A comparison of MK2 to the Audiophileo:
How does the Audiophilleo compare to the JKSPDIF? I get asked this question a lot. I've tried them both with a wide array of budget DACs over many, many months. There really isn't that much to separate them sonically. I could happily live with either (in the long-term) but I distinctly preferred the JKSPDIF with the Metrum Octave - it seemed to bring out more elasticity and tame some of the glassiness.
http://www.digitalaudioreview.net.au/index.php/audio-reviews/digital-source-reviews/item/299-peachtree-audio-dac-it-ess-sabre-9022The Audiophilleo was then substituted out for the JKMK3 USB-S/PDIF converter. Also from the John Kenny's stable, it's a battery-powered Hiface flying solo (without the digital-analogue conversion). The results were both surprising and unexpected: here was a sound with all the detail of the JK DAC running free BUT with greater warmth and liquidity. Vocals also take half a step further forward enhancing the illusion of front to back movement. This certainly mirrors my results of Audiophilleo vs JK MK3 pushing the ones and zeroes into a Metrum Octave. I prefer the JKMK3 with the Octave because of a palpable tenderness. Ditto the DAC*iT.
"The first to get ruled out was the HALIDE Bridge design, which although getting very good reviews in the US, was a lot thinner and less engaging than your MK3."
"When I first got my Hiface Mk 3, I plugged in my old Sennheiser HD 280 pro's to burn in the unit. But to my utter disbelief this combo sounded better in a lot of ways, than the HPA with the Denon 7000's. This was without proper burn in! Don't misunderstand me. I greatly prefer in every way, the Denons over the Sennheiser HD 280 pro's. I kept this combo in place. Because I figured by waiting to put my good headphones in would be like getting another new toy. Boy was it! The mk3 is NOT subtle at all, it gave the HPA a huge improvement in sonic performance. Similar to drez's post, it's like changing the headphones or DAC, not a cable. The sound stage became even more 3D. Allowing a more accurate placement of instruments which were deeper and wider. It felt like a huge veil was lifted with a much blacker background. That I did not know that was there. As the HPA is quit black to begin with. Micro details within songs not only became more readily apparent but were clearly defined in space. The bass was tighter and much more articulated. The high end sounded extended and clearer, without grain. Cymbal began to sound as if you hearing them live, with proper attack and decay. Everything had more body and was richer . Bringing everything closer to that elusive "REAL" sound. Anybody who does not believe a hiface mk3 makes a difference in sound, only needs to hear one! Well truthfully, in my experience I can only say with a Redwine HPA it will make a HUGE difference. Making a GREAT sounding unit even better!"
"I have the mk3 and listened to it. At first i couldn't believe what i heard and just smiled, that's the only thing you can do when you hear music the way you never heard it. I can't believe how much better it sounds than with the mk2 and I also can't believe how much better music sounds than with a cd in a cd player, without the mk3.
I hear so much dynamics, second, third voices, that i clearly can distinguish. The music has calmed down and it sounds completely jitter free. There is more difference from the mk2 to the mk3, than from one dac to another. Everything changed and I am very happy it did"
"My first impressions .... Well I won’t bore you with too many details other than to say – you are right :) I’m not an overly experienced audiophile and this is my first journey into computer based sources. So when people spoke about jitter I was convinced my W4S Dac2 didn’t have any of this stuff called jitter. It already had a USB input chip thingy to make it sound good, and I thought the base was tight and the cymbals and high-hats were sharp-as.
I now know what Jitter sounds like John. I think that says it all mate."
"But I did find time to discover how fabulous is your little USB > SPDIF converter this morning. Considerably better than certain other products we offer at a similar price"
"The Stello U3 is good,but initial impressions is that MK3 is a notch better,both in soundstage depth/ambience and clarity.The Stello U3 sounds very smooth and unforgiving,but I have the feeling that it's missing out some of the fine details"
The Mk3 is working amazingly in my system, now.
I bought the same BNC plug as the one you chose for the Mk3, and I installed it on my DAC.
After testing many BNC cables, I found the best cable I ever heard : no cable !
I bought this and put it between my DAC and Mk3 :
Sound is just perfect, from top to bottom...Now I can sell all my (too) expensive cables and buy music ;o).
Being absolutely blown away my the mk3, and with none of the initial harshness remaining I think it is probably as good a time as any to express my thoughts on the mk3.When used on a DAC such as the ESS Sabre based AudioGD NFB-10 ES, the mk3 transport literally floored me with not only the magnitude, but also the range of improvements. I cannot think of another way to spend 330 Euro that will net this kind of improvement in audio quality. Much of this may be down to the rudimentary jitter management on Audio-GD DAC's, but the mk3 by no means can be categorised as a tweak. Instead the mk3 should be considered as equivalent to a comprehensive upgrade of your DAC of about the magnitude as changing from a soundcard to a decent desktop DAC.
As a cursory list of the changes versus the AudioGD Digital Interface:
So shortly my opinion: when i turned on the mk3, i was shocked with open mouth. The sound changes are amazing. The difference is huge in comparison with Asus Xonar Essence ST. My system has been started to play after all!
Thank you very much for such great device, just go to music listening!