Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by sahmen, Mar 25, 2020.
You can put me last. I'm notoriously slow at shipping gear out and don't want to hold anyone up.
RN3 although mostly USB these days at home and only 1 day a week in the office where the Stellaris and RN3 are. It's nice that the Morpheus is lightweight enough to carry around. I prefer the Morpheus, but it's not better in everything, and the two DACs clearly pursue different visions. For the Morpheus, I think the blackground and imaging contribute to the sense of being there. Folks with more eloquent ears will articulate this in a better way.
I've sold my Onyx and am looking into the Morpheus, but doesn't seem easy to get hold of one, and given the depths to which the CAD has sunk against the universe's many currencies, I may hold off for a while. My aim to demo it alongside the Yggrasil A2 Unison has similarly been put on hold.
@zach915m, feel free to PM me if you want any assistance setting up the loaner tour.
I sent the Morpheus to @purr1n earlier this week so he should have it maybe this weekend?
And yeah I'd greatly appreciate any assistance! I'll send PM.
Review or how I sold everything off and learned to love the Morpheus
There's so little information out there so want to share my impressions to get more visibility (and ears) on this gem of a Dac. Going off the cuff so doing a somewhat longer than normal review.
Digital Chain: Roon/Qobuz/Pi2Aes/Morpheus i2s
Headphones: Multiple Zmf/Hifiman and Sennheiser 650
Amps: SPL Phonitor X/HPA4/Amp and Sound Kenzie Encore
Audiophile Standards - Hotel California, Daft Punk, Norah Jones, etc
Looks kinda cheap with its steal black housing and stainless steel like front. In contrast to the Yggdrasil or Adagio it looks like an inexpensive preamp you would buy from Crutchfield.com. The front display is also a bit strange as it looks pinkish from any angle unless you're looking at it head on. Looks are nothing special but the saying goes don't judge a book by it's cover definitely applies here.
Connectivity and Features:
Has all the basic connections but you can also swap out the usb connector to accommodate the i2s port. You can only use one or the other so this may be a deal breaker for some. i2s is by far the best input and worth the upgrade. Aes drops off about 7%, everything else drops slightly from there. Spdif is surprisingly good though. Did not test usb.
MQA module is available for the dac. The MQA module works on all inputs per Sonnet. Did not test, don't F*ck with MQA.
Has pre-amp but for most of the testing, ran in direct dac mode. Did try out pre-amp mode and it sounded similar to Schiit Saga S in passive or 1x mode so very transparent.
Woah, too much to process. Very high level of resolution and stereo separation. I'm rediscovering many old albums due to the dac's ability to convey every last nuisance, instrument placement and details not found in any dac i've owned. Pitch black background, instruments appear out of thin air and are accurately conveyed in a 3d plane. You can definitely pinpoint instrument and singer placement and hear every layers of music being presented. This is for me equivalent to a really good vinyl setup in terms of natural timbre and resolution.
Wide but not exaggerated. You can visually see the flow of music all around the room, following the singer across the stage. Everything is conveyed from a front row seat perspective. In comparison the Yggdrasil which is about 5 rows back.
Does not sound rolled off or darkish like I remember the Metrum Pavane. Similar to Matrix MQA using synch mode.
Notes I'm hearing are multilayered and guttural, but not muddy or bloated. Some folks like @brencho might say it's too warm and bassy though.
"I like the little one better than the giant schiit stereo thingy". Her preference in every blind test was the morpheus over the Yggdrasil a2. Her audio books have never sounded better.
TLDR: **Bifrost 2 with a lot more resolution - ridiculous stereo separation - front row seat - a dash of vinyl - pitch black background**
The Morpheus dac has the sound signature I've been chasing since I started this hobby. I'm done for now. (Ha!)
Concerning the MQA module it's worth posting this since I get questions on it a lot. The MQA works great with the caveat that at the beginning of each track it takes a moment for the MQA module to recognize the signal as MQA - if it is MQA the module sees it and goes on, BUT - this causes a little "blip" in the sonic performance right at the beginning of the signal/track.
The same thing happened in an Adagio we had sold a couple years ago and the owner couldn't get over it so we removed the module.
Personally I never use the Morpheus with MQA and don't see it as necessary, but it's best for owners to consider the millisecond of blippiness before going with an MQA module. It is easily removable though on the plus side.
Thanks for the detailed review! Any tweaks required for Pi2AES > I2S > Morpheus?
Short ethernet cable, put up my recommendation on the Pi2aes thread. But no more than 12 inches is optimal.
The current version of the RJ45 jack add-on for the PI2AES will work with Morpheus?
that’s exactly what I’m using, so yes.
Does it need a modification/different case for the Pi2AES? Just looked at mine and didn't see a cut for the RJ-45 connector.
Ya, there is a new case for RJ-45 module. With the older case we have to remove one side.
@neogeosnk How long was it before you took delivery? I've read that this dac is hard to get.
received pretty quickly from Hifiheaven.com but
Zmf **has them in stock right now**
We have USB 110v in stock but won't have I2S for a couple weeks.
Zach, the Morpheus seems to have a 110V to 230V flip switch on the inside. I assumed it would be as simple as flipping this switch and replacing the correct fuse, to convert a 110V unit over to a 230V unit and, vice versa. Is my assumption, correct?
It had the switch to change voltage but in recent batches there is no such switch. I reached out to Cees and he confirmed that the supplier no longer has that board available and hence they replaced it with new board. Now it requires a bit of soldering for voltage conversion.
@Ksaurav402 , thanks a ton man.
@neogeosnk - excellent review. My original decision was between this and the Yggdrasil A2 earlier this year. At that time, there being hardly any information available on the Morpheus, I chose the Yggdrasil A2 but I would still like to try the Morpheus at some point in the future.
Has anyone fed this DAC via USB? Assuming transports of similar quality, was there much of a hit with using USB input vs I2s?
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