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GoVibe V6 announced! - Page 12

post #166 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
I'd be very interested to hear a comparison of GV5 vs GV6 - both with the AD8620/8610 op/amps and the Elpac 24v. I guess no one has such a combination yet.
Me too, for purely scientific reasons, of course!
post #167 of 208
The V6 has a superior cap in it, from what I understand. The circuitry is a litle more refined than the V5 in certain aspects.

Don't quote me on this either (but since I have been pretty on target so far), it only seems to make sense that the V5 with 8620/8610 opamps will be dropped from the line, since the V6m does the exact same thing. The LM chips sound very different, and not nearly as good (IMO) as the 86xx combo, unless you prefer more prominent treble, less pronounced midrange and midbass, and a less accurate soundstage.
I don't mean to come across as negative towards the LM chips, as they do have their niche, and might work better with certain headphones... But with most things in high fidelity audio, once you hear something better, there is no going back --- which is exactly why I try to avoid auditioning setups that are better than mine, or at least more costly and ill affordable.

I also have a 12" Qables Silvercab on the way --- I'll let you know how that improves things even further, if at all.

GOOOOOOOOOO V6M CONSIDERERS!!!!
post #168 of 208
Ordered the Go-Vibe V6m today and the 24V Elpac power supply...can't wait for them to get here! Just what I needed, another amp!
post #169 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by IPodPJ View Post
The V6 has a superior cap in it, from what I understand. The circuitry is a litle more refined than the V5 in certain aspects.
Hey Phil, please be sure to let us poor V5 owners know what the cap is when you get it!
post #170 of 208
I'm putting my V6 w/ AD8397 through some listening tests before sending it back to Norm for the op-amp upgrade to AD8620.

Wow. What they say about not knowing how good your equipment is until you downgrade is completely true. I was blown away - by how incompetent it was, compared to 1 of my 2 main references, the GL LE. There's absolutely no way the V6 even begins to compete with that amp, as I immediately noticed a few severe deficiencies in comparison. The bass was simply not completely there - no drive, no lower-register to push weight and heft, didn't sound big and loaded. Mid-range was a bit sucked out, and while there weren't any glaring faults with the treble, it didn't impress me either. The only thing I actually liked initially was a large sense of space and air that it seemed to capture and dwarf the image with.

Sorry if this sounds like overly negative, I don't really mean it that way, it's just that I thought something from the latest round of portable amps would sound better than this. I guess I need to lower my standards now.

Oh and IMO, the AE-1 soundly beats the V6. The AE-1 has its own flaws but it presents a bigger, airier soundstage with greater width, and it doesn't have a sucked-out mid-range either.
post #171 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post
I'm putting my V6 w/ AD8397 through some listening tests before sending it back to Norm for the op-amp upgrade to AD8620.

Wow. What they say about not knowing how good your equipment is until you downgrade is completely true. I was blown away - by how incompetent it was, compared to 1 of my 2 main references, the GL LE. There's absolutely no way the V6 even begins to compete with that amp, as I immediately noticed a few severe deficiencies in comparison. The bass was simply not completely there - no drive, no lower-register to push weight and heft, didn't sound big and loaded. Mid-range was a bit sucked out, and while there weren't any glaring faults with the treble, it didn't impress me either. The only thing I actually liked initially was a large sense of space and air that it seemed to capture and dwarf the image with.

Sorry if this sounds like overly negative, I don't really mean it that way, it's just that I thought something from the latest round of portable amps would sound better than this. I guess I need to lower my standards now.

Oh and IMO, the AE-1 soundly beats the V6. The AE-1 has its own flaws but it presents a bigger, airier soundstage with greater width, and it doesn't have a sucked-out mid-range either.
DONT DIS MY AMP! If you do, it will make me want to buy a new one which is NOT good!

But anyways, how big is the difference between the V6 with 12v ps, and V6M with 24v ps. Is it really that big?
post #172 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post
The bass was simply not completely there - no drive, no lower-register to push weight and heft, didn't sound big and loaded. Mid-range was a bit sucked out, and while there weren't any glaring faults with the treble, it didn't impress me either.
Asr, with the headphones you were using for the audition (AD2K?), is there any amp powered by a single stock 9V battery that you've heard that makes the grade? I mean this as an honest question.

My experience with this amp and ER-4S is that the mids actually stand out as pretty exceptional, and that the lows have a lot of weight -- I should say, plenty enough weight to satisfy me, and more than some portables I've had, though admittedly I'm not that much of a lows-driven person. Even taking differing tastes into account that's a rather different impression, so I'm conjecturing that this amp's perceived performance may have a fair amount to do with what sort of a load it's driving. It may be that, all other things being equal, you simply can't do that much with a 9V battery and AD2Ks, but can do somewhat more with a 9V and Etys.
post #173 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post
I'm putting my V6 w/ AD8397 through some listening tests before sending it back to Norm for the op-amp upgrade to AD8620.

Wow. What they say about not knowing how good your equipment is until you downgrade is completely true. I was blown away - by how incompetent it was, compared to 1 of my 2 main references, the GL LE. There's absolutely no way the V6 even begins to compete with that amp, as I immediately noticed a few severe deficiencies in comparison. The bass was simply not completely there - no drive, no lower-register to push weight and heft, didn't sound big and loaded. Mid-range was a bit sucked out, and while there weren't any glaring faults with the treble, it didn't impress me either. The only thing I actually liked initially was a large sense of space and air that it seemed to capture and dwarf the image with.

Sorry if this sounds like overly negative, I don't really mean it that way, it's just that I thought something from the latest round of portable amps would sound better than this. I guess I need to lower my standards now.

Oh and IMO, the AE-1 soundly beats the V6. The AE-1 has its own flaws but it presents a bigger, airier soundstage with greater width, and it doesn't have a sucked-out mid-range either.
Which headphones did you use to test? I find the complete opposite with my GV6, in that it offers a significant punch in the lows and a nice bite with the mids. What are you using as a power source?

Isn't the AE-1 over 3x the cost of a GV6? Not sure this is theoretically a fair fight here. Although, I'd expect the GV's can hold their own with higher priced amps all day long.
post #174 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenzee View Post
Isn't the AE-1 over 3x the cost of a GV6? Not sure this is theoretically a fair fight here.
To my way of thinking there are three ways to look at the comparison, with possibly different answers to the "fair fight?" question for each.

1. All portables. Irrespective of cost, what compact portable amp will get me closest to my reference wall-powered sound? In other words, what's the closest I can get to a portable version of my home rig? From this perspective Asr's is a completely fair comparison.

2. Portables within a given price range. An important perspective for most people. And yes, the AE-1 is a lot more money. But the Go-Vibes have been inching up in price (especially once you add in the Maha and the power adaptor) and used AE-1s are inching down, so comparing them isn't really unreasonable.

3. Portables with a given power source. Aren't sound and price all that matters? Who cares what battery is inside? Well, I still think power source is an interesting perspective because so many portable amps are based on a single stock 9V battery, and it wouldn't surprise me a bit if that were just too marginal a power source for some combinations of headphone, source material, and sonic or volume preference. From this perspective the GV6 and the AE-1 (with some unspecified big lithium battery inside) can't be fairly compared.

I'm still interested in the latter comparison, though, because my personal suspicion is that the next big wave in portable designs is a move away from dependency on stock 9V's. Certainly it's a worthy challenge for any amp maker to build a 9V-powered portable that can compete in any serious sense with the (high quiescent current, warm to the touch) Gilmore circuit that would drain a couple 9V's flat in probably no time, coupled with a serious power supply. Not that I wouldn't love to see it done.
post #175 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by episiarch View Post
Asr, with the headphones you were using for the audition (AD2K?), is there any amp powered by a single stock 9V battery that you've heard that makes the grade? I mean this as an honest question.

My experience with this amp and ER-4S is that the mids actually stand out as pretty exceptional, and that the lows have a lot of weight -- I should say, plenty enough weight to satisfy me, and more than some portables I've had, though admittedly I'm not that much of a lows-driven person. Even taking differing tastes into account that's a rather different impression, so I'm conjecturing that this amp's perceived performance may have a fair amount to do with what sort of a load it's driving. It may be that, all other things being equal, you simply can't do that much with a 9V battery and AD2Ks, but can do somewhat more with a 9V and Etys.
I used both K701 and AD2000, the AD2K more though as it has much more bass quantity and extension. In comparing the V6 to the Gilmore Lite, of course I knew that the GL has a small bass emphasis. The ICs weren't identical either as the V6 has only a mini-plug input, but the difference to my ears was far greater than any IC would inflect.

I can't make any comparisons to other 9V battery amps, as the V6 is the only amp I've heard that uses one (I listened to Romanee's PV2^2 Maxxed via AC power only, bypassing the battery). I'm not a bass person either btw, far from it, but when it comes to evaluating audio performance, I shift my hearing from casual to highly critical, and my ears in highly-critical mode just didn't find the V6 impressed on any level when it came to the bass, at least at this point in time (the amp had 0 minutes on it until my listening session).

If I had to take a guess at this, I think the reason the V6 didn't perform to my expectations was most likely due to the battery power, as my main reference is AC power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenzee View Post
What are you using as a power source?

Isn't the AE-1 over 3x the cost of a GV6? Not sure this is theoretically a fair fight here. Although, I'd expect the GV's can hold their own with higher priced amps all day long.
Source was the Arcam CD73.

As for the comment on the AE-1 against the V6, I completely disregarded all thoughts about price between the two amps. Whether the comparison is fair or not is up to you, I did it anyway - the only thing I listened to compare was sound quality alone, in absolute terms as episiarch indicated as a possibility.

As for my negative opinion of the V6, I certainly don't want it to come across as harsh. I'm sure this is a fine portable amp for those who've never heard a good external amp. Hell, I started out with portables myself and I was really impressed back then. I think we all start out easily impressed though. As we all know upgraditis infects everyone, and it took me to AC powered amps pretty quickly, so I've lost sight and memory of the level of sound quality to be expected from portables.
post #176 of 208
My 8620 V6 arrived today, and this is an early impression, but I'm pretty delighted.

It's always a good sign when I'm giving a first listen to a new piece of equipment and get too absorbed in the music to change to my next test track. When I can scarcely force myself to interrupt the album, even to change away from a song I usually pay no attention to, it's always meant I've got my hands on something that will be a keeper.

With the ER-4S, the V6 occasionally achieves those moments of transparency when I actually think for a second that I've just heard something real out in the room, not a recording through earphones. The Gilmore Light achieves that for me from time to time, the V6 did once or twice, and most other amps never at all.

Highs are extremely transparent and clear. Mids sound very good. Bass power and impact seem rather weak to me, but I'm not a basshead so that's not a huge issue for me, and perhaps (I tell myself) it'll get better after a bit of break-in.

With the ER-4S, at least, this seems like the kind of amp I can get seduced into listening to far longer than I intended. I'm extremely pleased.

In contrast, the 8397 V6 that I took on vacation with me this weekend turned out to be a disappointment. Despite the fairly positive report I posted above, when it came to actually listening rather than auditioning - that is, when music rather than auditory analysis was my focus - I found I wasn't too crazy about it. No one thing was particularly wrong, but the overall effect just didn't give me the kind of goofy smile that my favorite gear does. It was a little too easy to turn off the music and just read in silence.

I don't know whether the 8397 to 8620 upgrade will sound better to all users and with all headphones, but it definitely works for me with the ER-4S. So far, at least, I think it's a very, very nice portable amp.
post #177 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by episiarch View Post
My 8620 V6 arrived today, and this is an early impression, but I'm pretty delighted.

It's always a good sign when I'm giving a first listen to a new piece of equipment and get too absorbed in the music to change to my next test track. When I can scarcely force myself to interrupt the album, even to change away from a song I usually pay no attention to, it's always meant I've got my hands on something that will be a keeper.

With the ER-4S, the V6 occasionally achieves those moments of transparency when I actually think for a second that I've just heard something real out in the room, not a recording through earphones. The Gilmore Light achieves that for me from time to time, the V6 did once or twice, and most other amps never at all.

Highs are extremely transparent and clear. Mids sound very good. Bass power and impact seem rather weak to me, but I'm not a basshead so that's not a huge issue for me, and perhaps (I tell myself) it'll get better after a bit of break-in.

With the ER-4S, at least, this seems like the kind of amp I can get seduced into listening to far longer than I intended. I'm extremely pleased.

In contrast, the 8397 V6 that I took on vacation with me this weekend turned out to be a disappointment. Despite the fairly positive report I posted above, when it came to actually listening rather than auditioning - that is, when music rather than auditory analysis was my focus - I found I wasn't too crazy about it. No one thing was particularly wrong, but the overall effect just didn't give me the kind of goofy smile that my favorite gear does. It was a little too easy to turn off the music and just read in silence.

I don't know whether the 8397 to 8620 upgrade will sound better to all users and with all headphones, but it definitely works for me with the ER-4S. So far, at least, I think it's a very, very nice portable amp.
This bodes very well for me. My 8620 Low Gain GV6 should be arriving very soon (damm those customs). I will be using my GV6 exclusively with my ER-4S, so let's see if we are hearing the same
post #178 of 208
That being said (from Asr).....

From my own use, and my own opinion(s), I think a superb portable amp like the GV6m + 24V Elpac is a perfect match for IEMs (especially high end IEMs). When it comes to full size cans, I'm sure home amps will deliver a much higher level of performance.
I personally love the tremendous detail that the triple.fi offer, and with every addition to my portable rig, they keep sounding better and better.
I just got my Qables 15" Silvercab iPod LOD today, and all I can say is WOW... a major improvement over my little ALO 6" Cardas cable basic iPod LOD... it almost delivers TOO much detail.. the treble is quite crisp, and I can see why people might prefer copper for this reason... but the spatial imaging and with this cable is just superb. Hans really knows how to make one hell of a cable, especially a 15" one for $83 + shipping. I'm sure in time I will buy an ALO 15" Jumbo Cryo for $220, too.
There are so many variables in this hobby/passion that the combinations and possibilities are limitless. Technology is always improving and you can always find ways to make your system sound better. I thought my system sounded superb at $600, now it's stellar at over $1,500..... will it take me another $20,000 to find true head-fidelity enlightenment? I certainly hope not. But this hobby is not one where we are easily content with our purchases. We have constant cases of upgraditis, which I wish the doctors could find a cure for.
Ultimately, someone will always have a better system than yours, but back to the topic at hand.... for $85 for the Go-Vibe V6m + $32 for the 24V Elpac, it's one of the best values around. Audiophiles tend to think that the more things cost, the better they must sound, and in many cases this is true but not always.. Sometimes you're paying for a more recognizable name brand with fancier engraving or pad printing on it, but the componentry inside of it might not sound as good as the less expensive brand.
In the end, your ears should be the judge -- and if you're satisfied with what you hear, the jury's out (until you get your next case of upgraditis, of course).

In response to the ones using your ER-4S, I have no idea how they sound so I can't comment in that regard. What I will say is that your stating that the V6 lacks bass couldn't be farther from the truth. The V5 had bass, but not great midbass. The V6 has superb bass overall. Perhaps it's your IEMs that need replacing. If you heard the amount of bass (and it's all clean, no distortion at all, as there is no audible distortion in my system anywhere) coming from my IEM of choice, your jaw would hit the floor. And I'm not being metaphorical either. I would have to slam your jaw shut with a sledgehammer.
post #179 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by episiarch View Post
My 8620 V6 arrived today, and this is an early impression, but I'm pretty delighted.

I don't know whether the 8397 to 8620 upgrade will sound better to all users and with all headphones, but it definitely works for me with the ER-4S. So far, at least, I think it's a very, very nice portable amp.
I find it especially interesting, even a bit curious, about how well the AD8620/10 synergize with the ER4S in one of Norm's 3-Channel designs. Both in a very limited edition 3-Channel Classic that I've got from a few years ago, and in the latest V6 with these same opamps, they both work especially well with the ER4S. I note above that this is a bit curious to me because the ER4S are often referred to by descriptions like "mercilessly detailed" or "unnaturally bright", and the AD8620/10 opamps are also generally described as providing "sparkle in the highs" or "liveliness", which might seem to be too much when paired with the ER4S. But, I agree fully that both of Norm's 3-Channel designs with the AD8620/10 are positively synergistic with the ER4S. It seems to me, from my listening, that these opamps provide a bass energy that is felt more and heard less than, say, with the AD8397. So, I'm not sure that I'd really say that the AD8620/10 provides LESS bass than the AD8397/AD825, but they provide abundant bass (at least for my tastes) the presence of which is experienced in a different way, and especially so with the ER4S which use the ear canal itself as a sounding board.

I'm also VERY happy with the increase in dynamics and lowering of the noise floor in the V6 with respect to the V5. The additional degree to which low-level, subtle sounds are more fully formed, more effortlessly present and more intuitively processed by the ear/brain (at least mine) makes for a considerably more lifelike and satisfying listening experience for me with the V6 over the V5 (and I'm a real fan of the V5). I was quite surprised to have heard this in the V6, but it is repeatable and unmistakable in my many listening sessions with both amps (using the same opamps). The V6 provides an entirely engaging and satisfying listening experience for me with the ER4S and the YUIN PK2 and PK1. It is showing itself to me to be one mighty enjoyable portable amp with a sound quality in the same listening satisfaction neighborhood as my higher-end (reputable mid-fi) amps and phones.
post #180 of 208

If anyone's curious....

Here is what my rig looks like, in case you are considering some purchasing. I photoshop'd the background and created paths around the objects (sorry, graphic artist lingo). However, getting the angles and objects set up just right was a major pain in the butt.



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