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post #3226 of 3420
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smeckles View Post

 

 

Not sure what good will come of this, but in rearranging my listening area, I got most of the components together in one room for a family photo.

 

The panels are Maggie 3.7s

 

The stand is Solid Tech; top to bottom:

SPL Phonitor

ASR Emitter II Blue amp

EMM Labs DAC-2X

EMM Labs CDSA

Cavalli Liquid FIre

ASR Battery power supply

 

In front:

SR-009s

HE-500

 

Left of the stand (top to bottom):

Aristaeus

Aristaeus power supply

ASR power conditioner #1

ASUS tower serving as music server via JRiver and JPlay

 

Right of the stand:

 

ASR power condition #2

 

Wiring, cables and power are Nordost and Shunyata

 

Missing are the Grados, the Yamamoto  HA-02 and various other knick-knacks.

My dream setup, maggies and sr009

post #3227 of 3420

I love dust covers like that. I used to have some similar stuff for all stuff. Amps, headphones, etc. Gorgeous set up. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HugoFreire View Post

 

As for the last one...I noticed the 3.7s first. Make me drool every time.

post #3228 of 3420
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smeckles View Post

 

In front:

SR-009s

HE-500

 

 

 Beautiful set up. How would you compare these two hp's? Is it a case of one is fun and the other serious?

post #3229 of 3420
Quote:
Originally Posted by LugBug1 View Post

 Beautiful set up. How would you compare these two hp's? Is it a case of one is fun and the other serious?

It's not that big a deal so I didn't pursue it but this was kinda what I was getting at earlier.

post #3230 of 3420
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtaylor991 View Post

It's not that big a deal so I didn't pursue it but this was kinda what I was getting at earlier.

 

OK, didn't mean to not answer in more detail. 

 

As you can tell, I have a personal bias towards the open frame, thin diaphragm, very coherent type of sound as opposed to the slam and impact of dynamic driver systems.  So while the 2 channel and the two headphones systems listed are cut from the same cloth, they're more like pieces of a whole rather than rivals.  Not sure if that makes sense, but I really don't compare them critically.  I use each one to get what I need from the listening sessions.

 

The SR-009s resolve recordings so far beyond anything else I've heard, that listening to them is really a full time activity; they demand my full focus.  That kind of transducer is merciless on flawed recordings, so I usually keep them connected to the EMM Labs directly.  (My opinion on the EMM Labs stuff is below and spoilered since I think not everyone wants to read that).  But when the recording and source are right, there really is nothing I can compare it to short of a live performance.  Not having heard the the HE-90s myself, I cannot criticize the SR-009s simply because I've not yet heard a better headphone system for recorded music. (HeadAmp's Justin Wilson gets a huge hat tip in that direction also.)

 

With that in mind, the HE-500s allow me to get a desktop version of the open sound that is not so critical of details and allows my listening focus to drift if I choose to let it.   I can also be more flexible with sources, e.g. I can connect the HE-500s to my portable rig (IPod, CLAS and GoVibe Porta-Tube+) and get great desktop sound on the road. 

 

The question that may (or maybe not) be asked is: how close does the HE-500 get to the SR-009s? And, watch me evade that with a "how can I answer that objectively given my biases"?  Subjectively: I don't feel there's a huge gap between the two, (again, I don't really compare them under controlled conditions;  maybe I can do that this weekend and report back?).  Put a number on it: well over 80% of the way towards SR-009-level performance seems about right (maybe up to 85%?), but those last percentage points make a big difference.  This is not a knock on HiFiMan at all.  In fact, I mean it with a "how-did-Fang-do-that-at-that-price-point?" kind of slack-jawed awe.

 

What you do get from the HE-500s are more flexibility, much lower cost (for the cans as well as the system behind it) and in some ways a more relaxing sound, if you get my meaning.  It's why I choose to use them for listening while working.  I really don't notice the differences as much but still get most of the enjoyment from the music.

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

EMM Labs gear notes:

I listened to a lot of DACs over the past year and posted on this forum in various threads and PMs about them.  All were good and could have fit into my system.  But when I heard the EMM Labs gear, I stopped searching.

EMM Labs is detailed and beautiful sounding but I would not call it "neutral" the way I feel the Berkeley's Alpha 2, Antelope's Zodiac Gold or even AMR CD-77 are.  Those three are clean and clear and "truthful" to the source recording, almost to the point of excess.  Flaws like sibilance and compression sound shrill and awful through those DACs. There's no smoothing done by the hardware; if the recording sucks, you'll know it.  On my system with one of those 3 as a DAC, you won't want to listen to mp3s below a 256k bit rate, just as a minimum threshold to listen.  Lossless is a much better proposition, but you're still at the mercy of the recording engineer.

The EMM stuff editorializes in the most subtle of ways. I've heard the "clean and clear" of the sigma-delta style chips and design used in the above DACs.  I know what it sounds like in my system.  And the EMM gear gives me the best of that "c&c" sound with more added.  It's the "more added" part that some listeners may not like.

Using only lossless tracks of "poor" recordings or dynamically compressed music, the EMM seems to tame the shrillness and tempers the peaks enough to make me listen to recordings which would otherwise have me running for cover.  The best example I use is Florence + the Machine's track "Seven Devils" off the album "Ceremonials".  The noises of wind and her voice during the crescendos are brittle and make me cringe throughout the track, despite it being a really enjoyable song. At a high-end local store, I played this track through a $300k all Mark Levinson and high-end Revel multi-channel system and walked out before the track finished. 

Put the same track through the EMM gear and there's the "c&c" openness in the recording, but the brittleness is buffed and replaced with a more continuous (and emotional?) sound.  I hate to sound melodramatic about this, but for me it breathes a certain life into the recording that is missing though a lot of other gear. 

Price aside, taste-wise (is that a word?) - it's not gear for everyone.  There is an EMM Labs "house sound".  You like it or you don't.  But it's not "neutral".  For my system, the surrounding gear is what I would call coherent and detailed.  If my DAC had the same qualities, I think my listening notes would often use words like "cooler", "clinical" and on a lot of tracks, "emotionless".  And of course there are whole sections of my music library which I could not listen to without grinding my teeth or doing an impersonation of Tyll Hertsens' infamous Ultrasone Ed 10 review on YouTube.  A case of "good equipment gone bad ..."

I have not listened to the Bricasti, MSB, Esoteric or Resolution's Cantata, so I can't compare them.  But I would expect them to have their own pluses and minuses.  Are they "better"? At this performance point, I think it's all subjective; that there is no absolute truth.  My POV is that I am no longer in the market for a DAC and can't see that changing anytime soon.

post #3231 of 3420

This is not my system (I wish), but my close neighbor's. I posted some pictures of it in another thread, but I figured you guys would want to see it (i've posted with his permission). The speakers are pair of the Acapella Triolon Excalibur:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by jackskelly - 1/29/13 at 6:45pm
post #3232 of 3420
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackskelly View Post

This is not my system (I wish), but my close neighbor's. I posted some pictures of it in another thread, but I figured you guys would want to see it (i've posted with his permission). The speakers are pair of the Acapella Triolon Excalibur:

 

Cripes!! eek.gif

post #3233 of 3420

That's heck of a setup. Geez OCD much with the cable as well, I see custom wood cable supports......

post #3234 of 3420

after u spend a certain amount of money on your setup, its required to get the best out of your system. it reduces vibrations which improve overall transparency and imaging.

post #3235 of 3420
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackskelly View Post

This is not my system (I wish), but my close neighbor's. I posted some pictures of it in another thread, but I figured you guys would want to see it (i've posted with his permission). The speakers are pair of the Acapella Triolon Excalibur:

May i ask, what turntable is that?

post #3236 of 3420
Quote:
Originally Posted by feigeibomber View Post

May i ask, what turntable is that?

 

The company is Rockport Technologies. I'm not sure exactly what model it is though, I'll ask him next time I see him.

post #3237 of 3420
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackskelly View Post

 

The company is Rockport Technologies. I'm not sure exactly what model it is though, I'll ask him next time I see him.

 

Probably a Sirius.

post #3238 of 3420
Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post

700


700


Past, present, and future. All in this photo.
Funny I see no Harbeths in this shot.
post #3239 of 3420

^ Lol.

post #3240 of 3420
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuwhere View Post

 

Probably a Sirius.

 

That's not a Sirius.

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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Summit-Fi (High-End Audio) › High-end Audio Forum › Pictures Of Your High End System (Please see the first pages for examples of what should be posted here)