When powered up, the far right standby light becomes the 'no lock' indicator. Unlike the Hex whose blue input LED blinked until there was signal, here the selected input shines solid. It's the standby light which sees red with no signal lock. Ergo, just one very bright blue light under signal. Sonically, one expects and gets a clear family resemblance to the Hex. But first, why did Cees abandond his prior Octave/Hex chips without FIR filter in favour of his own? Speed. For his liking, the industrial silicon he used before wasn't fast enough. And to him, linearity and fast circuits are the two most important factors to good sound. The I²S fed parallel process of his R2R ladder in the Transient module now handles up to 10MHz. Actual operation is limited only by the signal's sample rate. The Transient module's output sees a 200MHz buffer which connects directly to the Musette's RCA outputs for what Cees refers to as a very straight-forward design.


The core Metrum aroma—Cees would object to 'sound' since he doesn't aim for that—is a particular ease which is mighty tough to explain. It's nothing a quickie A/B catches unless you're already attuned to it. This quality doesn't operate in the amplitude domain to convey itself as killer bass or sparkly treble or meaty mids. It doesn't occur in the textural context of chunky density either. Neither does it express itself as enhanced colour saturation as one might expect from tube-buffered devices or overbuilt output stages. Though it reads abstract—what, pray tell, is the temporal domain after all?—the effect seems rooted in timing. It's about the horizontal not vertical axis. It's about the progression of music over time. It's about natural flow.


You see the linguistic challenge. What does flow sound like? We're back at something that's nearly impossible to convey in words if one hasn't already had the experience to automatically make the connection. As a writer, I must triangulate to present more options which might have you recognize this quality until 'aha' kicks in. Here single-driver widebanders figure. If they don't distract with response aberrations in the presence region as many do, they tend to dominate with very potent immediacy. Something gushes very freely. By contrast, other speakers seem restrained and choked. That's one pointer. Another are high-bandwidth DC-coupled amplifiers like Goldmund. They too tend to sound fast, immediate, vibrant and direct. And yes, by the same token, this type sound—be it from amps, speakers or DACs doesn't matter—tends not to be lush, warm, dense or massive. To a certain extent, it's an either/or scenario. The qualities which add up to or interlace into warmth and density tend to undermine speed and immediacy; and vice versa. The Musette thus does sound leaner than the lusher AURALiC Vega. It also has less vibrant colours. If the Vega was the male bird with the wicked seasonal plumage, the Musette would be its less flashy female.