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O2 vs TOTL - Page 23

post #331 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin View Post

 

Probably the same places that sell CD demagnetizers.

 


 

Also, I have an O2 vs TOTL moment to share.

 

Recently I got a chance to compare my O2 and ODAC to an Eddie Current Balancing Act's singled ended output fed by this with some HD800s and preferred them on my O2 and ODAC.  The BA added a little sweetness to the treble and gave it a little less edge  It also had some reverb like effect going on that seemed to make the soundstage a little bigger.  On the O2 the bass was tighter, imaging was sharper, and kept better separation during during busy passages.  The treble was a little sharper but I think creatology would probably fix it.

 

I've heard that the tubes the BA had weren't a good match for the HD800, some questioned the idea of adding a tube output stage to a player that's already pretty good by itself, YMMV and all that...

 

We ran the O2 versus the BA many times and I've never heard a reverb effect making the SS bigger on the BA.  The HF heater actually does increase space but not by adding reverb.  I think you were hearing the tubes in the CD player while not hearing it from the O2.  I agree w/ the bass and imaging part though.  In that case try a Super 7 next time if you can.  If you can make it to the LA meet I plan on running 3 different Super 7s next to each other in 3 different configurations.

 

Edit - That looks like a 4 stack of clarity caps in the CD player too, hmm...that thing is beginning to scare me.

 

Did you try the BA using the ODAC?


Edited by Anaxilus - 6/17/12 at 10:32pm
post #332 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

We ran the O2 versus the BA many times and I've never heard a reverb effect making the SS bigger on the BA.  The HF heater actually does increase space but not by adding reverb.  I think you were hearing the tubes in the CD player while not hearing it from the O2.  I agree w/ the bass and imaging part though.  In that case try a Super 7 next time if you can.  If you can make it to the LA meet I plan on running 3 different Super 7s next to each other in 3 different configurations.

 

I couldn't really say what exactly it was or where it came from in the chain.  It could be I'm just describing it differently though.  It didn't really sound like a natural reverb or reverb effect but that's just the closest I can get to describing it.  We'd probably have to both listen to the same thing to be sure.

 

I'd love to go to the LA meet but it's way too far away and I can't swing that kind of travel just to hang out for a day or two.

post #333 of 582

Just for reference, could those stating their experiences also post their source? At least in future posts even though you probably wont read this.  Just curious what sources you guys are using is all.

post #334 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin View Post

Also, I have an O2 vs TOTL moment to share.

 

Recently I got a chance to compare my O2 and ODAC to an Eddie Current Balancing Act's singled ended output fed by this with some HD800s and preferred them on my O2 and ODAC.  The BA added a little sweetness to the treble and gave it a little less edge  It also had some reverb like effect going on that seemed to make the soundstage a little bigger.  On the O2 the bass was tighter, imaging was sharper, and kept better separation during during busy passages.  The treble was a little sharper but I think creatology would probably fix it.

 

I've heard that the tubes the BA had weren't a good match for the HD800, some questioned the idea of adding a tube output stage to a player that's already pretty good by itself, YMMV and all that...

 

Nice job.  Going back to when I compared the O2 with my amp, I remember the stage being bigger on the V51.  The "images" had more space to breath.  But I wonder if it could have been a mistake to conclude this as "better."  Perhaps it really isn't in the recording and maybe it was only added space.  How can we be sure which is correct?  

post #335 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxvc View Post

 

Nice job.  Going back to when I compared the O2 with my amp, I remember the stage being bigger on the V51.  The "images" had more space to breath.  But I wonder if it could have been a mistake to conclude this as "better."  Perhaps it really isn't in the recording and maybe it was only added space.  How can we be sure which is correct?  

 

Well if you're just listening for enjoyment then just go with whatever you like.  If you're want to determine which is more accurate you'll need to compare the input to the output, see which one is closer, and possibly make adjustments for psychoacoustic factors.

post #336 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin View Post

 

I couldn't really say what exactly it was or where it came from in the chain.  It could be I'm just describing it differently though.  It didn't really sound like a natural reverb or reverb effect but that's just the closest I can get to describing it.  We'd probably have to both listen to the same thing to be sure.

 

I'd love to go to the LA meet but it's way too far away and I can't swing that kind of travel just to hang out for a day or two.

 

This phenomena has been referred to as "tube bloom." CEE TEE referred to it as the "midrange swirly" thing. Certain tubes or implementations have more of this, other's less. (The T2DIY has zero tube bloom.) My personal preference is to have less. Although I must say I am guilty of liking this effect on colored closed headphones such as the W3000ANV or TH900.

 

Having a O2 myself, I've noted that the O2 does have tighter bass than the BA that you heard (with the KR PX4 and a Tungsol 6SN7GT?) I can also confirm that the O2 is a little bit rougher in the treble. I also feel the O2 does sound a little bit cleaner.

 

I understand it was under meet conditions, but were you able to ascertain other qualities such as low level information retrieval, dynamic compression, dynamic range (ability to reproduce soft sounds soft and loud sounds loud), and "speed", i.e. micro-dynamics, the ability to make small changes in volume quickly and with authority?


Edited by purrin - 6/18/12 at 9:08am
post #337 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

 

the treble in the treble.

 

You mean the harsh ~6khz area?  =]

post #338 of 582

double paste - just harsh in the overall treble - not necessarily related to the peak. more edge, more grain, more raw, less liquid.

post #339 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin View Post

 

Well if you're just listening for enjoyment then just go with whatever you like.  If you're want to determine which is more accurate you'll need to compare the input to the output, see which one is closer, and possibly make adjustments for psychoacoustic factors.

 

Generally I go with what I like, but given my fondness of a friend's KGSSHV/SR009 rig I think accuracy is part of my enjoyment.  Tough to compare input to output with what I'm talking about.  How can you be sure whether a large stage is accurate or a small stage?  Imaging and detail retrieval are more straight forward.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

double paste - just harsh in the overall treble - not necessarily related to the peak. more edge, more grain, more raw, less liquid.

 

Was kidding.  

post #340 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxvc View Post

 

Generally I go with what I like, but given my fondness of a friend's KGSSHV/SR009 rig I think accuracy is part of my enjoyment.  Tough to compare input to output with what I'm talking about.  How can you be sure whether a large stage is accurate or a small stage?  Imaging and detail retrieval are more straight forward.

 

 

I've actually been playing with comparing inputs to outputs. WAV -> playback -> headphone -> microphone -> ADC -> WAV. Results are not conclusive enough. The waveforms look so darn similar, and post processed data is within measurement error. My most serious enemy is noise, so I will have to relocate and design my rig with more sounding proofing controls. I suspect that there are factors in human acuity which current measurement methods cannot detect.


Edited by purrin - 6/18/12 at 9:58am
post #341 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

 

I've actually been playing with comparing inputs to outputs. WAV -> playback -> headphone -> microphone -> ADC -> WAV. Results are not conclusive enough. The waveforms look so darn similar, and post processed data is within measurement error. My most serious enemy is noise, so I will have to relocate and design my rig with more sounding proofing controls.

 

That's interesting.  

 

So what phone(s) did you use?

post #342 of 582

HP1000 and HD800. This is definitely a worthwhile project for me to pursue in the summer.

post #343 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

I understand it was under meet conditions, but were you able to ascertain other qualities such as low level information retrieval, dynamic compression, dynamic range (ability to reproduce soft sounds soft and loud sounds loud), and "speed", i.e. micro-dynamics, the ability to make small changes in volume quickly and with authority?

 

IMO those things all factor into instrument separation during busy passages and that's where the O2 won.  If those aren't good enough stuff just tends to get blended together.

 

Maybe it's what I listen to.  I know you're not one of those "audiophiles" who insists on only listening to classical from boutique labels but your tastes still aren't quite as "un-audiophile" as mine either.  I mostly (>50%) listen to metal and much of the time the heavier and busier the better so instrument separation is pretty important to me and the O2/ODAC was just better all around there.  I could more easily make out the bass guitar from the drums, the separate lead and rhythm guitars, effects on the vocals like the precise number of echos, and other little stuff in the background.  The BA had a bit more space and took some of the edge off the HD800 but IMO that's probably a coloration and even though I liked the reduced edge to the treble I'd take the O2 over it for the separation since the O2 had more separation than the BA had less edge.

 

Of course the source for the BA is something of an unknown to me so I can't necessarily attribute everything to I head to the BA.  Just by price the combo does make its way into TOTL and summit-fi though and if the DAC and amp were a package deal I find the ~$300 O2/ODAC combo wins over the ~$7000 ECBA/ModWright XA-5400ES combo.

post #344 of 582

The BA certainly can't be justified nor even ideal in your case. I don't listen to metal at all, but I can completely understand where you are coming from. There are certain things that pure solid-state does better than tubes no matter what. I wish you could have plugged your ODAC into the BA. As I've said, I cringe when I see perfectly fine CD players "modified" with tubes with all that crap stuffed in single chassis. The instrument separation thing (sounds mushing together) is not an attribute of the BA (running the KR PX4s) at all. Some classical can be just as complex if not more. 

 

And I agree from a logical point of view, the BA is difficult for anyone to justify if they have to "save up for it." As you know, I like the O2 and prefer it to many other amps costing 5-10 times as much.


Edited by purrin - 6/18/12 at 4:57pm
post #345 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

 

I've actually been playing with comparing inputs to outputs. WAV -> playback -> headphone -> microphone -> ADC -> WAV. Results are not conclusive enough. The waveforms look so darn similar, and post processed data is within measurement error. My most serious enemy is noise, so I will have to relocate and design my rig with more sounding proofing controls. I suspect that there are factors in human acuity which current measurement methods cannot detect.

 


As an idea (obviously you don't have to do this), you may want to try:

 

WAV -> playback -> headphone -> microphone -> ADC -> WAV

 

and

 

WAV -> Convolution FIR filter with headphone raw impulse response -> WAV

 

and compare the three WAVs...

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