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Opera – A first review - Page 11

post #151 of 424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post
I'm not sure how anyone can answer this question definitively. The Opera is a MUCH better amp than the Aria, which is, itself, the best amp I have ever heard in the $400 price range. But the Opera is really terrific. It's noticibly smoother, slightly warmer, more detailed, and reveals soundstages better than the Aria.
Seconded. Although mine has run just about 30 hours.
.
post #152 of 424
I've debated if it's worth close to triple the price of the Aria. I'm hoping someone will bring one to the March meet in NY so I can give it a listen. =]
post #153 of 424
That's up to you.
In (nearly) high end a small progression can cost a lot of money since price is no object
I mean, its very personal. I should not hesitate and recommend the Opera. But who am I, my Chord interconnect was more expensive than the Opera.
I know, it's stupid....
post #154 of 424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post
I'm not sure how anyone can answer this question definitively. The Opera is a MUCH better amp than the Aria, which is, itself, the best amp I have ever heard in the $400 price range. But the Opera is really terrific. It's noticibly smoother, slightly warmer, more detailed, and reveals soundstages better than the Aria.
It will be interesting, once things have settled down, (ie. both the amp and your goodself ) to see how the Opera compares with your HA-2 MkII SE as far as the amp section goes ?
post #155 of 424
Thread Starter 
One remark:

I always found that concerning headphone amps there is an dimension from warm to hard/dry. In the past the following list was true:

WARM

I EarMax
I (big gap)
I CEC HD 53
I Lehmannaudio BlackCube Linear
I (big gap)
I Jan Meier Corda Prehead
V

Hard/ DRY

With the Opera for me Jan is comming much closer to a Black Cube Linear.
post #156 of 424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nietzsche View Post
In (nearly) high end a small progression can cost a lot of money since price is no object
Can't agree more. Many people spent lot of time and money to find the best favorite sound of themselves.
post #157 of 424
If money wasn't an issue I would sell my Aria and upgrade to the Opera based on the assumption that it is a higher-end amp and will undoubtedly be an improvement. Whether that improvement is worth 3x the price tag of the Aria is the question I am grappling with since, as with most people, I don't have a spare $1290 sitting around. I don't doubt that the Opera is better. I just don't know if I would rather spend for an improvement (which could be anywhere from minor to pretty noticeable) or do something else with the money.

Decisions. I started the month trying to persuade myself to get an Extreme, but couldn't pull the trigger for similar reasons (wasn't sure an Extreme sounded 5x as good as my LD2++) and now the Opera is here. Same problems. I have all these headphones and I feel that my amps are middle-weight at best. I want to get some high-end amps so I can get the most out of my phones/music. But I don't want to get caught in the philosophy of more expensive is always the best either. I'm hoping that the Mar. 3rd NYC meet with help clear things up. Don't know if there will be an Opera there though.
post #158 of 424
That's the hard part about making value judgements - I can only tell you what the Opera's increased performance means to ME, and for me, it's easily worth the extra money. The Opera is truly a pleasure to listen to.

As for the HA-2 mkII/SE as an amp, that is a much tougher call. The Opera is warmer. I'm not sure if just the Opera's amp section is necesarily BETTER. And I think the Opera mates better with most headphones I have and have heard in terms of providing the best listening experience.

But there is something about the HA-2 MkII/SE's just surreally transparent midrange that I can't get over, even still. My Opera has under 150 hours run time, so I am not ready to make a final call. I suspect that I will not change my opinion, which is that one or the other will be better depending on the headphone used.
post #159 of 424
Guess we got that in common vcoheda. Hopefully, an Opera will show up at the meet and we can both see if it's worth upgrading from our Aria's.
post #160 of 424
hey skylab, how about coming to the ny meet in march and bringing your opera and darth collection?
post #161 of 424
My Opera keeps burning-in, anyways I can say something about its preamp capabilities.
My high-end listening sessions are 100% headphones-based, but before getting the Opera my SA-17S1 was always attached to my computer's Cambridge Soundworks 2.1 speakers (I used the player's own headphone-out to listen with headphones). Right, these aren't audiophile speakers for sure, but using them when I'm working at the computer I can't really speak of audiophile. Anyways, these are very good 2.1 speakers considering what they cost. Now, they're linked to Opera's preamp output. I tried playing a pair of CDs/SACDs to do a comparison between SA-17S1-->Speakers vs SA-17S1-->Opera-->Speakers. The difference is VERY noticeable. There are lots of details which simply weren't there before. Bass is more pronounced, but at the same time more focused and coherent. Detail is stunning, considering the speakers I'm using.
post #162 of 424
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveDerek View Post
hey skylab, how about coming to the ny meet in march and bringing your opera and darth collection?
Ha! Sorry, no can do, buddy. That would surely put my wife over the top when it comes to tolerating this hobby
post #163 of 424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post
Ha! Sorry, no can do, buddy. That would surely put my wife over the top when it comes to tolerating this hobby
Does your wife know the value of your audio equipments?
post #164 of 424
Quote:
Originally Posted by ManAtWork View Post
Does your wife know the value of your audio equipments?
More or less
post #165 of 424
Code:
Now, they're linked to Opera's preamp output. I tried playing a pair of CDs/SACDs to do a comparison between SA-17S1-->Speakers vs SA-17S1-->Opera-->Speakers. The difference is VERY noticeable.
I am a bit confused as to the flowpath here.

Your cd player with speakers is using the cd player as the dac,preamp, (and maybe a small amp in there for headphones?)

When using the Opera you went cd player digital out into the Operas digital in? using the opera dac? and the opera preamp, but does the preamp out use the opera amp part or is it just the preamp out to be used into another amp?

I am kind of surprised that the cd player did not sound better. Maybe the cd player and the opera preamp output are both very low level line outs and both need to be amplified. Maybe the Opera preamp output is slightly higher line out then the players.

Any further explaination would be awsome.

Thanks

Lou
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