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Centrance R4 Portable Audio Interface Review

Rate this audio interface

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 135 97.8%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 3 2.2%

  • Total voters
    138
I have the original Centrance Dacport, which Amir reviewed favourably in comparison with the Dragonfly Red.


I bought it about 15 years ago with a special connector (1/4" TRS to 2 x RCA) to drive a pair of Akimate active speakers (in lieu of headphones). Works great so pls don't right the company off with what appears to be a one off inferior product.
 
But then how do you justify the $440 price? You can't. Clearly the company could do much better without incurring any additional manufacturing cost.
Oh they can justify it just fine. They produced a 50 dollar junker and people are buying it for $440.00, while this company is laughing all the way to the bank. This is a case study in the phrase "price doesn't guarantee performance."
 
I have the original Centrance Dacport, which Amir reviewed favourably in comparison with the Dragonfly Red.


I bought it about 15 years ago with a special connector (1/4" TRS to 2 x RCA) to drive a pair of Akimate active speakers (in lieu of headphones). Works great so pls don't right the company off with what appears to be a one off inferior product.
Companies will create a good brand and products, only to make runs that are vastly inferior to the original (brand pumping) in order to increase revenues. They may only do it with 10% of their items and only for a small number of models, or across the board. We have no idea what goes inside and when, so a good test could be for a badly designed product the very next run -- at anytime. Sad, but it's one of the failings of capitalism, since capitalism is predicated on paying the least amount of money for the best possible product.
 
Looks like a dogs dinner, performs like a dogs dinner, costs like a Michelin dinner!
 
Centrance’s entry to the market over a decade ago was the Dacmini, a headphone amplifier in the form factor of a Macmini. It was one of the first dedicated headphone amps to have relatively high output power, relatively low output impedance (1ohm) and switchable inputs including optical and coax input as well as USB asynchronous input.

It was adaptive, but seemingly well implemented. Iirc Benchmark licensed the Centrance adaptive USB tech for the DAC1.
 
I see one individual rated this a golfing panther. Either they or their mouse had a problem with their Parkinson's or else the inter-dimensional portal to Bizzarro World is open again and someone needs to close it.
 
I see one individual rated this a golfing panther. Either they or their mouse had a problem with their Parkinson's or else the inter-dimensional portal to Bizzarro World is open again and someone needs to close it.
Someone wanted to get some Stealth laughs by being ironic!
 
Man. As a happy user of multiple CEntrance products in the past, all of which likely performed better than this device, this really just makes me sad. I can unsubscribe to his emails now.
 
I have used several CEntrance portable devices with my phone and thought they were excellent. They seemed to be everywhere in Japan, audio stores, big-box retailers, magazines, audio fairs, etc...

I wonder if this defect was a one-off or a problem with all the R4 interfaces.
 
I've tested several of their products. Every driver version made the AP crash. Same with ARTA and Virtins. It's not you, it's them. The drivers have a fundamental flaw.

I saw similar issues with performance in the last interface of theirs I tested. High noise, high distortion. They asked me to send it back for them to check if it was malfunctioning. Then they said they didn't want me reviewing any of their products because I was actually measuring and finding basic problems. I haven't had that experience with any other company.

The little headphone amps I tested a few years ago were pretty good other than the defective driver. But I killed one of them by running it into their specified load at their specified maximum output. They sent me another one, but complained that running the unit at max output (but within their spec) was an unreasonable testing procedure.
 
Looks like a dogs dinner, performs like a dogs dinner,

quizzicaldog1.gif
 
Strangely, I can’t help but wonder how these guys are still around with a huge catalog of products. Heck they have about 30+ variations of interfaces dacs and hp amps, They definetlyhave been hard at work in dev. This isn’t the straight forward reference designs neither, those things needs work. They have been going strong for more than a decade with very rough industrial designs, with american made pricing territory, with what seem to be always poor to mediocre to barely ok performance, with what looks like very basic marketing. How can they possibly recoup? One would think, do one that is really great, fix those performance and UX issues, and take your time to do a really great product and you’ll use this knowledge to improve across the board, but no, They just keep going, and going. They are getting something that I don’t get in business, Or someone has huge bottomless pockets, and just have this playgroung project that is happy to provide a constant flow of greens just for the fun of it.
 
Only 1kohm mic input impedance? If this is not a typo,
1k are useless! It makes the input act like a highpass with
phantom-driven mics as they need to use decoupling capacitors
to keep phantom power from the signal. Those can't be big.
With a standard 1µF smd cap, the corner frequency would be about 159 hz!
The 10kohm of the line input would be much better , 16hz.
 
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Condensor mics do not include capacitors in the signal path. Those are at the input of the mic amp, and therefore big (47µF, for example). 1k is only a bit lower than the usual 1.5k to 2.5k found in nearly all mic preamps.
 
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