Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › Resonessence Labs Concero discussion/review thead
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Resonessence Labs Concero discussion/review thead - Page 4

post #46 of 1804
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcullinan View Post

Project86 -- you mentioned that the sound signatures are different between the Concero and D18. Could you give a quick rundown.. Im leaning more towards the Concero because I will be using USB input, but sound is more important.
Thanks!
Mike

The D18 is all about smoothness, with a subtle warmth to it that really flatters most music and gear. It's hard to assemble a system that the D18 doesn't sound great with. That makes it great fun to listen to but not ideal if you wanted to use it in a home studio or other critical listening scenario.

The Concero is more neutral, more true to the recording for better or worse. It can be very ruthless with poorly mastered tracks, and certainly isn't the DAC to use with a revealing amp and HD800 if you are on the fence about enjoying the HD800 type of sound.

My current favorite combo with the D18 is to pair it with the exceptional sounding A18 matching amp, using XLR, and then add the latest LCD-2 with balanced cable. That combo just oozes musicality and hits about as hard as anything I've ever heard short of a huge reference level subwoofer.

In contrast, I currently prefer pairing my Concero to my Analog Design Labs SET amp, and from there driving a Beyer T1. I didn't initially love this chain at first but it has grown on me with its crazy ability to resolve even the finest micro-details. The mids are just liquid and effortless, and when used to play a reference level recording - watch out.
post #47 of 1804

This is a tough one... its going to be driving speakers first, then Im going to get a head amp and go from there. Right now I have the HD598s, not exactly warm headphones. But on the speaker side my amp is a Parasound designed by John Curl which is basically musical and less detailed, just the way he made them sound. Preamp is a Dared SL 2000 tube pre (Cheap at 449! and it is a great pre as long as you retube with NOS.) 

 

If I got the D18 I would need to buy a USB to spdif, whereas the Concero has USB.

 Maybe I will flip a coin!

:)

Mike

post #48 of 1804
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcullinan View Post

This is a tough one... its going to be driving speakers first, then Im going to get a head amp and go from there. Right now I have the HD598s, not exactly warm headphones. But on the speaker side my amp is a Parasound designed by John Curl which is basically musical and less detailed, just the way he made them sound. Preamp is a Dared SL 2000 tube pre (Cheap at 449! and it is a great pre as long as you retube with NOS.) 

If I got the D18 I would need to buy a USB to spdif, whereas the Concero has USB.
 Maybe I will flip a coin!
smily_headphones1.gif
Mike
[/quotei'm in the same boat more or less. Speakers will be my main focus, and the concerto could go in one of two places....the first is very neutral, analytical and technically good bookshelves, while the second setup will be a little more full range but slightly forgiving tower.on the headphone side it's a simple O2 and t50rp with a detailed and sliiightly warm sound. I've owned the d18 and loved it with headphones but never got a chance to try it with speakers
post #49 of 1804

iFi Micro USB power supply arrived today.  Immediately noticeable improvement in the Concero's performance with cleaner power than what comes from the MacBook Pro.  The noise floor, already low, disappears entirely.  Doesn't change the basic character, just gives you more of everything you like about the Concero's sound.

 

Example: At the very beginning of "What You Didn't Say," from Mary Chapin Carpenter's Shooting Straight in the Dark album, the B-flat hangs in the air a bit longer after the guitarist slides down to A.  The dissonance is more palpable, adding noticeably to the sense of foreboding that hangs over the entire intro.  Subtle, but really enhances your enjoyment of the music.

 

Sitting here listening to the first movement of the Baltimore Symphony recording of the Dvorak "New World" symphony, and the brass just sounds ridiculously good.  Enthralling.

 

Absolutely worth the extra $216 (including shipping).
 

post #50 of 1804
That's good to hear. How does the iFi Micro Power supply sound with the Dragonfly, I wonder?
post #51 of 1804
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wfojas View Post

That's good to hear. How does the iFi Micro Power supply sound with the Dragonfly, I wonder?


You can see for yourself tomorrow.L3000.gif

post #52 of 1804

So today I got to compare the Concero to three other relatively inexpensive DACs: the Dragonfly, the Micromega MyDAC, and the Arcam rDac.  All were run out of the USB ports of a MacBook Air running Amarra 2.4.5 in cache mode.  The amp used was a Bryston BHA-1, and the phones were an unmodified pair of Sennheiser HD 800 with a Cardas balanced cable.

 

For what it is and for what it costs, the Micromega is a solid performer, but it doesn't measure up to the Concero in resolution or dimensionality.  Instrumental timbres are generally pretty accurate (especially on lower-midrange instruments like cello and clarinet), but the transient response doesn't measure up, so the crispness that you expect from brass, double-reeds, and picked strings just isn't quite there.  Cymbals are a big problem for the Micromega: they don't sound quite right and they decay too quickly.

 

The Arcam, which is limited to 96 kHz sample rate, sounds like every other piece of Arcam gear you've ever heard.  If you like the Arcam sound, you'll like the rDAC.  It's a perfectly pleasant, non-fatiguing listening experience, but it doesn't deliver any "wow" to speak of.

 

The Dragonfly gets the same kind of boost from the iFi micro USB power supply as the Concero.  It gets a lot of things right, but it gets very much up in your face, and there is a hint of grain in the upper mids, especially on woodwinds.  I'm not sure I'd want to listen to a steady diet on soprano sax on a cross-country flight.  The Dragonfly is an extraordinary engineering achievement, and I'd much rather listen to it than any other DAC-amp combo that I've heard for under $300, but it really can't run with the bigger dogs.

 

The Concero is, without a doubt, the best of this bunch.  It just does everything you expect a good DAC to do.
 

post #53 of 1804
Quote:
Originally Posted by burnspbesq View Post

The Concero is, without a doubt, the best of this bunch.  It just does everything you expect a good DAC to do.

 

 

Well, thanks largely in part to your suggestion of an alternative, I ordered the Concero and will be putting it through its paces with Yuceka and Jerikl (and perhaps Maxvla).

 

I hope it's the one! Still looking for the right sub-$1000 DAC...

post #54 of 1804
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Dangerous View Post

 

Well, thanks largely in part to your suggestion of an alternative, I ordered the Concero and will be putting it through its paces with Yuceka and Jerikl (and perhaps Maxvla).

 

I hope it's the one! Still looking for the right sub-$1000 DAC...


Do tell us what you hear. When we did the shootout last week in Burnspbesq's setup, it was clear that the Concero had more headroom than the Mydac, which seemed to saturate and congest on the attacks. His setup was so revealing that immediately you could tell the soundstage width of the Mydac was severely narrowed, and the ease of presentation the Concero had was head and shoulders above the Mydac.

 

And I owned the Mydac, so no bias here.

 

I want to compare it with the Xonar One Muses, but I can't seem to find it listed as such anywhere.

post #55 of 1804
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wfojas View Post

 

I want to compare it with the Xonar One Muses, but I can't seem to find it listed as such anywhere.

 

I also read Srajan's 6moons review. His claim of the Concero being outclassed by the Asus DAC conflicts with another review I found of the Xonar (still looking for the link) in which the Xonar was merely an "OK" performer with somewhat strident highs. Will post it when/if I find it.


Edited by Nick Dangerous - 12/13/12 at 7:00am
post #56 of 1804
post #57 of 1804
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Dangerous View Post

 

I also read Srajan's 6moons review. His claim of the Concero being outclassed by the Asus DAC conflicts with another review I found of the Xonar (still looking for the link) in which the Xonar was merely an "OK" performer with somewhat strident highs. Will post it when/if I find it.


I believe the lack lustre review of the Xonar was related to the unit in it's stock form - not the new MUSES edition which he uses for comparison against the Concero.

post #58 of 1804
Quote:
Originally Posted by daws0n View Post


I believe the lack lustre review of the Xonar was related to the unit in it's stock form - not the new MUSES edition which he uses for comparison against the Concero.

 

Correct. It was the stock unit: http://www.whathifi.com/review/xonar-essence-one.


Edited by Nick Dangerous - 12/13/12 at 8:29am
post #59 of 1804

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/asus/1.html

 

Was the 6moons review, which does distinguishes between the three ways the Xonar ships, standard, with six op amps and withe Muses. There are units in Amazon, but they are differentiated by price, and don't explicitly state what they come with, so I'm thinking there are the standard ones, priced to the different versions.

 

Asus did say they were building these with 'audiophile' price points in mind, so otherwise they would be $200 less.
 

post #60 of 1804

They are essentially the same unit with different op-amp configurations. That what hifi review is a bit mean, all the hifi rags that have slated the unit neglect to mention how easy it is to upgrade. I spent a small amount on some LME9710HAs (replacing the stock NE5532s) and had big improvements in sound quality.

 

It's far from perfect, but held it's own against a battery powered m2tech young DAC recently - impressive result, given the respective price points.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Dedicated Source Components
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › Resonessence Labs Concero discussion/review thead