Actually I'd better shut my mouth now.
But possibly you are interested how the evolution is going on...
The hardness is gone to a great degree, and the magic is back. Smooth mids again, the latent sharpness in the upper end obviously is undividable part of the sonic signature and perhaps even the trick to hypnotize the listener – balanced by and in cooperation with rather dark mids and now a very strong and deep bass. Thus the sound has become very organic. It's not more natural anyway, it's rather supernatural... Great musicality. Euphonic by all means. Every detail, every transient is delicately and deliciously overemphasized. In a way that has nothing to do with analytic sound (I agree with you, Arnaud
), which would stay on the surface. This sound reaches deep; it is highly emotionally envolving and of a touching beauty. And highly dynamic at the same time. Nevertheless I stand by my words: it's not quite natural or neutral, respectively. But I love it.kelly...
...thanks for your visit and your appreciation!
|Originally posted by taoster
I bet you'd be hard pressed to found any amp to match the HA-2's detail and speed. My only concern is if it may be shrilly, tinny and bright, while great for instrumentals but unnatural for vocals. i cant imagine what it would sound like being both detailed and lush.
Yes, that's indeed the case: it's both extremely detailed and lush. And in no way bright, but exceptionally expressive with voices. BTW, I wouldn't like to counter your bet...
|Originally posted by arnaud
In the end, I personnally believe this amp will rather reveal the character of the other components. If it's bright or thin, it must be somewhere else, no?
Maybe you forget that my reference is
the original sound from the DAC, and all my «complaints» refer to the deviation from it – while your belief is based solely on your love for your amp...
In case you doubt that the signal from the DAC's output can drive a headphone adequately, here some specifications:
It may seem as if the amplifier stage in the DAC ouput was a bit weak to be used as a headphone amp. On the other hand, it is designed to drive full level up to digital zero (2 volt in the case of my DAC2). You may be sceptic about its ability to work on low impedances (normal line level input impedances are around 30 kOhm). My DAC2 has an output impedance of 20 ohm nominal. Electrically it should be fine for all impedances above say 20 or 30 ohm. The one it has to do with here is between 200 and 500 ohm.
So far, so good. If this impedance is an issue, it will be shown with the amps running in parallel to the potentiometer. In fact there's no alteration of sound with or without the potentiometer hooked up when listening music through any of the amps, even when there's a headphone hooked up on it to test if there's any reactive electromagnetic induction from its voice coils.
When I use my AKG K 501, it's easy to find a moderate-level passage on any CD to turn the volume to the max. This means absolute no resistance in the signal path (this in case you base your doubt on impedance matching), but the sound character is unaltered to the one with any other volume setting; a tiny bass enhancement in the latter case is negligible.
All in all this is a strong chain of pieces of circumstantial evidence to prove that the direct path system effectively provides an unaltered reproduction of the source signal. BTW, given that there are considerable sonic differences between different amps it is no surprise that their corruption of the original sound is at least of a similar degree – save you suppose there's any über-amp and maybe the HA-2 just is it...JaZZ