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 43

post #631 of 1854
Quote:
Originally Posted by khaine1711 View Post

I'm gonna take a wild guess and say a 5V socket for separate linear power supply/battery.

 

I wish this could be it! To unleash the amp's power!

I don't see how relevant it would be on the HD version though, power "quality" aside?

post #632 of 1854

I think I need to disable my Headfi account for a while so I can just enjoy my setup.  Concero -> Bottlehead S.E.X. -> HD800 (balanced and Anaxilus modded) makes me very happy.  A truly great value/mid-fi rig.  I don't want to hear about better products that are just a little bit more expensive any more :)

post #633 of 1854
Quote:
Originally Posted by khaine1711 View Post

I'm gonna take a wild guess and say a 5V socket for separate linear power supply/battery.

 

I was thinking this too and I'm hoping that's what we'll see. Makes sense given than the Concero HP also needs to drive a headphone amp.

post #634 of 1854
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post

 

I wish this could be it! To unleash the amp's power!

I don't see how relevant it would be on the HD version though, power "quality" aside?

It would make sense if the buyer want to "maximize" the Concero, but don't have enough finance at the moment of purchase.

 

Let's be honest, a slightly better Dac chip, and DSD support/or HP out isn't worth the extra dosh. The upgradability might ease your mind on that though =p.

 

It reminds me of the weird pricing of the Chord QuteHd I had, by itself it's a competent 1300 bucks dac; you can improve the sound by adding transport (Ap2), and feed it with a PSU. The cost however isn't worth the performance gain (compare to buy a new dac). But if you think about it, the PSU could be use for other dac or to power your own DIY amp/preamp/dac; so is the transport. 

 

Also it's not like you can't use separate PSU with the (current) Concero =p, just need a few workaround. I used this to have some fun with the Eximus Dp1 (the USB input also use V-bus power)

 


Edited by khaine1711 - 5/22/13 at 2:15pm
post #635 of 1854
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EraserXIV View Post

Any clues? rolleyes.gif

 

Are you allowed to say if it's on the software side or the hardware side? Is it exclusive to the HD and HP, or will it also extend to the original Concero?

 

Hardware side, which translates to new models only. A hint? It's something that no other DAC on the market currently has. bigsmile_face.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FraGGleR View Post

I think I need to disable my Headfi account for a while so I can just enjoy my setup.  Concero -> Bottlehead S.E.X. -> HD800 (balanced and Anaxilus modded) makes me very happy.  A truly great value/mid-fi rig.  I don't want to hear about better products that are just a little bit more expensive any more :)

 

Nah, just be happy with what you've got and read for fun - that's a great setup!

post #636 of 1854
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

 

Hardware side, which translates to new models only. A hint? It's something that no other DAC on the market currently has. bigsmile_face.gif

 

 

Nah, just be happy with what you've got and read for fun - that's a great setup!

Hmmm, how about using the Ess 9018 in current output mode? and the output stage needs to be of low impedance which acts as a headphone amp also? (or maybe the opposite, voltage output mode without an i/v stage)

 

I like this guessing game bigsmile_face.gif


Edited by khaine1711 - 5/22/13 at 2:26pm
post #637 of 1854
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

Hardware side, which translates to new models only. A hint? It's something that no other DAC on the market currently has. bigsmile_face.gif

 

Very interesting popcorn.gif

post #638 of 1854
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by khaine1711 View Post

Hmmm, how about using the Ess 9018 in current output mode? and the output stage needs to be of low impedance which acts as a headphone amp also? (or maybe the opposite, voltage output mode without an i/v stage)

 

I like this guessing game bigsmile_face.gif

 

Me too!

 

You're not right, but that's actually pretty close to how the ES9023 in the original Concero model works. It's got a 2Vrms line driver built in - normally used to drive the RCA outs but I've seen it configured for headphones a few times. 

post #639 of 1854
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

 

Hardware side, which translates to new models only. A hint? It's something that no other DAC on the market currently has. bigsmile_face.gif

 

 

Not even the Invicta?

Can it make coffee?

post #640 of 1854

Maybe it has a LIGHT ORGAN built-in? tongue_smile.gif

 

post #641 of 1854

Excellent review as usual Project 86.  I purposely did not read your great writeup until I had a chance to listen to the Concero myself and write it up for my blog.

 

I appreciate all the premier review work you are doing on new dacs.  It is a great help to the community.

 

cheers


Edited by bixby - 5/23/13 at 8:33am
post #642 of 1854

projects reviews are anti-hype and thats noiyce!

 

Im thinking maybe the extra function is decoding 5.1 sound or something like that. 

Am I far off the mark?

post #643 of 1854

PREFACE

The reason why I chose this combination of Headphones is because all of them are unique to each other. Another reason was because they were readily available.

Amp choice was the Mjolnir as I felt my EF-5 Hybrid amp will not work as well with both the LCD-3 and HD800 (which was true) as it does with the HE-500. Also, I felt using S/S amps is better when comparing various headphones, especially with the cable selection I was presented with.

 

IMPORTANT: I can't remember if I mention this in the below, but THESE IMPRESSIONS ARE BASED OFF THE X-SABRE AND THE CONCERO, ONLY. This meaning that whatever I wrote below is there as a comparison to the other device so THIS DOES NOT REFLECT THE OVERALL SOUND OF THE ACTUAL PRODUCT, BUT IS THERE, AGAIN, AS A TOOL OF DESCRIBING. If I said something about the Concero sounding more warm, this does not mean the Concero is a warm sounding DAC generally speaking.

 

Also, I used IIR filter on the Concero primarily as it sounded a bit more engaging and forward.

 

EQUIPMENT:

LCD-3, HD800 (Anax Mod), HE-500 (Jergpads)

X-Sabre, Concero

Mjolnir

Various DHC and HPL cables. ALL in OCC copper.

NOTHING BALANCED FOR FAIR GAME SAKES

All FLAC ranging from 16-24 bit, 44.1-192

Samsung Ultrabook Foobar2K + WASAPI

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAY 1

 

HE-500 w/ X-Sabre + Mjolnir (compared to the Concero)

Certainly more relaxed than the Concero. The X-Sabre is known for its smoothness and as a relatively calm DAC, which I concur. The HE-500 portrays fantastic detailed midrange and treble and I feel this combo works to each others favour. Besides the Mjolnir adding more attack and a sense of immediacy, I felt the X-Sabre was communicating well with the HE-500 in terms of trying to replay music in an honest and natural way. If I had to pick the X-Sabre apart, I did find one or two things that bothered me a little. Somewhere in the middle treble area, there was definitely something weird going on. It’s almost like tiny glare, but sort of isn’t. Really difficult to describe what I was hearing. The Concero did not have this issue. (DAY 2 report: I concluded that it’s not really a glare problem, but more of a decay issue. The treble can sound a little “slow” and this caused my issue with the treble. THIS is not an immensely noticeable problem, you have to tune in very carefully) Also, the bass doesn’t sound as defined as the mids or treble, it just wasn’t as tight or refined as the Concero. Impact was certainly there, just couldn’t hold it together well enough. Shame. Also felt a little lack of engagement compared to the Concero, but that doesn’t surprise me as the X-Sabre is a more polite sounding DAC. To add to the polite characteristic, it was a very smooth sounding DAC in many areas. If I had to generalize, the bass and treble is fairly flat and the mids is slightly brought down.

 

Conclusion with the X-Sabre + HE-500

With the HE-500, it sounded pretty darn good. The X-Sabre was definitely one of those DACs that are less dynamic and less intrusive. It is what I would call a pretty good representation of an “honest” sound without adding or taking away too many things to change the overall response too much. Sometimes I found the X-Sabre to sound a little dull, but that’s because it’s neutral in a sense where it accentuates very little.

 

HE-500 w/ Concero + Mjolnir (compared to the X-Sabre)

Running IIR Filter as it sounds the most pleasant with the HE-500. Also, I’m limited on time with the Mjolnir, LCD-3 and X-Sabre.

The X-Sabre seemed to match well with almost every headphone as it is a less intrusive and “universal” sounding product, but to my surprise the Concero and HE-500 matched just as well. The bass was definitely “better” with the Concero. It possesses a natural, slightly powerful attitude here. I wouldn’t call it forward, but it certainly sings more compared to the X-Sabre. Texture, impact and depth are other points where the Concero differs from the X-Sabre. It’s definitely a more engaging DAC, very different from the X-Sabre where it’s calmer. Midrange sounds more liquid and again, more engaging. Details is, give or take, on the same level as the X-Sabre, but the X-Sabre seems to do things more effortlessly while the Concero is having to keep up a little. Even though I had a slight issue with the X-Sabre where some songs had a minor (most likely insignificant in most conditions) glare in the mid-ish treble, the Concero has the tendency to be a tad sibilant at times. Other than that, tone and detail is still up to and exceeding standards. A little more energy than the X-Sabre causing it to sound a bit brighter, but again, it’s all to reasonable limits where it’s not intrusive in anyway, minus the slight sibilance. But to be honest, it’s fairly easy to distinguish the difference in sibilance because the X-Sabre has almost no sibilance issues whereas the added energy in the Concero brings sibilance to more audible levels, which makes complete sense.

 

Conclusion with the Concero + HE-500

I found the Concero and HE-500 to match very well together, but I did find the Mjolnir to sometimes make the HE-500 a little too shouty and full of energy. With a different amp, the HE-500 and Concero sounds remarkable together, specifically my modded EF-5 amp. But we’re talking about key differences here right? Think of it as this, the Concero is the slightly warmer and musical DAC whereas the X-Sabre is the more linear and “neutral” (whatever neutral really means in today’s society) DAC. The Concero has the more weighty bass, more liquid and engaging mids, and the more energetic treble. With this characteristic in the mids, the X-Sabre does sound a little more open, but that is mostly because the X-Sabre is one of the most unstressed sounding DACs I’ve heard. Quality throughout the entire spectrum is remarkable, comparable to the X-Sabre, and manages to add some music elements here and there making the HE-500 truly sing. Very pleased with my purchase of the Concero, I can see myself keeping it for a long time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAY 2

 

HD800 (Anax mod) w/ X-Sabre + Mjolnir (Compared to Concero)

With the HD800, I expected to find some things I couldn’t find with the HE-500 or the LCD-3 as the HD800 is quite the hyper resolving headphone, and up to expectations, I can add more with the HD800. Don’t get me wrong, the HE-500 is also a resolving and detailed headphone, but the HD800 is so much more detailed and punishes poor recordings. The main differences were in the soundstage and treble. With the soundstage, the X-Sabre sounded a touch wider and a touch more depth. The X-Sabre also retrieved micro-details and background sounds/cues better than the Concero, meaning the X-Sabre was the more detailed sounding DAC. This is interesting because with the HE-500, I thought they were pretty even, with the X-Sabre having a minimal edge over the Concero, but with the HD800 it became a little clearer on who was more detailed. To my surprise, the X-Sabre managed to sing better with the HD800 than with the HE-500, live Jazz recordings was very fun. Oh so smooth all around, and the treble was clearer as well.

 

Conclusion with the X-Sabre + HD800

More detailed and slightly better imaging and soundstage. Other than that, the X-Sabre can be seen as more “dead” sounding. Still has plenty of attack and definition, but just lacks some dynamic properties the Concero possesses.

 

HD800 (Anax mod) W/ Concero + Mjolnir (Compared to X-Sabre)

This is what I prefer. Right away, I love how the Concero (with the IIR filter) makes the HD800 smile more. Look at it this way, the Concero is that friend that constantly makes you smile and laugh while the X-Sabre is the reliable and honest friend. This is an extreme example, but in a sense, the Concero is more fun sounding than the X-Sabre. I primarily used Live Jazz when comparing the two with the HD800 and boy does the Concero bring musicality. Yes, the X-Sabre is slightly more detailed, but with that compromise, the Concero likes to sing more. It’s certainly a bit faster on its feet, and noticeably more energetic in almost every aspect. I truly enjoyed some Live in Paris with Diana Krall (Krall haters don’t hate...) as it kept giving me positive vibes. Fun fact, on S’Wonderful, around 0:25-0:26 it was the first time hearing a person cough with the HD800 (I don’t own the HD800) on both the Concero and X-Sabre. Was the treble slightly more sibilant than the X-Sabre like with the HE-500? Yes, still the same story, but strangely it wasn’t as noticeable. This COULD be because I did run the Concero all night again and maybe some burn-in helped it. But you know what? I don’t care. I just don’t care if the X-Sabre is more accurate sounding. The Concero is livelier and just expresses itself better in a musical way. This can be confused with the Concero being coloured, but remember, this is a DIRECT comparison compared to the X-Sabre and can be seen as magnified and multiplied.

 

Conclusion with the Concero + HD800

Loses to the X-Sabre in quality, but in compensation, the Concero is more fun. This doesn’t mean the Concero is lacking quality, just not AS detailed as the X-Sabre. Yes, the X-Sabre is smoother, but the Concero is no slouch as well. From the sounds of it, both the Concero and the X-Sabre works well with the HD800, but I’m sure a better synergy can be acquired with a different choice of amp. It’s hard to choose between the two, they both do so many things right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAY 3

 

There is no day 3. I had to return the Mjolnir and returned everything else at once to the rightful owner.

Sorry for no LCD-3 impressions. However, I did try the LCD-3 with both, but not enough to give detailed answers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

I'll try to make this nice and simple. If you absolutely need Balanced, DSD playback, and a super articulate and smooth DAC, get the X-Sabre. If you desire a lower cost DAC, want kick-ass performance that competes with high-end DACs EASILY, and a slightly more energetic sound compared to the X-Sabre with plenty of detail, get the Concero. The Concero impressed me IMMENSELY with its small footprint (REALLY small footprint) and big sound. Also, for $600... Wow... A genuine product product that's DEFINITELY worth buying @ the current MSRP... The X-Sabre impressed me with its overall smooth signature and beautiful looks. It's not an absolute steal at the current MSRP like the Concero, but it definitely holds up to its own. I find the Concero to be something that performs far greater than its initial thoughts based on price and looks. As an OVERALL DAC (every feature each DAC has to offer), the X-Sabre is the better product, but if it was my money, I would buy the Concero as I don't need Balanced and the Concero just sounds sweeter to me.


Edited by planx - 5/24/13 at 12:37am
post #644 of 1854

HAVING ISSUES WITH EDITING... PIX ARE TEMPORARILY GONE BECAUSE TECHNOLOGY IS A HASSLE. BE UP IN A MINUTE

post #645 of 1854
Thread Starter 

Wow, very nice write-up! I'll have to re-read it in the morning when I'm not so tired, but seems to gel with the way I hear it, at least for the most part. I'll add a link to my original post so more people can see these fine impressions.

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