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Audio-gd Compass 2 amp/DAC Impressions thread - Page 10

post #136 of 417

This product looks good from the info I have gathered so far but a few of questions if anyone can help answer.

 

From the site:

 

"1, The Compass 2  had infinite upgrade possible in future , the USB , DIR, DA, ACSS modules can exchange without solder . ( All analog signal transfer in current model for avoid the sound degrade by the modules sockets . Digital signal have the impedance match for avoid sound degrade by the modules sockets . )
    USB module:  USB-32 sound characteristic is very neutral and a ton of details without harsh .  It can cooperation with any DA modules. Up to 32bit / 384K support.
    DA modules :  ES9018 sound characteristic is very neutral and a ton of details without harsh .  
                          Dual WM8741 sound characteristic is neutral but slight on the warm side and smooth . Users can setting the digital filter characteristic with two jumpers.
    DIR modules : Users  can choice the SPDIF signal feed to either ES9018 direct and through DIR module with 3 jumpers setting , which is simply for users choice different sound flavors . Other DA modules must setting with DIR active model .
                          WM8805 sound slight warmer , support up to 192KHz . 
                          DIR9001 sound quite neutral, support up to 96KHz .
    OPAs : Users can exchange the OPA chips and discrete OPA modules for Line in without solder . 
                          OPA-SUN sound dynamic ,detail and speed .
                          OPA-EARTH sound is neutral but slight warmer . 
                          OPA-MOON sound is a bit warm and smooth .
2, The Compass 2 have Line in,  users can use it as a dedicate head amp / preamp .
3, The Compass 2 have Line out , users can use it as variable level as DAC with preamp combo or fixed output level as dedicated DAC .
4, Users can setting the neutral or warmer sound for Line in with two jumpers pull / push .
5, Strong power output :  2000mW / 50 ohm (300mW class A)    ,  1100mW / 100 ohm (600mW class A)    ,  400mW / 300 ohm (Full class A)"

 

Questions:

1) I plan to use this through USB, should I worry about the DIR module at all?

2) I like the line-in/line-out options but what is up with the OPA(opamps?) stuff?  Do I need to install one of those if I want to use the compass 2's line-in?

3)Lastly, I am a little confused about the power output, I have the HE-500 atm, will it be fed the 2+ watts or the lower rated power output?

 

ATM, I am ready to purchase it in a default version but those questions are bugging me

post #137 of 417
1. Some computers don't work well with the SPDIF direct signal. I have a pretty decent computer, and I get sporadic noise/distortion if I use SPDIF direct, as stated. Once I changed it to make the signal go through the DIR module, I no longer got any distortion. So, yes, if you want a neutral sound, go for the DIR9001, if not, the other might be a hint warmer. I don't know as the two A-GD devices I've owned with dacs, I've used the DIR9001 on both.

2. No. The op-amps slightly alter SQ for more neutrality, more warmth, or more dynamics. I personally stick to the stock op-amp which is just fine. I tried the Moon op-amp on my NFB-5, and I honestly couldn't tell the difference between it and the stock op-amp. Don't expect anything more than a very subtle change, if that. I've even added the jumpers for more warmth on the line in signal, and I didn't hear an appreciable difference with that as well.

3. I'm still not sure on this myself. All I know is that the Compass 2 has a lot of power. I've even used it with the HE-4 which needs a ton (much more than the HE-500), and it sounded great off the Compass 2.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 3/25/13 at 1:51am
post #138 of 417
Great, thanks a bunch
post #139 of 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by KamijoIsMyHero View Post

1) I plan to use this through USB, should I worry about the DIR module at all?

2) I like the line-in/line-out options but what is up with the OPA(opamps?) stuff?  Do I need to install one of those if I want to use the compass 2's line-in?

3)Lastly, I am a little confused about the power output, I have the HE-500 atm, will it be fed the 2+ watts or the lower rated power output?

 

 

Hi KamijolsMyHero,

 

Believe MLE has answered your questions.

 

For question (3), my understanding is that the technical specs list the maximum available power before distortion occurs at a given impedance. So for instance if your HE-500 has a nominal impedance of 50 ohms, the Compass 2 maximum output power is 2W. Note that some headphones have an impedance graph that shows changes with frequency. For the HE-400, Inner Fidelity has produced a graph here (I trust Tyll doesn't mind me posting something that is already public information)

 

 

HiFiMANHE400.pdf 105k .pdf file

 

 

 

Steve

post #140 of 417
Its actually 38 ohms, so I expect 2+ watts, I figured the bracketed output power is the rated power for low gain, since its too low for a 12 DB gain
post #141 of 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by KamijoIsMyHero View Post

Its actually 38 ohms, so I expect 2+ watts, I figured the bracketed output power is the rated power for low gain, since its too low for a 12 DB gain

That was my assumption too. I still don't have a definite answer as to when EXACTLY the Compass 2 drives headphones in Class A...
post #142 of 417

I shot em an email about this, I can update if they reply

 

here is the reply:

 

 
The Compass 2 can't built the full class A on 25 to 50 ohm, this is need quite high based current, we are based on technology, we can't lie on the technology.
Some brands products may declare their products work on full class A without very hot but we can't.
The class A power is enough for most headphone, like 300MW on 50 ohm , usually 80MW have boost the 50 ohm headphone very loud even the ears can't accept.
Kingwa

 

 

I guess they are using high voltage instead of current, so its not a full class A because of that...pretty fast reply, cool stuff


Edited by KamijoIsMyHero - 3/26/13 at 7:00pm
post #143 of 417

Hey, I have been looking for a DAC/AMP for ages that is affordable, great sounding, bit perfect, 24/192 capable with optical inputs. audio gds compass 2, 11.32 and 1.32 were almost my final options. Now I hear these things cause popping (or ticking) and distortion? Please give me the best alternative to audio-gd then. Been looking far too long always something wrong.

post #144 of 417

I currently have an Audio-GD "Fun" (2nd time being purchased) awaiting me at home on my doorstep.  I'm looking for the "Sun" Op-AMP if someone has one within the U.S. that they'd be willing to part with?  My "Fun" is shipping with the "Earth" module, so I wanted to pick up from where I last left off with the Fun that I owned about 10 months ago.

 

I do realize this is the Compass 2 forum, so please excuse my interruption here.  I wasn't sure how to get someone's attention regarding the module as normally the "WTB" posts in the F/S section often get overlooked.

 

Meanwhile, I will keep my eyes peeled on the Compass 2 thread.  I'm sure at some point, I will be moving towards a Compass 2 at some point when I get bored of what I have.

 

Also, If I could ask, which Op-Amp does the Compass 2 currently ship with?  Does Audio-GD provide the Earth, Moon or Sun for the buyer?  Or, is there just a chip that is placed in the socket for the Op-Amp and the buyer of the Compass 2 have to chase down the modules if they want to try them out, or upgrade?

 

Thank you,

 

basshead.gif

post #145 of 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post

I currently have an Audio-GD "Fun" (2nd time being purchased) awaiting me at home on my doorstep.  I'm looking for the "Sun" Op-AMP if someone has one within the U.S. that they'd be willing to part with?  My "Fun" is shipping with the "Earth" module, so I wanted to pick up from where I last left off with the Fun that I owned about 10 months ago.

 

I do realize this is the Compass 2 forum, so please excuse my interruption here.  I wasn't sure how to get someone's attention regarding the module as normally the "WTB" posts in the F/S section often get overlooked.

 

Meanwhile, I will keep my eyes peeled on the Compass 2 thread.  I'm sure at some point, I will be moving towards a Compass 2 at some point when I get bored of what I have.

 

Also, If I could ask, which Op-Amp does the Compass 2 currently ship with?  Does Audio-GD provide the Earth, Moon or Sun for the buyer?  Or, is there just a chip that is placed in the socket for the Op-Amp and the buyer of the Compass 2 have to chase down the modules if they want to try them out, or upgrade?

 

Thank you,

 

basshead.gif

 

Hi wje,

 

I do have the SUN op-amp, but unfortunately living in Hong Kong so getting it across to you might be a problemredface.gif. When I purchased the the Compass 2, it came with a standard op-amp and I bought the SUN as an extra.

 

Steve

post #146 of 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by RESEARCHBEFBUY View Post

Hey, I have been looking for a DAC/AMP for ages that is affordable, great sounding, bit perfect, 24/192 capable with optical inputs. audio gds compass 2, 11.32 and 1.32 were almost my final options. Now I hear these things cause popping (or ticking) and distortion? Please give me the best alternative to audio-gd then. Been looking far too long always something wrong.


No popping, no distortion, perhaps the unit clicks when locking in a new sample rate but I never noticed it with headphones on nor do I have a huge selection of music with varying sample rates.

 

The unit handles both of my headphones like a champ, but it pairs better with a warmer headphone like the LCD-2. 


Edited by ninjikiran - 4/2/13 at 2:11pm
post #147 of 417
The pops/distortion are only a thing with Spdif direct on certain sources, like bad soundcards on pcs. All you have to do is change from direct to dir passthrough. It was mentioned on the product listing on A-GDs website. Nothing new. As for sample rate hiccups, yes, I only get that if I set my usb to 32 bit mode on my desktop. I went to 24 bit, and absolutely no problems.

I wouldn't give up my Compass 2 for any other amp/dac in their price range. Hell, I downgraded from the SA-31, and I'm perfectly content with the Compass 2.

Wje, it comes with a stock op-amp which does just fine.
post #148 of 417

mmm, I might swap to the WM chip I remember it having a more pleasant sound.

post #149 of 417

Thanx for the help, 

 

I am still deciding for the best usb DAC as this is my primary goal. Any headphone amp or other features are bonus.

I can't decide between the compass 2, NFB 1.32, Ressonessence labs concero, Micromega mydac, Musical fidelity M1, shiit bifrost or for a higher price and more features wadia 121, Pioneer N-50, Cambridge audio stream magic 6, shiit gugnir. And if it is said that it's a major quality leap then even benchmark DAC1 usb or Chord Electronics QuteHD.

I am merely looking to have the best audio from my computer. Can someone with experience point out the best sound quality DAC of all these options? I know sound quality is subjective but we can all agree that there's a certain quality that pertains to all of us most thus delivering the title of "best" dac. Please make a top 5 with only sound quality as a usb dac in mind (not price or features).

 

Cheers, Laurens

post #150 of 417

Throw in the parasound zdac for comparison.

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