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Thoughts on a bunch of DACs (and why I hate chocolate ice cream) - Page 7

post #91 of 2042
Quote:
Originally Posted by BournePerfect View Post
 

 

The stock HD800/Gungnir v.1/BHA-1 is still the worst experience I've had in this hobby. The very definition of bad synergy. I can't imagine how much worse the MJ would have ben in that chain. Keep in mind I found a number of combinations of the HD800/Bryston or HD800/MJ that was quite pleasing with a number of various dacs. The Gagnir (v.1) was the culprit.

 

-Daniel


Wow, that's disheartening to hear. I knew the HD800 hated a lot of amps/tubes, I didn't realize it was such a diva with DAC's as well.

 

Not having heard the Gungnir yet, what is the issue with the pairing? Just generally unmusical/harsh?

post #92 of 2042

Maybe the harshest sound I've ever experienced. Harsh and aggressive I should say. Just realized I was using a pure OCC copper balanced cable with the HD800. Keep in mind I actually thought the HD800/Bryston sounded great (maybe my favorite ss amp for the Senns, actually) with some other dacs in the mix such as the Nuforce Dac100, V800 (minus the hardness I mentioned earlier), and even the SBT analog outs. So I'll go along with what others have repeated in various threads, basically saying the Gungnir v.1 is generally a poor match with the HD800. I'd imagine an extremely warm, laid-back amp would counter that-but then you'd be curtailing a lot of the Senns positive attributes. So Gungnir/HD800: proceed with caution. IMO.

 

-Daniel


Edited by BournePerfect - 12/7/13 at 3:57pm
post #93 of 2042

Well, I tube roll a lot on my Lyr and I have a Gungnir on the way...and I have a pair of HD800. So this will be interesting...

post #94 of 2042
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldfishX View Post
 

Well, I tube roll a lot on my Lyr and I have a Gungnir on the way...and I have a pair of HD800. So this will be interesting...

 

I think you should be OK with a Lyr. The Lyr is a really warm amp, has lots of bass slam, but is smooth, even laid back in the treble. If necessary ditch stock cable. Silver over copper is just a bad idea with the HD800. Less an issue if you listen to classical. If necessary, apply Anax 2.0 mods as a last resort (or before cables if you don't mind messing with rug liner and Creatology foam.)

post #95 of 2042

I ran the Gungnir/Mj combo with the HD800 (non analmort mod), LCD-2 rev.2 and HD650. The issues I had with the Gungnir were evident through the more forgiving headphones. For me, it went beyond being just a bad match for the HD800.

 

The Gungnir did impress initially, with its unbridled energy and the apparent improvements on display over the Bifrost. Over time though I found my system too obnoxious. There was too much zest. It was a constant punk-ish assault, shouty and abrasive. There was a lack of finesse, a deft touch when the music called for it. These qualms disappeared with the M51, confirming the Gungnir as the culprit.

 

My Gungnir was an early unit with the gen.1 usb board. Fwiw, I also employed optical and found the same faults. I'm intrigued about the improvements from the gen.2 board, but on reflection and knowing purrin's preferences - I suspect history would repeat if I were to give the Gungnir another chance.

 

edit: This post may come across as "bashing" the Gungnir. That's not my intent. It's a component that undeniably presents bang for buck and there will be systems that strike a great balance. There are also people who love to be pummelled in the ears (purrin being the poster boy). For me, the Gungnir/Mj was an OD on energetic presentation. I find there's a misconception about the Mj but a lot of that stems from the Gungnir's attributes imo.


Edited by olor1n - 12/7/13 at 5:07pm
post #96 of 2042
Thread Starter 

LOL, to an extent, I can understand the "zest. It was a constant punk-ish assault, shouty and abrasive. There was a lack of finesse, a deft touch when the music called for it." of the Gen 1. Even with my speaker setup, which is dark and more on the laid back sounding side. One of the ninjas had commented shortly after listening to the PWD2/OR5, "The Gungnir is loud" (meaning it had difficulty rendering soft sounds soft. The "lack of finesse, deft touch")

 

I recall trying to fall sleep with the Gungnir on (I tend to fall asleep listening to music), and I was thinking "Dammit, why won't the Gungnir fricking shut up and let me fall asleep." I had to get up from the couch and turn the stereo off. But to me, this quality is a good thing because that's what real music does. I like that energy. I don't fall asleep at live concerts. I can NEVER get enough of dynamics. The Gen 2 USB does help with bringing some of that finesse or deft touch, but as I've said, it's still a Gungnir.


Edited by purrin - 12/7/13 at 5:15pm
post #97 of 2042
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
The M7 via USB is severely crippled. You never had a chance to hear the M7 via USB because I won't install the USB drivers.

 

Hi Purrin - Thanks for the Thread - I have been following your thoughts about the M7 with interest (I'm very keen on one of these) - but can you explain why you won't install the USB drivers? Not worth the effort to produce no improvement in SQ?

Just curious ....

post #98 of 2042

Lol, I am reading those descriptions of the Gungnir and I am thinking that is what a Grado DAC would sound like, if such a thing existed.

 

I actually didn't know Lyr was considered a very warm amp (my favorite tubes are somewhat neutral...Voshkods and Siemens, over the warmer Amperexes and Mullards). It can be pretty moody too, when it finds a combo it likes, it makes my headphones sing. But when it doesn't, it sounds like harsh crap. I've spent much of this past weekend rolling tubes with my new Peachtree Dac-It hooked up. When I put the wrong combination of headphones/tubes together, they let me know in no uncertain terms. Going to use all my notes as reference for when I receive the Gungnir.

post #99 of 2042
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ungawa View Post
 

 

Hi Purrin - Thanks for the Thread - I have been following your thoughts about the M7 with interest (I'm very keen on one of these) - but can you explain why you won't install the USB drivers? Not worth the effort to produce no improvement in SQ?

Just curious ....

 

That comment was in the context of the San Diego meet where I did not bother to install USB drivers on the laptop since my intention was to run the Off Ramp 5 USB / i2s converter. It was a matter of laziness in preparing for the meet, and also I would be embarrassed at the SQ of the M7 from the USB.

 

It should be noted that many others feel the USB of the M7 is not so bad or the differences are not so much light and day as I present them. But every time I go back to revisit the M7 USB, I am not pleased. I was going to say I could try it again tonight to confirm for a fourth time, but I don't think I want do.

post #100 of 2042
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

 

That setup was USB to Hilo from PC.

 

What do you think about the quality of Hilo's USB compared to driving Hilo from CD transport, or from USB->AES converter?

 

From varies reviews I read that Hilo's USB is a big limitation of it's potential,  if that's true I will order a good USB converter.

Another major limitation on Hilo's potential is it's built-in power supply,   I have ordered battery pack, will try it next week.

post #101 of 2042

I am curious how many people actually use DSD. I never heard of it until a few weeks ago and that was because Schiit was poking fun it, by saying it might just be a current fad and they were putting out the low price Loki because they didn't want to commit to it:

 

"DSD is the buzzword right now. Some of us also remember when SACD, HDCD, DAT, reel-to-reel, ELcassette, and quadraphonic were the “next big thing” on the audiophile scene. There’s a very real possibility DSD will go the way of the dodo. Loki allows you to try DSD at a very low price, and decide if it’s for you—without throwing away your current DAC. If DSD succeeds, cool! If it doesn’t, you’re not out big bucks."
post #102 of 2042

I thought it was a really poor attempt at fry humor. Hard to tell. Fail either way.

 

-Tari>ChuckNorris

post #103 of 2042

If I was bent on playing DSD files I'd be seriously considering one of the new Sony music servers instead of a stand alone DAC. I just read a very positive review of the HAP-Z1ES. It does DSD natively and from what I read sounds fantastic. I'm not into DSD (yet) but intend on checking it out as an all-in-one replacement for my current DAC and Squeezebox.

post #104 of 2042
Any one hear the Asus Essence One? I remember hearing some pretty good things about it. They just recently announced the Essence III which seems pretty interesting and more mature.
post #105 of 2042
Quote:
Originally Posted by applehead View Post

Where does the Bifrost uber with Gen 2 usb fit into the list?
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post
 

Maybe when you listen to the (Uber) Bifrost you can add it to your list if it's worthy.

 

Indeed, if you had to, whereabouts would you rank the Uber-Bi purrin (or ninja)?

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