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Which Summit-Fi Headphone For Me? - Page 9

post #121 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post



My point wasn't that it was a GOOD step, but it's where things are moving.
Also, I use my older processor's "Concert Hall" effects from time to time, and quite enjoy them - it uses additional speakers to pull it off though, and doesn't sound as canned as a lot of modern cheapie implementations. It's also based on real acoustic models and all that. redface.gif

 

Heh.  Oh DSP can be really good.  I like the ideas of where it can go.  Think about the Bose sound rooms.  They sound good.  Really good.  Even though the speakers on demo are missing entire frequency ranges.  Why?  Whole racks of top-notch DSPs driving them.   So DSP can do a lot.  Though for the moment, not the toy level DSP they sell the public.   I still think we need new recording tech.  Speaker tech is really pushing at the edges and there's not much more.  To sound more real, we need more spatialization, and DSP will never be anything more than a best guess based on frequencies that will never be right for a given recording.  We need spatial recording mechanisms to take over.  Then we can encode for whatever DSP wins the bid based on that.  Without spatial recording (like Cheskey's doing with the binaural stuff in limited quantity for audio geeks) taking over, all we have is loose approximation that's different for every album and we can never sound more "lifelike"

 

 

Quote:
And I don't get why no ICs is such a big deal. Digital has advantages.

 

Trouble with ICs (not meaning op-amps) is you need good DACs to not muddle the signal chain, you need realatively decent number crunching, and then you have heat dissipation issues for that, RFI, etc.  Of course GOOD digital can probably whip good analog pretty good.  But a GOOD digital implementation tends to be even more expensive than a good analog setup, and it's partly marketing.   Most of the "digital" implementations folks see are abysmal.  So by advertising "all discrete, no digital" it sends the message "you're getting good quality, not shortcuts with cheap digital, all analog gear."  It doesn't imply that "but for $1k more you can get our digital implementation that's even better" :P

 

 

Quote:
Meh, the VFD does nothing for fidelity (I've had components since the 90's with this feature - not a one of them sounds different and I'm annoyed by losing the OSD every time, the only exception is a DVD player that will turn off its display while the movie is running (which is good, because its display BE BRIGHT LIKE THE SUN!)). The big issue is pulling extra chains out of the signal - your tone shapers, exciters, loudness controls, etc, and dropping other components like VPs as you mentioned.

 

That's right, you don't buy Onkyo :P  Some of those VFD's throw a ton of EMI and it can and does get picked up in the audio.   I tend to like my screen on too, it's just pretty, but I'm sure part of it is also recreating the stereo seperates appearance when doing 2ch stereo which tend not to have VFDs :)

 

Generally I think the idea is they just wanted to shut down EVERYTHING that's not part of the audio chain because, why not?  If the point is "pure audio" mode why not go crazy, be paranoid and really shut down EVERYTHING?  But it bugs me that to adjust volume it keeps turning the screen on and off.  I rarely use the mode because my stereo setup is 2.1 with wallmount JBL Studios' so I need the bass management on as I'm not using Velodyne's sucky crossover management tongue_smile.gif

 

Quote:

Nothing wrong with a nice outboard EQ.

 

 

The trouble is FINDING a nice outboard EQ....they seem relatively rare, and when you find one it's either a budget DSP with compromises, a stage-grade analog that's good but I can just feel the mild distortion coming from the photo, or a $4000 full-on processor :)

 

Quote:

I'd say it goes back further than that - we could blame Detroit and their incessant "new models" if we wanted. And yeah, the younger people are the ones that feed it. They feed it with computers and the like as well - and even that's all fallacious (even in the 90s I'd argue that it was pretty much marketing run amuck). In other words, someone got into schools in the early 1990s (and I'd probably better not say who!) and handed out a lot of free or nearly free equipment and (heavily biased) training to teachers who meant well, and kids were trained well in the ways of subscribing to marketing. And guess what, that someone's market share has gone through the sky in the last few years and their products are sold more or less along the lines of cars "the 2007 model" "the 2008 model" etc - despite no real changes taking place, and in general new features being a SLOW, years delayed, reality.

 

 

iHave no idea what company you're talking about. evil_smiley.gif

 

I can't stand their stuff.  It feels all wrong just using it... biggrin.gif  The music product isn't bad...but the rest of it....ugh.

 

Quote:
And that spills into everything else. I've seen many a kiddo make a statement like "Grados suck - they haven't revised their design in years, they're outdated, XYZ new product has to be better, it's newer!" - WHAT?!
Yeah. That. But there's also the side of summit-fi where people talk about $25,000 speakers as "mid-range" and all that. eek.gif I think the fair statement is that insanity is relatively rare in GP, but it exists in about equal proportion throughout.

 

Yeah, I've seen that about Grado.  I always laugh....the same people will talk about the $1k+ price point being so much better, meanwhile Grado's always been one of the highest priced cans out there! If it ain't broke...why fix it? biggrin.gif   There's other reasons I'm not a Grado fan, but I haven't got a chance to try your RS1 or GS1000.  The pads on the GS intrigue me.  The pads on the rest of the Grados send me screaming before the treble wink.gif  You almost had me sold on them though!

post #122 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post


The trouble is FINDING a nice outboard EQ....they seem relatively rare, and when you find one it's either a budget DSP with compromises, a stage-grade analog that's good but I can just feel the mild distortion coming from the photo, or a $4000 full-on processor :)

 

 

I don't know - I have absolutely no complaints using a 31-band GEQ, no signs of distortion even with the HD800. As long as you apply reasonable adjustments, that is... If you mess with the entire frequency spectrum in an unreasonable manner, then it will have a negative impact on the sound.

post #123 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

Heh.  Oh DSP can be really good.  I like the ideas of where it can go.  Think about the Bose sound rooms.  They sound good.  Really good.  Even though the speakers on demo are missing entire frequency ranges.  Why?  Whole racks of top-notch DSPs driving them.   So DSP can do a lot.  Though for the moment, not the toy level DSP they sell the public.   I still think we need new recording tech.  Speaker tech is really pushing at the edges and there's not much more.  To sound more real, we need more spatialization, and DSP will never be anything more than a best guess based on frequencies that will never be right for a given recording.  We need spatial recording mechanisms to take over.  Then we can encode for whatever DSP wins the bid based on that.  Without spatial recording (like Cheskey's doing with the binaural stuff in limited quantity for audio geeks) taking over, all we have is loose approximation that's different for every album and we can never sound more "lifelike"

Oh absolutely! Have you ever heard a properly laid out Yamaha CinemaDSP 7ch, Tri-Field, or HD3 system?
Quote:
Trouble with ICs (not meaning op-amps) is you need good DACs to not muddle the signal chain, you need realatively decent number crunching, and then you have heat dissipation issues for that, RFI, etc.  Of course GOOD digital can probably whip good analog pretty good.  But a GOOD digital implementation tends to be even more expensive than a good analog setup, and it's partly marketing.   Most of the "digital" implementations folks see are abysmal.  So by advertising "all discrete, no digital" it sends the message "you're getting good quality, not shortcuts with cheap digital, all analog gear."  It doesn't imply that "but for $1k more you can get our digital implementation that's even better" :P

Yes and no. The absolute TOTL DtoA chips are a few bucks each in a spool. And they appear in a lot of "consumer grade" stuff - audiophile companies just know that people will eat 80% mark-up and are glad to oblige. frown.gif
Quote:
That's right, you don't buy Onkyo :P  Some of those VFD's throw a ton of EMI and it can and does get picked up in the audio.   I tend to like my screen on too, it's just pretty, but I'm sure part of it is also recreating the stereo seperates appearance when doing 2ch stereo which tend not to have VFDs smily_headphones1.gif

So is this yet another reason to dislike Onkyo I'm hearing? tongue.gif
Quote:
Generally I think the idea is they just wanted to shut down EVERYTHING that's not part of the audio chain because, why not?  If the point is "pure audio" mode why not go crazy, be paranoid and really shut down EVERYTHING?  But it bugs me that to adjust volume it keeps turning the screen on and off.  I rarely use the mode because my stereo setup is 2.1 with wallmount JBL Studios' so I need the bass management on as I'm not using Velodyne's sucky crossover management tongue_smile.gif

I'd agree with this; older stereo preamps and even some modern units (e.g. Parasound) are very spartan compared to something like a 5308. And while the 5308 is a fine piece of equipment, it's like using a school bus to drive down the block if you get what I'm saying. But where I think it gets silly is when you see people spending MORE to get LESS because they get wrapped up in the "I won't buy features I don't need" hysteria.

Quote:
The trouble is FINDING a nice outboard EQ....they seem relatively rare, and when you find one it's either a budget DSP with compromises, a stage-grade analog that's good but I can just feel the mild distortion coming from the photo, or a $4000 full-on processor smily_headphones1.gif

Behringer, dbx, BBE, etc or go with a plug-in for the PC (if you use a PC). No problems in terms of distortion or whatever, as Mad Dude said, unless you get too insane with it.

Quote:
iHave no idea what company you're talking about. evil_smiley.gif

I can't stand their stuff.  It feels all wrong just using it... biggrin.gif   The music product isn't bad...but the rest of it....ugh.

tongue.gif
Quote:
Yeah, I've seen that about Grado.  I always laugh....the same people will talk about the $1k+ price point being so much better, meanwhile Grado's always been one of the highest priced cans out there! If it ain't broke...why fix it? biggrin.gif    There's other reasons I'm not a Grado fan, but I haven't got a chance to try your RS1 or GS1000.  The pads on the GS intrigue me.  The pads on the rest of the Grados send me screaming before the treble wink.gif   You almost had me sold on them though!

See, I view Grado as both one of the highest priced (PS-1000 anyone?), and most affordable. You have to remember that while they do push the $700 RS-1 and $1000 GS-1000, they're also pushing the $60 SR-60 that absolutely bowls over a lot of the competition (and they don't try to play a cup-game with it; the GS-1000's awards are presented right alongside the SR-60's awards). They aren't just expensive to be expensive imho. I think the pricing on the RS-1 or GS-1000 is fair because as Grado would probably put it - it's the last headphone you'll ever need. At least in their vision. They don't seem to want to play the "keep upgrading every two weeks" game with people. Do it right and do it once. I'm not really trying to pitch them as the best headphone ever though - if you don't jive with their sound, they won't jive with you at all. But if they work for you, it's simple imho.

On the comfort thing - I'll admit that I find the RS-1 and the SR-225 two of the most comfortable headphones out there (the SR-60/80/125 are fine too, but the comfy pads are warmer, and the SR-325 weigh too much). The weird thing is that I tend to DESPISE on-ear headphones (I hated the ESW9, and those are supposed to be "super comfy"). Not sure what to make of it. GS-1000 does address the issues people have with Grado comfort, sure, but they also sound different than the rest. Not really for better or worse, just different. Shame they cost more (I'm guessing it's a combination of product positioning AND lower production volume + more complex manufacturing); if they were both $700 I think it'd be more simple (basically a pick your flavor kind of thing).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Dude View Post

I don't know - I have absolutely no complaints using a 31-band GEQ, no signs of distortion even with the HD800. As long as you apply reasonable adjustments, that is... If you mess with the entire frequency spectrum in an unreasonable manner, then it will have a negative impact on the sound.

This. If you aren't doing 40 dB of gain somewhere or something insane like that, you won't have problems. It's when you start trying to turn your HD 800 into an XB1000 or your ESW9 into a K1000 that you will run into issues. basshead.gif
post #124 of 178

Hi IEMCrazy,

 

I had my first listen on the HE-400 after 15 hour burn in.  Here are my impressions.  Just wanted to know thoughts.

 

1.  The sound is not as in your face as the HD25-1 II.  I like it

2.  HD 25-1 II had times where the treble was a bit much.  Not with the HE-400

3.  I am listening with my E11 at 4.5.  I could not put the HD 25-1 II to 4 without getting uncomfortable volume for me.  Seems 400s are definately harder to drive to higher volumes.  I could put to 5.5 and be fine with volume

4.  Sound stage is great

5.  More sensitive so even though voices and instruments are clear I here a little static probably in recordings.  I am listening to pandora because I like the way it randomizes the songs for a music genre. What type of recordings would make the HE-400 shine to fullest

6.  Should I get a different amp or a new line out.  I am using the fiio line out.  Would a better one make a difference?

7.  Should I balance the HE-400 or is that not worth it?

8.  With the fiio and the iphone pandora at high audio am I getting the best out of the HE-400.  If not what should I change.  Use cds, ipod different line out, balance them, etc.

 

Sorry if the questions are not formatted good or repeated.  I am heading off to work and wanted to get some good feedback so I can make mods tonight if needed.

 

Sincerely,

Larry

post #125 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

Yes and no. The absolute TOTL DtoA chips are a few bucks each in a spool. And they appear in a lot of "consumer grade" stuff - audiophile companies just know that people will eat 80% mark-up and are glad to oblige. frown.gif

 

Yes and no.  Everyone hears "digital" and reads parts lists and sees "see the TOTL chips are only $6!" which is true.  But of course it's all too easy to flub up the rest of the design.  The analog chain starts at the chip, but there's still a lot more ground to cover after that! wink.gif  How many times have you seen some company stupidly run audio traces parallel to a power cap or something equally absurd?

 

Usually it's the opposite problem, companies DO buy the TOTL chips and market the heck out of them without pointing out "by the way we run our analog outs and power leads in close parallel and our power supply leaks EMI faster than Chernobyl leaks Gamma...BUT WE HAVE BURR BROWN 24/192!!" atsmile.gif

 

Seriously though with digital, the problem isn't the chips, it's everything that happens before and after the chip.  And implementing it right tends to be more expensive than well implemented analog.   Imagine replacing analog tone controls with a REALLY well implemented DSP board for EQ?   And that means taking the amp ad adding good ADCs, and good DACs, and a good path for it all, and now you've built a pre/pro instead of just an amp for another $400 eek.gif  Amplifiers are an analog device.  They take analog signal and amplify analog signal, and output analog signal.  Why start adding processing features in there beyond simple tone controls to gate the analog wave? Let processors be processors and amps be amps...thus sperates were born.  Otherwise make it an AVR and get everything including the kitchen sink (but only one knob works.) wink.gif

 

 

 

Quote:
So is this yet another reason to dislike Onkyo I'm hearing? tongue.gif

 

Probably!  :P Seriously though I can't dis Onkyo...they've been good to me over the years.  The one didn't have stellar SQ, but performance wise, it survived abuse and then some! biggrin.gif

 

 

 

Quote:
Behringer, dbx, BBE, etc or go with a plug-in for the PC (if you use a PC). No problems in terms of distortion or whatever, as Mad Dude said, unless you get too insane with it.
tongue.gif

 

I'm sitting between two thoughts right now.  Either "I don't need an EQ", for HE-6...tone controls do what they need to do, they're simple, fast to play with, and I don't need to fix any real issues with HE-6 itself.  The other thought is, if I'm going to do it, why not go all the way and get something like the Behringer: DEQ2496....an all out processor with 31-band GEQ, PEQ, both simultaneous, meters, stereo width adjustments, and dynamics compressor/expander all in one for a fair price, and it can work entirely in the digital domain (toslink in/out).  It's like a rack-mountable foobar plugin wink.gif  It's more of a pain to configure, but it can store 30 configurations which is better than dialing 31 bands all the time for different things.  The dynamics compressor is kind of nifty too...not sure what good an expander is, that makes no real sense since lost data is already lost, but I have some classical recordings that are too dynamic on the crazy-dynamic HiFiMan planars. 

 

In actuality, I'm probably fine with tone controls and have no patience to bother with complex EQ to fix problems I don't really have.  But if I go that way, that's an interesting unit.  Some complaints about overheating failures, but that seems related to defective heatsink mounts, mostly years ago. That's your prescious digital at work.  Half the price and size of one of those dual 31-band stacks, and does more tongue_smile.gif

post #126 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltucker305 View Post

Hi IEMCrazy,

 

I had my first listen on the HE-400 after 15 hour burn in.  Here are my impressions.  Just wanted to know thoughts.

 

1.  The sound is not as in your face as the HD25-1 II.  I like it

2.  HD 25-1 II had times where the treble was a bit much.  Not with the HE-400

3.  I am listening with my E11 at 4.5.  I could not put the HD 25-1 II to 4 without getting uncomfortable volume for me.  Seems 400s are definately harder to drive to higher volumes.  I could put to 5.5 and be fine with volume

4.  Sound stage is great

5.  More sensitive so even though voices and instruments are clear I here a little static probably in recordings.  I am listening to pandora because I like the way it randomizes the songs for a music genre. What type of recordings would make the HE-400 shine to fullest

6.  Should I get a different amp or a new line out.  I am using the fiio line out.  Would a better one make a difference?

7.  Should I balance the HE-400 or is that not worth it?

8.  With the fiio and the iphone pandora at high audio am I getting the best out of the HE-400.  If not what should I change.  Use cds, ipod different line out, balance them, etc.

 

Sorry if the questions are not formatted good or repeated.  I am heading off to work and wanted to get some good feedback so I can make mods tonight if needed.

 

Sincerely,

Larry

 

Glad you're enjoying it!  It's an excellent headphone!  The best description I've heard is "it's bright and dark at the same time".  It's a dark headphone...but with exciting peaks at the treble!

 

3. HE-400 is efficient for an ortho...but it's still an ortho and still relatively inefficient.  The efficiency numbers also seem baked a little biggrin.gif  Yeah it takes more power than the average dynamic.  E11 can certainly handle it, but the batteries will give up faster tongue.gif

 

4. Soundstage for most orthos, especially HiFiMan is kind of a 3D "around the head" soundstage.  Some people like a strong front-focus, others like the "Pro Logic" sound of "all around sound".  Itt's not the deepst stage, but instrument separation in all different places is fantastic!

 

5. Pandora?  No, no, you need FULL quality music! You have great headphones now...treat yourself biggrin.gif At least regular 256kbs MP3/AAC will be a lot better than whatever Pandora is streaming at.  And if you want to go the full audiphile gambit, only lossless rips of CDs (or downloads from the likes of HDTracks etc) will do!   Personally I stick with flac.  MP3 drives me nuts since whole frequency bands are actually missing.  And always the same bands.  But I do have a number of Amazon MP3 albums that were just impossible to get otherwise or way too expensive for imports of albums I wanted, and some of them really do sound identical to CD.  It depends how much information the album had at the frequencies MP3s tend to strip.  HE-400 is forgiving to an extent.  You can get away without trying to cut your ears off your head with some lower quality streamed stuff.  But the headphones are certainly capable beyond that!  Static could just be cable issues (I know E11 sometimes gets static if you don't fidget with the jack, and also it picks up SEVERE RFI interferance if it's near a wifi device like a phone or portable player.  Fiio doesn't shield them as well as they should.  So you may not be getting static so much as interferance in the amp.   But otherwise, streamed music is usually pretty sucky quality, unless you're paying for one of the higher end streams.  And even then...

 

6, 8: iPhone's DAC is "ok-ish"....at best.  iPod Touch tends to do a little better with it's DAC...it's still "ok-ish" at best.  There is definitely WORSE out there in the land of portable devices, and sometimes I find it surprisingly pleasant with my SE535 IEMs.  I fed my Lyr with iPod for a while before I got my Bifrost in, it was actually good.....but Bifrost was audibly better.  I wouldn't bother getting another LOD cable for the phone, the Fiio cable is decent enough, and the money spent on a better LOD could go toward a desktop DAC.   HE-400 is highly scalable.  Despite being "only" $400 (I remember when that was considered primo cash for headphones...) it's quite a high-end headphone.  As such, scalability can go has high as you'd like to scale it.  I can say with certainly my O2 and my Lyr each beat the E11 as an amp for it, but E11 is reasonably good sounding.  I happen to like the Lyr with it, though I happen too like tube sound with it in general.  An amp upgrade, especially when dealing with orthos, tends to go far.  If you want to build up a system, HE-400 will reward you so you'll have to decide on a budget and what you really want out of your setup.  There's many, many options and all kinds of prices.   DAC upgrades are definitely valuable, but iDevice DACs are "ok-ish" to the point that I'd definitely work on amps for orthos before looking into DACs.  You may be easily impressed by what a desktop amp can do.  The DAC upgrades would be more subtle.  So your starting point is "set a budget" part 2 is "set what kind of features/performance you're looking for"

 

7: Personally, I think balanced is hype in general.  I understand it more after someone explained it to me recently though.  The idea of push/pull could maybe have some value for dynamics....it kind of makes sense.  But I don't see how it could be of any value for orthos/planars since they're inherently push-pull by design anyway.  A well designed single ended amp should be every bit as good as a well designed balanced amp in my opinion.

post #127 of 178

Hi IEMCrazy,

 

Thanks for the reply.  You rock.  Now that I have these I want better music.  I have always been lazy and pandora with the high quality streaming did well with the HD25-1 II.  I will never listen to these on a train because they are open but outdoors and house hell yes so I want a system that will give me the best these can do.  I prefer something that I can listen on the go as well as at home.  I walk a lot for exercise and believe it or not I had no issue walking 3 miles this morning with these on.  So I would prefer something portable to start and then computer, dac and desktop amp for home at a later time..

 

So in summary:

     1.  So I need to build the best library that is easy to change up and put things on and take off that is not going to bankrupt me

              Is there a place I can get FLAC online that is good and a portable device to play them or should I stick with highquality mp3 on my ipod?  Or is mp3 a waste of time.

     2.  A better amp because I do feel the E11 is not doing justice

     3.  Should I use ipod or get a different portable device to listen to music.  If so what device and how should I load it and with what.

 

Sincerely,
Larry

post #128 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltucker305 View Post

Hi IEMCrazy,

 

Thanks for the reply.  You rock.  Now that I have these I want better music.  I have always been lazy and pandora with the high quality streaming did well with the HD25-1 II.  I will never listen to these on a train because they are open but outdoors and house hell yes so I want a system that will give me the best these can do.  I prefer something that I can listen on the go as well as at home.  I walk a lot for exercise and believe it or not I had no issue walking 3 miles this morning with these on.  So I would prefer something portable to start and then computer, dac and desktop amp for home at a later time..

 

So in summary:

     1.  So I need to build the best library that is easy to change up and put things on and take off that is not going to bankrupt me

              Is there a place I can get FLAC online that is good and a portable device to play them or should I stick with highquality mp3 on my ipod?  Or is mp3 a waste of time.

     2.  A better amp because I do feel the E11 is not doing justice

     3.  Should I use ipod or get a different portable device to listen to music.  If so what device and how should I load it and with what.

 

Sincerely,
Larry

No problem! beerchug.gif

 

1) Music is always the most important thing when building a music system wink.gif   You might not be able to figure that out by reading Head-Fi....but it's true! tongue.gif   The only two major places I'm aware of selling FLACs as downloads are HDTracks (mostly audiophile recording labels, so there's a very limited selection of mainstream music) and Naxos/Classicsonline which is both classical-only, a PITA to buy from, and they have a horrible habit of doing all their flacs as one track per CD.  HDTracks also sells 320kbps MP3s.  There are a few other sites out there doing that, though I'm less familiar with them.  I believe HDTracks can be configured to deliver ALAC as well for Apple devices.

 

As for sources that won't bankrupt you, well,  anything is better than music streaming, even 256kmp3.  Personally for HE-400 I don't think 256kmp3 is horrible, most of the time I can't tell the difference, but if I want to do any processing to the sound, conversions, or even heavy EQ in the digital domain, being a lossy conversion to begin with doesn't help matters.  With MP3, the fact that it's ALWAYS the same bands that are missing, to me, make it a more annoying lossy than AAC or Ogg-Vorbis.  But I do have some and it's come a long way.  You'd technically be ok with that.  I've found MP3s of well recorded music still sound better than SACDs of poorly recorded music biggrin.gif   On the other hand, used CDs are often cheaper than new MP3s, and you can rip them to FLAC.  And for some music that's still the only way to get it.  If you're going to pay for it, my feeling is, why not get the FLAC/CD?  If you're saving a lot of money...MP3/AAC will do fine.  Nice thing with FLAC is, of course, it's the original CD, so you can make your own lossy MP3s out of it if you need them.  And for an iPod/Phone you'll certainly need to convert them!  But you can set up batches for that at the PC either in iTunes or whatever software you prefer to churn batches with (Foobar for example.)

 

2) Yeah, a "real" amp certainly goes a long way with HE-400.  That said, options are limited for portable amps.  The only two that I'd say are worthwhile beyond the decent E11 are the HP-P1 (which is also a DAC) but costs almost as much as a full desktop setup, and the O2 which is too big to be truly portable, but still really portable with several hours on the rechargable batteries. or just stick with the E11 for portability and invest in the indoor setup for when you want the best sound, and stick with "adequate to good" for moving around.

 

3) iPods are one of those things, they're versitile enough to make them kind of the most useful thing around. HiFiman makes their own DAPs....I haven't seriously looked into them.  iPod isn't audiophile grade, but it's "good for portable", The HiFiman players may be "better" but I'm not sure if it's worth it for the lack of utility/storage. Because portable is joining ever more with the phone world where it's not "iPod" branded, there's fewer and fewer good options around for portable players beyond the esoteric stuff.  I'd stick with iPod especially if you already have it for your portable use.  I use one myself, though I use it with IEMs not full size cans.  The big cans stay with the big amps, for me.   The thing that MOST turns me off about iPod is the need to fuss with iTunes.  Let me just copy my music over and I'll be happy.  Having to import with iTunes is like having to crank a dynamo to use my amp.  evil_smiley.gif

post #129 of 178

Cool.  So I will take all my music cds and convert to ALAC and put on ipod to listen to at home.  I will take all the music and convert to 256 mp3s for the walks and play on iphone.

 

Yeah that amp is major pricey.  Like the Ray Samuels SR71-B. 

 

I think I will stick with the mp3s and E11 for the walks and build an at home solution.  Only issue with at home is I cannot walk around the house while listening.  Not a big deal but I definately need an at home amp/dac solution that I can move from room to room though.  Any thoughts on this?  And I would still play out of ipod because just easier with kids and wife to move around if they intrude on an area.  I do not have the luxury of my own listening area.

post #130 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltucker305 View Post

Cool.  So I will take all my music cds and convert to ALAC and put on ipod to listen to at home.  I will take all the music and convert to 256 mp3s for the walks and play on iphone.

 

Yeah that amp is major pricey.  Like the Ray Samuels SR71-B. 

 

I think I will stick with the mp3s and E11 for the walks and build an at home solution.  Only issue with at home is I cannot walk around the house while listening.  Not a big deal but I definately need an at home amp/dac solution that I can move from room to room though.  Any thoughts on this?  And I would still play out of ipod because just easier with kids and wife to move around if they intrude on an area.  I do not have the luxury of my own listening area.

 

Sounds good, music-wise. 

 

+1 on going for the home solution.  That said, HP-P1 may still be ideal for you since it's an iPod centric battery powered portable solution.  There's bigger iPod based solutions such as the Wadia stack, but you'd still have to pick up your power cables and plug in somewhere else to move around.  That goes for any desktop amp.

 

DAC...if you're iPod based you only have a handful of options. HP-P1, Wadia i-something.  Pure I-20, but I had some issues with clicking with my one iPod Touch unfortunately.  Apple has a known issue with their USB interface.  Fostex, Wadia, Pure are really the only iPod solutions I can think of.  So in many ways the HP-P1 would solve your portability and dedicated amp/dac needs if you don't have the ability to build a fixed listening station.    You can always get any desktop amp with a regular NEMA15 plug so you can just use any PC type power cable and just use your iPod LOD to it.  Pure I-20 may still be a good cheap option for a digital out. If your phone doesn't click (4G should be ok, 3G may have issues.)

post #131 of 178

Would the O2+ODAC combo for $285 work good for me to play the ALAC/FLAC tracks on ipod with 400s.  You mentioned and it is not portable but can definately move from room to room.  For later I would do Schiit but probably not Lyr.  Maybe Asgard.  For me always liked tube.  My stereo at home is powered with quicksilver 100s but that is on hold because no more listening room in house and cannot setup hence the move room to room.  With the 400s being darker not sure tube would be good for my taste.  SS probably better.

post #132 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltucker305 View Post

Would the O2+ODAC combo for $285 work good for me to play the ALAC/FLAC tracks on ipod with 400s.  You mentioned and it is not portable but can definately move from room to room.  For later I would do Schiit but probably not Lyr.  Maybe Asgard.  For me always liked tube.  My stereo at home is powered with quicksilver 100s but that is on hold because no more listening room in house and cannot setup hence the move room to room.  With the 400s being darker not sure tube would be good for my taste.  SS probably better.

O2 would be suitable as a room to room amp, but the troble is, as a DAC its USB to a PC only. So you can keep your LOD cable and use the ipod dac into the O2, but you couldnt use an ODAC without a PC as source.

There are only 4 real DACs im aware of that work with iPod/phone, th Wadia, the Pure I20 (both of which arent really to be used as a DAC, its JUST an interface to get digital signal out of ipod so you can send it to a real DAC. iPod can be a very inconvenient source for that reason. Then theres the Fostex HPP1, and one other unit i cant think of now. A few AV receivers have ipod usb input. Theres not much out there to get digital out of an ipod, anf the hpo1 would be the most practical and maybe cheapest for your stated use.

Otherwise Just buy the Schiit amp now and stick with your ipod LOD out and worry about dac if you later go PC or Squeezebox or a CD player or one of those Denon network music players or something. Ipod limits your DAC choices, other than its own, to a few pricy solutions you can count on one hand. I20 from Pure at $100 is the cheapest way i know to get a digital out of ipod to feed to a real dac.....not ODAC which has no coax/optical spdif input.

Also, Asgard is SS, Valhalla is OTL tube, and Lyr is hybrid tube. Mjolnir is the balanced SS, and the upcoming "statement" amps are rumored to come in both an SS and a tube variety....and a price tag to stagger.... smily_headphones1.gif

If youre driving HE400, Lyr is a fantastic choice, Asgard would be good, Valhalla is a no-go. Orthos dont like OTL tubes....too little current.
post #133 of 178

Ok.  So I will back burner the DAC for now.  Is Lyr worth the 300 difference over the O2 amp.  What about ibasso amps?

post #134 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltucker305 View Post

Ok.  So I will back burner the DAC for now.  Is Lyr worth the 300 difference over the O2 amp.  What about ibasso amps?

I cant comment on iBasso, i dont have experience with them. As for Lyr vs O2, it depends. Do you wand a more cold, analytical sound O2 is excellent. If you like a smoother more emotional real-life like sound, Lyr is excellent, amd also offers tube rolling ability if you lik tweaking your tube sound. The 5 year warranty cant hurt either. Both Schiit and JDS are a pleasure to do business with.

HE400 does sound very different on both....but I far prefer the euphonic Lyr sound with them to the dead studio-flat sound of the O2....chalk it up to preference. O2 can run on batteries if thats important though.

(apologies for the typos...android tablet smily_headphones1.gif )
post #135 of 178

It all comes down to which combination of colorations-- or lack thereof, you like at the end of the day.  It's a purely subjective hobby for the most part afterall.  One of the most erratic and subjective reviewers-- Mike, over at heafonia, generally agrees that the O2 is a solid amp, but hates it on most of the popular cans on head-fi like HD650, he says (the amp-- not the headphones) sounds too thin and anemic with the HD650.  With the HE-400 he loves the O2.  Wonder why that is? rolleyes.gif

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