Sonnet Audio Morpheus - DAC - Official Thread

Hey folks,

This is a dedicated thread to talk about the Sonnet Morpheus DAC.

Morpheus

Thanks,

Wes

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Hey folks,

I just took delivery of the Sonnet Morpheus this past Saturday, and it is blowing my mind how good it is. I stepped up from a Schiit Gungnir Multibit, and I am currently burning mine in, and will report back after I have put about 100 hours on it.

Cheers,

Wes

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Congrats Wes. Looking forward to your impressions and comparison, which are on my radar.

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Thanks! I had been dreaming of owning this DAC for a good while.

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I’m here Wes. I’m really impressed with this DAC. I had purchased a Metrum Musette to see if I liked the house sound, and was pretty surprised by how much I preferred the Musette over the Bifrost 2. After about a month I took the plunge and got the Morpheus, it basically the same signature as the Musette just better, cleaner, more dynamic.
I bought mine used, so it’s already burnt in. Just a note for people looking at these on the secondary market. I checked with Sonnet and the warranty is based off the serial number so it’s fully transferable.

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Good stuff man! I also have a Sonnet Hermes streamer on the way, so I can use I2S connection, but for now I am using a Bluesound Node 2i and coax connection, and it is sounding amazing.

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I built a pc specifically for streaming, it’s basically a gaming pc without a high end video card. I also use my Sony UBP-X800M2 for CDs and SACDs using the Coax out. It’s really nice. My preferred source of music. And my TV is hooked up to the optical out so I can watch Superhero shows and movies with my cans on

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Can’t wait to hear how your liking this DAC.

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I have had this dac for several months. In the most recent past, I have used Schitt Modi multibit, Gungnir A2, Gen 5. Soekris 1321, Matrix Xsabre, and SDA2c from Singxer.

The first thing I noticed was the sound blooming in 3 dimensions on my JBL monitors, stage became profoundly wider, deeper and taller. So I bought new speakers, Mark & Daniel Ruby’s. I power an amplifier directly from the DAC which controls volume by controlling the voltage fed to the dac chips with class a output. Highly resolving compared to the past but I am thinking of the Holo May anyway even though I am happy with this device. I upsample everything with hqplayer to pcm, max 192/176. The included remote doe not use batteries but always works not sure why. I feed it Roon/hqplayer, via ethernet to pi2aes with ropieeexl and naa endpoint, using i2s via a rj45 cat 6 using an add on board provided by pi2aes. There is an extensive measuring suite by AtomicBob on sbaf as well as a discussion. It hits the sweet spot with amps and headphones for me, no complaints. Been too long to do valid comparisons with other dacs so I’ll just state, best so far.

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If you buy a May DAC please keep your thoughts to yourself. I’m am currently very satisfied with this DAC and don’t need you putting thoughts in my head :grin:

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I read the SBAF thread on the Morpheus and it seemed quite a polarizing DAC, where people either loved it or hated it.

The people who didn’t like it brought these 2 things up pretty frequently:

  1. They were using USB, and the Morpheus’ USB interface quality is not very good.
  2. They liked listening to the kind of music where pace, rhythm and timing were important, and they thought the Morpheus sounded slow. On the other hand, with any other type of music, even the detractors said it sounded amazing.

Can any of you confirm or deny those 2 points, based on your own listening?

For those of you who love your Morpheus, please don’t take this as a criticism of the DAC. If it can’t handle USB well and has no rhythm, it can still be amazing, just not the DAC for me.

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I haven’t really used the USB yet. A little bit Saturday night, didn’t notice any deficiency. I’ll give it some extended listening over the next week and let you know.

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So what was your takeaway on those who liked it, what are some areas they felt the DAC did well?

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Thanks. I know USB is generally bad, and I should just start using something else, but I’d rather just get something that can handle USB well, unless the DAC is so good that I have to get off my ass and change the connection to i2s or aes/ebu.

The pace and rhythm is important to me though, and there isn’t a workaround for that.

Here is a solution for any USB implementation that is not up to par, and at a good value too. There are others of course, that cost a heck of a lot more for less functionality:

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There’s a couple of drivers you need to install if you’re using a pc. It’s works without them, but the computer is just guessing. I wonder if that is part of the issue.
That’s one area Schiit has it over everyone with the Unison USB. Windows 10 automatically recognizes it and installs the drivers.
I just did a quick check, Peter Gabriel So, Red Rain. I have the CD and a flac I made from the disc. CD sounds slightly better as I would expect. No serious degradation in sound

The dac uses an Amanero chip for USB. When I did use usb it was with a Matrix Xspdif and AES out. I also had an Intona industrial usb thingy and a linear psu that I threw into the mix. But with I2S rj45 board installed in the pi2aes and the usb card swapped for an i2s card in the Morpheus, I skipped usb entirely , anywhere.

That’s the device I use and he does have a rj45 i2s board available for the Morpheus. Not too sure but I believe hdmi may work also for i2s.

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Those who liked it praised the black background, texture, bass and something called “plankton”, which was a new term to me.

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I had one recently and saw no problem with the USB.

SBAF guys are pretty anti-USB in general and when they critique a high end product they can be pretty picky - as they should be for high cost products - but that focus can make any problems sound worse than they really are in normal use situations.

So I would listen for yourself if you have a chance,

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