Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Opera – A first review
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Opera – A first review - Page 15

post #211 of 424
Quote:
Originally Posted by practitioner View Post
Could you please expand on this and say use the Aria's crossfeed as a point of reference? I’m trying to imagine what the compensation does to sound. Would it be like the same kind of equalizer settings found in say the Prehead (for bass) built into the crossfeed?
I don't have Crossfeed in my Aria prototype, but will take the HA-2's as a reference. Without bass compensation (as in the HA-2), Crossfeed gives the impression of decreased bass. The Opera's Crossfeed compensates completely for this bass decrease, so the sonic balance is perceivedly almost the same as without Crossfeed -- depending on the recording.


Quote:
Again, this is great news. My primary cans are the HD650+Equinox How would you compare the bass differences between the Opera & Aria using HD650? One of the things I love about the Aria is how the bass is controlled in a very effortless manner leaving the midrange clean & airy. With the Opera's warmer presentation does the bass (especially the mid-bass on the HD650) become fuller? Less airiness?
I perceive the upper bass as somewhat leaner, in exchange the low bass is fuller through the Opera. In my book this characteristic makes for better synergy with the HD 650, together with more sparkling and airier highs as well as the clearly superior detail resolution.


Quote:
The very good impressions on the DAC are also sealing the deal for me. I’m hoping for a source + amp upgrade with the Opera. Would you say that investing in a decent digital IC is beneficial here? I already have the Blue Jeans digital IC which I use with the Zhaolu DAC, I'm feeling that it might not cut it here?
I can't adequately answer the cable question, since I don't own a dedicated S/PDIF cable, just use interconnects for this purpose. I compared a few with the Opera, but couldn't detect a clear change of sound. ICs through the analog line inputs make a more obvious difference to my ears -- it's fun to play with them and compare the sound of my UDP-1 with the integrated DAC. With some of them the analog signal from the McCormack sounds very close to the Opera's DAC, and actually that's also the characteristic I like best: a bit cooler and more analytical -- since the UDP-1 tends to the warm side of neutral. I've come to the conclusion that over-all the Opera's built-in DAC is of about equal quality as the UDP-1's.


Quote:
I hope Jan Meier takes on a project to create a balanced amp & DAC one day. The Meier Audio house sound would really be welcomed in the balanced headphone amp market & here in Europe - then I could get out of this place... well at least the amps forum!
I'm not sure if and to what extent a balanced amp design on the basis of the Opera would mean a sonic improvement; the Opera's active-ground concept is in fact a similar approach to «symmetrical drive». And from what I hear (with HeadCode DM and sft DynaMight as reference) it shows much of the corresponding virtues -- together with greater neutrality. Resolution and detail are outstanding, and after 240 hours of burn-in (which I consider necessary for full development of the sound!) there's not a single serious coloration left, to my ears.
.
post #212 of 424
Skylab, could you please compare the Opera to your SinglePower and possibly the Hornet (which you successfully recommended for me, thanks BTW.)? What are the differences and what about the Opera makes it better?
post #213 of 424
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ View Post

I've come to the conclusion that over-all the Opera's built-in DAC is of about equal quality as the UDP-1's.

.
Hurry up and get saint.panda over to verify this! Considering the retail/market value of the UDP, and the fact I'm hoping to use the Opera as a DAC, pre, and headphone amp, it has considerable potential to represent ridiculous value for audio $$$s.

Getting more excited by the day... Even If I don't like the DAC and headphone amp, but really like the pre, I'll be happy. The rest is a bonus..
post #214 of 424
Quote:
Originally Posted by onecm View Post
Hurry up and get saint.panda over to verify this! Considering the retail/market value of the UDP, and the fact I'm hoping to use the Opera as a DAC, pre, and headphone amp, it has considerable potential to represent ridiculous value for audio $$$s.

Getting more excited by the day... Even If I don't like the DAC and headphone amp, but really like the pre, I'll be happy. The rest is a bonus..
The only gripe I have with the Opera's DAC is its habit to produce ugly noises during reading of the CD in the CDP (which according to Jan is normal and inevitable with this DAC design) as well as more discreet cracks during track changes in Foobar and Winamp.
.
post #215 of 424
Gentlemen,

Just ordered my Opera today - it should arrive in about 2 weeks.

You're collective enthusiasm simply wore me down . You know what they say . . . the best way to avoid temptation is ... to give into it !

Special thanks to Reiner for the extended review and commmentary. I was leaning towards tube amp for my new W5000's and your experience convinced me to give this a try. Pictures and comments to follow upon arrival.

Cheers,
Garry
post #216 of 424
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdh View Post
Skylab, could you please compare the Opera to your SinglePower and possibly the Hornet (which you successfully recommended for me, thanks BTW.)? What are the differences and what about the Opera makes it better?
Well, in brief:

1. The Hornet is a great portable amp. But it's a portable amp. The Opera is better in every possible dimension.

2. I have a Singlepower PPX3. It is the most "tubey" sounding of all the Singlepower amps. Its very sweet and seductive with its incredibly lush midrange. It has the most lush, romantic midrange of any amp I own. It is not terrifically controlled on the bottom, and not terrifically transparent or extended in the highs, both of whuch the Opera is. The Opera also has a nicely lush midrange for a solid-state amp. So in some ways, the Opera is a solid-state amp a tube lover would appreciate. But it has the bass control and top-end extension I thin are generally out of reach with tube amps.
post #217 of 424
Quote:
Originally Posted by GarryH View Post
Gentlemen,
Just ordered my Opera today - it should arrive in about 2 weeks.
These two weeks will make you feel a long wait, don't know why Jan doesn't come with more options in shipping (I think some customers don't mind to pay more here). It has been 10 days waiting for my Opera, and I feel it as 3 weeks.
post #218 of 424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post
So in some ways, the Opera is a solid-state amp a tube lover would appreciate.
I like this comment.
post #219 of 424
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ View Post
The only gripe I have with the Opera's DAC is its habit to produce ugly noises during reading of the CD in the CDP (which according to Jan is normal and inevitable with this DAC design) as well as more discreet cracks during track changes in Foobar and Winamp.
.
Have you compared the USB input to the coaxial input? Is there any difference in SQ?
post #220 of 424
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ View Post
The only gripe I have with the Opera's DAC is its habit to produce ugly noises during reading of the CD in the CDP (which according to Jan is normal and inevitable with this DAC design) as well as more discreet cracks during track changes in Foobar and Winamp.
.

Yes, I have also noticed this when using the USB input. The DAC "clicks" - almost sounds like a relay switching. It doesn't bother me when I'm using headphones, but when I listen with speakers it does a little, since I sit less than 1M from the Opera.
post #221 of 424
I must wait 2-7 days for my Opera and I am not optimist My headphones are lonesome - I sold my Headfive to raise funds.
post #222 of 424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patu View Post
Have you compared the USB input to the coaxial input? Is there any difference in SQ?
No, I haven't A/B-compared it -- I don't have a long enough S/PDIF cable for my computer soundcard, so I just compared USB/Computer vs. UDP-1/coax, and this even implicates a room change, so the comparison is of little validity. All I can say is that the sound via USB/computer is very good, too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post
Yes, I have also noticed this when using the USB input. The DAC "clicks" - almost sounds like a relay switching. It doesn't bother me when I'm using headphones, but when I listen with speakers it does a little, since I sit less than 1M from the Opera.
In my case the sound comes through the headphones, and it's not subtle (the one during loading of a CD).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Omom View Post
I must wait 2-7 days for my Opera and I am not optimist My headphones are lonesome - I sold my Headfive to raise funds.
Poor boy! I'm sure you'll be rewarded for the wait (as I've been).
.
post #223 of 424
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ View Post
In my case the sound comes through the headphones, and it's not subtle (the one during loading of a CD).
[/COLOR]
I have never experienced that, but I have only used the DAC with USB.
post #224 of 424
I received my Opera on Thursday and spent the weekend playing with it. My immediate impression was that the Opera is like a good pair of sunglasses: when you put them on everything changes, but after five minutes your eyes (ears in this case) feel so much better for it...

Since the Opera has only ~40 hrs on it, I won't attempt to over-analyze what I am hearing and to compare it to other gear, but since no one has reported on the Opera/K340 pairing yet, I will say that together they sound incredibly relaxing: perfect combo to listen to with your legs up in front of a fireplace. To my surprise, I preferred the K340 plugged to the 120Ohm out and without crossfeed. Using the low-Z plug, the mids lost a bit of their magic, and crossfeed seemed to constrict the soundstage a tad too much.
A note for those who like tinnitus-inducing volumes: I listened to the K340 with the volume pot between 12 and 1 in high gain, and I could easily hear people talking around me. Even with the volume maxed out the K340 were just loud, but not unbearably so.
post #225 of 424
Quote:
Originally Posted by calaf View Post
I will say that together they sound incredibly relaxing
Hmmm. This comment and SkyLab's comment about it sounding very smooth has me thinking this is not for me. I'm in the market for a DAC, preferrably with an amp included, but I'm not ruling out a seperate amp. However, I'm looking for an exciting, agressive, dynamic sound. Any good alternatives anyone might know about? I don't know too much about DAC's yet.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphone Amps (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Opera – A first review