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post #76 of 1885
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by burnspbesq View Post

I have to go to LA this afternoon, so before I pull the trigger on the Violectric, I might throw a laptop, the Concero, and my HD 800s into a backpack and go audition the Musical Fidelity M1.
 

 

Prepare to be disappointed - it sucks.

 

I'm kidding, but only partially. Yet I know a lot of people seemed to enjoy it, so maybe it's just me. I'll be curious to hear your thoughts. 

post #77 of 1885

I had the kid with me, so the M1 will have to wait.  We went record shopping at Amoeba in Hollywood instead.
 

post #78 of 1885
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by burnspbesq View Post

I had the kid with me, so the M1 will have to wait.  We went record shopping at Amoeba in Hollywood instead.
 

 

Good choice. 

post #79 of 1885

Hey guys, I've been perusing this thread for quite a while and would like to thank everyone for posting such great impressions. It really helps guys like me who don't really have the opportunities to try some of these products in person!

 

More to the point, I'm interested in DACs that would replace my current dac in my system (Xonar STX > DNA Sonett > HD650). One of the top contenders right now is the Concero which would give me a lot more utility now and in the future should I decide to move some components around. The only thing keeping me from ordering one right away is the fact that I haven't heard the DACs in the original post and therefore have no real basis of comparison. 

 

If anyone has heard the Concero with the HD650s and can comment on my main fear that most of the detail of the Concero will be lost in the warmth of my headphones (and that something more along the same route like the Yulong D18 mentioned in the original post would be for the best), then your opinion would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks in Advance!

post #80 of 1885
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ophan View Post

Hey guys, I've been perusing this thread for quite a while and would like to thank everyone for posting such great impressions. It really helps guys like me who don't really have the opportunities to try some of these products in person!

 

More to the point, I'm interested in DACs that would replace my current dac in my system (Xonar STX > DNA Sonett > HD650). One of the top contenders right now is the Concero which would give me a lot more utility now and in the future should I decide to move some components around. The only thing keeping me from ordering one right away is the fact that I haven't heard the DACs in the original post and therefore have no real basis of comparison. 

 

If anyone has heard the Concero with the HD650s and can comment on my main fear that most of the detail of the Concero will be lost in the warmth of my headphones (and that something more along the same route like the Yulong D18 mentioned in the original post would be for the best), then your opinion would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks in Advance!

 

With all the latest $1,000+ headphones out there, we tend to forget that the HD650 still sounds really good. It's definitely capable of showing the detail available from a good DAC. Go back a few years and that's mostly what people were using (along with DT880 and K701) with their various high-end DACs and CD players. 

 

I'd say Concero would be a better match in that system than the D18. Both are really great sounding DACs but Concero might fit better. D18 would be recommended if you had issues with brightness or peaky sound from your system. I'm guessing you don't, and so D18 might be too much of a good thing in terms of warmth and smoothness. Concero would be just the ticket in my opinion. 

post #81 of 1885

Hey project86, as someone who bought the Audinst HUD-MX1 and the M-Stage because of your great reviews (and love them!), I have been wondering what would be a natural source upgrade to keep that "Audinst-like" sound...

 

I had been leaning towards the D100, but now have been thinking hard about the Concero, especially because I don't need the extra inputs/outputs of the D100, and I think my HE-500 would really come to life with the increase in resolution, soundstage, etc. You mention in your review that the Concero is a natural upgrade to the D100, so would the Concero also be in the same "sound family" as the MX-1?

post #82 of 1885
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WestLander View Post

Hey project86, as someone who bought the Audinst HUD-MX1 and the M-Stage because of your great reviews (and love them!), I have been wondering what would be a natural source upgrade to keep that "Audinst-like" sound...

 

I had been leaning towards the D100, but now have been thinking hard about the Concero, especially because I don't need the extra inputs/outputs of the D100, and I think my HE-500 would really come to life with the increase in resolution, soundstage, etc. You mention in your review that the Concero is a natural upgrade to the D100, so would the Concero also be in the same "sound family" as the MX-1?

 

Yep, I think that would be ideal for you. I want to keep reiterating how good the D100 MKII is, because around here we tend to move on too quickly and pass over quality stuff because it is a few months old. However, in this case, the Concero is probably best for you since A) you don't need all the extra inputs, and B) you already have an external headphone amp. 

post #83 of 1885
Thanks a lot project86, I have about enough saved up for the D100 MKII right now, so I wanted to be sure I knew what kind of sound I'd be getting if I chose the Concero. I may end up getting the D100 anyway for its balanced output as I may want to go fully balanced later for the HE-500, and definitely go balanced if I upgrade to the HE-6.
post #84 of 1885

This thread has certainly piqued my interest for the Concero.  It almost completely goes against the grain in every way of what I traditionally look for in a DAC but I suppose the ear is the final judge.  The price is right about what I want to spend, seems to compete well with some traditional $1000 DACs and can be used as USB converter if I get a better DAC later on.  I just have to get over my self imposed mental block of it being essentially the same form factor as my current Schiit Modi.  I've been brainwashed by the Audio-GD "More is More" mentality biggrin.gif

 

All Kidding aside, I'll probably be picking one of these up in a few weeks, if for no other reason to hear the "hype" for myself.  Anything is possible though, I recently bought the K702 65th anniversary out of hype curiosity and it turned out to be true and one of my best purchases in a long time (Never warmed up to my old K701).

post #85 of 1885

Cool. Let us know if you like it.

 

At this point in time I think the Concero is actually quite under-hyped for what it offers for the money. 

post #86 of 1885
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Dangerous View Post


At this point in time I think the Concero is actually quite under-hyped for what it offers for the money. 

This.
post #87 of 1885
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Dangerous View Post

Cool. Let us know if you like it.

 

At this point in time I think the Concero is actually quite under-hyped for what it offers for the money. 

Your right, hype probably isn't the right word.  There's not a whole lot of people talking about this but the few that have, have highly praised it.  It's one of those things that's very easy to pre-judge on appearance and completely pass over.  I am guilty of this myself sometimes.  

 

I remember reading something awhile ago about the Concero briefly and thinking "Stripped down DAC based on core of Invictus, this could be interesting"  Upon further investigation, I saw ES9023, USB bus powered, consisting of only a few chips, and I immediately categorized this as an overpriced entry DAC trying to capitalize on the Resonessance name and Invictus reputation.  All this of course without hearing it myself or even taking the time to read any impressions.  I only made my way to this thread from a mention on the Nuwave thread.

 

Clearly, my prejudices are mistaken.  I'm guessing the Concero must contain very high quality clocks and lean heavily on the FPGA. I suspect the FPGA probably costs more than the DAC chip itself.  Not to mention, I think I remember reading the the Resonessence team consists of the same engineers who designed the Sabre DACs to begin with so I'm sure they know the ins and outs of it very well and how to optimally implement it for best performance.

 

The overall implementation reminds me of the Wadia 121 I briefly owned.  The Wadia uses the Sabre ES9018 and an Altera Cyclone FPGA to implement their own proprietary upsampling algorithms as well.  The end result sounded much better than the sum of it's modest parts.  Unfortunately the user interface frustrated me to no end and it had to part ways.

 

One comparison I'm curious about is with the Audiolab M-DAC.  It's another Sabre DAC with selectable filters and alot of tweak happy options.  It also has a "de-jittered" SPDIF output, though I suspect the Concero is probably better in this respect.  I don't think the M-DAC uses a separate DSP chip, at least that I know of.  Based on descriptions of both I read, I think I'd still prefer the Concero sound quality slightly.  Since the Wadia, I've become a big fan of quality signal pre processing with a good DSP chip.

post #88 of 1885
I just bought one about 10 minutes ago. It's priced right, not too expensive. Hopefully it's better than my 20 year old theta chroma 396!
Getting rid of my SB classic and going straight into my Mac. Fun.
post #89 of 1885
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JWahl View Post

 

I remember reading something awhile ago about the Concero briefly and thinking "Stripped down DAC based on core of Invictus, this could be interesting"  Upon further investigation, I saw ES9023, USB bus powered, consisting of only a few chips, and I immediately categorized this as an overpriced entry DAC trying to capitalize on the Resonessance name and Invictus reputation.  All this of course without hearing it myself or even taking the time to read any impressions.  I only made my way to this thread from a mention on the Nuwave thread.

 

Clearly, my prejudices are mistaken.  I'm guessing the Concero must contain very high quality clocks and lean heavily on the FPGA. I suspect the FPGA probably costs more than the DAC chip itself.  Not to mention, I think I remember reading the the Resonessence team consists of the same engineers who designed the Sabre DACs to begin with so I'm sure they know the ins and outs of it very well and how to optimally implement it for best performance.

 

 

 

 

I totally understand where you are coming from. Had I not heard the Concero for myself, I'm not sure I'd believe it either. The Peachtree DAC*iT is also surprisingly good, and I'm sure there are others. I tend to gravitate towards the "tried and true linear power supply with a big transformer" type of designs as well but obviously there are multiple roads a designer can take.

 

Regarding the bolded sentence - it's true Dustin Forman and Martin Mallinson were chiefly responsible for the Sabre DAC chips. Dustin is now with Resonessence, which is headed by Mark Mallinson, brother of Martin. So yes, there's likely to be more expertise there regarding the ESS chips than any other firm currently using them. 

post #90 of 1885
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

 

 

I totally understand where you are coming from. Had I not heard the Concero for myself, I'm not sure I'd believe it either. The Peachtree DAC*iT is also surprisingly good, and I'm sure there are others. I tend to gravitate towards the "tried and true linear power supply with a big transformer" type of designs as well but obviously there are multiple roads a designer can take.

 

Regarding the bolded sentence - it's true Dustin Forman and Martin Mallinson were chiefly responsible for the Sabre DAC chips. Dustin is now with Resonessence, which is headed by Mark Mallinson, brother of Martin. So yes, there's likely to be more expertise there regarding the ESS chips than any other firm currently using them. 

 

Same here. I was skeptical, especially after seeing the disassembled view of the innards (OMG, is that IT?!?). But I kept it just the same. It's a solid DAC for the money with a refreshing "less is more" aesthetic imbuing everything from the case to the manual to the sleek Apple remote. It deserves more popularity.

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