Twsmith, thank you for sharing your experience with the Invicta. I cannot wait to try the Invicta now! A question about headphone cable: With the Invicta integrated amp, do you use the stock cable of HD800? I am considering upgrading the stock cable to some aftermarket ones. The Q cable and the Black Dragon V2 seem to have received many good reviews and are relatively inexpensive. Any comments/suggestions on choice between these two cables for connecting HD800 to the Invicta, or recommendations of other cables (for less than $400)?
BTW, I ordered the unit directly from Mark, and I live in US. I read some post on another forum that complained about high brokerage/tax fee charged by UPS on delivery for importing unit into US. Did you experience any C.O.D. from UPS? I am expecting the UPS to deliver my package next week, and am a bit worried.
I'm using the Stefan Audioart Endorphin headphone cable for the HD800s. I tried two different Cardas cables (including their top of the line Cardas Clear) as well as the stock HD800 cable, and did not think any of them compare to the Endorphin. I haven't tried the Q cable or Black Dragon. The Endorphin is somewhat pricey (mine was around $600 or so) but I think it's worth it. Headphone cables can be pretty subjective though.
I'm not sure I can answer your question about UPS charges. I don't recall having paid a UPS COD or import brokerage charge myself when my unit arrived (I live in the US too). However since I requested the unit to be shipped to my office, it's possible that the Receiving Dept where I work (an academic institution) absorbed any import charges. They often receive packages from all over the world and may be accustomed to paying this type of charge.
I should also mention that UPS is very fussy about requiring signatures on delivery (I'm almost certain this would be the case with the Invicta). So you need to be sure someone will be available to sign for the package (and pay any COD charge if necessary). I believe you can make arrangements proactively to have a shipment held for you at a UPS office. I always have "big ticket" items (computers, camera gear, etc) shipped to my office for this reason.