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Audio-gd Compass 2 amp/DAC Impressions thread - Page 20

post #286 of 434

My apologies, you are correct, my post is little confusing. The socket i meant was direct analog output from headphone jack on the laptop. I also did some other comparisions and this is the ranking (best to worst)

 

a) laptop usb + compass 2 dac/ amp : best output in terms of separation, bass, dynamics, sound staging etc

b) laptop usb + nfb 12 dac/ amp:  second best but the sound staging and the separation of instruments is not that great. The highs can be a bit harsh and lacks bass

c) laptop analog out + tandberg 3002a preamp: this preamp has a headphone out. Muddy output, vocals are laid back compared to (a) and (b) above. I guess this combo doesnt use any dedicated DAC as its relying on the laptops conversion

d) direct laptop analog out

e) compass 2 analog input

post #287 of 434

I suggest you forget your laptop analog out, as it could well be garbage in - garbage out.

 

So your tandberg 3002a preamp is also a standalone head amp, meaning that you can directly compare it with the Compass 2 amp part.

 

I would try and rank all possible combinations to clarify things:

NFB-12 + tandberg

Compass 2 + tandberg

NFB-12 + Compass 2

Compass 2

NFB-12

post #288 of 434
I'm possibly looking at an upgrade for my Audioquest Dragonfly and JDS Labs O2, which are used with my HE-400. I was wondering how much of an upgrade a Sabre or Wolfson Compass 2 would be? Could someone please make a quick comparison for me?
post #289 of 434

i dont have audioquest dragonfly but i had to buy a reasonable dac for a friend in India and went for schiit modi, which i would put in the same league as audioquest. After listening through multiple tracks over a period of time my observations were that modi is a good starter dac but compass 2 is way better on probably all fronts. Where Compass outshines modi by a huge scale is the air in the vocals, timbre and the instrument separation. After some time, i didn't enjoy the music as much as i do when listening thru Compass, i felt that modi was a bit sterile.

post #290 of 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by katariat View Post

i dont have audioquest dragonfly but i had to buy a reasonable dac for a friend in India and went for schiit modi, which i would put in the same league as audioquest. After listening through multiple tracks over a period of time my observations were that modi is a good starter dac but compass 2 is way better on probably all fronts. Where Compass outshines modi by a huge scale is the air in the vocals, timbre and the instrument separation. After some time, i didn't enjoy the music as much as i do when listening thru Compass, i felt that modi was a bit sterile.
Thanks for the help smily_headphones1.gif. The Dragonfly I find is a bit warm and overly smooth, it seems to cover up detail a bit. Would you say that upgrading headphones or getting a Compass 2 would be more worth my while? I was thinking a Pandora Hope VI, since nothing is really interesting me in the ~$700 headphone market.
post #291 of 434
Based on my experience if I had the extra dollar, I would invest in a better DAC. The rationale is getting a better/ cleaner output closer to the source. The DAC section of compass vs NFB 11 ($299) should be pretty comparable if u are looking at cheaper alternatives. With compass u get lot of customization and a line input. Look out for used ones, I had better luck on ebay
post #292 of 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by katariat View Post

Based on my experience if I had the extra dollar, I would invest in a better DAC. The rationale is getting a better/ cleaner output closer to the source. The DAC section of compass vs NFB 11 ($299) should be pretty comparable if u are looking at cheaper alternatives. With compass u get lot of customization and a line input. Look out for used ones, I had better luck on ebay
Thanks for the advice, I'll keep my eyes opened.
post #293 of 434
Is this dac/Amp worth getting for around 450?
post #294 of 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMax99 View Post

Is this dac/Amp worth getting for around 450?

Worthy or not depends on what you are looking at. Tell us about your collection of gears, someone might be of help to your queries.  

post #295 of 434
I like transparent, clean and detailed sound with good soundstage.

Atm I'm using the Asus xonar essence one muse. I've a burson soloist coming soon too. I will be pairing it with my new hd800.

So just wondering if it will sound better than my Asus xonar essence one muse.

Thanks
post #296 of 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMax99 View Post

I like transparent, clean and detailed sound with good soundstage.
Atm I'm using the Asus xonar essence one muse. I've a burson soloist coming soon too. I will be pairing it with my new hd800.
So just wondering if it will sound better than my Asus xonar essence one muse.
Thanks

You will likely hear what you like with the compass 2 es9018.and it will outdo the xonar muse like it do with my previous stx. My POV, hd800 sounds too bright to my ears, pairing with soloist seems to make it brighter and sounds flat. If you have an intention to pair compass2 with hd800, i will recommend going with compass wm8741 or pcm5102 version.
post #297 of 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by sayh View Post


You will likely hear what you like with the compass 2 es9018.and it will outdo the xonar muse like it do with my previous stx. My POV, hd800 sounds too bright to my ears, pairing with soloist seems to make it brighter and sounds flat. If you have an intention to pair compass2 with hd800, i will recommend going with compass wm8741 or pcm5102 version.


Have you heard the E1 Muse before? I was thinking of getting a compass 2 and all of its possible swappable components so I can have some fun rolling them

post #298 of 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMax99 View Post

Have you heard the E1 Muse before? I was thinking of getting a compass 2 and all of its possible swappable components so I can have some fun rolling them
Did Not hear the muse but cant be far off my previous st. Go on help yourself with all the fun, there is a post somewhere here with the impressions on components rollings.
post #299 of 434
NFB 28 is 680 now a future proof balanced and single ended setup... On the other hand, the compass is 499, 429 for double WMs and 399 for PCMs...
What's the consensus on the WM8741 vs PCM5102? I take it the 5102 is the least detailed/most musical, WM is the middle ground and ESS is the least musical most detailed...
Decisions, decisions...
post #300 of 434

For the HE-560, I would get the Wolfson.

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