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Speaker amps for headphones - Page 76

post #1126 of 3116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by commtrd View Post

I think people will defend their purchase decisions as validation that they are "correct" and that tends to matter as much as the sonic performance of the device. I own a Mjolnir and while I think it sounds very nice with the LCD3s, I am really curious about the Odyssey Cyclops amp and most especially paired with the MSB dac. Unfortunately there was other things that needed immediate attention so it will be a while till I can get a Cyclops amp and will try it with the Gungnir dac to start with. Until then I would never claim the amp I have is the best there is only that it sounds pretty good and was a good start to enter the world of headphone musical reproduction. If I am going to spend a fairly substantial sum for an amp I would like for it to be able to drive some speakers also.

I don't think you'll need to spend MSB-scale money to appreciate the Cyclops (or Khartago if you don't need volume control).  In fact, for those kind of bucks (nearly $50K for the top of the line MSB diamond model with all of the upgrades) I would look very hard for the perfect amplification match, ignoring cost completely, since there's absolutely no point in compromising on the amp if the rest of the chain costs as much as a luxury car.  I heard a huge difference between the MJ and Cyclops using a $200 Emotiva DAC.  I am anxious to hear how good it will sound with the DAC's available for about 10-12X what I paid for the Emo, but that will have to wait until next summer, when I hope to have recovered from multiple large expenses that I am being forced to absorb this fall.   


I was looking at a MSB dac priced at around 5k... But to start with just use my Gungnir dac with the Cyclops to see the difference in the amps alone.
post #1127 of 3116

I didn't see any of MSB's platinum DACs for that cheap (the analog DAC was $7K), but even $5K is a lot of money. 

 

You have the right idea of trying the Cyclops with the Gungir first.  After that, I would recommend trying a bunch of the mid-range DACs that have free returns (Benchmark and Emotiva, plus I'm sure there are others).  If you have a local hifi shop or at least a distributor you might be able to get demo/returnable DACs of various prices from them too.  Then you can decide if you think any of those DACs -- from cheap to extremely expensive, are making the Cyclops sound better to you. 

 

As I've said, the Cyclops sounds much better to me than the MJ using my $200 Emotiva DAC (the equivalent Emo available now is $400), stock LCD-3 cables and speaker taps made out of plain microphone wire.  I know you are hesitant about plunking down $1300 for the amp, but there's really very little risk.  If you don't like the Cyclops, Klaus will take it back and return your money.  Unlike Schiit, there's no restocking fee.  You'd have to pay for return shipping, but that's cheaper than cables, and waaaaaayyyy cheaper than an MSB DAC. 

 

Of course I already chose the Cyclops over the MJ, so take my advice with a grain of salt -- in fact, take EVERYBODY'S advice with a grain of salt!!!!.  Nobody can tell you what will sound best to you.  You have to try stuff yourself, which is why I look for hardware that is easily (and cheaply) returnable. 

post #1128 of 3116
Quote:
Originally Posted by commtrd View Post


I was looking at a MSB dac priced at around 5k... But to start with just use my Gungnir dac with the Cyclops to see the difference in the amps alone.

 

Used?  On the "Gon"?

post #1129 of 3116

That could be, and there are a couple up on Audiogon, one is a DAC III for $5K, another is an analog for $6K. 

 

Maybe I'm just old and cheap and hate selling stuff (no "maybe" about any of that, to be honest), but that's an awful lot of money to plunk down on used hardware that you've never had a chance to audition in your system and is not easily re-sold, since the number of people who are willing to put that kind of money into a DAC is pretty small... and if they can afford $5K or $6K for a used DAC, it seems they can probably afford $8K for a new one.  But of course, everybody gets to choose how they spend their own bucks.

post #1130 of 3116
I like your strategy, Gary. I've taken several hard hits to the wallet just buying gear to audition, then reselling it because it can't be returned.

But even when the maker offers a trial period return with no restocking fee, they can give you the third degree as to why you want to return it and look for excuses even after receiving it from you without a single complaint regarding its condition, then stall, before refunding. (i.e. HiFiMan, with my return of the HM-801... Having returned it 15 days into a 30-day trial, where 12 days of ridiculous email exchange followed their signature confirmation of receipt before my PayPal account was finally credited. How many times can they respond "Your refund will be applied within two days?" Answer: More than once. How many irrelevant questions can they ask, while stalling? Answer: As many as they want.)

There is, however one advantage to buying used gear from a Head-Fi member with a good feedback rating and many posts: It's pretty easy to not get ripped off, take your time auditioning it, then resell the item several weeks later at the same price you paid for it. (And if you paid shipping originally, you can sell it with the cost of shipping not included.) But, I hear you on not enjoying the whole process of selling stuff. It requires a lot of patience. I much prefer buying, as well. :-)

Here's another DAC to consider testing: the Wyred4Sound DAC2.

http://www.avguide.com/review/wyred-4-sound-dac-2-digital-analog-converter-tas-210

I don't know if they offer a trial period return. (Buy it used and take your time.)

Mike
post #1131 of 3116

Mike:

 

While Hifiman might have been a pain to deal with for you, Emotiva and Schiit were great in the dealings I had with them -- truly no-questions-asked returns and quick refunds.  The same with anything I've bought from Amazon. 

 

I didn't return anything to TBI or Odyssey except a resistor box that Jan Plummer replaced, but I also can't believe that Jan or Klaus Bunge would give anybody a hard time about returns.  If you don't want it, they don't want you to have it.  That's really the attitude that most niche hifi manufacturers are going to have to have to stay alive these days, when a bad reputation can spread so fast on the internet, whether deserved or not, and can put a small business out of business pretty quickly. 

 

It could be that I'm just a bad salesman, but I really have a hard time selling stuff.  My truly mint T1s have been up in the FS forum for weeks, and all I get are offers to trade, which is just other people trying to unload stuff they couldn't return or sell either!  I know these swaps are fun for some people, much like like yard and estate sales.  Some folks find incredible bargains, but I just don't have the patience for it, and so don't enjoy it very much. 

 

I'll add Wyred-4-Sound to the list... at some point I'll probably have to cull to a reasonable number, but I'm a long way from making any decisions.

 

Gary

post #1132 of 3116

Gary,

 

I admit that my recent experience with HiFiMan was unique, and in the end, it was not as painful as you might imagine from what I wrote, above - as truthful as that account is - they just tried my patience, and then some.

 

I've had great experiences returning gear to Amazon, of course (including the plastic-bodied (not aluminum, as described)  TASCAM DR-100 recorder), but also with iBasso (returning a DB2 Boomslang2 portable balanced DAC, all the way back to China), with JDS Labs (returning an Objective DAC with 15% restocking fee), and others.  

 

So, I still think your strategy works well, overall.  And yes, it's a lot easier not having to sell anything at all.  :D

 

Mike

post #1133 of 3116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post
 

... snip ..

I didn't return anything to TBI or Odyssey except a resistor box that Jan Plummer replaced, but I also can't believe that Jan or Klaus Bunge would give anybody a hard time about returns.  If you don't want it, they don't want you to have it.  That's really the attitude that most niche hifi manufacturers are going to have to have to stay alive these days, when a bad reputation can spread so fast on the internet, whether deserved or not, and can put a small business out of business pretty quickly. 

 

It could be that I'm just a bad salesman, but I really have a hard time selling stuff. ...snip....

 

Gary

I don't enjoy selling stuff, either.  Must be getting old.  Didn't used to mind it at all.  Not so much, any more.  Jan was great about the MG3 return.  Need to put up a mini-x and a Little Dot but they just sit on the shelf, waiting for their moment in front of the camera.

post #1134 of 3116

See, if this stuff was really advanced technology, those amps would take pictures of each other and sell themselves...

post #1135 of 3116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post
 

See, if this stuff was really advanced technology, those amps would take pictures of each other and sell themselves...

Don't be silly. They already take pictures of YOU and send em off to the NSA.:wink_face:

post #1136 of 3116

Hmmm... that actually explains a few things...

 

Though no worries now, the Govt is shut down... (I get at least one day, probably more, of unpaid vacation).

post #1137 of 3116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post
 

Hmmm... that actually explains a few things...

 

Though no worries now, the Govt is shut down... (I get at least one day, probably more, of unpaid vacation).

Ouch. Not sure shutting down a government is a good idea. Tried it up here about 25 years back and managed to get themselves voted out of office, pronto.

post #1138 of 3116

Actually, it was about 17 years ago... I got to be a part of that one too.  Not fun.  Here's hoping it doesn't last long, since I can't buy any more toys if I don't have any income.


Edited by Gary in MD - 9/30/13 at 10:12pm
post #1139 of 3116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post
 

Actually, it was about 19 years ago... I got to be a part of that one too.  Not fun.  Here's hoping it doesn't last long, since I can't buy any more toys if I don't have any income.

 

 

Yeah, funny how that works. It's what kept me off the Alpha Dog preorder list. Well that and the fact I'm overrun with headphones and IEMs as it is.

post #1140 of 3116

Keep the lights on.  The little suckers don't procreate as much when they think somebody's watching.

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