I'm awaiting your impressions about Oppo HA-1 and TH-900 synergy... specially in the bass impact/control region and treble harshness around ~9-12khz (which can be a serious problem for me with TH-900)
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Oppo HA-1 Impressions Thread - Page 30
Gear mentioned in this thread:
Back on topic, so far I've done a little more listening on the HA-1 vs the Invicta in a few different combinations. Note that my Invicta is the v1 which means headphone out is actually using an ES9016 DAC. Headphones used is the PM-1.
Apples to Oranges
Invicta (ES9016) headphone out & HA-1 headphone out: The Invicta sounds more mellow and slower. A little more holographic but less "bite". Sounds like an overall darker tone in comparison to the HA-1. The HA-1 is speedier, and still more (treble) energetic by comparison.
The Unfair Comparison
Invicta->Zana DeuxSE & HA-1 headphone out: Now the Invicta/ZDSE sounds more energetic, and more spacious. The HA-1 sounds somewhat more intimate by comparison. The trebles still has somewhat more zing to it.
Apples to Apples
Invicta->Zana Deux SE & HA-1->Zana Deux SE: This is really more a comparison of the design around the DAC since both DACs themselves are ES9018. The HA-1 still has more sparkle, whilst the Invicta maintains it's holographic and slightly warmer signature. I've noticed that with the HA-1, the volume is a little louder on the ZDSE than the Invicta which I've got to tone down the volume a little to match. I wonder if the line out voltage of the HA-1 is higher than the Invicta's.
In all 3 cases with the PM-1 it's fine and merely a matter of taste however I feel the HA-1 may have a little too much treble energy with treble focused headphones such as the Alpha Dogs. In that way the HA-1 & PM-1 are truly matched pair (obviously).
Thanks for reminding me. I'm just listening to it right now. To me the bass impact and control is fine. It's not as deep as my Invicta but I don't know what amp you have as a comparison at the moment. Although I do find there's more trebles on the HA-1, it's not to the point that it's offensive. I'm listening to Chris Botti's Hallelujah and at some points it does come close to my sibilance threshold but doesn't actually reach it.
Overall I'm quite impressed with the HA-1 for it's capabilities at its price. Although I think I'd still lean more towards the Invicta for my personal preference however it's hard to justify an extra 3-4x the cost for that slight improvement that I prefer.
That is funny... I used to build anechoic chambers for McDonnell Douglas..
But to your other comment about SS burn in...
In the SS semiconductor industry all manufacturers utilize burn in ovens... the way it works is you create a batch of components... say a DAC and you send out samples of the batch to the AT site where the silicone die is cut and mounted into the end item package... then the DAC is mounted on a test board and then the test board is put into the burn in oven and while monitoring the test signals during the burn in phase they document the drift of the parameters and verify that they did or did not drift out of spec... so yes, burn in is very real... if you want to see a burn in oven just google it and you can see them... Blue M and despatch are two well known brands that are in the majority of all semiconductor fabs... a typical burn in temperature is 250 degrees..
also they bake the silicone wafer to anneal the surface so the different layers can be laid down more conformally but the layers will change some characteristics with temp expansion/contraction.
If you decide to use a high precision analog device then that wafer is baked and the test signals are read and then a laser is used to cut the resistors until the signals are perfect.. so in that reguard the device has already been burnt in before its packaged... but those components aren't cheap to produce...
Do you have the Doggie Treats installed on the Alpha Dogs? I had a little brightness with the Burson Soloist, and the Treats tamed it quite nicely. Might be the headphone rather than a fault of the HA-1.
I have them but not put them in yet. Yes that is one way to "tune" the headphones to match the HA-1. Right now I don't use the dots nor pads for the Invicta/ZDSE but if I had the HA-1, I think I'd be inclined to put them in.
Are you using the HD800 single-ended or balanced?
I am patiently awaiting my HA-1. I will be using it with an Audeze LCD-3 and a Sennheiser HD800. Currently I have a Burson Soloist for the amplifier and an M-DAC .....so it will be interesting to see if I can replace two boxes with one and gain in performance...or not!
I may have missed it, but I couldn't see anyone else comparing the Soloist (or Conductor) with the HA-1 yet.....
That's good to hear. I just got a pair of HD800s and bought the HA-1 to go along with them and a black dragon balanced cable. I'm using the O2+ODAC combo until it arrives - I'm hoping this is a good step up.
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