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Review: SPL Auditor - Page 12

post #166 of 200

Well, I wish I found this thread about a week ago. I have the Auditor, loved it huge with my DT 880s (600ohm) and my 650s. I recently felt the itch to try a new soundsignature and sold them both to fund the purchase of a nearly new 2012 production of a D7000. Now I hear there is possibly a huge hiss problem, so not what I wanted to hear. I have a few questions before I panic and start thinking I have to sell my Auditor. First, I remember being told how terrible amp/headphone impedence mismatching was, with it sounding like all would be lost. However, I ran my HF2 through a Schiit Valhalla, and frankly really liked the pairing. When I spoke to Jason at Schiit he said that he had a few friends who were musical engineers that loved low impedence cans with the Valhalla. So with this in mind:

 

1) Is this a correct understanding of the situation, while hiss is likley to be present due to the high sensitivity of the D7000, sound quality itself is not affected, and that a fuller dynamic range from the Auditor is the result of it's design?

 

2) Will the hiss be so present that listening to quiet passages in music will be seriously impacted/ruined?

 

3) Am I actually nuts to think the Auditor will sound good with the D7000 and I should just sell it and finda better mate (and or sell the D7000s instead and look at a higher impedence headphone)

 

I think it would be tough to capture a high impedence can for around the $700-$800 price I suspect I could fetch if I turned around and sold the D7000s. I hope I don't have to do that, I really wanted to hear this special Denon sound that I am told competes with the TH-900 quite well. I really didn't like the T1 despite being a fan of the Beyer sound, the DT sound specifically.

 

I guess what I am hoping to hear from the those out there who are more technically savy than I am to tell me that any sound degredation due to the impedence mismatching should be minor. Hope springs eternal they say! Cheers.

post #167 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Defender View Post

Well, I wish I found this thread about a week ago. I have the Auditor, loved it huge with my DT 880s (600ohm) and my 650s. I recently felt the itch to try a new soundsignature and sold them both to fund the purchase of a nearly new 2012 production of a D7000. Now I hear there is possibly a huge hiss problem, so not what I wanted to hear. I have a few questions before I panic and start thinking I have to sell my Auditor. First, I remember being told how terrible amp/headphone impedence mismatching was, with it sounding like all would be lost. However, I ran my HF2 through a Schiit Valhalla, and frankly really liked the pairing. When I spoke to Jason at Schiit he said that he had a few friends who were musical engineers that loved low impedence cans with the Valhalla. So with this in mind:

 

1) Is this a correct understanding of the situation, while hiss is likley to be present due to the high sensitivity of the D7000, sound quality itself is not affected, and that a fuller dynamic range from the Auditor is the result of it's design?

 

2) Will the hiss be so present that listening to quiet passages in music will be seriously impacted/ruined?

 

3) Am I actually nuts to think the Auditor will sound good with the D7000 and I should just sell it and finda better mate (and or sell the D7000s instead and look at a higher impedence headphone)

 

I think it would be tough to capture a high impedence can for around the $700-$800 price I suspect I could fetch if I turned around and sold the D7000s. I hope I don't have to do that, I really wanted to hear this special Denon sound that I am told competes with the TH-900 quite well. I really didn't like the T1 despite being a fan of the Beyer sound, the DT sound specifically.

 

I guess what I am hoping to hear from the those out there who are more technically savy than I am to tell me that any sound degredation due to the impedence mismatching should be minor. Hope springs eternal they say! Cheers.

 

Well the hiss problem depend on your listening volume , solved the thing using a custom made 180 ohms adapter for my gone AD2000 (also low impedence , and relatively high sensitivity) i didn't notice change in sound  (expect the hissing sound gone) .

post #168 of 200
Just ordered an Auditor to try out with my DP-1/HD800 combo. I've always been curious about this ampw/ the Senn and will be either keeping this as my main ss amp option, or putting it up for sale right away. Looking forward to it!

-Daniel
post #169 of 200

People seem to love it with the HD 800. I know it was fantastic with my 650s.

post #170 of 200

^ i recently helped someone decide WA2 or Phonitor for HD 800. he got the phonitor after i told him how many ppl loved it for its neutral/transparent sound.

post #171 of 200

Auditor / Phonitor is an excellent amplifier. Very little compromise in terms of electrical layout and principle, hence the slightly higher output impedance. The hiss is an indication of that and though it may seem like a contradiction to some, it is a good thing in this case.

 

What I think is they were trying to accomplish something that hasn't been in use for decades - voltage -FET. It was used in the seventies and early eighties, most notably by Yamaha and Sony. The technology was developed to achieve perfect linearity and voltage drive of the finest tube systems and still provide good current drive and low noise. The technology was expensive though and never really caught up but some of the amplifiers that used V-FET are among the best in world.  

 

Someone in another thread mentioned that unbalanced and capacitor-coupled is a thing of the past and "garbage". Apart from being unbelievably ignorant, I'd say this is the type that will pass on something good because it is old so I think we should have more of those people!

post #172 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by R Giskard View Post

Auditor / Phonitor is an excellent amplifier. Very little compromise in terms of electrical layout and principle, hence the slightly higher output impedance. The hiss is an indication of that and though it may seem like a contradiction to some, it is a good thing in this case.

 

What I think is they were trying to accomplish something that hasn't been in use for decades - voltage -FET. It was used in the seventies and early eighties, most notably by Yamaha and Sony. The technology was developed to achieve perfect linearity and voltage drive of the finest tube systems and still provide good current drive and low noise. The technology was expensive though and never really caught up but some of the amplifiers that used V-FET are among the best in world.  

 

Someone in another thread mentioned that unbalanced and capacitor-coupled is a thing of the past and "garbage". Apart from being unbelievably ignorant, I'd say this is the type that will pass on something good because it is old so I think we should have more of those people!

I agree, let fools sell of the older treasures due to their ignorance. Many find it hard to accept that a high quality integrated amp from the 70s or 80s will still provide a fantastic bang for the buck, and if there was blind listening testing done, I'll bet most people wouldn't have a clue if they were hearing quality vintage gear versus quality new gear.

post #173 of 200

Update, as was expected/hoped for, the Auditor D7000 combination is fabulous. Very little hiss at all, certainly no more than is easily acceptable. I listen at loud volume typically and even with quiet passages I find the album mastering introduces more hiss than does the impedance mismatching. Personally, based on my experience with both a Valhalla/HF2 impedance mismatch, and now this apparent mismatch it makes me wonder if the real issue itself is more measureable than audible in the first place.

post #174 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Defender View Post

I agree, let fools sell of the older treasures due to their ignorance. Many find it hard to accept that a high quality integrated amp from the 70s or 80s will still provide a fantastic bang for the buck, and if there was blind listening testing done, I'll bet most people wouldn't have a clue if they were hearing quality vintage gear versus quality new gear.

I wholeheartily agree!

post #175 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Defender View Post

Update, as was expected/hoped for, the Auditor D7000 combination is fabulous. Very little hiss at all, certainly no more than is easily acceptable. I listen at loud volume typically and even with quiet passages I find the album mastering introduces more hiss than does the impedance mismatching. Personally, based on my experience with both a Valhalla/HF2 impedance mismatch, and now this apparent mismatch it makes me wonder if the real issue itself is more measureable than audible in the first place.

Specifications are indication if something is right or wrong but they don't tell the whole story. Speaking of hiss, even the best reel-to-reel tape machines cannot provide a signal-to-noise ration higher than 86 or 87dB, a far cry from digital equipment. Is that specification alone enough to make digital reproduction better than analog? Certainly not!

 

However, there is a more relevant issue that should be discussed and that is conformity. Lots of manufacturers "cheat" with specifications applying them as a means of advertisement rather than necessary information by which the user will be able to determine whether that product is for him or not. The information they often provide is misleading and quite often completely untrue. Instruments do not lie and if one standards of norms apply to one manufacturer, then they apply for everyone. In one particular case I was surprised to see that the linearity of the amplifier wasn't nearly as good as it was specified by the manufacturer. In another case the noise floor was significantly higher than specified. Frankly, I found myself in a serious problem when I started making amplifier because my amplifiers, measured according to the norms, measured worse than even the cheapest commercial amplifiers. I quickly found out why so don't believe everything you read on the manufacturer's website.

 

Out of the reliable manufacturers, SPL is certainly one and their measured specifications are always within tolerances stated. Bryston is another company and so is Musical fidelity. I could mention more than few that manufacturers don't conform to any standards but their own...

post #176 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by R Giskard View Post

Specifications are indication if something is right or wrong but they don't tell the whole story. Speaking of hiss, even the best reel-to-reel tape machines cannot provide a signal-to-noise ration higher than 86 or 87dB, a far cry from digital equipment. Is that specification alone enough to make digital reproduction better than analog? Certainly not!

 

However, there is a more relevant issue that should be discussed and that is conformity. Lots of manufacturers "cheat" with specifications applying them as a means of advertisement rather than necessary information by which the user will be able to determine whether that product is for him or not. The information they often provide is misleading and quite often completely untrue. Instruments do not lie and if one standards of norms apply to one manufacturer, then they apply for everyone. In one particular case I was surprised to see that the linearity of the amplifier wasn't nearly as good as it was specified by the manufacturer. In another case the noise floor was significantly higher than specified. Frankly, I found myself in a serious problem when I started making amplifier because my amplifiers, measured according to the norms, measured worse than even the cheapest commercial amplifiers. I quickly found out why so don't believe everything you read on the manufacturer's website.

 

Out of the reliable manufacturers, SPL is certainly one and their measured specifications are always within tolerances stated. Bryston is another company and so is Musical fidelity. I could mention more than few that manufacturers don't conform to any standards but their own...

 

I'm looking into getting a Naim NAIT XS2 integrated amp. Have you any experience with Naim? I currently am using a Creek Evolution integrated. Thanks, appreciate your perspective.

post #177 of 200

Naim XS is a great amplfier and generally, the XS range is very successful in that they managed to "marry" musicalityand resplution. What speakers are you using? I have had some experience with Destiny components but I cannot really say about Evolution so I can't tell you whether the XS is a significant step up or not. However, if Destiny is any measure, Naim will have a different character.

post #178 of 200
I'm using Castle Knight 5 floorstanding speakers. I think the Destiny is more refined then the Evolution. I like that the XS2 has a good class A headphone amp section in it. That way if I ever go back to mostly speaker listening, I still have a one solution unit for headphone time when I opt for that.
post #179 of 200

Oh Castle... Sad to say, I am not really familiar with their speakers. There is no Castle dealer in Croatia anymore and there hasn't been for years. However, I will say that the XS over the Destiny will prove to be more resolving and utterly smooth in the top end. It has a hint of mid-range bloom, a sort of a rounded presentation that portrays vocals and the instruments in this range with a certain presence and focus. While it isn't neutral to a fault, this is quintessential Naim style. The tonality is slightly darker with less glare but musical and enjoyable nonetheless. Because of this, dynamics might seem impaired in some systems but I would never go as far as to say that because the Naim approach has always been - "enjoyment first, technicality second". The switch from Creek to Naim should be a dramatic one. While not substantial, I hope this helps.

 

Cheers!

Antun

post #180 of 200

Thanks Antun, that does help indeed. I tend to be more interested in musicality over total resolution/dynamic portrayal in gear. As long as detail isn't smeared I don't mind if a few edges are softer so to speak. I recently just sold my Audiolab 8200CD which was a wonderful device (notice your handle indicates you worked with Audiolab). Very nice to have your experience to learn from. I like the idea of a buttery smooth top-end. While I am not sensitive per-say to high frequencies, I find that when the top end isn't well controlled the sound certainly suffers and moves toward fatiguing quickly enough. Any thoughts on Creek in terms of their overall approach to music reproduction?

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