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Review: Resonessence Labs Invicta - new high end DAC/amp/playback system - Page 27

post #391 of 676
Quote:
Originally Posted by AFWannabe View Post

 

 

Thanks for the feedback. I'm joining the "club". I've ordered an adaptor from TAM Audio, and Cardas Balanced XLR cables for HD800.

 

I'm also using the TAM adaptor (very nice although a bit pricey) and a set of Cardas Clear (also pricey) xlr cables for my HD800s. I think you will find the Cardas + TAM to work very nicely with the Invicta in differential mode. To expand slightly on my earlier post -- in no way am I trashing the single-ended HP outputs on the Invicta, and they are much better than what I have heard from almost all other DAC-amp combos and even separates that I've used in the past. It's just that for a HP like the HD800, balanced just seems to work even better. I do think a big advantage of running HPs straight from the Invicta itself is that you're avoiding the added "variable" of a cable connection between the DAC and whatever amp you are using. Some people have written that this should not make a difference, and probably in most cases the effect is minimal and relatively subtle, however I do think overall resolution is definitely better straight from the Invicta, especially when looking for the highest degree of retrieval of low level detail and spatial information.
post #392 of 676

Does anyone have experience with the INVICTA  combined with a B22 and/or a Beyer T1?

I am really getting serious about upgrading my D100 to the invicta. 

 

I wonder if the B22 still brings an improvment over the integrated headphone amp in the invicta which I read to be very good. 

post #393 of 676
Quote:
Originally Posted by schlaget View Post

Does anyone have experience with the INVICTA  combined with a B22 and/or a Beyer T1?

I am really getting serious about upgrading my D100 to the invicta. 

 

I wonder if the B22 still brings an improvment over the integrated headphone amp in the invicta which I read to be very good. 

I can't directly answer your question but I have had experience using the Invicta with the original GS-X (not MkII version) which has been described as being very similar to the B22. Comparing the Invicta's internal amp in balanced mode vs GX-S (using HD800s):  both amps present an almost identical improvement in sound staging, bass/midrange response and overall dynamic impact and headroom; however I felt that the Invicta's amp had the edge in terms of overall resolution and retrieval of fine low-level detail over the GS-X. The latter has been described as being a virtually transparent window (as is the B22) on the source, so I'm wondering if the perceived slight but definite improvement in resolution from the Invicta amp more likely means that the HD800 was just a better electrical match with the Invicta compared to the GS-X?  The other "possible" variable could be the connection itself between the Invicta and GS-X -- impedence matching, cable properties, etc.   To me that underscores the advantages of using the Invicta amp rather than an external amp, especially if you are not inclined to experiment with different cables, headphones, etc.  

 

The one big advantage of the larger external amps like B22 and GX-S may be power output -- the Invicta is certainly more the adequate for dynamic HPs like HD800, T1, 701, etc, but maybe +/- for the planar HPs (but I have no experience with these).   Amps such as the new GX-S MkII have beefier output which you may want to consider if planning to get HPs that require more power than the Invicta can supply. The Invicta is a one box unit, albeit with a truly amazing HP amp, but still limited by size with regard to power supply, heat dissipation, etc.  

 

Hopefully this information will be of some use.   Since you already have the B22, you can get the Invicta and then make a comparison between the internal amp and B22 to see which sounds better.   I should add that all of the comments above refer to using the Invicta amp in balanced (differential) mode -- they may not entirely apply if comparing the two amps in single-ended mode.   

post #394 of 676
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by schlaget View Post

Does anyone have experience with the INVICTA  combined with a B22 and/or a Beyer T1?

I am really getting serious about upgrading my D100 to the invicta. 

 

I wonder if the B22 still brings an improvment over the integrated headphone amp in the invicta which I read to be very good. 

 

I use the T1 straight from the Invicta amp sometimes. Single ended only. It's fine but really shows the flaws of the T1 with those peaky highs. I tend to prefer a more colored amp that can smooth those over a bit. But for someone who loves the T1 "as-is" the Invicta amp section is nice.

 

Sorry, no B22 to compare though. 

post #395 of 676
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

 

I use the T1 straight from the Invicta amp sometimes. Single ended only. It's fine but really shows the flaws of the T1 with those peaky highs. I tend to prefer a more colored amp that can smooth those over a bit. But for someone who loves the T1 "as-is" the Invicta amp section is nice.

 

Sorry, no B22 to compare though. 


Which headphone in that class to you think has the best match with the INVICTA then? HD800?

 

Do you think the Invicta would pronounce the T1s peak more than the D100Mk2?


Edited by schlaget - 3/23/13 at 9:06am
post #396 of 676
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by schlaget View Post


Which headphone in that class to you think has the best match with the INVICTA then? HD800?

 

Do you think the Invicta would pronounce the T1s peak more than the D100Mk2?

 

I do like HD800 more with Invicta, and also LCD-2 and HE-500. Especially in balanced mode. 

 

Invicta and D100MkII sound pretty similar in terms of general signature. They will both show off the T1 in a way that I don't really care for. So if you have the D100 and love it with T1, you'll probably love it even more with Invicta. But if you don't really care for it with T1, Invicta will just make it worse.

post #397 of 676
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

 

I do like HD800 more with Invicta, and also LCD-2 and HE-500. Especially in balanced mode. 

 

Invicta and D100MkII sound pretty similar in terms of general signature. They will both show off the T1 in a way that I don't really care for. So if you have the D100 and love it with T1, you'll probably love it even more with Invicta. But if you don't really care for it with T1, Invicta will just make it worse.


Very interesting. What is your favorite combination for listing with the T1 then? Since you still have one, I guess there must be a combination that you really like it with.

 

I seem to like the combo D100 with T1, but honestly I don't have anything to compare with. 

post #398 of 676

I thought that the Invicta's internal amp in SE mode was clearly better than the GS-1.  I still haven't gotten around trying the balanced output from the invicta yet, becuase I don't have any dynamic cans anymore.

 

It's funny how quiet this thread has become... Must mean everyone is damn satisfied listening to the Invicta :) I know I am.


Edited by hpz - 3/23/13 at 11:55pm
post #399 of 676
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by schlaget View Post


Very interesting. What is your favorite combination for listing with the T1 then? Since you still have one, I guess there must be a combination that you really like it with.

 

I seem to like the combo D100 with T1, but honestly I don't have anything to compare with. 

 

At the moment, I'm using it most often with an Icon Audio HP8 MkII tube amp. But it also sounds really really great with the Yulong Sabre A18 and the Violectric V200. Surprisingly, the integrated headphone amp in the NuForce DAC-100 is also a very good match. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpz View Post

I thought that the Invicta's internal amp in SE mode was clearly better than the GS-1.  I still haven't gotten around trying the balanced output from the invicta yet, becuase I don't have any dynamic cans anymore.

 

It's funny how quiet this thread has become... Must mean everyone is damn satisfied listening to the Invicta :) I know I am.

 

Seriously - I'm not at home now, but if I was home and had some free time, I wouldn't be posting right now.... just listening. 

post #400 of 676

Hi project86,

I have read the specs of the Invicta's headamp, but also the ones of Anedio's D2 DAC and Benchmark Media's D2 HGC DAC, and they are all very impressive. I don't know if you have given the D2 HGC a try, but how does your experience with the Invicta's Headamp compare to that with Anedio's D2 DAC? All three DAC/Amps have undergone improvements and changes, and I was wondering if you have any impressions on how they compare as DACs, Amps and DAC/Amps, as they are all top contenders?

I am trying to decide on a purchase of either the Anedio and the Benchmark to pair it with my power Amp - since the Invicta is still beyond my budget - and I'd very much appreciate your impressions.

Having a great time going through your reviews, still haven't read all of them. Keep up the engaging writing and the good choice in gear.

Cheers!
 

post #401 of 676
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zkadoush View Post

Hi project86,

I have read the specs of the Invicta's headamp, but also the ones of Anedio's D2 DAC and Benchmark Media's D2 HGC DAC, and they are all very impressive. I don't know if you have given the D2 HGC a try, but how does your experience with the Invicta's Headamp compare to that with Anedio's D2 DAC? All three DAC/Amps have undergone improvements and changes, and I was wondering if you have any impressions on how they compare as DACs, Amps and DAC/Amps, as they are all top contenders?

I am trying to decide on a purchase of either the Anedio and the Benchmark to pair it with my power Amp - since the Invicta is still beyond my budget - and I'd very much appreciate your impressions.

Having a great time going through your reviews, still haven't read all of them. Keep up the engaging writing and the good choice in gear.

Cheers!
 

 

Thanks for the kind words.

 

I have not yet had a chance to try the new Benchmark. Maybe one of these days.... Between the Invicta and the Anedio D2, both headphone amps are excellent. The Anedio gets the slight nod for background blackness, while the Invicta has the edge in sounding more dynamic. This translates to me using the Anedio more often with all my custom IEMs, and the Invicta more often for HD800 and the like. But to be honest, both are fully capable of doing a great job with all of my headphones. 

 

I do intend to write up the Invicta again, now that it's so different from when I first covered it. But it will be a while as I have a lot of projects in the works. And since I have yet to hear the DAC-2, I obviously can't comment on how it compares to the Anedio. Sorry!

post #402 of 676

Hey there project86,

Thanks for your comment on the Anedio and the Invicta. I was ready to buy the Anedio and the DAC 2 showed up and got into my head, so now I'm pretty much waiting for John Atkinson to measure it and see if the improvements are what they claim. My hunch is they pretty much are.
I do like the Anedio a lot -  aesthetically as well -, although it's a lot less versatile, and although I think those extra 500 bucks would be pretty well justified. I am nevertheless more interested in the sound than in most of the features of the DAC 2, which I probably won't make any use of.


I have another question regarding digital volume control, since I have also considered going for the Violectric V800, which would save me enough cash to acquire a pair of planar-magnetic cans, but I kind of bump into the digital volume control issue. I read Fried Reim's detailed response regarding that matter in your review of the V800, as well as the justification that Resonessence Labs offer for their digital volume control. You didn't go into this in detail in the Invicta review, but I have suspected that there might be reasons in common why Resonessence Labs and Violectric go the digital way when it comes to the volume control. What is your opinion on this matter; what is your experience in pairing the V800 with a Power Amp?

Thanks again!

post #403 of 676
Thread Starter 

I have no doubt the DAC-2 will measure very well. The funny part is that Benchmark for the longest time was very defensive about their DAC-1 as compared to the newer async USB and other technology. "You don't need it, ours is just as good, and here's why!" was the general tone. And now their new product has all the latest buzzwords like a Sabre chip and async USB and DSD. Which makes sense - the original came out a decade ago and was very due for a refresh in terms of features.

 

As for digital volume control - I love it. It's got so many benefits like perfect channel tracking and precision adjustment steps, that I'm willing to overlook some lost resolution on the extreme low end of the volume scale. It's especially good when done in the 32-bit domain as seen in the Invicta, Anedio D2, Benchmark DAC-2, NuForce DAC-100, and many others. It's not like a potentiometer is a completely transparent, flawless solution anyway. Audiophiles are quick to point out the supposed downsides of digital schemes but tend to neglect the same when it comes to analog control. 

 

V800 being 24-bit rather than 32, does theoretically lose some more bits. But as long as you aren't listening at the very bottom of the range it doesn't seem to be an issue in my experience. I've used it with my Parasound Halo A21 amp to excellent results. 

 

Some folks just demand a preamp in the mix. To them, no DAC with volume control will ever cut the mustard. Which I'm totally cool with - it's their choice obviously. But when done right, I see DAC-direct as an excellent option. 

post #404 of 676

Hi project86, I am curious if the Invicta can drive SR-009 with the right connector using the balanced out, from a technical stand-point?    With the current Japanese Yen exchange, really tempting to import one.    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

post #405 of 676

You can't directly power the Stax 009 or any electrostatic headphone with the Invicta.

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