Originally Posted by the Ortherion
Thank you for the comparision. Let me ask you one thing. How you like that Pioneer amp? Currently im running my Ovation II from the headphone jack of my macbook and have a BSG Cmoy on the way to me but i was considering a "better" setup since we can buy these vintage amps pretty cheap nowadays. Will i be able to connect my macbook to a vintage receiver like this? Any input (phono,tape,cd in) will accept that connection?
Btw, any cheapish recommendations for a good desktop setup that won't break the bank? lets see about 200usd for both DAC+AMP?
I looove my pioneer amp. My friend has a Woo WA2 with his HD800, that I actually tried with my HD540, DT990 600ohm and Yamaha YH100. Indeed, the sound signature is different, the sound from the Woo is great with my HD540 and a lot of people swear about tube amp but I personnally prefer the sound out of the pioneer. The pioneer has this non fatiguing warm, smooth and well textured sound. Combined with my HD540, it give me this feel of that's how headphones should really sounds like. First listen, you can feel that it is a very superior amp, well built and it can easily drive any headphone you plug in. That been said, your ovation couldn't be happier if connected with this pioneer. I never tried the ovation, but I heard a good thing about them. Some people say the Ovation is even better than the Ovation II. If you live in Virginia, I wouldn't mind to organize a little meet so we can compare.
Anyway, I believe that this pioneer is one of the best and well engineered vintage receiver ever made. The HD540 and HD800 will blow your mind with this amp. Volume set up at 9 o'clock (not loud at all), and trust me, you don't wanna ask more. With my Koss ESP9, I set the volume between 10 and 11o'clock and that's it. Even though the sound of the ESP9 is far superior, I still prefer the HD540 for some reason. Superior than the HD540 in term of details, but I always find the HD540 more fun to listen to and more comfortable. The ESP9 is a heavy dude and uncomfortable to wear but the sound man!!!! The sound.... My next step is to compare it with stax when someday my budget will allow it and we'll see. That will be my last headphones purchase if I still have to get one but for now I am pretty happy with what I have. I prefer to audition the STAX before I purchase one because I have a feeling that it's not going to be any good as the ESP9.
However, if space is an issue and you want to use this receiver for just headphones, then I do not recommend it. This receiver is Huuuge and heavy so be prepared to build space. If you plan to get nice speaker along with it then yes, I would definitely recommend it so you will have complete system.
I never use a DAC but thinking about getting one but I need to do some research. I use my sony CDP X707ES as source or my Laptop (foobar). I connect my laptop to the pioneer respectively via 3.5mm output to RCA at the AUX input and that's it. I don't know about the BSG Cmoy, but directly out of my laptop, the HD540 sounds already great, and with the pioneer, you can feel a big difference. The bass is more present and more structured and you can tell that the headphones are well fed and can show you their potential.