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HR Bithead vs. RS Hornet Which One? - Page 3

post #31 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef Medeski
So, Piccolo you have tried both amps?
No. I'd like to, so that I can test them and see. I'm just afraid I wouldn't be able to tell the difference and would have wasted money that could have been spend on another pair of high end headphones.
post #32 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by PiccoloNamek
No. I'd like to, so that I can test them and see. I'm just afraid I wouldn't be able to tell the difference and would have wasted money that could have been spend on another pair of high end headphones.
So, how can you make a post testifying there is no difference. The problem with that post is not that your opinion is unimportant or shunned if wrong, but without the right facts or research you are generalizing. That is the problem.... and it is a quite blatant generalization. It seems less like thats your comment and more that you just go to random threads and protest THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE.... DONT WASTE UR MONEY.... thats fine for a noob who is deciding how much to spend... but when someone wants to know the sonical difference between two amps, he doesn't want someone who hasn't heard both to tell him there is no difference. Thats like me telling you there is no difference between a FWD and AWD car in the snow.... even if everyone believes AWD is better and all you have is FWD... where is your base of knowledge: logic, experience, research??

That is why people get mad... not because you don't have ears of solid gold.
post #33 of 159
I was really just extrapolating from my own experiences. Even though I would say that I have good ears, I can't tell the difference between amped and unamped headphones. I can't tell the difference between my DAC and the computer's sound card (not counting things like interference). I can't tell the difference between those and my iPod's output. I assumed that I wouldn't be able to tell the difference between between amplifiers.

It was wrong of me to state my own opinion as fact. It was a mistake, and one that I'm already beginning to regret. Damn, why do I always mess up...

I guess the only way to redeem myself is to purchase a Hornet and give it an honest try then. It's only a paycheck and a half.
post #34 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by PiccoloNamek
I was really just extrapolating from my own experiences.
Extrpolation is not what this man needs, hes not asking if an amp is worth it or if money in more expensive amps are worth it.... hes not asking for a general trend that should be extrapolated... hes is asking for specifics. The DIFFERENCE between the two.... not your opinion on how useless amps are cause... if he was confused about that... I'm sure he wouldn't be buying a $350 amp.
post #35 of 159
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef Medeski
Really? Thats not good news. I just bought a bithead should be here in ... well today... and I have a powerbook. I have ETY ER-4Ss too. You actually have a much better setup with Etys and can't hear a difference? Crap.... thats a waste of $180. Well... I'll post my initial feelings when the package comes with my Powerbook.
Post them in this thread please =). Anyway, I'm sure there are subtle differences between an external DAC and built-in soundcards but honestly high-end laptops aren't as noisy as many people say it is. I HAD the Shure E500s and could not hear a difference between my MacBook and my HR Desktop w/ DAC and that thing is 850 dollars. I mostly got it for the amp though.

I think when people refer to getting a DAC is to conquer bad hardware in a computer and many PCs and low end PCs or laptops have poor sound cards and those are noisy as hell. However a lot of high end laptops have really nice hardware so the DAC might not be needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef Medeski
Extrpolation is not what this man needs, hes not asking if an amp is worth it or if money in more expensive amps are worth it.... hes not asking for a general trend that should be extrapolated... hes is asking for specifics. The DIFFERENCE between the two.... not your opinion on how useless amps are cause... if he was confused about that... I'm sure he wouldn't be buying a $350 amp.
And yes I can definitely tell the difference between an amped source and an unamped source. All I'm asking of this thread is if the extra 150 for the Hornet is worth it. Like I said I've had a BitHead but if the differences are too subtle then theres no point in spending 150 for a minor upgrade. I should have mentioned I don't care about the DAC especially since most of my sources are good. I don't run my music through anything poor.
post #36 of 159
Well three things:

From what I have heard around the forums through extensive research... not my own ears, the Hornet is basically the best sounding portable amp on the market.... maybe SR-71... but that borders on portable. It sounds fantastic, looks fine, and has great features like internal recharging, gain.

So, it sounds like if you don't need the DAC, the Hornet is the best amp to buy because it sounds the best. I only bought the Total Bithead cause I want to use the DAC with my laptop.... otherwise I would have tried to find a used Hornet.

I don't know if your options are to go used, but the price difference is drastically less. Since the 2006 TBH seems to be a hot seller on these forums, they generally stick fairly close to sticker price... and since their new. I bought mine $180 shipped. While you can pick up a Hornet for as low as $250 to $280. So, thats a $100 price difference at max. If you want to go used, I would get the Hornet hands down, since you don't want the DAC. I mean $70 is worth it for the difference imho.

The question if $150 is worth it..... is based on how open your wallet really is... I think you might want to consider looking into an amp in the price range of the TBH w/o the DAC.... like a PC MKIII, XIN Super Macro, Firestone Audio.... I mean I just think if you find the Hornet a bit over your price range... that those would be a better option than a TBH.


Will post thoughts on this thread. Most def.
post #37 of 159
Thread Starter 
Oh no I wasn't saying my price range was $150. I'm saying the difference in price between a NEW Hornet and NEW TBH are about $150. From what I've seen it's VERY hard to find a used Hornet. I don't think anyone wants to let go of it

I'd be willing to spend $350 for a new Hornet but if I can find a used "M" version of it I'll definitely consider that but from the looks of it I don't see any recent FS Hornet threads.
post #38 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by volcomjerk
Oh no I wasn't saying my price range was $150. I'm saying the difference in price between a NEW Hornet and NEW TBH are about $150. From what I've seen it's VERY hard to find a used Hornet. I don't think anyone wants to let go of it

I'd be willing to spend $350 for a new Hornet but if I can find a used "M" version of it I'll definitely consider that but from the looks of it I don't see any recent FS Hornet threads.

You could try posting a "WTB 'M' Hornet" in the Amps FS Forum and see if it inspires an on-the-fence owner to sell...

BTW - another recommendation for the Hornet is that it dead silent with my Westone ES2 IEMs.

While my Portaphile PV2&2-LT1210 Maxxed has great HF extension, detail, spatiality, timbre and overall definition -- it has audible hiss with the ES2. The AE-1 has even more pronounced hiss.
post #39 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by aluren
i don't see why its ok when someone says the mids are good (or bad) but someone else saying they don't hear a difference is not...
Seems to be at least partially in that the first sort of statement doesn't offend the integrity of the hobby or people's beliefs that their purchases and decisions are meaningful, whereas the other type of comment does. Not to say I think that condones the response it receives, but this seems to have something to do with why people react as they do.

As far as the OP's question goes, it isn't clear to me whether a portable amplifier is mandatory here. If you do want a portable, I'd favour something like the Xin amps as customisability affords more versatility in the amp, which IMHO increases price/performance ratio considerably (in addition to increasing service life, since you can retune it as you change headphones etc.). If you're trying to replicate the TBH/Hornet sound, it may be sufficient to try an AD8397 on the L/R channel and different op-amps in the 3/4 channel slot on the Supermini (such as another AD8397, or LMH6622/6642, AD8058, etc.), or whatever is the equivalent configuration on the Supermacro (and there you could use others, such as LM6172, AD8620 (I think someone tried this), etc.). I actually would favor a different configuration as I'm not a huge fan of the 8397, but it does appear at least several people are fond of its general signature. If you want to experiment with some other op-amps, I'd try maybe the LM6171/LM6172, AD8057/AD8058, AD8655/AD8656, AD8651/AD8652, or THS4051/THS4052...or some combination of those

Yeah, it seems overwhelming at first, but after a little bit it's really not that big a deal. I have a bunch of op-amps and I decided to install dip-sockets on my DAC I use at home so I can tune the sound signature (pretty dramatically) for different types of music, thereby greatly increasing its versatility. I do the same with my amps. It's pretty easy and saves a lot of money since you aren't having to buy a bunch of amps to get different sound signatures.

For a desktop amp, though (in case you don't need a portable), I'd probably look at the M3 or Gilmore Lite (or maybe PPA too?).

Chef - Of any the amps discussed on head-fi, I've observed RSA's amps probably receive the greatest level of vocal, extensive endorsement and enthusiasm from their supporters, but I don't think it would be accurate to say the Hornet is the best in any sort of absolute sense. Some people do seem to be very fond of it, but people definitely have different tastes, and additionally I've found that there exists some level of information vacuum on these forums about what sorts of options people really have available in terms of both products and in terms of what they can really achieve in this sector of amplification.
post #40 of 159
Filburt - interesting post, I agree with some of what you say. I think Xin amps have a great value to the person that wants to constantly tweak the signature of the amp as well as have the switches which are nice. I think amps are similar to headphones in the respect that many have a forte. Xin's amp is best for portability size and endless options, Ray's stuff is best for build quality and having that "RSA house sound" (which Xin can't really have because of the endless options and changes he makes). Headroom also has the exceptional build quality and the warm Headroom house sound. I've not heard the AE-1 so can not comment on it. My point is that they all have an area where they excel so it does boil down to personal preference as far as application, functionality, build quality, sonic characteristics, aesthetic appeal, etc. etc. etc.
post #41 of 159
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Filburt
Seems to be at least partially in that the first sort of statement doesn't offend the integrity of the hobby or people's beliefs that their purchases and decisions are meaningful, whereas the other type of comment does. Not to say I think that condones the response it receives, but this seems to have something to do with why people react as they do.

As far as the OP's question goes, it isn't clear to me whether a portable amplifier is mandatory here. If you do want a portable, I'd favour something like the Xin amps as customisability affords more versatility in the amp, which IMHO increases price/performance ratio considerably (in addition to increasing service life, since you can retune it as you change headphones etc.). If you're trying to replicate the TBH/Hornet sound, it may be sufficient to try an AD8397 on the L/R channel and different op-amps in the 3/4 channel slot on the Supermini (such as another AD8397, or LMH6622/6642, AD8058, etc.), or whatever is the equivalent configuration on the Supermacro (and there you could use others, such as LM6172, AD8620 (I think someone tried this), etc.). I actually would favor a different configuration as I'm not a huge fan of the 8397, but it does appear at least several people are fond of its general signature. If you want to experiment with some other op-amps, I'd try maybe the LM6171/LM6172, AD8057/AD8058, AD8655/AD8656, AD8651/AD8652, or THS4051/THS4052...or some combination of those

Yeah, it seems overwhelming at first, but after a little bit it's really not that big a deal. I have a bunch of op-amps and I decided to install dip-sockets on my DAC I use at home so I can tune the sound signature (pretty dramatically) for different types of music, thereby greatly increasing its versatility. I do the same with my amps. It's pretty easy and saves a lot of money since you aren't having to buy a bunch of amps to get different sound signatures.

For a desktop amp, though (in case you don't need a portable), I'd probably look at the M3 or Gilmore Lite (or maybe PPA too?).

Chef - Of any the amps discussed on head-fi, I've observed RSA's amps probably receive the greatest level of vocal, extensive endorsement and enthusiasm from their supporters, but I don't think it would be accurate to say the Hornet is the best in any sort of absolute sense. Some people do seem to be very fond of it, but people definitely have different tastes, and additionally I've found that there exists some level of information vacuum on these forums about what sorts of options people really have available in terms of both products and in terms of what they can really achieve in this sector of amplification.
I'm actually trying to stay low key on the hobby. I have no need for a desktop amp at moment and portability is what I'm looking for. I don't care too much for upgradability in a portable amp. I'm guessing the Hornet sounds great with all kinds of music. I also do not like XIN's wait time. I just do not possess the patience to wait for an amp and wait for an email/reply for days. I'm sure XIN's amps are awesome but I value customer service and from what everyone is telling me Ray is great at that.
post #42 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakeride74
Filburt - interesting post, I agree with some of what you say. I think Xin amps have a great value to the person that wants to constantly tweak the signature of the amp as well as have the switches which are nice. I think amps are similar to headphones in the respect that many have a forte. Xin's amp is best for portability size and endless options, Ray's stuff is best for build quality and having that "RSA house sound" (which Xin can't really have because of the endless options and changes he makes). Headroom also has the exceptional build quality and the warm Headroom house sound. I've not heard the AE-1 so can not comment on it. My point is that they all have an area where they excel so it does boil down to personal preference as far as application, functionality, build quality, sonic characteristics, aesthetic appeal, etc. etc. etc.
Personal preference, ostensibly, plays a major role. My point was simply that I've found the most sensible buy for someone who is actually on some sort of budget is to buy something that is customisable. Outside of head-fi, the sorts of configurations employed on several amps are not exactly the mystery they seem to be here. Generally speaking, there isn't really a lot of 'magic' going on here. It's op-amps, buffers, and one of the basic topologies known out there or some derivative thereof. About the only thing I haven't seen explicitly described yet is what Xin's 4 channel topo is about, but I imagine that will change with time as well. If you want customisable but want to replicate or at least simulate the sound of your buddy's amp that has a "house sound" for some of your music or gear, that option isn't necessarily closed off from you; depending on what one is trying to do, achieving it may be more a matter of some basic research or soliciting info from one of the DIYers in this hobby than having to forego customisability.
post #43 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Filburt
.....I've found that there exists some level of information vacuum on these forums about what sorts of options people really have available in terms of both products and in terms of what they can really achieve in this sector of amplification.

Can you please elucidate what you mean here?
post #44 of 159
to address filburt's post, if it comes down to best SQ vs. almost as good SQ but more customizable - well, i'm a purist. i'm going to go for the tone.
post #45 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jahn
to address filburt's post, if it comes down to best SQ vs. almost as good SQ but more customizable - well, i'm a purist. i'm going to go for the tone.
Yup. But this is a little like the ol' Hatfields-'n-McCoys: The Xin fanboys are gonna call you (and me, of course) a Ray fanboy.

It's obvious what my attitude is regarding the Hornet, having said enough about it in this thread.

The one logical reason I might recommend a Xin amp (not necessarily in this case) is for newcomers who haven't heard enough to know what they like, and can benefit from rolling opamps and hearing a wide variety of sound signatures in one shell.
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