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O2 vs TOTL - Page 3

post #31 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by K3cT View Post

Duh, I have heard and compared them of course. The fact that the Asgard can swing more voltage and pump out more current is already doing the O2 a lot of disfavor.


More power does not equal better quality, unless it is necessary to avoid clipping. The O2 was designed to have enough power for almost every headphone, with the exception of a couple of extreme ones like the K1000 or HE-6, at any sane listening volume, but not more. The designer obviously viewed (and this is a view I share) the alleged benefits of vast amounts of unused extra headroom as an audiophile myth, just like all-discrete (or even tubed), single ended, class A, no feedback, or other exotic or outdated designs - such as the Asgard. Obviously, many do not agree with this, but then the lack of any other snake oil features makes the amplifier a non-starter for those anyway.

Excessively high maximum power output can also be a disadvantage, as evidenced by a number of people getting their expensive headphones damaged by faulty Schiit products.

 

post #32 of 582
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by K3cT View Post

Duh, I have heard and compared them of course. The fact that the Asgard can swing more voltage and pump out more current is already doing the O2 a lot of disfavor. 

 

Please don't get me wrong, I quite love the thing as a portable amplifier but treating it as if it's a giant killer that can slay amplifiers many, many times more expensive is just ignorance at its best. 

I'm glad that you like it

 

I'm not personally saying it compares to the "giants". Simply wanted some opinions on how it compares from some people who owned the giants.

 

More voltage and current is only a plus if you need it.. Most headphones do not.
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxvc View Post

Quote:


Same here.  But trolls and their loaded questions aside, I quite like the thing.   


no trolling or loaded questions from me. Just genuine curiosity. I think it's awesome that you guys like the O2, even with your strong opinions. It's obviously a nice little amp, and neither side disagrees.. The question sis just how nice is it. That's why I'm here, asking the question :)


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by telecaster View Post

Do a O2 versus CMOY amp and the Cmoy might just win in musicality. I heard my small Alessandros through La Figaro 339, so a tiny headphone with a big amp, and the tiny headphones sounded glorious i was amazed. If your headphones sound very good and musical even if you headphones aren't the best of the bunch, then it's a good amp. Otherwise well..


I think the polar opposite. Clean amp, musical headphones (if you want musicality). That's how I would approach it anyways.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post


More power does not equal better quality, unless it is necessary to avoid clipping. The O2 was designed to have enough power for almost every headphone, with the exception of a couple of extreme ones like the K1000 or HE-6, at any sane listening volume, but not more. The designer obviously viewed (and this is a view I share) the alleged benefits of vast amounts of unused extra headroom as an audiophile myth, just like all-discrete (or even tubed), single ended, class A, no feedback, or other exotic or outdated designs - such as the Asgard. Obviously, many do not agree with this, but then the lack of any other snake oil features makes the amplifier a non-starter for those anyway.

Excessively high maximum power output can also be a disadvantage, as evidenced by a number of people getting their expensive headphones damaged by faulty Schiit products.

 


(coughs) +1

post #33 of 582
Thread Starter 

Just wanted to say, thanks for keeping things nice and not too crazy. I think the thread is going fine. I hoped I could get results like this from the guys owning top of the line stuff, and I was right :)

post #34 of 582

Out of curiosity, could you explain how measurements are so limited?

Also, you ended your post very poetically, but I pray you know you only restated "it is what it is, and it isn't what it isn't". A few in the crowd may see that as eloquent or articulate, but that's just tautological. Just hope to see you don't say anything so pointless again (you can replace [O2] with [Beta22], [CS300X], etc., and that sentence would still be as meaningless as before).

 

P.S. I'm actually asking out of curiosity. Don't take it as some snide remark. Yes, what I wrote afterward isn't very friendly, but I dislike tautological truisms, specifically when someone actually thinks he can make a point with such worthless, redundant statements.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post


There's a subset of people here who believe, due to not understanding the limitations of measurements they've seen, that think that anything more expensive than the O2 is a waste of money.  I think an inexpensive, well-performing amp as the O2 was intended to be is a good thing. All the hype and nonsense over it detracts severely from that, however.

 

I am sure a million more words will be written on the O2, but it wont change that the amp is only what it is and can do only what it can do and no more or less, no manner how hard some people wish different.



 

post #35 of 582

The O2 is a good little unit, but I don't think it's a giant killer or anything of the like.  It's got a good amount of power, and the sound signature isn't bad, but it lacks transparency and detail.

post #36 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nom de Plume View Post

Out of curiosity, could you explain how measurements are so limited?

Also, you ended your post very poetically, but I pray you know you only restated "it is what it is, and it isn't what it isn't". A few in the crowd may see that as eloquent or articulate, but that's just tautological. Just hope to see you don't say anything so pointless again (you can replace [O2] with [Beta22], [CS300X], etc., and that sentence would still be as meaningless as before).

 

Agreed.  Also, we should be more specific, to avoid unnecessary confusion.

 

Which of the following measurements are we talking about?

 

1.  Audio industry standard tests (loaded with headphones-level impedances of course), such as frequency and phase response, THD tests, IMD SMPTE and CCIF, etc.

2.  Any other electrical measurements, including techniques such as audio differencing running any kinds of inputs you want including music

3.  Non-electrical measurements, such as those about human aural acuity, human perception, and so on

 

Measurements can't comprehensively describe everything, but depending on the application, they can give you a good enough idea.


Edited by mikeaj - 4/6/12 at 5:21pm
post #37 of 582

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lurkumaural View Post

I heard an O2 at my local meet.  I liked it.  I heard amps at that meet that I liked more, because the headphones I like require more power and authority to sound their best IMO.  It was a subjective and completely uncontrolled comparison: different headphones, different sources, you name it.  The objectivists will tell me I didn't do it right. 


I doubt anyone would tell you anything like that. If they did, you were right in telling them to fudge off. There seems to be this big communication gap where objective audio is associated with people listening to ruler-flat gear with wide eyes and opium smiles. Lots of people use colored headphones with the O2, there's nothing wrong with that. You can find an amp that shines the hell out of your cans, and sounds much better than anything else with them, and just be glad with it. The only thing wrong in my eyes is saying that because to you, with your headphones, listening to your music the colored amp X sounds better than the neutral amp Y, X is better. There's a difference between what sounds good to us individually and what is good.

 

Also, some people, out of obvious convenience suggest that people should use neutral standpoints throughout the entire audio chain and color the last element exactly how they want. This makes sense, since otherwise you'll be matching amps, DACs and headphones throughout your life. But if you have found some sort of synergy that just really works for you, that's awesome. Convincing yourself you should not be happy with that pair sounds weird, honestly. I know you specified you wanted no big speeches, but I just felt like clearing that no one thinks you did it wrong.

post #38 of 582

Running sweeps through an amp to measure the output, which is what test programs do, wont give the same results as playing music through it. That's what I meant. All the extra parts in TOTL amps aren't there for nothing.

 

My last paragraph is important. It's not an argument, it's a fact: Any thing is only what it is. Many of our arguments (about anything, not just audio) come about from not seeing things as they are. It's been a problem for centuries:

 

Quote:

"Men are disturbed not by the things which happen, but by their opinions about the things"
~Epictitus~ AD 55-135

 

Note how long ago that person lived. Ultimately though I reckon when it comes to audio:

 

Quote:

The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test. If the machine produces tranquility, it's right. If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed. -- Robert Pirsig

 

post #39 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

Running sweeps through an amp to measure the output, which is what test programs do, wont give the same results as playing music through it. That's what I meant. All the extra parts in TOTL amps aren't there for nothing.

 

So what you can also do (and what people do in practice), is measure the output of an amp given an input signal of music.  However, it's been found that amps that do very well with a broad range of traditional audio benchmarks, usually or pretty much always also do well with any kind of audio signal including various types of music.  That's pretty much the point of benchmarks in any field, though quite arguably, the standard ones in audio exist for historical reasons and may not be the most revealing.  That said, I'm of course not satisfied with only one source of performance figures.  I'd still like to see more people run different amps through an AP, dScope, or other sophisticated audio analyzer.  It would be better to see the O2 results confirmed on another system, and I'd like to see audio differencing tests too.  Nobody seems to have stepped up though.  I certainly don't own an audio analyzer or even a decent enough sound card to make a reasonable line-in recording of an amp, or I would have done it myself, at least for the O2.

 

 

As for extra parts in other amps or more sophisticated designs, there are a number of potential reasons:

1.  Designing simple barebones cookbook amps can be boring.

2.  For pride, a sense of accomplishment, or just because you can, you want to outperform the competition.

3.  You need something more complicated to handle very high power outputs well.

4.  You're trying to implement a different kind of sound (less accurate).

5.  The consumers want to buy something more fancy, with or without certain key attributes, whether or not that actually makes sense from a performance point of view.  Many people don't buy toys based on what they need, but what they want.

 

and so on.


Edited by mikeaj - 4/7/12 at 9:15am
post #40 of 582

Interesting stuff, along with mikeaj's input. I'll be looking more into this, and thanks for the response, Currawong.

About your last paragraph, it doesn't become important simply because it's a fact. As earlier indicated, I recognized it as a truism, but that's the thing: it's a truism - an obvious truth that doesn't need reiteration. Your paragraph was only that with no supplementary comments, and truisms are, by nature, useless. Some of the people you referred to could argue that you're saying the O2 is something it isn't; whether they're right, I don't know. It just shows how circular and meaningless truisms can be.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

Running sweeps through an amp to measure the output, which is what test programs do, wont give the same results as playing music through it. That's what I meant. All the extra parts in TOTL amps aren't there for nothing.

 

My last paragraph is important. It's not an argument, it's a fact: Any thing is only what it is. Many of our arguments (about anything, not just audio) come about from not seeing things as they are. It's been a problem for centuries:



 

post #41 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by kstaken View Post

I have an O2 and an Apex Peak/Volcano among other amps. The O2 is a $150 amp and is probably pretty good for that price point but there is no comparison beyond that. I tried to use it exclusively for a couple weeks while one of my older amps was down and to see if it really lived up to the hype and by the end I just couldn't take it and stopped listening to music altogether. It was extremely fatiguing and just unmusical to listen to for  me. 

 

When you compare this to higher end amps it's very critical to understand that the amp can only reveal what the source provides. If you use a low end source and then compare the O2 to a higher end amp there very well may be little difference because the O2 may be fully able to resolve the source. Higher end amps do not "improve" the sound they simply better reveal what the source is providing. Use a better source and they'll allow more through and it's at that point the O2 shows it's limitations. It may be relatively transparent for its price point but put a really good source behind it and then compare it to a better amp and you'll see what it really does to the sound. It is not even close to as transparent and uncolored as is claimed.

 


 

An amp should do nothing more than provide a clean amplified signal free of noise and distortion, your headphones should be the musical part of your chain. If the sound isn't musical then it's your headphones fault for being unpleasing to your ears. This is my opinion of course.

 

As for the second paragraph, this doesn't sound like anything I'd want considering how bad most recordings lately are.

post #42 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by keanex View Post

An amp should do nothing more than provide a clean amplified signal free of noise and distortion, your headphones should be the musical part of your chain. If the sound isn't musical then it's your headphones fault for being unpleasing to your ears. This is my opinion of course.

 

I'm not particularly fond of using the word "musical" in the context of a sound reproduction system, since I get the feeling that means something different to different people, and maybe something different depending on the context.  In the very least, musicians mean something different (and it depends on context) when they say a performance is musical or not.  I'd be wary of headphones that themselves sounded musical, if that's what's being said.

 

I want to hear what's in the recording, which is better achieved by headphones with a less-intrusive sonic characteristic. If the recording is of a live performance, I hope it's played musically, if that's appropriate for that music.  Some music isn't supposed to sound musical.  If not, I look for another recording or tweak the playback system I guess, though a tweak one way would arguably make some music more musical and other music less musical...?  Who knows.  YMMV.

 

...Now I don't even remember what we were talking about in the first place.  I think it had something to do with music.

post #43 of 582

My point is that a neutral amplifier just means you're simply hearing the sound as your headphones and DAC color it. An amp shouldn't color the music in any way really which means it shouldn't be effecting musicality. I have my O2 with my Audio Technica Ad2000 and can say without a doubt that they have amazing musicality because they are musical headphones. You put them on and you don't think about the microdetails, you just enjoy. They would be just as musical with any other neutral amp.

post #44 of 582

That amp is only worth what you paid for it man, you won't fool anybody with such a thread!

post #45 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by telecaster View Post

That amp is only worth what you paid for it man, you won't fool anybody with such a thread!


Congratulations.

 

I think you've just summed up all this place's problems.

 

Now if only I could figure out if you were serious or not...

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