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Anybody with RWA Isabellina and JKeny Hiface MK3? - Page 3

post #31 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by korzena View Post

Don't even know what an integer mode driver is...but suppose it must be something good;)

 

Regarding the Isabellina AC and battery modes, have you noticed big differences in sound quality between the two?


 

I am not an expert about integer mode and players. So if someone wants to explain it better please do so. Players like Pure Music and Audirvana have different modes that improve the quality of the music. By shorting the path and  limiting the function your computer uses at once. To devote maximum focus and power to playing music.  Fist they use memory playback so they don't have to stream live. Hog mode "hogs" or bypasses itunes player and only uses itunes as  music storage. Integer mode bypasses the computers core audio and uses the native DAC code to process the music.  So their is one less conversion factor. Hog mode works with the mk3 and it improves the sound stage and overall sound. Integer mode supposedly takes it a big step further. It seems that very few people have heard about integer mode. I have emailed m2 tech and suggested if they could develop a integer mode driver. They replied "they already checked their driver and it is bit perfect". It would be even better if their driver was bit perfect with an integer mode. Maybe if more of us keep emailing them to show the demand for a better driver. This is one reason why some choose the Audiophilleo. As it supports integer mode.

 

 

I coulld not really tell a difference  between a/c and battery mode, before I got my new cables. It was REALLY subtle if anything. Now It still is subtle, but I can defiantly here the music change  every time I switch between them. Battery mode offers a cleaner picture into the music. I only listen in battery mode now.

.

post #32 of 45

I finally did my a/b with my cables with and without the Mk 3. Cables made a big difference in my system. I will state it again, but the Red Wine HPA is hands down better with the Mk3. The thing that may surprise some people is that the usb cable made just as much difference, as the BNC cable. Using the Mk3. My opinion with the usb cable's and from what I read is their are some cables that actually improve the sound and some that don't. They are not always price dependent. The names of usb cables that most people say improve the sound are the locus design usb cables. It seems other usb cables (even REALLY expensive ones) are mixed with conflicting reviews. The usb cable that I choose to buy was the Wywire usb, after some positive reviews. It is also a couple hundred cheaper then the axis usb cable. It is every bit as good. Compared to the stock usb cable ,their is more detail from top to bottom. It sounds much more natural and extended, without sounding brighter. You can here the decay and natural metallic resonance on cymbals much more. With digital recordings this is always the most difficult to execute. The separation and placement of instrument seems better defined. The vocals become clear and articulated. Without being redundant this is what the kimber select 2020 bnc cable also offered. In short a clear upgrade in sound quality. I could notice improvement with each component I added, the Mk3, Wywire usb and the kimber select 2020 bnc. Which in total Have GREATLY improved upon a great system.

post #33 of 45
Thread Starter 

Agree, MK3 increases sound quality by a lot!

 

Congratulations on finding good synergy with your digital cables!

Which exactly Wywire usb cable do you use?

By saying 'stock usb cable' do you mean the one that came together with Isabellina?

 

Have you tested different analog interconnects, too? Were the differences between them bigger or smaller than between different digital cables on the sound quality?

post #34 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by korzena View Post

Agree, MK3 increases sound quality by a lot!

 

Congratulations on finding good synergy with your digital cables!

Which exactly Wywire usb cable do you use?

By saying 'stock usb cable' do you mean the one that came together with Isabellina?

 

Have you tested different analog interconnects, too? Were the differences between them bigger or smaller than between different digital cables on the sound quality?


I use the shielded Wywire usb cable. The owner Alex, says the cheaper one sounds very similar, but I have not tried it.

Yes I use the one that came with the Isabellina as well as other standard usb cables I have lying arond. They all sound very similar.

I have on different systems but the hpa does not need any analog cables, because the d/a and headphone amp are in the same unit. So it's not the best comparison. But I think all cables make a difference if you use the right cables for each system. One thing, one must always consider, is ones budget and system they have. If you have a $300 D/A and amp. With some cheap headphones spending $300 on  a cable is ludicrous. But when you have a good system and you want to squeeze every bit of sonic improvement, every component will have a effect in the synergy of a system. The law of diminishing returns DEFINITELY applies. 

 

post #35 of 45

^ How much of a difference are you finding with USB cables, comparable to ICs?

post #36 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by pigmode View Post

^ How much of a difference are you finding with USB cables, comparable to ICs?

Hope this helps because things are relative to each system. Which may have different components with different implementations. Such as synchronous or asynchronous usb. So you get  different results.   I believe each system is different. In my current system, the Red Wine Isabellina HPA does not need analog cables. But using the wywire usb cable made a noticeable difference in sound. Interconnects can also make a noticeable difference in sound, in a different system. So if I had to generalize in my system the usb cable made "as much of a difference as analog cables", made in other systems I have heard. Another thing to remember is not all cables are comparable and created equal. Some are better then others which can effect how well they compare. 
 

 

post #37 of 45

Thanks.

post #38 of 45
Thread Starter 

Hi tuberock,

 

Have you already tested the 1950's Siemen CCa tube? What were your impressions?

 

And regarding the dario Miniwatt tube, has it also increased speed/dynamics? The improvements you described sound great to me, but I would also like my future new tube to increase aggresiveness/speed. Isabellina sounds too polite - I need to do something with it!

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tuberock View Post

Yes I use a dario Miniwatt tube. It sounds better in every way over the JJ. The soundstage is the biggest improvement. The sound is much wider and deeper with better instrument separation. The mids, highs and bass are better defined as well. I have a 1950's Siemen  CCa tube coming soon. 



 

post #39 of 45

Yes I have tested the 1950's Siemen CCa. It's a great tube. It has a much bigger soundstage then the JJ's. Even bigger than the Dario Miniwatt. It is more on the analytical side vs the miniwatt. Which tends to have more of that tube warmth. At the same time the CCa is more musical than the JJ's. The bass on the CCa is deeper and has more impact than the JJ's and a little more than the miniwatt. Compared to the JJ's the CCa beats it all aspect. Especially the sound field which is deeper, and wider. The miniwatt comparison is more of a subjective thing, it's equally as good but different. I'm definitely keeping both. The spice of life! :)

 

Regarding the Miniwatt it does increase the dynamics. The JJ's are not that good of tubes in comparison to a great NOS tube. 

 

It's interesting you find the isabellina too polite. It's not the fastest or most aggressive amp. Say compared to a olid state Burson 160a. But I don't think it's polite in my opinion. I was worried about this because I do like some harder music as well. But my worry's were put to rest when I listen to Tool's Undertow for the first time. It had all the speed and dynamics I need to put a smile on my face. But I have always had a miniwatt tube and different headphones. I think the last round of cable upgrades really helped as well. So I hope you can find the perfect balance with your rig. My only complaint is my system is more revealing of the recessed mid's the Denon 7000's have now. Im interested in the LCD 3's (but not my wallet) if they ever get the issues resolved. I think I would be content..........Well maybe for a while! ;)

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by korzena View Post

Hi tuberock,

 

Have you already tested the 1950's Siemen CCa tube? What were your impressions?

 

And regarding the dario Miniwatt tube, has it also increased speed/dynamics? The improvements you described sound great to me, but I would also like my future new tube to increase aggresiveness/speed. Isabellina sounds too polite - I need to do something with it!

 

 



 


 

 

post #40 of 45
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your answer.

Please remember I have only Isabellina DAC (not HPA) which may change some things.

As for the recessed mids in your Denons maybe you could cure them with another tube. In the tube rolling thread in audiocircle, (http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=91642.new#new) Vinnie and other people found some tubes that put midrange more forward.
Edited by korzena - 1/20/12 at 5:57pm
post #41 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by korzena View Post

Thank you for your answer.
Please remember I have only Isabellina DAC (not HPA) which may change some things.
As for the recessed mids in your Denons maybe you could cure them with another tube. In the tube rolling thread in audiocircle, (http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=91642.new#new) Vinnie and other people found some tubes that put midrange more forward.


Oh this makes sense. I read this review http://www.digitalaudioreview.net.au/index.php/audio-reviews/digital-source-reviews/item/156-red-wine-audio-isabellina-lfp-v-edition and he mentioned the same thing. The isabellina DAC was too polite. I found the HPA isabellina  LFP-V to be a great balance of intimate and aggressive. The HPA has a good solid state amp after the DAC. Which amp are you using? Maybe something like a Burson 160 would have good synergy. They are priced decent and they have a lot of impact and drive. I bet they would complement each other well

This would be my second upgrade, after a good nos tube.(Cheaper) This would bring a big change to the system.

 

I could get more mids with a different tube however I REALLY like the Miniwatts, Pinched Waist Ameprex and 50's CC's as my favorite tubes I have tried. They just do every thing so well, not just boost mid's. The LCD 2 IMO are just better. They are balanced across the spectrum highs, mids, and lows compared to the Denon 7000. The treble is not as bright and the bass has less impact. But they have more detail and have a better sound stage. From what I have read and heard is the LCD 3 refine what the 2 does even more. I originally got the denons because of the closed backs so I could listen while my wife is asleep. Now I would like a no compromise headphone for most of my sessions. It seems I have invested WAY more then I originally planned and feel my weakest link is my headphones. So I am VERY happy for now but it gives me something to look forward to save for. That rounds out a great system for years of enjoyment.

post #42 of 45
Thread Starter 

I know the John Darko's review of Isabellina. From this review I've taken the idea of changing my source from Squeezebox Touch to JK HiFace. I am very please with the change.

 

I use a solid state amp (Audio-Technica HA5000) that is a dedicated headphone amp for my AT W5000 headphones. As far as I know it is very good. However I haven't had a chance to compare it to too many others, so I don't really know how it fares in terms of speed and aggresiveness.

 

For the time being I am going to upgrade my digital interconnect and replace the stock tube to a more lively one (maybe the Dario Miniwatt or Siemen CCa - which one would you recommend for me?) I am happy with my system already, however I still feel I can squeeze a bit more performance out of it.

 

Regarding the Denon phones, I have D2000 which is of course not up to the level of D7000, but in general I have never considered Denons to be too speedy or aggresive cans. For me they have very pleasurable and smooth sound with big bass. My opinion is based mainly on D2000 and short auditions of D5000 and D7000.

 

Never listened to LCD headphones myself, but from reading a few reviews and impressions I got a general idea of it as also smooth sounding headphone. The headphone that sounds really lively to me is Grado PS1000. It is colorful, powerful, spacious, speedy, aggresive. However because of the comfort and durability of this Grado headphone, I wouldn't like to own it. But it sounds good to me. Audio-Technica W5000 - my main headphone now, is a more delicate and subtle sounding headphone in comparison. It is a great headphone, but I must confess that after upgrading my whole system toward it I am also starting to think that my headphones might be the weakest link!:) Will this upgraditis ever end?!;)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tuberock View Post


Oh this makes sense. I read this review http://www.digitalaudioreview.net.au/index.php/audio-reviews/digital-source-reviews/item/156-red-wine-audio-isabellina-lfp-v-edition and he mentioned the same thing. The isabellina DAC was too polite. I found the HPA isabellina  LFP-V to be a great balance of intimate and aggressive. The HPA has a good solid state amp after the DAC. Which amp are you using? Maybe something like a Burson 160 would have good synergy. They are priced decent and they have a lot of impact and drive. I bet they would complement each other well

This would be my second upgrade, after a good nos tube.(Cheaper) This would bring a big change to the system.

 

I could get more mids with a different tube however I REALLY like the Miniwatts, Pinched Waist Ameprex and 50's CC's as my favorite tubes I have tried. They just do every thing so well, not just boost mid's. The LCD 2 IMO are just better. They are balanced across the spectrum highs, mids, and lows compared to the Denon 7000. The treble is not as bright and the bass has less impact. But they have more detail and have a better sound stage. From what I have read and heard is the LCD 3 refine what the 2 does even more. I originally got the denons because of the closed backs so I could listen while my wife is asleep. Now I would like a no compromise headphone for most of my sessions. It seems I have invested WAY more then I originally planned and feel my weakest link is my headphones. So I am VERY happy for now but it gives me something to look forward to save for. That rounds out a great system for years of enjoyment.



 


Edited by korzena - 1/21/12 at 1:36am
post #43 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by korzena View Post

I know the John Darko's review of Isabellina. From this review I've taken the idea of changing my source from Squeezebox Touch to JK HiFace. I am very please with the change.

 

I use a solid state amp (Audio-Technica HA5000) that is a dedicated headphone amp for my AT W5000 headphones. As far as I know it is very good. However I haven't had a chance to compare it to too many others, so I don't really know how it fares in terms of speed and aggresiveness.

 

For the time being I am going to upgrade my digital interconnect and replace the stock tube to a more lively one (maybe the Dario Miniwatt or Siemen CCa - which one would you recommend for me?) I am happy with my system already, however I still feel I can squeeze a bit more performance out of it.

 

Regarding the Denon phones, I have D2000 which is of course not up to the level of D7000, but in general I have never considered Denons to be too speedy or aggresive cans. For me they have very pleasurable and smooth sound with big bass. My opinion is based mainly on D2000 and short auditions of D5000 and D7000.

 

Never listened to LCD headphones myself, but from reading a few reviews and impressions I got a general idea of it as also smooth sounding headphone. The headphone that sounds really lively to me is Grado PS1000. It is colorful, powerful, spacious, speedy, aggresive. However because of the comfort and durability of this Grado headphone, I wouldn't like to own it. But it sounds good to me. Audio-Technica W5000 - my main headphone now, is a more delicate and subtle sounding headphone in comparison. It is a great headphone, but I must confess that after upgrading my whole system toward it I am also starting to think that my headphones might be the weakest link!:) Will this upgraditis ever end?!;)

 



 


I think you can't go wrong with either one. If you get a CCa make sure it's a 50's or early 60's grey plate. The later ones are more common and not as good. If I could only have one, my favorite is the pinched waist Amperex. The miniwatts sounds very similar. But those three are the top ones. The CCa is just a different type of sound vs those two. If you like more detailed analytical clarity, the biggest holographic sound stage and can find one get it. If you like a lush rich musical sound with great clarity and a great sound stage the other two are the best. All of these are MUCH better than the stock JJ's.( Obviously this is only my opinion, since music is subjective. :)

 

I think with a new tube and the RIGHT cable upgrades you WILL squeeze a bit more performance from your system!

 

post #44 of 45
Thread Starter 

Thank you!

 

I am going to get Dario Miniwatt and also Genalex Gold Lion that has been recommended to me by Vinnie for its speed and dynamics.
 

Amperex pinched waist is very hard to get and expensive.

 

Siemens CCa - maybe in the future, but at the moment I want something more musical.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tuberock View Post


I think you can't go wrong with either one. If you get a CCa make sure it's a 50's or early 60's grey plate. The later ones are more common and not as good. If I could only have one, my favorite is the pinched waist Amperex. The miniwatts sounds very similar. But those three are the top ones. The CCa is just a different type of sound vs those two. If you like more detailed analytical clarity, the biggest holographic sound stage and can find one get it. If you like a lush rich musical sound with great clarity and a great sound stage the other two are the best. All of these are MUCH better than the stock JJ's.( Obviously this is only my opinion, since music is subjective. :)

 

I think with a new tube and the RIGHT cable upgrades you WILL squeeze a bit more performance from your system!

 



 

post #45 of 45


Sweet you will be happy! They are all very hard to get and expensive. The Genalex Gold is more common. So if you can find a Miniwatt for cheap that's even better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by korzena View Post

Thank you!

 

I am going to get Dario Miniwatt and also Genalex Gold Lion that has been recommended to me by Vinnie for its speed and dynamics.
 

Amperex pinched waist is very hard to get and expensive.

 

Siemens CCa - maybe in the future, but at the moment I want something more musical.

 



 



 

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