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O2 AMP + ODAC - Page 99

post #1471 of 3453
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenleaf7 View Post

Has anyone experienced the  O2 + ODAC with the following headphones? 

 

HD 650

HD 800

LCD 2

Hifiman He 500

 

I have a budget of $1000+ and plan on using the headphones for mainstream (billboard top 100) music and movies. I've been told that headphones play the biggest part in influencing sound quality,  thus I'm inclined to allocate more of my budget towards headphones. Also, i might or might not have the luxury of auditioning the above headphones with the O2 and ODAC before purchase. I'm open to suggestions for other headphones as well. Looking forward to hearing from those who have heard those phones with the O2!

LCD-2.2 sounds amazing with the O2!

 

HE-500 sounds okay but the 9 kHz peak annoyed me. Tube amps help mask that flaw...

post #1472 of 3453
Quote:
Originally Posted by miceblue View Post

LCD-2.2 sounds amazing with the O2!

 

HE-500 sounds okay but the 9 kHz peak annoyed me. Tube amps help mask that flaw...

That's great to hear. Since you've heard both the LCD2 and HE 500 with the O2, which of those do you feel are more suited for mainstream music?

Also, I see that you own a K701, mind telling me how it sounds through the O2? Thanks!

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tintin220 View Post

 

Honestly, the O2 works well with everything just about, except those rare cans that require absurd gain. If you want power and literally the most neutral, audibly perfect sound, get the O2. Other amps are for if you want coloration, which you might very well prefer (I know I do), but facts are facts, and the O2's design, performance, and clarity is well-documented.

I second that. I don't fancy coloration, I like my music to sound as intended. Currently favoring the O2 and ODAC since it boasts an excellent price to performance ratio, is technically excellent and measures well on top of everything. What headphones do you use with your O2?

post #1473 of 3453
I heard every headphones you named on Odac and o2 and they all do very well.
For mainstreamam music i think I will recommend hd650 for you. Lcd2 are also a great choice of you can spend more money.
I don't think you will like hd800.
About he500... I just don't like these headphones...

Remember that more expensive headphones doesn't equal better sound. I heard most of top tier headphones and I still love my hd600 . I don't think I will change them any soon.
Edited by ProTofik - 5/16/13 at 1:02am
post #1474 of 3453
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProTofik View Post

I heard every headphones you named on Odac and o2 and they all do very well.
For mainstreamam music i think I will recommend hd650 for you. Lcd2 are also a great choice of you can spend more money.
I don't think you will like hd800.
About he500... I just don't like these headphones...

Remember that more expensive headphones doesn't equal better sound. I heard most of top tier headphones and I still love my hd600 . I don't think I will change them any soon.

The HD 650 holds its own very well and is great value IMO. I won't be getting the HD 800 unless i can get a used one for a good price so it's my least likely choice for now. 

Why doesn't the HE 500 appeal to you? Most who have heard both claim that the LCD 2 offers better base and the HE 500 offers better balance for all music genres, though admittedly i yet to hear either myself.

post #1475 of 3453
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tus-Chan View Post

I did a blind A/B of the ODAC/O2 v. the Magni/Modi at a meet and the results were really disappointing. The difference between the two was minute to my ears, if it exists at all.

It is good to think that a less expensive amp produces such good results.

 

The other differences that matter are aesthetics (Jacks in the front of O2 is a little messy), and the fact that the O2 has a gain switch (1X, 2.5X, or 6.5X) while the Magni is fixed at 5X (which is quite high, if not too high for an amp with that much power).

post #1476 of 3453
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenleaf7 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by miceblue View Post

LCD-2.2 sounds amazing with the O2!

 

HE-500 sounds okay but the 9 kHz peak annoyed me. Tube amps help mask that flaw...

That's great to hear. Since you've heard both the LCD2 and HE 500 with the O2, which of those do you feel are more suited for mainstream music?

Also, I see that you own a K701, mind telling me how it sounds through the O2? Thanks!

 

For mainstream music? It depends on what kind of sound you're looking for since the two have different sound signatures. I gravitate towards the HE-500 over the LCD-2 for mainstream music because of its airiness and spacious soundstage, but the LCD-2 has much better texture and a more realistic timbre to my ears.

 

With the K 702, I like the sound out of the O2/ODAC combo. I don't know how it compares to the widely recommended Matrix M-Stage amp though. I actually prefer the JDS Labs C5 with the K 701 since the 701's imaging sounds a bit unnatural to my ears with the O2.


Edited by miceblue - 5/16/13 at 12:12pm
post #1477 of 3453
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

 

My Xonar D1 (the PCI version of the DX) which I have tested extensively is from 2011, and I doubt that a major hardware revision (such as adding a TI headphone amplifier) has been made since then without renaming the card. I assume your claim of dedicated headphone amplification is based on this part of the manual: "The Front Out jack has a built-in high-quality amplifier to drive headphones. Connect your stereo headphones directly to this jack." - but it is there in the manual of every Xonar card, and the specifications say nothing about a headphone amplifier. I assume if there was one, ASUS would make it more obvious to potential customers. The "front out" jack on my card (which looks the same as any picture I have seen of this model) is driven by an NJM5532 op amp, and it definitely has 100 Ω output impedance.

Interesting review page! It is nice to see such detailed analysis of component performance. Clearly, low-impedance loads (like headphones), will have a serious bass roll-off with that card, suggesting to me that is in not actually using a 'dedicated' amplifier. The STX uses a TI Chip, which is probably what I was thinking about.

 

Did you ever bother to try other loads - like 32, 50, 300, and 600? Those impedance's seem to be fairly common.

post #1478 of 3453

Listening to music just now with the chain Macbook Air > MF VLink II > Heed Obelisk DA > O2 > Heir Tzar 350. Sounds surprisingly well....actually awesome at 1x gain and with 15V psu.

 

 

 

post #1479 of 3453
Quote:
Originally Posted by lcooksl View Post

Listening to music just now with the chain Macbook Air > MF VLink II > Heed Obelisk DA > O2 > Heir Tzar 350. Sounds surprisingly well....actually awesome at 1x gain and with 15V psu.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

Nice custom O2.
post #1480 of 3453

Your amp is sick looking cool.gif

post #1481 of 3453
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMateoHead View Post

It is good to think that a less expensive amp produces such good results.

 

The other differences that matter are aesthetics (Jacks in the front of O2 is a little messy), and the fact that the O2 has a gain switch (1X, 2.5X, or 6.5X) while the Magni is fixed at 5X (which is quite high, if not too high for an amp with that much power).

 

In some ways, NwAvGuy has succeeded in that not only has the O2 proven to be indistinguishable from many solid state amps priced several times higher, but I would say the Modi/Magni release is a direct response to the popularity of the ODAC/O2, itself an amp that many cannot distinguish from the O2, Asgard, etc. Though still vilified by many, this point has been proven pretty resoundingly. Ironically enough, I am a tube guy, but I know that the tubey sound signature I love is a result of distortion (beautiful, beautiful distortion smile.gif) and that tube amps are generally not "high fidelity" in the historical sense of the term, which refers to exact reproduction of the source. 


Edited by tintin220 - 5/16/13 at 1:58pm
post #1482 of 3453

Given my very limited experience with tube amps, I really like the sound that they provide (and I love the idea of tube rolling and modding). However, I'm not sure I would ever use a tube amp for mixing/mastering/etc, because I feel like the same distortion that makes the sound euphonic would also be a) coloring the output and b) covering up errors that I would need to be fixing (clipping comes to mind). Are my suspicions grounded in reality?

post #1483 of 3453
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tus-Chan View Post

Given my very limited experience with tube amps, I really like the sound that they provide (and I love the idea of tube rolling and modding). However, I'm not sure I would ever use a tube amp for mixing/mastering/etc, because I feel like the same distortion that makes the sound euphonic would also be a) coloring the output and b) covering up errors that I would need to be fixing (clipping comes to mind). Are my suspicions grounded in reality?

I think they are. You want neutral if you're mixing/mastering. In theory, SS would be the best way to go since even the sound of tubes can vary depending on their lifespan. Tubes are more for the experience.
post #1484 of 3453

Speaking of the Magni, I do also believe the Magni's 5x gain is very high. I personally listen to my O2 at 1x (unity) gain since I only have low-impedance cans right now. It's being driven by a γ2, which is only 1.4 Vrms, though truthfully, I also can't tell it apart from the ODAC (or really any well-designed DAC). 

 

Regarding aesthetics though, it's a great match for the O2, right down to the convenient front 3.5mm DAC output. I prefer its versatility as far as inputs and outputs, including two analog outs. For those up for the challenge, it's a bit pricier than an ODAC to build. (For those wondering, the silver B3-080 houses a σ25 PSU; I plan to get a matching black case and install matching screws on the O2).

 

I actually much prefer the look of the O2 to the Modi/Magni. Granted, I am a research scientist, but I am really partial to the O2's blue-collar, scientific instrument-like, DIY aesthetic. Don't get me wrong, I am also a fan of the Apple-esque cleanliness that defines Schiit's product line, but the Magni unfortunately feels and cheap in comparison to its larger cousins (which, in all fairness, it is cheap in comparison). The M&M stack (to me at least) comes off as trying too hard and has that knockoff feel to it. As for the O2, it can be made to look a lot cleaner if you custom make your own front panel instead of getting a pre-printed one.

 

==

 

 

 


Edited by tintin220 - 5/16/13 at 2:26pm
post #1485 of 3453

That setup isn't going to look so clean after you add a headphone cable, a power cable to the O2 (unless you've got a battery or are using some kind of custom back entry we can't see), and a data cable to the DAC.

I like the utilitarian look of the O2 (especially *my* O2) more than the Apple-esque look of the M&M (mainly because it looks better than everything else on your desk and matches virtually nothing), but thanks to NwAvGuy showing an incredible lack of foresight by putting all of the inputs and outputs on the front, it is virtually impossible to not create a jungle of tangled wires coming and going around the Objective stack. This irritates me to no end.


Edited by Tus-Chan - 5/16/13 at 2:40pm
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