Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict
No, I have to disagree with you there.
The Livewires with Piccolino
Crystal Cable, running off an iMod or Macbook using a Headamp Pico DAC/amp, far outclasses my portable electrostatic SR-001 with Super Fat Cat mods.
I absolutely agree that the Piccolino sound is much fuller "like having a full size headphone on", and I told Steven I really regretted having to send the cable back but it was just too expensive. It is also superior to the other upgraded Livewire and Sennheiser cables available that I reported on in the past (Yes, I tested both). It was also very picky about the amp I used with them, and with the iBasso D2 the cable sounded thin and bright (or I had a stuck balanced armature driver that came loose when I cranked them up with the Pico). I suppose I should have tried the other amps more, once it sounded great with the Pico. What amp or source did you try?
Thanks for the pick-up on my spelling of Piccolino. (I reckon all of us tend to have certain words that trip us up in the spelling dept and, for some reason, Piccolino is one of mine
In relation to your comments I've also tried with the SuperFatCat SR001s and we definitely hear the rigs we're using differently. And that's just part of the game, really. I mean when I heard the Pico through standard cable Livewires it didn't particularly impress me - I preferred the RSA Predator at the time I was giving them both a go. I stuck with the Xin Supermicro IV, though, because although I believe it's slightly less 'true' in it's voicing, the characteristic it adds of widening the soundstage out, IMHO counterbalances the traditional closed-in headspace we tend to get with IEMs. Which is a way of giving you some context on how you and I might listen differently and no doubt make equipment choices differently as a result.
I did A-B of FLAC through iRiver H140, connected opticaly to iBasso D1 (Tried DAC Opamps LT6234 and LT6241), connected via Piccolino mini-2-mini to either Xin Supermicro IV/Piccolino Livewires T1 or SuperFatCat SR001 (all used regularly and warmed up for the comparison for at least 1/2 an hour beforehand). I also listened through my other preferred portable amp, the RSA SR-71 (original, not the SR-71a, which I am yet to hear).
After a few days with the Piccolino I just wondered how much closer my transportable non-electrostatic set-up had got to my transportable electrostatic set-up. Unlike your impressions, mine were that the SR-001s (even with their inherent weaknesses - topend roll-off, etc) produced an even cleaner overall image (which I know is saying something considering the Piccolino's 'clarity' strength).
I'm finding the Piccolino Livewires with my portable/transportable gear to find their limits in the top end (which is there but more recessed than the APS ER4Ps; and it's more than just the better lower/midrange detail they have over the APS ER4Ps - they definitely just don't deliver up there quite as well...it IS marginal, but it is noticeable to my ears at least
For me it's the midrange where the Piccolino delivers in triple spades - it just adds transparency to vocals like nothing else - sort of like the better RSA amps. In fact I'd reckon Ray would love it because its characteristics certainly remind me of the voicing characteristics of his amps. Same with that driving, punchy bass.
And, yes, I agree that one of the characteristics I find with the Piccolino is it does deliver quite truly what it is fed (IMHO this is what we are hearing in the way it synergises so well with some equipment and not so well with others). So if there's even a hint of brightness/thinness/other quite noticeable characteristic, the Piccolino will deliver that characteristic to you emphatically. In fact that term, 'emphatically', is really not bad at describing its characteristics. To me it simply reveals more, removes layers you weren't even perceiving previously, revealing musicality and dynamics and characteristcis of the recording and the other equipment feeding into it. I would not say it was forgiving.
And that, the revealing nature of it, in many ways is what I embrace. It showed me that the reason I'd chosen (for the first time in any audio decisions up to that point) the less detailed D1 opamp (the 6241) for my standard cabled Livewires was to retain a warmer, more bassy sound. But once I'd attached the Piccolino the revealing opamp (the 6234) just sounded ideal - all that it was detailing/revealing was flowing through to the T1s; and the other opamp sounded like an oversweet rich bass-laden sauce (Yes, I do like the occasional non-audio terminology metaphor - but that doesn't mean I'm not doing a serious assessment underneath that metaphor
And, as always, all of the above comments tell you as much, if not more, about me and my preferences as they do about this equipment. Like any of us, don't take my words as a gospel to be followed; just a fellow HeadFi-er's impressions of what works in synergy for the equipment I've chosen to use ATM on my portable audio journey.
And, HeadphoneAddict, I totally respect your difference of opinion on the SFC SR-001s (they also DO have their weaknesses obviously - not as good as a full size Stax Amp driving the same phones with a 5pin adapter for instance) but I do promote that you give 'em a second try - again, with a Piccolino mini-2-mini in the mix.
BTW, precsmo , nice pics of the HGA 30awg pure silver cable. I'm a silver fan and even without hearing it I'm sure you're gaining a whole new level of SQ from it.