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Audio-gd Compass 2 amp/DAC Impressions thread - Page 11

post #151 of 337

Do the USB-SPDIF + DAC count too?

 

If yes, the Concero + Metrum Quad is, to my ears, better than the Concero in standalone.

 

My ranking (quick):

#1 - Audio-GD NFB-27: Has it all (details/definition, separation, authority/impact, big soundstage, organic tone) and offers something really special: excellent extension in the treble without a hint of harshness! It features an excellent amp and preamp too.

#2 - Concero + Metrum Quad: Less technical but has a different presentation that is equally enjoyable (crystal clear, natural tone of R2R DACs). The technicalities are that of the Concero, actually. It even gets its sound signature (that's how transparent the Metrum DACs are) but removes the (slight) hardness and adds the R2R magic.

#3 - Concero standalone: For the size, a killer DAC. It's less refined than the NFB-27, brighter and harder sounding (w/ the HE-5LE + SA-31) but it will fit in your back pocket (don't sit on it, you'd break your pocket!) when the NFB-27 needs a truck.

#4 - Stello U3 + Metrum Quad: Warmer and more romantic, but less technical than with the Concero.

#5 - Audio-GD Ref-5.32: Mine was faulty so I couldn't really enjoy it but I could discern a similar level of technicalities than the U3 + Quad. Sound was too dark for me though (w/ the 500s back then)

#6 - Fostex HP-A3

#7 - Audio-GD NFB-3.1

#8 - Emotiva XDA-1

...

post #152 of 337

How about Compass 2?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post

Do the USB-SPDIF + DAC count too?

 

If yes, the Concero + Metrum Quad is, to my ears, better than the Concero in standalone.

 

My ranking (quick):

#1 - Audio-GD NFB-27: Has it all (details/definition, separation, authority/impact, big soundstage, organic tone) and offers something really special: excellent extension in the treble without a hint of harshness! It features an excellent amp and preamp too.

#2 - Concero + Metrum Quad: Less technical but has a different presentation that is equally enjoyable (crystal clear, natural tone of R2R DACs). The technicalities are that of the Concero, actually. It even gets its sound signature (that's how transparent the Metrum DACs are) but removes the (slight) hardness and adds the R2R magic.

#3 - Concero standalone: For the size, a killer DAC. It's less refined than the NFB-27, brighter and harder sounding (w/ the HE-5LE + SA-31) but it will fit in your back pocket (don't sit on it, you'd break your pocket!) when the NFB-27 needs a truck.

#4 - Stello U3 + Metrum Quad: Warmer and more romantic, but less technical than with the Concero.

#5 - Audio-GD Ref-5.32: Mine was faulty so I couldn't really enjoy it but I could discern a similar level of technicalities than the U3 + Quad. Sound was too dark for me though (w/ the 500s back then)

#6 - Fostex HP-A3

#7 - Audio-GD NFB-3.1

#8 - Emotiva XDA-1

...

post #153 of 337
Quote:
Originally Posted by yfei View Post

How about Compass 2?

 

Never heard it.

 

From experience and by interpolation, it would sit at either #6 or even steal the #5 to the Ref 5.32 (but I doubt it).

post #154 of 337

My ranking in SQ

 

1. Bifrost, perfect dac imo.  It doesnt add, doesn't subtract.  Its not sibilant, its not anything bad.

2. NFB-2 - Basically the bifrost, but warmer cutting off some higher registers. 

3. Compass 2  -  In the sabre config it is slightly sibilant.  Pairs well with my LCD-2 but has trouble with my less warm headphones.

 

But the Compass 2 still sounds good, and has utility,  Its a damn powerful headphone amp, has a robust USB input and options to change things around. Its hard to find such a robust Dac/Amp that functions so well, only other real options is to buy multiple boxes.
 

My days of Summit-Fi have ended though, I have grown a little and my tastes have change.  Spending top dime for very little is not a prospect for me anymore.


Edited by ninjikiran - 4/18/13 at 6:13am
post #155 of 337

Just received my Compass 2, Sabre with TXCO upgrade.  Fast delivery, great packaging and wonderful bit of kit.

 

I initially had some troubles with 32bit mode not being available and "device not recognised" messages on booting up.  After faffing about for an hour or so I switched the Compass over to a USB2 connection and everything has been perfect since.

 

Wonderful sounding device especially with the HE-400.

post #156 of 337

I bought a very obscure, unknown around head-fi Lindemann dac. It cost me 600 euros and does it's job great. I was told at the local hifi store that this was the best possible buy. The problem i only that I have nothing to compare it to. Maybe it isn't at all as good as I want it to be. I placed my trust in the expertise of a bloke that works at the store and was reassured by another one that it's a great bit of technology. It dates from the end of 2010 and is capable of 192 kHZ data handling. Thanx for the help anyways. If anyone has any experience in comparing this dac to others I am very interested. The dac was apparently derived from the 12000 euro lindemann CD player that originated around the 2000s. I really am unaware of where I stand quality wise, would be great to have an experienced users feedback.

post #157 of 337
Quote:
Originally Posted by RESEARCHBEFBUY View Post

I bought a very obscure, unknown around head-fi Lindemann dac. It cost me 600 euros and does it's job great. I was told at the local hifi store that this was the best possible buy. The problem i only that I have nothing to compare it to. Maybe it isn't at all as good as I want it to be. I placed my trust in the expertise of a bloke that works at the store and was reassured by another one that it's a great bit of technology. It dates from the end of 2010 and is capable of 192 kHZ data handling. Thanx for the help anyways. If anyone has any experience in comparing this dac to others I am very interested. The dac was apparently derived from the 12000 euro lindemann CD player that originated around the 2000s. I really am unaware of where I stand quality wise, would be great to have an experienced users feedback.

 

How do you like it?

 

If you like it why would you not like it anymore if the Compass-2 happen to be a "better" DAC?

post #158 of 337

Since this thread is going completely off topic..

 

Does anymore have any impressions of the compass 2?

post #159 of 337
Posting from my phone, so in short:

It's great!
post #160 of 337

I bought compass2 for around two months. It impressed me a lot even it was not burnt-in.

As others said it's gonna better and better for hundred hrs of warmup.

I do not like some minor blemishes like the chassis, unfitted hole for the USB receptacle, and the size of the case.

Be a caviler, i decided to modify the whole DAC. Base on both interior and exterior dressings, i'd changed the metal case, the USB receptacle, most of the electrolyse capcitors and seperate OCC toroidal transformers.

I am not good at describing the changes of sound in English, anyway i had the cap-mod for fews days b4 the transformers. After few days of cap-modded, I just felt the sound was much more clear, just like had few quantity of mid-low range, but actually it still had better quality of bass. Better of dynamic too. I would count 15% level-up on the changes.

About the transformers, that was quite amazing. Firstly i thought the DAC would be much better with seperate transformers, one for analogue and other for digital processing. While i was ready to buy two toroidals from online stores, I saw a guy who sold his modded transformers with OCC wires, prices are high (around 6X higher than others traditions) but i decided to buy two 30 Watts to get a test. Ofcoz the results were good enough...may be psychological... i was quite sure the sound stage was wider and accurate than ever, the bass dived deeper, definiton of small details impressed me the most, like the era of the black plastics > CDs. i would count another 20% level-up of this change.

I love my modded Compass2 now... how much did i pay? haha, i would say it's now a Compass4.

post #161 of 337
Quote:
Originally Posted by akll View Post

I bought compass2 for around two months. It impressed me a lot even it was not burnt-in.

As others said it's gonna better and better for hundred hrs of warmup.

I do not like some minor blemishes like the chassis, unfitted hole for the USB receptacle, and the size of the case.

Be a caviler, i decided to modify the whole DAC. Base on both interior and exterior dressings, i'd changed the metal case, the USB receptacle, most of the electrolyse capcitors and seperate OCC toroidal transformers.

I am not good at describing the changes of sound in English, anyway i had the cap-mod for fews days b4 the transformers. After few days of cap-modded, I just felt the sound was much more clear, just like had few quantity of mid-low range, but actually it still had better quality of bass. Better of dynamic too. I would count 15% level-up on the changes.

About the transformers, that was quite amazing. Firstly i thought the DAC would be much better with seperate transformers, one for analogue and other for digital processing. While i was ready to buy two toroidals from online stores, I saw a guy who sold his modded transformers with OCC wires, prices are high (around 6X higher than others traditions) but i decided to buy two 30 Watts to get a test. Ofcoz the results were good enough...may be psychological... i was quite sure the sound stage was wider and accurate than ever, the bass dived deeper, definiton of small details impressed me the most, like the era of the black plastics > CDs. i would count another 20% level-up of this change.

I love my modded Compass2 now... how much did i pay? haha, i would say it's now a Compass4.

Any pictures?

post #162 of 337
Quote:
Originally Posted by turokrocks View Post

Any pictures?

Just got some with my mobilephone...

 

 

 

 

 

post #163 of 337

Very nice work!

Did you replace the Nover caps with new ones? I thought these were pretty good already confused.gif

 

Next step: the balanced 3x r-core version (NFB-27) biggrin.gif

post #164 of 337
Quote:
Originally Posted by akll View Post

Just got some with my mobilephone...

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you.

Please update us esp. about the enclosure.

Nice pictures...I see you got the Sony Z..hmmm...Maybe I will get it instead of the S4/HTC one.

Any advise? (yes I know I do not want to derail the thread!..blink.gif)


Edited by turokrocks - 5/17/13 at 1:19pm
post #165 of 337
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post

Very nice work!

Did you replace the Nover caps with new ones? I thought these were pretty good already confused.gif

 

Next step: the balanced 3x r-core version (NFB-27) biggrin.gif

Thanks, i really did replaced all of the caps with TK and Nichicon Muse, yeah, i agreed with Nover caps was quite good enough for a mass production DAC.

But since i've been told that rumors of the background of Nover, then i decided to get back to the Japanese products. Moreover i dont really like the black color of caps sitting on a black color of PCB... :P

i think my compass 4 is my last step, i cant find any cons of it if i dont have any balanced equiptments (power amps nor headphones)

About R core transformers...hmm....they are honestly the best choice for audio, but it's a pity that nowsadays you cant find good quality of cores from Japan, even from Taiwan. So i got the toroidals from Noratel for modding. At least the cores are still within quality standard.

 

 

Turokrocks: I will update my last finished enclosure. HEeee... i wont derail teh topic...I just have an advice for Sony XZ , As far as i know, no other phones (S4 and HTC new one are too new ) that have the most compatiable to DAC with just a OTG cable like Sony . I had tested  with my XZ that CM, TI, TE and VIA (compass2) USB chips are all working without any problems. Maybe i will borrow S4 and HTC later for further confirmation.

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