters. This cable is currently unbeaten in the market and only $250.00.

The OR5 can also get the "OTL" mod for $150, which removes the output transformer. This reduces jitter even more. It helps to have a DAC with a Coax input transformer on it.

If you have the OTL, Dynamo and BNC-BNC combination, I don't believe the OR5 has any competition.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
I have compared both on a number of occasions, and lent my Off-Ramp to owners of an Audiophellio to do just that.

The Off-Ramp is clearly and obviously better. The only issue was the price difference - is it worth the extra dosh? For me - yes - but others had a different view on the price vs performance equation.

And indeed a very well regulated supply lifts the Off-ramp up another notch - either Steves Dynamo or I had a local tech build me one. Don't know if it's as good as Steve's effort, but it was less hassle.

Bhobba --

The Off-Ramp is clearly and obviously better. The only issue was the price difference - is it worth the extra dosh? For me - yes - but others had a different view on the price vs performance equation.

I use the Audiophilleo2 + PurePower myself, and would appreciate it if you'd go into some detail on the sonic differences compared to the Off-ramp?

From what I've read on this topic opinions do differ on which's the better of the two. Some consensus seemed to form on the Off-ramp being a tad dark-sounding, while others have felt the AP(2) being "too direct." Does this, in any variation, apply to your impressions?