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The Apex High Fi Audio Arete is now available! - Page 4

post #46 of 84


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sberamji View Post

I just dont understand why these amps are so expensive. It looks like everyone is trying to milk the headfi market these days. It uses a blue alps potentiometer and simple mosfet/jfet layout. It comes with a switching power supply as well which once again shouldnt cost much. The end result is an amp that doesnt deliver a lot of power but is expensive. Compare this to DIY efforts like the M3, PPAV2, B22(which would be costlier) or a CKIII which may come super close to this effort or may even beat it. seriously the headfi market has become a place for people to milk us. Headphones that debuted at $1000 suddenly appreciate by 20-30%. In the end the only ones truly enjoying hifi are the middlemen at the poor headfiers expense. Everyone wants tto have that magical sound and all everyone ends up doing is buying equipment, trying it out and selling the same. What's my point - Atleast sell the amp with a better power supply if one is going to charge $1000 for it!  



I have owned all the "DIY" efforts at one time or another (I had three Betas at once). The Arete is better....you pay for better! Don't complain if the hobby is proving expensive...find a cheaper pastime. Not every head-fier is poor. We are all between either public transportation or driving a Ferrari. Claiming that either Todd Green or Pete Millett is "milking" the headfi public? You clearly have no concept of bringing a quality product to fruition. The steps of design and implementation toward an end product. "DIY" if you can do better... If you could? Then you would then have to listen to someone like yourself complaining!

 

 Pre-Amps (of which headphone amps are kin) are MUCH harder to configure from the noise (and the residual aspects) than two channel speaker amps. Maybe if you don't understand the mechanics (and intricacies) of circuit design...study it and develop an actual appreciation. Then you could offer something constructive in a conversation of cost vs. performance ratios..... 


Edited by achristilaw - 7/12/11 at 2:33pm
post #47 of 84

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by achristilaw View Post

  I ended up purchasing the Arete...even though I have the Peak/Volcano. Offers a synergistic magic with the PS1000. Wonderful also with the 300 ohm Sennie's (my 600).

 

 Adds a tone-ful and nimble character to the Bass-Line of the PS1K. Adds a nice throaty (READ: Meaty) character to the mid-bass (the growl will make the heart sweat!) from that phone. Instills control and a good (READ: realistic) sparkle to the top end of the Grado as well. With the wrong amp the very top of the PS1000 is a tad too sweet. The Arete/PS1000 combo is special (IMHO). Sweet Meat!! 

 

Does the Volcano work with the Arete, and if so have you tried them together?

post #48 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post

 

 

Does the Volcano work with the Arete, and if so have you tried them together?



Yup, that is the only way I have used the Arete...with Volcano! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #49 of 84
I will review the Arête both with and without the Volcano.
post #50 of 84

Did you say Arete is better than Beta22 ?

post #51 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio-Omega View Post

Did you say Arete is better than Beta22 ?



Did who say that?  Alan? I certainly did not.  I have not compared them.

post #52 of 84

Oh I was referring to achristilaw's post #46.  biggrin.gif

post #53 of 84


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio-Omega View Post

Oh I was referring to achristilaw's post #46.  biggrin.gif

  Yup, I found the Beta's to have a common failing. I had one balanced (for my balanced phones of course), another with high gain (in the low-teens) to push about the Orthos and the third with a more sensible gain for the rest of my phones. A slight grain in the treble which contributed to a slight lack of focus in the mid-band. And the bottom wasn't as controlled as the best I had (the Gilmore's are far more impressive here!). The Betas are gone like the Dynahi (still have the Dynamid...admittedly not getting much use today).

 

 The Arete is not the equal of the Peak...but it is in the top-tier of solid-state brethren (IMO). And the control is welcome for the PS1000 (as I have mentioned before). The Betas aren't bad...just not the finest I have ever heard. That flies in the face of what the "belief" is around Head-Fi. But my opinion is from actually owning them and the other "tops of the heaps", and not from others and their posted opinions. Many will acquire one and think it can't get better....it can (again...it's my opinion)! Anything that had "the best" moniker I have tried in solid-state. I prefer more neutral and the less colored (READ: Tubes) than a lot of folks hereabouts. The hybrid Peak was quite a surprise (using Volcano), mated with a great signal (Mullard CV181 or the Sylvania VT-231 6SN7W "Bad Boy") is quite the performer...so much so I could unload amps in bunches!
 

 

post #54 of 84

Well, my B22 (and P-1u) has mostly been collecting dust since I picked up the Peak + Volcano. Very curious to hear the Arete. Todd, is this still the thread to sign up for the loaner?

post #55 of 84


Hi achristilaw,

Quote:
Originally Posted by achristilaw View Post

[snip]

 

The Arete is not the equal of the Peak...but it is in the top-tier of solid-state brethren (IMO).

 

[snip]

 

Many will acquire one and think it can't get better....it can (again...it's my opinion)! Anything that had "the best" moniker I have tried in solid-state. I prefer more neutral and the less colored (READ: Tubes) than a lot of folks hereabouts. The hybrid Peak was quite a surprise (using Volcano), mated with a great signal (Mullard CV181 or the Sylvania VT-231 6SN7W "Bad Boy") is quite the performer...so much so I could unload amps in bunches!
 


Tom Martin's review of the Peak/Volcano has haunted me ever since I read it, in part because, even though this sounds as if I'm patting myself on the back, I had concluded on my own, prior to reading his review, that soundstage and image focus are at least in part dependent on an amp's resolving power.  The low-level signals associated with feint echos or the trailing decays of individual notes heard against an inky black noise floor can make the difference between a truly immersive reproduction of reality and a far more artificial experience that's not nearly as satisfying.

 

Having never heard the Peak/Volcano, I'm nevertheless fascinated by its "astonishing resolution" (to quote Martin's article), especially given that it's a hybrid, as I'm pretty much convinced that it's a lot easier to design "astonishing resolution" into a solid state amp than into a tube or hybrid amp.  The stereotypically laid-back, edge-free, sweetness of tubes turns me off because, again, stereotypically, those traits come with a loss of detail and, sometimes, transparency.  

 

I want to hear literally everything that was recorded and literally nothing else.  I want an amplifier that allows me to listen to the signal without listening to the amp!  The whole I idea of rolling tubes with a tube or hybrid amp suggests that the amp is incapable of being neutral and, even though it might be fun to amass a collection of different tubes, swapping them in and out to suit various genres of music or even your mood at the moment, we must admit that at best, only one set of tubes can be truly neutral (if you're lucky - or unlucky as some might proclaim.)

 

I'm particulalry keen to get your impressions of the Arete because of your professed preference for neutrality.  Does the Arete fall short of the Peak in terms of neutrality?   And, in your opinion, does the Arete offer the "astonishing resolution" offered by the Peak?   What precisely does the Arete fail to do as well as the Peak?

 

Thanks very much!

 

Mike

 


Edited by zilch0md - 7/15/11 at 3:25pm
post #56 of 84


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post


Hi achristilaw,


Tom Martin's review of the Peak/Volcano has haunted me ever since I read it, in part because, even though this sounds as if I'm patting myself on the back, I had concluded on my own, prior to reading his review, that soundstage and image focus are at least in part dependent on an amp's resolving power.  The low-level signals associated with feint echos or the trailing decays of individual notes heard against an inky black noise floor can make the difference between a truly immersive reproduction of reality and a far more artificial experience that's not nearly as satisfying.

 

Having never heard the Peak/Volcano, I'm nevertheless fascinated by its "astonishing resolution" (to quote Martin's article), especially given that it's a hybrid, as I'm pretty much convinced that it's a lot easier to design "astonishing resolution" into a solid state amp than into a tube or hybrid amp.  The stereotypically laid-back, edge-free, sweetness of tubes turns me off because, again, stereotypically, those traits come with a loss of detail and, sometimes, transparency.  

 

I want to hear literally everything that was recorded and literally nothing else.  I want an amplifier that allows me to listen to the signal without listening to the amp!  The whole I idea of rolling tubes with a tube or hybrid amp suggests that the amp is incapable of being neutral and, even though it might be fun to amass a collection of different tubes, swapping them in and out to suit various genres of music or even your mood at the moment, we must admit that at best, only one set of tubes can be truly neutral (if you're lucky - or unlucky as some might proclaim.)

 

I'm particulalry keen to get your impressions of the Arete because of your professed preference for neutrality.  Does the Arete fall short of the Peak in terms of neutrality?   And, in your opinion, does the Arete offer the "astonishing resolution" offered by the Peak?   What precisely does the Arete fail to do as well as the Peak?

 

Thanks very much!

 

Mike

 

  

 

  If your source would allow you to walk into the resolution world of the P/V...you would be hard-pressed to (at least) to ever forget the experience, and you would find a way to pay for it!

 

  The whole recording and playback chain are artificial. The search for signal (with P/V) allows a maturing and synchronicity to FORGE a system concept. Wouldn't it be nice to either improve a wanting Source?...Or if it's a Source with few actual shortcomings, have an Amp be allowed to compliment the money you have spent? Add in the phone corrections needed and the allowance for personal tastes and it's a tall order to fill. You have to spend a few thousand on a Source and then claim you want to "hear it all"! People around Head-Fi spend money on a phone first! Then for second think, "An amp is what I need?" And are puzzled when they finally discover that the Source is KING..a good amp is dutiful and will offer exactly what it's fed! Sorry about the soap-box preachy nature of the last few comments. But it is   S O U R C E   F I R S T !!!! You do that.... then you can enjoy the rest..... I don't know what you use Mike...my comments are for everyone! And are for anyone who is chasing the absolute sound...


  With the P/V (Peak/Volcano), I can listen to the recording center... forward. It doesn't have an "inky" noise floor...no noise floor at all.... it's an abyssal! You need to find the signal to hold your hand...but Man o' Man. It's a wonder! The Arete isn't a slouch...and with the PS1000, I prefer it over the P/V. Being solid front to back does have control advantages. So I have added the Arete. Another reason? The HP-2 loves it! The Leben? I plugged the HP-2 into the Leben and it was pinched and sour.....bye-bye Leben!

 

  I have 60 some of the 6SN7 and derivatives. I had about 40 before the P/V..and have selected the best of the NOS I can find to expand the collection. It is very sensitive to signal....and that is the part I love the most. There are wonderful signals to be had...they ain't cheap. But life ain't cheap! 

 

  You can wish for neutrality...but I want (and need with some phones) a dash of flesh (actual) or real tonal warmth. That is where the signals rush to the rescue!!

 

  The PS1000 has it's own Tonal Warmth Factory that is included with the purchase. It sounds like it is always hooked to a tube buffer...it's warm naturally. The neutral nature and control of the Arete...works well! 

 


Edited by achristilaw - 7/15/11 at 9:40pm
post #57 of 84

Achristilaw, thanks for the comment about the synergy with the PS1000!

 

It will be great if you can provide some information about what other amps you have paired PS1000 with.  I've only tried the Xciter amp a while back and would love to know if the Arete/Volcano has an edge over them.  It will be also great if you can tell us how the Volcano adds character over the PS1000+Arete combo.  Thanks!! gs1000.gif

post #58 of 84


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DC5Zilla View Post

Achristilaw, thanks for the comment about the synergy with the PS1000!

 

It will be great if you can provide some information about what other amps you have paired PS1000 with.  I've only tried the Xciter amp a while back and would love to know if the Arete/Volcano has an edge over them.  It will be also great if you can tell us how the Volcano adds character over the PS1000+Arete combo.  Thanks!! gs1000.gif



  I thought it might like my Moth si2A3/45...nope...to much of a good thing! It likes (not loves) my LaRocco Headcode...good luck finding one of those! It was great with the P/V...but the bottom weight wouldn't reign in. The Arete with Volcano is quite enjoyable!

 

  The PS1000 is walking the walk with big shoulders...and can thrust it's weight to an fro. It frolics at the extremes...I like just a snippet of control to keep it's exuberant nature in line. With it (the A/V).... it now ranks with the better phones I have enjoyed.

 

  I like the Marantz Receiver (2285B) with the Sennheiser 600 (very much)...it hits a current limit with the PS1000 (sound in a bubble!)...doesn't work that well (at all). I had a Melos that liked most Grado's....to warmish (as in "warm n' fuzzy") for the PS1K though. I have never heard the Arete with switching supply...I didn't like the Peak with the switching amp however. It was O.K.....but a drop when neutral went sterile.


Edited by achristilaw - 7/15/11 at 9:24pm
post #59 of 84

Fascinating!

post #60 of 84

 

Thanks for elaborating, achristilaw!

 

Mike

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