Metrum Octave versus Eastern Electric DAC

I own an Eastern Electric DAC, the older one with volume control, no mods. Have any of you in the community compared these two units? Would I be better off doing the op amp upgrade, buy the newest EE with upgrades?

I have enjoyed the EE and like it well enough, but I am curious about the Metrum. I would like slightly more warmth, more fullness, a little more meat and bones, without losing any of the detail I now enjoy.
Mr. Tennis I don't fully understand your question. When you say pick do you mean prefer? I have no clue as to which you might prefer, I can only say what other listeners prefer in my system. So far as "classic tube sound" ala your preferred Conrad Johnson MV 125 amp, the Minimax Plus is in no way reminicent of that type of sound, actually it doesn't have a tube sound at all to my ears. This is neither good or bad. It is a fine DAC, just not the most preferable is all. The tonal balance in stock form does not meld ideally with my system even using different tubes and I've tried them all. I agree with what Charles stated, my preference for tubes generally lies in amps and pre-amps. I don't mean to get too off topic from the question of the thread, Metrum vs EE since I haven't compared the two but my experience leads me to believe that the design of the output stage and power supply are the most important factors in designing a DAC. Tube vs SS, less a factor, YMMV.
i have used a 12au7 brimar in the minimax. while i did not achieve a classic tube sound, i heard the affect of then tube.

it created a "flavor" to the sound of my stereo system, which i would conjecture could not be replicated by a ss dac.
Received my new Metrum Octave last Tuesday and have had 5 extended sessions listening to a variety of music (jazz, rock, solo piano, solo violin, orchestral). In all sessions I have also been switching in and out my modded Eastern Electric Dac Plus (with Dexa discrete opamps and Mullard NOS tube) for comparison purposes.

My impression of the Metrum is that this NOS DAC is very smooth and analog like. The music has great flow with little sibilance or listener fatigue.

When I swap the modded EE Dac plus back in my system there is more resolution and dynamics while also eliminating any unpleasant digital glare. This has been my impression across all listening sessions and musical selections. The smoothness of the Metrum renders every disc I've played extremely listenable and satisfying. However,the modded EE Dac just seems to capture a bit more detail and nuance in the music and in the end I find I have a stronger emotional connection while listening with the EE Dac.

That being said, I can see situations where a Metrum may be preferred. Folks with very detailed systems might enjoy the more laid back presentation of the Metrum compared to the more dynamic EE. As with everything in Audio, system synergy and musical priorities are paramount.

For reference,the following is the rest of the equipment I have been using:

Shindo Vosne-Romanee Preamp
Shindo Haut-Brion Amp
PS Audio PWT Transport
Tonian classic 12 Speakers

I will continue to play around with the Metrum for a while to see if any of my impressions change over time.
Wow Sibelius. After checking out the equipment in your system, I really am quite envious and hold your opinion regarding the EE/Metrum comparison in high regard. High efficiency speakers driven by low power tube amps is definitely my cup of tea. Thanks for you input and looking forward to a follow up.
Devilboy: Thank you. It's taken me a lot of time and experimenting to get to the point where I recognize my musical biases and feel like I've matched my equipment reasonably well. I would never claim that HE speaker/low power amp camp is the most accurate way to reproduce music. However, I find I respond emotionally to the music more with this combo than any other I've tried to date.