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Bakoon HPA-21 headphone amplifier - Page 15

post #211 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by CanDude View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by archeryc View Post

Guys I wanna have a vote! Using the Bakoon to drive LCD3, would you guys prefer low gain or high gain?
I don't know but on the HD800 it was better to use Low, on the Sony MDR-R10 and Grado PS1000 - High. It is simple - you choose current gain, so the more impedance, the higher voltage and volume produced by the transducers with more current flowing.
Quote:
I personally could not hear the difference except the sound volume... wink.gif
I could, and more funny thing is that the Gain switch affected the Voltage output but in terms of SQ only and just slightly. It correlated with what I prefered from the Current output. The Sonys and the Grados sounded a bit off on the Low setting, while on the Sennheisers it made a bit more sense. The differences where slight but noticeable. The Current output is a classic showcase of what low damping factor does. It's a matter of preference or experience with live sound, whether you like it or not. I don't but some headphones like Sony MDR-R10 are not susceptible to the damping factor. Others, with an impedance bump in the bass region, will have more bass. Most headphones start to sound slower but I know it doesn't matter for some. For me the speed is of high value. That's why I can listen to the PS1000 straight after the MDR-R10 while there is a problem with coming back to the HD800.
Edited by majkel - 10/18/13 at 11:07am

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post #212 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by majkel View Post

I don't know but on the HD800 it was better to use Low, on the Sony MDR-R10 and Grado PS1000 - High. It is simple - you choose current gain, so the more impedance, the higher voltage and volume produced by the transducers with more current flowing.
I could, and more funny thing is that the Gain switch affected the Voltage output but in terms of SQ only and just slightly. It correlated with what I prefered from the Current output. The Sonys and the Grados sounded a bit off on the Low setting, while on the Sennheisers it made a bit more sense. The differences where slight but noticeable. The Current output is a classic showcase of what low damping factor does. It's a matter of preference or experience with live sound, whether you like it or not. I don't but some headphones like Sony MDR-R10 are not susceptible to the damping factor. Others, with an impedance bump in the bass region, will have more bass. Most headphones start to sound slower but I know it doesn't matter for some. For me the speed is of high value. That's why I can listen to the PS1000 straight after the MDR-R10 while there is a problem with coming back to the HD800.

Thanks for sharing your great experience! So in your opinion the current output drive PS1000 sounds good? Do you satisfy the sound of HD800 being drive under the current output? smily_headphones1.gif
post #213 of 438
No, I don't like the PS1000 from the Current output as it emphasizes their bass and spoils PRAT but I understand why some people prefer this output for the HD800. They get a bit more euphonic due to bigger and rounder bass but less texture. This kind of smoothing helps with sources providing not the best sound quality. For me the Voltage output is the right choice for any headphone but there might be some that won't get worse from the current output.
post #214 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by majkel View Post

No, I don't like the PS1000 from the Current output as it emphasizes their bass and spoils PRAT but I understand why some people prefer this output for the HD800. They get a bit more euphonic due to bigger and rounder bass but less texture. This kind of smoothing helps with sources providing not the best sound quality. For me the Voltage output is the right choice for any headphone but there might be some that won't get worse from the current output.

Thanks for the reply!

But the current output is Bakoon's innovation... The voltage output does not sound better than the current out from my LCD3, did not compare the HD800 tho.

But this amp truly design for LCD3 from the current output IMO. I never heard such clean, transparent and airy sound from LCD3. With the silver widow cable makes it even more neutral. I think I will just keep this combo forever... wink.gif

I wish to hear more reviews of the LCD3 with Bakoon. Welcome to share your experience if you heard them, as I need to hear other people's thoughts on this combo, then compare with mine. smily_headphones1.gif
post #215 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by archeryc View Post


Thanks for the reply!

But the current output is Bakoon's innovation... The voltage output does not sound better than the current out from my LCD3, did not compare the HD800 tho.

I wish to hear more reviews of the LCD3 with Bakoon. Welcome to share your experience if you heard them, as I need to hear other people's thoughts on this combo, then compare with mine. smily_headphones1.gif

 

I fully agree. The special thing is the Current Output! I prefer the current out (low gain) for my LCD-2 (and 3 when I had it). It's so smooth compared to the the more aggressive voltage out (which I don't find that special tbh, I'll have the V200 any day over the Voltage out). I'll try the HE-500 later, haven't done that yet.

post #216 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrainferno View Post

I fully agree. The special thing is the Current Output! I prefer the current out (low gain) for my LCD-2 (and 3 when I had it). It's so smooth compared to the the more aggressive voltage out (which I don't find that special tbh, I'll have the V200 any day over the Voltage out). I'll try the HE-500 later, haven't done that yet.

Wouldn't the volume too small when you listening to the LCD3? I think high gain sounds better for the LCD3. Just because the low gain is too small on volume.

Keep adjusting the volume wheel to keep increasing the volume might also have distortion on the sound, correct me if I'm wrong. smily_headphones1.gif
post #217 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by archeryc View Post


Wouldn't the volume too small when you listening to the LCD3? I think high gain sounds better for the LCD3. Just because the low gain is too small on volume.

Keep adjusting the volume wheel to keep increasing the volume might also have distortion on the sound, correct me if I'm wrong. smily_headphones1.gif

 

Yes, with LCD volume goes up half or so, but it also depends on your source. I don't listen too loud so I have all the room I need with the volume control. I am not a fan of high gain at all, on any amp.

I don't think the Bakoon will distort when increasing the volume, it's been engineered correctly and I haven't noticed it one bit. (distortion at this price level wouldn't be acceptable)

post #218 of 438

Might the current-mode suit orthos since they are more or less purely resistive loads, while dynamics are reactive? That would make sense and joins up with what majkel says.

post #219 of 438

I have to say the only Dynamic I tried with the Bakoon is the Philips L2, and I prefered that one on the current out too. I'll test more Dynamics over the next few weeks, but I mainly got it for my ortho's after hearing it at a show.

post #220 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrainferno View Post

I have to say the only Dynamic I tried with the Bakoon is the Philips L2, and I prefered that one on the current out too. I'll test more Dynamics over the next few weeks, but I mainly got it for my ortho's after hearing it at a show.

Please test the HD800 and let us know what your thought is. XD

Also what's the different between high gain and low gain of amps in your opinion? I could only noticed the volume difference. LOL
post #221 of 438
I made an earlier post assuming that the sound of the Bakoon wouldn't be for me. Well, I had the HPA-21 for a week-long audition, and I take everything back. It's probably the best solid-state amp I've heard.

It's a wonderful amp with the Fostex TH900. A lot of reviews talk about linearity and neutrality of it's presentation, but I think it's actually slight U-shaped. Clearly a solid-state type of sound, but not as up-front or in-yer-face as a Burson Soloist, for example.

Also had a LCD-3 (loaner) to try out, and it sounded great. On the TH900 however, the HPA-21 was simply magnificent. It retained the TH900's bass impact and probably brought out a bit more bass layering. Also moved the mids forward a tad and controlled treble effortlessly. Lots of detail and 'sparkle' but never overpowering (I'm allergic to brightness).

Most impressive was the depth it added to the soundstage. I often find that many headphones with ultra-wide soundstages tend to sound a tad aloof and impersonal for my tastes (HD800 or HE-6 being the prime culprits), which is why I like the balance between intimacy and imaging that the Fostex and Audeze headphones provide. The HPA-21 kept those qualities but gave the sound more depth, particularly the midrange. In the TH900's case, it also added a bit of weight to the upper mids which I found most pleasing.

Then there's the sheer detail presented. I use a pretty humble Bladelius USB DAC, which isn't the most resolving thing in the world, but (in my opinion) produces a very organic, analog sound. I'm not really a stickler for outright resolution. On the Bakoon however, it was downright shocking how much more detail I heard compared to other amps, whether less expensive Bursons or the Violectric V200, or even against pricier more-money-than-sense brands (I'm not mentioning names). Also equally shocking was how musical it all sounded without much added colouration. Some amps tend to fight the headphones in terms of sound signature, and you're usually stuck with one side winning out, or worse, a compromise between the two EQs that adds a veil on top of the music. The LCD-3 and TH900 are already quite coloured in terms of their respective house sounds, so in this case the Bakoon presenting extra detail without much colouration was quite pleasing, but it's best quality was that it never once attempted to 'neutralize' either headphone's natural EQ.

I've not had an opportunity to try out the JDM Bakoons or the much-loved GS-X mk2 yet, but I have tried some other supposedly high-end $5K+ amps, and I don't remember them (again, not going to mention the brand names, cos some people might get angsty) sounding as good as what the Bakoon's current output provided. This Akira Nagai chap is clearly on to something. The HPA-21 is currently on top of my want list, though I still really hope to have a go with the Headamp GS-X mk2 one day.

Haven't made a concrete decision yet, but I've started saving money nonetheless.
Edited by kurochin - 11/8/13 at 10:33am
post #222 of 438
Thanks for your great review! smily_headphones1.gif

Have you heard about the HD800 with the Bakoon yet? How do you feel? Do you prefer the TH900 or HD800 in your opinion?
post #223 of 438
I'm not the biggest fan of the HD800, to be frank. I respect what it can do on a technical level, but in terms of musicality, I find it rather cold and insipid. Didn't have the opportunity to hear a HD800 with the Bakoon, but I suspect my opinion towards the headphones would be no different. I'd much prefer a strong tubey sound if I were using the HD800, but that's just my preference. Like I stated earlier, I'm not a stickler for outright resolution. Btw, I edited the previous post a bit, so you might want to read it again.
Edited by kurochin - 11/7/13 at 5:34am
post #224 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by archeryc View Post

Thanks for your great review! smily_headphones1.gif

Have you heard about the HD800 with the Bakoon yet? How do you feel? Do you prefer the TH900 or HD800 in your opinion?
I've heard such combination a couple of times with various sources. The conclusion is simple - you have to like this kind of presentation. The Bakoon pushes the Senn's towards the "ortho" kind of presentation, more juicy while less airy, especially from the current output. Either you want it, or you don't. I wouldn't because for such kind of presentation you'd better bought other headphones and the TH900 come to mind, so I am not a hint surprised that these paired with the HPA21 well.
As I reported some thoughts a couple of weeks ago, I have to correct some of them as the amplifier probably burnt-in in the mean time. First of all, it lost a bit of synergy with my PS1000, going towards more bland presentation but I finally appreciated the current output with the Denon's AH-D7100. It just sounded as it had to and how I've always liked it in my system. The Denons are another 'phones that I would recommend for this amp besides the TH900.
post #225 of 438
Sub'd

Would really like to see how this competes against the GS-X Mk2.
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