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HT Omega "Claro Halo" Headphone Only soundcard - Page 25

post #361 of 372

I'm still using it.  My favorite sound card thus far for games.  Especially after OP amp swapping to ridiculous overkill levels.



post #362 of 372

Not score liked this soundcard by short frequency response, see these tests: http://sound-cards-review.toptenreviews.com/

post #363 of 372
Originally Posted by thechiquinhodj View Post

Not score liked this soundcard by short frequency response, see these tests: http://sound-cards-review.toptenreviews.com/


post #364 of 372
I recently got a Claro Halo XT for HTPC duties (movies mainly). I'm using a Harman Kardon Signature 2.1 power amplifier and Jamo C80 series speakers.

I want to roll some op-amps in it and I have some questions:

1) What's the voltage this card runs it's op-amps at?
2) I see there's an I/V and a buffer position on the HALO card and just three dual opamps on the XT daughter board. What do the op-amps on the daughter board do, I/V or Buffer?
2') If the do I/V, are those outputs buffered with another opamp/buffer? I want to run the same opamps/buffers on all channels if possible.
3) I noticed there are two buffer sockets, is one for the stereo out and one for headphones? If it is, it makes sense to use different buffers there ...

I was thinking about AD797BR on adapters for I/V (seems a safe choice) and for buffers I don't have any idea ... BUF634? Please specify if you actually tested the op-amp in this sound card if you recommend one ...

post #365 of 372
In the mean time I received some answers from HT Omega (which I might add, seem to threat their customers well and actually respond to questions well and fast). The answers:

- The Zout of the headphone jack is 8ohm.
- The Zout of the rca's is 150ohm. Both acceptable I think, unless you have Grado's and you like super tight bass.
- The card runs it's op-amps at 12V.
- The opamps on the XT are buffers.
- The recommend the LME49790NA and the OPA2132P. They have users reporting success with OPA627 (ha!) and users asking about AD797 but no reports with it.

So, can I use AD797 all around and BUF634 in the buffer position on the main card? What are some safe (tested) opamps for this card?

PS: Is this thread dead?
post #366 of 372

I am on the cusp of getting this sound card.  I do not have onboard S/PDIF on my motherboard, and I'm trying to use this for connecting to my Astro MixAmp with A40's, along with being connected to my speakers via RCA.  Also, I may be trying to capture sound via S/PDIF off my PS2 once I get a good video capture card.  My questions are, is this going to be good for that sort of set up?  Would I get better game sounds if I plug my headphones into the card (I didn't see Dolby Headphone supported)? 


My limitations on other suggestions are:

-It must be a PCI card

-I'm not moving away from my A40's.  They're easily my favorite headsets, ever.    

post #367 of 372
Has anyone used the 598s or MA900s with the Claro or Claro halo for gaming?
post #368 of 372

I recommend the LT1364 for this card, It really brings the midbass punch and it sounds for the lack of a better word, more analogue. It's miles better than the stock JRC4580D especially on headphones, I really didn't expect that from a simple opamp swap.

post #369 of 372

How ridiculous, I might have you beaten.

I have recently purchased the SS Audio discrete opamp.

4 of them from ebay. Looking forward to them coming in the mail soon.

post #370 of 372

Supreme Sound (Burson) Audio V5-OPA Dual Opamp Impressions with HT Omega Claro Halo


Let me start by stating that this is my first review of an audio product. I am an audio enthusiast, being that I spend tons of money on decent audio gear. I can tell what sounds good to me, and that generally falls in line with the general consensus amongst fellow audio enthusiasts. So take from this what you can, especially with my lack of audio vocab.


Equipment wise, I own/have owned HT Omega Claro Halo, K702, HD650, K550, Beats Studio, SE535 Reshelled (CIEM), Xiaomi Piston 2, TTPOD T1-E, Xuelin ihifi960, Blox BE03, Brainwavz S5, Bravo Audio Ocean, PreSonus HP4, Racoon SG-300. So I get a good sense of what I can get in terms of sound quality for the extra cost. My favourite combination is Foobar with ASIO playback to HT Omega to my K702. Source is very important, and most of my music is in FLAC.


The fact is, after upgrading from the stock JRC to Burr Browns, things got a tiny bit better. I only noticed that the music was a bit more dynamic, hence more bass. I didn't really think my ears can hear the difference of a "better" dac or opamp. My dual wolfson DAP was fantastic, but not significantly better sounding than my Claro Halo. So I thought, why not give opamp rolling another shot. Many people sang praises for AD797BRZ and Muse01/02, but they were all pretty expensive or sort of complicated. Either sourcing them or the authenticity. So I figured if I was going to spend big bucks (relative to the sound card $200), then I would go full out and try the Supreme Sound V5-OPA. I figured that would be the end game unless I really disliked their sound. There wasn't much information on the V5s, and what I did find was a bit vague and based on the V4. Reading through many forum gave me one simple conclusion. Burson Audio is a highly regarded/respected company when it comes to the quality of their products and customer service.


Purchasing these were very easy through Ebay. I purchased 4 of the Dual Discrete Opamps, and they were shipped out promptly. The delivery was a tad slower than their Ebay estimate, but their staff was very good to keep me updated.


When I first got these, I was a bit shocked by the size. It was a whole lot smaller than I expected, which is very good because I do not need to mod my case. Without moving the extension sockets that came with the V5s, the whole card is under 4cm. So it fits in dual slot format.


The test will be kept simple; I will be listening to 4 songs all in CD quality FLAC. I will be listening to the OPA2134PA,  then V5-OPA after 50+ Hrs Burn-in (I've read that it does make a bit of a difference)


Song Selection

1. Lady Gaga - Starstruck (Feat. Space Cowboy @ Flo Rida)

Massive bass in the beginning with lots of synthesized notes


2. Simon and Garfunkel - The Sound of Silence

An older simple recording with great vocal harmony and instrument accompaniment


3. Within Temptation - Somewhere(Black Symphony)

My favourite female-female duet, live with symphony


4.Andrea Bocelli - Dare to Live (Vivere) Duet with Laura Pausini

I love duets and harmonies, you probably already caught on. Andrea and Laura's Vivere just contains pure pleasure covering highs and lows. The strength and the beautiful placement of their notes is just breathtaking.



Lady Gaga - Starstruck (Feat. Space Cowboy @ Flo Rida)

The bass in this song is very powerful, with good impact. It reaches very low and vibrates in a way that makes you really feel it. Though strong, it is quite muddy in the sense that you KNOW it's there, but it is not tight enough to precisely know exactly when one bass note ends, and   another starts. Nevertheless satisfying, like when I first heard the Beats by Dre Studios. The high synthesized notes are very delicate, and accurately observable within the soundstage. They bounce around with great energy, but they are what I would call "sharp" to my ears. Whether the correct term is harshness; it's just that they fatigue my ears very quickly. Overall, this song is not as enjoyable on this system as out of a phone into the Beats Studio. It is just not very musical as the voices and the synthesized notes do not merge well; and each element sounds like they are doing their own thing.


                Simon and Garfunkel - The Sound of Silence

This song starts for me with very unique presentation. The piano lightly enters near center, then followed by the guitar from far right, almost 3 O'clock. Then comes in Simon and Garfunkel from above center; I have always described it as if they were singing to us from heaven. Right after 30 seconds, the guitar becomes louder and moves toward 1:30, then enters the percussions. Once again, I find the guitar high notes to be quite sharp/harsh to my ears. I also find that the instrumentals lack detail; I know they are there and the notes that are played, but it doesn't sound like I'm right there in the recording room. This might be a bit high expectation, but I find many songs to give me this kind of pleasant presentation. Overall, the instruments just do not sound real to me. In a way, it could be that most of my complaints are just that the K702 are sometimes just too analytical for some recordings.


                Within Temptation - Somewhere(Black Symphony)

Even though this was mixed from a live concert, the soundstage feels intimate and close. Parts of the song you can tell that there are cheering fans and such, and those moments broadens the soundstage. Aside from those moments, it feel like you are the only audience onstage as these amazing vocalists sing to you. The only negatives comes from the instruments again; it just sounds like the symphony and other instruments are behind a curtain, and a bit too far away from the vocals.


                Andrea Bocelli - Dare to Live (Vivere) Duet with Laura Pausini

The song is simply stunning to the ears. The piano notes are very clear and realistic. Their voice is just so powerful and rich. The cymbols are light and crisp. The instruments are very much involved in the song, just must softer to let the voices shine; therefore, there isn't much bass to discuss here. At this point, it seems like we see the pattern that the highs extend well, but in a way that is just too sharp/harsh.



                Lady Gaga - Starstruck (Feat. Space Cowboy @ Flo Rida)

This song received two major changes after the swap; and both to me are improvements. First the bass became much tighter/quicker which cleaned up the low end significantly. It made the OPA2123PA sound bloated and lazy; however, it almost feels like the song is progressing a little quick. I don't quite understand that observation, but I do find the song more energetic. Second, The high synthesized notes seemed to sparkle a little more, whatever that means... I guess it could be a little more detail, but mostly the sharp/harshness has been removed. Lastly, the        soundstage seemed to have tightened a bit. Just a little so that a lot of the notes and voices are overlapping in source; this created a more musical listening experience.


                Simon and Garfunkel - The Sound of Silence

The instruments gained a fair bit of detail; where the individual percussion hits differentiated    from each other, and the guitar notes had a lot more natural string sound. It doesn't make these instruments the best sounding I have ever heard, but it is a great improvement over the OPA2134PA. Another example is how it is easier to differentiate the kick drum from the low bass notes.


                Within Temptation - Somewhere(Black Symphony)

Even though the voices were already very well presented, the V5s made them just a little more intimate and immersive. The "curtain" / extra distance between the instruments and singers have been significantly diminished. The band/symphony is still behind Sharon and Anneke, they just complement each other better. The highs do not sound sharp/harsh at all, but it may even sound a little pulled back. I have not decided whether that is an improvement or not.


                Andrea Bocelli - Dare to Live (Vivere) Duet with Laura Pausini

This song was already pretty perfect coming out of the OPA2134PA, it has been simply refined by the V5s. The V5s are just able to pick up a little more detail, and control the highs better.


In summary, I feel that my observations of the 4 songs between the 2 opamps are very consistent. I did not notice any significant differences of the 50+ Hrs break in. The highs were simply too harsh coming out of the OPA2134PA, and were removed completely (if not a little bit pulled back) by the V5-OPA. There was significantly more detail retrieval from the V5-OPA, and the bass is more controlled. The bass did not lose any impact, just cleaner. Ultimately, I am a value based guy so I must talk about cost. These opamps costs $130 per pair, about $70USD each after shipping. Together they cost more than the sound card that they go in. It feels more like a transplant, instead of a minor upgrade. The key point to note is that, I cannot imagine life without my HT Omega Claro Halo. I just love its sound and capabilities. So if I had the money (Obviously I found some), I would definitely do this upgrade. No regrets.


My next upgrade to my sound system, which may be my end game would be a OPPO BDP 105 with KEF LS50. But that will be when I get a major promotion :P


Thanks to anyone who stuck with me until the end of this review.


Here's the link to the OPAMP Thread. MORE PICTURES THERE



post #371 of 372

I have the XT and I swapped all 7 opamps. I had burson opamps in a previous DAC and they were good, but for a sound card it's probably not worth it.

post #372 of 372

Well, You tell me what will make it worth it, and I will see if it's affordable :p

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