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post #196 of 209

People get "Banned" here all the time and multiple times.  I don't even know how many times Googlei was and I think he's done at this point.  MWilson..........don't know but some guys here buy amps seeking Nirvana or to try them out.  I know there has been some talk with the LCD3's and say a Liquid Fire delivering 90% of the Stax rig sound for 1/2 the price.

post #197 of 209

Well, it's only been a week since I got my LL but I'm really enjoying it so far.  Don't see myself ever selling it or the 009, though I also thought that about the LCD-3/LF for quite some time.  The only way I'd sell is if I moved to speakers full-time (and with a small kid who needs silence to sleep, that won't be for a while) or if I was traveling so much that I only needed a portable rig.

 

The brightness/fatigue is still there to some extent, especially with recordings that have a wide dynamic range.  I find myself wanting to turn it up during the soft passages, only to be struck by the sharp visceral crack of a snare drum or something similar.  But obviously, keeping the volume down and avoiding poorly-mastered recordings help with this problem.

 

I've been going through my collection trying to hear the subtle distinctions between different masters of the same recording.  Over the years, I somehow managed to accumulate 5 versions of Sonny Rollins' "Way Out West" (1988 OJC, 2010 OJC, Analogue Productions, XRCD, and MFSL) and 4 versions of Bill Evans' "Waltz for Debby" (redbook and SACD masters by Analogue Productions, the original Riverside, and the HDtracks Paul Stubblebine 192kHz version).  It's fun--and fairly easy--to pick out the different approaches each engineer took, like how what tonality to give to each instrument, and where to place the musicians spatially.  The differences between the best recordings tend to be very subtle things like how much dynamic range was captured, or how much bite and texture was given to Sonny's sax, or how much body to Bill Evan's piano.

 

I suppose I could've heard many of these differences with my LCD-3 setup, but I think it says a lot that I just never felt the urge to see if I could.  The LCD-3, as great as it was when I hit the right recording and frame of mind, never quite gave me the same kind of realistic and emotional listening experiences I've had so far with the 009 and LL.  The LCD-3 was always a bit too laid-back, polite, unoffensive...which works great for casual listening, but not when I wanted to kick back and only focus on the music.

 

Of course, the drawback to the extra bit of transparency I get from the 009 is that it's hard to listen to an even greater portion of my music collection.  The 009 excels with very well-recorded acoustic, jazz, folk, and classical, and also sounds good with quality hard rock masters (the MFSL master of The Who's "Live at Leeds" is a rockin' fun listen).  But it makes average or poorly-mastered recordings sound almost unlistenable, since they either sound flat and compressed or excessively bright.  Low-resolution recordings also sounded dull and lifeless on the LCD-3, but I didn't find as many recordings to sound shrill or harsh as I do with the 009.

 

Of course, I don't have any frame of reference for the LL, since it's the only amp I've heard the 009 on.  Does anyone who has heard the LL and at least 1 other amp want to chime in with impressions?

post #198 of 209
Thread Starter 

dj, do you have access to another dac? Or any other balanced source? It might be worth a try to swap out the source to see if  you still get the sound that is bothering you. Since I have a personal interest in your satisfaction with LL, I'd like to get to the bottom of this issue if we can. smile.gif

 

We can talk offline if you prefer.

post #199 of 209

Hi Alex, thanks for your concern.  I didn't mean to make it seem like I have any serious issues with the LL.  The more time I've had to listen to the 009/LL combo, the more I am loving it.  Any issues I have seem to be the result of computer audio generally being mastered/ripped at a high baseline volume, and average-to-poor quality recordings having excessive treble peaks. 

 

I had similar gain/volume issues with all my previous computer audio setups; with my Lavry DA-10/V200 setup, I rarely could set the DA-10 at anything close to full output and have the V200 above like 7:00.  So I think this is just indicative of the fact that the vast majority of computer audio files are not well-tailored to sensitive headphone setups.  Having said that, I do wish I could set my PWD at near full-output and have at least one-quarter of the volume dial to play with--right now, I'm only at half output on the PWD and literally one small turn of the LL's knob above 0.

 

With the right recordings, i.e. ones with a low baseline volume and accurate tonal balance, the 009/LL combo is just incredible.  The 009's soundstage could be slightly more out-of-head (maybe closer to the HD800), but that is a fairly minor quibble when the imaging is so accurate and 3-dimensional.

post #200 of 209

sridhar3 did like to push buttons, but it was always in good fun. I sure hope he's still around. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rico613 View Post

Greetings All,

 

I've been fascinated reading these threads . . . so many mysteries (why is sridhar3 & others get banned? . . . why did Mwilson sell his SR009/LL? . . . how can Erico possibly afford all those stats? . . . LOL . . .) . . . .  so much anticipation . . . will I fall in love with the LL / 009 if and when I get one? . . . 

 

Anyway, I think I'm subscribed for the April LL release . . . I wonder how classical music will sound on this? 

 

Rich

 

I'd probably sell my rig, too if every time I put it on I imagined ants in my ears.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by runeight View Post

Ha. Lots of good questions. I didn't know that sridhar3 was banned. When did that happen? Who else is banned? Mwilson has explained why he sold his stat rig though and Erico, well I don't know...

 

As for comments on the latest impressions. I use mine well past 12 o clock with my turntable and the 851C running balanced can hit noon with some quieter recordings. I don't feel like I listen particularly loudly, but I may be wrong...

 

I should be hearing a BHSE if all goes well next spring (March) so that'll be fun. Then again, I have no idea what these speakers are going to make me feel about my headphone rig. 

 

EDIT: Oh, and I think the brightness could be due to your source. I wasn't particularly fond of the PWD. I found it slightly too bright and generally unimpressive with the LL and 009. 


Edited by MorbidToaster - 12/17/12 at 10:28pm
post #201 of 209
Happy Holidays everyone!

Been a while since I last posted on headfi. Been quite busy with work and family commitments. That and thoroughly enjoying my LL/009 rig.

Morbid, glad to hear you are enjoying your LL/009 setup! Have you gotten around to getting an Eames chair yet to relax in?

Just to chim in, I have the PSA PWD II along with their P5 power conditioner that I have been using with both my rigs and I find it does very well with everything I listen to. I have the PWD II set to output at 100% and then set the LL or the WA5 at between 9:00 to 1:00 o'clock. I rarely go above 1:00 on either amp with this setup. All of my music is from my dedicated MacMini. Mostly rips of my CD collection, and HD tracks purchased online, along with some iTunes purchases of music I could not find online in HD sample rates. The PWD II is a definite set up from my Calyx 24/192 DAC, although I have toyed with the idea of perhaps upgrading it to a FEMTO or another high end DAC.

I am the one who purchased mWilson's rig, and can say without reservation that he sold it for reasons other than "sonic issues". I also have the LCD3/WA5 with top end tubes in that setup, and the LL/009 setup is superior to it across the board, to the point that I rarely use the LCD3 setup any more. I am seriosly thinking of selling it at this point. It is by no means bad, just at about 90% of the LL/009 setup. For price performance a good value, but not the best which was my goal when acquiring these top end phones.

The LL/009 setup from my humble opinion is an amazing combination. I would like to hear the BHSE at some point (have had an offer to hear and compare my LL to the BHSE owned by another Headfier, just been too busy to make the 3hr trip), but from what I have read about these two amps, seems like it would be difficult to distinguish between the two.

Anyways glad you all enjoyed the mini meet.
post #202 of 209

Haven't gotten my chair yet as the wife(ish) has decided we need speakers and I've decided we need an even better analog rig. Chair is still getting pushed. I'll just have to suffer in my Lazboy. 

 

:D

 

Should finally get getting to hear a BHSE come March as Justin has expressed interest in coming to Austin for our next annual meet. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumbleripper View Post

Happy Holidays everyone!
Been a while since I last posted on headfi. Been quite busy with work and family commitments. That and thoroughly enjoying my LL/009 rig.
Morbid, glad to hear you are enjoying your LL/009 setup! Have you gotten around to getting an Eames chair yet to relax in?
Just to chim in, I have the PSA PWD II along with their P5 power conditioner that I have been using with both my rigs and I find it does very well with everything I listen to. I have the PWD II set to output at 100% and then set the LL or the WA5 at between 9:00 to 1:00 o'clock. I rarely go above 1:00 on either amp with this setup. All of my music is from my dedicated MacMini. Mostly rips of my CD collection, and HD tracks purchased online, along with some iTunes purchases of music I could not find online in HD sample rates. The PWD II is a definite set up from my Calyx 24/192 DAC, although I have toyed with the idea of perhaps upgrading it to a FEMTO or another high end DAC.
I am the one who purchased mWilson's rig, and can say without reservation that he sold it for reasons other than "sonic issues". I also have the LCD3/WA5 with top end tubes in that setup, and the LL/009 setup is superior to it across the board, to the point that I rarely use the LCD3 setup any more. I am seriosly thinking of selling it at this point. It is by no means bad, just at about 90% of the LL/009 setup. For price performance a good value, but not the best which was my goal when acquiring these top end phones.
The LL/009 setup from my humble opinion is an amazing combination. I would like to hear the BHSE at some point (have had an offer to hear and compare my LL to the BHSE owned by another Headfier, just been too busy to make the 3hr trip), but from what I have read about these two amps, seems like it would be difficult to distinguish between the two.
Anyways glad you all enjoyed the mini meet.
post #203 of 209

Let me know how you find the BHSE if/when you get the opportunity. I know I am looking forward to the chance to listen to it at some point. 

post #204 of 209

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumbleripper View Post

Just to chim in, I have the PSA PWD II along with their P5 power conditioner that I have been using with both my rigs and I find it does very well with everything I listen to. I have the PWD II set to output at 100% and then set the LL or the WA5 at between 9:00 to 1:00 o'clock. I rarely go above 1:00 on either amp with this setup. All of my music is from my dedicated MacMini. Mostly rips of my CD collection, and HD tracks purchased online, along with some iTunes purchases of music I could not find online in HD sample rates. 

 

The fact that you can have your PWD at 100 and still put the LL at around midway point on the dial for computer audio is somewhat hard for me to imagine, and makes me wonder whether something funny is going on in my setup.  Are you using the balanced or single-ended output of the PWD?

 

Like you, I also listen to mainly lossless files ripped from CD (using dBpoweramp), and files from sources like HDtracks.  As I said before, my LL is fixed at just a slight turn above zero, and I adjust my PWD's volume depending on the gain level of the track I'm listening to, but generally around 60-70.

 

Is there some way to reduce the gain on computer audio files without also losing resolution?  I'd like to be able to rip my CDs at a lower baseline volume, but not sure if that's possible.

 

In case knowing the rest of my setup might help determine the reason for the high output I'm experiencing, I'm using J. River Media Center, a desktop PC that I built myself, a Cardas Clear USB cable, and a TWag XLR interconnect.  I have a Shunyata Venom power cable for the PWD, and a Moon Audio Black Dragon for the LL.

post #205 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by dj nellie View Post

 

The fact that you can have your PWD at 100 and still put the LL at around midway point on the dial for computer audio is somewhat hard for me to imagine, and makes me wonder whether something funny is going on in my setup.  Are you using the balanced or single-ended output of the PWD?

 

Like you, I also listen to mainly lossless files ripped from CD (using dBpoweramp), and files from sources like HDtracks.  As I said before, my LL is fixed at just a slight turn above zero, and I adjust my PWD's volume depending on the gain level of the track I'm listening to, but generally around 60-70.

 

Is there some way to reduce the gain on computer audio files without also losing resolution?  I'd like to be able to rip my CDs at a lower baseline volume, but not sure if that's possible.

 

In case knowing the rest of my setup might help determine the reason for the high output I'm experiencing, I'm using J. River Media Center, a desktop PC that I built myself, a Cardas Clear USB cable, and a TWag XLR interconnect.  I have a Shunyata Venom power cable for the PWD, and a Moon Audio Black Dragon for the LL.

Hey dj:

 

Not sure what the difference is here. But there is definitely something going on with your setup. I do not believe that our listening levels are that much different. My hearing is not reduced, and have had it tested and tests normal, if not above for my age group (fifty something).

I used iTunes to rip all my CD's and use Amarra to play things back. My volume settings on iTunes (when I use it) and Amarra are at 100%. I am using the USB out of my MacMini and going into the USB input in the PWD II. From there I am using Balanced output to my LiquidLightning, and RCA cables to my WA5. This allows me to switch between my LL/009 setup and my WA5/LCD3 setup just by swapping headphones as the PWD II will feed both with no issues (very easy to compare the LCD3's to the 009's). As I stated the PWD II is set to 100% always (so there is no loss of audio quality although PS Audio state that anything above 60% or so, should give bit perfect sound).

I do all my volume adjustments at the amps with there volume dials. The WA5 seems more sensitive and if I have it at say 11 o'clock the LL would need say 12 or 12:30 on the dial for the same volume level. As stated before the levels I listen to are usually between 8:00 and 1:00. Rarely do I go above or below that on either amp. I don't think the interconnects or power cords would make any difference here, as I have tried different ones and never found and volume differences swapping these out.

So I am not sure where your issue may be wrt the volume. It could be your custom built PC output is not correct. I would try using iTunes on your system at 100% and see if it changes anything. If you have access to a Mac computer, or even another PC, try using that to rule out the issue is not with the output on the PC. If that does not change anything then the issue would probably be with either your PWD or your Liquid Lightning. What software version on the PWD? I don't think that this would cause the problem, but you may want to upgrade to its latest firmware. The LL should be under warranty still, so if still having issues I would send that back to have it tested, if it is not that then that would mean the PWD is the issue, and again if under warranty would send it back. If not under warranty, you have to decide what to do, either send it in for repairs or replace it with another DAC.

 

Hope you get it sorted out.

post #206 of 209

rumble, do you use RCA or XLR from PWD->LL?  I believe Alex states in the manual that using RCA cuts the gain in half (though my memory could be faulty.)

post #207 of 209

Hey Radiohead:

 

I use the XLR to the LL from the PWD, so this should give me max volume to the LL. I was unaware the RCA's cut out have the gain, that means the WA5 is much more sensitive that the LL?

post #208 of 209

RCA's don't always halve the gain from my understanding - with the LL I believe they do though.

post #209 of 209
Thread Starter 

Folks, if anyone is still looking at this thread, the LL MKII deposits are now open at cavalliaudio.com. There is more information there too and some pics.

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