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Review: Jkeny’s modified Hiface - Page 11

post #151 of 431

Edit: You know what...I think I'll hold off on more impressions until I've let the unit burn-in.


Edited by Shahrose - 7/20/10 at 12:07am
post #152 of 431

Thanks guys,

It's a great feeling when people enjoy your work - I'm delighted - keep enjoying the music.

 

When you want to take the next step try the attenuators - they really do bring another bit of refinement to the sound - i know it's hard to imagine it getting any better than it sounds at the moment but believe me (have I put you wrong yet :)?)

post #153 of 431

Can you post the photo of the attenuator?  Thanks.

post #154 of 431

See them here - scroll down to bottom of the page (75ohm unts) & click on "case style"

post #155 of 431
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post

Edit: You know what...I think I'll hold off on more impressions until I've let the unit burn-in.


How about an update?

 

USG

post #156 of 431
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkeny View Post

Thanks guys,

It's a great feeling when people enjoy your work - I'm delighted - keep enjoying the music.

 

When you want to take the next step try the attenuators - they really do bring another bit of refinement to the sound - i know it's hard to imagine it getting any better than it sounds at the moment but believe me (have I put you wrong yet :)?)


John,

I just keep enjoying my music more and more so I suppose I should thank you!  

With regards to the attenuators, I have an RCA terminated Hiface and there doesn't seem to be an easy way to incorporate these attenuators in my system.  The only thing I have seen that might work is using a cable like the Blackcat Veloce which is a BNC terminated cable with custom BNC to RCA adapters included.  Do you think that this would work?  Any other suggestions?

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post

Edit: You know what...I think I'll hold off on more impressions until I've let the unit burn-in.


Shahrose,

Any further thoughts?  I really hope that you're enjoying the music so much that you just don't want to stop and give us an update! 

post #157 of 431
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubu1 View Post




John,

I just keep enjoying my music more and more so I suppose I should thank you!  

With regards to the attenuators, I have an RCA terminated Hiface and there doesn't seem to be an easy way to incorporate these attenuators in my system.  The only thing I have seen that might work is using a cable like the Blackcat Veloce which is a BNC terminated cable with custom BNC to RCA adapters included.  Do you think that this would work?  Any other suggestions?

 


 


Shahrose,

Any further thoughts?  I really hope that you're enjoying the music so much that you just don't want to stop and give us an update! 


Bub,

Why not try a RCA/BNC adaptor first before buying a new cable - I believe the attenuator will more than compensate for whatever impedance issues the adaptor introduces. I've tried it on a BNC Hiface using an RCA cable & the attenuators make a difference.

post #158 of 431
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubu1 View Post




John,

I just keep enjoying my music more and more so I suppose I should thank you!  

With regards to the attenuators, I have an RCA terminated Hiface and there doesn't seem to be an easy way to incorporate these attenuators in my system.  The only thing I have seen that might work is using a cable like the Blackcat Veloce which is a BNC terminated cable with custom BNC to RCA adapters included.  Do you think that this would work?  Any other suggestions?

 


 


Shahrose,

Any further thoughts?  I really hope that you're enjoying the music so much that you just don't want to stop and give us an update! 


Bub,

Why not try a RCA/BNC adaptor first before buying a new cable - I believe the attenuator will more than compensate for whatever impedance issues the adaptor introduces. I've tried it on a BNC Hiface using an RCA cable & the attenuators make a difference.

post #159 of 431


Quote:

 

Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post

 

How about an update?

 

USG

   

Quote:

 

Originally Posted by Bubu1 View Post

Shahrose,

Any further thoughts?  I really hope that you're enjoying the music so much that you just don't want to stop and give us an update! 


I'm still adjusting to its sound and didn't want to speak too soon. Oh well.

I don't think the unit changed very much from burn-in (it still compares the same way to the USB input of my DAC as it did out of the box), but I have learned its sound more in the last few days. My assessment may change as I get more accustomed to its MO, but here's what I think of jkeny's HiFace so far:

 

I still believe it is the best USB-SPDIF converter I've owned. As far as I can remember, jkeny's HiFace has a faster transient response, better transparency and a more layered sound than the stock HiFace. I find it to be tonally balanced, relaxed and very non-fatiguing (even with all my badly recorded tracks). It may be rolling off the top-end a tiny a bit to accomplish this because some of my other devices (like the 02US and the direct USB input of the y2) seem to extend higher. Fortunately, I don't think it loses too much treble detail as a result. Good stuff.

The midrange is quite detailed and bass is as deep and weighty (though not overly so) as I've ever heard on my system, while remaining textured and tuneful.

 

The transient response is a bit slower and attack/micro-dynamics are more subdued than the USB input. This makes the modded HiFace's sound less punchy and impactful, but with the benefit of being non-fatiguing.

The soundstage is clearly larger with the modded HiFace. Simply put, the soundstaging through the HiFace is the best I've heard in my system. It's the first thing that caught my attention along with the lack of glare. It's deep, wide, holographic and layered. If I were to name a weakness though, it would be image sharpness, which is better defined with USB. The sound isn't unfocused like the Teralink-X2, nor is it a bit thin or a bit shouty like the Musiland 02US can be. I know if I'm listening to something good if nothing about the sound is bothering me. I can *almost* say this about the jkeny HiFace.

As I said, the direct USB input can give me tighter bass, faster snaps/transients as well as better micro-dynamics, so I know there is room for improvement.

 

The modded HiFace isn't particularly weak in any area (even if it's not as good as the USB input for a couple things). Listening to it, one can tell it's a clear step up from the Teralink-X2 in transparency and is better than the 02US in terms of balance, midrange-presence and low-level resolution. It isn't uneven in the treble and lacking bass extension like my motherboard coax output, or veiled and bassy like the STX output, or bassless like the ST output.

 

The 02US has a slightly faster and airier sound than the modded HiFace, but the Musiland can't match it in any other area. The 02US is in general more treble-tilted so it sounds cooler and brighter than the modded HiFace. The Teralink-X2 (as slim and I found previously) is fuzzy/blurry, slow and tubey sounding in the sense that it projects aural images out in front of the listener at the cost of accuracy/precision. It's a pleasing effect with some headphones in the short-run, but I certainly couldn't live with it. I'm glad to report that neither the stock nor modded HiFace suffer from this problem.


Edited by Shahrose - 7/22/10 at 11:56pm
post #160 of 431

Thanks Sharose, almost full marks for the modified Hiface :)

 

I'm interested in what you say about the HF roll-off - there shouldn't be any difference in HF between the modified & the stock Hiface. Jitter can sound like extra detail in the HF & the mods I've done reduce the jitter. Another jitter reducer are the attenuators & this is also the sonic effect that they produce - less sharpness to the sound but no loss of detail - I consider it a more analogue-like sound.

 

People ask what is the sound of jitter is like & this is it - sometimes it's only when it's gone that you notice it. The first thing I noticed as I worked through my stages of modifications was the bass - it took on a deeper, more focused sound & I could hear the timbre to it. No longer a one note bass. Then I picked up on the rest of the audio spectrum & noticed a better sound-stage & more relaxed sound. All this I attribute to a reduction in jitter because I reduced the noise on the PS feeding the clocks & also feeding the clock handling circuits.

post #161 of 431

I know what you're trying to say, but the extra treble detail and extension I'm hearing in other outputs isn't harsh or fatiguing. It's something good that's missing from the modded HiFace. Anyways, this effect is subtle so it's not a huge problem IMO. The main issue right now is the subdued attack and slower transients relative to the 02US and USB. If you could improve the HiFace in these areas, this converter would be close to ideal. I first noticed this in the stock HiFace, which was even worse in this regard.
 


Edited by Shahrose - 7/21/10 at 11:33am
post #162 of 431
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post

I know what you're trying to say, but the extra treble detail and extension I'm hearing in other outputs isn't harsh or fatiguing. It's something good that's missing from the modded HiFace. Anyways, this effect is subtle so it's not a huge problem IMO. The main issue right now is the subdued attack and slower transients relative to the 02US and USB. If you could improve the HiFace in these areas, this converter would be close to ideal. I first noticed this in the stock HiFace, which was even worse in this regard.
 


Hmm, I'm not sure if I agree with you here Sharose but I'll have a listen to this aspect of the sound again & see if I can pick up what you are referring to!

post #163 of 431
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkeny View Post




Hmm, I'm not sure if I agree with you here Sharose but I'll have a listen to this aspect of the sound again & see if I can pick up what you are referring to!

 

I stand by my comments, but just keep in mind we're talking subtleties here. I'll repeat that the modded HiFace isn't really weak in any area, but I'm *trying* to find faults with it so it can be potentially improved in the future. Attack, transient response, top-end air, and micro-dynamics are all good but fall a bit short of the best I've heard. It's still the best in many other areas which I've outlined above and is my converter of choice.

 

Edit: Upon further listening, I have to say I'm being picky about transient response. It is quite good and only slightly behind USB. The macro-dynamics are also very good, but micro-dynamics are not as good as the USB input of the y2. The rest I've said above still applies.
 


Edited by Shahrose - 7/21/10 at 9:47pm
post #164 of 431

Don't worry, I'm not being defensive here - I want to get the best out of it too & if there is an area where it could be improved, I welcome hearing about it - it gives us all a chance to evaluate & decide. It's also a learning experience!

post #165 of 431
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post

I know what you're trying to say, but the extra treble detail and extension I'm hearing in other outputs isn't harsh or fatiguing. It's something good that's missing from the modded HiFace. Anyways, this effect is subtle so it's not a huge problem IMO. The main issue right now is the subdued attack and slower transients relative to the 02US and USB. If you could improve the HiFace in these areas, this converter would be close to ideal. I first noticed this in the stock HiFace, which was even worse in this regard.
 

 

Hey Shah

 

This is so strange. 

 

Your description doesn't seem to fit my stock HiFace.  Nothing sounds rolled off, in fact if anything, it's on the bright side with lots of detail and extension relative to my Blue Circle Thingee.  If I wanted to increase something I would increase the bass to match the treble.  What I've noticed is the HiFace does a similar thing, relative to the Thingee,  that the GS-1 does relative to the M^3.  In other words, a more extended and detailed treble with greater quantity with, a lesser quantity of cleaner, clearer, tighter bass.  

 

A similar thing happens when going from 880s to T-1s.  There is an increase in treble information and clarity and a cleaner, tighter, but not necessarily, more abundant, bass.  And although I don't have 800s, I'll bet yours fall into that category too.  This is an effect I've come to associate with moving up the chain because from its inception, HiFi was all about the degree of high end resolution. ¿Qué piensa usted?

 

USG    

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