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Tomahawk vs. Hornet M - Page 2

post #16 of 45
I'm basically getting the Hornet to do a little AB testing of my own. I have a friend that has some HD650's I'm going to use for the side by side test. Pick the one I like the best, sell the other, then order some Darth Beyer's probably
post #17 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by deej View Post
How many dirty looks from everyone at the gym did you get while switching amps and how productive was the workout.
Well, dirty looks, probably none, but when you're all wrapped up in this music thing one's perception of the outside world is limited. The thing is, at least where I live, I'm the only person I've ever seen with anything more than an iPod and some Apple earbuds. One or two guys have commented on my rig with the "what the hell is all that" incredulous kind of remark as they slowly back away from me. I expect most people think I'm carrying some kind of explosive. HeadFiers aren't members of my gym in Santa Fe, I guess!

The workout was kind of disjointed, but hey, at least I was there!

Serious thoughts, one week later. I keep telling myself I like the Hornet with IEM's ever slightly better, but I keep finding that after maybe 90 minutes I have to turn the volume on the Hornet way down, my ears are getting tired. The TH does not induce this listening fatigue. Could be for my situation and how I want to use these things, the TH is better. I've go maybe another 100 hours to go to reach the "magic" 400+ mark on the TH. Jury is still out as to which I'll keep.
post #18 of 45
Is there anyone that can add to there comparison?
post #19 of 45
am interested to hear what you lads have to say about driving the 650's with the TH. i have just bought some 650's and am now looking for a good amp. wasnt sure if i had to go with the hornet instead of the TH given that the Th is designed with eim's in mind..i would prefer the TH due to its size though..but only if it will drive my senns ok. its all kinda new to me but would appreciate the advice if some of you guys who have tried this stuff. how does the TH go with battery time on the he 650's?
cheers
post #20 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLS79 View Post
am interested to hear what you lads have to say about driving the 650's with the TH. i have just bought some 650's and am now looking for a good amp. wasnt sure if i had to go with the hornet instead of the TH given that the Th is designed with eim's in mind..i would prefer the TH due to its size though..but only if it will drive my senns ok. its all kinda new to me but would appreciate the advice if some of you guys who have tried this stuff. how does the TH go with battery time on the he 650's?
cheers
The TH drives the 650's just fine...even when the gain switch is on LOW.
post #21 of 45
ok thanks, i think i will get the th. thanks for your input.
post #22 of 45
Some more relevant notes I posted in another thread:

Romanee's TH developments re: TH vs Hornet…01/31/2007
post #23 of 45
use the Hornet for a week than switch to the Tomahawk and use that for a week IMO that will is a better comparison than switching back and forth as it's very hard to tell a difference and you will end up missing differences.
post #24 of 45
Thread Starter 
I originally started this thread, and while there have been many updates and comments in other threads, I felt this was the best place to record my latest conclusions.

Here's the bottom line: Tomahawk is the winner!

Let's start with me, my music, my components and my listening environment. I've been an audiophile for years, now in remission, settling on Levinson, Thiel and Kimber. I am a guitar player (acoustic now) and therefore listen mostly to guitarists, electric and acoustic. Blues and blues/rock are my faves (Jimmy Thackery, Sonny Landreth, SRV, early Clapton, etc.) but I also mix in "classic" rock (Rolling Stones, Who, Floyd), some pop (John Hiatt, Paul Simon, Alison Krause) and the occasional country tune. I listen to a fair amount of acoustic guitar, mostly blues. I don't really do jazz and don't listen to classical with headphones.

My current rig is an iPod 8gb Nano (all ALAC), to a Jumbo Cryo, to amp, to Westone ES2’s. The Nano is new (from a 5g 30gb iPod) but everything else has been in the chain for about 6 months. Both my Hornet M and TH have over 500 hours of burn in. I have EQ set to off. I have no other headphones and don’t plan on getting any (except as noted below).

I listen at the gym, usually 2+ hours per day, both lifting and aerobics. While this is a slightly noisy environment, the isolation on the ES2’s is nearly total, so I only hear very low levels of noise between songs.

When the TH first arrived my Hornet had around 450 hours on it and was clearly superior to the TH. Bass was far better, it was warmer, had better highs and was more engaging. I could follow individual instruments and vocals better and the “fun factor” was higher on the scale. Over time, as the TH burned in, I started to notice that the clarity, detail, “air,” soundstage depth and width on the TH was slightly better then the Hornet. TH bass was still noticeably less in both weight and punch, high frequencies were a bit less transparent and the TH was a bit cold or dry to the Hornet’s warmth.

At around 350 hours on the TH I still slightly preferred the Hornet, which was a disappointment. I really like the size and ease of use of the TH and really wanted to like it better, but my ears were telling me otherwise. The Hornet was more engaging, was easier the way a big powerful amp on a home system can be, you know, effortless and relaxed, the Hornet had more punch and life. The gap was certainly narrowing, quite a bit actually, but the Hornet was still ahead.

At about 400+ hours I found I was starting to actually like the TH as much - not more - than the Hornet, but for different reasons. The TH has a very deep and wide soundstage, there is wonderful clarity, imaging is remarkable good. Bass was still a bit lean compared to the Hornet, but was tight and had great definition. The trebles on the TH now matched the Hornet, extending way up without any glare or fizz. Cymbals, drums and all those percussive instruments were just right! I found I was selecting the TH perhaps 60% of the time.

I kept burning the TH (and the Hornet) getting both comfortably above 500 hours, I’ve lost count at this point. A few days ago something just clicked with the TH. Literally in a matter of a day it seemed the TH just came alive! Bass is now more than big enough, tight, focused, punchy and, most important, perfectly balanced with the rest of the spectrum. Guitars, vocals and all that midrange stuff is just heavenly. It’s a cliché, but I’m still hearing new stuff on songs I have been listening to since the late ‘60’s (really!) The TH has exceptional clarity and detail without the least bit of clinical focus, there is not the slightest trace of listener fatigue. Highs are superb. I keep going back to the soundstage, it is so wide deep, transparent and clear, it is just a revelation. The air around each musician is simply addicting.

Just to be certain I wasn’t having a good day with the TH, I’ve held off posting for a week to be certain the TH continued to sound good. It has. Yesterday I put the Hornet back in the chain and it actually sounded sort of bloated! Bass was too big for me, the mids seemed sort of mushy and indistinct and the soundstage was limited. The Hornet had just a bit too much warmth for me, just a bit.

Now, please understand, this is on my system with my music and my environment. While the Hornet is a fantastic product, I feel the TH is “better.” I’m frankly surprised, especially given my first impressions. I thought the TH would be a sonic compromise, great size, easy to use, cool package, but a little brother to the Hornet’s sound. Not so, not so at all. As an IEM user exclusively, my final conclusion is the TH is the sonic superior of the Hornet.

Final caveat: I will most certainly be getting the Westone Custom 3’s as soon as possible. I’ll be most interested to see how these two amps compare with a different set of IEM’s. However, given what I have right now today, the TH rocks!
post #25 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeBlues
Now, please understand, this is on my system with my music and my environment. While the Hornet is a fantastic product, I feel the TH is “better.” I’m frankly surprised, especially given my first impressions. I thought the TH would be a sonic compromise, great size, easy to use, cool package, but a little brother to the Hornet’s sound. Not so, not so at all. As an IEM user exclusively, my final conclusion is the TH is the sonic superior of the Hornet.
Please don't take offense to this, but I have to say it:

I hope you're being facetious! Posts like the above are exactly why things get screwed up on this site so fast! What purpose are you serving by posting that? You really have NO place to declare the TH, the Hornet, HR-2, SR-71, etc... a winner. I'm sure there are a number of people who will disagree with you, but please refrain from stating something as though it's fact and gospel.

The TH is not better than the Hornet, more than likely it's the same... All of Ray's amps share a sonic signature, but there are subtle differences that allow each one to stand out on it's own. Maybe with you're particular rig that is the case for you, I'm sure someone using a different combination with their hornet and TH would say otherwise.

People, please do not feed into this kind of post, judge for YOURSELF what YOU deem to be the best or the winner for YOUR ENJOYMENT!

Let's get back to enjoying the music and stop with all of this proclaiming and declaring what's the best nonesense...

I hope Ray sees this and comments, but more than likely he won't, because it's not worth his time to do so.
post #26 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morph201 View Post
Please don't take offense to this, but I have to say it:

I hope you're being facetious! Posts like the above are exactly why things get screwed up on this site so fast! What purpose are you serving by posting that? You really have NO place to declare the TH, the Hornet, HR-2, SR-71, etc... a winner. I'm sure there are a number of people who will disagree with you, but please refrain from stating something as though it's fact and gospel.

The TH is not better than the Hornet, more than likely it's the same... All of Ray's amps share a sonic signature, but there are subtle differences that allow each one to stand out on it's own. Maybe with you're particular rig that is the case for you, I'm sure someone using a different combination with their hornet and TH would say otherwise.

People, please do not feed into this kind of post, judge for YOURSELF what YOU deem to be the best or the winner for YOUR ENJOYMENT!

Let's get back to enjoying the music and stop with all of this proclaiming and declaring what's the best nonesense...

I hope Ray sees this and comments, but more than likely he won't, because it's not worth his time to do so.

So you've heard both and have opinions to share regarding their sound, or you just prefer to tell someone else not to express their opinions freeely?

The poster spent a lot of time comparing the two amps, burned them in and took the time to share his/her experiences. I think that is commendable and I for one enjoyed reading it. If the poster wants to proclaim that they think one is better than the other to them, that is their choice.

The Tomahawk is indeed a different sound from the Hornet, whether its the Hornet M or non-M Hornet as it is also different from the SR-71. And yes, I have all four amps that I've been listening to comparing the sound. I'd describe them as:
Hornet Non-M - Agressive
Hornet M - Puncy
SR-71 - High-Fi
Tomahawk - Intoxicating.

Which one is best...I don't know and don't know that I could ever declare a winner. I don't know that I'd want to. I enjoy each of them for different reasons at different times. They are all killer portable amps.
post #27 of 45
Thread Starter 
Morph - what part of "on my system with my music in my environment" didn't you understand? Further, why are you so insecure about your Hornet purchase that any contrary opinion is so threatening?

Man, chill out!

As to whether I am in a place to judge between the two, I own both, have listened to both extensively and consider myself an experienced listener. My rig is also good enough FOR ME to hear a difference.

Finally, I hope Ray does read my post. He specifically designed the Tomahawk for use with IEM's and his design is a marvel. My review is a compliment!

Geez...
post #28 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digihead
Which one is best...I don't know and don't know that I could ever declare a winner. I don't know that I'd want to. I enjoy each of them for different reasons at different times. They are all killer portable amps.
x2, very well said I agree 100%

Yes, I have heard them all, and have talked extensively with Ray about all of his amps... I knew my post would be taken the wrong way, but that's fine. I never said not to express yourself, I said proclaiming something BETTER or the WINNER does more damage than good.
post #29 of 45
No I'm not insecure, far from it.. Bahaha! I am chilled... trust me. Yes, ask Ray.. see what his stance is.. one is not better than the other or the WINNER. Maybe you should learn to choose your words in a more objective manner if you want to be a "reviewer" Anyway, we each said our words, now maybe we should move on to bigger and better things, unless YOU have a grudge? I'm willing to move on..
post #30 of 45
Thread Starter 
Fine - on my system with my music in my environment I like the Tomahawk better.

Satisfied?
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