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Show us your Head-Fi station at it's current state. No old pictures please... - Page 1135

post #17011 of 18741
Quote:
Originally Posted by hsubox View Post



Just set this up a couple minutes ago and giving the new DAC a listen.

Cheapo old (24/192) Philips DVD player -> Schiit Bifrost (non-uber for now) -> Fiio E09K -> Grado RS1i

I have a couple Philips DVD players that I was using previously and found that coax vs optical spdif output sounded slightly different from each other.  Not sure why, but different none the less.

post #17012 of 18741
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuco1965 View Post

I have a couple Philips DVD players that I was using previously and found that coax vs optical spdif output sounded slightly different from each other.  Not sure why, but different none the less.

Very odd. You wouldn't think it should sound different. This particular player only has coax.
post #17013 of 18741

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post
 

And now for something not so clean and minimalistic....

Ancient history... (Click to show)

Here's an overhead shot of my all battery-powered Concero > Bushmaster MkII > MG3 > HD800 rig and a quick video tour, just for fun!  

 

I'm absolutely thrilled with the way this sounds...

 

:L3000:

 

 

 

 

The song is Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood, performed by Meshell Ndegeocello, from the album A Dedication to Nina Simone.

 

Mike

 

 

 

 

I absolutely had to hear the HD650 before selling off the "headphone museum" I've accumulated.  They arrived Wednesday. The HD650 is very impressive at first listen, but I left it alone while putting better than 48 hours on it. Night before last, I started switching between the HD800 and HD650 on my crazy rig, above - Concero as SPDIF converter > Bushmaster MkII's DAC section > TBI Audio MG3 speaker amp > resistor network.  

 

It's amazing what you can learn about one headphone by listening to another - understatement of the year, right?

 

The HD800's improved bass and lack of treble harshness sounded great to my ears on that daisy chain, until I heard the HD650 on the same chain. The HD650 might actually be the best compromise out there, for the money, in my opinion.  I know the HD650 has been around for a long time, commanding a great deal of respect, but I'm only just getting around to owning a pair that I can spend some time with.

 

I used the word "compromise" because the HD800 has strengths the HD650 lacks, of course (detail and sound stage, for example), but hearing the HD650's bass, I am reminded of the LCD-2, except with added air, treble energy, sound stage, and even a wee bit of improved resolution over the LCD-2 (not that the LCD-2 has ever been heralded for its resolution). For my ears and tastes, the HD650 is a marriage of the HD800 and LCD-2 - with my earlier most-recent purchase, the HD600, being the more accurate, tonally balanced, version of that same marriage - less like the LCD-2, more like the HD800 - none of which is news to most readers here, I'm sure.

 

But the HD650 has opened my ears to something else that I hadn't detected previously:  Where the Bushmaster MkII's amp section doesn't have enough horsepower to control the bass of the HD800, or even give it sufficient bass energy (good, but not great), the TBI Audio MG3 > resistor network breathed life into the HD800 bass - not as well as the hybrid Schiit Vali, in that regard, but with a less "ethereal" sound - and I'm after a "transportable" rig that can perform dual-duty as a battery-only desktop rig, where the Vali requires a 16V "AC" supply. So, prior to getting the HD650 and having already dismissed driving the HD800 from the Bushmaster MkII's amp section, the Concero > Bushmaster MkII > MG3 > resistor network had become my favorite HD800 amp - and solid state, at that - a good thing, in my book...

 

But then, having heard the bass of the HD650 off of that same chain, night before last, lamenting the loss of some traits offered by the HD800 - resolution and sound stage - I realized that the HD800 still didn't have enough bass for my tastes.  And then, after a couple of hours of back and forth between the two of them, I decided to try moving the HD650 to the Bushmaster MkII's headphone out (bypassing the TBI Audio MG3 amp and resistor network).  Whoa!  This single change immediately revealed that the MG3 > resistor network was degrading the analog output of the Bushmaster MkII:  It was not only reducing resolution slightly, it was dramatically reducing dynamics.  I was shocked at how readily detectable a difference there is in dynamics, between the speaker amp with resistor network and the Bushmaster MkII's headphone out, using the HD650.

 

Some of you may be aware from my posts to the "speaker amps for headphones thread" that I had previously become disappointed with how the TBI resistor network, necessary to silence the hiss caused by excessive gain in the TBI MG3, had killed the LCD-2's dynamics that could be heard on more powerful amps. Here, in comparing the HD650 on the MG3 > resistor network to the HD650 plugged directly into the Bushmaster MkII's headphone out, I realized that the MG3 was hurting dynamics for the HD650 as well. I hadn't noticed it when moving the HD800 back and forth between the MG3 and Bushmaster MkII headphone out, because the Bushmaster MkII just doesn't have enough oomph for the HD800, but, in my opinion it's got plenty of everything it needs for the HD650, despite even Stanley Beresford saying that it doesn't.  I'm telling you that, to my ears, the HD650 sounds better overall, on the Bushmaster MkII's headphone out than on any other amp I have right now.

 

Seriously - my MG3 just became a full-time loudspeaker amp for my Definitive Technology SM 45 near-field monitors.  I have no further use for that resistor network - it's sucking both dynamics and, to a much lesser degree, resolution out of the signal, even though it imparts a smooth treble and that sweet, natural, organic signature that I love so much about the MG3 - and which did wonders to tame the treble of the HD800.  The fact is, the Bushmaster MkII > HD650 sounds way better than the MG3 > HD800 (despite the MG3 > HD800 pairing sounding better than Bushmaster MkII > HD800).

 

But it gets better still.   Night before last, I was absolutely thrilled with the Bushmaster MkII > HD650.  (My mantra: "I'm absolutely thrilled!")  And then, I started comparing the LCD-2 and HD650 off of the Bushmaster MkII headphone out. I had tried the Bushmaster MkII > LCD-2 a couple of weeks ago, when I first got the Bushmaster MkII, and was very impressed at the time, but I was hell bent on finding a solid state (and battery-powered) solution for the HD800, so put that experience on my brain's back burner.

 

Now that I've (temporarily?) suspended my search for an HD800 "cure," I find myself increasingly enamored with the Bushmaster MkII - with both the HD650 and the LCD-2.  There are things to like about the HD650's treble and sound stage, and yet, it's not that far off from having the LCD-2's bass.  It has a wee bit more treble detail than the LCD-2, too.  It's down to a matter of what you like (and how much you want to spend) but I find both headphones to be very enjoyable off of the Bushmaster MkII. 

 

People can tell me all day long that the Bushmaster MkII doesn't have enough power for either the HD650 or the LCD-2, but...  There are some folks other than myself out there who swear by the Bushmaster MkII > HD650 pairing, just as there are lots of people who talk about how the LCD-2 does amazingly well with lower power amps, even though Audeze recommends a minimum of 1000mW for their planar magnetics.  

 

Take note that Stanley Beresford has posted that his amp section sports a relatively higher current output for its power rating (current instead of voltage) than other solid state amp designs, and I've read on several occasions elsewhere, that planar magnetics thrive on high-current signals over getting power from the voltage side of the equation.

 

One last contrast:  I've long been a fan of the CEntrance DACmini CX > LCD-2.   In fact, this has remained a benchmark for me, for quite some time.  I sold my Burson Soloist because it can't compete with the CEntrance DACmini (all but ignored these days, as one of yesterday's heroes.)  Switching back and forth between the Bushmaster MkII and CEntrance DACmini CX, this morning, as an integrated DAC/amp solution, I prefer the Bushmaster MkII with both the HD650 and the LCD-2.  And that's without consideration of the greater than 3:1 difference in price.  The magic is definitely in Stanley Beresford's DAC section, more than the amp, with none of the slight etch I've always tolerated in the DACmini CX DAC's treble, but keep in mind, the Bushmaster MkII does not have a USB receiver, as does the DACmini CX. Still, the friend who led me to trying both the Bushmaster MkII and HD650 is using the very affordable, HiFimeDIY Sabre USB DAC with an optical cable to feed SPDIF to his Bushmaster MkII - and considers the Bushmaster MkII > HD650 to be nearly the equal of his Speedballed Bottlehead Crack > HD650.  (So you don't really need a Concero to convert USB to SPDIF...)

 

Laughing at myself, I will again proclaim, "I'm absolutely thrilled with the way this sounds!"

 

Mike


Edited by zilch0md - 2/9/14 at 5:31am
post #17014 of 18741
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post
 

...It's amazing what you can learn about one headphone by listening to another - understatement of the year, right?...

 

Mike

yup, so true, but it works best when A/B-ing, else selective memory kicks in... he he

 

hd650 is really a gem, still enjoying 'em, after comparing to lcd2 and 3 feels more like the 3 in presentation, lcd2 is less liquid maybe, dryer

 

interesting preference between the dacmini and soloist, maybe a quick elaboration?

 

seems like the simpler the chain the better, or at least easier to do A/B-ing

post #17015 of 18741

post #17016 of 18741
Quote:
Originally Posted by roskodan View Post


interesting preference between the dacmini and soloist, maybe a quick elaboration?

For the LCD-2, using the DACmini CX' DAC section, I found the Soloist to be too laid back (tenth-row seating) and lacking in dynamics, despite having plenty of power (about 1.28W into 50-Ohms.) I found it better suited to the Beyerdynamic T1 that I had at the time, for its very smooth treble (a trait not needed with the LCD-2.)

The CEntrance DACmini CX (DAC + amp) is more forward and amazingly punchy with the LCD-2 (for its 680mW into 50-Ohms), with the DAC's very slight etch coming through the amp (unsmoothed by the Soloist), which I find works very much like a sharpening agent with the shelved highs and less than perfect resolution of the LCD-2. I found that sharpness to be almost unbearable with the more analytical T1.

Enter the Bushmaster MkII... No etch whatsoever, yet plenty of dynamics and bass control with the LCD-2 or HD650, an ink-black noise floor, zero sibilance, and using its integrated amp, no loss of micro-details that the HD650 can express better than the LCD-2. For my tastes, the Bushmaster MkII has beaten both the DACmini CX > Soloist and the standalone DACmini CX, for the LCD-2. I couldn't say that with any phones that are any less efficient, and I'm sure there are several headphones that could sound better on the Soloist.

Interestingly, when using my SPL meter to volume match the LCD-2 vs. HD650 with a white noise WAV file, I discovered that I didn't have to touch the Bushmaster MkII's volume control to get identical SPL's. Very convenient for A/B-ing.

:-)

Mike
post #17017 of 18741

i've a burson conductor and the violectric v800/v200 combo with hd650, hd800 and lcd3

 

the 10th row seating, a more distant presentation is what i can feel too with the conductor, is it just the bigger soundstage or a more natural body presence, maybe a mix of both, the violectric on the other hand is huge in body and very intimate in soundstage, across the whole audible range, intimidatingly present

 

about power, both (conductor and v200) have plenty, and should be near equal (the amp in the conductor is the soloist)

 

measured with 1kHz line level input into the conductor with high gain it has ~2.68 watt at 50 ohm, ~same as the v200

 

post quote from the conductor thread

Quote (Click to show)
Quote:
Originally Posted by roskodan View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarKu View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckman View Post
 

I thought the Conductor/Soloist was 4w into 8 ohms, which makes it less than 1w into 50 ohms???


Output power: 4W at 16 Ohms

At 50 ohms it outputs more than 1W.

 

And I can confirm it, it controls LCD-2 like no other headphone amp does (for me, at least)

 

doesn't seem to lag behind the v200 in power

 

a look quick at the manual and this shows up

 

 
Quote: from conductor manual
With 1Khz line level input with 30ohm output impedance
 
Pre Amp Output
Headphone Amp Output
 
Low
7.7db
0.18W
Medium
13.7db
0.7W
High
18.2db
4W

 

 

so at 50 Ohm at high gain should be around 2.68 watt

 

 
post #17018 of 18741
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
 

 

 

I absolutely had to hear the HD650 before selling off the "headphone museum" I've accumulated.  They arrived Wednesday. The HD650 is very impressive at first listen, but I left it alone while putting better than 48 hours on it. Night before last, I started switching between the HD800 and HD650 on my crazy rig, above - Concero as SPDIF converter > Bushmaster MkII's DAC section > TBI Audio MG3 speaker amp > resistor network.  

 

It's amazing what you can learn about one headphone by listening to another - understatement of the year, right?

 

The HD800's improved bass and lack of treble harshness sounded great to my ears on that daisy chain, until I heard the HD650 on the same chain. The HD650 might actually be the best compromise out there, for the money, in my opinion.  I know the HD650 has been around for a long time, commanding a great deal of respect, but I'm only just getting around to owning a pair that I can spend some time with.

 

I used the world "compromise" because the HD800 has strengths the HD650 lacks, of course (detail and sound stage, for example), but hearing the HD650's bass, I am reminded of the LCD-2, except with added air, treble energy, sound stage, and even a wee bit of improved resolution over the LCD-2 (not that the LCD-2 has ever been heralded for its resolution).  For my ears and tastes, the HD650 is a marriage of the HD800 and LCD-2 - with my earlier most-recent purchase, the HD600, being the more accurate, tonally balanced, version of that same marriage - less like the LCD-2, more like the HD800 - none of which is news to most readers here, I'm sure.

 

But the HD650 has opened my ears to something else that I hadn't detected previously:  Where the Bushmaster MkII's amp section doesn't have enough horsepower to control the bass of the HD800, or even give it sufficient bass energy (good, but not great), the TBI Audio MG3 > resistor network breathed life into the HD800 bass - not as well as the hybrid Schiit Vali, in that regard, but with a less "ethereal" sound - and I'm after a "transportable" rig that can perform dual-duty as a battery-only desktop rig, where the Vali requires a 16V "AC" supply. So, prior to getting the HD650 and having already dismissed driving the HD800 from the Bushmaster MkII's amp section, the Concero > Bushmaster MkII > MG3 > resistor network had become my favorite HD800 amp - and solid state, at that - a good thing, in my book...

 

But then, having heard the bass of the HD650 off of that same chain, night before last, lamenting the loss of some traits offered by the HD800 - resolution and sound stage - I realized that the HD800 still didn't have enough bass for my tastes.  And then, after a couple of hours of back and forth between the two of them, I decided to try moving the HD650 to the Bushmaster MkII's headphone out (bypassing the TBI Audio MG3 amp and resistor network).  Whoa!  This single change immediately revealed that the MG3 > resistor network was degrading the analog output of the Bushmaster MkII:  It was not only reducing resolution slightly, it was dramatically reducing dynamics.  I was shocked at how readily detectable a difference there is in dynamics, between the speaker amp with resistor network and the Bushmaster MkII's headphone out, using the HD650.

 

Some of you may be aware from my posts to the "speaker amps for headphones thread" that I had previously become disappointed with how the TBI resistor network, necessary to silence the hiss caused by excessive gain in the TBI MG3, had killed the LCD-2's dynamics that could be heard on more powerful amps. Here, in comparing the HD650 on the MG3 > resistor network to the HD650 plugged directly into the Bushmaster MkII's headphone out, I realized that the MG3 was hurting dynamics for the HD650 as well. I hadn't noticed it when moving the HD800 back and forth between the MG3 and Bushmaster MkII headphone out, because the Bushmaster MkII just doesn't have enough oomph for the HD800, but, in my opinion it's got plenty of everything it needs for the HD650, despite even Stanley Beresford saying that it doesn't.  I'm telling you that, to my ears, the HD650 sounds better overall, on the Bushmaster MkII's headphone out than on any other amp I have right now.

 

Seriously - my MG3 just became a full-time loudspeaker amp for my Definitive Technology SM 45 near-field monitors.  I have no further use for that resistor network - it's sucking both dynamics and, to a much lesser degree, resolution out of the signal, even though it imparts a smooth treble and that sweet, natural, organic signature that I love so much about the MG3 - and which did wonders to tame the treble of the HD800.  The fact is, the Bushmaster MkII > HD650 sounds way better than the MG3 > HD800 (despite the MG3 > HD800 pairing sounding better than Bushmaster MkII > HD800).

 

But it gets better still.   Night before last, I was absolutely thrilled with the Bushmaster MkII > HD650.  (My mantra: "I'm absolutely thrilled!")  And then, I started comparing the LCD-2 and HD650 off of the Bushmaster MkII headphone out. I had tried the Bushmaster MkII > LCD-2 a couple of weeks ago, when I first got the Bushmaster MkII, and was very impressed at the time, but I was hell bent on finding a solid state (and battery-powered) solution for the HD800, so put that experience on my brain's back burner.

 

Now that I've (temporarily?) suspended my search for an HD800 "cure," I find myself increasingly enamored with the Bushmaster MkII - with both the HD650 and the LCD-2.  There are things to like about the HD650's treble and sound stage, and yet, it's not that far off from having the LCD-2's bass.  It has a wee bit more treble detail than the LCD-2, too.  It's down to a matter of what you like (and how much you want to spend) but I find both headphones to be very enjoyable off of the Bushmaster MkII. 

 

People can tell me all day long that the Bushmaster MkII doesn't have enough power for either the HD650 or the LCD-2, but...  There are some folks other than myself out there who swear by the Bushmaster MkII > HD650 pairing, just as there are lots of people who talk about how the LCD-2 does amazingly well with lower power amps, even though Audeze recommends a minimum of 1000mW for their planar magnetics.  

 

Take note that Stanley Beresford has posted that his amp section sports a relatively higher current output for its power rating (current instead of voltage) than other solid state amp designs, and I've read on several occasions elsewhere, that planar magnetics thrive on high-current signals over getting power from the voltage side of the equation.

 

One last contrast:  I've long been a fan of the CEntrance DACmini CX > LCD-2.   In fact, this has remained a benchmark for me, for quite some time.  I sold my Burson Soloist because it can't compete with the CEntrance DACmini (all but ignored these days, as one of yesterday's heroes.)  Switching back and forth between the Bushmaster MkII and CEntrance DACmini CX, this morning, as an integrated DAC/amp solution, I prefer the Bushmaster MkII with both the HD650 and the LCD-2.  And that's without consideration of the greater than 3:1 difference in price.  The magic is definitely in Stanley Beresford's DAC section, more than the amp, with none of the slight etch I've always tolerated in the DACmini CX DAC's treble, but keep in mind, the Bushmaster MkII does not have a USB receiver, as does the DACmini CX.   Still, the friend who led me to trying both the Bushmaster MkII and HD650 is using the very affordable, HiFimeDIY Sabre USB DAC with an optical cable to feed SPDIF to his Bushmaster MkII - and considers the Bushmaster MkII > HD650 to be nearly the equal of his Speedballed Crack > HD650.  (So you don't really need a Concero to convert USB to SPDIF...)

 

Laughing at myself, I will again proclaim, "I'm absolutely thrilled with the way this sounds!"

 

Mike

 

 

 

A great read, and informative. Thanks mate!

post #17019 of 18741
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

 

Laughing at myself, I will again proclaim, "I'm absolutely thrilled with the way this sounds!"

 

Mike

I for one believe you! I've owned 3 Beresford amps including the Bushmaster mk1 and the hp out has always been very good. Very refined. I'd also agree about the HD800 and the BM, as even though it does sound very balanced and sweet - it could use a bit more oomph in the lower end. Suppose this because of the lack of voltage. I havent heard the 650's with BM but I can imagine that the extra bass hump will even things out nicely. 

 

Nice to see some praise for this great little dac/amp.    

post #17020 of 18741

Got some new cables! :)

 

 

post #17021 of 18741

:tongue_smile: Yeah you did... WOWZA!!!

post #17022 of 18741
Quote:
Originally Posted by Androb View Post
 

Got some new cables! :)

 

 

 

Tell us more, tell us more, tell us more! How are they?

post #17023 of 18741
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amictus View Post
Tell us more, tell us more, tell us more! How are they?

Well I was using diy cables first, using crap cheap cables and bad connectors.
I think the bass was a bit unclear first with the other cables, and now when I got the cardas it got cleaner sounding and the HD650 doesn't sound as congested (don't know if you use that word lol) anymore. Sound didn't get warmer nor clinical sounding, so I guess it's a pretty balanced cable. Also I think micro details is easier to spot now :)


They seem to be very well built aswell, can probably take a beating or two :) Feels like a top notch cable anyway :) I would recommend these cables but keep in mind they are also the first bought xlr cables I owned so I can only compare with my diy cables :D

 

(Listening to James Blake - Unluck is awesome around 2 min, eartips are shaking haha)

post #17024 of 18741

Got my new cables here. Listened to three songs with my old cable and the new one to compare. (http://forzaaudioworks.com/en/product.php?id_product=39)
James Blake - Unluck
Dire straits - Walk of life
Beatles - Come together
And what I heard was that the treble is a bit more detailed :)
Doesn't feel as "dark" as my diy cable is.

The cable is really pretty :) I love the transparent plastic so I can see the copper underneath it!

 


My cat allways wanna be in the way when I take photos.

 

post #17025 of 18741
Quote:
Originally Posted by Androb View Post

My cat allways wanna be in the way when I take photos.

 

he says (looks like a he anyway): (with heavy nordic accent) "take photo of cute me or i sharpen my claws and teeth on your new cable, which i'll do later anyway"

 

did "put cat's name here" try the cable yet?

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