Originally Posted by ZackP
Has anyone used a Xin amp with the livewires?
Supermicro IV, Xin Supermini IV (AD8397 (LR), AD8397 (3/4), Bypassed (Buffers) - which was when I was into opamp rolling and this was the best I got to so far) and Xin Supermini III (AD8656 (LR), AD8616 (3/4), Bypassed (Buffers) - when I wasn't into opamp rolling and didn't like the result so I sold the amp
).I am very strong on stating that a portable system's assessment for SQ needs to be considered in the light of the overall componentry used because synergy IS a factor.
That said, for me, using FLAC, iRiver H140 lineout, FallenAngel silver mini-2-mini, through the Amp to the Livewires I found the Supermicro most to my liking. Slightly coloured with slight inbuilt reverb but broad soundstage and solid across full bass/midrange/treble. Supermini IV even more neutral but not as broad and definitely not as deep a soundstage. Supermini III wasn't good for me with those opamps.
(Wish I'd considered opamp rolling at the time
But that is all for me
equipment. For instance if I throw the iBasso D1 DAC between the iRiver optical out and the silver ICs the signature is far more aggressive than the softer iRiver lineout. It has got thing to do with the amps or the Livewires - but it definitely changes the degree of enjoyment of each of the amps. So although any amp advice is a handy general
guide (my own included), the overall system synergy and your own personal preferences
are heavy factors not to be discounted.
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict
I found the Tomahawk was not the best with LW while it was tremendous with SE530.
The Meier Headsix switched to low gain, and RSA Predator are my favorites with LW.
The Pico and iBasso D2 are very close as well, and Lyrix and PenguinAmp and D1 are close behind those as well.
Just for some reason the Tomahawk was a little harsh and grainy with LW, but good with other IEMs I have.
See my comments above on amp recommendations in personal perspective.
My perspective is agreement with HeadphoneAddict on the Meier Headsix being very good, although I regard the Supermicro IV, SR-71, Headamp Pico, Panasonic cap Mini3, and even the iBasso D1 (Modded - LT6241 (DAC), THS4032 (LR), LMH6655 (Buffers)) to be in the same company (considerably different sound signatures across that bunch but all very good and enjoyable).
I find the Tomahawk, like the two Hornets (non-M and M) to be a little behind in (my preferred) SQ. The Toma is a full rendition but lacks the natural roundness of its bigger brothers. It sounds less real than them. The Toma is good sounding but lacking a little realism, with some bunching/slight veiling of detail. Vocals are upfront like the Hornet but this is, strangely, mixed with a less articulate, more distanced, reproduction of the other sections of the spectrum. It's not as plain flat as the Z-Audio Lambda, it still has plenty of instrument body, but it is flatter/plainer than its siblings. (And yes this unit is very well burned in - over 1000 hours
). The Toma's Bass is a hint drier than the Hornet M. In fact everything is just a 'touch' not quite as full/rich/detailed/there. It's an exceptional sound output for such a small amp, but I
prefer the Hornet M in the smaller RSA amps (yet to try a burned in Predator). (And I am aware of others who have compared my Hornet M and Toma and chosen the Toma with their Livewires so that, to me, confirms my comments on the importance of synergy and personal preferences
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict
Does anyone else think it is strange that I have 3-4x as many hours on my $250 Livewires as I do my $1,500 Edition 9 headphones?
NOT AT ALL. I repeat, NOT AT ALL.
Not only are they terrific for portability and late night whilst the wife is sleeping alongside, they are so delightfully neutral, easy to use and comfortable for extended periods that it is only natural to reach for them.
Sure, they don't deliver what my Stats deliver, but the Stat amps need warm-up time and the headphones need much more care than the Livewires. Don't get me wrong, I cherish every electrostatoc moment I can get. But too often I, like HeadphoneAddict, have Livewires in my ears due to the surrounding circumstances.