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  1. #1

    Who's had experience with M2tech Hiface mods?

    I've been using a Mac Mini, SSD, M2Hiface, Firewire 4tb HD loaded with AIFF files and have been getting very good sound with a W4S Dac. A friend brought over his John Kenny M2tech Hiface mod and raved about it. I was dubious whether it would improve my system (I have 2 stereo specific 20 amp circuits running through a Synergistic Research Tesla Cell 10se). But my friend sat there while I read a review by John Darko where he raved about it too. I put the Kenny Mk2 unit into my system (McIntosh C2300 preamp, McIntosh MEN220, McIntosh MC402amp, Dynaudio Confidence 1 speakers) and I was astounded that the results were so much better than what I'd heard before. Far better than the AIFF files alone, and far better than a comparison Sony ES CD player as transport into the DAC via Coax. Has any one else had experience with John Kenny's or other M2Hiface mods?

  2. #2

    What about the Hiface EVO?

    Has any one compared this unit to the Kenny? Are there other less expensive units available that do essentially the same thing as the Kenny or Evo but produce equivalent or better results? If so, I'd love to have links to them.

  3. #3

    Indeed The Difference Is Astounding

    I trust John's ears but he compared it to a Auraliti and thought they were about the same. Since I had an Auraliti I didn't bother initially checking it out. But since then some trusted ears heard it and thought is was well above the Auraliti - as you say - the difference was astounding. I was so impressed I ordered the bare bones I2S version to be installed in my PDX DAC. Will provide more details once it is installed.

    The JK is pretty cheap already - I doubt you will get anything comparable that is cheaper.


  4. #4

    Clarification please

    Bill, when you say "some trusted ears heard it and thought is was well above the Auraliti - as you say - the difference was astounding. I was so impressed I ordered the bare bones I2S version to be installed in my PDX DAC" are you saying you're having the EVO or the Kenny put into your I2S version of the PDX DAC? Also: please give me your impressions of the PDX DAC? Which version do you have? Thanks. Mike.


  5. #5

    I have the Level 2 PDX

    I am getting an I2S version of the JK installed into my level 2 PDX instead of the usual generic USB to I2S it has as an option. The Level 2 PDX is one of the two best DAC's I have ever heard. It simply sounds real to my ears. However via its usual USB when you feed it via a good transport its a bit of joke - the transport is much better. I hope the JK will bridge the gap. I suspect the JK will be the standard USB option in the future if it produces as big a benefit as we think it will.


  6. #6

    How much is Mike Lenehan charging you to put in the Kenny I2

    Bill, how much is Mike Lenehan charging you to put in the Kenny I2S? Does that include cost of Kenny as well? I didn't think Lenehan even did that type of mod. Do you think a transport can beat the Mac Mini -> USB Kenny -> BNC out with attenuators -> DAC? John Kenny has said that he thinks with the right attenuators, the BNC/USB is just about equal to the I2S. Also, what's the other DAC that you consider among the two best? And if you've heard the W4S DAC, where would you rank it if the PDX is a 10, and why? Thanks. Mike.

  7. #7
    Masters Level Member firedog's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
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    online preference of JKM2

    Saw one online comparison (couldn't find it now) that had a slight preference for the JKM2 over the EVO in terms of SQ.

    Of course the JKM2 doesn't have the features of the EVO. Maybe JK would do a battery MOD on an EVO if you asked him
    System (in small home office): GIK Acoustics Room Treatments>CAPS4 Pipeline (running Roon + HQ Player, Sonore 12V PS) > SOtM LAN Filter+Sonore microRendu (LPS-1)>Mytek 192 DSD Stereo DAC >Schiit Freya pre>Odyssey Audio Kismet Stereo Power Amp (Khartago Case) >Devore Gibbon Nines.
    Isol-8 Minisub Axis Conditioning/Protection
    Also various SB devices: 2 Touch, 1 Boom, Duet controller.
    And a TT I never use.

  8. #8

    PDX and John Kenny

    I purchased the JK I2S version without a box etc for installation into the PDX direct from John Kenny and got advice from him on exactly what was needed and how to go about it. The designer of the PDX, Clay Gieseler, also pretty much hand builds each PDX, and the cost of installing it is basically how long it takes Clay to do it. So right now I, and Mike Lenehan, don't know the all up cost. But once mine is built a firm price for the option can be worked out.

    If you have read John Darko's review of the PDX one of its big advantages is its extreme customize-ability - pretty much any upgrade etc you can think of can be accommodated - as well as it being available in various levels such as level one and two and you can upgrade between levels etc etc. As technology changes you don't throw this DAC away - you upgrade it - as John says its an end game DAC. Of course you pay a bit extra initially for this level of upgrade-ability over other DAC's in the same class such as the Tranquility and Lite 83, but IMHO it is worth it in the long run.

    The other DAC that sounds real to me is the Killer DAC and I am looking forward to comparing the two eventually.

    While I am hoping the JK will best the transport my gut tells me there is bit more of a way to before computer audio sits top of the heap. It will eventually happen IMHO but it will take a little while longer.


  9. #9

    Evo & Power Supply

    I don't know anything about this Kenny mod. Can anyone please provide me with some relevant urls to find out more?

    I started with a Hiface and then upgraded to an Evo. I soon discovered that the quality of the power supply was critical to the Evo's performance. The lithium battery supplied with the Evo was much better than a cheap mains supply purchased from a local electrical store. I now use the SR-3 power supply made by Paul Hynes. It was a really effective upgrade and wasn't too expensive.

  10. #10

    John Kenny Info

    Check out:


  11. #11

    John Kenny hiFace MKII

    I've had mine for some time now, it replaced a stock hiFace. I did not expect the differences to be so profound and hard to believe they share the same internals.
    I'm now auditioning a John Kenny DAC and it is seriously impressive. Essentially a modded battery powered hiFace/ I2S into a Sabre DAC.
    If anyone is interested -

  12. #12

    I've had a John Kenny hiface

    I've had a John Kenny hiface Mk2 for about a year now, and it's stunning. Great sense of air, details, more resolution, more dynamic. I can't see why one would spend the $1,800 or so on a Berkeley Alpha USB when the Kenny is a fraction of the cost and does the job so well. Has any one tried a Kenny Mk3? Supposedly his latest and greatest? The idea of a battery powered DAC is very tempting, especially given how good his other stuff is.