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Creek OBH 21SE - Page 2

post #16 of 65
Quote:
Originally posted by fewtch
Argument? This is purely a classic case of "defending your choice" -- as if insulting your amp of choice was insulting *you*. So absurd and childish as to be laughable. Do yourself a favor, get out of your rut and audition a few of the more recent, high quality amps (the Headsave or JMTAudio models are a good starting point, imo).
It's my understanding that telling someone to "go get stuffed" is an insult.

Look--I've never once contended that there aren't far better amps out there than the OBH-11. But I will gladly challenge viewpoints that I think are grossly exaggerated and misleading. And calling this amp a "POS" surely counts as a gross exaggeration. If none of what I said above is sufficient to challenge that assessment, then I am vanquished. I will promptly track down the first Headsave I can get my hands on, as I'm sure it will "wipe the floor with," "kick the *ss of," "chomp to bits and spit back out," etc., my lowly Creek.
post #17 of 65
Quote:
Originally posted by prisoner #6
Look--I've never once contended that there aren't far better amps out there than the OBH-11. But I will gladly challenge viewpoints that I think are grossly exaggerated and misleading. And calling this amp a "POS" surely counts as a gross exaggeration.
Sorry, but in my mind an intermod distortion figure of 0.3% is horrendous (-55dB at the first harmonic!). So is a 1.75dB bass peak at 75 Hz. So is the utterly lousy, cheapie unregulated OBH-1 wall wart. The overall quality of parts and design is no better (and possibly worse than) what's connected to the headphone jack on a $100 standalone DVD player, or a cheap PCDP. However, if this is quality to you then again, more power to you. I understand the budget audio thing (my gear ain't exactly mount everest type stuff) but anyone can do better than the OBH-11 with all the quality DIY stuff out there.
post #18 of 65
Newmanoc,

What I remember is that the Creek OBH-11's guts looked really bad. The parts were all misaligned like they were assembled by a monkey. But the OBH-21 looked very neat and orderly under the hood, though only commercial photos of the OBH-21's circuitry were posted. Perhaps you could open that OBH-21 SE unit you got there and post photos for us? We would very much appreciate it.

Cheers,
Alex
post #19 of 65
Newmanoc,

If you perchance are considering the Perreaux, it is noteworthy that it's price has increased considerably. There's been a U$ 300.00 price hike! I had not paid much attention to a thread regarding this matter but everyone is saying it's just not worth the money anymore.

Cheers,
Alex
post #20 of 65

I Agree with Fewtch

I was one of the few who defended the OBH-11, as I really enjoyed its sound, especially with the HD580 (that was before I had heard any other headphone amps). Once I replaced the OBH-1 with the OBH-2, I noticed a huge increase in bass quantity and quality and a huge decrease in graininess. I thought "there is no way it could get any better." I was alarmed when so many informed members (Hirsch, PinkFloyd) warned of the poor sound and even worse build quality of the OBH-11. After I returned from my first meet and after listening to modern amps I realized that the OBH-11 was indeed quite terrible. Yes, before the advent of DIY headamps and before people really became discerning headphone enthusiast the OBH-11 was a decent solution (it was one of the only solutions for those without a built-in headphone output). There is simply no need to even consider the OBH-11 now, even with an upgraded power supply. The graininess and lack of true details really becomes apparent when compared to such low-cost amps as a $100 META42. When one hears REAL bass from amps like the PIMETA, PPA, XP-7, HA-1 MkII, etc. one understands how dated the OBH-11 really is. I purchased mine before being aware of Head-Fi's existence (and thus before learning of the other amp choices), and I don't regret it because I now understand just how much progress has been made in the world of headphone amplification. Buying an OBH-11 now is simply wasting money, IMO.
post #21 of 65
Neil,

The question that remains unanswered regards the newer OBH-21/21SE models. Are the newer Creeks a waste of money? Of course, I can bet any well built DIY design will sound better than the newer Creeks one way or the other, but would getting an OBH-21 be a waste of money?

Cheers,
Alex
post #22 of 65
Thread Starter 
Okay, time to wade back into this. First of all, I appreciate the responses. The Sturm and Drang of the Prisoner 6 and Fewtch exchanges is very informative. If I may say, as a casual and admittedly less informed observer, it seems like you guys were at times talking past one another.

As a newcomer to the site who has read a fair sampling of posts, I must say Prisoner 6's comments about "group think" have the feel of truth about them. I don't mean this as applied to the OBH-11 issue specifically, but to the site in general. There is just a suspicious amount of homogeneity of opinion, and in a few cases a hip smugness about it at that. On the other hand, Fewtch seemed first and foremost to be saying that he had arrived at an informed opinion about the OBH-11 independently and honestly, which, based on his posts, I would not doubt is true of all of his head-fi opinions.

Regarding homogeneity of thought on head-fi, it may actually be that headphone amps as a group are that clearly demarcated in their quality (and the OBH-11, which I have never heard, may certainly be). I am as yet unqualified to say. But even as a neophyte I am impressed that you really can't talk about amps in isolation from what headphones they are paired with. People do talk about this, but perhaps not as much as they should when making blanket assertions of an amplifier’s superiority. For instance, I find the Grado RA-1 distressingly warm and colored when heard through the Sennheiser HD-580s, but others have told me they really like it through their higher end Grado phones. I have heard the Pro-Ject Headbox, which is a much less refined but more forward amp than the Grado, and yet is to me much preferable to the RA-1 with Sennheisers. To my ear the Creek OBH-21SE is *much* better still than the Pro-Ject (again, with Sennheiser’s). I have never heard the OBH-11, so I cannot compare it to the OBH-21SE, though those to whom I have spoken who have (hello to Adam at Decibel Audio in Chicago) suggest there is no real comparison between the two units.

My comments about "group think" aside, I am delighted to have found this site. After all, some of us, when limited in relevant experience, are in essence asking people to think for us to some degree until we can get our feet on the ground in this wonderful branch of the sweet audiophile madness. (That was in no small measure what I was inviting in initiating this thread.) If, as we learned more, we still relied on the tastes and preference of others, well, that would be a sad thing. I have seen enough winters to presume that will not be my fate. But for where I am now, I do really appreciate what has been offered as advice and education.
post #23 of 65
Thread Starter 
Alex:
I am afraid I can't oblige in taking apart the Creek amp and posting a photo, though it is a good idea and a reasonable suggestion. The irony of this thread is that I have decided to send back my Creek to AudioAdvisor. There are several reasons for this, principally financial. (I have just dropped nearly 5K on new audio equipment, so I am already feeling pretty indulged and more than a little guilty.) I like the Creek and may well end up re-ordering one at some point, but before spending the $400 I want to see what some of the DIY amps sound like (and/or a Rega Ear if I can find one used) to see if I can get by for less money for now. I figure I can likely sell these for close to what I pay for them in case after I hear them I still really prefer the Creek. I wish I had thought this out ahead of time so that I could do side by side comparisons during the 30 day Audioadvisor trial period, but I guess I will just have to rely on my memory.

P.S. Incidentally, if anyone cares to suggest which DIY amps in the $200 range would be best to try first, I am open to being swept up in this part of the "group think".
post #24 of 65
Dude, if you like the way your amp sounds, then you don't need the affirmation of anyone else. I bought the obh-11 before I discovered this site, and though I now believe those who say that its old technology and doesn't sound as good as other headamps, I really don't have any compliants in my daily listening.

Hell, I even put it in my sig for all to see! Oh the shame! I still believe that it has a synergy with grados, though that is largely a matter of faith as I have not heard any other headamps. However, Audioadvisor is still linking the OBH-11 to its grado pages as a good match, and according to their "top selling" list its at #1. For those of us on a budget, the Creek seems a fine choice, even if better can be had.

However, for goodness sake, do not go search threads on the OBH-11 here, or you will get very depressed very quickly.

post #25 of 65
Quote:
Originally posted by Murdoch
Hell, I even put it in my sig for all to see! Oh the shame! I still believe that it has a synergy with grados, though that is largely a matter of faith as I have not heard any other headamps. However, Audioadvisor is still linking the OBH-11 to its grado pages as a good match, and according to their "top selling" list its at #1. For those of us on a budget, the Creek seems a fine choice, even if better can be had.

If you care about hearing music like it sounds on the recording, it's a poor choice. If OTOH you consider mushy, warm graininess with a hump at 75Hz to sound good, then more power to ya. I'll be the last person to encourage anyone to abandon an amp they find euphonically pleasing, but for chrissakes at least audition a few others. Don't take a "this is all there is" attitude, particularly in this price range. The budget range of headamps has grown exponentially, and now there are lots of choices.
Quote:

However, for goodness sake, do not go search threads on the OBH-11 here, or you will get very depressed very quickly.

IMO, there's good reason for this. There are usually good reasons for a consensus to become almost universal, despite accusations of "group-think." I suppose one could go around saying the sky is green just to be contrary, but it would hardly make any sense.
post #26 of 65
Yes, someday I'll upgrade, to be sure. But not right now. Sheesh, I've only had the creek since November!

Also, don't forget there are other considerations in upgrading your gear, like will you catch weeks of hell from your wife for "never being satisfied"! I believe her last comment was "Isn't it time to get off this rollercoaster?"

Gotta let the amp upgrade wait for a bit.
post #27 of 65
Quote:
Originally posted by Murdoch
Dude, if you like the way your amp sounds, then you don't need the affirmation of anyone else. I bought the obh-11 before I discovered this site, and though I now believe those who say that its old technology and doesn't sound as good as other headamps, I really don't have any compliants in my daily listening.

Hell, I even put it in my sig for all to see! Oh the shame! I still believe that it has a synergy with grados, though that is largely a matter of faith as I have not heard any other headamps. However, Audioadvisor is still linking the OBH-11 to its grado pages as a good match, and according to their "top selling" list its at #1. For those of us on a budget, the Creek seems a fine choice, even if better can be had.

However, for goodness sake, do not go search threads on the OBH-11 here, or you will get very depressed very quickly.

Murdoch--

You're right on the money. But by no means should you discourage people from searching the threads on the OBH-11! In fact, if one goes back far enough and then traces the discussions, you can see the vibe dramatically change from positive to negative in the space of about a few months. All I was ever claiming is that this is a problem, given that *the product itself* clearly cannot sound good one day and then suck the next. People's opinions are at work--and these can be shaped by all sorts of influences, including those of the site as a whole.

Newmanoc's point about the flavor of the month dynamics at this site is uncannily spot-on, especially for someone who's just started hanging out here. Indeed, you can search the site for any number of former "greats" that have now been largely discarded. The Grado RA-1 amp is one that comes to mind. And this trend will no doubt continue. Just as everyone's now raving about the PPAs, a year or two from now it will be something else, and no one with a PPA will be willing to show their face around here, or admit they still have one.

I've really got nothing against fewtch or NeilPeart, insofar as they did the hard work for themselves and decided that the OBH-11 sucked. Fair enough. But it *is* striking how the forceful opinions of just a few folks quickly becomes a landslide, and then before you know it the matter is open-and-shut. It's the evangelical fervor that accompanies some of this discussion that I find it hard to deal with--especially when it results in narrowing the range of opinion.
post #28 of 65
Quote:
Originally posted by Murdoch
Yes, someday I'll upgrade, to be sure. But not right now. Sheesh, I've only had the creek since November!

Also, don't forget there are other considerations in upgrading your gear, like will you catch weeks of hell from your wife for "never being satisfied"! I believe her last comment was "Isn't it time to get off this rollercoaster?"

Gotta let the amp upgrade wait for a bit.

You won't get very far around here with that attitude, man. You should already be planning your next four upgrades by this point! God forbid anyone should announce that they're happy with what they've got and they're not itching to pull the trigger for something new.

There seems to be a kind of astonishment around here when someone doesn't have the "constant-upgrade" syndrome. For instance, just a few posts ago I was accused of being in a "rut" because I hadn't gone out to audition tons of amps, just to make sure my Creek was satisfactory to me.

I am a professional musician. I know what music sounds like. In fact, I have pretty good ears, if I must say so. When I first got the OBH-11, I was happy. Then I got the OBH-2 power supply. I was much happier. And now what's next? Nada. I'm done, at least for the foreseeable future. What I've got sounds great to me--why should I care about auditioning anything else?

I have a job, and a wife, with a baby coming soon. It's all I can do these days just to sit down and listen to a record for an hour or two!! I certainly don't have the time or inclination to spend all my spare time swapping out equipment in the quest to find the perfect gear. I find that kind of thing very fatiguing and largely pointless, since there's always going to be stuff you don't get a chance to hear and compare with. Why not just find something you're happy with, and stick with it? I fail to see why that's such an absurd idea--group psychology not considered, of course.
post #29 of 65
Quote:
Originally posted by prisoner #6
Newmanoc's point about the flavor of the month dynamics at this site is uncannily spot-on, especially for someone who's just started hanging out here. Indeed, you can search the site for any number of former "greats" that have now been largely discarded. The Grado RA-1 amp is one that comes to mind. And this trend will no doubt continue. Just as everyone's now raving about the PPAs, a year or two from now it will be something else, and no one with a PPA will be willing to show their face around here, or admit they still have one.
Oh, please. Drop in on the DIY forum, people are still building (and using and enjoying) CMOYs. Lots of us still have Meta42s, and nobody's saying we should upgrade to the PIMETA just because it's newer. If PPA boards are still available and being sold in a year or two, people will still be building and using PPAs. If something comes along that really does sound better than the PPA, at least some people will sell their PPA and upgrade to the newer amp.
Quote:

I've really got nothing against fewtch or NeilPeart, insofar as they did the hard work for themselves and decided that the OBH-11 sucked. Fair enough. But it *is* striking how the forceful opinions of just a few folks quickly becomes a landslide, and then before you know it the matter is open-and-shut. It's the evangelical fervor that accompanies some of this discussion that I find it hard to deal with--especially when it results in narrowing the range of opinion.
All this strikes me as "defending your choice." Sorry, but that's really all it looks like to me from here. Isn't it a bit silly? If you really can't afford to even try a MINT or something to compare to the OBH-11, just use and enjoy what you have... what's the point in "defending" your choice of amp? (unless you feel insecure about it?).
post #30 of 65
Quote:
Originally posted by fewtch
All this strikes me as "defending your choice." Sorry, but that's really all it looks like to me from here. Isn't it a bit silly? If you really can't afford to even try a MINT or something to compare to the OBH-11, just use and enjoy what you have... what's the point in "defending" your choice of amp? (unless you feel insecure about it?).
Sure I'm defending it. Don't I have a right to? Why is that any more silly than all of your anti-Creek posts, back when you were so enthusiastically discovering what a "POS" it was? Are *you* perhaps a bit concerned that all of your brow-beating might not be totally successful in getting everybody to rush out and sell their Creeks?

I thought this entire site was based on the idea that people should discuss and, yes, "defend" their choice of gear (especially when it's being attacked as a "POS"). Have the rules changed suddenly, fewtch?
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