Metrum Acoustics Onyx (balanced Dac) and Jade (balanced Dac + Pre)

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by sacredgates, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. sacredgates

    sacredgates Audio-Technica's high priest

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    Metrum Acoustics has released its middle of the field dac and dac+pre:
    Onyx and Jade.

    I was able to visit the XFI audioshow in Holland over the weekend, where the new equipment was shown (for the first time as far as I know).
    The designer behind Metrum Acoustic, Cees Ruijtenberg (spelling mistake edited, thanks @9suns) was there himself presenting his dacs and amplifiers.
    We had a nice talk about his latest work and Metrum Acoustics; he appeared to be a kind, sensitive and intelligent man.
    It became clear that he is very happy how his two new siblings came out. A good deal of the performance of the two big brothers, Pavane and Adagio, for a much more affordable price (Onyx: 2.062 € and Jade: 2.475 €, both Ex. VAT).

    Onyx and Jade have two pairs of his new Dac Two modules (which are aleady double inside) per channel. That sits right between the Amethyst with one module per channel and the higher models with four modules per channel (and a more elaborate power supply).
    Onyx and Jade now take the sweet spot in the line up.

    Outer design is not unlike the Amethyst, but wider... very sleek and elegant...

    He talked about a future product on the same base as the Onyx/Jade with an integrated amplifier built in.
    Furthermore he shared that Metrum Acoustics is expanding fast and becoming known more and more. He is on the lookout to expand the team, as there is so much to be taken care of.

    The Metrum Acoustics room was one of the very few which impressed me on the show. Cees was driving a pair of open baffled speakers (which he designed himself) with his Forte amp.

    Show conditions did not really allow for discerning fine differences between the new dacs and his TOTL dacs, but I came away duly impressed. If I was looking for an upgrade in this price range, Onyx would be my choice.

    Attached are a few photographs from the Metrum Acoustics room.
    At a certain point Cees tried my Eikons with the Amethyst. He had heard a lot about them but never got them in his hands until now. He liked them, by the way.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2017
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  2. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    What's the amp on the bottom right (with shiny faceplate)? An Aurix prototype? Something new?
     
  3. ButtUglyJeff

    ButtUglyJeff Stunningly beautiful IRL

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    Is he using an iPad as a music source? That would be new for Metrum.
     
  4. FredM

    FredM Rando

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    Thanks for the write up Hedwig, nice to read your findings. Visiting XFI on Saturday I have a very similar impression. Had a chance to listen to the Jade for some time and the Jade/Adagio side by side. I couldn't hear differences between the two (in show conditions, nevertheless) promising for sure. The new line up looks to be hitting the sweet spot. I wanted to pull the trigger, but the I2S module option for the Onyx and Jade is available shortly (which replaces the USB module).
     
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  5. sacredgates

    sacredgates Audio-Technica's high priest

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    Damn, did not ask him about that anymore... At a certain point too many new visitors entered the room which needed his attention.

    Yes, he was playing the music from his tablet ( or at least choosing the music from there ).
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
  6. FredM

    FredM Rando

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    I believe the shiny device is a prototype of the Jade, early days (I thought Metrum posted a Facebook post of it). On the back of the rack they used an Elac Discovery streamer (Roon) during the show, with a NAS underneath the table.
     
  7. 9suns

    9suns [insert unearned title here]

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    Awesome, Jade will be my next DAC :)

    PS: He is called Cees, not Kees.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2017
  8. rigo

    rigo Acquaintance

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    So it is either I2S or USB? Can't have both?
     
  9. FredM

    FredM Rando

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    Yes, so I'm told. It supports 4 digital input formats, I'm glad the option for i2s comes available. If you want more inputs in your situation, I guess you can consider a digital hub/interface or something and connect it with a preferred digital input (Optical, Coax, AES-EBU, I2S/USB).
     
  10. sacredgates

    sacredgates Audio-Technica's high priest

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    Onyx:

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. sacredgates

    sacredgates Audio-Technica's high priest

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    Jade:

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. bengo

    bengo Friend

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    Looks like only the front panel changes for Jade, maybe possible to upgrade later. Nice :) Also keeps cost down to have the same PCB etc.
     
  13. ButtUglyJeff

    ButtUglyJeff Stunningly beautiful IRL

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    The preamp is barely anything in there...lol
     
  14. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    The Metrum "preamp" functionality essentially only adjusts the input voltage to the DAC modules, which in turns adjusts the output voltage level. Or...something like that. It's basically just a pot with a motor and remote function.
     
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  15. FredM

    FredM Rando

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    Precisely, quote "in case of R2R ladder dacs it is quite easy to change the output voltage of the dac by changing its reference voltage but to realize this, dedicated dac boards were designed to get the best regulation possible."

    @Jeff, have a look on the Metrum site. The technique/description of the Adagio also applies on the Jade.
     
  16. Spinning

    Spinning Rando

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    Music was played through a streaming device, controlled by the ipad. The shiny little box in the lower right corner is a little "test". Soon more on whats in there, yet al though the box was there, it was not used.......
     
  17. Spinning

    Spinning Rando

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  18. 9suns

    9suns [insert unearned title here]

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    Love how he mentions the Yggdrasil but he will not compare anything, just cosmos talk and the similarities between peeling a banana with the hidden powers of Chakra and living in Switzerland.

    EDIT: direct link
    http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews2/metrum6/1.html
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017
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  19. Forza AudioWorks

    Forza AudioWorks MOT: Forza AudioWorks

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    1. He doesn't live in Switzerland anymore, he moved a good while ago to Ireland.
    2. He had Yggdrasil loaner for a short time, presumably two or three weeks or so, hence he relies on his memory.
    3. Knowing him, he will compare, this Metrum review is a work in progress at this point. As per usual on 6moons.com. He simply describes his ride with a given component and when it's over, a summary will appear (and in some cases a reward). The writing should be some three or four pages long, now only one has been published.

    Not a fanboy, just straightening some facts as I read nearly all of SE's stuff.
     
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  20. 9suns

    9suns [insert unearned title here]

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    Good points, didn't know 1 and 2.

    For me he is just...how to be polite, mmm...indecipherable?

    Not a big fan of this particular gentleman, just read my username ;)
     

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