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REVIEW: The Headstage Arrow HE portable amplifier - Page 2

post #16 of 29

Great review, I gotta pick up the slack and get my Arrow review going!  It is really a great amp.  lol and has globs of life on the battery makes burning in the amplifier even more difficult!

post #17 of 29

Thanks Joel, I guess it was too good to be true to kill two birds with one stone. Well at least now I have some more time to figure out which desktop amp to get for the LCD-2's, looks like the Arrow will do for now until I make up my mind.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by s1rrah View Post

I think technically, the Woo 6 SE *and* the Raptor amp both could be said to be more capable at getting power to  the LCD-2's; also, they are an order or two more quiet than the Arrow (not that the Arrow is noisy in the least, just as quiet as any other portable I've heard but it just can't match the background silence of either of those two desktop amps). Similarly, they are better across every frequency range ... also better detail, soundstaging and imaging.

 

That said I did enjoy the LCD-2's with the Arrow as it allowed me to add just a touch more of the delicious low end that they offer, thereby making it just a little bit more enjoyable of a listen with the Arrow. But as mentioned in the review, the Arrow is simply  not gonna go toe to toe with the Ray Sam Raptor or the Woo 6 SE. Not a fair contest by any means.

 

But drive the LCD-2's well, the Arrow does. I detected no distortion and plenty of head-room when it came to available power (even on the default  gain setting).

 

It's similar to my experience with the AKG K701's and the Arrow amp. I've never really liked the AKG K701's. Just too "clinical" for my tastes. If the SE530's could be called approaching reference neutrality then (IMHO) the K701's could be said to be approaching "clinical" reference neutrality. If that makes any sense, I mean.

 

But with the Arrow amp, the K701's are amazing sounding once the bass boost is engaged (even level "II" sounds amazing). I was blow away at how much more I enjoyed the AKG's.

 

The AKG's did however begin to display a bit of distortion in the bass but only at levels far far louder than I would ever listen at (and I mean WAY loud; I just kept turning it up to see if/when any distortion would occur). But since it was so bloody loud, I wrote the phenomenon off as a non-issue.

 

As far as a dedicated amp for the LCD-2's? I'd certainly recommend a quality desktop as the go-to amp for those cans as their refinements really aren't going to shine with the Arrow (in a purely high end audio sense) as they will with a top tier solid state or tube desktop amp. But that said ... as a supplement to your desktop, the Arrow would work very well as an occasional diversion for the LCD-2's ... extremely fun listen.

 

Good luck.

 

.joel

post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golden Monkey View Post

All in all, I'm like you in that I research the hell out of things before I buy, and when it comes to purchase time I know what I want/  The Arrow met all of my needs and surpassed all of my expectations.  It was the ONLY amp that had crossfeed, gain, impedence, non-software bass-boost, battery life,  and the specific op-amp I wanted in the form factor I was looking for. The best part (although not a deciding factor) was that it gave me all this for a price LESS...substantially...than any of the competitors.  All of the others I'd considered are excellent amps (I won't list them, but basically I was looking at everything up to a Lisa 3), but this is THE amp for me.  Yes, Robert's past will haunt him, but I feel that he's moved on, learned from his mistakes, and is carving his own path...it's just too bad that due to some ancient issues he won't get a fair shake around here.  Wether due to fanboyism and/or the inability to measure products on their own merit instead of "ethics", or the inability to "forgive and forget"...well, anyway...enough of that.  You see my point (or not, lol).

 

Enjoy your music man!  Thanks for the review.


Thanks for all the comments, really helped (especially your mention of the dual-ended-input and the dual phone jacks). I'd almost went back and taken some shots of the volume pot end of things but got lazy and figured folks would investigate the amp at Headstage.

 

 

( edit: content deleted as in retrospect I figured my thoughts just not valuable insofar as a review goes and so read your email copy if your interested but please don't reply in context)

 

Otherwise, and regarding the Arrow amp ... as with my desktop amplifier (RS Raptor), my chosen full sized main headphones (SRH840's/GS1000's) and my portable DAP (Sflo: 2) ... the Arrow amp is a permanent addition to the family at this point. It's almost like having a really awesome "dirty little secret" ... (which, just for the record, I also have in spades) ... smile.gif

 

Thanks again for the comments, mang.

Best.

 

.joel

post #19 of 29

Thanks for the great review.  I just purchased a set of RE0's, and was considering an amp to use with them and my Ipod.  I originally thought that the RSA Hornet was the right choice, but I'm now thinking that the Arrow, with it's bass boost circuitry, would be a better match with the bass weak characteristics of the RE0's. 

 

After I get a chance to really listen to the RE0's, I'll have to decide if I can live with the lack of bass..Your review really shed some light on that circuit - thanks again...

 

Steve

post #20 of 29

Excellent review Joel. Pretty much mirrors my thoughts. I use Westone W3's and do find myself running the gain and bass at zero for some tracks.

 

Your review reminded me that I had not tried the Arrow out with my home headphones.. I plugged in my lowly ATH-AD700,s and was pleasantly surprised. The gain and bass at one seems to bring out the best in these phones.

 

I went on to do a quick comparison with my home set up. Tunes were Porcupine Trees, Lightbulb Sun and Joni Mitchell, Hijera.

 

Both sources are ALAC.

 

Portable set up - I-Pod 120Gb classic >- Arrow 3G 

 

Home set up - PC > Hi-Face > DAC section of Wadia 861> Graham Slee Solo.

 

With the Arrow with all settings at 0, not a lot in it really. The Slee Solo possibly a tad richer. With the Arrow set at Gain 1 and Bass 1. The Arrow pretty much blew the Solo away.

 

My main conclusion is that they should start putting tone controls back into Hi-Fi equipment. happy_face1.gif

post #21 of 29

Thanks for the great review...I just ordered mine..now the waiting begins, LOL.  I think this thing is just the ticket for my RE0's.

 

Steve

post #22 of 29

"s1rrah" Have you tried any other IEM with the Arrow?

Maybe a Westone 3 or Westone 4.

Thanks!

post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiophile1811 View Post

"s1rrah" Have you tried any other IEM with the Arrow?

Maybe a Westone 3 or Westone 4.

Thanks!



I have not. Although I believe there's some folk who have mentioned them in this thread: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/475499/headstage-arrow-he-reviews-impressions-perceptions-sensations/1800#post_7260738

post #24 of 29
post #25 of 29

I notice that you have what appears to be a Sony 800 series walkman as do I (846) and was curious as to how you have it connected to the Arrow Amp. It looks like you have it going through the cable used for charging/external input and not from the headphone output? How is this possible?

 

Cheers!

Craig

post #26 of 29



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cn11 View Post

Joel-

 

Awesome review. I like the way you deal with the main issues of an amplifier review in such a down-to-earth manner. It was quite a fun read as well as being extremely useful to current and potential future owners.

 

Like you, I'm amazed at how it drives full size cans. My latest purchase in that area-- the Pro 900-- really shines out of the Arrow. They are noticeably harder to drive than any other headphone I've had, which makes me all the more thankful I've had the Arrow for so long now. The quality of sound I'm getting out of this little rig really is amazing... Lately I've been toying with the idea of picking up another somewhat larger amp which would just reside at my work station, but I don't seem to be moving very quickly on it every time I play music with the Arrow / Pro 900 rig! It just keeps sounding so damn good. 

 

A little rig pron:

 

work rig 1a.JPG


Hi cn11,

 

I notice that you have what appears to be a Sony 800 series walkman as do I (846) and was curious as to how you have it connected to the Arrow Amp. It looks like you have it going through the cable used for charging/external input and not from the headphone output? How is this possible?

 

 Cheers!

CRAIG
 

 

post #27 of 29

Nice review

 

post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by s1rrah View Post




Thanks for all the comments, really helped (especially your mention of the dual-ended-input and the dual phone jacks). I'd almost went back and taken some shots of the volume pot end of things but got lazy and figured folks would investigate the amp at Headstage.

 

 

( edit: content deleted as in retrospect I figured my thoughts just not valuable insofar as a review goes and so read your email copy if your interested but please don't reply in context)

 

Otherwise, and regarding the Arrow amp ... as with my desktop amplifier (RS Raptor), my chosen full sized main headphones (SRH840's/GS1000's) and my portable DAP (Sflo: 2) ... the Arrow amp is a permanent addition to the family at this point. It's almost like having a really awesome "dirty little secret" ... (which, just for the record, I also have in spades) ... smile.gif

 

Thanks again for the comments, mang.

Best.

 

.joel


Hi Joel

After I read your review , I have already placed order arrow 4 G from headphonia.com

Please let me know the website from the head stage arrow or Robert email address

I surf in google only find headphonia.com


How about the USB cable is that also good ? Please advise

Thank you for your help
post #29 of 29

Good review. The only point I disagree with is the view on cross feed. The point of cross feed is to have music sound as intended for recording. Most are recorded for speaker setups where you are supposed to hear a mix of left and right in both ears. Through headphones this does not translate very well without cross feed. It isolates the channels more then intended for end result. Just IMO anyway.

 

I am buying the arrow in part because of this feature.

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