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Sonic Satori - HRT Levels the Field with the MicroStreamer - Page 6

post #76 of 917
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtruong34 View Post

@SlingBlade
My reference system consists of laptop USB->Audiophilleo 1 USB SPDIF converter->dcs 954 DAC.  The dcs 954 is the pro version of the dcs Elgar and originally sold for $7k+ so suffice it to say I've never tried running the Microstreamer as a DAC only up against the reference system.  It wouldn't even be a fair comparison and not expected to be.  I'm using the Microstreamer strictly as an office desktop headphone.
With that being said, I just bought an ifi audio iUSB power supply.  AlI can say is wow. The iUSB brings the Microstreamer's performance up a few notches and the improvements across the board are not subtle.  This is a highly recommended upgrade for the Microstreamer.

I understand somewhat what you are saying. But in one sense I don't get it. How is it that this puny amp/DAC combo can drive multi thousand$ Audeze LCD3's to induce eargasms in Mike on one hand but on the other the line out is merely "meh"? I've not heard the LCD3's but I assume that they are "good" HP's.

You see what I mean? Maybe there is hyperbole here that I'm simply not getting.

If the unit sounds good on HP's it ought to sound good through my loudspeakers. At least that makes sense to me. I know that impedance matching components can create synergy and without it a good component may sound crap in someone's system. Could that sort of thing be happening here? I'm sincerely asking.
post #77 of 917
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlingBlade View Post


I understand somewhat what you are saying. But in one sense I don't get it. How is it that this puny amp/DAC combo can drive multi thousand$ Audeze LCD3's to induce eargasms in Mike on one hand but on the other the line out is merely "meh"? I've not heard the LCD3's but I assume that they are "good" HP's.

You see what I mean? Maybe there is hyperbole here that I'm simply not getting.

If the unit sounds good on HP's it ought to sound good through my loudspeakers. At least that makes sense to me. I know that impedance matching components can create synergy and without it a good component may sound crap in someone's system. Could that sort of thing be happening here? I'm sincerely asking.

Anything is possible SlingBlade (I f---in love that film btw).  I was more surprised than anyone, trust me, when I enjoyed the combo of this tiny aluminum stick and my LCD3's! I had a Dragonfly for a long time at that point - and I'm a fan of that piece, it merely drove my LCD3's to satisfaction: It didn't excite me - that combo.

 

I tried my LCD3's and the microStreamer because we were packing for a trip in the midst of writing that review (and others, I'm constantly keeping notes on stuff I'm listening to) and I didn't want to bring anything bigger (but ended up bringing my ALO RxMK-B anyway, LOL).  I was so blown away I never expected anybody to get that strictly based on my words.  But the synergy of those two components just clicked for me, and when I listen to music through it it still gives me chills.  But we're all different people.  Which id why I always recommend a personal demo of anything I write about.  You may not like the voicing of the DAC.  It may not insight passion in you like it does me, and that's gonna happen sometimes no matter what.  Fortunately many people are enjoying their microStreamers - and I was also psyched to see Steve (Guttenberg) and my friends at The Absolute Sound also enjoyed the little sonic wonder.

 

BTW: I never honestly gave the line-out as much time as the headphone amp section - because when I hooked it up to my office reference system (a nice modest system - vintage Cary SLA-70 tube amp and Burson Conductor as line-stage, System Audio SA2K Master two-ways) and my main reference system - it sounded like most of Kevin Halverson's DACs: Musical and engaging!  But to be honest, I didn't see the magic in that portion of the product really.  That is not to say I didn't like it's sonic pairing - I did.  But it did not excite me like the headphone amp.  I saw the magic in the DAC/headphone amp function - whether driving my LCD3's, JH Audio JH-13 Freqphase, Senn HD 25-1 IIs, or Grado SR80s (and now others I've tried - but it doesn't drive my Sennn HD800's to their sparke point either).  And all this from the guy that just saved for the last nine months to by myself the E.A.R HP4 tube headphone amp for my LCD3's and HD800's.  Now I can't wait to hear the ALO StudioSix again - but I'm listening to this 6k headphone amp as my top reference (alongside the Conductor and Ray Samuels The Darkstar - which I thoroughly enjoy and reviews coming soon) - and I'm still rocked by the microStreamer.

 

Now I've been very fortunate, having learned under Harry Pearson, and I don't take the responsibility of writing about this stuff lightly - I put my heart and soul into every piece I write.  When I see people comment publicly that they bought a component based on a review of mine - it scares the crap out of me to be brutally honest!  But while I'm 38, I've been a young man in an old mans industry for years in high end audio and I'm just excited that I'm having so much fun exploring high performance personal audio!  I love Jude - he's been my headphone guru for years and a great friend - and so I also take that seriously - not to mention how much I've learned from all you guys!!

 

So, sorry for the interweb soliloquy, but there are tons of reason you maybe experiencing what you're hearing.

Mytek introduced a similar product recently I heard in Munich - can't wait to hear that!  Maybe that would be the ticket for ya,

you never know right?

 

having so much fun lately...

post #78 of 917
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaywillin View Post


an update to my comment above:

i'm learning something here, what i've learned in this particular instance is first impressions can be somewhat misleading at times.

after more time has passed since this post, and going back and forth between the eo9k, and using the microstreamers headphone output,

i realize i was mainly just hearing a difference in sound, not necessarily better sound.

the fiio maybe did add a little extra weight to what i was listening to, but it also added a slight veil maybe, i'm not sure,

i just noticed after spending more time with both, i actually preferred using just the microstreamer !

the fiio is a great product, i just like what i'm hearing straight out of the hrt better.

i'd still like to find a dedicated headphone amp, i'm looking at the ifi ican, and the schiit asgard 2, or maybe some tubes.

it could be possible that there may not be anything in the $200-$300 range that can beat just the microstreamer ,

i'm open to any suggestions !

I am currently evaluating the iFi iCAN - and its musical, very clean (dead quiet), dynamic, and a blast to listen to.  If this thing

had their iDAC built-in it would be a serious giant-killer.  I also actually prefer it w/ their "3D" imaging engaged (but only all the way,

halfway seems to suck out the midrange) and having the bass settings are GREAT.  

post #79 of 917
Thanks for that reply, Mike. Since the cost of entry is pretty low and very little risk is involved I'll probably just get it and try it out.

Your review pretty much sucked me into it. 😁
post #80 of 917
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlingBlade View Post


I understand somewhat what you are saying. But in one sense I don't get it. How is it that this puny amp/DAC combo can drive multi thousand$ Audeze LCD3's to induce eargasms in Mike on one hand but on the other the line out is merely "meh"? I've not heard the LCD3's but I assume that they are "good" HP's.

You see what I mean? Maybe there is hyperbole here that I'm simply not getting.

If the unit sounds good on HP's it ought to sound good through my loudspeakers. At least that makes sense to me. I know that impedance matching components can create synergy and without it a good component may sound crap in someone's system. Could that sort of thing be happening here? I'm sincerely asking.


Sorry, I forgot to mention that my reference system is based on a TVC passive preamp and it would have been unfair to subject the Microstreamer to the probable mismatch. No disrespect to SlingBlade's question was intended and my response was merely based on conjecture - that the MS however good could not and should not be expected to compete with multi-thousand $$$ systems.  But then again, there are many unexpected surprises in this hobby and if it turns out that someone can confirm that we have a small miracle on our hands, I'll happily pocket the extra cash after selling off my system.  :-)

post #81 of 917
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtruong34 View Post

@SlingBlade
With that being said, I just bought an ifi audio iUSB power supply.  AlI can say is wow. The iUSB brings the Microstreamer's performance up a few notches and the improvements across the board are not subtle.  This is a highly recommended upgrade for the Microstreamer.

@mtruong34 Could you please expand on what improvements you are actually hearing? More detail, dynamics, tighter bass, cleaner highs? More prat? I like the concept of the iusb.
post #82 of 917
@mtruong34 your informed experience and opinions are certainly appreciated. Anyone who takes the time and energy to give from that is a generous soul, IMO.

I guess this whole hobby is a journey of discovery. That can be enjoyable when the search can be made while already in possession of a good system. I'm feeling a certain urgency as my current DAC is broken and all I've got is the LOD from my iphone. 😢It would be great if this little marvel could pack the all around burden for my needs.
post #83 of 917
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlingBlade View Post


@mtruong34 Could you please expand on what improvements you are actually hearing? More detail, dynamics, tighter bass, cleaner highs? More prat? I like the concept of the iusb.


Erik,

I'm not a professional reviewer so it's hard for me to put the sounds I am hearing into technical jargon.  But I shall try.  As far as I can tell, everything that is good about the Microstreamer is improved to varying degrees.  Slightly more dynamic. A little bit more detail and holographic presentation.  The biggest improvement that I can detect is cleaner highs.  The way I came to this observation was switching from my very good Blox TM7 earbuds to Westone 4 IEM's.  The Blox tend to make everything sound good; the Westone are more revealing.  Therefore, I could more readily detect a cleanup in the highs with the iUSB when A/B'ing between the Blox and Westone both with and without the iUSB.

 

@Mike Mercer, if you are really enjoying the MS as much as you are, I hope you get a chance to hear it with the iUSB.

post #84 of 917
@mtruong34

Thanks!
post #85 of 917
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtruong34 View Post


Erik,

I'm not a professional reviewer so it's hard for me to put the sounds I am hearing into technical jargon.  But I shall try.  As far as I can tell, everything that is good about the Microstreamer is improved to varying degrees.  Slightly more dynamic. A little bit more detail and holographic presentation.  The biggest improvement that I can detect is cleaner highs.  The way I came to this observation was switching from my very good Blox TM7 earbuds to Westone 4 IEM's.  The Blox tend to make everything sound good; the Westone are more revealing.  Therefore, I could more readily detect a cleanup in the highs with the iUSB when A/B'ing between the Blox and Westone both with and without the iUSB.

 

@Mike Mercer, if you are really enjoying the MS as much as you are, I hope you get a chance to hear it with the iUSB.

I bought an iFi iUSB power plant awhile ago - and YES!  That little thing does wonders with certain components for sure!

 

I'm currently using it in my main reference system - but I'm going to try it w/ the rest of my personal audio rigs too.

I tried w/ my CEntrance DACport LX, per the request of another Head-Fier via PM - and it lowered the noisefloor considerably -  dimensionality suddenly POPPED - and there was more air than I had before.

 

I'll give it a shot w/ the microStreamer @SlingBlade!

I just got word I should have the HRT Streamer HD soon (can't wait to go balanced into my E.A.R HP4)!

 

oh - and guys!

I tried my V-MODA Crossfade M-100's with the microStreamer last night (MacBook/Amarra as source)

- and for electronic music - BANG!  It's a to-die-for combo when listening to the new Daft Punk!

post #86 of 917
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemercer View Post

oh - and guys!

I tried my V-MODA Crossfade M-100's with the microStreamer last night (MacBook/Amarra as source)

- and for electronic music - BANG!  It's a to-die-for combo when listening to the new Daft Punk!

 

Amen to that. I have the same setup.

post #87 of 917
Quote:
Originally Posted by donunus View Post

Has anyone compared the microstreamer side by side with the modi yet?


not side by side, but i currently have the modi. as i said earlier, i'm learning as i go.

between the magni, and the fiio, i settled on the eo9k, side by side, they both sound great, the magni

maybe just a tad more clarity, but as i listen to my speakers a lot, i chose flexibility.

i have the modi now, instead of the microstreamer. the modi is great.

just based purely on sound with headphones, i think the hrt is better

its more dynamic, clear, shimmery top end, not harsh

now the combination of the e9 and the modi is a very close second,

and with some music, recordings, it could be better

if one area the fiio/modi does do better i'd pick soundstage, but that might be it

if i just wanted an all in one for headphones, the hrt would be the one i'd pick.

there's something about it thats just so right.

it always comes down to trade off if you have to stay within a budget.

i had to make some concession to convenience , i wish i didn't have to

if i get a chance to get another amp/dac, it'd be the streamer,

after i returned it, i had retuners remorse ! but the fiio/modi will do for now

post #88 of 917

Thanks Jaywillin. The thing that I fear is that the amp portion on the microstreamer is not going to be enough for rocking out at "club levels" volumewise. 

post #89 of 917
Quote:
Originally Posted by donunus View Post

Thanks Jaywillin. The thing that I fear is that the amp portion on the microstreamer is not going to be enough for rocking out at "club levels" volumewise. 


that wasn't a problem for me, it got louder than i could stand with grado's, may depend on your cans, michael would probably be able to answer better

post #90 of 917
@mikemercer or others:
Microstreamer vs CEntrance DACport?
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