Mine works fine with RCA. Of course the digital cable I use most costs more than the Metrum. The digital cables I use were measured by an engineer friend who it really into measurements and they all measured 75 ohms.
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Just got myself a proper 75 Ohm BNC connector. My plan is to do some initial listening with the standard RCA connector, and then change to BNC and see is there is any change. Both USB/SPDIF converters I currently use (Halide and JKSPDIF3) have BNC outs anyway, so a BNC connector on Metrum will make my life easier.
PS The DAC's are intersting. They are 16-pin devices (with the type number taken off, of course), so they are definitely not Burr Brown or any of the other audio DAC's, which have far more pins. So I think they must be DAC's intended for instrumentation or data acqisition applications. And they are supposedly R2R ladder DAC's too. I've done an initial trawl of manufacturer's data, but have not been able to find anything that looks like those.
Burr Brown DAC8580. Datasheet
I have had my Metrum Octave for some weeks now and am truly shocked how good it is!
I have compared it to a number of much more expensive upsampling DAC's costing 3 to 4 times the price and also an Audio Note NOS costing 3.5 times as much. The Octave was faster, much more saturated and preferred due to its excellent balance of detail and timber of the instruments. Equally at home with Biffy Clyro or Bruckner. I have found though its is very sensitive to the SPDIF cable used which needs to be as near to true 75 ohms as possible. I have tried VDH First Ultimate, Black Cat Veloce and Mark Levinson Fat Boy, all of which sound slightly different.
Thanks Gopher. Does your DAC section kind of rings internally? When I knock gently on the top of my unit I hear things vibrating inside, and I'm wondering if there is room for improvement by treating those somehow.
Replacing the RCA for a BNC connector is one tweak I have noted a couple folks claim worked well for them.
Using an after market power cable of course is another one. I'm still using stock. What are you using?
So far resolution was significantly improved as has stage width and seemingly bass impact/tightness. That said it does feel like it needs to do a little more relaxing and I'm hoping over the next hundred hours or so this transformer will mellow.
I think it was purchased through K&K, my buddy ordered a couple and got me one.
i just received my Octave DAC back from being modded... replaced the stock pulse transformer with the Lundahl LL1572, replaced the stock coax input with a 75 ohm BNC, replaced the stock fuse with an AMR gold fuse.
i felt this DAC was a tremendous performer in it's stock form - it is the best of the several i've owned - and now it's gotten considerably better. i really wasn't expecting much from such simple and inexpensive mods, but am extremely impressed. the basic character of the dac remains, the extraordinary clarity and musicality haven't been altered, but now the stage has opened up considerably and the mids/upper bass are fuller. apparant detail, particualrily low level detail, are improved, too.
i'm looking forward to clocking a few more hours and seeing how things develop. right now, i'm very impressed.
@ Vicdamone: Noble Electronics performed the mods. i purchased all the necessary parts and sent them along with the dac. K&K Audio stocks the pulse transformer, avatar sells the fuses and the bnc is widely available. noble's work was flawless and timely - highly recommended.
i've now put some time on the dac and it has smoothed out nicely - it really has the most analog sound i've ever heard from a dac. difficult to describe the presentation - finely detailed, yet with an extraordinary musicality. this one one incredible sounding piece now.
I'm out of town for the holidays, but wanted to quickly chime in that things were coming around in my system before I left.
As with many changes to your rig some coaxing may be necessary to reaxhieve your desired balance. In my case I moved my amp out of an oyide r1 outlet and into a Maestro outlet and my Metrum out of a Maestro and into a Furutech FPX gold.
Sounds tweaky/fringy I realize but they made a notable improvement. Im planning on buying a nice fuse, probably AMR shortly.
While i was still undecided about the mod, i purchased another stock Metrum so ill have that to compare snd ecperiment with in a week or so.
I'm about to modify my Metrum Octave. It is the version without the fancy power supply, but comes with an on-wall black power supply.
Question about your transformer swap:
The standard pulse Trasformer has 6 connections and the new Lundahl LL1572 has 4. How did you connect this?
I'm thinking about replacing the standard cheap wall connected power supply with a sollid toroidal transformer. The DAC housing has 3 lines comming in while on the outside of the dac housing it says 9V AC. Do you (any) know what the three incomming lines represent?
Thank you so much!