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Oppo HA-1 Impressions Thread - Page 14

post #196 of 4750

Starting into tests with the HA1, here are some notes with HD800 SE cans.

 

Did the following comparisons:

 

PC ( JRiver19 )  > USB2 > HA1 > SE to HD800

PC ( JRiver19 )  > USB2 > Mytek Stereo 192 DAC > Balanced> Audio-gd Master 8 > SE to HD800

 

HA-1 settings– Set gain to High

Mytek DAC – Volume bypass, analog output gain jumpered to low; Master 8, gain at Low, power on High

 

Notes:

 

HA1 gain must be set to High with HD800 SE to get to acceptable listening levels (HA1 low gain max 69dB, HA1 high gain max 84dB with pink noise).  At high gain noise floor is still very low (good) and is loud enough for normal listening.

 

At lower volumes with gain=high, drove the HD800 acceptably.  At very high volumes imaging and depth slightly worse than Mytek \master 8 combo.  Bass response was clean, good in both combos but not awe inspiring in either.

 

The HD800 is a clinical and revealing can and the HA1 did not mellow out any of these tendencies.  The combo was very unforgiving of bad recordings, I was wincing in a few places. Signature was to my ears very similar to the Mytek \ audio-gd combo. In my opinion, the HA1 is not a good match for the HD800 unless you’re interested in dissecting your recordings at a lower volume.  Definitely not a rock out combo.

post #197 of 4750
I hope that the HA-1 pairs well with my XC. I'm finding my XC to be fairly bright and when I compare my freq graph with others it looks like I'm deficient about -5db from 1kHz down to 20Hz. This is just comparing graphs, but still.

Three days with my HA-1 having a party with the customs agents is driving me nuts so perhaps I'm worrying about nothing.

I'll let you guys know when I get it. popcorn.gif
Edited by x RELIC x - 5/13/14 at 10:18pm
post #198 of 4750
Quote:
Originally Posted by ogodei View Post

Starting into tests with the HA1, here are some notes with HD800 SE cans.

Did the following comparisons:

PC ( JRiver19 )  > USB2 > HA1 > SE to HD800
PC ( JRiver19 )  > USB2 > Mytek Stereo 192 DAC > Balanced> Audio-gd Master 8 > SE to HD800

HA-1 settings– Set gain to High
Mytek DAC – Volume bypass, analog output gain jumpered to low; Master 8, gain at Low, power on High

Notes:

HA1 gain must be set to High with HD800 SE to get to acceptable listening levels (HA1 low gain max 69dB, HA1 high gain max 84dB with pink noise).  At high gain noise floor is still very low (good) and is loud enough for normal listening.

At lower volumes with gain=high, drove the HD800 acceptably.  At very high volumes imaging and depth slightly worse than Mytek \master 8 combo.  Bass response was clean, good in both combos but not awe inspiring in either.

The HD800 is a clinical and revealing can and the HA1 did not mellow out any of these tendencies.  The combo was very unforgiving of bad recordings, I was wincing in a few places. Signature was to my ears very similar to the Mytek \ audio-gd combo. In my opinion, the HA1 is not a good match for the HD800 unless you’re interested in dissecting your recordings at a lower volume.  Definitely not a rock out combo.

Well there's one of my questions answered. The HD800's strength is it s own weakness. I find just how poorly recorded most of the music I listen to really is.

If I ever want a more forgiving experience with my HD800s, I can always run it from my EF-5. If the HA-1's dac is as uncolored as every make it out to be, then it will fit right in to my equipment chain.

So far, there has been only a few comments on the HA-1 as a dedicated DAC...
post #199 of 4750
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrscotchguy View Post

So far, there has been only a few comments on the HA-1 as a dedicated DAC...

 

I started out to test that then stopped when I realized that if I kept this it would be used as a DAC\AMP combo.  I have been presuming that is how most buyers would be using it as well, but maybe I'm wrong.   Thinking of this only as a DAC, you get a fully balanced chain,  ESS 9018 Sabre32 chipset, 4xDSD native playback, USB2, and a few other fun toys (bluetooth & iPhone) all for $1200.  I guess you could do better but that's not too bad.

post #200 of 4750

Tone Audio has a PM-1 review at http://www.tonepublications.com/magazine/issue-63/.  Brief positive mention of the HA-1, but a review will be in the next issue.

post #201 of 4750
The HA-1 has landed.

Obligatory unboxing pics:















post #202 of 4750
Thread Starter 
^^^ Very nice! I'm switching over to silver gear, so another month for my retail version.
post #203 of 4750
Quote:
Originally Posted by x RELIC x View Post

The HA-1 has landed.

Obligatory unboxing pics:
















Very schmexy, thanks for sharing!
post #204 of 4750

Got my HA-1 this afternoon and played with it for a while...  I'm packing to go out of town so my playing with the HA-1 was brief...

 

Picked the box off of the porch... first thought - this thing is heavy

Open'd the box, pulled the packing away and lifted the unit out of the box... first thought - this thing is heavy and its inside a large white sock.

Pulled the sock off of the unit and wow... there it was...  very very impressive.  Built like a tank, everything about it just looks and feels beefy and

Luxurious at the same time..   super solid all the way around.  You even get a very nice beefy power cable.

The remote is also very nice and beefy.. sorta like an Apple TV remote on steroids...

I powered it up and played around with the different screens...   you rotate the input knob for the input selection and you push the input knob in to

select the play back display...  very very easy to use.. takes about 10 seconds and your there.

 

For inputs I used the following..   Apple Iphone 5, Apple IPAD 2, Dell Laptop running Windows 7 and JRiver Media Center 19

For Phones I used the following... Sennheiser HD800 (SE),Beyerdynamic  T1 (SE), Beyerdynamic 880 600ohm (SE), Audio Technica ath-M50 (SE), Sony SA-5000 (SE), Alpha Dogs (SE)

For Music I used the following...  Standard Apple files from the phone, standard Apple files from the IPAD and FLAC from the IPAD using the Onkyo HF Player in both Blue Tooth and

direct connection at the front panel...   all worked without a hitch...   With the laptop running JRiver Media Center 19 I tested FLAC and DSD files upto DSD128.. utilizing the USB connection port...  The USB driver for the OPPO HA-1 is ASIO with Native playback.  Don't forget to download the computer USB driver from the OPPO website.. http://www.oppodigital.com/headphone-amplifier-ha-1/headphone-amplifier-HA-1-Support.aspx

 

When you select Bluetooth as the input your Idevice will ask you to download the app for the OPPO Control App, There isn't a dedicated IPAD app so I chose the Iphone app and it works fine for the IPAD, only complaint is it could use a landscape orientation to make it a better app.  Because thats the best way to play back music in landscape orientation...  (Oppo, please fix)

Also when in blue tooth input if someone else connects to the HA-1 while your connected and listening it will knock you off the connection...   not a real issue though

 

How does it sound...   to me it sounds just like you want it to sound...   Its fine without EQ but if you want to dial in your setup then that is the icing on the cake... 

for example...  the Sony SA-5000 is actually a pretty nice set of phones...  but they do lack in the bottom end slightly so I played around with the EQ in JR MC19 and tuned them until they sounded excellent...  and I saved that profile for later...   I'm sure I can fine tune them even better latter on.. but thats the point... you can make your phones sound really great with this setup.   

To me the Alpha Dogs, TI and the 880 setup were great without any EQ at all...  a very nice match from the limited time I got to play around. 

The HD800 to me is like a really pretty girl friend that you just love to have around but she's a little high maintenance, she has no problem at all telling you that some of your music just wasn't recorded well... but when you feed her the good stuff she will sing her heart out for you...   and so with the HA-1/HD800 you better have the good recordings and they do sound fantastic on the the HA-1.

The Alpha Dogs also sound very good but you do need to turn the volume control up pretty far.. as in around the ~ 3 o-clock position to make them sing the way they want to sing...  as with the

TI and 880...  The HD800 likes the extra power too... 

 

The displays are pretty cool...   the VU meters are nice in that they actually tell you if the recording was recorded at a low or high level ...  and the Spectrum display is just a visual addition to your listening...   I think Oppo should dress the displays up a little...  would like to see the VE meters look like the cool blue/green meters of the McIntosh Amps...

 

thats about it... I only got to play around for about 2 hrs with it...  but I think its a keeper...

 

I'd love to be able to hear a set of the Oppo Phones on it I'm sure they would sound great too....

post #205 of 4750

Almost forgot... I need to ask a question...

 

OK... I have never played around with a balanced output amp.. so for Balanced vs Single Ended...   

 

The HA-1 has double the power when used in Balanced mode right ??

 

So if I need to have the volume control set at 3 o-clock in SE mode will the volume control when in balance mode just need to be set at around 12 0-clock ???

 

just wondering....

post #206 of 4750

Quadruple the power when using the balanced outputs.

 

You can also switch to High Gain Mode by pressing the Select jog dial three times until you are in the Headphone Gain menu. By default the HA-1 is set to Normal Gain, so you will need to use High Gain for low efficiency, high impedance headphones.

post #207 of 4750
Quote:
Originally Posted by HasturTheYellow View Post
 

Quadruple the power when using the balanced outputs.

 

You can also switch to High Gain Mode by pressing the Select jog dial three times until you are in the Headphone Gain menu. By default the HA-1 is set to Normal Gain, so you will need to use High Gain for low efficiency, high impedance headphones.


Thanks for the reply...   now I know why balanced might be a better way to play...  I'm from the old school and like extra power even if I don't need it all the time...   :-)

post #208 of 4750
Busy, busy day. Had a power outage as well. First impression...........

HOLY BALANCED GOODNESS BATMAN!

Teaser #1 over
post #209 of 4750
Thread Starter 
I haven't played the Alphas in SE. I was thinking Dixter must be deef, but it could be the difference between SE and balanced. I'm usually around 9:00 to 11:00.
post #210 of 4750
To me the last few pages bordered on the ridiculous.
It is ridiculous to say amps don't have their own sound when it is already long regarded that op amps have different sound even in simple tiny cmoy amps,
to big amps using either bipolar and mosfet type transistors, with well known difference between the two...

So I don't need to blindfold myself and say I can't tell anything, as it is all too obvious.
Of course I didn't even start about all other types like the tube and hybrid tube/SS and then transformeless add infinitum and choke and die over all this.
So I won't.

This is about oppo impressions so time to cough up and just say it.
So I have the unit and I won't beat around the bush.

I can say beyond shadow of a doubt that if you were to use as a dac or amp alone it would be in the utter top in it's class.
It is a killer combo.

The main description I would give it as having an extremely clean and transparent sound.
Extremely realistic with its dac sounding extremely clear.
Nuances throughout the spectrum sounding solid and true.
just plain real with this air of "clean" about it.
Trebles almost don't have any SS or tube quality, just a super clean maybe tingling trebles.

There are few amps that can fill the "void" of space that the hd800 presents.
That's why it's soundstage may sound exaggerated on some setups with less resolution, and that is why the hd800 sounds better high end equipment and with tubes, it scales as high as you can go..

But the HA-1 pulls off a surprisingly detailed and large performance, to fill in all that the hd800 portrays so as to make it seem normal.

As for some comparing the HA-1 to lesser amps and trying to downplay it's superiority,
That's on them.
As for me I was surprisingly convinced in the first 5 seconds of listening that this oppo is the real deal, utterly impressive.

I also switched using it as a dac alone and as an amp alone.
The main impression left is utter sheer transparency and clarity thru and thru.
Extremely clean clear sound.

Also just to make things more interesting to you, as to where I stand...
I am not an oppo fanboy,
I returned the PM-1 due to not being up to par compared to my hd800 and Ultrasone ed8.

Also looking at this pic you can see where my love is, for my woo wa7..
I love tubes and I really didn't think the oppo had a chance..
My woo wa7 + wa7tp combo is another excellent peformer for the amp only, not it's dac.
I wouldn't need have anything else with these two amps right now.. (for now lol )
Take my enthusiasm as you will..


Edited by Maxx134 - 5/14/14 at 11:03pm
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