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Seattle Alpha Dog Mini-Meet  

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
There was a mini-meet in the Seattle yesterday since the touring Alpha Dog unit was in the area.

There were only two setups at the meet:
  • Source Music
  • MacBook Pro running OS X 10.8.5
  • Audirvana Plus [hog mode and integer modes enabled]
  • Objective DAC
  • Objective 2 or Bakoon Audio HPA-1 amplifiers

Compared to what I'm used to with the Objective 2, the HPA-21 had more impact with the bass and just overall sounded more lively and dynamic. Instrument separation was a little better with the HPA-21 too. On the other hand, I don't know if it's the Objective 2's characteristic spacious sound or something, but the HPA-21 seemed more aggressive to my ears with a more in-your-face presentation of things. For a general overall sound signature, I like the more laid-back and relaxing presentation of the O2, but the HPA-21 definitely brought out some of the details that weren't as apparent from the O2.

The overall verdict was that the Alpha Dog is a pretty darn good headphone at $600 based on the two amps above. Daft Punk's Random Access Memories album is a great pairing with the Alpha Dog. Those rippling bass notes in Motherboard are awesome! smily_headphones1.gif

*These observations were with the voltage-labeled output instead of the other one labeled current and the Objective DAC were used in both setups.

Well then.
Not only is the voltage output very loud, it also sounds very aggressive.

I did briefly try the current output jack with the Alpha Dog and to me it lost some of the micro-details as well as having less impact with the bass.

I would have taken a photo at the meet, but I forgot my camera at home. frown.gif
post #2 of 2

Other equipment at the meet included a JDS C5D and requisite interconnects. Vox was in use on one of the MacBooks to play FLAC files. The sound through the current tap of the battery-powered Bakoon heard briefly was enough to confirm that the Alpha Dog was not well served. It was staid. Sound from the voltage tap was dynamic at moderate to loud levels and somewhat forward in the midrange. I would not characterize the sound as aggressive. There was adequate extension in the high frequencies to breathe life into cymbals and strings. Lower-level sounds were reticent in dynamics, the major failing of this design. For the money the Sennheiser HD650 might be a better balanced performer, though notably more reserved in the midrange. It certainly has better microdynamics.

Thanks for the opportunity to hear the Bakoon and the Alpha Dog in a quiet setting.

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