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post #196 of 697
Quote:
Originally Posted by econparanoia View Post

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.   

post #197 of 697
Quote:
Originally Posted by twsmith View Post

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.   

Thanks again, twsmith.

 

The Endorphin cable is way beyond my budget, especially after my purchase of the Invicta. I probably will have to wait for a while before I can afford one. Nevertheless, your preference of the Endorphin over Cardas cables is very informative to me.

 

I also have the package shipped to my office, where incoming packages are usually signed and safely received by dock agent. Cannot wait !!

post #198 of 697
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by econparanoia View Post

Thanks again, twsmith.

 

The Endorphin cable is way beyond my budget, especially after my purchase of the Invicta. I probably will have to wait for a while before I can afford one. Nevertheless, your preference of the Endorphin over Cardas cables is very informative to me.

 

I also have the package shipped to my office, where incoming packages are usually signed and safely received by dock agent. Cannot wait !!

 

I didn't have to pay any import fees, but mine was just a review loaner so perhaps that explains it. I rarely pay import duties (and I have a lot of gear brought in....) but once in a while it pops up and is annoying. 

 

For cables, check out Toxic Cables and Charleston Cable Company. I've used multiple cables from each of them, from interconnects to IEM cables to headphone cables, and both are excellent. Not all that expensive either, in comparison. 

post #199 of 697
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

 

I didn't have to pay any import fees, but mine was just a review loaner so perhaps that explains it. I rarely pay import duties (and I have a lot of gear brought in....) but once in a while it pops up and is annoying. 

 

For cables, check out Toxic Cables and Charleston Cable Company. I've used multiple cables from each of them, from interconnects to IEM cables to headphone cables, and both are excellent. Not all that expensive either, in comparison. 

Thank you, Project 86. This is great to know. The Toxic Cables look nice and relatively inexpensive. According to their website, the "silver poison" and the "silver plated OCC copper" are the only two cables currently available for HD800. Do you have any idea about which of the two cables is better for HD800? Judging from the prices, I expect the silver poison to be roughly better. However, Is it better in EVERY aspect than the copper one for HD800  (bass, fuller sound, smoothness, non-harsh treble, details, sound stage ...)?

 

I plan to use the HD800 SE (connected to the Invicta, as suggested by Twsmith) for now, but would like to leave the option of going balanced open. As a more general question, do you think it is a good idea to buy an aftermarket cable of either a 4-pin xlr or dual 3-pin xlr end, together with a xlr to 1/4' jack adapter? Do you think using such an adapter will have any negative effect on sound quality when using SE (, compared to using a 1/4' jack end cable directly) ?  Also, between the 4-pin xlr and the dual 3-pin xlr,  which one do you prefer? 


Edited by econparanoia - 12/8/12 at 10:34am
post #200 of 697
Quote:
Originally Posted by econparanoia View Post

 

I plan to use the HD800 SE (connected to the Invicta, as suggested by Twsmith) for now, but would like to leave the option of going balanced open. As a more general question, do you think it is a good idea to buy an aftermarket cable of either a 4-pin xlr or dual 3-pin xlr end, together with a xlr to 1/4' jack adapter? Do you think using such an adapter will have any negative effect on sound quality when using SE (, compared to using a 1/4' jack end cable directly) ?  Also, between the 4-pin xlr and the dual 3-pin xlr,  which one do you prefer? 

Couple of comments -- I did try my HD800s balanced (Invicta xlr out to a balanced amp to balanced HP cable) and compared this to SE straight from Invicta (using an adapter).  I did not feel that there was a significant advantage to the balanced configuration at all and in fact felt that low-level resolution/detail retrieval was better straight from the Invicta amp.  Even more interesting was when I recently started using the Minimum Phase IIR filter, I immediately noticed that the soundstage equalled or exceeded what I thought I heard with the balanced set-up (the new filter was not available then).   Having said that, I certainly wouldn't want to discourage anyone from going balanced, however you need to keep in mind that the SQ advantages of balanced vs SE may be more subjective than real.   Before I got the SE Endorphin cable, I did use a dual 3-pin xlr to SE 1/4" adapter to connect my balanced HP cable to the Invicta, and did not seem to hear any "obvious" deterioration in SQ.   However I thought using the adapter was sort of clunky and since my final decision was not to use a balanced external amp, just having the SE headphone cable made more sense to me. 

post #201 of 697
Thread Starter 

I'd shoot Toxic Cables an email and see what they recommend for your preferences - Frank is very polite and willing to recommend something cheaper if he thinks it will be a better match for you. 

 

I wouldn't bother with XLR in this case, but that's just me. 

post #202 of 697

For a wealth of opinions - stock cable on the HD800 is really good.  I would not personally replace it with aftermarket cables, and have tried my fair share.

 

Introducing IC's into the equation degrading sound quality?  I disagree, from extensive personal experience.  As to the quality of the amp, I also wouldn't oversell it - it is a well implemented AD797.  It drives the HD800 loud enough but the sense of soundstage and microdetails available with a BA or (and I have less experience with this model) the LG is quite frankly obvious over the Invicta, and I don't think the guys at Resonessence would disagree with that.  Good in a pinch but not an end-all would be my description.  For Solid State, I preferred the GS-X to it as well.

post #203 of 697

One thing I completely overlooked when I bought the Invicta was the lack of a traditional RCA-type coax input.  Those with CD transports will have to settle for optical input.  Depending on the quality of your transport, this may or may not be a problem.  The 350C I use really sounds dope, even with optical.  I tried some other transports and found it totally lackluster.  

 

SD card does beat optical, but just by a bit.  Optical sounds flatter, more cohesive, and less resolving of spatial nuances.  


Edited by sphinxvc - 12/11/12 at 5:22am
post #204 of 697
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxvc View Post

One thing I completely overlooked when I bought the Invicta was the lack of a traditional RCA-type coax input.  Those with CD transports will have to settle for optical input.  Depending on the quality of your transport, this may or may not be a problem.  The 350C I use really sounds dope, even with optical.  I tried some other transports and found it totally lackluster.  

 

SD card does beat optical, but just by a bit.  Optical sounds flatter, more cohesive, and less resolving of spatial nuances.  

I completely overlooked that, too...   The good thing is that the SD card solution seems to be pretty satisfactory. 

post #205 of 697
Thread Starter 

Adapters go for just a few dollars - turn those crazy BNC jacks into standard RCA inputs. 

post #206 of 697

Didn't even realize they sell those, will have to get some.  Thanks, Project86.

post #207 of 697

The BNC is far superior to the RCA. Convert all of your RCAs to BNCs. No excuse for still using this lousy connector especially for digital. Regards

post #208 of 697

Not 100% sure using a BNC to RCA will give you best result though - I stop using my cardas adapter for this reason.

post #209 of 697
Quote:
Originally Posted by econparanoia View Post

I completely overlooked that, too...   The good thing is that the SD card solution seems to be pretty satisfactory. 

I would wholeheartedly second using the SD card option, providing you already have your CDs already uploaded to a computer or are willing to take the time to do this.  In my opinion it beats using a CD transport, especially since it doesn't take but a few SDXC cards to store a large number of CDs, especially if you choose to encode them in FLAC (which the Invicta card reader now supports).  I have converted many CDs to AIFF files using iTunes (which unfortunately doesn't have a FLAC converter) and put them on 64 gb SDXC cards.   Not having to connect a transport, computer, etc. to the Invicta is perfect for me since I have very limited shelf space.  

 

I can't reallly comment whether there are differences in SQ between the card reader and a CD transport, since I really thought both sounded fantastic (using coaxial, not optical connect with transport).  If you are worried about potential differences in SQ between transports, using the SD card reader may obviate this.   There may also be technical advantages to using the Invicta's SD card reader as the primary source which are discussed on the Resonessence website - unfortunately I don't have the engineering background to understand why but it does seem to make some sense.

post #210 of 697
Thread Starter 
And the good thing is that larger SD cards have dropped quite a bit in price since I originally wrote this review.
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