So I managed to get a Headstage Arrow 3G. How does it fare against the E12 when paired with the 40s? Here are my quick impressions.
- Ipod 5.5g Rockboxed --> Pure Silver LOD --> E12/Headstage Arrow 3G
- 320kpbs MP3s
- E12 --> 0db, Bass Boost On, No crossfeed
- Headstage Arrow 3g --> Bass 2, Cross 0, Gain 1, IMP 0
1.Ab Soul - Book of Soul :
The E12 manages to give a a full sound. The mids sing with this amp, great tonal balance all around. Bass sounds clean. Ab Souls voice a bit forward. Despite reports of the E12 closing soundstage, it remains unaffected. The Arrow pretty much sounds almost exactly the same, with the difference being the Bass set at 2 is more prominent.
2. Daft Punk - Digital Love:
Starting with Arrow, lots of detail and the Bass boost really kicks in when the beat drops. Layering is superb and sound is fast. E12 offers a bit bigger soundstage, but the vocals seem a touch recessed. When the beat drops. the E12 offers a cleaner bass drum. Layering is almost on par with the Arrow.
3. Stevie Wonder - My Cherie Amour
E12 showcases great balance and a big soundstage. Instrument separation and layering on point. The Arrow slightly closes the soundstage a bit, and the bass 2 setting allows a more prominent bass guitar. Setting it to bass 1, makes the bass just right.
4. Foo Fighters - Everlong
The Arrow, again, show cases the bass boost beautifully. The detail in the hi hats and drums sound great. Daves voice are smoothed over with the rest of the song. The E12 increases the soundstage and makes everything sound fuller. Imaging is superb with the E12, Dave's voice isn't smoothed over with the song but, rather plucked and placed right in the middle.
5. Bass Nectar - Empathy (Original Mix)
E12 showcases clean bass and tonal balance all around. Vocals a bit recessed in this track, but I feel like it's produced in this fashion on purpose. The Arrow however... PERFECT for this track. Awesome submersive bass and balance.
Conclusion: The Arrow is a feature packed amp and the bass boost is great when needed, but sometimes a bit overbearing with the rest of the song. Setting the bass boost to 1 with the Arrow I feel takes a bit too much bass off. The E12 on the other hand can produce bass very cleanly and accurately, while giving that punch. Both amps perform exceptionally well, with the Arrow showcasing it's strengths with it's bass and multiple features, with slightly forward mids, and the E12 having the better mids of the two, and the better soundstage. I feel that the synergy of the E12 + 40s with the Ipod 5.5g sounds best to my ears. Still contemplating what to do with the Arrow...