I just got done inserting the Mytek 192 into my office headphone rig. Haven't updated my profile yet, but here is a quick description:
- 2012 Mac mini w/ 16gb RAM
- External 2tb RAID array over USB 2.0
- Audirvana+ 1.46 in integrated mode
- Mytek over Firewire
- Cavalli Liquid Fire Headphone amp
- Audeze LCD-2
Before today, I had the Mytek in my home audio system, listening to it side-by-side with a PS Audio PWD MkII and a Lumin Player, both playing back files served by MinimServer on my NAS. The Mytek did credibly there, impressively so, considering those two other DACS cost quite a bit more. It wasn't easy to conduct direct comparisons, because the PWD and Lumin both play off the network, while the Mytek required direct hookup to a computer.
I spent a couple of hours listening today, and the combo sounded delightful. Then I figured I would try the Mytek's headphone jack, something I had not done since buying it early last month. I was not expecting too much, but I was floored. Although the LF is an extremely seductive amp, and I love it [my other is a Decware Taboo, and I go back and forth between them], the Mytek sounded amazingly good, even in comparison. While I think the LF has better separation on strings, and greater air around female vocals, I was very impressed by the Mytek's overall balance, and its extremely good bass. I am accustomed to headphone amps as being throwaways in other components. Not here. I was prepared for much more solid state edginess, especially after listening to the LF for a couple of hours, but this was significantly smoother than I expected it to be. I haven't had a chance to plug in my JH-13s yet, but I will. And I suspect more critical listening will reveal some additional differences, but after about 45 minutes with the Mytek, and then some back-and-forth between the two, I have to say I am very impressed.
I then went back and re-read dukesd's initial review, and I have to say I agree with this part that I had not previously read:
The amplifer of the Mytek Stereo 192 DAC is capable of driving my HD800s/LCD-2s to great heights. However, I still prefer my Phonitor but I could live with the amplifer included in this DAC, and again the strong point is most definitely the bass region. The PRaT of the amplifier is neutral not enhanced at all, and the treble very neutral. The mids region are as lush as the DAC output.
Do I prefer the LF overall? Yes, like dukesd likes the Phonitor, but one could be very satisfied with a Mytek-only solution.
Edited by Pale Rider - 4/8/13 at 1:37pm