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Graham Slee Voyager : The End of Audio Voyage?(Appreciation Thread) - Page 3

post #31 of 71

This quick review was first posted on the GSA Forum a few weeks ago... thought it may be appreciated here...

 

  • Graham Slee Voyager, portable headphone amplifier.
  • Audio-technica ATH-M50 headphones.
  • iPod120GB (5th or 6th gen.?).
  • Sendtation PocketDock line-out mini USB adapter.
  • Audio elevation iLead.

 

 

After around five years using the Bang & Olufsen A8 clip-on type earphones, it was about time to upgrade my portable listening. I had long since decided to find a good portable headphone amp and managed to listen to a few different models including an iQube V2, iBass D4 and a HeadAudio amp that I cannot recall the name of. I spent a few hours going over discussions and reviews on the HiFi forums and various blogs that I could find. The more I read about the Voyager and Graham Slee products in general the more intrigued I became, the Voyager was not the cheapest of the bunch, but then again, in HiFi terms, it represented a lot of bang-per-buck. Headphones I considered were the Sennheiser HD25, Beyer T50p and the B&W P5. After listening to the B&W P5, I wer on the verge of buying that until a friend that is a sound engineer at Denmarks Radio, said that I should try a headphone that he had been using at work. That turned out to be the Audio Technica ATH M50, I were sold, it was better in every respect to what I had heard in the B&W and miles ahead of my old B&O A8, it was also a reasonable price.

 

I really like a wide variety of music, but my preferred listening tends to be Blues, especially acoustic blues, I also like rock that is driven by a strong bass line and good percussion sections.

The Voyager has been burnt in by setting my iTunes library to shuffle the 9000 track library and hooked upto the headphones playing at a high, but not deafening, level. I am now onto my fourth battery so it must be around the 150 - 200 hour mark

I put together a playlist with music (All ripped to AIFF 48k 16bit) to do some listening….

 

Into the Mystic – Van Morrison.

The voyager pushed this track along with great clarity, the bass guitar can be heard holding the music at a good pace. The horns are crisp without being too harsh.

 

New York sessions 67 - Van Morrison.

Van Morrison at what I think was his peak. Vans vocals stand out with the passion that is easy to hear with this combination of Voyager & ATH M50. It is also fun to hear the American influence with the Mowtown style backing singers, and the fact that the studio engineers are quite willing to let the tapes roll whilst the musicians are clearly just having a blast…

 

Down in the hole – John Campbell.

This track is all about bass guitar and the powerful, gritty voice that John has. I can only remember hearing this track with more presence on a very high end system that cost well over £60,000. The Voyager & ATH M50s create a real depth and presence to this track that it deserves.

 

The Trinity Session – The Cowboy Junkies.

This is one of my all time favorites Cds. It was recorded in a small church in downtown Toronto. Again the Voyager produced a very solid and realistic soundstage. The atmosphere of the session and the environment can easily be heard along with instruments being moved or placed on stands.

 

Bang Bang – Kira.

Rock from a great vocalist with a gritty, down to earth voice that works well with a good rhythm section and some good lead guitar solos.

 

Cold sweat – Kira.

Another track from Kira. This the amp / headphone combo really does transport me back to the front row of a smallish venue in Copenhagen, with the bass being strong enough to feel the music without overpowering the character of the vocals.

 

Walk on – Brownie McGhee & Sonny Terry.

Acoustic guitar, Harmonica and vocals from a duo that influenced more that one-generation. I have heard this Album many times, on many different systems, but so far this is by far the most engaging an FUN way to listen to these wonderful musicians. There is no shrillness or lack of bass that make it just works.

 

Driftin Blues – Eric Clapton.

This is a recording from his time with John Mayall. Another firm favorite. The feeling of being at the concert is very real, the only thing lacking is physical effect of the bass guitar & drums, turning up the volume produces a well balanced sound that, with a little good will and a couple of whiskeys produces the feeling of bass….

 

I could go on and on…. This combo of Amp / Headphone has me finding new nuances in the music that I know well, much of the time it is like hearing a fantastic LP from a band that you had never heard of before and wondering how you had missed such a great band… I have found myself not only going back to my favorite Lps, but also finding out that lots of those Lps that never really got much playing are being listened to with renewed enthusiasm.

 

As you can guess, I REALLY like this combo. Regarding the Amp itself, it was delivered with 2 scratches on the back, not really a sound issue, it just pissed me off somewhat. The plastic case probably is very hardwearing, but I am sure some potential buyers are put-off  by it. I think a rubberized covering would be an improvement in use as well as appreance. The Contour / Flat switch is now more or less permanently on Flat, although there are a few recordings that benefit from the contour. I found that before the burn-in the contour was used rather more, I am sure that I still have some way before the burn-in is complete.

Regarding the switches in general, they both perform flawlessly, I would however prefer another method, maybe something along the lines of the wonderful volume control, this has the feel of a finely engineered piece of kit. In general, I think if Graham could persuade Apple to stock this amp on their store it would be an instant hit, although they might ask a certain Mr Ive (another Brit.) to give it a quick cosmetic once over….

As proof of my appreciation for Mr Slees fine engineering and audio talents, I will be in the very near future putting together a home Headphone system with his Ultra Linear at the core….

post #32 of 71

Agree very much. The Voyager is a killer and with its new, lower price, it is better than ever. I think it gets passed over because it is bigger than a lot of portable amps and isn't in metal, but both of those issues take shot at the wrong thing. Holding the Voyager in the hand is something else really. It is light, strong, and the logo seal is amazing. It has a retro appeal to it and a very little DIY spice.

 

I love it.

post #33 of 71

I too enjoy the Voyager a lot, a pity too many just want the unit to look good. If they tried the Voyager they would realize how good it is.

post #34 of 71

Another 2 thumbs up for the Voyager...listen to it everyday on my commute - using an iPod Touch with Apple Lossless and Shure E4Cs.

 

Great bit of kit - love it so much have been seriously considering upgrading my Little Dot mk3 to a Solo...

 

post #35 of 71

I for one bought the voyager for the shape of it and of course the sound...

I like the fact that it's the same dimension as the ipod classic.

Plus the fact that it packs quite a lot of punch in bass makes it the most ideal amps for me.

 

I think I'll buy it again if my current unit breaks down...

Cheers...

post #36 of 71
Thread Starter 

I have (accidentally) dropped it twice. If it was something like a Hornet I'll be swearing, but knowing the Voyager is made with ABS plastic, puts me more at ease.

 

Sounds perfect until now. The only small caveat is the changing of batteries every 2 months, maybe more - better than spending batteries on wireless mice or Gameboy lol

post #37 of 71

Lol... I've been using the same rechargeable battery for almost a year...

Anyway, have anyone heard of a battery brand called powerex? Is it good?

 

Many thanks...

post #38 of 71

Bought my voyager couple of months back. price point apart. I think it is one of the best amp I've ever own. Especially with the flat and contour function. It appeals to most genre of songs I have. I've changed like a half a dozen of DAP, whatever DAP that i pair it with, it sounds nice!

 

Really hope GS can come up with a voyager with DAC!? then I'd b able to use it with my lappy.

post #39 of 71

I am planning to get the Voyager. but i am just wandering does it fits in with the Turbine Pro Cooper ?? and I use telecast t51 player


Edited by @@anderson@@ - 9/13/10 at 8:38am
post #40 of 71

A quick update with a few images of my Voyager together with an iPod Classic, AudioElevation icable & LOD:

 

Voyager & ATH M-50

 

 

I shot these images at hospital whilst waiting for an operation. Really enjoy using this setup to watch music videos... in this case I where watching the Martin Scorsese movie, Lightning in a bottle, a really great movie for anyone interested in the blues or rock.

 

Stay tuned...

 


Edited by MikeCD2020 - 11/10/10 at 9:50am
post #41 of 71

I am in search for a portable amp for my Ultrasone Pro900's. Is anybody using the Pro900's with Voyager? Will the Voyager be able to drive them to full potential?

post #42 of 71

How do you guys attempt to burn the Voyager in? Hmmm Im quite curious.

post #43 of 71

Mine sounded good right out of the box and enjoying it more than ever...not sure how much burn in is contributing to that though 

post #44 of 71
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post

Agree very much. The Voyager is a killer and with its new, lower price, it is better than ever. I think it gets passed over because it is bigger than a lot of portable amps and isn't in metal, but both of those issues take shot at the wrong thing. Holding the Voyager in the hand is something else really. It is light, strong, and the logo seal is amazing. It has a retro appeal to it and a very little DIY spice.

 

I love it.



OMG THE NEW PRICE

Nearly same price as I bought first-hand 

==

 

But the ABS plastic does have one problem (that I can live with) - while commuting on the train or other public transport, you will be bombarded with a lot of noise from other people's handphones and such. There is zero shielding.

post #45 of 71


Quote:

Originally Posted by Ratix0 View Post

How do you guys attempt to burn the Voyager in? Hmmm Im quite curious.



Iburned mine for about 100 hours, and then start to listen and didn't find any difference from these time, I think different sound you can get by changing the cable 

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