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A Coda and an Overture from HeadRoom  

post #1 of 481
Thread Starter 
Hmmmm, what to say . . .

I'd like to introduce a couple of mysterious products. I'm going to be very happy to talk about them in particular; but I'm not going to engage in any conjecture about what they mean, though they do very definitely mean something as hinted by their names. However, please feel free to conjecture to your hearts content in this thread, I just might chime in. What I will say is that they are limited edition products and that they are likely to be a collector's item . . . ahh . . . soon.

So without further ado, please welcome the HeadRoom Coda Amp and Overture DAC!


Here's the manual:
pdf

The HeadRoom Coda Amp is essentially a replacement for our Supreme Amp. It uses our new Standard module but with the TI/Burr Brown 2137U op-amp, which is sort of a low power consumption version of the 2134, providing a signal for the Intersil HA5002 current buffer as an output device. It's quite good sounding and runs for about 30 hours on two 9 Volt batteries before distortion sets in driving 650s, though we will be advertising 25 hours battery life. It is slightly wider than some of the other two 9 Volt battery powered amps around because it also includes a DIN connector on the rear panel that allows you to run it off an external power supply---either the Elpac wall-wart or our Base Station One. We will be making 75 of these amps, but only 50 will be available for purchase without the Overture DAC.




The Overture DAC is what happens when geeks go on a rampage. This little guy uses the same USB chip that is in the BitHead (TI/Burr Brown PCM2902), but we just use the chip to convert USB into a S/PDIF digital stream that then goes to feed a Cirrus CS4398 DAC which is their flagship part. MAN! Does this little guy sound good! It also has a Toslink optical digital input and will decode 24/96 bit streams. It also runs on two 9 Volt batteries or external power supply. We are building only 25 of these little gems and they will only be available for purchase with the Coda Amp.




Now, only about 20 Coda/Overture pairs will be for sale as we are keeping 5 here at HeadRoom; one for me personally, and the rest for various historical, marketing, and employee listening purposes. I have to say that in some ways, these are my favorite HeadRoom products ever, mostly because of what they symbolize---which I'll go into one of these days in this thread. I love having these amps on my desk driven by the optical digital output of my iRiver iHP-140. They just absolutely kick butt. Sure, listening to a Meridian driving a BlockHead is better sounding, but I'd have to spend all my time keeping my desk clear. With these babies I just plunk them on my desk in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon for a musically uninterrupted commute home. SCHWEET! (I’ve even taken the little stack to the Lou with me---it was a long session.)

So, have fun viewing the amporn included, and I'll be happy to answer any questions about the amps. (Note: I am going to be on the road for the end of this week so my replies will be a little spotty for the next few days---my listening won't be though.)

If you want to order one you can call, they won't be up on the website for a few days.
post #2 of 481
OMG! nice one headroom!
post #3 of 481
Wow! I knew you guys would be the first to bring us a truly portable,quality DAC. Those both look fantastic Tyll and I can't wait to get my fingers on them. I really hope this answers the critics who constantly complain about Headroom somehow being "Obsolete" which was certainly never true.

I also love that you kept this under wraps until now. Great work.
post #4 of 481
Whoa! Very very nice. I think it hits the portable DAC/amp demand sweet spot perfectly.

I'm tempted... mmm...
post #5 of 481
Thread Starter 
I realize I forgot to say that they are $299 each.

And here's the rear view:

post #6 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by doobooloo
I'm tempted... mmm...
You know Tyll, Heidi Klum and Seal will be married soon.... At some level this news as the same effect on me that learning that your combo will be limited to only 20 pairs for sale.....

Amicalement
post #7 of 481
Looks good. What are the approximate dimensions of each box? Any chance of a custom bag like you had for the airhead?

Will Headroom come out with a one box DAC/Amp solution? A portable (with an optional external supply) as well as a fancier home version would be awesome.

Thanks guys!
post #8 of 481
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jefemeister
What are the approximate dimensions of each box?
They are 4 5/16 long (panel to panel, not including knobs and connectors etc) x 3 1/4 wide x 1 1/8 tall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jefemeister
Any chance of a custom bag like you had for the airhead?
There will be a bag that they will fit perfectly in, but availability will be about June.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jefemeister
Will Headroom come out with a one box DAC/Amp solution? A portable (with an optional external supply) as well as a fancier home version would be awesome.
Ptptp...ghrg...vrrht... can't...eek...talk...must...not...
post #9 of 481
WOW. This market is quite slim at the moment - I think the only competition to this at the moment is the AOS Piccolo DAC. Well, that and the bithead lol. Why do I have the feeling that this might be the "SR71" of portable DACs? We need head to heads! Visual scale comparisons to a credit card! An ipod with a digital out to take advantage of this! Argh!

I believe the Apogee Minidac is out there too, but it's more transportable than portable. If this Headroom offering allows true portability (two 9V? hmm could be!) plus an amp worthy of an excellent external DAC (personally I like the headphone out of the Apogee Minidac, others dont) then I think we're in good shape. I have yet to hear a Supreme amp, but if this baby is going to have that level of performance, just on stats alone this product sounds promising!

Size-wise, if the final production model form is a bit thicker than a portable CD player, that should be plenty small to tote around. Keeping a price point below $500 would make this a worthy DAC/Amp to have as a home unit as well.

Will there be crossfeed on this baby?

Doh just had a musing of using that portable dac with the SR71 - that's one evil combo!
post #10 of 481
I'd like to see two more things, accessories really.

First, a mini-interconnect that would be the exact length needed to connect the two jacks together when the units are stacked. Since it doesn't have to flex, the "wire" could even be one of those heavy-duty gold posts that are sometimes used in PCB-PCB board connectors.

Second, a wide black "rubber band" (for lack of a better word) that could be slipped over both units to hold them together. You could even silkscreen the Headroom logo onto it. At least an inch wide, maybe even 3.
post #11 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by jefemeister

Second, a wide black "rubber band" (for lack of a better word) that could be slipped over both units to hold them together. You could even silkscreen the Headroom logo onto it. At least an inch wide, maybe even 3.
What a strange idea..... Could it be simpler with some sort of docking station at the end of both units?

Amicalement
post #12 of 481
Quote:
Second, a wide black "rubber band" (for lack of a better word) that could be slipped over both units to hold them together.
multicolored velcro straps are available that do just that and are easy to strap/unstrap on the fly
BTW-the first headroom products since the Blockhead that really impress me.

Kudos Tyll,nicely done man.You may get some of my loot yet at this rate
post #13 of 481
Very nice, Tyll, not to mention VERY tempting if I can ever get my PC rig going... Speaking of comparisons to the Supreme, was the omission of filter and gain switching strictly a space issue, or were there any other reasons?
post #14 of 481
Nice.

I love that style of battery carrier/connection for 9V.

-Ed
post #15 of 481
Tyll: any chance of selling the dac seperately? I'd be hard pressed not to buy.
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