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Review: Anedio D1 DAC - my new reference DAC - Page 40

post #586 of 951

Regarding the D1's HP amp and higher impedence phones - I find that it works AMAZINGLY well with the HD800s, which have a rated impedence of 300 ohms.   In no way have I found them to sound underpowered, and virtually all other aspects of performance are truly top-notch.   I have used my HD800s with a few other amps, including a GS-X and BUDA, and I prefer the D1 over all of them -- and this is in single-ended mode!  

post #587 of 951
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZorgDK View Post


Congrats. I'm curious, did you prefer your EE Minimax DAC in solid state or tube mode?

 



Tube, oddly enough, as I'm trying to get away from a tube type sound.  Putting the tube in didn't make it sound more 'tubey', it seemed to act more like a treble boost.  But I was running everything stock, from what I understand other tubes have a much more/different impact.

post #588 of 951

So I spent a couple hours yesterday listening with the my Ed8 straight to the Anedio's HP out.  This was using the USB from my Macbook Air, streaming 320 from MOG.

 

My main impression is it sounds - clear, detailed, great bass quantity, crystalline treble, great separation and soundstage.  Things simply sound more real.  I would call it a 'polite' presentation, if that makes any sense.  I wonder if that sense of politeness is what happens as distortion and jitter are reduced... which for instance I can imagine gives rock music a bit of an edge, if that's the way your brain it used to hearing it.   

 

Trying to pinpoint that further, comparing the straight headphone out of my MacBook Air (neglected to bring the HDP back with me), it destroys it in almost every way (of course), except in two ways - the midrange seems to be a bit thin when for instance hearing distorted electric guitars, and there seems to lack of a percussive snap for bass notes.  Which is kind of odd, because if I hear the bass note rumble, there is much more detail to the way it rumbles - I hear it more distinctly flapping, almost like I can hear the air around it.  It's just that leading snap, for instance on a downbeat where you hit a cymbal crash in conjunction... it seems like it is felt more than heard.  So basically, I think it's just stunning with most things... but for rock it could rock a bit more.

 

Also tried some bass sweep test tones from 5-100hz several times.  There's nothing lacking, it seems pretty strong down to about 30hz or so, trailing off slightly at 25, then sharply below 20.  When a low bass note drones in that 20-30 area my headphones rumble in a way I haven't noticed before.

 

In any case, I'm going to get some errands out of the way then head down to the office, see how it works using toslink, compare to the HDP, spend a few hours of critical listening.  As it is having a night to sleep there's probably some 'brain burnin' too.

 

EDIT:  To give an idea of what I tested with - mid-70s Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, early MJ (Off The Wall/Thriller), Prince, Elton John, Guns n Roses, Pixies, Aimee Mann, Pink Floyd, Megadeth.  A decent mix of pretty mainstream stuff for the most part, mostly music I'm very familiar with and have listened to at least a good 10+ years.

 

 


Edited by bobeau - 7/2/11 at 10:40am
post #589 of 951


     Quote:

Originally Posted by bobeau View Post

Which is kind of odd, because if I hear the bass note rumble, there is much more detail to the way it rumbles - I hear it more distinctly flapping, almost like I can hear the air around it.  It's just that leading snap, for instance on a downbeat where you hit a cymbal crash in conjunction... it seems like it is felt more than heard.  So basically, I think it's just stunning with most things... but for rock it could rock a bit more.

 


 

To me this sounds like this could be due to the relatively high output impedance of the macbook air with the low impedance headphones you are using having a negative effect the electrical damping ratio which would lead to perhaps hearing more flapping as a false detail.  

post #590 of 951

Dang I wish the MacBook Air had Toslink out!

For that matter, all pc's & laptops should have it these days...

 

Thanks for your initial impressions on the D1 bobeau.

I'm real curious what soulrider4ever is gonna come up with next. (for a DAC)

Some of us are never satisfied.

post #591 of 951

Looking forward to your comparison with the HDP!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobeau View Post

So I spent a couple hours yesterday listening with the my Ed8 straight to the Anedio's HP out.  This was using the USB from my Macbook Air, streaming 320 from MOG.

 

My main impression is it sounds - clear, detailed, great bass quantity, crystalline treble, great separation and soundstage.  Things simply sound more real.  I would call it a 'polite' presentation, if that makes any sense.  I wonder if that sense of politeness is what happens as distortion and jitter are reduced... which for instance I can imagine gives rock music a bit of an edge, if that's the way your brain it used to hearing it.   

 

Trying to pinpoint that further, comparing the straight headphone out of my MacBook Air (neglected to bring the HDP back with me), it destroys it in almost every way (of course), except in two ways - the midrange seems to be a bit thin when for instance hearing distorted electric guitars, and there seems to lack of a percussive snap for bass notes.  Which is kind of odd, because if I hear the bass note rumble, there is much more detail to the way it rumbles - I hear it more distinctly flapping, almost like I can hear the air around it.  It's just that leading snap, for instance on a downbeat where you hit a cymbal crash in conjunction... it seems like it is felt more than heard.  So basically, I think it's just stunning with most things... but for rock it could rock a bit more.

 

Also tried some bass sweep test tones from 5-100hz several times.  There's nothing lacking, it seems pretty strong down to about 30hz or so, trailing off slightly at 25, then sharply below 20.  When a low bass note drones in that 20-30 area my headphones rumble in a way I haven't noticed before.

 

In any case, I'm going to get some errands out of the way then head down to the office, see how it works using toslink, compare to the HDP, spend a few hours of critical listening.  As it is having a night to sleep there's probably some 'brain burnin' too.

 

EDIT:  To give an idea of what I tested with - mid-70s Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, early MJ (Off The Wall/Thriller), Prince, Elton John, Guns n Roses, Pixies, Aimee Mann, Pink Floyd, Megadeth.  A decent mix of pretty mainstream stuff for the most part, mostly music I'm very familiar with and have listened to at least a good 10+ years.

 

 



 

post #592 of 951
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by livewire View Post

I'm real curious what soulrider4ever is gonna come up with next. (for a DAC)

Some of us are never satisfied.


 

I'm pretty sure he is just "taking a break" from the hobby altogether - I believe he is also selling his Emotiva monoblocks, Wharfedale Opus speakers, some nice Mirage speakers, and the Anedio. Sometimes other stuff is more important. 

post #593 of 951

So further impressions:

 

Took about 4 hours today using the Anedio and other associated gear:  Edition 8, ATH-W1000x, Nuforce HDP, SinglePower Slam PPX3 6sn7 (SSS), Ack! Dack 2.0 (AD)

 

Ed8 -> D1 vs. Ed8 -> HDP - sad to say, but I prefer the HDP.  Without a doubt the D1 sounds significantly higher fidelity.  But it just lacks the magic for me with the Ed8.  Sounds a bit too sterile, PRAT is less than with the HDP.  I probably should have my head-fi membership revoked for this comment, but that's what I feel.  

 

Ed8 -> HDP -> D1 vs. Ed8 -> D1 (essentially isolating the DAC portion, comparing headamps) - The D1 wins here.  The HDP's amp is a bit granier, 2d, lacking soundstage. 

 

Ed8 -> SSS -> HDP vs. Ed8 -> SSS -> D1 - I prefer the HDP in the chain. 

 

W1000x -> HDP vs. W1000x -> D1 - D1 wins here by a good margin, go figure.  The W1000x sounds fantastic out of the Anedio, the HDP is a bit tinny and boring. 

 

Ed8 -> SSS -> AD - My favorite.  This is the old-school setup I purchased circa '05 to drive L3000s, which I used on a daily basis with much pleasure for a good 1.5 years before selling the L3000s as I had little opportunity to use them due to an extended project at work.  The Ack! Dack! 2.0 was one of the most popular DACs at the time I purchased it, the king of the NOS DACs.  It appears to have fallen out of favor over the years.  I dunno what to say, this combo is just magic.  Everything sounds so organic and 3d.  

 

Conclusion: So it's not a clear "I'm not a fan of this DAC", it's just with the Ed8s... and it really is the DAC section, the Anedio's headamp sounds great.  FWIW, I just sold a MiniMax when running the ED8 thru the SSS.  I believe I'm just not a fan of the Saber 9018 with the Ed8.  It's also interesting to note that I think the W1000x sounds like poo out of a lowly iPhone/Macbook Air headphone outs and not much better out of the HDP, but the Ed8 sounds stunningly good out of all of those.  I wouldn't be surprised if Ultrasone used the headphone outs on DAPs and consumer devices as the main platforms for tuning the Ed8s.  The Ed8s seem to be it for me though - both at home (live downtown) and at work, I need the isolation and I need them to not leak, and I def prefer them to the W1000x.  So I need a system to work around them, and at this point I'll likely be selling everything sans the AD + SSS (worthless anyway) + Ed8.  I'll spend another night to sleep on it and listen to the Anedio more tomorrow, but I'm about 90% sure it will be up for sale. 

 

Disclaimer: I'm pretty far from having golden ears.  I had a head-fi meet back in the day with my cherished L3k setup and few people liked it, a few calling it rather colored.  Embracing neutrality is perhaps not my forte.

 

EDIT: Maybe I should look into the Burson 160D?   I could def live with the AD -> SSS -> Ed8 combo, but I'd rather simplify the setup (it sits on my desk at work) and not worry about having the SinglePower spontaneously combust one day.  Looks like based on some comments in this thread it might be what I'm looking for.


Edited by bobeau - 7/2/11 at 7:45pm
post #594 of 951

Thanks for the down to earth impressions, head-fi membership definitely not revoked.  

post #595 of 951
Thread Starter 

Thanks for posting your honest impressions. I know threads like this can seem like a "good impressions only" type of affair, but that's certainly not what they should be. If you prefer the sound of something else then by all means you should stick with what you hear. There is a wide variety of gear out there - from the darker sounding HD650 (old drivers) to the bright Sony SA5000. Each one has some fans and some detractors. There is no shame in liking what you like, despite others calling it "colored" or whatever. 

 

The only thing I'd suggest is spending more time living with the Anedio. Unless you have some rush to sell it, I'd do another few weeks of casual listening just to see if anything changes for you. I know some people initially found the LCD-2 too dark and just "off" in the highs, but later they got used to it and it became their all time favorite. On the flip side many LCD-2s have ended up in the FS forum for that very reason. But my stance is that you should always give it your best shot by living with it for a while, so you can really be sure.

 

 

post #596 of 951

All your impressions are very interesting. I'm looking for a new dac, and the clarity and neutrality of this one make me think that it could be a better choice for me, over the burson or the minimax. 

I own a pair of D5000, and it seems that the synergy is good between them. 

But I didn't find in the topic an opinion with JVC  DX1000. 

Do they sound good together? 

post #597 of 951

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gungwalsky View Post

All your impressions are very interesting. I'm looking for a new dac, and the clarity and neutrality of this one make me think that it could be a better choice for me, over the burson or the minimax. 

I own a pair of D5000, and it seems that the synergy is good between them. 

But I didn't find in the topic an opinion with JVC  DX1000. 

Do they sound good together? 


So I've had both the MiniMax and Anedio in the same chain (using DAC only) through the SinglePower Slam and Ed8.  My impression of the Minimax was the lower mids/upper bass got a bit congested on fast music with that setup, thought it was the SPS causing the issue, but didn't feel that way with the Anedio.  The Anedio came off a bit brighter with the clearer mids, definitely more analytical.  Caveat: that wasn't a back to back comparison as I sold the Minimax to purchase the Anedio, and my listening time with both has probably been less than 5-6 hours total.  Of course the MiniMax can be customized with the opamps and tube, people claim that it can make a dramatic difference.  I'm not much for tweaking so I let it go.  

 


Edited by bobeau - 7/3/11 at 2:34pm
post #598 of 951

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

Thanks for posting your honest impressions. I know threads like this can seem like a "good impressions only" type of affair, but that's certainly not what they should be. If you prefer the sound of something else then by all means you should stick with what you hear. There is a wide variety of gear out there - from the darker sounding HD650 (old drivers) to the bright Sony SA5000. Each one has some fans and some detractors. There is no shame in liking what you like, despite others calling it "colored" or whatever. 

 

The only thing I'd suggest is spending more time living with the Anedio. Unless you have some rush to sell it, I'd do another few weeks of casual listening just to see if anything changes for you. I know some people initially found the LCD-2 too dark and just "off" in the highs, but later they got used to it and it became their all time favorite. On the flip side many LCD-2s have ended up in the FS forum for that very reason. But my stance is that you should always give it your best shot by living with it for a while, so you can really be sure.

 

 


I gave it another shot today, instead of trying to analyze it just put the headphones on and let it play for a couple hours.  On the one hand, it actually does seem to drive the Ed8s well... it's a muscular, well extended presentation at both ends.  I'm just not as engaged as I feel I should be.  It reminds me a bit of when I tried a mid range Stax setup back in the day... there's alot of info there, just don't feel the connection.  I don't think time will fix this, I think this one comes down to a matter of taste.  Certainly impressive, just not for me.

 

It's been posted in the classifieds, link in my sig.  As mentioned there I'll do a straight up trade for the Burson, as I'll just try that next.  Someone expressed interest already so I'll give them a day or so to decide.

 

post #599 of 951
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobeau View Post

 


My impression of the Minimax was the lower mids/upper bass got a bit congested on fast music with that setup, thought it was the SPS causing the issue, but didn't feel that way with the Anedio.  The Anedio came off a bit brighter with the clearer mids, definitely more analytical. 

 

 

Thanks. That's why I feel more interested by the Anedio, clearly. I own a Trafomatic head one amp (tubes), in case it's sound too much cold with the DX1000.

But before I make my choice, I would like to know if somebody tried the combo D1 - JVC DX1000?
 

 

post #600 of 951

Quote:

Originally Posted by bobeau View Post

...I'm just not as engaged as I feel I should be.  It reminds me a bit of when I tried a mid range Stax setup back in the day...there's alot of info there, just don't feel the connection...  

 

...I don't think time will fix this, I think this one comes down to a matter of taste.  Certainly impressive, just not for me...

 

 

I can definitely relate--this is what worries me about high end rigs.  A run-in with a $5K LCD-2 rig two days ago left me with a similar feeling at one point.  

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