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Light Harmonic Geek Out EM/1000 Impressions Thread - Page 3

post #31 of 881
Enough already.

Just kidding. Can't wait for my 1000, the Pulse plus an ordinary Geek (I don't even know what this is called anymore).

Keep the reviews coming, Mike and best wishes for your wife's surgery.
post #32 of 881
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by georgelai57 View Post

Enough already.

Just kidding. Can't wait for my 1000, the Pulse plus an ordinary Geek (I don't even know what this is called anymore).

Keep the reviews coming, Mike and best wishes for your wife's surgery.

Thanks George!!

 

I just finished my review for Part-Time Audiophile!!

This lil thing inspired me - and its only getting better.

 

I've been running signal through it non-stop for a few days now.

 

For me, one of the marks of a solid amp/DAC is: does it translate the emotive power of the music, as well as the sonics,

across various headphones - and thus far I've enjoyed the Geek Out EM with:

 

Audeze LCD-3, X, and XC

Bang and Olufsen H6's

Grado 325i's

Mr. Speakers Alpha Dogs

Sennheiser Momentums

 

post #33 of 881
What's the final names for the 3 Geek Outs, Mike Mercer? I'm confused though happy the most powerful one is no longer called a Super Duper!
post #34 of 881
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by georgelai57 View Post

What's the final names for the 3 Geek Outs, Mike Mercer? I'm confused though happy the most powerful one is no longer called a Super Duper!

This is what I have on this paper that came w/ the Geek Out EM (PR and a note from them):

 

Geek Out: 450mW

Geek Out M: 720mW

Geek out EM: 1000mW

post #35 of 881
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemercer View Post

This is what I have on this paper that came w/ the Geek Out EM (PR and a note from them):

Geek Out: 450mW
Geek Out M: 720mW
Geek out EM: 1000mW
That's confusing as I recall something about Geek420, Geek Nano, etc and what does the M and EM denote? No MM (M.Mercer) variant? ;-)
post #36 of 881

Hi Mike,

 

Can you give a more detailed impression about how the Geek out sounds with the LCD-X. For the LCD-X you generally need to have a resolving amp like the Mjolnir to make it sound at it's best, due to the LCD-X treble extension being slightly south of neutral compared to the HD-800. Since Larry prefers an analog-like sound signature, which would be perfect for the HD-800, but wouldn't make the LCD-X really sing.

 

If you agree with that, i probably will get the Hifiman HE-560 in a couple of months as i think it will match perfectly.

post #37 of 881
Quote:
Originally Posted by georgelai57 View Post

What's the final names for the 3 Geek Outs, Mike Mercer? I'm confused though happy the most powerful one is no longer called a Super Duper!

 

On their forums, LH Labs has taken to calling them by their output: Geek Out 450, 720 and 1000. They've dropped the "super-duper" and the "EM" when talking about the GO. Definitely confusing, and interesting to see the "EM" made it into the product documents.

post #38 of 881
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolo View Post
 

Hi Mike,

 

Can you give a more detailed impression about how the Geek out sounds with the LCD-X. For the LCD-X you generally need to have a resolving amp like the Mjolnir to make it sound at it's best, due to the LCD-X treble extension being slightly south of neutral compared to the HD-800. Since Larry prefers an analog-like sound signature, which would be perfect for the HD-800, but wouldn't make the LCD-X really sing.

 

If you agree with that, i probably will get the Hifiman HE-560 in a couple of months as i think it will match perfectly.

NO problem @nicolo!!

 

I love my LCD-X, and listen to it often w/ many different amps - from the Cavalli Audio Liquid Gold to my E.A.R HP4, ALO Studio Six, Schiit Vali, or some of my favorite portables like my CEntrance HiFi-M8 or ALO International.  I agree that you need a resolving amplifier to truly make the X SING - and the Geek Out EM actually does a surprisingly bang-up job with em!  There's a bit of magic in that combo actually - reminiscent (to me) of the time I discovered what a surprisingly sweet-sounding combination the HRT microStreamer and LCD-3 made!  I didn't expect anything from that rig (as the microStreamer, on paper, didn't have the power to make the 3 come alive) - I just tried it during my review process.  But I ended up loving it!

 

The advantage, as I'm sure you know, with the LCD-X (and XC) is that it's far more efficient than the LCD-2 and 3, but follows the Audeze tradition with regards to its outstanding resolution capabilities.  The reason you need a resolving amplifier for the X is that it's gonna show you what your amp is doing, and if that means exposing flaws that's just part of the package - so the old school recording engineering phrase: crap in - crap out, applies here! It's a good thing Light Harmonic bestowed some of their Da Vinci DAC magic into the Geek Out!

 

Amarra's the source via my MacBook Pro Retina SSD drive and Audeze LCD-X cans as requested:

 

Spinning Radiohead's "Everything In It's Right Place" - the cascading synths are liquid-like in their presentation. I've heard many systems mask this captivating quality of this recording, but when its right I often describe this sounding like an audible pond - a stone dropping in the water and the ripples flow with texture you can practically reach out and touch. The sound is rich and colorful, open and airy. Thom Yorke's vocals hover, panning right to left, left to right. The transient attack and movement of the various samples are sublimely executed. I love this track. It's one of my favorite system tests, as it often sounds congested on systems with inadequate resolution. No such worry here. The soundstage is wide and deep with superb dimensionality. This is a fantastic demo track for this combination. The sound is more akin to a reference-level desktop rig than a small USB DAC/amp.  Lemme put it this way: I'm glad you asked, as I'm loving this right now!

 

Moving onto something acoustic and sparse: I chose Ani DiFranco's "Hearse" off Which Side Are You On? This recording is detailed and wide-open. The guitar and drums have a wonderfully natural decay - they trail off with an analogous quality that I rarely hear in the digital domain. The recording sounds lifelike, it's textural and warm-bodied. Her vocals are emotively charged and her guitar strumming is so dimensional there's no need to engage the Geek Out's Awesomifier. As a matter of fact when I engage it I lose the gestalt of the music. Without it, the sound is engaging and dynamic.

 

Trying one of my favorite ear-candy tracks: The-Drum's "Sirens" off their Contact album (experimental electronic - with a touch of found sounds that gives the music its soul - I reviewed this record for Part-Time Audiophile and if this genre is of interest to you I highly recommend it) the sound is wildly dynamic and gripping. Synth pads slam with precision and authority. Other spacey elements soar, their echoing effects ping back-n-forth from front to back, left to right and right to left. The transient speed here is wicked - making for an engrossing listening experience. Overall this is the most fun I've had with the Geek Out! I can't help it but hit repeat over and over again.

 

The Geek Out and Audeze LCD-X is my favorite pairing thus far in my evaluation of the Geek, right behind my LCD-3's and XC's. The sound is coherent and window-like (or "transparent" as we all say - it's just that the word has come to represent so many things in hi-fi). It's a wonderfully engaging little system. I could listen for hours - and I probably will! The midrange is rich and silky, the low end extended and powerful. The highs are also extended but not sharp or overbearing. Sometimes uber-resolving systems have a tendency to shout at you if their not well-controlled. That's not the case here. The sound is balanced from top to bottom. I'm pumped you asked me to give this another listen, as I'm working on my review of the Geek Out for Part-Time Audiophile. This combo has inspired me.

 

That maybe the best compliment I can pay it. I can't find anything to gripe about. And as a matter of fact - I'm not going to take these off!

Back to listening.

 

I hope that gives you a glimpse of how much I'm enjoying this pairing and why.

If you have any other request please feel free to share! You got me glued to my music!

post #39 of 881
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AxelCloris View Post
 

 

On their forums, LH Labs has taken to calling them by their output: Geek Out 450, 720 and 1000. They've dropped the "super-duper" and the "EM" when talking about the GO. Definitely confusing, and interesting to see the "EM" made it into the product documents.

I'm glad you shared this!

I changed the title of the thread - indicating both "EM" and 1000.

post #40 of 881

Hi, Michael

 

Thank you so much for your faster-then-everyone impression and review of Geek Out.  I really enjoy reading these.

 

For the QC, I would like to clarify one confusion that someone else wrote in this thread.  Geek Out doesn't have the QC issue. Instead, because we insist the total quality control protocol on EACH unit we sent out. So it took longer than usual consumer electronics product testing time. But it worth every second.

 

And I'm using Geek Out 1000 with LCX from time to time. It sounds amazing. And just like you, I prefer 3D on with some type of music, and 3D off with the others. 

The 3D awesomifier's interaction with original recording spacial signal will create a long of interesting results. Sometimes I feel I'm listening to a different mastering album.

 

Cheers,

post #41 of 881
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Ho View Post
 

Hi, Michael

 

Thank you so much for your faster-then-everyone impression and review of Geek Out.  I really enjoy reading these.

 

For the QC, I would like to clarify one confusion that someone else wrote in this thread.  Geek Out doesn't have the QC issue. Instead, because we insist the total quality control protocol on EACH unit we sent out. So it took longer than usual consumer electronics product testing time. But it worth every second.

 

And I'm using Geek Out 1000 with LCX from time to time. It sounds amazing. And just like you, I prefer 3D on with some type of music, and 3D off with the others. 

The 3D awesomifier's interaction with original recording spacial signal will create a long of interesting results. Sometimes I feel I'm listening to a different mastering album.

 

Cheers,

Hey Larry!

 

Thanks for being a part of the Impression and Appreciation Thread!

It's nice to have the designer/manufacturer on-board for these conversational threads - Kevin Halverson got into it over at the HRT microStreamer thread we started and he enjoys interacting directly with his users.

 

I just submitted a full review of the Geek Out 1000 to Scot at Part-Time Audiophile

to be published SOON!! 

 

We'll also be tackling a multi-viewpoint review at Audio360.org (I'm going to lend my unit out for that).

post #42 of 881
From Mike Mercer's earlier post "I love having the gain on the Geek Out - just hate that it resets the Geek Outs gain back to 10
whenever you make a change on the MacBook's gain - - when you use the other USB stick-type amp/DACs
you get in the habit of using the MacBooks volume."

To be sure I understand you correctly, it is advisable especially with IEMs on loud volumes, to use the Geek Out to adjust gain/volume rather than the Mac. Right?

Would this be something to be corrected via a Firmware update, Larry Ho?
post #43 of 881

 

First: I was just going through this thread and read about your better half. Best wishes to both of you and hope that she gets well soon.

 

As for the review of the Geek Out + LCD-X combo, just WOW!! Thanks Mike:beerchug: That was a really great and informative read. I was worried about the Geek Out not matching well with the LCD-X as i had sold of my Mjolnir a couple of months back. Now eagerly awaiting both the Geek Out and upgraded Pulse X.

 

By the way, are you using a custom cable for the LCD-X? Which one is it? I was thinking of getting a Toxic Silver Widow for it. Hopefully makes for a good pairing with the Geek Out/Pulse X.

 

I also have the iBasso DX100 and have used it with the LCD-X though i don't like that combo at all, as it sounds somewhat hollow and flat. This surprised me quite a bit as i thought that the airy and spacious nature of the DX100 would pair well with the LCD-X, while the analog-like sound of the Geek Out would sound veiled with it. Shows that matching equipment is much harder than just looking at spec sheets or blogs.

 

Since the DX100 has the ESS 9108 desktop version and the Geek Out the mobile version of it (9018K2M), it's going to make for pretty interesting comparisons with the Geek Out and fully upgraded Geek Pulse X once i get them. Based on your reaction to the Geek Out, implementation and experience (Larry's DaVinci DAC and USB standards experience) seems to have made a far bigger impact than i expected, as i don't think that there's a big difference in the ESS 9018's desktop and mobile versions performance in terms of 2 channel sound (other than the desktop version being 8 channel and the mobile version being 2 channel of course)

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikemercer View Post
 

NO problem @nicolo!!

 

I love my LCD-X, and listen to it often w/ many different amps - from the Cavalli Audio Liquid Gold to my E.A.R HP4, ALO Studio Six, Schiit Vali, or some of my favorite portables like my CEntrance HiFi-M8 or ALO International.  I agree that you need a resolving amplifier to truly make the X SING - and the Geek Out EM actually does a surprisingly bang-up job with em!  There's a bit of magic in that combo actually - reminiscent (to me) of the time I discovered what a surprisingly sweet-sounding combination the HRT microStreamer and LCD-3 made!  I didn't expect anything from that rig (as the microStreamer, on paper, didn't have the power to make the 3 come alive) - I just tried it during my review process.  But I ended up loving it!

 

The advantage, as I'm sure you know, with the LCD-X (and XC) is that it's far more efficient than the LCD-2 and 3, but follows the Audeze tradition with regards to its outstanding resolution capabilities.  The reason you need a resolving amplifier for the X is that it's gonna show you what your amp is doing, and if that means exposing flaws that's just part of the package - so the old school recording engineering phrase: crap in - crap out, applies here! It's a good thing Light Harmonic bestowed some of their Da Vinci DAC magic into the Geek Out!

 

Amarra's the source via my MacBook Pro Retina SSD drive and Audeze LCD-X cans as requested:

 

Spinning Radiohead's "Everything In It's Right Place" - the cascading synths are liquid-like in their presentation. I've heard many systems mask this captivating quality of this recording, but when its right I often describe this sounding like an audible pond - a stone dropping in the water and the ripples flow with texture you can practically reach out and touch. The sound is rich and colorful, open and airy. Thom Yorke's vocals hover, panning right to left, left to right. The transient attack and movement of the various samples are sublimely executed. I love this track. It's one of my favorite system tests, as it often sounds congested on systems with inadequate resolution. No such worry here. The soundstage is wide and deep with superb dimensionality. This is a fantastic demo track for this combination. The sound is more akin to a reference-level desktop rig than a small USB DAC/amp.  Lemme put it this way: I'm glad you asked, as I'm loving this right now!

 

Moving onto something acoustic and sparse: I chose Ani DiFranco's "Hearse" off Which Side Are You On? This recording is detailed and wide-open. The guitar and drums have a wonderfully natural decay - they trail off with an analogous quality that I rarely hear in the digital domain. The recording sounds lifelike, it's textural and warm-bodied. Her vocals are emotively charged and her guitar strumming is so dimensional there's no need to engage the Geek Out's Awesomifier. As a matter of fact when I engage it I lose the gestalt of the music. Without it, the sound is engaging and dynamic.

 

Trying one of my favorite ear-candy tracks: The-Drum's "Sirens" off their Contact album (experimental electronic - with a touch of found sounds that gives the music its soul - I reviewed this record for Part-Time Audiophile and if this genre is of interest to you I highly recommend it) the sound is wildly dynamic and gripping. Synth pads slam with precision and authority. Other spacey elements soar, their echoing effects ping back-n-forth from front to back, left to right and right to left. The transient speed here is wicked - making for an engrossing listening experience. Overall this is the most fun I've had with the Geek Out! I can't help it but hit repeat over and over again.

 

The Geek Out and Audeze LCD-X is my favorite pairing thus far in my evaluation of the Geek, right behind my LCD-3's and XC's. The sound is coherent and window-like (or "transparent" as we all say - it's just that the word has come to represent so many things in hi-fi). It's a wonderfully engaging little system. I could listen for hours - and I probably will! The midrange is rich and silky, the low end extended and powerful. The highs are also extended but not sharp or overbearing. Sometimes uber-resolving systems have a tendency to shout at you if their not well-controlled. That's not the case here. The sound is balanced from top to bottom. I'm pumped you asked me to give this another listen, as I'm working on my review of the Geek Out for Part-Time Audiophile. This combo has inspired me.

 

That maybe the best compliment I can pay it. I can't find anything to gripe about. And as a matter of fact - I'm not going to take these off!

Back to listening.

 

I hope that gives you a glimpse of how much I'm enjoying this pairing and why.

If you have any other request please feel free to share! You got me glued to my music!


Edited by nicolo - 3/23/14 at 4:54am
post #44 of 881
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolo View Post
 

"First: I was just going through this thread and read about your better half. Best wishes to both of you and hope that she gets well soon."

 

Thanks for this! I wholly appreciate the kind words. That's why my sleeping habits (or lack thereof) have been completely outta wack these last couple of weeks!

 

"As for the review of the Geek Out + LCD-X combo, just WOW!! Thanks Mike:beerchug: That was a really great and informative read. I was worried about the Geek Out not matching well with the LCD-X as i had sold of my Mjolnir a couple of months back. Now eagerly awaiting both the Geek Out and upgraded Pulse X.

 

By the way, are you using a custom cable for the LCD-X? Which one is it? I was thinking of getting a Toxic Silver Widow for it. Hopefully makes for a good pairing with the Geek Out/Pulse X.

 

I also have the iBasso DX100 and have used it with the LCD-X though i don't like that combo at all, as it sounds somewhat hollow and flat. This surprised me quite a bit as i thought that the airy and spacious nature of the DX100 would pair well with the LCD-X, while the analog-like sound of the Geek Out would sound veiled with it. Shows that matching equipment is much harder than just looking at spec sheets or blogs.

 

Since the DX100 has the ESS 9108 desktop version and the Geek Out the mobile version of it (9018K2M), it's going to make for pretty interesting comparisons with the Geek Out and fully upgraded Geek Pulse X once i get them. Based on your reaction to the Geek Out, implementation and experience (Larry's DaVinci DAC and USB standards experience) seems to have made a far bigger impact than i expected, as i don't think that there's a big difference in the ESS 9018's desktop and mobile versions performance in terms of 2 channel sound (other than the desktop version being 8 channel and the mobile version being 2 channel of course)"

 

My current favorite cables for the LCD-X are Double Helix Cables:

 

His (Peter Bradstock at Double Helix Cables) Complement2 cable for use w/ my LCD-X & top reference desktop rigs - E.A.R HP4, ALO Studio Six, Cavalli Audio Liquid Gold (using other Double Helix custom balanced cables for the LAu right now)

 

and this other Double Helix Cable for use with things like the Geek Out, CEntrance HiFi-M8, etc. (I just wrote Peter and asked for the model - as this cable is outrageously resolute):

 

I can't give Peter's cables a higher recommendation!

 

Before discovering his cables my personal favorites were Moon Audio's Silver Dragon (still love and use Silver Dragon - as they're also very resolving and the cable has an adapter system,

so I'm never worried about having the right termination) and the Cardas Clear.

 

But I've been using the Double Helix on the Geek Out - tried other cables, but the Double Helix just out-shines em' hands down

post #45 of 881

Which Double Helix are you referring to as "other"?

 

Quote:

 

and this other Double Helix Cable for use with things like the Geek Out, CEntrance HiFi-M8, etc. (I just wrote Peter and asked for the model - as this cable is outrageously resolute):

 

I can't give Peter's cables a higher recommendation!

 

Before discovering his cables my personal favorites were Moon Audio's Silver Dragon (still love and use Silver Dragon - as they're also very resolving and the cable has an adapter system,

so I'm never worried about having the right termination) and the Cardas Clear.

 

But I've been using the Double Helix on the Geek Out - tried other cables, but the Double Helix just out-shines em' hands down

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