Audio Random IEM / Headphone Rants


esanthosh

Well-Known Member
Veteran
iaudio said:
Better pics, I demand, Esanthosh!

That would be a Show-off. This would do for passing on the message :p

For things that demand better pics, there would be others that follow - 2012 or 2013 (at least I hope so).

bennysachdev said:
I can only imagine how your next purchase of cans would sound with the HA-160. But that was a good move, going for the Burson's. Atleast now you know that a full fledged desktop amp is off the list of upgrades now for good.

And to be honest, I do not think you need to upgrade your DAC, the Xonar STx has a good dac, just use the line out to feed the Burson's and that should be a very neutral setup.

I initially chased after Matrix M Stage and others. After terribly confusing myself about all the budget offerings, decided to step up and get the Bursons instead.

I have not used STX or MSII much with the headphone setup. STX did get good use with my now gone Speaker setup though, but not MSII. I would use them for a while and figure out which one to keep. But, when I upgrade, I won't be looking at budget options. Had too many (uDAC-1, uDAC-2, Maverick D1) and not satisfied with any of them that much.
 

dekruzader

Active Member
Disciple
My upgraded Mid-Fi setup... Beyerdynamic DT990 600 Ohm and Audio-gd NFB-12 as DAC/Headphone Amp.







 

adi8800GTX

New Member
Disciple
^^Awesome ! Congrats !:hap2:

Those beyers look extremely comfy.Where did u buy it from & for how much ?

First impressions on both please..:)
 

bennysachdev

Well-Known Member
Adept
@esanthosh from what I recollect of the MS2, they sounded a bit brighter than the Xonar STX, thus a bit more detailed. Why don't you try MS2 -> Burson -> your fav IEM and Stx -> burson -> same iem and see if you can tell the difference. You'll get an idea what kind of DAC you should consider for your upgrade(bright or warm sounding).

It should also give you an idea of synergy when it comes to your Burson.
 

Chaos

Well-Known Member
Veteran
esanthosh said:
That would be a Show-off. This would do for passing on the message :p

For things that demand better pics, there would be others that follow - 2012 or 2013 (at least I hope so).

I initially chased after Matrix M Stage and others. After terribly confusing myself about all the budget offerings, decided to step up and get the Bursons instead.

I have not used STX or MSII much with the headphone setup. STX did get good use with my now gone Speaker setup though, but not MSII. I would use them for a while and figure out which one to keep. But, when I upgrade, I won't be looking at budget options. Had too many (uDAC-1, uDAC-2, Maverick D1) and not satisfied with any of them that much.

The most interesting not so expensive dacs right now are the Burson and the Metrum Acoustics Octave. The latter has been compared by reviewers to DACs that are in the 20k range! Pretty unbelievable. I'm really curious if the hype is genuine or just another flavor of the month. On paper, the design seems really solid and honestly no one has given it a bad review so far.

I recently moved from a NOS Peter Daniel to an Oversampling Ayon with a PCM1792 Delta Sigma. It was sort of a paradigm change for me but so far I'm not missing anything from the non oversampling camp. However I'd not be averse to trying another NOS device if it sounds better.
 

dekruzader

Active Member
Disciple
adi8800GTX said:
^^Awesome ! Congrats !:hap2:

Those beyers look extremely comfy.Where did u buy it from & for how much ?

First impressions on both please..:)

Beyers are from amazon via shop and ship - around 400USD. The NFB is from audio-gd directly and came around 250USD including shipping.

Well, I don't think that I am qualified enough to do a review of these as the only pair of good cans I have is an Audio Technica AD700, which I had been using it for past 2 years and still like. But will summarise what I have found so far (very subjective).

- DT990 were a bit sibilant out of the box. Hot treble. But now after around 75 hours of break in, it doesn't have those issues. It would probably only improve with time and usage.

- Bass: I came to know what I had been missing in AD700 so far - pure unadulterated bass! AD700 has it and it is well defined, but doesn't have the dt990 impact and also the extension. The beyer goes really deep. The sonics that I have not really heard in a headphone.

- As far as details and imaging goes, DT990 beats the AD700. More revealing is a better way to put it. (Maybe ??)

- Soundstage : DT990 has a good, well defined and accurate soundstage. But to my ears, the AD700 has a wider soundstage. AD700 sounds a bit more open...

- Mids : AD700 a bit better in some songs which are more vocal centric. The DT990 has ever so slightly lower mids, but no details are missing.

- Comfort : Both are really light and comfortable and any preferences would be a personal choice. For me, AD700 is a little more comfortable with its wings design and lesser clamping force.

Well, the headphones can only be as good as the source. I wanted a DAC which has optical in also, within a budget. Considered Maverick D1, but ultimately went with the NFB-12. People say that the DT-990 requires a tube amp/dedicated amp to really shine. So, I have all the intentions to get a dedicated amp like esanthosh's Burson or a Schiit Lyr and use the NFB-12 DAC with it. But will keep in mind about my future headphone upgrades and synergy as well.

Ah.. all that upgrade talks are for later... now let me enjoy my music!
 

esanthosh

Well-Known Member
Veteran
Chaos said:
The most interesting not so expensive dacs right now are the Burson and the Metrum Acoustics Octave. The latter has been compared by reviewers to DACs that are in the 20k range! Pretty unbelievable. I'm really curious if the hype is genuine or just another flavor of the month. On paper, the design seems really solid and honestly no one has given it a bad review so far.

I recently moved from a NOS Peter Daniel to an Oversampling Ayon with a PCM1792 Delta Sigma. It was sort of a paradigm change for me but so far I'm not missing anything from the non oversampling camp. However I'd not be averse to trying another NOS device if it sounds better.

  • If my experience with HA160 turns out to be great after a few weeks / months, I might look at their stand-alone DAC seriously.
  • I think the problem with Metrum is that it's still within the head-fi honeymoon period. Need more owners, more opinions and time to evaluate that. For some products, I've observed that some of that initial euphoria dies down (somewhere between page 25-40) and is replaced by problems the owners face one way or another. Only a few stand that test of time.
  • Violetric V800 has that NOS flavor. Seems solidly built, but not sure what DAC chip is inside.
  • What do you think of the Sabre based DACs? They have the clinical, revealing signature that might be closer to what I am looking for - on paper. But I don't want to buy something like a Anedio D2 (D1's upgrade with hi-res USB + Balanced Outs) and find it too dry for my tastes.
  • Another option would be to skip all this and replace my aged Marantz 63SE with an Ayon CD-1sc and be done with it. Or a CD-1s + Hiface / Hegel HD2 / (forget aesthetics and cost and go for) Jkeny Mod Hi-face to feed it. Only things I am worried about here are that huge step up in price compared to others and that high output voltage.
  • Do Nothing :ashamed:
All options are open - but I have a few months to decide which way to go :)
 

strategy

Well-Known Member
Adept
i have not heard other high-end amps so cant comment , but with anedio, the imaging drastically improves over HM602/sflo. K702 amazed me when i head them through the anedio. its very neutal and transparent also. i can recommend the D1 , but then again no other highend DAC experience, but its well above other DACs i have tried.

if you were looking for a dac also, HA-160 D might have been a better choice. you can always go to the tried and tested dacmagic ...sushant is selling one.

the yulong D100 is a very good dac as well . one to consider. around 400-450
 

Chaos

Well-Known Member
Veteran
esanthosh said:
  • If my experience with HA160 turns out to be great after a few weeks / months, I might look at their stand-alone DAC seriously.
  • I think the problem with Metrum is that it's still within the head-fi honeymoon period. Need more owners, more opinions and time to evaluate that. For some products, I've observed that some of that initial euphoria dies down (somewhere between page 25-40) and is replaced by problems the owners face one way or another. Only a few stand that test of time.
  • Violetric V800 has that NOS flavor. Seems solidly built, but not sure what DAC chip is inside.
  • What do you think of the Sabre based DACs? They have the clinical, revealing signature that might be closer to what I am looking for - on paper. But I don't want to buy something like a Anedio D2 (D1's upgrade with hi-res USB + Balanced Outs) and find it too dry for my tastes.
  • Another option would be to skip all this and replace my aged Marantz 63SE with an Ayon CD-1sc and be done with it. Or a CD-1s + Hiface / Hegel HD2 / (forget aesthetics and cost and go for) Jkeny Mod Hi-face to feed it. Only things I am worried about here are that huge step up in price compared to others and that high output voltage.
  • Do Nothing :ashamed:

All options are open - but I have a few months to decide which way to go :)

I've only heard the twisted pear buffalo incarnation of the saber and it was not my cup of tea - it was too clinical and unmusical. It might be okay for studio monitoring but its definitely not meant for easy listening. Anedio dacs are supposed to be better so your mileage may vary!

As far as the metrum is concerned, unless I hear it, I can't really comment how good or bad its gonna be. I seriously hope its as good as it is being hyped to be.

Until you mentioned the violetric, I didn't know of its existence so I can't really comment :).
Another super hyped dac right now seems to be the Eastern Electric. I've heard from someone whom I trust that it sounds very very good. Maybe its worth trying out.

As far as the Ayons are concerned, they are priced very fairly in India. Between the 1sc and 1s, I chose the 1s as the USB input in the 1sc and 2s is utterly rubbish. It sounds far better when fed spdif using an m2tech or similar device. I had the 1s and 2s for home demo for a week. In the end I chose the 1s as I was getting it significantly cheaper and the difference in audio quality between the two was not worth the difference in price.

Hope this helps!

Cheers!

PS: To throw a cat amongst pigeons - have you thought about analog? :D

PPS: My peter daniel nos dac is still for sale. PM me if you are remotely interested :).
 

esanthosh

Well-Known Member
Veteran
Chaos said:
PS: To throw a cat amongst pigeons - have you thought about analog? :D

PPS: My peter daniel nos dac is still for sale. PM me if you are remotely interested :).

A full analog setup? May be. I have an old Murphy radio and TT to fix first :)

NOS DACs have not attracted my attention a lot because most of the time my taste is a bit tipped towards brightness. But, things change! So, may be I could add a NOS flavor as well.

Another DAC that may be worth considering - Does anyone own the Wyred4sound DAC 2?. It has dual coax and optical ins - something that would come handy along with async USB. Specs here.
 

Chaos

Well-Known Member
Veteran
Though I've never heard it and reviews are good for it, I'm always intrigued by the fact that the W4S DAC2 is one of the most common for sale digital devices on audigon. Coincidence - I'd not think so!

If you are looking for something which is absolutely dead neutral, look for a used esoteric. There's very little that comes close to absolute neutrality as esoterics in their price ranges. If you have the budget, you could also look at the Prism Sound Orpheus. I heard it for a short while at ARN as a part of their spatial setup and it was incredile if you are looking for tone dead neutrality.
 

esanthosh

Well-Known Member
Veteran
That's it? :mad:

I've stopped writing impressions, not you... soooo how about fit, comfort, build quality, sound quality? :p

Looking forward to how you find EX-1000 vs RE262 after a few days. Not sure if E7 + E9 will be a great combo with EX1K with it as it might bring out that treble emphasis.
 

mukulymn

Active Member
Adept
Ok more will come later....but for d time being ...

when i saw the packaging...I was impressed...but cable quality is the most pathetic i have seen...

fit is a little tricky...i am working on that....so any further impressions will come later...stay tuned...:p
 

esanthosh

Well-Known Member
Veteran
I guess we both need to get the short Sony EX-1000 cable ;) - http://www.soundhouse.co.jp/shop/ProductDetail.asp?Item=680^RKEX1000SP^^

Fit can be a bit tricky. But, it will be comfortable once you find the right way to do it - make sure that housing stays vertical / perpendicular to your ears (and don't look in the mirror).

Set aside all opinions you've read and give it sometime. Try some Classical music (or Jazz) and see how it goes. I'll wait for your opinions (perhaps a short EX-1000 vs 262 comparison if you can) in 2-3 weeks.

PS: I'll be more interested in how you find it for vocals vs 262 :)
 

mukulymn

Active Member
Adept
I m already looking for a replacement cable....but i dnt know whether 0.6m will be enough for me (I like the length of this cable but its very thin)....I cant get the price as well as its all Japanese...

Well need to try every tip i have... for the fit
 

esanthosh

Well-Known Member
Veteran
The price is 3,980 Yen (~ Rs. 2530 + CC charges) + Shipping. Though it doesn't do well when carrying a brick setup, I prefer the shorter cable of FX700 when using with Clip+. Thought of getting the Shure 9" Extension cable in case it's needed.

There's the longer version of the cable too - here at 4,580 Yen (~ Rs. 2,920 + CC charges) + shipping.

One would need to forward it to Tenso to get it. Shipping will be an additional 1,380 Yen (~ Rs. 880 + CC).

So, in all shorter cable is ~ Rs. 3,600 and longer cable is ~ Rs. 4,000 + 15 days waiting time. It is not cheap :p
 

mukulymn

Active Member
Adept
People @ sony have really worked hard to come up with a crappy cable like this(US Version)...
I may order it with in a month or two...do they have some kind of group discount...:)
finally got a good fit...and e7+e9 do bring that lower treble emphasis..eq-d -3 db from 2.5 Khz to 5 Khz
btw saxophone on ex1K......they just sound phenomenal...Kenny G-Love theme, almost brought a tear...
 

bennysachdev

Well-Known Member
Adept
So I sold off the Audiotechnica M50 and the CK10 and got me an RSA Protector and a B&W P5 headphone.

--- Updated Post - Automerged ---

The protector is excellent. The P5 is warm and veiled sounding, but what it lacks sonically, it makes up in aesthetics and comfort. These babies are soo comfy I don't wanna take them off. It like a pair of juicy jugs pressing against my ears :D
 

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