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Light Harmonic Geek Out EM/1000 Impressions Thread

post #1 of 1399
Thread Starter 

Light Harmonic Geek Out 1000

 

Forgive me in advance if this seems premature  - posting an Impressions AND Appreciation Thread dedicated to Light Harmonics Geek Out 1000:

 

I've been hearing positive things from other GEEK campaign supporters/early adopters, so I'm hoping some of them find this thread and contribute some thoughts on their experiences with this lil' beast of an amp/DAC! I'm still in the first impressions phase to be honest - but judging by my reaction to the prototype at CanJam, back in October 2013, and the more refined production component I received/own: I'm just gonna fall deeper in love with the Geek Out 1000 - Man something about that sentence is so cheesy, but rockin the Geek Out with my Audeze LCD-XC's and MOG, Spotify, Amarra, and various other streams (via my MacBook Pro Retina SSD) has kept a smile on my face for hours. I haven't reacted this way to a USB dongle-style amp/DAC since I first heard the HRT microStreamer (still-thriving thread and review). Now, there are other headphone amp/DACs like this that I enjoy as well: The obvious Audioquest Dragonfly, Meridian Explorer, and Audioengine D3 come to mind, but the Geek Out 1000, to this hobbyists' ears, lives in a class all its own.

 

The Geek Out 1000 prototype blew me away at Canjam at RMAF late last year:

 

It sounds like it's been refined since then! Now it has been a while so that could be in my head, admittedly, but a couple of friends also noticed this.  They told me so without my sharing any thoughts on the production unit vs. the proto.  So either way: Light Harmonic has built something special in the Geek Out 1000.  The sound grabs me like one of my reference-level desktop rigs when I'm using my Audeze LCD-3's, HD800's, and other power hungry cans. The dynamic slam and richness of tonality from the Geek with the cans mentioned (and Amarra as source) are superbly executed. The bassline, kick, and various synth pads drop, ripple and curl during Tricky's "Somebody's Sins". The continuousness, the silkiness of the sounds, are sublimely textured and colorful. Its got that sparkle factor - the magic that keeps you glued to your headphones. Shlohmo's "Places"; a bass-heavy, knockin' minimal electronic r&b style track just booms. The bassline hovers throughout the whole track. There's no break in this low end tone that weaves in and out of the percussion and other elements. This is one of my favorite tracks to drive to late-night. The Geek Out 1000 handled it all with ease and grace.

 

The Geek Out's equal to the task when it comes to acoustic instruments too. The 70's guitar rift in Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" feat. Pharrell Williams is tight and focused. The strings during Mogwai's "Special N" are emotionally charged and spacious. They soar, and trail off naturally - the somber notes are palpable. This track gets me every time. I'm not sure what it is, but the chord progression reminds me of party nights morphing into early-morning laughter and good times with my closest friends. I always picture treasured moments like that when I hear that composition. I know that might sound wacky, but it chokes me up: In a good way. The funny things is, it's an instant listening tool for me as well! If the system isn't resolving enough I don't get that emotional vibe in the pit of my stomach. It's an instant reaction - and sometimes I get a piece of kit in for review, I play "Special N", and nothing...  If it doesn't grab me emotionally it's useless for my purposes.  Music is one of my drugs of choice. But the systems gotta translate the emotive power of the music as well as all the sonic ear-candy. Light Harmonics Geek Out 1000 delivers the candy and the feelings behind it.

 

I also love the look and feel of the product. It's got a very clean, modern aesthetic and it feels substantial in my hands. The Geek Out is bigger than other USB dongle/memory stick-like USB amp/DACs that have a similar form factor. It looks about twice the width of the Dragonfly and a little thicker than the HRT microStreamer. It's got two 3.5mm output jacks: a nice touch. It also handles up to 32-bit/384Hz as well as DSD (natively). That's fantastic. No more wondering if the DAC will handle the sample or bit-rates of the music I pick up when I use the Geek Out. It's like having an HRT microStreamer on steroids.  I knew I was going to dig the sound of the Geek Out within twenty seconds of Shigeto's "First Saturn Return" off their No Better Time Than Now record. The track combines stripped-down jazz elements with classic 80's video game bleeps and pings.  The soundstage is airy and dark, wide and deep. It's wide-open, a slick chill-out track - and the Geek captured all the nuances perfectly.  Well, I'm sure it's not perfect, but what is? The sound and the vibe are fluid and engaging. The Geek Out's kept me glued to my MacBook for hours, browsing and listening to music I haven't spun in years. That's the mark of a great stereo amp/DAC: keeping me glued to the music. That makes it worth every penny to me, and I think I'm still far from breaking this badboy in!  

 

To be continued...

 

.  


Edited by mikemercer - 3/22/14 at 11:08am
post #2 of 1399

Thanks for the impression of Geek Out 1000! Many people have been waiting to read some reviews and impressions of it while waiting for their units to arrive. I'm one of them.

 

Now I am really looking forward to receive mine! 

 

Damn! Red really looks quite sexy! I should have get me one of those. I ordered Silver.

post #3 of 1399
Eerie coincidental karma Michael. As I'm reading your post #1, my tweet that you favorited flashed across my screen.
post #4 of 1399
Thread Starter 
I'm still listening - And you should be excited! The red is cool - but I'm sure the silver will be a really cool finish as well.

It runs warmer than the other USB-stick style amp/DACs - but it's far more dynamic too.
post #5 of 1399
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by georgelai57 View Post

Eerie coincidental karma Michael. As I'm reading your post #1, my tweet that you favorited flashed across my screen.

Right on George!!
wink.gif
post #6 of 1399

Thanks for the impressions. Can't wait for mine to come in and start listening too. And that red looks gorgeous, glad that's the color I chose; it should easily convey the heat the class A amp inside puts out. ;)

post #7 of 1399

mr excitable !!

yes sir that is you, and i can get pretty excitable myself !!

 

i awaiting my super geek, and until i get mine, i'll be awaiting yours, and other impressions as i tremble and salivate with excitement !! (not too excited i hope!!)

post #8 of 1399
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemercer View Post

I'm still listening - And you should be excited! The red is cool - but I'm sure the silver will be a really cool finish as well.

It runs warmer than the other USB-stick style amp/DACs - but it's far more dynamic too.


Yes i have noticed my Silver 1000 Geek Out does heat up when providing Superb Dynamic Sound

 

I knew something was special when i first connected the Geek 1000 with Audio Technica CK10  and Yes ..  along with precision i also had Warmth and Soundstage .. First time that has happened .. Perfect !!

 

Listening to Andy Zaltzman on Cricinfo sounds so good even )

 

USB Audio just gets better .

post #9 of 1399
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AxelCloris View Post

Thanks for the impressions. Can't wait for mine to come in and start listening too. And that red looks gorgeous, glad that's the color I chose; it should easily convey the heat the class A amp inside puts out. wink.gif

Congrats in advance! I hope you're as happy with the unit as I am so far! And the red is slick. The 1000 takes this style USB amp/DAC to the next level!

!
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaywillin View Post

mr excitable !!
yes sir that is you, and i can get pretty excitable myself !!

i awaiting my super geek, and until i get mine, i'll be awaiting yours, and other impressions as i tremble and salivate with excitement !! (not too excited i hope!!)

Think you're gonna love it Jay!
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2jono View Post


Yes i have noticed my Silver 1000 Geek Out does heat up when providing Superb Dynamic Sound

I knew something was special when i first connected the Geek 1000 with Audio Technica CK10  and Yes ..  along with precision i also had Warmth and Soundstage .. First time that has happened .. Perfect !!

Listening to Andy Zaltzman on Cricinfo sounds so good even )

USB Audio just gets better .

I bet the 1000 and the Audio Technica CK10 was a killer sonic pairing!! You inspired me to try it w/ my Audio Technica ATH-900X!!
post #10 of 1399
Any issues using highly sensitive IEMs/CIEMs with the Geek Out 1000? Namely, is there ample play with the volume control? or does it get too loud, too quickly?
post #11 of 1399

oh no, i just realized i posted in the geek 1000 thread, and alas, i'm just a lowly geek of 720, i don't quite measure up !    :rolleyes:

post #12 of 1399
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlySweep View Post

Any issues using highly sensitive IEMs/CIEMs with the Geek Out 1000? Namely, is there ample play with the volume control? or does it get too loud, too quickly?


It can start to loud if you insert IEM before connecting Geek 1000 to music

 

Seems almost infinite volume range with smallest adjustments possible and volume increases and decreases slowly

 

But this Geek 1000 has Power , so handle with care )

 

Insert your IEMs last and your good to go , without a sudden inner ear explosion !

post #13 of 1399
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2jono View Post


It can start to loud if you insert IEM before connecting Geek 1000 to music

 

Seems almost infinite volume range with smallest adjustments possible and volume increases and decreases slowly

 

But this Geek 1000 has Power , so handle with care )

 

Insert your IEMs last and your good to go , without a sudden inner ear explosion !

 

So as long as we don't have the IEM in our ears when we start up the music, we should be good? That's very promising. I was worried the 1000 may be too much for my customs, but now it seems I may have been concerned for nothing.

post #14 of 1399

I am patiently waiting for mine,  Mike.....Are you going to bring it to the SoCal meet today? 

post #15 of 1399
I look forward to getting mine
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