Judging by the SQ of the Anedio D1, you will be extremely pleased with the D2. Yes James is a very nice person and design genius to boot!
Which DAC for a Phonitor + HD 800 ? - Page 3
Gear mentioned in this thread:
I received earlier in the week the Phonitor, a pair of HD800, and a Violectric V800. I finally went with the Violectric as I could order through Thomann.de, so it could arrive just in time, and I thought it would be an interesting "starting point" for comparisons. I'll buy the Lavry DA11, compare them, and keep the one I prefer. I won't bother with the Mytek (way too many QC issues it seems for early releases). I'll probably buy a D2 down the road when the preorder period ends and I can buy it straightaway.
A few comments :
- My right Phonitor's VU meter isn't well calibrated, and it constantly a few dB lower than the left one. I can't say if that's because there is some level matching issue within the amp (unlikely as I don't hear anything particular), or if it's just a badly calibrated VU meter. I'll contact SPL to have their opinion, and maybe exchange it (it seems trivial if it's just a bad VU meter calibration, but I feel it's quite expensive a piece of gear and should have quite a bit better QC).
- The V800 / Phonitor / HD800 does not have a good synergy. It's too aggressive / dry / flat / thin in the upper mids, and I find the bass powerful, but as if it had a loudness EQ to it (a bit boomy, something I wouldn't have expected out of the HD800). I can't know for sure if that's the "fault" (if one can call a fault what probably just is bad synergy) of the Phonitor or the V800, as I've sold the rest of my gear. The arrival of the DA11 should clear that up. I don't think it's the "fault" of the HD800, at least to an extent, as I have a pair of HD650 to compare, which pairing with the Phonitor / V800 shows similar results to an extent, except that the aggressiveness in the upper mids doesn't transform into pain, as it does with the HD800 (but it's still there). Out of the Phonitor, I find them quite close in terms of balance, although predictably the HD800 has more air, slightly more details, a clearer bass section, and added upper mids forwardness (too much with the current pairing, it kills soundstage). Right now I'm betting the issue mainly is with the V800 not synergizing that well with the Phonitor, as I've read many very positive comments pairing the HD800 with the Phonitor. I'll wait the DA11 and see. I'll also investigate power issues, maybe cables, but I'm not a massive believer in cables changing things to a great extent. I'm not trying to say the V800 isn't good at all, I suspect it's rather a question of synergy. Some reviews described the V800 as "matter of fact detailed". It might be what I'm getting with it with the HD800 + Phonitor. Or it may be the Phonitor's fault. I'll see.
- The HD800 build quality is better than I expected, but it's still got the trademark Sennheiser's characteristics - irregular ear pads, mold bits not properly eliminated, etc. Comfort is quite good, although I always tangle my glasses with the pads when I try to remove it.
- The V800 build quality is great, everything is properly soldered inside, clean and well made. Professional work here, it feels unbreakable, and even the feeling when plugging the XLR connector is dead on perfect (nice weight to it).
- The Phonitor build quality is quite good, but not exactly fantastic either. All switches and dials have a little play, the vents on the top are stupid (you know, there is this thing called "dust"), the rear XLR plugs have a play, and the front casing isn't very well aligned (slight slant to it). I also find that it's very easy to leave marks on the black finish (that's maybe why the silver one is described as the "pro" version, in addition to having handles on the side). The volume control on the other hand, is absolutely great, as others have said.
- The crossfeed is just as I remembered it when I tried it with the HD650 a few months ago - subtle, but very effective. No, it won't turn your headphones into full range speakers (far from it), but I think it's a substantially more relaxed sound presentation. Still, you won't have "out of head" experiences (I've yet to hear a pair of headphones that delivers that, maybe I'm just not made for headphones soundstage evaluation). I don't think it affects FR balance, but as expected from all crossfeed systems I've tried in the past, it makes the overall sound a little less full-bodied. That's why I prefer it with the HD650 than the HD800.
In the end I'm not that impressed, but not disappointed either. I'm not quite convinced the whole's worth 3000 euros at the moment - as I said, I suspect synergy is an issue here. The current system is quite impressive in some ways (it just sounds "big", powerful), but although quite soulless - while the HD650 is a better pairing with the HD800 / Phonitor combo (more emotions coming in). I'm more impressed overall by certain Stax setups for the same money. I'll soon compare this setup to a Stax SR507 + SRM 323S, which I've listened in the past, and which I find a little more to my taste for everything except the lack of crossfeed and bass impact. I still want to try to turn the HD800 / phonier combo into something I like, as I really enjoy what they do well, so I'll see if any improvement can be made. Right now though, I still prefer my HD650 for music listening by a small margin.
Quick update : I now have a Stax SR507 + SRM 323S, which I already knew quite well and like a lot. This combo has great synergy with the V800 (it just sounds "right"), although an even better DAC may provide improvements. I can now compare both directly. As much as I really like the crossfeed of the Phonitor, I've got to say that I still prefer the Stax setup by quite a huge margin. I'll see if the PIC feature of the DA11 can provide a similar experience than the Crossfeed of the Phonitor.
The DA11 arrived today. I've tried it with both amps and it does not produce crackling noises. So I think that's the V800 fault. I'll see what to do with Violectric (but probably return it anyway as I prefer the DA11 with my system).