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Lehmann Black Cube Linear? - Page 2

post #16 of 55

So let's have another go at this then.

The argument that having them separate allows a lot more flexibility in the future sounds smart.

Proposed setup between Computers USB and HD 800:

 

USB -> HRT Music Streamer II -> BCL -> HD 800

 

 

Question: How close to the BCL can you place the DAC?

Can you use 10 cm cables or is there something to consider when it comes to spacing?

I wouldn't mind treating the BCL + Streamer as "one unit", so keeping them close together would be nice.


Edited by perer - 6/9/10 at 1:47am
post #17 of 55

I keep my Stagedac underneath the BCL. I tried a few placemnts but didn't notice the amp being especially sensitive to where the dac was placed. But with another DAC with potentially different power/shielding issues your mileage may vary.

 

post #18 of 55
Thread Starter 

The DAC is inherently inferior because it is USB, but not asynchronous USB. Normal USB performance is just not any good. The only devices that really do USB right are the Ayre, the Wavelength, and the Dcs. Those are all expensive units but utilize the streamlength USB protocol, which means that the source computer is slaved to the DAC's clock.

 

You can use it, but keep in mind you really need a better source. Otherwise, what is the point of the Lehmann amp and the 800 headphones? 

post #19 of 55

Yes, and the likes of the Ayre QB9 is paving the path for the future of computer audio.  Although we may see a splurge of the likes of the HiFace ansync USB to SPDIF converter to help those that have a nice dac without a proper audio grade USB input.  When it comes to the HD800, no chances should be taken - if you can afford a $1400 for a simple headphone then you can afford to feed it properly.

 

A Headfonia impression of the BCL.


Edited by SP Wild - 6/9/10 at 9:56am
post #20 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackstoneJD View Post

The DAC is inherently inferior because it is USB, but not asynchronous USB. Normal USB performance is just not any good.

 

So how about the HRT Music Streamer II/Pro, they use asynchronous USB protocols, does that make them ok?

 

Looking at the Ayre Acoustics QB-9 USB DAC, it has balanced outputs. Would it make sense to match that with a balanced Headphone Amp and run balanced HD 800?

Or would it simply be smartest to match a solid USB DAC with the normal Lehmann Black Cube Linear?

 

Thanks for the replies, learning lots over here!


Edited by perer - 6/9/10 at 10:23am
post #21 of 55
Thread Starter 
The asynchronous USB only means you probably don't have to worry about The USB implementation as being inferior to SPDIF. It may be superior. However, off setting this is the fact that the device is USB powered, very small and inexpensive which probably. Part of what makes the Ayre great is it's power filtering and analog componentry. It isn't just a question of computer chips and transfer protocols.

Here is what you should do. I would focus on amps and phones first, then the source. That means get the best amp you can afford now even if your source is absolute crap. The Streamer may be ok to fill in. If you go USB go asynchronous. Then when you can afford it get a DAC that is in the same league as your downstream components. Why? Because you won't get the benefit of an Ayre DAC without top notch downstream amps and phones. In fact with my crappy headbox se 2 amp I can't tell the difference between the ayre, dcs and soundblaster soundcard analog output. it is that much of a bottleneck. With my speaker and amp setup (threshold pre into bryston power amp) the difference is massive.

If you can only afford one thing at a time, get he Lehmann (or comparable amp) first.
post #22 of 55

hi all, i don't want to start a new thread over this, so i'll post here.

 

lately i've been experimenting with different gains of BCL. prior to testing, i was using 0db gain mostly because it gave me an easier control over volume with K701. i didn't expect there to be any differences among gains, but i was quite suprised by results. +10db gain sounds snapier, more neutral, with better resolution and PRaT. ambience details are more apparant, bass is better controlled and has better authority, although i perceived it in less quantities that in 0db gain(this may have to do with 0db gain having somewhat rolled off highs).  only negative aspect of sound i can think off is that soundstage shrinks compared to 0db gain.

 

on the other hand, 0db sounds softer and warmer, which can be of benefit with certain recordings, but i don't get the sense of clarity as i get with +10db gain. it almost sounds as K701 are underdriven in 0db gain. i don't have means to get volume levels matched between gains, so i was wondering if anybody else is experiencing this with their headphones. i'm pretty positive there is a difference but placebo can be a b*tch , especially if you can' match the volume levels.

 

what gain are you guys using with your headphones?

post #23 of 55


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dex85 View Post

hi all, i don't want to start a new thread over this, so i'll post here.

 

lately i've been experimenting with different gains of BCL. prior to testing, i was using 0db gain mostly because it gave me an easier control over volume with K701. i didn't expect there to be any differences among gains, but i was quite suprised by results. +10db gain sounds snapier, more neutral, with better resolution and PRaT. ambience details are more apparant, bass is better controlled and has better authority, although i perceived it in less quantities that in 0db gain(this may have to do with 0db gain having somewhat rolled off highs).  only negative aspect of sound i can think off is that soundstage shrinks compared to 0db gain.

 

on the other hand, 0db sounds softer and warmer, which can be of benefit with certain recordings, but i don't get the sense of clarity as i get with +10db gain. it almost sounds as K701 are underdriven in 0db gain. i don't have means to get volume levels matched between gains, so i was wondering if anybody else is experiencing this with their headphones. i'm pretty positive there is a difference but placebo can be a b*tch , especially if you can' match the volume levels.

 

what gain are you guys using with your headphones?


You're pretty spot-on.  Think of the dip switches as some kind of attenuator - the more you attenuate the more it sounds like an extra component in the signal chain.  Meaning the highest gain setting is indeed the most transparent - which is not always the best for less than ideal recordings, sources or phones.

post #24 of 55

I have found that +10 db works best with my HD800s.

post #25 of 55

+1

 

I have found that +10 db works best with my HD800s.

post #26 of 55
I want to get one, but don't want to pay full retail. Anyone found a discount in the U.S.? It seems to be out of stock at most dealers.
post #27 of 55

It's pretty challenging to find a discount for this amp. I tried to find a better price too but ended up paying the retail price.

You can also check some BCL clones here in forum. They cost about $270 shipped from China.

post #28 of 55

Some questions for you guys: 

 

How does the BCL with the HD 800 perform in the bass department?
Is that uncomfortable brightness present or is it a smooth, relaxing sound?
Would you recommend the BCL if to get the most out of the HD 800? 

No, I won't be able to try out the BCL, it's not available at retailers here...

post #29 of 55
BCL brings very controlled bass to the HD800. IMO, it does not smooth/warm up the sound, that's what's great about it. It's very neutral so you get what you put in. I like it so much I want to buy another for my bedside system.

I got a decent deal on mine. Paid $976 delivered, new.
post #30 of 55

I am very interested why anyone spend this sort of money wouldn't be looking for a balanced amp option?

 

The HD800s sound way better balanced as I am sure most competent headphones do.

 

Why wouldn't someone looking at spending this amount be looking at balanced options?

 

Regards

 

Macrog

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