- Esoteric X-03SE as CD player
- PS Audio PWD w/ Bridge
- Resolution Audio Cantata Music Center as CD player
- Cavalli Audio Liquid Lightning
- First Watt F1
- Woo Audio WA-5 (EML rectifiers, RCA 5692 red base, Shuguang 300B)
- Woo Audio WEE as energizer for WA-5
- HiFi Man HE6
- He Audio Jade
- Lambda Nova Signature
- SR-007 mk I
- WireWorld Eclipse series interconnects
- WireWorld power cords
- Patricia Barber: Modern Cool
- Bombay Dub Orchestra: eponymous album
- Gino Vannelli: Powerful People
- Arne Domnerus Group: Jazz at the Pawnshop (FIM)
- Chesky records compilation
All audio equipment connections were balanced excluding the Woo Audio WA-5 that was single ended. Most of the listening was done from Esoteric as a source, with a Balanced Audio Technology VK-51SE line preamplifier. The Pass Lab First F1 was active stage from the VK-51SE and the LL was pass through the tape loop out. The Woo WA-5 was directly output from the sources.
AKG K1000 with Apuresound recabled:K1000 are basically better known as “speaker phones” were the physical phone transducers are pivoted assembly that does not physically come in contact the ear and can be angled for near field or angled for a wide sound stage. The sound is not as imitated as the tradition headphone. However accuracy is the closest if compared to two-channel room speaker setup.
Our test was done with the Pass Lab First Watt F1 and I found the frequencies very even and extremely liquid without listening fatigue. Great with classical genre.
HiFiMan HE-6 via First Watt: Again like the K1000 this Ortho-dynamic headphone really requires a Class “A” high current amp to truly appreciate it sound signature at its best. When cold I found the frequencies flat til the amp was up to it's coefficient heat curve. Sound signature very much the same as a stat signature but not as liquid; also a fairly wide and deep sound stage.
HE-Audio Jade via Woo WA-5/WEE: Extremely light and comfortable fit, sound wise it has a warm and more of a dark presentation with great control of the bass. Sound stage is wide and deep and not stat bright. More of a polite presentation like the HE90 in sound signature. Finish is handcrafted without that typical noted production look.
SR-007mk1 via Cavalli Liquid Lightning: IMO I do not fell there is enough power and makes the phone sound more collapsed and thin in sound definitely not a match.
SR-007mk1 via Woo WA-5/WEE: Better matched in term of power, still had a considerably small sound stage but definitely and allot of dynamics. Sound wise the most forward compared to the rest of the phone in the meet.
SR-507 via Cavalli LL: Par very well with the LL; involves you musically and a fun phone with lots controlled bass. Fit wise is tight and makes you fell uncomfortable over a period of time.
Lambda Nova Signature via Cavalli LL: Definitely Lamba best phone with a very liquid and lots of detail and resolution. Sound wise, very transparent and allow you listen with no ear fatigue. Nice fit and matches well with the LL.
SR-009 via Cavalli LL: Extremely well matched; LL synergy between the two were meant and if I did not have my present setup and wanted a well balanced headphone system with a overall best sound this would be the one.
SR-009 via Woo WA5/WEE: Again as mentioned above the 009 matched well with more dynamics which is contribute to the power of the WOO. The LL had a slight more detail for the critical listener.
Conclusion: Overall I would say the choices of headphones used in this meeting all sound great and as a clear winner I would give it to the 009 with a slight edge over the HE-Audio Jade. As far as the phones in general the AKG K1000 is not headphone and being a speaker phone is more matched to a decent 2-channel room speaker setup. I would give it the clear winner if someone taste is not more inclined to the intimacy of a true headphone setup.
Edited by mwilson - 7/5/12 at 7:26am