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REVIEW: Ray Samuels Audio Dark Star solid state headphone amplifier - Page 7

post #91 of 372

I have not listen to the balanced Havana and DS together but I did audition the balanced Havana with my WA5-LE and also a Pass Aleph 3 with the HE-6 and IMO for the money the Havana is a wonderful sounding DAC.

post #92 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post

Has anybody heard a K1000 out of the Dark Star?

 


I have.  Very impressive pairing, indeed.  Better than any amps I've used them before via speaker taps.  The K1Ks are notoriously hard to drive by most amplifiers but the ample headroom provided by the DS easily pushes them to their limits.  Don't own a pair of these anymore, but if I did, I would use them with the DS exclusively.

 

post #93 of 372

Excellent... thanks for the reply warp08.

post #94 of 372

In our summer Detroit meet when Ray introduced to us the first DS I was able to listen to a pair of K1K (bass heavy) with it. They sounded great and the DS had more than enough power to drive them with ease.

 

post #95 of 372

That would be awesome; I've never heard the bass heavy version. I've never heard the DS either for that matter, but with the gain switch it sounds like it will drive any headphone and do it extremely well from the impressions/reviews that I've read. Thanks for weighing in as well.

post #96 of 372

Excellent review as usual. Appreciated.

post #97 of 372

Well, after RMAF 2011 I've been thinking a lot about the DS.  It brought the HE-6 to life very well, and never left me feeling that power was lacking or at the limit.  It's one of the few amps that could tempt me to part with my Eddie Current ZDT.  I'm just not ready to make the move yet because the ZDT is heavenly with my HD-800 and HE-500.  I'd need to spend time comparing them with those phones, maybe at RMAF 2012...

post #98 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post

Well, after RMAF 2011 I've been thinking a lot about the DS.  It brought the HE-6 to life very well, and never left me feeling that power was lacking or at the limit.  It's one of the few amps that could tempt me to part with my Eddie Current ZDT.  I'm just not ready to make the move yet because the ZDT is heavenly with my HD-800 and HE-500.  I'd need to spend time comparing them with those phones, maybe at RMAF 2012...



That is why I have the WA5-LE and the DS. In that way I have the tube and SS sound. 

 

 

post #99 of 372

Looks like there is a potential impedance incompatibility between the DS and very low impedance and fairly efficient headphones like the Denon D2000/D5000/D7000.

Last night I heard a very low hiss sound when there is no siganl or volume in the DS. It is very low and as soon as music starts you can not even hear it.

It sound incredible with the HE-6, T1, T70, HD800. The Denon sounded amazing too just with that very little hiss when tere is no sound. I have not check it with my DX1000 or Edition 9 but that is next tonight.

post #100 of 372

I am a big fan of both of your amps musicman, congrats on thosebeerchug.gif !

 

I was wondering how those kind of headphones would fare out of the low gain setting of the Darkstar. I suppose many IEMs would hiss as well.

post #101 of 372

I just tried the Edition 9 and they has the same low level hiss just like the Denon. Apparently the issue is too much gain even at the low gain position.

It is not a big deal because I can control the input gain using the volume of the Squeezebox and also the hiss is not noticeable at all when the music is playing.

post #102 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post

 

I was wondering how those kind of headphones would fare out of the low gain setting of the Darkstar. I suppose many IEMs would hiss as well.


The Dark Star was never designed with IEMs and low impedance/highly sensitive headphones like that.  Try these at your own risk.  The Apache is much better suited for these types of pairings.  It doesn't take much effort and you can burn out the drivers in a fraction of a second if you're not careful.  Just saying...none of the Ultrasones scale up in performance in response to the enormous headroom offered by the Dark Star so there is no upside in these experiments just a lot of risk.  It is designed to drive HifiMAN and Audez'e orthos and also works well with the AKG K1000 in my experience with it.

 

post #103 of 372

Not sure if it's been asked before but I'm prety deperate for answers on the subject lately.

 

How does the Apache compare to the DarkStar? From anyone that's heard both. I need something with Pre outs so the DarkStar is (unfortunately) out of the question but I need to know how the Apache compares to other Headamps around the level of the DarkStar to see if it's worth the purchase as both a Headamp and Preamp.

post #104 of 372
I used to own the Apache and now the Dark Star. IMO both share the same sound signature from Ray. Both are death quiet and very dynamic. Obviously the Apache does not have the same power as the DS. Unfortunately I never had the chance to use the Apache with the HE-6 so I can not comment on that specific aspect. I also tried the Apache as pre-amp in my speakers system with my Threshold amplifiers and it did a very good job.

IMO, if you need a headphones amplifier and pre-amp the Apache is a great option.
post #105 of 372

Good to hear. The Apache is definitely at the top of the short list. Just trying to see if it holds its own at 3k as I may be forced to buy new.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by musicman59 View Post

I used to own the Apache and now the Dark Star. IMO both share the same sound signature from Ray. Both are death quiet and very dynamic. Obviously the Apache does not have the same power as the DS. Unfortunately I never had the chance to use the Apache with the HE-6 so I can not comment on that specific aspect. I also tried the Apache as pre-amp in my speakers system with my Threshold amplifiers and it did a very good job.

IMO, if you need a headphones amplifier and pre-amp the Apache is a great option.


 

 

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