I’m ordering one today. Going from a Metrum Pavane level 1. I was ready to send it for a level 3 upgrade. I’m glad I looked around first.
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I have not listened to it. I was about to send my Metrum Pavane for a level 3 upgrade and read about the Morpheus. I’m trading the Pavane and a preamp towards the Morpheus so it’s only costing $350 cash.
Last year I got the Pavane and one of Metrum’s Forte power amps. The combination is astounding, much cleaner and more detailed and musical than what I was using. I decided to go with the genius designer’s new line instead of staying with the people marketing his older designs.
I’m in the USA.
The Morpheus is here. I spent about three hours listening to hi res files, music loaded from cds, and Tidal hifi. Everything had more space and lots more detail than I’m used to. It sounded fantastic out of the box. I was wondering if it’s using the old Metrum driver so I checked the JRiver audio device thing and it was set on the default driver. The Morpheus automatically loaded wasapi and direct audio drivers when I connected it. I switched to wasapi and it opened up even more. I’m ecstatic.
Congratulations for your purchase! Please write a detailed report once you've burned it in and got to know it better. I'm especially interested in the presence / absence / degree of the HF roll off that is typical for the NOS dacs and the soundstage width (as it's been described as fairly narrow in the Metrum Onyx' case, a close, less accoplished relative of the Morpheus). Thanks!
I am also interested in reading a more detailed review of what you are hearing from the Morpheus after you have burned it in. I am particularly interested in any comparisons you can make to the Metrum Pavane you previously owned. Having owned the Pavane, Pavane L3, and Adagio, I am very interested in a DAC that delivers the resolution, natural tone, and dynamics of those upper level Metrum DACs while bringing just a touch more 'weight, body, tonal richness, and a more natural sense of the space of the recording" as stated on the Sonnet website and seconded by Srajan in his 6moons review of the Morpheus.
While I have had no soundstage issues whatsoever with those upper level Metrum DACs listed above, I also own the Jade (Onyx with volume control) and I can understand how @donquichotte might be used to a "bigger" sound. The Jade is a good-sounding DAC for the price but the additional DAC modules and larger power supply in the upper-level Metrum DACs do seem to provide more of everything.
I haven’t noticed any high frequency roll off. Does it not occur in the ultrasonic range? The soundstage fills the room. The Pavane did to a lesser degree in depth but not width. I’ve got layers of instruments and vocalists side to side and from in front of the speakers to the back wall with each player/vocalist occupying an identifiable space. The resolution is remarkable. I’m hearing musical passages and vocals that I haven’t heard on recordings I’ve been listening to for fifty years on everything from a Rheem mono playing a Monkees record from the back of a cereal box to twelve pieces of Bel Canto REF with decades of Linn and the Naim upgrade path to dissatisfaction in between. The bass response is now tighter and deep enough to make my subwoofer redundant. The treble and mids are crisp and clean with no harshness at all. Lots of air, lots of space. This is after about thirty hours of continuous play. I’ll have a chance to play with it again tomorrow with about seventy-five hours on it. I had only used the supplied usb cable with the Pavane so I tried the supplied cable on the Morpheus, too. It did not sound nearly as good as the Chord I started with on the Morpheus. I had forgotten about the Chord or I would have used it on the Metrum. I’ve read the expression “removing a wool blanket” many times. The Coffee peels away the last layer of shadow and what’s left is really good music. Definitely worth the $200.
I’ll be installing the MQA and I2s modules when they’re available. Tidal has MQA Gang of Four, Dr. John, New Order, and Sisters of Mercy already. Maybe there’s more on the way.
The designer’s claim about the Morpheus fleshing out the music is accurate but it does it in a big, big way. I couldn’t be any more pleased with the Morpheus. I think I found about it on Audiogon. So, thanks.
Don’t think the Sonnet-Audio Morpheus is on the audio radar screen yet.
But I know 6Moons doesn’t throw awards around very often and
that tweaked my curiosity.
If anyone knows an audio reviewer maybe you could drop a hint for a DAC shootout between the Morpheus, Bricasti M3 and T&A Series 8.
Could be very interesting.
For clarity, I believe the Pavane used for comparison by the OP was the original version and not the Level 3 Pavane. The Level 3 is basically equivalent to the Adagio, sans volume control, and both of those were clearly superior to the original Pavane to my ears and in my system. My recent communications with the designer indicate the differences between the Morpheus and the two top Metrum DACs may not be large but to play at the same level as the Adagio and Pavane L3 and get there at about half the price is quite an achievement.
Do any of you Morpheus owners know whether the I2S and MQA boards are available from Sonnet yet? Also, do you know if the I2S cable implementation is identical to that used by Metrum.....so that I could run I2S from my Metrum Ambre endpoint into the Morpheus?
Mitch2,Check with HiFiHeaven, they have the Morpheus with the MQA card listed @ $199.99 and the I2s card @ $99.99.
Don’t know whether they actually have them in stock, you’ll have to check with them.
BTW: Sonnet-Audio has 3 products listed on their net site, the Morpheus, Hermes and Kratos.
Has me wondering what the Hermes and Kratos might be.
@ducatirider - The Sonnet Audio Morpheus (and the Metrum DACs) only decode PCM, no DSD support at all. In order to play DSD files you would need to convert them to PCM either before playback or on the fly.
DSD over PCM (DoP) is not PCM, but is the DSD data encoded into PCM frames for transmission. In order to support DoP playback a DAC must be DSD compatible, but instead of converting native DSD it first recognizes the PCM frames as being DoP and then converts the data back to the original DSD to then be converted to analog. So PCM only DACs do not support DoP playback.
When DoP data is decoded back into DSD by a DAC which supports it, the recovered datastream should be identical to the original DSD. Therefore if there's a difference in the sound quality of DoP compared to the original DSD it's not due to a difference in the data, but could be cuased from additional processing required to decode the DoP back to DSD and potential noise that the conversion might create.