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Audio-Gd Reference 10 - Page 22

post #316 of 328

Hello :smile:

just wanted to say that my birthday present arrived last Friday and... l am loving it!! :basshead:

 

 

So far, l am mainly using it with the HE-400 and the AH-D600 (both balanced). Both headphones have never sounded better... The HE-400 sounds simply fantastic, what an amazing change compared to my previous gear. However, l can see the Ref.10 is asking for a much better pair of HPs... 

 

In time, l'd like to share some of my impressions. Until then, let me mention a few adjectives that would define its sound (according to my ears, of course): refined, smooth, lush, amazing dynamics, great detail retrieval, natural/organic... l believe the midrange/voices are the star here..

 

To sum up, l'd simply say: l would certainly buy it again, absolutely.

 

Cons: l would've prefered it having a volume knob 

 

Extras: the self-defense weapon it comes with. Very handy when it comes to travel. lt has a 'camouflage/deceptive' appearance that resembles that of a remote control which makes it great to pass airport security controls, flawlessly. 

 

post #317 of 328
Quote:
Originally Posted by IYAshike View Post
 

 

Extras: the self-defense weapon it comes with. Very handy when it comes to travel. lt has a 'camouflage/deceptive' appearance that resembles that of a remote control which makes it great to pass airport security controls, flawlessly. 

 

 

 

Ha ha - that is so true..  

 

:beerchug:

post #318 of 328
Quote:
Originally Posted by IYAshike View Post
 

just wanted to say that my birthday present arrived last Friday and... l am loving it!! :basshead:

 

 

Congrats on your purchase.


Regarding better HPs for the Ref 10.32 you should definitely give the HD800 a try.

You wallet/wife won't be happy but your ears will be blessed. This was my last purchase (HD800) and since then I am only enjoying the music with my Ref 10.32. No itching or need to upgrade anymore. Well, maybe I will re-cable my HD800 one day but so far so good.

 

The only thing I was wondering since I purchased my Ref 10.32 20 months ago was how it compares to the NFB27 with the ESS9018 chip - according to some ppl here this ESS chip tops the PCM1704UK. That was why I have bought ODAC with the ESS chip lately.

 

 

And it is not bad at all (especially considering its price of 100USD - w/ ESS9023 DAC chip), but the PCM1704UK offers better bass and more natural sound than the ESS chip which is slightly brighter and on the other hand its dynamics is slightly better. For the HD800 the PCM1704UK is IMO a perfect match. But having the ODAC is like adding a new FOTW/M to the Reference 10.32. Still wondering how Kingwa's ESS9018 implementation sounds though :wink_face: 


Edited by PiNa.cz - Yesterday at 12:11 am
post #319 of 328

Hello PiNa.cz,

 

Thank you for your HP recommendation :smile: To be honest, l asked Kingwa to recommend me a pair of HPs, and he suggested the same one (if l like neutral sound, he said). l definitely have the HD800s in mind. However, l might firstly go for a very good, close-back design (having in mind the XC), but for that l might have to wait for a while... unless l convince my wife that l absolutely need them for Christmas :dt880smile:  

 

l am still into buying HPs for the sake of trying them instead of pairing them with my DAC/amp. For example, l am interested in the JVC-DX1000 (if l go to Japan next year, l will surely come back with a pair). Also, the Fostex TH-600 are in my radar :rolleyes: and obviously, the LCD-2s... Too many HPs for just one budget!! Good thing is l am planning to live still a few more years so... l hope l have time to try them all ;)

 

In any case, l am really loving the HE-400 now. With my other DAC/amp l didn't enjoy them that much, but now l am certainly enjoying them. 

 

According to what l have read, the ESS9018 seems to be a bright, detail oriented chip. l haven't listen to it, so this is just mere speculation from my side. The only quality that would appeal to me is it's dynamics (if they're indeed superior to those of the 1704uk). l dislike bright sound, l am on the 'neutral-warm' side of it. 

 

Have a good day!


Edited by IYAshike - Yesterday at 2:41 am
post #320 of 328

This is what Kingwa wrote me when I asked him for comparison of the Ref 10.32 and the NFB27:

 

The NFB27 detail is slight clearer than the Reference 10.32 . The bass on the NFB27 is speed and tight, on the Reference 10.32 is not as speed but rich and slight deeper.
The NFB27 is emphasize on high and mid transparency, the Reference 10.32 is high , mid and low balanced.
They are same level but with some different flavors.

 

I confirmed his findings by listening to the ODAC thru the Ref 10.32 - this is most likely behaviour of the Sigma-Delta DAC chips - ODAC itself sounds really great, but "something" is missing there for me. Still prefer PCM1704UK sound.

post #321 of 328
Quote:
Originally Posted by PiNa.cz View Post
 

 

And it is not bad at all (especially considering its price of 100USD - w/ ESS9023 DAC chip), but the PCM1704UK offers better bass and more natural sound than the ESS chip which is slightly brighter and on the other hand its dynamics is slightly better. For the HD800 the PCM1704UK is IMO a perfect match. But having the ODAC is like adding a new FOTW/M to the Reference 10.32. Still wondering how Kingwa's ESS9018 implementation sounds though :wink_face: 

 

Better bass? Sorry but no. I have yet to hear a 1704 dac (and I have heard some expensive ones from the likes of Naim and the Ref 1/5.32 ) that can compete with the bass control, impact and speed of a good Sabre32 DAC.

 

As for 'a more natural sound' well that depends on what you are looking for, neither are more natural than the other.

Some people find the Sabre32 bright some find the 1704 dark. A good implementation of either should be neutral.

post #322 of 328
Quote:
Originally Posted by nigeljames View Post
 

 

Better bass? Sorry but no. I have yet to hear a 1704 dac (and I have heard some expensive ones from the likes of Naim and the Ref 1/5.32 ) that can compete with the bass control, impact and speed of a good Sabre32 DAC.

 

As for 'a more natural sound' well that depends on what you are looking for, neither are more natural than the other.

Some people find the Sabre32 bright some find the 1704 dark. A good implementation of either should be neutral.

l guess 'better bass' leads to interpretation (or the subjectivity of different individuals). For you 'better bass' might be "control, impact and speed", whereas for PiNa.ch might mean something else. 

 

l like your definition, but l would add 'richness or body' to it. l guess, if you add richness, you might lose a touch of speed...

post #323 of 328

Nigeljames: YMMV :wink_face:

post #324 of 328
Quote:
Originally Posted by IYAshike View Post
 

l guess 'better bass' leads to interpretation (or the subjectivity of different individuals). For you 'better bass' might be "control, impact and speed", whereas for PiNa.ch might mean something else. 

 

l like your definition, but l would add 'richness or body' to it. l guess, if you add richness, you might lose a touch of speed...

 

Richness / body is spot on.

post #325 of 328

I listen to mainly rock and metal so speed, depth, control and impact are more a priority than richness and body.

However I still have plenty of body and weight, even with the HD800's and pure silver or silver/gold cables.

 

With bassier phones like the LCD2.2 or HE6's I would not want more body or richness because anymore would make the sound too bloated.

post #326 of 328
Quote:
Originally Posted by nigeljames View Post

 

As for 'a more natural sound' well that depends on what you are looking for, neither are more natural than the other.

Some people find the Sabre32 bright some find the 1704 dark. A good implementation of either should be neutral.

 

 

SABRE32's treble are far from being neutral. If you haven't read already there is very interesting thread comparing some well known DACs with lots of info: http://www.head-fi.org/t/693798/ranking-of-21-dacs-and-dac-configurations-and-why-chocolate-ice-cream-must-die

 

For me it was confirmed by listening to ODAC which should be "neutral" and it is not. I liked its speed and sligthly more details and sliglty better dynamics but when returning to Refs DAC I always feel that's the one for me :wink_face:

post #327 of 328
Quote:
Originally Posted by nigeljames View Post
 

I listen to mainly rock and metal so speed, depth, control and impact are more a priority than richness and body.

 

Now it makes perfect sense and I agree that for rock/metal speed is essential. I listen mainly to classical, vocals and jazz.

post #328 of 328
Quote:
Originally Posted by PiNa.cz View Post
 

 

 

SABRE32's treble are far from being neutral. If you haven't read already there is very interesting thread comparing some well known DACs with lots of info: http://www.head-fi.org/t/693798/ranking-of-21-dacs-and-dac-configurations-and-why-chocolate-ice-cream-must-die

 

For me it was confirmed by listening to ODAC which should be "neutral" and it is not. I liked its speed and sligthly more details and sliglty better dynamics but when returning to Refs DAC I always feel that's the one for me :wink_face:

 

With respect the thread you mentioned was done by someone who loves the 1704 sound and does not like the Sabre32 sound.

So not exactly a fair comparison, especially when my experiences are almost totally the opposite in certain areas, so should be viewed in that context.  :wink_face:

 

I think it's just a case of personal preferences. I have been asked a few times as to which is best and my answer is always "what type of sound are you looking for?"

If they want a more assertive exciting vibrant sound I always direct them to the Sabre32.

If they want a more relaxing, laid back sound I refer them to the 1704.

 

I have not heard the Ref10.32 but have heard the Ref5.32 and Ref1. IMO both are clearly/slightly dark sounding. If the Ref10.32 is tonally similar, and you feel it is neutral, then it's not surprising you feel the Sabre32 is bright. However everyone's perception of neutral is different.

 

I obviously prefer the former but would not say either is the 'best'


Edited by nigeljames - Yesterday at 5:44 am
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