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Head-Fi Buying Guide (Over-Ear Headphones) 2
Last edited: 12/5/14
- Head-Fi Buying Guide (Portable Amps, DACs, & DAPs)Last edited: 1/22/15
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- Head-Fi Buying Guide (Portable Amps, DACs, & DAPs)
Light Harmonic GEEK - Page 76
Gear mentioned in this thread:
I use a MacBook Pro and sadly I blasted my ears a few times after the volume jumped to max after trying to turn down the volume using the - button on the unit.
Once again the issues are inherent to the design and has nothing to do with the OS used.
I believe that the Mac OS X and PC volume blast issues are actually quite different.
On Mac OS X:
The volume is originally controlled by the master volume on the Mac. The volume can be further modified by using the buttons on the Geek Out, but these changes are not reflected by the master volume setting on the Mac - the Mac doesn't know that you've modified the volume.
If, after playing with the Geek Out volume buttons to the change the volume, you then go back to modifying the volume with the master volume slider on the Mac, the first thing that happens is that the volume on the Geek Out will jump back to whatever the Mac master volume was set at. So, if you have Mac / master volume turned all the way up, and then you turn the volume to be very quiet with the physical Geek Out buttons, you are going to get a big, possibly huge, possibly painful, volume jump the next time you touch the master volume control in Mac OS X. You can get the opposite effect by starting with a very low Mac/master volume, and then raising the volume with the physical Geek Out buttons. The next time the master volume is touched, the Geek Out volume will jump back down to the very quiet levels that it started out at.
I've also accidentally blasted my ears with some whacky switching from Audirvana+ to iTunes or Spotify (or any other software where the audio stream is no longer processed by Audirvana+ before going out to the DAC). I'm not exactly sure what the combination of actions is that needs to reproduce the problem because it doesn't occur systematically, but I've seen the volume suddenly jump to 0db when switching between audio playback applications. I consider this to be more user error rather than some inherent problem with the Geek Out - this seems to me to be more about audio software vying for control of the audio output, rather than some volume control issue on the DAC.
On a Microsoft Windows-based system:
From my understanding, it sounds like just touching the "down" volume button on the Geek Out can make the master volume suddenly jump to 0db. I'm kind of surprised that everyone is expecting this to be fixed with a firmware update; maybe it can and will be, but I would have thought that this was a bug that needed to be fixed in the Windows driver that needs to be installed in order to even make the Geek Out work on a Windows PC.
I happily avoid the issue by not using Windows operating systems with the Geek Out, and on Mac OS X by either not touching the Geek Out volume buttons at all, or by only making very slight/fine volume adjustments with them. I also now take a little extra care with when switching between Audirvana+ and other audio playback software to ensure that the volume level hasn't jumped to 0db...
that was true for my GO450 as well, silent.
when plugged into a macbook pro USB port, using DragonTail (or not), or the Slacker Cable-
no music playing, mac system volume controlling GO volume, or Audirvana+ controlling GO volume, vol at max. = quiet background.
with: Heir Audio 4.AiS (IEMs) and NAD HP50.
of course the 3D Awfulfier feature was NOT turned on.
GO units must be differ somehow with internal components, QA testing of DC offset?, or our computers.
My GO 450 arrived today (after a number of tickets raised with LH). I'd ordered a blue one but found out when chasing them for a delivery date that they had run out of blue...so it was silver or silver. Oh well, no big deal (but a bit irritating). I'm in the UK so naturally had to pay customs charges. Fair enough, however LH put $299 value against it for customs purposes, inflating the customs charge to £43.50 ($72 USD). Pretty annoying considering I paid $199 for it. I hope they don't pull the same trick with the Pulse. I've backed a Pulse X with all the goodies and LPS & don't want to pay customs charges on inflated valuations for those two!
Anyway, so far the GO 450 sounds pretty good through my HF-2s. They also seem to drive my HD-600s pretty well too. Unfortunately, I hadn't read about the volume bug so of course the first thing I did with the HF-2s on my head and listening to the latest Opeth was press the Vol - button on the GO. Holy *&^&*!!!! Cans ripped off head and USB unplugged. Now that I've read up on the forums, I see that LH have known about the volume bug for a while. I wonder why on earth they don't include some addendum in the packaging warning us about it...or if that wasn't logistically possible then a simple email to all backers of the GO warning us about it. The fact they didn't do that is totally irresponsible imho. We can't all be expected to constantly scan the forums to find critical issues that could be unsafe to our hearing and our headphones. It also worries me that there was a clear lack of testing here... it's a serious bug in a basic function of the unit. The whole experience thus far leaves me very nervous about the Pulse fulfilment and quality control process.
Incidentally, my 450 is quiet on both outputs through my headphones (HF-2 / HD-600 / Shure SE500 / HD25-1). The only time I hear noise is when the "Awesomifier" is switched on and I drag the volume control up & down (kind of like an old amp with a dodgy volume pot:-) ), but there's little chance I'll be using that "feature" anyway. It certainly seems to have oodles of power...so much so that I'm glad I didn't give in to the temptation to upgrade to a more powerful version.
There haven't been any meaningful updates for weeks, and they must be way behind schedule and not owning up to the problems they are having.
Well there were a lot of activity on the Geek Force forum lately due to these:
1, Standard Geek Pulse with Femto and Op-Amp upgrade
2. Geek Out Signature Edition
3. Geek Stream PCB
4. Nearly done beta testing the new Firmware on GO.
5. Beta testing their Software GeekPerfect.
Thanks for the news. Didn't even know there was such a forum until I read your post and googled it. I have now signed up to have my tuppence worth of say in design if ever they listen. I have bought into the most expensive version of Geek Wave and its perks and so hope it will be durable and live up to expectations.I do not like the AK100 so did not pursue the models any further. Everything else looked too fussy lots of bits and bobs and connectors which would drive me crazy. I just want a smallish device not connected to my desktop or computer to play back High end Flac files at a reasonable quality sound level without distortion, i.e. reference quality sound non-modulated in any way as I listen to classical music.
- Light Harmonic GEEK
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