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Official Audio-gd Sparrow thread - Page 18

post #256 of 725
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy*Carl View Post




Thats stupid, post it anyway.



Mate you are here still

post #257 of 725


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FallenAngel View Post

Wow, the comparisons made here...  I'm expecting the Sparrow to dominate against onboard laptop.


I bought it specifically to use with my Laptop because of it's diminuitive size.  My Laptop(SAGER NP8120) has some type of Realtek HD chipset. Gaming Laptop with (2) Nvidia GTX 285's in SLI mode, 18.4" LED Screen, 1.7 TB HDD, RAID, BDROM, etc, etc.

 

Absolutely Toasts the onboard sound in output power, clarity, bass, extension, detail, you name it.  I'm feeding SPDIF COAX off the Laptop to the DAC in the Sparrow.

 

Last Laptop I just got rid of a few weeks ago was a 17" MacBook Pro.  Onboard sound on it was "ok", but didn't handle my cans anywhere near how the Sparrow is doing now.


Edited by les_garten - 6/9/10 at 9:29am
post #258 of 725

I've had at least 80 hours on the wm8740 module now. Here are my thoughts, mainly using stock optical cable out of my iriver h120, stock 6 ft power cable out of the wall, and DIY $15 headphone cable made out of 24awg and 25awg canare wires. I have also tried with more expensive accessories to try to get a better handle of the difference between the two dac modules.

 

I think the ad1852 is quite a lot more accurate in retrieving micro-detail and presenting it in a neutral, controlled/serious, and slightly upbeat/quick way. There is less depth in soundstage, and a more predictable soundstage, which lets you grasp the whole song with like a bird's eye perspective. For most people, this is the module I would recommend, because it gives you lots of neutral detail. However, if you don't particularly enjoy having micro-details pop up everywhere, or prefer to have more of an emphasis on emotion, the wm8740 may be preferable. The only drawbacks I think it has is less soundstage depth, and it is a little quick with its emotional expression, during some occasions I have felt the musicians just wanted to do a "good job" and collect paycheck and go home :p but it's a slight deviation from what I feel would be perfectly neutral.

 

Wm8740 retrieves more emotion, but less easy to intellectually understand the whole picture because it is not as good as ad1852 in maintaining complex low volume details, or in capturing the full frequency bloom of drums, and such things in the background sometimes get smeared and feel out of place. It lets you hear more depth and meaning behind the main instruments and voices, with songs with a lot of emotion, the wm8740 is impressive. Two other good things I see about it is it does have more spacious soundstage, and a more polite high frequency. Those who don't care about neutral and accurate representation of detail, or prefer more rich, complex and deep emotional meaning over raw detail (especially for songs that don't rely on background instruments or sound effects), the wm8740 will please you more.

 

Wm8740 I would recommend to fewer people because most people getting a sparrow probably want a preponderance of detail, and accuracy across all the frequencies, which the ad1852 offers. But if detail and accuracy aren't your priority, consider wm8740.

 

Ordered the dir8416 module yesterday, will probably give my opinion on it in 2-3 weeks.


Edited by haloxt - 6/9/10 at 9:24am
post #259 of 725

Nice review. Can you compare Sparrow also to other gear you own/owned/heared?

post #260 of 725


Haloxt, this is extremely informative.  Thank you.  I don't have the 8740 module for the Sparrow to compare to, but I do have the iBasso D4 w/ its dual 8740s.  I haven't listened enough to offer the level of detailed commentary you've given, but my initial tests, at least with my 580s, make it sound like the D4 is more like your 1852 on the sparrow - it's a bit more punctual, but slightly fatiguing, not necessarily more detailed.  I don't think I like it as much.  But again, I don't trust my old 580s as a reliable source for these fine judgments.  I should have my JH13s back next week, and then we'll see.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post

I've had at least 80 hours on the wm8740 module now. Here are my thoughts, mainly using stock optical cable out of my iriver h120, stock 6 ft power cable out of the wall, and DIY $15 headphone cable made out of 24awg and 25awg canare wires. I have also tried with more expensive accessories to try to get a better handle of the difference between the two dac modules.

 

I think the ad1852 is quite a lot more accurate in retrieving micro-detail and presenting it in a neutral, controlled/serious, and slightly upbeat/quick way. There is less depth in soundstage, and a more predictable soundstage, which lets you grasp the whole song with like a bird's eye perspective. For most people, this is the module I would recommend, because it gives you lots of neutral detail. However, if you don't particularly enjoy having micro-details pop up everywhere, or prefer to have more of an emphasis on emotion, the wm8740 may be preferable. The only drawbacks I think it has is less soundstage depth, and it is a little quick with its emotional expression, during some occasions I have felt the musicians just wanted to do a "good job" and collect paycheck and go home :p but it's a slight deviation from what I feel would be perfectly neutral.

 

Wm8740 retrieves more emotion, but less easy to intellectually understand the whole picture because it is not as good as ad1852 in maintaining complex low volume details, or in capturing the full frequency bloom of drums, and such things in the background sometimes get smeared and feel out of place. It lets you hear more depth and meaning behind the main instruments and voices, with songs with a lot of emotion, the wm8740 is impressive. Two other good things I see about it is it does have more spacious soundstage, and a more polite high frequency. Those who don't care about neutral and accurate representation of detail, or prefer more rich, complex and deep emotional meaning over raw detail (especially for songs that don't rely on background instruments or sound effects), the wm8740 will please you more.

 

Wm8740 I would recommend to fewer people because most people getting a sparrow probably want a preponderance of detail, and accuracy across all the frequencies, which the ad1852 offers. But if detail and accuracy aren't your priority, consider wm8740.

 

Ordered the dir8416 module yesterday, will probably give my opinion on it in 2-3 weeks.


 

post #261 of 725

That's great for you, I on the other hand have been around for years and have gone through more gear that I wish to publicly admit which included many DACs (10-15 I think, some commercial, some DIY ranging from cheap TDA1545-based to NorthStar m192 to TPA Buffalo32), many amps (20+, most DIY including balanced Beta22, 3-channel Beta22, 3x Dynahi, 3x Dynalo, 2x M^3, 3x PPAv2, PPAv1, Pimeta, various Simosae amps, multiple SOHA 1&2 builds, every incarnation of the Millett Hybrid and many others) and many headphones (every Grado except SR125 including the vintages - still have my HP2, Sennheiser 580/600/650, Denon 2K&5K with mods, BeyerDynamic 770/880/990, some modded and many others) and noticed quite drastic differences.  It also helps that as I built most of the equipment I've used, I have spent many hours testing different configurations of parts, down to resistor and power supply capacitor choices in the builds, different volume controls, signal coupling capacitors (where applicable), different transformers, wire, connectors and just about everything else I could tinker with on the builds.  If you did not notice differences in equipment, be happy with what you enjoy.  I enjoyed most of the gear but have heard many differences between the equipment used.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy*Carl View Post




Mine, as well as every other external DAC/AMP I have heard doesn't sound any difference than my intels onboard sound.


 

post #262 of 725
Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post

 

There is less depth in soundstage, and a more predictable soundstage, which lets you grasp the whole song with like a bird's eye perspective.

 

Wm8740 retrieves more emotion

 

preponderance of detail


Predictable soundstage?  Bird eye perspective? What is that?  Your talking about audio right?!

 

And how on earth can a electronic device have emotion and a "preponderance of detail"?

 

Might as well rub some snake oil on it while your at it.

 

I was right, audiophiles are delusional.


Edited by Crazy*Carl - 6/9/10 at 2:17pm
post #263 of 725

nManJofo, the sparrow is very good in analytical speed, and it gives a powerful, decently textured sound. Not so strong points are its not very deep soundstage depth, okay timbre and modulation detail, and minute ambient details are usually overshadowed by bigger sounds. If I'm not listening intently for soundstage performance, the sparrow is very good. When I compare to dac19mk3+phoenix (using single-ended only), you find more soundstage depth and cues and more accurate timbre. dac9mk3+phoenix balanced and you get very minute modulation detail, more timbre characters, and bigger soundstage, with the music revolving more around the soundstage of the music rather than individual main instruments. I enjoy using the sparrow a lot even though I have higher gear, my opinion is that if you aren't insatiably addicted to more perfect detail and more lifelike soundstage, you may actually be perfectly happy with the sparrow, which has great analyzing speed and enjoyable, textured soundstage.

 

Crazy^Carl, I will gladly explain what I meant, but judging from your prior behavior on other threads I have to ask you to please try to keep our discussions civil.

 

"Predictable soundstage?"

 

By predictable soundstage, I mean you know where sounds come from because the soundstage depth of the ad1852 is not that good, it is more of an up-front, close soundstage.

 

"Bird eye perspective?"

 

By bird's eye perspective I mean you can easily grasp on an intellectual level what the musicians want to express with a song. It's harder to do when certain instruments are colored, or when micro-details are smeared, which can cause sounds that were likely not intended to be heard. For example, if you listen to Belinda Carlisle's 2004 album Place on Earth: Greatest Hits track #16 "Feels like I've known you forever" you have all these background synthetic instruments obviously trying to contribute to the same general theme of the song without straying, and when there's smearing or inaccuracy in the background noises, they will sound discordant in relation to the rest of the music. I've often used this track for this reason to gauge how well different gear handle microdetail and ambient details. I don't know how many seconds of lossless I can legally let people use to sample, 30 seconds? I'll post it if someone tells me how many seconds I can post.

 

"And how on earth can a electronic device have emotion"

 

More accurate to say electronics differ in their ability or inability to articulate human emotions, a subjective thing.

 

"and a "preponderance of detail"?"

 

preponderance means "a lot", but since the word "a lot" is used so freely I thought it would be necessary to use the word preponderance, the other option was to use capitalized "A LOT".

post #264 of 725

do you think the DA1852 would match better with a dark headphone like HD-650 though, due to its more "extended highs"?

post #265 of 725

If the Sparrow had the opportunity to take an ACSS input from one of the more expensive Audio-GD dacs, I would seriously consider to buy one. 

post #266 of 725

Crazy*Carl: I'm going to say this once, and no more: I understand your experience, but it's your experience.  If you, instead of wanting to sensibly discuss your test results (or rant in any way you like) in YOUR thread about it, you instead feel the need to trash other people's threads calling people delusional and otherwise break the forum rules (which, I might add, were put there so that everyone can enjoy the forums), then we shall simply report your posts and they'll be deleted.  In my experience, people who end up going around trashing threads and starting flame wars with their obsessions end up banned.  This is the direction you seem to be going.  As a kindness I'm pointing these things out to you (in the same way myself and others attempted to point out various things to you in your thread) in the hope that you consider what I say and everyone benefits.  

post #267 of 725

Plus, if you could hear for an extended period of time, the really well made gear that produces sound quality we all strive for in some way, your opinions and attitude would be different i bet. You have not reached the ceiling of sound quality with the Sparrow, I promise.

Until you wasted money on snake oil products (and realized from experience what they really are), stop wasting time here.

post #268 of 725
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

Crazy*Carl: I'm going to say this once, and no more: I understand your experience, but it's your experience.  If you, instead of wanting to sensibly discuss your test results (or rant in any way you like) in YOUR thread about it, you instead feel the need to trash other people's threads calling people delusional and otherwise break the forum rules (which, I might add, were put there so that everyone can enjoy the forums), then we shall simply report your posts and they'll be deleted.  In my experience, people who end up going around trashing threads and starting flame wars with their obsessions end up banned.  This is the direction you seem to be going.  As a kindness I'm pointing these things out to you (in the same way myself and others attempted to point out various things to you in your thread) in the hope that you consider what I say and everyone benefits.  


I am trying to benefit the new people how might get fooled like I did.  I am doing the same thing you guys are, just rooting against the status quo and am getting crucified for it.

post #269 of 725
Quote:
Originally Posted by movi View Post

do you think the DA1852 would match better with a dark headphone like HD-650 though, due to its more "extended highs"?


If I had to guess, I'd guess da1852 would be a better choice, somewhat more dynamic can counter a dark sound.

 

I think crazy^carl's opinion is valuable because if people with sparrow think it is lacking they should say it, more opinions is always better, so long as it doesn't lead to heated fights :p. I know my comparison between the dac modules sound exaggerated, I tried to nitpick differences when I personally don't think they are going to make or break your experience with the sparrow, because some people wanted to know which would suit their needs best. Maybe a month from now I will do a more thorough test, especially since the wm8740 module only has less than 100 hours still. But right now, the difference is not big like between earth/moon/sun hdam's, it's more like rolling neutral opamps with small-moderate differences.

post #270 of 725

Excuse my harshness haloxt,   I might not understand but I respect your views. happy listening.

 

I am about to conduct another test.  This time a true AB test with the sparrow and the ipod.  Results pending.


Edited by Crazy*Carl - 6/9/10 at 7:04pm
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