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Powerful dac/amps with quality sound for orthos. - Page 4

post #46 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawaiiancerveza View Post

I needed to update the topic and I switched it. 


Are you still shopping?

 

How flexible is your budget?

 

 

post #47 of 81
Thread Starter 

I'm assuming my NFB-5 isn't one of the top of the line.  deadhorse.gif
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

 

 

Top of the line. Hard to tell these days what such item(s) may be since AGD keeps shuffling out new designs and confusing designations. 

 



 

post #48 of 81
Thread Starter 

Oh I am still searching.  Why?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by digger945 View Post




Are you still shopping?

 

How flexible is your budget?

 

 



 

post #49 of 81

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawaiiancerveza View Post

Oh I am still searching.  Why?


Because you want something that sounds like 2000 bucks for 1000. biggrin.gif

 

post #50 of 81
Thread Starter 

Wouldn't anyone want that?  That's why I'm inquiring.  I've had a car system before and it was worth 8 grand where as I was able to get everything for half the price unused.  I know this isn't car audio but I do want to know what there is out there and what I can save up for.  Any suggestion will help.  If I'm frustrating you guys I'm sorry.  I just want to inquire until I can make a final decision.  If you want to name tube amps than so be it.  But I'd prefer no tubes exposed out side of the dac/amp.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

 


Because you want something that sounds like 2000 bucks for 1000. biggrin.gif

 



 


Edited by Hawaiiancerveza - 9/13/11 at 9:08pm
post #51 of 81

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawaiiancerveza View Post

 If I'm frustrating you guys I'm sorry.  


Not at all. A lot of us have been there. For example, my friend Anax here in OC has heard almost everything in your preferred price range. He's resigned to the fact that if wants something that sounds like the PerfectWave DAC, he's got to shell out the cash to get the PerfectWave DAC. Despite all the hype for certain products, I don't see any giant killers: the Lyr sounds like a $499 amp; the Lyr with $100 of tubes sounds like a $599 amp; an AGD unit that costs $330 sounds exactly like $330. You get the idea. 

 

It's probably best to focus on synergy with your headphones of choice. It's going to be subtle things that matter, and your personal preferences will play a major part. I would tell you to go to meets and hear lots of different gear where you can develop a sense of what you want - where you feel your system deficiencies are, what you want to improve, and what compromises you can live with. But that may be difficult where you live - it's not SoCal with millions of people crammed into a small area where you can accelerate this learning process.

 

You got a couple of solid recommendations so far and you can go from there. The Burson is a warm sounding solid-state amp which I am not totally sure would mate well with your LCD2s which are already dark sounding. The Lyr's got some balls and can drive the LCD2s, but I feel it lacks transparency which makes it sound a little flat with the stock tubes. The Headamp GS-1 is a neutral, fast and clear sounding solid-state amp which is little pricier than others and requires a four week wait time. I am hesitant to be too prescriptive because I don't have a reference for you. I have no idea how your NFB5 sounds like or what you are looking to improve upon.

 

But I am going to take a shot at a combo I think will work well with the LCD2 (rev1 correct?): Headamp GS-1 & used AMB Gamma 2 DAC. You will get a very clear and clean sounding neutral setup without excessive bass or treble with some good impact, speed, and excellent bass control. The DAC will be the limiting factor as the AMB Gamma 2 lacks ultimate resolution, but at this price range, you will have to live with compromises.


Edited by purrin - 9/13/11 at 10:22pm
post #52 of 81
Thread Starter 

Yes I do believe that how much you put in will most likely be a huge part in how it should sound.  I really wish I could meet up with other people to hear what is out there but I only know another person who has written to me on head-fi who said he's from the same city I'm from with a lot of tube amps and SS amps to test out.  Sadly he lives in San fransisco and I don't think any of his things are here in Hawaii.  There aren't any audio stores here either because no one is really audiophile here.  I really do appreciate the advise I can get from and here on head-fi because many of you have heard the gear.  

I will be getting the LCD-2 rev2 and I do like things to be transparent, neutral and clear.  I do like a little warmth but not so much that it deters from the clarity and transparency of the music.  If the song was meant to go deep in the bass than so be it.  If the voice was to be the most dominant in the song than so be it.  If there is a reference to a certain sound I like it's the Earsonic SM3.  I know its only an IEM but I do like how it's transparent and clear.  Well I have the SM3v2 and I think it is clearer than the v1 which I had not too long ago.  I do like my music to be a little laid-back but not so much that it feels as though the music is far away.  The LCD-2 seems to fit that description and the He-500 could but from what I've been hearing its more intimate.  I don't like very bright cans but everyone has their own preference on these.  

I am willing to fork out the money to get a sound I'd like but I heavily rely on reviews and conversations I get to read here.  So...any advice I can get I really do appreciate and value.  ksc75smile.gif


Edited by Hawaiiancerveza - 9/14/11 at 12:27am
post #53 of 81
Thread Starter 

Are perfect wave dacs good?...I've seen them on moon audio but never heard nor looked into them.

post #54 of 81

schiit lyr!!:) hell lot of power for the price, sounds gr8 too!

post #55 of 81

I think purrin gave you pretty nice advices. LCD2 v1 is in my eyes quite nature sounding but dark, v2 I didn't hear but my friend told me that probably the main sounding change between them doing new earpads!

I sent my LCD2 one company which I believe and they are tuning their dac/amp to sound character for Audeze for me, this modification will help LCD2 from mids to highs and also hopefully for me thanks this it will have less thick sound too.

Changes between normal and quality dacs is big. Mainly resolution, stability soundstage and nature tones. I think there is a few very quality dacs in $1000-1500 which give you it. But people are blind/mistrustful in terms of sources which is unknown to headfi and it is shame. 

post #56 of 81
Thread Starter 

I just got my He-4 and I'm using it with the He-4 and my NFB-5 isn't having any problems driving them. 

 

I am looking at the Perfect waveDAC if I can muster the money.  I'll just save for now.  But I am looking at the combo you've mentioned purrin.  I wouldn't mind hearing the t got a question...is it better to have 2 dedicated sources such as the dac and an amp rather than a dac/amp?  The Headamp GS-1 & used AMB Gamma 2 DAC sound like a good combo.  

 

 

post #57 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawaiiancerveza View Post

...is it better to have 2 dedicated sources such as the dac and an amp rather than a dac/amp?  


Oh boy is that a loaded and controversial question.  I prefer it myself based on logic and personal experience, others will tell you that's mystical nonsense perpetuated by blood sucking money launderers out to capitalize on fools like myself.  To them an easy to drive headphone should be fine from an iPhone.  It has a DAC, all DACs are the same and equally perfect.  It has an amp and if your phones are loud there's nothing else to ask for.  All that together in a sleek, shiny product that even makes phone calls!  What else could you ask for?

 

So yeah, I like dedicated sources.  YMMV.

 

post #58 of 81
Thread Starter 

Why do you prefer dedicated sources?  I'm interested in learning why.  I'm not looking to bag on anyone but just curious as to why people do prefer a 2 sources or just a dac/amp.  Whats your reason Anaxilus?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post




Oh boy is that a loaded and controversial question.  I prefer it myself based on logic and personal experience, others will tell you that's mystical nonsense perpetuated by blood sucking money launderers out to capitalize on fools like myself.  To them an easy to drive headphone should be fine from an iPhone.  It has a DAC, all DACs are the same and equally perfect.  It has an amp and if your phones are loud there's nothing else to ask for.  All that together in a sleek, shiny product that even makes phone calls!  What else could you ask for?

 

So yeah, I like dedicated sources.  YMMV.

 



 

post #59 of 81

      Quote:

Originally Posted by Hawaiiancerveza View Post

Are perfect wave dacs good?...I've seen them on moon audio but never heard nor looked into them.


I said there are no giant killers, but this DAC is closest to one. Not only is it sonically excellent, it is extremely flexible as far as inputs and outputs. It looks a little cheesy and plasticy in pictures, but in actuality, the DAC is very well constructed. It is huge and heavy though - so that may not be to everyone's liking. It seems to have gone up in price in the new and used markets by a few hundred dollars lately. I think used are around $2000-2100.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawaiiancerveza View Post

Why do you prefer dedicated sources?  I'm interested in learning why.  I'm not looking to bag on anyone but just curious as to why people do prefer a 2 sources or just a dac/amp.  Whats your reason Anaxilus?

 

If you carefully select the units, separates will hold their value better, and you will have an easier time buying or selling used. A dedicated DAC will also give you flexibility. Keep the amp, upgrade the DAC. Upgrade the amp, keep the DAC. If you get a new headphone, you may only need to change one component. Also there less compromise involved with dedicated DACs and amps. Kind of like: Do you want a motherboard with built a in graphics chip or a motherboard with dedicated graphics card? The downside is that you have to put in some effort to find pieces that play well together.

 

There are some advantages with integrated DAC/amps in that the designer will take the time to appropriately voice the combination to his "vision." The Isabellina and some of the AGD gear are examples of such. The problem then is that you are restricted to that designer's voicing. If you don't like it, you have to get rid of the entire thing and start over.
 

 

post #60 of 81
Thread Starter 


Ah I see.  Sounds logical.  I think I'll try out the Headamp GS-1 & used AMB Gamma 2 DAC when I decide to upgrade my HP.  I know on moon audio I saw the Perfect wave dac for about 3k.  Ya I saw how it looked and I know that it has the touch screen and I didn't know it was a big and heavy item.  Giant killers...do you mean as in speaker system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

      Quote:


I said there are no giant killers, but this DAC is closest to one. Not only is it sonically excellent, it is extremely flexible as far as inputs and outputs. It looks a little cheesy and plasticy in pictures, but in actuality, the DAC is very well constructed. It is huge and heavy though - so that may not be to everyone's liking. It seems to have gone up in price in the new and used markets by a few hundred dollars lately. I think used are around $2000-2100.

 

 

If you carefully select the units, separates will hold their value better, and you will have an easier time buying or selling used. A dedicated DAC will also give you flexibility. Keep the amp, upgrade the DAC. Upgrade the amp, keep the DAC. If you get a new headphone, you may only need to change one component. Also there less compromise involved with dedicated DACs and amps. Kind of like: Do you want a motherboard with built a in graphics chip or a motherboard with dedicated graphics card? The downside is that you have to put in some effort to find pieces that play well together.

 

There are some advantages with integrated DAC/amps in that the designer will take the time to appropriately voice the combination to his "vision." The Isabellina and some of the AGD gear are examples of such. The problem then is that you are restricted to that designer's voicing. If you don't like it, you have to get rid of the entire thing and start over.
 

 



 

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