Metrum Octave description

This is from the Head Case Forum. You may have already seen it but it was news to me so I thought I'd post it anyway. I'm not clear as to actually wrote this description so take it for its face value.

The DAC chips used in Metrum's converters have been of speculation even to experienced designers. This doesn't name the chips used but it does seem to offer more information. Enjoy

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 09:31 AM
The Legend from 6mmons review:

"For the last 20 years we have been manufacturing electrostatic transducers and related electronics. We also design transducers and systems for non-destructive ultrasonic investigations. Based on this background we subsequently attempted to design a DAC which would not be based on the regular AKM, Burr Brown, TI, Crystal and Wolfson chips which are ubiquitous in consumer audio. Instead we wanted an ultra high-speed part such as you'd find in industrial applications. After many years of experimentation we finally identified an extremely fast chip that's useable for 16 or 24-bit audio but handles sampling rates up to 15 Megahertz. Of course some glue logic was required to match this chip to the standard audio formats. Due to the very low glitch energy of our resistor ladder network, we need no digital filter or oversampling. Our machines are very deliberately without frills. Paralleling four industrial DACs per channel with integral voltage outputs improves low-level information and noise floor for the digital data which enter via the receiver chip. Because our DAC chips are relatively expensive and usually only seen in fast data acquisition systems for industrial use, we kept functionality and cosmetics simple. We avoided multiple i/o ports and a hefty chassis to maintain instead an attractive price. One obvious advantage of our high-speed chips is that they exhibit excellent impulse response without the pre/post ringing so common in today's oversampling converters. To avoid mutual interference between digital and analog data we use a six-layer printed circuit board. After further developments we eventually asked certain reviewers for performance feedback since they had broad experience with standard audio converters across many different price points. They reported back that our €350 Quad DAC competes up to €2000. We have now managed to duplicate this unfair advantage with our Octave version. It sells for just shy of €700 but performs up to €5000. We ended up with a total of three production models, the Duo (one chip per channel), the Quad (2 chips per channel) and the Octave (4 chips per channel). It is hard for me to describe the performance of these machines in English but we already have a rave Dutch review. This prompted many sales in the Netherlands. Due to exposure in the international audio forums global sales inquiries have followed. Because of our unusual price-to-performance ratio and the uncommon core parts one does not usually come across in home audio, would you be interested in a review?"
This is your second post on the DAC chips in the MO DAC. The chip is one part of what goes into the dac and one part only. If it sounds good, listen to it and stop lying awake at night worrying about what the chip is.

Well Chayro, should I be worrying? I actually have four or five posts here regarding the Metrum Octave.

In all my Metrum Octave posts I never questioned what chip is being used, merely that there was speculation by others. The body of the above post is a description of the Octave and its design goals reportedly by the designer using an also known as. He is presumably responding to past questioning of his unusual selection of an industrial chip. This is the only post were chips have been discussed.

I'm guessing the other post you're referring to is by the moder from the Head Case forum? He's simply describing his experience in changing some parts. One contributor here seems to have found some value in my sharing of the moders BNC information. In both cases my intention was to provide information that some may find interesting. Isn't the nature of internet forums to be a vehicle for information sharing?

The $768. Metrum Octave has garnered stellar reviews and has been compared sonically to other DAC's in the $5,000. plus range. So yes, Chayro, I'd love to listen to one but it seems its popularity has overwhelmed the company. I'm currently four weeks into an eight week back order.

I admit to having great enthusiasm and anticipation over this, my first DAC purchase. As such, I really don't know Dick about DAC's so thank you for sharing your DAC knowledge as well as your concern for my getting enough rest. Have a wonderful day.

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