Cool, thanks for the feedback.
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Cool, thanks for the feedback.
man the new McIntosh MHA100 headphone amp was AMAZING!!!
but, it should be for $4,500! but it was my favorite listening experience at CES:
aside of the new AK240 - and these new Eclipse desktop speakers - a joint venture of Toyota and Fujitsu!
my friend Philip O'Hanlon imports them:
they got their own on-board 24/192 DAC
also analog input
and the new Airplay (Airplay extreme)??
$1,300 a pair, and the dynamic range at LOW levels was INSANE!
No way. Flexibility is important as this price. My intended use in an office space where it can pull double duty.
what if the MHA100 goes down to $2500 without the speakers amp? The savings from $4K will get you a pair of KICK ASS powered monitors.
Still recovering from CES overload - but the listening experience of the MHA100 and my Audeze LCD-XC's is as fresh in my memory as my first lacrosse goal!
I will post more impressions after getting some REM sleep, but I think McIntosh would serve many if they offered the headphone amp with and without the speaker outputs!
This way you can appeal to the headphone purists, who won't ever utilize the speaker outputs -
and you can also offer the whole package so people like @sfoclt can use it in places like their offices!
They told me they're still hashing out some minor details, so maybe they will offer up two versions eventually!
For now, however, I will say this:
If I didn't own my E.A.R HP4, ALO Studio Six, and now, my McIntosh M100 - I wouldn't only be reviewing the MHA100 -
after my listening sesh with it - I'd buy it!
That was, by far, the most musical, transcendent and all around meditative auditory experience of CES 2014 for me.
I was basking in the sounds of Nirvana's "Come as You Are" in 24/192, dancing around on the stool they gave me, while a bunch of middle-aged audiophiles watched me like I was NUTS! This woman even told me "Michael, we've never seen anybody so enthusiastic about audio here this year"!
I said "for this amount of money, and no excitement?" "you've been hangin' with the wrong people". - - good laughs all around.
She asked to come along with me, and I took her to the Marten Audio room, where I watched this sixty-eight year old woman pump her fist to the Amon Tobin track I asked Dan Meinwald to play!! It was glorious, and FUN. I also told her to goto the Audeze booth.
I got a text from her later saying thanks, and that she and her husband were buying Audeze LCD-X's and the MHA100!
what a grand time...
still feeling it...
My friend Esther Lamm from Lamm Audio...
She's also getting into headphones! I'm trying to convince her dad to build a headphone amp!!
I didn't know you'd heard it Michael!
You kept that from me - sneaky bastid
I also thought they should've had at least a pair of HD800's, LCD-3's, 2's, Mad Dogs or Alpha's at least!
They had a pair of Senn HD600's - and the OG Fostex. Not bad of course - but even the PR guy went NUTS
after hearing the amp w/ my LCD-XC's!
That is definitely one thing missing from the spec list. Another option I would have loved to see would have been an analog input and/or a home theatre bypass.
I've been wondering about this more and more...
I think it depends on the user of course - but I'm not sure all manufacturers need to have DSD in their features list.
It is the latest audiophile buzz, like asynchronous was when we were spreading the gospel at HRT - but again I think
it comes down to the individual user - and I believe there are still more people that don't bother with DSD than users that
are all about it.
a home theater bypass would be an excellent feature!
and, if this was my only pre-amp (I use it in the office on my desktop - the system rack's pre-amp has analog for my turntable rig)
I would've passed on buying it too - for lack of an analog input.
Thankfully the system in which it resides is all-digital sources.
sorry to hear that!
As much DSD as I have, admittedly it's not vital for me.
The majority of my music is either redbook CD (16/44.1) or other PCM rates (24/96 and so on...) so the D100 is perfect for my situation.
and I forgot to say thanks for the kind words!
Your welcome, I was pleasantly surprised to see a review appear on this unit and this was a good one! I remember being very impressed with it and kind of curious why there wasn't anything on it around Head-fi, but it has since fallen off my radar again. They are making it tough to pick a unit though. The MA5200 is arguably a more versatile package if you want a versatile pre-amp and speaker outputs and now with the MHA100, that seems like the perfect headphone amplifier. Those two are more expensive though, but they could be better values in the long term.
DSD isn't critical for me, but you never know whether it might take off. It would be unfortunate picking up a $2500 digital pre-amp and DAC only to see it become outdated in a short time frame when DSD could easily have been covered.
The HT bypass would have been make it perfect if you want to bypass something like an AVR and use the digital preamp as a source hub to a power amplifier. I'd love to hook up my CD player, Apple TV and laptop to something like a D100 rather than my current AVR.
The analogue input I would have used for a turntable too. That would make it the perfect platform for a computer based setup.
If $1500 won't buy you a kick ass headphone setup, it definitely won't buy you a kick ass pair of powered monitors. Keep it at $4k and do it right!
I would say yes. DSD is not a fad of the moment, the format has established itself in SA-CDs of course, and with that tainted the dreaded DRM. From what, about five years something now, DSD is available in the wild, and from about 2010 when DSD went mainstream with the really affordable Mytek DAC did it take off in earnest. The number of DACs today with DSD capability are many and varied starting at $150 and ending up to the $50k and even more if you want.
Many of the DSD releases from Acoustic Sounds are from close and out of print SA-CD now fetching some hundreds of dollars for the physical media but are available for download very thrifty prices in comparison. There is still a great deal (rumours of the Red RCA seal) of SACD material that's gone out of print that a new generation can enjoy, without the costly setup of dusty shelves in soon to be forgotten CD stores.
I think it's very confusing for the public with quite a few PCM formats with a string of numbers behind them, to determine which sounds the best value for their buck. DSD comes now in two flavours, DSD64 can handle itself quite well on its own, DSD128 is icing on the cake.
To date my personal collection is close to 20% DSD, the rest redbook and 192-96/24 PCM material. New CD's are ripped straight to DSD64. When I listen to DSD it sounds better than I remember from the LP days with good hearing and I never feel the onset of fatigue when listening to DSD. Once you have the taste for it, it's very difficult to listen to PCM in the same manner, it does hook you in.