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Posts by project86

  I'd say be sure to try both whenever you can - you might find you prefer one over the other for each different headphone, or sometimes even for different genres. 
 The newer 192kHz-capable DAC cards are significantly improved over the older ones. If you have any desire for the internal DAC, I'd make sure it was the newer version. The old models are just for convenience imho, while the 192kHz versions actually sound quite respectable considering their low prices.  Still, the amp is so good it deserves the best DAC you can afford.    Personally, I find the Apache (and pretty much all of Ray's amps for that matter) to be good looking,...
I'll eventually flesh this out more in my formal review - sorry it is taking forever. But in summary, I'd say the Taurus has a somewhat more energetic top end. I don't know if that makes it more neutral or not.... I suppose that depends on the headphone involved.   Much of the time I'd say the V281 XLR output is the most neutral of all, with the SE output being somewhat darker and the Taurus being a little brighter. Again, Taurus is still a very good amp.
Thanks for your impressions - sound very similar to what I hear. Listening to V281 right now, fed by a "lowly" Parasound Zdac v2 which is in for review, and driving an LCD-3F. Amazing system! Revealing enough to help spot the differences between this DAC and my reference (which costs 10x as much), yet in the end it's still very enjoyabl even without a megabuck source. 
To a large degree that's a property of the headphone itself. I'm thinking the A18 is already on the dynamic side and you probably won't get what you are after by switching amps. I'd try to audition an LCD and go from there. 
  Depends on your preferences. In this case the SS amp (A18) has the more stereotypical "tube" sound to it - warmer, smoother, more bass bloom. The Icon has a sweeter top end though, and can also be fairly warm if you turn up the output impedance knob. Soundstage depth is in fact a benefit of the Icon as well, though tube choice plays a large factor in that. 
  Yep. I've got a bunch of different cables and they all fit slightly different. It probably comes down to variation in each individual connector - I have two sets of Toxic Cables Silver Poison, one fits fairly flush and the other has slight gaps. Probably also has to do with the sockets on each CIEM being a bit different too. For what it's worth I've never had a problem with this type of fit.  
Sounds like everything you could try, has already been tried.   The only other thing I sometimes do is sleep on it and start fresh the next day, going over everything you've already done with fresh eyes. Sometimes I discover that what I thought I did.... I didn't do properly. Happens every once in a while.    Most likely though you have some loose connection inside, or other defect. Hopefully Fried and crew can troubleshoot it and get you going quickly and easily. 
  I like the WA3 as a fun, sweet sounding amp. I also like the basic WA6, it's solid for the price. I'd say once you go up to the WA6SE the value does not correspond to the price increase. The WA22 is good as well but again too much for what it is. Personally I would take the Icon over all of them based on design, value, and sound. On pure sound quality alone the WA22 is competitive if we don't consider price comparisons.  The Woo stuff has excellent build quality and...
All good choices, you can't really go wrong there. I personally think the Hugo, amazing little bugger that it is, can be bested by some of the better desktop units out here. Hugo is excellent and sounds amazing for the size but to my ears it is not a miracle device. Mirus, to me, is a significant step above, and I would not be at all surprised if the Yggy end up being superior as well.
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