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The HeadAmp GS-X and GS-X MK2 Thread - Page 111

post #1651 of 3967
xsabre5.jpg

900x900px-LL-6351c565_AustinHeadFi-5.jpeg
Edited by Maxvla - 8/18/13 at 10:41pm
post #1652 of 3967

Lovely! I'm surprised-I thought the Matrix would look smaller than that next to the Bryston. Good looking duo there for sure-especially with those matte Senns everyone envies so much.

 

-Daniel

post #1653 of 3967
Can the x-sabre really be that good as an end game solution with the GSX? Serious question. Seems a lot cheaper than what most would consider an end game DAC. There's gotta be things that could be improved? PSU quality, USB implementation? Quantity of DACs?
post #1654 of 3967
Quote:
Originally Posted by aive View Post

Can the x-sabre really be that good as an end game solution with the GSX? Serious question. Seems a lot cheaper than what most would consider an end game DAC. There's gotta be things that could be improved? PSU quality, USB implementation? Quantity of DACs?

No I'm not a price snob just curious as usually there is justification for higher prices. And sorry for continually detailing this thread with DAC talk :/ I'm loving the DAC discussions though ><</div>

In today's market you'd be daft to spend a huge amount of money on a DAC. This is one area that High End ticket prices have run their course.
post #1655 of 3967
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post

 

? Sorry I don't follow.

 

Hey MH, this is where I first came across the NOS DAC concept - http://www.audiostream.com/content/metrum-acoustics-hex (in my research of the Metrum Hex DAC). End result is supposed to be more 'analogue' sounding output. Dunno how true it is, but it is something I'm including in my consideration of DACs...

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwmclean View Post


In today's market you'd be daft to spend a huge amount of money on a DAC. This is one area that High End ticket prices have run their course.

Yeh, it's very difficult for me to decide on a DAC due to the lack of technical details, inability to demo/actually listen to the ones I'm interested in and most of all, lack of general consensus (so many differing opinions). The researching is fun though, learning a bit as I go - my requirements are at this stage, multi-DACs per channel, solid/multiple PSUs, high quality USB implementation (self-generated USB power, galvanic isolation of USB board to audio circuits, etc) and to get this sorta stuff you're looking at around $2k+. 

 

In comparison, if you research GS-X for example it's a no brainer, pretty much 100% of people have the same opinion that it's an end-game amp that sounds great with all headphones, BAM, done, easy!

post #1656 of 3967
End game = temporary state of delusion until the next upgrade
post #1657 of 3967
Quote:
Originally Posted by rated1975 View Post

End game = temporary state of delusion until the next upgrade

 

Quoted for absolute truth.

post #1658 of 3967
Quote:
Originally Posted by rated1975 View Post

End game = temporary state of delusion until the next upgrade


Yeah when I hear someone say "end game" I really hear they're momentarily content

post #1659 of 3967
Quote:
Originally Posted by rated1975 View Post

End game = temporary state of delusion until the next upgrade

 

Well this end game has been going strong for 12 years so... ya :P  Hundreds sold, handful have come up for sale.  End game.

post #1660 of 3967
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwmclean View Post


In today's market you'd be daft to spend a huge amount of money on a DAC. This is one area that High End ticket prices have run their course.

 

I fell the same way.

 

10K DACs are out the question for me (ATM).  I would love to witness a blind listening test with some 10K DACS vs. some sub 3K DACs.

 

I think Shiit had the Gungnir participate in a blind listening test against some DACs in higher price ranges.  The Gungnir surprised lots of people. 

post #1661 of 3967
Quote:
Originally Posted by aive View Post

Can the x-sabre really be that good as an end game solution with the GSX? Serious question. Seems a lot cheaper than what most would consider an end game DAC. There's gotta be things that could be improved? PSU quality, USB implementation? Quantity of DACs?

No I'm not a price snob just curious as usually there is justification for higher prices. And sorry for continually detailing this thread with DAC talk :/ I'm loving the DAC discussions though ><

I'm pretty sure the X-Sabre would be considered the weakest link in an HD800/GSX rig...of course it can be improved.

 

-Daniel

post #1662 of 3967
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bolardito View Post

I was planning on getting the GS-X using a Matrix X- Sabre as source (and HD800) but after reading this Im having second thoughts..maybe a waste of money? I guess the X-Sabre is not worthy of this amp. i guesss Ill keep using the Mjolnir until I have enough money to invest on a good source.

Don't get me wrong, I did not mean one should not consider GS-X until getting a hi-end dac, what I object is some saying "there is no point to spend more than 2.5k on a dac". My experience is when the amp is not the limiting factor, it is worth every penny to get the best dac one could afford.
The importance of source seems not given as much attention as that of headphones and amps among head-fiers, it is true headphones and amps are important, however when you already have the hi-end headphones like HD800, TH900, LCD3, HE6 etc which are lucky enough to be accompanied by an amp like GS-X, the source becomes the limiting factor right away in the whole chain. And compared to headphones and amps, there's literally no budget limit on source, it can go all the way up to DCS Vivaldi which retails more than 100k, and trust me they do make a difference, a huge difference to someone like me.
X-Sabre is fine with GS-X as long as you are happy with its SQ, but for those who already made or are willing to make an investment on a 009s/BHSE combo, I strongly recommend them to upgrade the source as well. To me, source should always be the biggest investment in a headphone system. Why? Because eventually it is the source we are listening to through all these hi-end headphone/amp combo. You can choose not to believe a word of me and please do not, bring your own gears as well as your favorite tracks to a nearby dealer for MSB, Playback Design, emmlab, etc and you'll hear the difference!


Cheers,
Michael
Edited by nickif - 8/19/13 at 1:04pm
post #1663 of 3967

Wouldn't let all this talk scare you away.  You can always grow into the chain that you like, not as if you can't swap and compare sources and headphones and the like.  No need to throw money at it necessarily.


Edited by Mr.Sneis - 8/19/13 at 1:14pm
post #1664 of 3967

Right. And then you can grow into this, or something even better once you appreciate a 1-2k DAC for a while: http://www.msbtech.com/products/analogDac.php?Page=platinumHome

 

At least the GS-X gives you the option to be happy with your chain; whatever stage it may be at.
 

post #1665 of 3967
I have owned a dozen of sources during the past decade, mostly with a CD transport. It begins with Eastern sound E3(Chinese brand), then Luxman D700s, then Wadia 6, then Mark levinson No.39, followed by Mark No.37+No.36, and then Mark No. 31+No.30, followed by ibasso DX100, then Resonessense Lab Invicta and finally settling down to Playback design MPS-5.

To me, every single of them sounds different. And in most of the cases, "the more expensive the better" rule applies. There are a few exceptions though, the Wadia 6, ibasso DX100 and the Invicta in particular.

I bought the Wadia 6 2nd handed for 1.5k around 8 years ago, at that price, it is almost unbeatable. Authoritative bass, punchy, clear mids and extended highs, a little bit on the aggressive side but well manageable with some tweaks. The ibasso DX100, again, surprised me with its superb SQ and headphone amp at its price range, however the poor user interface and some other small issues left me no choice but to say good bye to it. The Invicta, on the other hand, disappointed me as I didn't find too much difference in terms of SQ comparing it with DX100 which also uses ES9018 chip set, but I tend to understand why it costs 6x more, maybe it is mainly due to its super user-friendly interface, solid building quality, and excellent functionality. However is all of these really worth that much more? Different ppl would have different opinions, I chose to sell it anyway.

Luckily, after sold the Invicta, the upgrade to Playback design MPS-5 was a happy experience though. The MPS-5 is capable of providing tons of details, lush mids as well as extended highs/lows while avoiding even a tiny bit of harshness. It sounds neutral and effortless along the whole spectrum and, as described in some of the reviews, is quite "analog sounding". Not to mention it also plays SACD, up to 2x DSD through USB interface, a full range of inputs/outputs...does it worth the 15k price tag? depends. I'd give it a yes given its first class CD/ hi-res PCM playback performance and Super class functionality as well as sacd playback performance. However it does have its own limitations, such as not having enough authority in the low end, relatively high noise floor...moreover, does it sound significantly better than a 10k Dac? Maybe not...

So, which one is the best sounding source I've ever owned so far? Surprisingly, it is not the most expensive MPS-5. The title goes to the 20 years old Mark-levinson No.31 + No.30, it just sounds more authoritative, more convincing, more "analog" to me. The reason why I gave up on such a amazing combo is 1, reliability issue 2, lack of SACD and hi-res playback
Edited by nickif - 8/19/13 at 2:50pm
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