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$350CAD HERUS: Asynchronous USB Audio 2.0, 24bit 352.8Ks/S, DXD and DSD64/128, 2.4VRMS Headphone DAC - Page 15

post #211 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by pearljam50000 View Post  Can someone compare to geek out, meridian explorer etc? And can it drive the HD800? And have all the floor noise issues been solved? Thanks.

 

No comment with respect to the Geek Out; I haven't heard it yet, but the Herus is definitely better than the Explorer. I find the Explorer very average for a converter, especially for its price.

 

I've only heard the Herus with an HD700 and the UERM, but Resonessence apparently has a whole stable of Sennheiser headphones that they test their equipment with.

 

The short answer would be that if you don't blast your ears with the HD800 and stick with a typical maximum recommended safe loudness of 85 dB(A), then you'll be fine.

 

The long answer: the MAX97220A is the headphone amplifier IC used, and the Herus is biased to 2.4 Vrms and does 19 mW into 300 ohms. If we go by Tyll's measurements of the HD800, it'll barely drive the HD800 into 110 dB dynamic peaks (you'll need about 17 mW for that), but it's not like you'll be able to effectively resolve that anyway, because it has about 108 dB A-weighted SNR and 100 dB unweighted SNR.

 

With regard to the noise floor issue, I couldn't hear any hiss with big cans, only with IEMs.

 

Regardless of what's used, to me, the Herus is clean and clear, a bit leaner in note to its big brother the Concero HP, which is why some people might regard it as "clinical" sounding. The response is neutral --- I don't feel that it's overly bright. The new 2M ESS chips tend to give DSD tracks a bit of oomph, though. Everything sounds more dynamic compared to PCM (talking about DSD128 compared to 24/192), but I'm not sure the DSD method is any more resolving.

 

Actually, in terms of resolution, I'd give the edge to PCM, but for the same track, DSD sounds more fun to my ears.


Edited by tomscy2000 - 5/15/14 at 7:52am

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post #212 of 253

New HERUS review: http://www.headfonia.com/resonessence-labs-herus-canadian-hero/

post #213 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomscy2000 View Post

 

No comment with respect to the Geek Out; I haven't heard it yet, but the Herus is definitely better than the Explorer. I find the Explorer very average for a converter, especially for its price.

 

I've only heard the Herus with an HD700 and the UERM, but Resonessence apparently has a whole stable of Sennheiser headphones that they test their equipment with.

 

The short answer would be that if you don't blast your ears with the HD800 and stick with a typical maximum recommended safe loudness of 85 dB(A), then you'll be fine.

 

The long answer: the MAX97220A is the headphone amplifier IC used, and the Herus is biased to 2.4 Vrms and does 19 mW into 300 ohms. If we go by Tyll's measurements of the HD800, it'll barely drive the HD800 into 110 dB dynamic peaks (you'll need about 17 mW for that), but it's not like you'll be able to effectively resolve that anyway, because it has about 108 dB A-weighted SNR and 100 dB unweighted SNR.

 

With regard to the noise floor issue, I couldn't hear any hiss with big cans, only with IEMs.

 

Regardless of what's used, to me, the Herus is clean and clear, a bit leaner in note to its big brother the Concero HP, which is why some people might regard it as "clinical" sounding. The response is neutral --- I don't feel that it's overly bright. The new 2M ESS chips tend to give DSD tracks a bit of oomph, though. Everything sounds more dynamic compared to PCM (talking about DSD128 compared to 24/192), but I'm not sure the DSD method is any more resolving.

 

Actually, in terms of resolution, I'd give the edge to PCM, but for the same track, DSD sounds more fun to my ears.

 



I always wonder why it's so difficult to find a hiss free DAC/AMP combo. I mean, is it really so difficult? My iPad Air sounds good, is hiss free, and does a lot of different things too. On the other hand, all the DAC/AMP combos I have tried (Dragonfly, iFi iDSD, Geek Out) hiss with sensitive IEMs. Meridian Explorer is actually the best in this regard, from memory.

So my question is" how bad is Herus' hiss compared to its big brother? I remember you saying that Concero HP is the quietest DAC/AMP combo you have tried.
post #214 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by abchead View Post  I always wonder why it's so difficult to find a hiss free DAC/AMP combo. I mean, is it really so difficult? My iPad Air sounds good, is hiss free, and does a lot of different things too. On the other hand, all the DAC/AMP combos I have tried (Dragonfly, iFi iDSD, Geek Out) hiss with sensitive IEMs. Meridian Explorer is actually the best in this regard, from memory.

So my question is" how bad is Herus' hiss compared to its big brother? I remember you saying that Concero HP is the quietest DAC/AMP combo you have tried.

 

It's very hard to make things hiss free with a lot of intrinsic power. Your iPad Air delivers very little power, but it also has solid PCB engineering, and thus has very good residual noise performance (as do the iPhone/iPod). Also, the smaller the size, the more difficult it is to fit filters and regulators into the PCB board, as is the case for the Dragonfly. The Geek Out seems to have pretty good power regulation and layout, but it's actually pretty powerful for its size. No comment on the iDSD, as I have zero knowledge of how its designed or how it sounds.

 

The Herus probably also suffers from lack of adequate PCB space for optimal power regulation. Personally, I don't find the hiss to be that bad on the Herus, though some people seem to disagree. The Concero HP, on the other hand, is dead quiet, except in a completely silent room (~25-30 dBA), where you hear very low level transformer switching nose.

post #215 of 253

This is what Lieven of headfonia has to say about the Herus as a pure DAC compared to more expensive portable DACs

 

"I do feel the dac levels are close, yet the Herus sound is quite different from the Cypherlabs sound. Both are great, are at a high level and I love both. I do find the CL product easier to use on the go because they are easier to stack. Both brands have a desktop quality sound. The cheaper Herus is really good as a DAC but when compared as a DAC/AMP to the Theorem or -dB/Duet combo, it just isn't at their level in total."

 

I felt the need to post this if anyone would need more encouragement to go demo or purchase the Herus. This isn't to say I recommend it as I haven't heard it myself but Lieven sure does. 

post #216 of 253

Hey guys, I just wanted to update on how my system is setup with the the Herus now.

 

I would say all components work together in a nice synergy, but I was shocked by the effect of the interconnect. A few pages back, I was asking about the interconnect between the Herus and an amp while I was waiting for the amp to arrive.

I had never really believed that a cable would make much difference assuming proper and quality construction. I had read a lot that even people who admit to hearing a difference that it was usually subtle, but in my case, the difference was significant, quite literally as significant as the difference between choice of headphone. The interconnect I bought is the Stager Silver Solid ( http://stagersound.com/silver/), though I had to custom order it for the 1/4 inch out from the Herus. Marc, the owner, was great in that he didn't charge me any extra fee for this. I did receive the cable last week, but there was actually an intermittent short with the right channel, so I had to send it back to be fixed. Anyway, I am using a Pangea standard USB (not silver) cable from the PC to Herus, and then the amp is the iFi iCAN micro.

 

My Shure 535 sounds sufficiently good from the Herus alone, but this interconnect + amp takes it to a seriously different level, particularly with separation in treble. It is so clear now, even with the crappy quality recordings I listen to, which is to say, not a crappy MP3 per se, but the style I listen to the most is based largely on a sample from a 60s funk song that is sampled and sped up, so the treble on the hi-hats and cymbals is always noisy. And it just gives me so much headroom to EQ it the way that I want to, which means a serious increase to sub-bass (50 Hz and below). There is a bass switch on the amp itself, which helps, as that allows me to lower the EQ in J River. This setup in its current state allows me to make the Shure 535 almost as bassy as I want while also making some other cuts here and there to make it completely fatigue free. 

 

I also bought a JVC HA-SZ2000 last week (which have been proved to have the best bass output of practically any other headphone), though they have been difficult to listen to for longer than 45 minutes or so due to fatigue from overly warm mids and noisy treble. I just got the interconnect back today, and it has immediately changed the sound of these JVCs to be pleasant to listen to and gives a bit more control to the bass.

 

I am very happy with the total system as it is now, but I plan to buy a planar or the Fostex TH-900 after recovering from all of these purchases over the last few weeks and the wife starts to forget about it. I may sell sell the Shure to help pay for the Fostex, but I don't know about that yet.

 

Anyway, as MikeyFresh was explaining to me, the Herus is capable of resolving differences in cables as he worded it. I would just like to repeat, the difference in the interconnect was SIGNIFICANT, just as significant as going from a 10-dollar earbud to some 300-500 phone. The change from a standard USB to the Pangea was not. It was very subtle, and I am inclined to believe it doesn't have much to do with better digital signals per se as having a better power lead to the Herus as the thing I noticed most about the change in USB cables was just a bit more bass.

 

Regarding the Herus, just to summarize what I think I said before in this thread, I started looking for a USB small form factor DAC back around February, and I tried the Dragonfly 1.0, Audioengine D3, the iFi DSD Nano, and then the Herus.  After all that, I kept the Herus and returned everything else. 

 

Here are some pics of the stuff and the interconnect.

post #217 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by nipponbiki View Post
 

Regarding the Herus, just to summarize what I think I said before in this thread, I started looking for a USB small form factor DAC back around February, and I tried the Dragonfly 1.0, Audioengine D3, the iFi DSD Nano, and then the Herus.  After all that, I kept the Herus and returned everything else. 

 

 

I've read that you found the Herus to perform better than the iDSD Nano in all aspects save for the bass. Were you able to test the line out of the iDSD Nano to another amp as well? 

post #218 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by maricius View Post
 

 

I've read that you found the Herus to perform better than the iDSD Nano in all aspects save for the bass. Were you able to test the line out of the iDSD Nano to another amp as well? 

 

No, but that is why I exchanged the iDSD nano for the iCAN micro. I really like the iDSD and would never have even tried the Herus if it weren't for all the USB issues the iDSD had. But in careful comparisons, the Herus was just a little better except for bass output (testing with Shure 535).

The other thing that was a little annoying with the iDSD was the volume control. The Shure are so sensitive, so the absolute minimum of volume control was enough sometimes, and at this lowest setting, the iDSD jumps up in volume too much from the minimum to the next volume setting. It smooths out after that initial jump and is a non-issue for anyone that doesn't have such sensitive phones.  Actually, the iFi iCAN has the same problem, but it is less of a jump, and anyway, I have the gain at 0, so the minimum setting isn't enough in this case. I would have been unhappy with the iCAN if was permanently set at 10 dB of gain, which I think it was before.

post #219 of 253
Too bad the amp in this thing is so-so and not as good as the DAC, could have been a perfect portable rig for HD800
post #220 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by pearljam50000 View Post

Too bad the amp in this thing is so-so and not as good as the DAC, could have been a perfect portable rig for HD800

 

 

I wouldn't call it so-so at all. Is it up to the same standard as the DAC portion? Maybe not. But it remains pleasing enough to my ears - especially with lower impedance dynamics like Grado, Audio Technica, Focal Spirit Pro, etc. 

post #221 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post
 

 

 

I wouldn't call it so-so at all. Is it up to the same standard as the DAC portion? Maybe not. But it remains pleasing enough to my ears - especially with lower impedance dynamics like Grado, Audio Technica, Focal Spirit Pro, etc. 

 

I second that completely. My only issue the Herus amp has is with higher impedance headphones.

post #222 of 253
Problems with super sensitive IEMs too: Minor hiss for my UE900 and unacceptable amount of hiss for SE846.

Everything else for the Herus is wonderful for me.

post #223 of 253

A comparison look at Furutech's F63 adapters.

 

 

 

 

post #224 of 253
Does someone run the herus with fidelia player? I have the feeling the volume control works not as it should. If you connect it with e.g. Audirvana + everything is fine and the volume knob of the app controls the system volume slider which controls the internal volume control of herus but it does not work so for fidelia.
post #225 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post
 

 

 

I wouldn't call it so-so at all. Is it up to the same standard as the DAC portion? Maybe not. But it remains pleasing enough to my ears - especially with lower impedance dynamics like Grado, Audio Technica, Focal Spirit Pro, etc. 


Herus has brought out the best in every headphone or IEM I've ever tried with it.  That includes the Beyer DT 1350, both species of Senn Momentum, and the UERM.

 

You really need to hear the Herus/Aedle VK-1 combo.  That may be my end-game portable rig for the foreseeable future, unless the Geek Out 100 turns out to be something really special.

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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Source Gear › $350CAD HERUS: Asynchronous USB Audio 2.0, 24bit 352.8Ks/S, DXD and DSD64/128, 2.4VRMS Headphone DAC