KILLING FIVE BIRDS WITH ONE POST:1) Replying to a previous question again:
Shipping on the Headstage Lyrix USB DAC Pro Total only took 7 days from time of order, 6 of which was shipping. Luftpost is getting faster. My Meier HEADSIX arrived in 6-7 days too.2) I have that promised DAC Cable Review
posted here http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f46/re...-lyrix-265223/
- I listened to the Headstage (penguin) external (and internal) USB DAC with the Meier Headsix amp, the D1 amp, and the Headstage Lyrix Pro Total amp (with and without internal DAC). [EDIT - fix links after the great crash of 2007]3) The Lyrix (commercial version of the Caffeine) has three options that can be combined in many different ways
. If you get the Lyrix Total Pro, you can add the DAC cable later for about $39 shipped. This gives the same sound, but a lower entry point.
There is the basic model, just called "Lyrix".
"Pro" adds bass boost, crossfeed and gain.
"Total" adds nichicon finegold caps, socketed opamps, and 4 channel circuitry.
"USB" adds the DAC section.
Only after I recieved mine did I discover the newest feature of the Lyrix that I have. It is the ABILITY TO RUN THE AMP WITH AC POWER WITHOUT HAVING TO REMOVE AN ALKALINE 9V BATTERY - THERE IS A NEW SWITCH IN THE BATTERY COMPARTMENT TO TURN OFF THE CHARGING CIRCUIT!4) I've bought and listened to the Headstage Lyrix USB Pro Total and it does everything the Caffeine does, just better.
I have returned the D1 to stock for the comparisons that I needed to do.
(a) Without any burn-in, the Lyrix Total amp section is definitely better than an iBasso D1 when stock,
(b) the stock D1 DAC section is better than the Lyrix DAC or external USB DAC,
(c) BOTH DAC's are better than analog input, and
(d) I haven't tried the "modded" D1 with rolled opamps (amp or DAC)against the Lyrix or Headsix yet.5)If you get a Headstage, instead of Caffeine Pro with bass boost, DO the "total" and "pro" amp section options:
(a) Why "Pro" option package - bass boost, crossfeed and gain only comes with the "Pro". I didn't need this until I tried the Er6i, then I had to flip the bass boost switch - the ER6i don't sound as good in the D1 or Headsix as they do with bass boosting amps (unless the D1 is driving them via it's DAC). I also find the gain switch to help drive the HD600 to louder volumes - something the D1 can't do without rolling in new opamps. I am still undecided on crossfeed, as I am having difficulty detecting a difference when on or off. The other two features however are a "no-brainer".
(b) Why "Total" option package - sound. The 4 channel circuitry and finegold caps make a difference, and not once was I feeling the need to use bass boost or crossfeed to "improve" the sound when using HD600, Livewires, or HD25. It's like adding the best of the Royal and Caffeine together, and then some.
(c) Why "Total" reason number two - opamp rolling. While I like the more forward yet wide open presentation of the Meier HEADSIX a little better, the socketed opamps in the Headsatge "Total" version will allow me to try different opamps in my headstage. I can try to attempt to achieve the type of imaging that I prefer, like I am doing with the D1. The Headstage is already closer to my goal than the stock D1, which it beats hands down. I have not been able to try Lurix stock vs the "modded" D1 yet, and that wouldn't be fair if I couldn't likewise roll the Lyrix opamps.
I have 6 different LR opamps to try, 3 or 4 different pairs of buffer opamps to try, and 3-4 different DAC opamps to try. I have only tried the OPA2111 and AD8397 in the D1 so far, with AD8656 in the DAC, with huge results. The Headstage uses the AD8397 like the Caffeine and Royal, but I don't know if the HEADSIX uses the AD8610 like the Move, and I don't care because it's amp section sounds good just as is. The Lyrix is just as good, just "different" in the sound-stage presentation, while the stock D1 is a little too distant.