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SR009 / WES / BHSE / LL hit the mainstream - Page 20

post #286 of 594
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwmclean View Post

For me mwilsons impressions typify the problems inherent with the 009, with the BHSE highlighting and LL masking. Short answer 007 Mk1. tongue.gif

 

Yeah, I am keeping my 007 just in case... It's an mk2 and I know from measurements the port is there and sucks bad. Haven't bothered (I'm a chicken when it comes to disassembing my gear) to block it but probably would try if a proper amp was to make its home here...

 

At the moment, I simply can't get away from the 009 since both soundwise and comfortwise it is, by far, the headphone that's the least noticeable (I don't listen to speakers anymore so I am totally used to the soundstage).

post #287 of 594
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnaud View Post

Mwilson, many thanks indeed. So, there's not a single music style in your collection where you preferred the "hold no barrel" resolution of the BHSE?

 

Not from the ones that I've listened to; if anything, there is some material such as Tool which sounded much more enjoyable - albeit less technically accurate - when played back on a dynamic setup such as LF+LCD-3

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnaud View Post

Additionnally, it seems the conclusion for you is to get neither amp. You mention this is because of speakers but could there be some other reason such as fear of getting frustrated with the LL apparent lack of resolution over the long run (I am projecting my own audiophile nervosia here though)?

 

I think you might have misunderstood me; let me clarify - I said neither setup bests a great speaker rig, but this isn't the reason of my not getting a BHSE or LL at this time. I simply don't have time to listen to music as much as it would make financial sense for me to spend this kind of money. If I were to buy the 009, the LL would be my amp of choice, given their synergy.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnaud View Post

Your analogy with photography was interesting but I have a concern. Indeed, there is so much more to overall picture sharpness than lens performance (and I agree lenses pretty much don't matter at this time). Yet, I personnally hate pics that lack sharpness unless this is intentional (for instance I like to take pics of my young babies with some overexposure / softer focus to give it some smoothness and angel like qualities, they're monsters in reality wink.gif kidding).

 

Lenses matter much more than you think, and I wasn't talking about overall photo sharpness, but rather about some people zoom in at pixel level and obsess about their sharpness. Just head over to dpreview and search for pixel peeping, and you'll see what I am referring to. Similarly, I wanted to make the point that more detail does not always equal to accuracy. To me, the LL presented detail naturally, whereas the BHSE seemed to have emphasized them to the degree that I was more often than not distracted from the overall experience. Again, I'm nitpicking, as they're both great amps.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnaud View Post

Last, a question, where does your source fall along the scale of resolution vs musicality? Not saying you can't get both with a great source but unfortunately extreme detail retrieval / sharp transient source often seems to come at the price of making some recordings less listenable. For instance, I personnaly haven't found a resampling (software or hardware based) player that I like, it somehow always sounds hard and I prefer playing material at native rate. Another thing is the bass / authority / foundation of the source as not all sources are created equal in that regard. In other words, I wonder what the cantata aims to get right and how much that influenced your impressions of the gear downstream?

 

There is many a review of the Cantata to which you can refer; the consensus is that it's a very detailed, resolving yet musical source. I'm not upsampling on the Cantata either. I should also note that back in June we had a mini meet in Boca Raton, where the LL/009 was sourced from an Esoteric K something or other, I don't recall, as well as the Cantata. Both of these sources yielded similar characteristics on the LL/009 to all present, so I'm tempted to say that I have a decent idea of how the LL/009 sounds in an of itself as a combo.

 

Lastly, since you seem to be French, and by definition you should be a wine drinker biggrin.gif, I am thinking of the BHSE as akin to a Pauillac (Chateau Lafite), whereas the LL is more like a Margaux (Chateau Margaux). Both are exceptional Bordeaux wines, but go about it different ways due to terroir, blending, etc. 

post #288 of 594
Quote:
Originally Posted by mwilson View Post

 

Not from the ones that I've listened to; if anything, there is some material such as Tool which sounded much more enjoyable - albeit less technically accurate - when played back on a dynamic setup such as LF+LCD-3

 

 

Its so weird for me to see people say stuff like this. Tool was probably what impressed me the most when i got to listen to the Sr-009s. Though i guess the difference is taht Tool is probably some of heaviest music that you listen too, whereas for me Tool, is some of the least heavy music i listen to, along with having more dynamic range than almost anything else i listen to.

 

But i loved the 009s for even the heaviest music i listen to. Everything from Adele to the black dahlia Murder sounded fantastic.

 

Just another thing thats cool about the hobby, that we all have to many options.

post #289 of 594

While Tool isn't as hardcore as something like BDM they're one of the heaviest bands lyrically I've ever heard. That's why I love them so much. 

 

And while I'm a bit surprised to hear that, it makes sense. They're heavy handed and heavy handed stuff works really well the Audeze cans. Tool is incredibly well recorded though and you're right about it having more dynamic range than most everything else within the genre. So it still sounds really good on the 009s. 

 

http://www.dr.loudness-war.info/index.php?search_artist=tool&search_album=

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoupRKnowva View Post

 

Its so weird for me to see people say stuff like this. Tool was probably what impressed me the most when i got to listen to the Sr-009s. Though i guess the difference is taht Tool is probably some of heaviest music that you listen too, whereas for me Tool, is some of the least heavy music i listen to, along with having more dynamic range than almost anything else i listen to.

 

But i loved the 009s for even the heaviest music i listen to. Everything from Adele to the black dahlia Murder sounded fantastic.

 

Just another thing thats cool about the hobby, that we all have to many options.

post #290 of 594
Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post

While Tool isn't as hardcore as something like BDM they're one of the heaviest bands lyrically I've ever heard. That's why I love them so much. 

 

And while I'm a bit surprised to hear that, it makes sense. They're heavy handed and heavy handed stuff works really well the Audeze cans. Tool is incredibly well recorded though and you're right about it having more dynamic range than most everything else within the genre. So it still sounds really good on the 009s. 

 

http://www.dr.loudness-war.info/index.php?search_artist=tool&search_album=

 

 

Not to go to far off topic, but im sure youre aware i wasnt talking about the heaviness of the lyrics tongue_smile.gif

 

And youll have to agree that its something that tool used to do at least, the sound quality on 10000 days was awful :<

 

But i also dont agree that we should have different headphones for different music, i feel one headphone should do music properly, and if it does music properly, that it would do all music properly. But i dont begrudge others who want multiple cans, thats just my opinion.

post #291 of 594

I like Tool, especially Lateralus, and no, it's not too heavy for me. In fact, as a middle-aged former headbanger, I've enjoyed stuff that would make Tool look like Kenny G by comparison evil_smiley.gif

 

What I meant by preferring a dynamic setup for Tool is for the pure delicious experience, which, while less technically accurate, to me it was more involving. Kinda like having beer with chicken wings, to keep with my food analogies. It's not Stax and sushi, and it's quite more greasy, but damn it feels right.

post #292 of 594
Quote:
Originally Posted by mwilson View Post

OK, I finally did it. Courtesy of a fellow head-fi'er and Alex Cavalli, I finally had the opportunity to audition the BHSE and the LL at the same time, using a SR-009, all in the known environment of my home. What follows are some highly subjective and lacking any measurement data impressions.

 

Bias alert: none that I'm aware of. I paid for round-trip shipping on both the BHSE/009 and the LL; I don't own any of these fine devices at the moment, nor do I have plans to enter long positions on either anytime soon. I've owned the LL and 009 before, and am hence arguably more familiar with this combo's sound signature, but I wasn't rooting for either. In other words - I have no vested interest to see one outperform the other.

 

The setup was identical, Apple lossless files -> Resolution Audio Cantata Music Center DAC -> balanced Q Audio interconnects -> amplifier -> SR-009. Music choices ranged from jazz to classical to rock to electronica, and I used the same material to which I usually listen when evaluating new equipment.

 

Look and feel - in my opinion, the BHSE wins hands-down. While I appreciate the LL's minimalistic design, the BHSE is in a different league. From a practical standpoint, the LL was the winner - all-in-one unit, smaller, easier to place and blend in. In my particular setup, I could simply not accommodate a BHSE given its two-unit design, though the LL was somewhat of a challenge as well in my three-post rack, and I ended up placing it on the top shelf while I owned it. The BHSE runs hot, the LL cooler, though I wouldn't place anything on top of it. The BHSE has a very nice glow in the dark, the LL has a cold blue pair of LEDs. To each his or her own, but I prefer warmth over koolness

 

Based on my listening, the BHSE is a bit more resolving than the LL. However, resolution isn't everything. In another hobby of mine, photography, there's a similar pitfall when comparing lenses, always at the ready, to distract obsessive photographers from the greater picture, and it's called "pixel peeping". Said trait will concern a user so much with the sharpness at pixel level, thinking that it's an end-all to what constitutes ultimate image quality, that he or she will stop seeing the forest for the trees; there's so much more to the overall photo than the pixel sharpness that it's not even funny. There is saturation, micro-contrast, pop, fringe and color aberration control that ultimately all go towards giving a photo a life-like dynamic. Much in this sense, the BHSE outresolves the LL to a degree... does this mean it's more enjoyable in giving life to the recording? Not in the least. Wire with gain is an oft-repeated and in my opinion vastly overrated characteristic of an amplifier. An amp is but one component tasked with bringing the recording to life; the whole chain needs to be synergistic enough that the output has that lively sparkle, that captivating edge making the listener want to get lost in the music. Make no mistake, the LL is one very revealing and detailed amp; it's just not to the degree that it will flaunt such; it's the refined and understated elegance that gives its details a confidence rooted in a very dynamic presentation. To put this another way - the LL presents details in a way that they're there should you choose to register them; the BHSE gives them to you should you like it or not - and this aspect I found to be distracting.

 

Ultimately, they're both excellent amps, and once again I'm glad I had the opportunity to listen to them side-by-side. As far as I'm concerned, the LL/009 is simply unmatched by the BHSE/009, and neither can raise to the level of a good speaker system (though in fairness such a setup will cost a WHOLE lot more than a BHSE/LL/009 system).

 

Great write up Nick! Thanks for this. 

post #293 of 594
Quote:
Originally Posted by mwilson View Post

I like Tool, especially Lateralus, and no, it's not too heavy for me. In fact, as a middle-aged former headbanger, I've enjoyed stuff that would make Tool look like Kenny G by comparison evil_smiley.gif

 

What I meant by preferring a dynamic setup for Tool is for the pure delicious experience, which, while less technically accurate, to me it was more involving. Kinda like having beer with chicken wings, to keep with my food analogies. It's not Stax and sushi, and it's quite more greasy, but damn it feels right.

 

haha my bad for making an unfair assumption mwilson.

 

And thats just another reason why i said its awesome we have so many choices, everyone likes something different. For me there was something paricularly magical about Aenima on the Sr-009s, i listened to over half that cd at the meet on the 009s entranced.

post #294 of 594

Right now, my everyday listening source is a textbook definition of a terrible two toddler. This source sounds very dynamic though very shrill and bright at times. On a good note, no amp needed.

 

Edit: Hi Peter, long time. I guess you can relate somewhat to this ^

post #295 of 594
Quote:
Originally Posted by mwilson View Post

Right now, my everyday listening source is a textbook definition of a terrible two toddler. This source sounds very dynamic though very shrill and bright at times. On a good note, no amp needed.

 

Edit: Hi Peter, long time. I guess you can relate somewhat to this ^

LoL, don't worry, it gets better when they're 5. Hang in there and don't do something silly like having a second one like I did. Once the oldest was passed the f*ing fours, I had to do it all over again. confused.gif (almost there...the little guy turns five this March).

post #296 of 594
^ ha. On a diff. note, still no 009 for you? Was supposed to be a few weeks iirc
post #297 of 594
Quote:
Originally Posted by mwilson View Post

^ ha. On a diff. note, still no 009 for you? Was supposed to be a few weeks iirc

It was...then things got delayed. Now mid-Nov. frown.gif

 

They can't keep up with the orders. So much for a tough economy.

post #298 of 594

Quote:
Originally Posted by mwilson View Post

Wire with gain is an oft-repeated and in my opinion vastly overrated characteristic of an amplifier. An amp is but one component tasked with bringing the recording to life; the whole chain needs to be synergistic enough that the output has that lively sparkle, that captivating edge making the listener want to get lost in the music.

 

Do we compensate with the amplifier for a bright for dull headphone? As a benchmark the “wire with gain” works, you may not like the net result, but hey that’s honesty. Sure you can willy nilly match for best synergy, I’ve hoped off that merry go round long ago, I’ll take a neutral amplifier and match the headphone to taste any day.

 

Thanks for your impressions, much appreciated.

post #299 of 594

10,000 Days was unfortunately hit by loudness, but the rest of the catalog is great. Puscifer and Perfect Circle are fairly similar unfortunately.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoupRKnowva View Post

 

Not to go to far off topic, but im sure youre aware i wasnt talking about the heaviness of the lyrics tongue_smile.gif

 

And youll have to agree that its something that tool used to do at least, the sound quality on 10000 days was awful :<

 

But i also dont agree that we should have different headphones for different music, i feel one headphone should do music properly, and if it does music properly, that it would do all music properly. But i dont begrudge others who want multiple cans, thats just my opinion.

post #300 of 594
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwmclean View Post

 

Do we compensate with the amplifier for a bright for dull headphone? As a benchmark the “wire with gain” works, you may not like the net result, but hey that’s honesty. Sure you can willy nilly match for best synergy, I’ve hoped off that merry go round long ago, I’ll take a neutral amplifier and match the headphone to taste any day.

 

Thanks for your impressions, much appreciated.

 

I agree with the sentiment on principle, the problem, is that there may not be the perfect headphone for any given person. Like for instance, what if you want the resolutionand impact of a Sr-009, but the tonal signature of a Sr-007? its impossible to get that by picking a different headphone.

 

Though i guess the easiest way to go about that would be to use an EQ, and that would be my method, but alas, i do understand when people want to find the synergistic amp for their needs, there arent always enough choices in headphones to find exactly what you want, and still have neutrality in the rest of the chain.

 

and as i said, i agree with you on principle, its just that sometimes reality sticks its head in and makes things not quite so black and white, and also to play devils advocate a bit

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