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Pathos Aurium

Posted

Pros: Nice looking, Sounds great with matching headphones, 4x input (one balanced), 2x line out bypass (one balanced)

Cons: Not enough power for hard-to-drive headphones, no balanced headphone output jack

This is not a comparison between this amp and other amps, rather it will be a short summary on how this amp performs with a handful of high quality headphones. I own the Pathos Aurium amp and today I headed over to the local HIFI-shop with one goal in mind; Finding the best headphone for this amp. For the session, which lasted for about three hours, I mainly listened to the last John Grant album and Bjørk's Homogenic record.

 

Couple of months ago I tested HifiMan 6, Audeze LCD-2 and Sennheiser HD800, but not on this amp. Hifiman was hard to compare with the others because they was so hard to drive (Had to adjust the volume a lot). But certainly Hifiman 6 and LCD-2 sounded more similar, compared to HD800, which are to analytical for my taste.

 

So I had more or less decided to buy the LCD-2 when I went to the shop today. However, I ended up with something else. Following are my impressions from today:

Audeze LCD-2: I think these pair extremely badly with this amp. The sound was not coming out at all, it nearly sounded like it was a wall between me and the phones. The worst pairing I heard.

Sennheiser HD800: Really great headphones, but to analytical for me. I think they pair well with the amp, so if my music taste was classical, I would not hesitate to buy these.

HiFiMAN HE-500: A little better than the LCD-2, but they are far from the best match. It seems like this amp is not strong enough for LCD-2 and HE-500, which are a little disappointing.

Shure SRH1840, AKG K812: and Beyer Dynamic T1: Well what can I say, they sound really good, but they do nothing for me. I doubt that the Aurium is to blame, its probably just my personal taste. 

Grado PS 1000: I liked it. A very good match. 

FORSTEX TH 900: Very detailed and clear. The runner up today.

Audeze LCD-X: The best match I think. They sound spectacular. A lot of detail, great punch without overdoing it. The only thing putting me off was that the ear pads was not big enough! My left ear touched the inside of the phone. It was a bit surprising since I have never experienced this before, and the ear pads seems massive.

 

So to summarize: I bought the Audeze LCD-X. I felt they were in a class above the Sennheiser, Grado and FOSTEX phones. LCD-2 and HE-500 should be avoided on this amp!

 

Thank you!

Posted

Pros: The price is reasonable. There is no complaint especially pairing with low impedance headphones.

Cons: The sound is too soft when driving high impedance headphones. So there are not many headphones suitable for this amp.

After trying a lot of headphones pairing with this amp, I think it is difficult to drive high impedance headphones. There are many other choices in the market. Therefore the users of T1, LCD, HD800 should avoid this amp if you are a perfectionist. However the capability of driving hard-drive headphone is not important to me as the sound of th900 is as good as sr-009 or maybe better. It is so detail and the human voices are so impressive that I can't find any weak points. Indeed I am not saying the original or the lawton th900. You need to remove the parts of  th900 which is not needed and handmade your pads and chambers by suitable cottons. The pads and chambers should provide enough space for the sound to come out so they should be big.

 

 

This is my gear:

DAC: invicta mirus

AMP: pathos aurium+sovtek 6922+MRS50A-3P1J

PC: Special PC designed for HIFI which is comparable to the expensive CD-players. I am using Jriver as my player.

Cables:wireworld platinum 7 for all power cables, USB cable, RCA cable

Power-conditioner: Isotek evo3 sigmas

Pathos Aurium
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Description:

Pure class A, tube pre stage and MOS-FET power stage, zero feedback, the Aurium performs what audiophiles are used to from Pathos: exquisite musicality, transparency, dynamics and total lack of listening fatigue. Flexibility is granted by the possibility to adjust output impedance from 16 to 1,000 Ohm, in order to provide a perfect interface with any kind of headphone. The volume control - a critical component in every amp - is operated by means of a high precision Burr-Brown device

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