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Has anyone heard anything about the Oppo HA-1 balanced headphone amp/DAC? - Page 4

post #46 of 61
Thanks for the comprehensive response, look forward to more of your thoughts!
post #47 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by EraserXIV View Post

Thanks for the comprehensive response, look forward to more of your thoughts!

+1
post #48 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harris View Post
 

<snip snip> 

 

I'm actually trying to figure out a way to reliably gauge the sound between the HA-1 and BDP-105. I normally feed music into the 105 with an external HD, and so it's easy to listen to music that way using the PM-1s. But the HA-1 demands a computer (or access to one via some pathway) to feed the DAC, so suddenly the chain incorporates the player software, which many folks feel imparts a distinct sound. So.. hard to have an apples-to-apples comparison. I even thought of linking the HA-1 to the 105, and that might end up being the best way to gauge the difference in sound, but since the HA-1 doesn't deal with things like track or file navigation, I'm still trying to figure this out.

 

<snip snip> 

 

I really look forward to more of your comparisons and thoughts on the HA-1 vs the DBP-10# models. 

 

It appears from the px at the OppoDigital site that both have a USB connection ... you could copy your favorite reference tunes to a USB memory stick and eliminate the need for a PC and its software in the chain. (Or to two USB memory sticks, so you could perhaps have both machines playing the same songs at approximately the same time.)

post #49 of 61
Why can't you connect both to your computer? The BDP-105 has a computer USB input, no?
post #50 of 61

Hi Doug D and EraserXIV, 

 

So, the HA-1 does have a USB input in fact two of them, one on the front panel designed only for input from an iOS device, and it will take over the DAC duties, so pretty neat. But, that is all you can use the port for.

 

The rear port is only for input from a computer, you can't attach a flash drive, or HD. 

 

However, I love the suggestion about connecting the HA-1 to the BDP-105 as the source. I'm not sure if I can get a non-DAC converted signal from the BDP-105, so while I could judge only the HA-1 amp by grabbing the digital data, it might be interesting. I'll write to Oppo to see if there is a way to use it to A/B the two devices. 

 

As for choosing between the BDP-105 vs, the HA-1 I think they are really different beasts. When I first saw the HA-1 during CES, I kept thinking it was a BDP-105 minus the transport, but was convinced that wasn't the case. Now that I'm living with it, it is a completely different genus.

 

For example, the BDP-105 has optical transport, can grab internet radio, Netflix, etc., has a superb analog output stage (so does the HA-1) but has the ability to grab music from a flash drive, or HD. The HA-1 can do neither, and nor does it display graphics. The HA-1 has a full Class A amp, which isn't present in the 105, and can drive a far wider variety of headphones. 

 

To navigate the files and sources you need an HDMI equipped display or TV on the 105, while the HA-1 has no such video out capability. So it is wholly dependent upon the source computer and software.

 

The cool thing about the BDP-105 aside from it's sonic and video excellence is that you can skip a pre-amp or receiver and drive powered speakers directly, or to an amplifier. I did this, and loved the audio experience. And I did run Amarra, Decibel, and Pure Music into it as my DAC which was great. By comparison, the HA-1 is dedicated headphone amp/DAC component, and while it too can drive powered speakers, or connect to an amp, it really can't be compared to the 105 since it must get source music from somewhere else, such as a computer, Bluetooth, iOS, analog input, or digital source via optical, or coax.

 

I think that if I had to look for a BD player, I'd certainly put the BDP-105 at the top of my list. And if the headphone amp doesn't cut it for you, well, then look for a dedicated headphone amp like the HA-1, it really might be the dream combo!

 

I have the HA-1 connected to my computer, and the BDP-105 to my listening room, and don't really think there is that much overlap.

 

I hope this helps!

 

Harris


Edited by Harris - 4/20/14 at 9:34pm
post #51 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harris View Post

 

But, in my completely informal tests, without any rigor, the HA-1 clearly has a higher output level, and more fine tuning via its high and low headphone gain option. I also know it drives less efficient headphones easier, as I found using many headphones on the 105 that I was at 80-100 percent of volume to adequately drive them, especially on rock & roll, or any music recorded at lower levels. Noise hasn't been an issue with the 105 even cranked up, but the HA-1 can definitely outdrive it. I did think (see, not really sure) that the HA-1 had more dynamics, and a little less grit. And the HA-1 with the PM-1's have a very fast response, especially for transients. 

 

 

 

 

Harris,

 

What other headphones have you hooked up to the HA-1...and how does it drive them?

post #52 of 61
Would be curious to see a comparison to Schiit Gun/Mjo stack. I like the idea of being able to use an iOS device as a transport, stream via Bluetooth etc. been a fan of Ortho headphones for decades. Hope to learn more about both of these Oppo products
post #53 of 61

:popcorn:

post #54 of 61
Orders are now being taken starting today, looking forward to some early reviews, say compared to the Bryston BHA-1 or the imminent Schiit statement amp.
post #55 of 61

or the conductor as well, that is dac (with the same sabre) , pre, and headphone amp with gain levels

(but not dsd and xrl..)

post #56 of 61

Hello,

 

Having lived with the HA-1 for several weeks now I can state that I've never heard a better headphone amp/DAC. Coupled with the PM-1 the experience is sublime, easy-to-use, and aesthetically pleasing.

 

I have the silver model, which is lovely and understated design wise. I've also tried the balanced headphone cable, with no discernible difference so far, even thought it contains the normal copper, and not the fancy copper used in the 1/4-inch cable. 

 

For headphones I've tried a variety of dynamic models from Audio-Technica, Sennheiser, Etymotic, Ultimate Ears, and Phiaton. In all cases the HA-1 made a significant difference, especially in the richness of depth of the bottom end, over USB DACs, and the built-in output on our Mac computers. So far it can drive everything I've thrown at it without a hiccup.

 

Harris

post #57 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harris View Post
 

Hello,

 

Having lived with the HA-1 for several weeks now I can state that I've never heard a better headphone amp/DAC. Coupled with the PM-1 the experience is sublime, easy-to-use, and aesthetically pleasing.

 

I have the silver model, which is lovely and understated design wise. I've also tried the balanced headphone cable, with no discernible difference so far, even thought it contains the normal copper, and not the fancy copper used in the 1/4-inch cable. 

 

For headphones I've tried a variety of dynamic models from Audio-Technica, Sennheiser, Etymotic, Ultimate Ears, and Phiaton. In all cases the HA-1 made a significant difference, especially in the richness of depth of the bottom end, over USB DACs, and the built-in output on our Mac computers. So far it can drive everything I've thrown at it without a hiccup.

 

Harris


I think you are the first to comment on it sonically.

 

Have you heard the NAIM V1 by chance?

post #58 of 61

waiting for ha-1 / audeze 2 combo impressions

post #59 of 61

I want to hear comparisons from the customers, not the testers.  Also some legitimate head to head comparisons.  So far crickets, hopefully soon.

post #60 of 61

I've not heard the NAIM so can't compare. What was a revelation is that I have some headphones that are high-end, but to whom I've never really warmed up to. I think the old sense that you should love XXX due to the price, reputation, etc. But I could never put my finger on the cause. I kept thinking maybe it was the player, the DAC, the whatever.

 

Using the HA-1 put all those thoughts into absolute clarity. it really showed exactly what was wrong with the headphones, and conversely what sounded really good. With all consideration, the HA-1 driving the PM-1 is a joy. 

 

I was actually thinking that the PM-1's wouldn't sound better with the HA-1, especially in light of their extraordinary sensitivity. I used the Cambridge DAC Magic, the Korg, and the AudioEngine D3 before the HA-1 arrived, so I felt I had a sense of them, and once the HA-1 arrived, it was a different experience. Without commenting on the DACs, I can say that they HA-1 provided a richer, fuller sense of the music. Not only did the PM-1s sound better, so did everything else. Except for the headphones I wasn't thrilled with, which it helped pinpoint the issues.

 

I need more time before I can make sense of this, but I think that Oppo has a hit on their hands. It's not cheap, but for a pure class A system, with top flight DACs, and lots of flexibility in terms of input and output options, it is fairly priced, and completely solid.

 

Harris

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