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HR Bithead vs. RS Hornet Which One?

post #1 of 159
Thread Starter 
I couldn't find a thread tailored to a Hornet vs. BitHead (maybe cause they can't compare?) So I'm starting this thread:

I've been trying to stop this hobby for awhile and I've sold all my gear and now I just miss all of it. However, I now know my needs for my lifestyle and realize that one portable setup for work and to carry around would be great. I realized I don't do a lot of listening at home.

So I've been in the market for a Hornet and I've had a Total BitHead before and it was a great amp but it just didn't provide that extra WOW like a lot of amps I've experienced. I'm hoping the Hornet can fix that especially for the price difference.

I plan on powering some KSC-75s and maybe a new pair of IEM's like the Super.fi 5 or maybe some UM2s.

Are the Hornet and BitHead even in the same ballpark as far as performance?

I was also considering a XIN amp but the line and wait is just unbearable for me to even consider unless most of you would say that it's absolutely worth it to wait for one.
post #2 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by volcomjerk
I couldn't find a thread tailored to a Hornet vs. BitHead (maybe cause they can't compare?) So I'm starting this thread:

I've been trying to stop this hobby for awhile and I've sold all my gear and now I just miss all of it. However, I now know my needs for my lifestyle and realize that one portable setup for work and to carry around would be great. I realized I don't do a lot of listening at home.

So I've been in the market for a Hornet and I've had a Total BitHead before and it was a great amp but it just didn't provide that extra WOW like a lot of amps I've experienced. I'm hoping the Hornet can fix that especially for the price difference.

I plan on powering some KSC-75s and maybe a new pair of IEM's like the Super.fi 5 or maybe some UM2s.

Are the Hornet and BitHead even in the same ballpark as far as performance?

I was also considering a XIN amp but the line and wait is just unbearable for me to even consider unless most of you would say that it's absolutely worth it to wait for one.
As long as you don't need the USB DAC feature of the Total Bithead, the "M" Hornet is superb. It will drive anything short of K1000, and sounds wonderful with K701, HD600/650, PXC300, HF-1, DT880-2005 and is possibly the best match for my Westone ES2 with zero hiss. UM2 owners have expressed great satisfaction with the "M" Hornet as well.

Use the search feature here and look for lots of recent posts on the Hornet -- especially the "M"-mod Hornet, which has a very wide soundstage, excellent dimension (depth & height), tight/impactful bass, good HF extension, sweet mids and highs and great synergy with the ES2, K701 and HF-1. Beautifully crafted case with Lo-Hi-Med gain switch flush mounted in back panel, AC adapter + internal charging.

The Total Bithead is very nice, and the "M" Hornet goes further and gives you the drive and "Wow" you seek.
post #3 of 159
Thread Starter 
Thanks! I did do a search but I wanted to see comparisons between a BitHead and a Hornet I found most comparisons were with XIN amps. Only reason I want a comparison with a BitHead is because I've owned one before and I just want to make sure that I'm not just buying another BitHead for more money.
post #4 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by volcomjerk
Thanks! I did do a search but I wanted to see comparisons between a BitHead and a Hornet I found most comparisons were with XIN amps.
You might want to check again...I'm sure this question has been asked before. Might have been a little while, but I'm sure it's come up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by volcomjerk
Only reason I want a comparison with a BitHead is because I've owned one before and I just want to make sure that I'm not just buying another BitHead for more money.
I believe that the new Total BitHead is about the same cost as the 2004 model BitHead, so this shouldn't be an issue. Besides, the Hornet is significantly more expensive than either the 2004 BitHead or the 2006 Total BitHead.

My advice is to consider what it is that you want. IMHO, these two products really don't go together.

The Hornet IMHO has superior sonics, is very well constructed, and drives any number of different headphones very well. Furthermore, Ray Samuels is a fine individual who does an excellent job with customer service and support. I don't own a Hornet right now (but I do own one of Ray's amps - the XP-7 - that gets a LOT of use in my home system), but I probably will own one someday. If the hornet is the only amp that you're going to own, it would be a fine choice and very likely the choice I would make.

That said, the amp in my arsenal that gets the most use is my 2004 Total BitHead. This is because it has the built-in DAC, fits with a HD-based player (iPod or iRiver H10) very well, has crossfeed (important for me...I listen for long periods and often to older Beatles ), powers up via USB port, and so on. For me, it's a much more versatile amp. It gives me good (not great...but in fairness the 2006 model is supposed to be better) sonics, but that's not so important IMHO when one is listening to an amp primarily as a portable (I mean, how great are your sources...really??). The amp is extremely portable, and turns my work PC or laptop into a very listenable source in a pinch. It's not the sonic equal of the Hornet, but that's OK...it is what it is and I like it a lot.

You really can't go wrong with either IMHO...you could always buy both.
post #5 of 159
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by elrod-tom
You really can't go wrong with either IMHO...you could always buy both.
ARGH YOU SUCK! You are of no help whatsoever...
















to my wallet!
post #6 of 159
"M" Hornet is plainly, sonically better (and smaller).

He's talking a lot about the Bithead's DAC.

As I said earlier, unless you must have the built-in DAC, the "M" Hornet sounds better, etc. No need to get overly confused or exasperated.

If you want better sound, smaller size, solid/finely finished case, AC power & internal AC charging -- get the "M" Hornet.

If you absolutely have to have USB DAC/USB connectivity + amp all in one unit, Total Bithead is the choice.
post #7 of 159
Chances are you would never be able to tell the differences, so just flip a coin and buy one. Then enjoy your music.

But man, that Hornet is pretty nice looking.
post #8 of 159
Just to point out that what's being compared is essentially a $149 amp (equivalent to a Total Airhead) and a $350 amp. With $200, as is their price difference, there's a lot of things you could do...
post #9 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by PiccoloNamek
Chances are you would never be able to tell the differences, so just flip a coin and buy one. Then enjoy your music.

But man, that Hornet is pretty nice looking.
Sorry to disagree, but the differences are clearly audible -- with a wide variety of phones -- even (very clearly) with the ES2 IEMs -- and it doesn't matter if you have gold, silver, bronze, or tin ears to hear. Well, maybe leave off the tin ears.
post #10 of 159
Well, I guess I have coal ears then, because I can never hear any of the various differences that you guys talk about between different pieces of equipment. I can't even tell the difference between my ER-4S amped and unamped. Not even a little.

Never mind. ;(
post #11 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by PiccoloNamek
Personally, I think most people here fool themsevles in order to justify their massive expenditures, but I'm not going to start an argument about it.
Well you kind of just have, saying that.
Just because you can't hear it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I'm willing to bet there are people out there who can't really tell the difference between stock earphones and your Etys.
I'll take up any challenge you like to let you know if my E500s are amped or unamped.
post #12 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by PiccoloNamek
I wouldn't hesitate to take you up on that. The power of suggestion alone would be enough to make you think amped was unamped and vice versa.
Where would the suggestion come from?

edit: how on earth did this end up above the post I was replying to?
post #13 of 159
Quote:
Well you kind of just have, saying that.
Only if someone else decides to respond.

Quote:
Just because you can't hear it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
As far as I personally am concerned, it does.

Quote:
I'm willing to bet there are people out there who can't really tell the difference between stock earphones and your Etys.
These people probably had bad hearing to begin with. (Perhaps there is a continuum of hearing ability, and I'm the left side of the bell curve compared to you people.)

Quote:
I'll take up any challenge you like to let you know if my E500s are amped or unamped.
I wouldn't hesitate to take you up on that. The power of suggestion alone would be enough to make you think amped was unamped and vice versa.
post #14 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by PiccoloNamek
As far as I personally am concerned, it does.
This tells me all I need to know about you. There's no point continuing this.
post #15 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by PiccoloNamek
I don't think you understood correctly. If I can't hear it, it effectively does not exist for me.
Right, but it does not mean others are fooling themselves into anything. It just means you would be.

edit: Head-Fi, will you please stop messing up the post order, damn you!
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