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O2 vs TOTL - Page 4

post #46 of 582
Thread Starter 
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!



lol. not trying to "fool" anyone. 

post #47 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!


/thread.  Okay folks, show's over, nothing to see here.

post #48 of 582
Thread Starter 

The more I think about it.... 

 

It has to be a joke. Right?

 

Then I look at his gear.

post #49 of 582

I think a lot of posters seem to react rather aggressively.

I feel there are two categories of amp owners, those who are new to the audiophile business and found O2 as a cheap, well performing option. Of course, those who already own expensive equipment will look at the O2 with suspicion. It is natural and there's nothing wrong with that.

IMO ToTL not only means sound, it also means features. Amps like benchmark and Violectric have other options in sound and input/output, are much better built, and will last decades. All that commands high price, and I hope no one will argue on this.

Secondly, its a business, and someone's charging you for all the hard work they did in terms of design, manufacturing and after sales support. There's no proper definition of how much of a premium all these things add, so I'll leave it at that. Anyone selling you a product you cannot design/manufacture has the right to charge you whatever they want. And you have the right to refuse to buy it, simple.

DIY projects are cumbersome and sometimes impossible when it comes to supporting and troubleshooting. 

And for those who say its cheap, its not really that cheap... the whole package cost me somewhere around 200 SGD (150$). I had to buy soldering equipment, multimeter, power supply, and some extra components in case I damaged them. 

 

Ultimately, I think the problem is not the cost, but the superlative qualities some people ascribe to devices both cheap/expensive. If they are representatives of some brand, then its completely justifiable, but just as an owner it might not be very convincing. It is very difficult to find a correlation between the cost and performance, firstly because there's a whole lot of gray, and nothing's black or white, and secondly, because the definition of performance is rather loose.

post #50 of 582

I paid 144US from JDS labs and it was already built. Good thing about the 02 is nwavguy's disposition to how he went about building the amp. He doesn't even profit directly from the sales of the design, seems he is emotionally motivated in the design and seems to cover all the bases tech wise. See the tech article "more power".

 

What's the name of that overpriced basically "cmoy" design in a fancy wooden box? An example of commercial downsides.


Edited by Matt head 777 - 4/11/12 at 3:40am
post #51 of 582
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

I think a lot of posters seem to react rather aggressively.
I feel there are two categories of amp owners, those who are new to the audiophile business and found O2 as a cheap, well performing option. Of course, those who already own expensive equipment will look at the O2 with suspicion. It is natural and there's nothing wrong with that.
IMO ToTL not only means sound, it also means features. Amps like benchmark and Violectric have other options in sound and input/output, are much better built, and will last decades. All that commands high price, and I hope no one will argue on this.
Secondly, its a business, and someone's charging you for all the hard work they did in terms of design, manufacturing and after sales support. There's no proper definition of how much of a premium all these things add, so I'll leave it at that. Anyone selling you a product you cannot design/manufacture has the right to charge you whatever they want. And you have the right to refuse to buy it, simple.
DIY projects are cumbersome and sometimes impossible when it comes to supporting and troubleshooting. 
And for those who say its cheap, its not really that cheap... the whole package cost me somewhere around 200 SGD (150$). I had to buy soldering equipment, multimeter, power supply, and some extra components in case I damaged them. 

Ultimately, I think the problem is not the cost, but the superlative qualities some people ascribe to devices both cheap/expensive. If they are representatives of some brand, then its completely justifiable, but just as an owner it might not be very convincing. It is very difficult to find a correlation between the cost and performance, firstly because there's a whole lot of gray, and nothing's black or white, and secondly, because the definition of performance is rather loose.

all good points, really.
post #52 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

 All the extra parts in TOTL amps aren't there for nothing.

 

 

 



Right.  Those parts are there for a reason.  But the reasons are myriad.  That statement is classic instance of expectation bias.  Something is expected to sound good/better because of indirect indicators that have displaced direct ones.  In this case, the presence of extra parts is taken to be a positive indication of SQ.

post #53 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mauricio View Post

Right.  Those parts are there for a reason.


Of course, a major reason is that advertising their presence is expected to increase sales.

 

post #54 of 582

The most baffling part is how routinely the role and impact of cognitive biases are ignored in the discussions on this forum that purport to have replicable meaning for others.

 

post #55 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

I think a lot of posters seem to react rather aggressively.

I feel there are two categories of amp owners, those who are new to the audiophile business and found O2 as a cheap, well performing option. Of course, those who already own expensive equipment will look at the O2 with suspicion. It is natural and there's nothing wrong with that.

IMO ToTL not only means sound, it also means features. Amps like benchmark and Violectric have other options in sound and input/output, are much better built, and will last decades. All that commands high price, and I hope no one will argue on this.

Secondly, its a business, and someone's charging you for all the hard work they did in terms of design, manufacturing and after sales support. There's no proper definition of how much of a premium all these things add, so I'll leave it at that. Anyone selling you a product you cannot design/manufacture has the right to charge you whatever they want. And you have the right to refuse to buy it, simple.

DIY projects are cumbersome and sometimes impossible when it comes to supporting and troubleshooting. 

And for those who say its cheap, its not really that cheap... the whole package cost me somewhere around 200 SGD (150$). I had to buy soldering equipment, multimeter, power supply, and some extra components in case I damaged them. 

 

Ultimately, I think the problem is not the cost, but the superlative qualities some people ascribe to devices both cheap/expensive. If they are representatives of some brand, then its completely justifiable, but just as an owner it might not be very convincing. It is very difficult to find a correlation between the cost and performance, firstly because there's a whole lot of gray, and nothing's black or white, and secondly, because the definition of performance is rather loose.


I agree with a lot of that.  OTOH, there's nothing stopping someone from taking the basic O2 circuit and putting it in a nicer enclosure with nicer jacks, more inputs, and a stepped attenuator or something.  I plan to do something like that with the ODA.  Usability and build quality is certainly a valid reason to go with a more expensive commercial offering if you can't build, repair, or modify the O2 yourself.

 

Of course that's not what most of the people are talking about.  Not many people criticizing the O2 say that it sounded about as good as more expensive stuff but they went for the expensive option for reasons of ergonomics or build quality.  Nobody says, "It's a waste to use such a nice headphone with such a cheap amp" because of the ergonomics.  They're talking about the sound.  Many people are just saying it can't sound good just because its cheap.  I find it especially hilarious when those same people go on to complain about it looking cheap as well.  The reason it looks cheap is because it was designed for maximum SQ per dollar so things that don't contribute to SQ were obviously skimped out on.

 

Would those people like an inferior circuit in a fancier box?  I think many actually would...

 

The O2 was designed to provide the best SQ possible to a wide variety of headphones while being both cheap and easy to build.  Other areas were compromised to achieve those goals.  Being easy to build means no surface mount parts which increases size and weight.  It also rules out lithium batteries so noobs don't burn down their houses or have O2s explode in their backpacks which also increases size.  Ergonomics were compromised by putting all the jacks and buttons on one side so only a single pre cut panel was needed in order to reduce costs.  Being transportable maximized versatility at the cost of ergonomics as well.  It can be a desktop amp or a portable amp but it isn't perfect for either.  Putting the volume control between the gain and output stages means that you have to worry about gain matching but it also gives you a perfectly black background with even the most sensitive IEMs.

 

I could go on a lot further if I had time.  The bottom line is that even if you think the O2's sound competes with TOTL amps there are still legitimate reasons to pay more for improvements in other areas and the statement that "any amp more expensive than the O2 is just a waste of money" which is heard from some of the O2's fans is just a hollow boast.  Even Voldermort will tell you this himself on his blog.  If someone likes "nice things" and has the budget or needs features the O2, ODA, or ODAC doesn't have he won't hesitate to recommend Benchmark, Violectric, or CEntrance products to to them.  I use my O2 as my home amp while I use a Leckerton UHA-4 as my portable amp because of the UHA-4's smaller size and extra features.  That said, pending further evidence, I think that criticizing the O2's sound is either a result a differencing preferences or expectation bias.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt head 777 View Post

I paid 144US from JDS labs and it was already built. Good thing about the 02 is nwavguy's disposition to how he went about building the amp. He doesn't even profit directly from the sales of the design, seems he is emotionally motivated in the design and seems to cover all the bases tech wise. See the tech article "more power".

 

What's the name of that overpriced basically "cmoy" design in a fancy wooden box? An example of commercial downsides.


Grado RA1

post #56 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mauricio View Post

The most baffling part is how routinely the role and impact of cognitive biases are ignored in the discussions on this forum that purport to have replicable meaning for others.

 

Obviously those shortcomings only apply to other people.

 

wink_face.gif

post #57 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by oyster View Post

Having heard the Beta22 & EHHA rev2 with Mullard 1960 tubes i can say that the O2 is not far behind.What O2 lacks most in comparison to the above two amps is the scale & authority. Else it is quite good in terms of refinement & other attributes.

 

I heard similar things when I compared my Beta22 vs. my O2 side by side. That was my subjective impression. Another person may or may not hear the same thing.

 

post #58 of 582
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin View Post


I agree with a lot of that.  OTOH, there's nothing stopping someone from taking the basic O2 circuit and putting it in a nicer enclosure with nicer jacks, more inputs, and a stepped attenuator or something.  I plan to do something like that with the ODA.  Usability and build quality is certainly a valid reason to go with a more expensive commercial offering if you can't build, repair, or modify the O2 yourself.

 

Of course that's not what most of the people are talking about.  Not many people criticizing the O2 say that it sounded about as good as more expensive stuff but they went for the expensive option for reasons of ergonomics or build quality.  Nobody says, "It's a waste to use such a nice headphone with such a cheap amp" because of the ergonomics.  They're talking about the sound.  Many people are just saying it can't sound good just because its cheap.  I find it especially hilarious when those same people go on to complain about it looking cheap as well.  The reason it looks cheap is because it was designed for maximum SQ per dollar so things that don't contribute to SQ were obviously skimped out on.

 

Would those people like an inferior circuit in a fancier box?  I think many actually would...

 

The O2 was designed to provide the best SQ possible to a wide variety of headphones while being both cheap and easy to build.  Other areas were compromised to achieve those goals.  Being easy to build means no surface mount parts which increases size and weight.  It also rules out lithium batteries so noobs don't burn down their houses or have O2s explode in their backpacks which also increases size.  Ergonomics were compromised by putting all the jacks and buttons on one side so only a single pre cut panel was needed in order to reduce costs.  Being transportable maximized versatility at the cost of ergonomics as well.  It can be a desktop amp or a portable amp but it isn't perfect for either.  Putting the volume control between the gain and output stages means that you have to worry about gain matching but it also gives you a perfectly black background with even the most sensitive IEMs.

 

I could go on a lot further if I had time.  The bottom line is that even if you think the O2's sound competes with TOTL amps there are still legitimate reasons to pay more for improvements in other areas and the statement that "any amp more expensive than the O2 is just a waste of money" which is heard from some of the O2's fans is just a hollow boast.  Even Voldermort will tell you this himself on his blog.  If someone likes "nice things" and has the budget or needs features the O2, ODA, or ODAC doesn't have he won't hesitate to recommend Benchmark, Violectric, or CEntrance products to to them.  I use my O2 as my home amp while I use a Leckerton UHA-4 as my portable amp because of the UHA-4's smaller size and extra features.  That said, pending further evidence, I think that criticizing the O2's sound is either a result a differencing preferences or expectation bias.

 


Grado RA1



pretty much exactly what I was thinking :)

post #59 of 582

Currawong is very much right about how measurements are done. Multitone and IMD are much more representative of real music signals performance than THD at 1khz with a sine sweep. Here is where "class A", low or "no GNFB", "all discrete design", etc stops of being audio gimmicks and reveal their strenghts.

I would like to see those tests performed on a O2.

post #60 of 582

I wonder how many of us actually bother to see the circuit inside....maybe I can sell my own ToTL by putting the O2 in a classic box, and put some tubes on top just for fun. :P

You cannot put a price on luxury and elitism.

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