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Liquid Gold - 2014 - Page 3

post #31 of 95
Thread Starter 

Just have to repost this here.

 

I was in downtown Austin the other day, near the Capitol. This part of Austin is mixed residential and small office. Most of the offices are homes converted into small offices. Parking is in the old driveways or cleared off lots. Spaces are almost always assigned so that everyone has a guaranteed spot. Parking stops are painted with names. Places like this are all over the country.

 

As I walked through one of these little lots, one that I've been through many times, there was a new tenant. And here's what was on the concrete parking barrier:

 

 

Honest......

post #32 of 95

Someone compare the Liquid Gold and Balancing act?

post #33 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ony38 View Post
 

Someone compare the Liquid Gold and Balancing act?

 

I didn’t anticipate how difficult it would be to compare the two beasts. For the first month or so with the LAu, I barely spent any time with the BA. With the BA, I would listen to the LCD-3 about 75% of the time, and the HD800 about 25% of the time. With the LAu, I spent around 90% with the HE-6, and 10% with the LCD-3. I spent very little time with other headphones. These were simply my natural listening inclinations. Recently however, the initial lust with the LAu has begun to subside, as with any relationship, and I have begun to listen to both side-to-side more often. They are both EXCEPTIONAL in marvelously different ways, and my two most cherished possessions.

 

The primary differences are fairly obvious. The BA is the master of the infinitely expansive 3D soundstage and ethereal delicacy, while the LAu is the master of the excitingly physical and palpable realism. If one had to choose between the two (though either would impress virtually anyone), I would imagine the choice would come down to mainly one’s current headphone collection (planar vs. traditional dynamic) and music preferences. Some care more for the body’s physical response to music (i.e. dance/movement), while others care more for the mind’s intangible appreciation of the beauty of music. In general, the former should lean toward the LAu, while the latter lean toward the BA. Of course, for those whose preferences vary from moment to moment, the choice is far more difficult. I usually prefer the LAu earlier in the day/night, when I still have the urge to experience life in a highly invigorating way, and the BA later in the evening/night, when I just want to kick back and be transported into, and enveloped within, a magical aural world.

 

Please don't read into these comments too seriously as these are preliminary impressions, and comparisons of high end products unintentionally tend to exaggerate differences.

post #34 of 95
Thanks for the impressions, I would also be curious to hear some impressions comparing the ALO Audio Studio Six with the LAu.
post #35 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldendarko View Post

Thanks for the impressions, I would also be curious to hear some impressions comparing the ALO Audio Studio Six with the LAu.

@goldendarko 

 

Take a look here - Mike Mercer did a comparison recently :)

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/674498/alo-audio-studio-six-reviews-and-impressions-thread/195#post_10455811

post #36 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moostrkraaft View Post
 

 

I didn’t anticipate how difficult it would be to compare the two beasts. For the first month or so with the LAu, I barely spent any time with the BA. With the BA, I would listen to the LCD-3 about 75% of the time, and the HD800 about 25% of the time. With the LAu, I spent around 90% with the HE-6, and 10% with the LCD-3. I spent very little time with other headphones. These were simply my natural listening inclinations. Recently however, the initial lust with the LAu has begun to subside, as with any relationship, and I have begun to listen to both side-to-side more often. They are both EXCEPTIONAL in marvelously different ways, and my two most cherished possessions.

 

The primary differences are fairly obvious. The BA is the master of the infinitely expansive 3D soundstage and ethereal delicacy, while the LAu is the master of the excitingly physical and palpable realism. If one had to choose between the two (though either would impress virtually anyone), I would imagine the choice would come down to mainly one’s current headphone collection (planar vs. traditional dynamic) and music preferences. Some care more for the body’s physical response to music (i.e. dance/movement), while others care more for the mind’s intangible appreciation of the beauty of music. In general, the former should lean toward the LAu, while the latter lean toward the BA. Of course, for those whose preferences vary from moment to moment, the choice is far more difficult. I usually prefer the LAu earlier in the day/night, when I still have the urge to experience life in a highly invigorating way, and the BA later in the evening/night, when I just want to kick back and be transported into, and enveloped within, a magical aural world.

 

Please don't read into these comments too seriously as these are preliminary impressions, and comparisons of high end products unintentionally tend to exaggerate differences.

 

Thank you, it was really interesting! Which dac did you use with your rigs?

 

I just bought a Lau and I never tried it (I will get it tomorrow) and spent many hours with the set up of a frienc who own Balancing act + TotalDac Dual (I really enjoy this set up, with every cans I tried with it).

 

I don't have a budget for a Total Dac dual, so I have to choose between Metrum Hex and Auralic Vega. Thanks to spkrs01, I have some information about the combo Lau + HEX but someone use the Lau with Vega here?

 

Thanks a lot!

post #37 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ony38 View Post
 

 

Thank you, it was really interesting! Which dac did you use with your rigs?

 

I just bought a Lau and I never tried it (I will get it tomorrow) and spent many hours with the set up of a frienc who own Balancing act + TotalDac Dual (I really enjoy this set up, with every cans I tried with it).

 

I don't have a budget for a Total Dac dual, so I have to choose between Metrum Hex and Auralic Vega. Thanks to spkrs01, I have some information about the combo Lau + HEX but someone use the Lau with Vega here?

 

Thanks a lot!

Grace M903 is my main DAC.

 

That's very drool-worthy. Coincidently, I was going to buy the Vega until I heard of the LAu's discount. Part of me is obviously wondering what that combo sounds like. I just couldn't resist the LAu considering my planar collection and desire to hear a different type of sound.

post #38 of 95
Yeah I've actually read Mike's comparison of the two, seems to be the only one online unfortunately. Was just wondering if anyone else has heard them both. I plan on getting either the Studio Six or the LAu, though I am leaning toward the S6 right now. I plan to pair it with my Auralic VEGA and Auralic Aries as a source when that is released. Headphones will be the LCD-3, HD-800 & Alpha Dogs, I'm kind of leaning in the tube direction right now but this LAu interests me very much, just wish I could hear them both.
post #39 of 95
I've read on total dac website that the dual dac would be capable of driving headphones through its headphone output or still better through its main balanced outputs, so I would like to ask ony38 if your friend has ever tried his total dac this way and what was the result.
Curious coz you I also don't have the budget for such a dac but if one could eliminate seperate amp, interconnects and power cord( and I think cabling very important so they would cost me a lot) maybe I could manage.
post #40 of 95

So has anyone received one of these yet?  What are the impressions so far? 

post #41 of 95

sigh, was tied up to my other purchase and finally miss this summer run....if anyone is willing to sell yours, just let me know. 

post #42 of 95

Such a hard choice of amps to pair with the Abyss:

 

LAu

Ragnarok

Su Sy Dynahi

post #43 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by falcogol View Post

I've read on total dac website that the dual dac would be capable of driving headphones through its headphone output or still better through its main balanced outputs, so I would like to ask ony38 if your friend has ever tried his total dac this way and what was the result.
Curious coz you I also don't have the budget for such a dac but if one could eliminate seperate amp, interconnects and power cord( and I think cabling very important so they would cost me a lot) maybe I could manage.

 

They never tried to drive an headphone directly from the TotalDac output.

 

We will try the experiment at our next meeting, which kind of headphone do you want to use with the TotalDac?

post #44 of 95
Thank you ony38, kind of you.
At the moment I'm using lcd2 and shure 535 but this is almost irrelevant as I'll have to update my headphones down the road, so the real question is if it can drive any headphones to perfection.
My speculation was that it should be able at least to manage iem/ciems so I thought if it really shines there, then I could go for a first class ciem and combine on the go and home headphones in one and also save some coin there as well.
post #45 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldendarko View Post

Yeah I've actually read Mike's comparison of the two, seems to be the only one online unfortunately. Was just wondering if anyone else has heard them both. I plan on getting either the Studio Six or the LAu, though I am leaning toward the S6 right now. I plan to pair it with my Auralic VEGA and Auralic Aries as a source when that is released. Headphones will be the LCD-3, HD-800 & Alpha Dogs, I'm kind of leaning in the tube direction right now but this LAu interests me very much, just wish I could hear them both.

Darko:

 

I gotta say - (and this was said to me by my cousin Kenny, who've you met, my older cousin that works for Stevie) I have NEVER been as excited about an amplifier as I've been with the LAu!!

Not only does it sound like a hybrid amp to me (A link to my Head-Fi review HERE - my full review coming at Part Time Audiophile w/ Scot) - really - when I first heard it I wanted to check out the Liquid Glass, but a couple was listening to it at CanJam last year. So, I went over w/ my own LCD-3s and checked out the LAu. Since my E.A.R has tubes within the chassis, I'm used to hearing a tube amp where I don't see the tubes - and upon my first track, I thought it was also a hybrid like the Liquid Glass, but, IMO, was way more airy, and downright dynamically engaging as all F___! Even with the Abyss - which I'm not a big fan of - I have one here right now - and its just not for me: KILLER bass, high end sparkle, but not much in the middle to me - and Michael Goodman, surprisingly, without knowing my opinion of it - told me he heard the same thing! But the LAu made that sing and my LCD-3s were just a musical time machine at that point!

I couldn't stop listening - even Alex Cavalli (now a friend, and a wonderful man) said to me "man, Michael, you were really lost in it for awhile" while I was auditioning the amp.

I told him that the Liquid Gold was the ONLY other headphone amp that reminded me of my E.A.R HP4 - and, that it MAYBE better in terms of musical engagement - and, what I look for most in an amp: it might've been better than the E.A.R in terms of what I call "emotive transference" - when the sound draws me in deep, and I get a serious emotional reaction to it - whether that means it drums up memories, or makes me tear up, you get the idea...

 

When Alex heard that, he asked if I'd like to review it. I said hell yes!!

 

When I got it installed at home I put it through everything I could think of (different DACs, cans, even switched out my Luxman deck for my VPI Traveler to try and see if it was really that magical) and it kept on grabbing me like no other headphone amplifier. I didn't just wanna review it, I HAD to have it! My wifey was ready to KILL me! I had a big spending year last year with audio - but, I sold some gear to make it happen - and I get excited listening to it EVERYDAY!!

  

 

I can't think of a higher headphone amp recommendation I could offer you my friend - I think you would love it - though I know our tastes in gear sometimes stray from each other - we both loved the Studio Six at Newport that year (after they fixed the issue from CanJam the year before)! And our musical tastes fall in-line often.

 

I think you MUST check it out!!!!

My 20 cents...

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