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Oppo HA-1 Impressions Thread - Page 50

post #736 of 4750
I only tried 3 others besides stock.
I have sold and bought back a Cardas 4pin xlr cable.
Every other cable sounded better than stock but it was at the minor or micro level..

I believe the key to best sound on HA-1 is using the balanced XLR headphone out..
Edited by Maxx134 - 6/11/14 at 7:34pm
post #737 of 4750
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxx134 View Post

I only tried 3 others besides stock.
I have sold and bought back a Cardas 4pin xlr cable.
Every other cable sounded better than stock but it was at the minor or micro level..

I believe the key to best sound on HA-1 is using the balanced XLR headphone out..

Thanks Maxx,
I've auditioned the Cardas Clear balanced for HD800, but they come with 2x 3-pin XLR plugs. Will hunt around for 4-pin XLR to use with the HA-1.
post #738 of 4750
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxx134 View Post

I only tried 3 others besides stock.
I have sold and bought back a Cardas 4pin xlr cable.
Every other cable sounded better than stock but it was at the minor or micro level..

I believe the key to best sound on HA-1 is using the balanced XLR headphone out..

Yeah, balanced XLR headphone out is amazingly clear.

I tried the single ended headphone out the other night and was again amazed at the difference balanced output gives. I also tried the X5 connected to the RCA input instead of coaxial and.............. well let's just say I never thought the X5 sounded too warm, but I immediately missed the DAC implementation in the HA-1. The funny thing is that I'm glad to hear a difference as I can drive my headphones with a powerful class A amp and listen to different DAC presentations when the mood strikes.

This is a long honeymoon. biggrin.gif
post #739 of 4750

Here's a nice short review from Adrock (moderator, Blu-ray.com), check out the images also.

 

Quote:

My good friend, Badas, asked me post a few pictures and a short review. I have the pleasure of being not only an old friend of his, but also his American courier.  I received the HA-1 today.

I will preface by saying I fear I will not be able to part with the HA-1 until I have one on the way for myself. After early listening and testing, I am very impressed.

Just a few notes, here is my current setup:

Sennheiser HD800's
Schiit Bi-Frost DAC
Schiit Valhalla Headphone Amplifier

 

Short Review of the HA-1:


I spent about 45 minutes with the HA-1. It is gorgeous, and sounds just that. I was a bit surprised at first because it is not that my current setup is bad, it isn't bad at all. At first listen, I found that my current setup does sound slightly thicker than the HA-1, it is hard to describe, but the HA-1 seemed to sound a bit thinner, perhaps more linear...., the thing is though is that I will be the first to tell you, I would give up that slight thickness for the sonic clarity, detail, punch, and overall incredibly balanced sound that the HA-1 gives, and I would do it any day of the week. I really hadn't anticipated such a difference between my current set up and the HA-1. It is something to behold. I was telling Badas before I received this that I had feared testing the HA-1 because this amp could really be something that undermined my existing happiness with my current DAC/Amp. My fears were confirmed, and for lack of a better word: absolutely. The HA-1 brought a new level of clarity to my HD800's that I hadn't experienced before. Even my wife gave a listen, and she was quite surprised. Then she gave me the look as if, you bought another pair of new headphones?! No, no no, dear, we are listening to my same ones, just through the HA-1. 

The HA-1 also has some really smart features. I found that due to the HD800's being 300 ohms, I enjoyed the amp more at it's high gain setting. It has (2), Normal or High. One of the most ingenious features that they included though, was if a user switches from Normal to High gain, the amp pauses, mutes itself, and lowers the volume by a significant amount before switching to High Gain, and un-muting itself. Genious. That just saved so many poor people their hearing. 

Overall. Extremely easy to operate. Menu switching is excellent. Having the option to switch between the Spectrum Analyzer, and VU Meters is a nice touch. This might be one of the most comprehensive DAC/Amp combinations ever. It has everything, Full on almost every type of Digital/Analog I/O that anyone would want, and it even manages to appease the wants of everyday consumers such as bluetooth, a wireless remote, and USB I/O.

The most important thing though, it truly sounds better than I had hoped for, or even imagined it would. I think the HA-1 one is an enormous achievement.

Oppo, put one in the mail for me, and take my money. Thanks.


Edited by HiFiAudio - 6/11/14 at 9:20pm
post #740 of 4750
Quote:
Originally Posted by akhyar View Post

Will hunt around for 4-pin XLR to use with the HA-1.

I'm currently using the moon audio 4pin black dragon cable with my hd800s. Its a nice cable and in 10ft length its still cheaper than the sennheiser balanced cable for the hd800
post #741 of 4750
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxx134 View Post


That was why I went to tubes, for musicality.
Now I don't need any(!)
smily_headphones1.gif

 

With you there!

 

I have been very happy with the HD800's via My tube amp (Icon HP8 MII) and have spent twice as much again on boutique / romantic sounding tubes. I keep going back to it, just to see if I'm missing anything by using the HA-1 and I'm not. Everyone who has tried a good tube amp with pretty much tell you the same thing, there is a certain musicality whilst still revealing micro detail that is generally not found in SS amps. I keep going back to the HA-1 because that's how it sounds to me. Can't bring myself to put the HP8 up for sale yet but guess it's just a matter of time :( I have so much money tied up in it it's hard to justify keeping it when it doesn't get the air time it deserves...

post #742 of 4750

For those with an HD800, are you running low or high gain? With high gain, I am near the lower end of the volume (-19dB), but with normal gain, I am near to 0dB. The volume actually extends into the positive dB range but I don't know if there is a negative for doing that.

post #743 of 4750
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonstatt View Post

For those with an HD800, are you running low or high gain? With high gain, I am near the lower end of the volume (-19dB), but with normal gain, I am near to 0dB. The volume actually extends into the positive dB range but I don't know if there is a negative for doing that.
I tried both to see if I could notice any sonic differences but so far for non percussive and non demanding music I noticed no benefits,
although if U read maybe two page back I think Frank stated that high gain was preferable.
post #744 of 4750
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonstatt View Post
 

For those with an HD800, are you running low or high gain? With high gain, I am near the lower end of the volume (-19dB), but with normal gain, I am near to 0dB. The volume actually extends into the positive dB range but I don't know if there is a negative for doing that.

 

I am running the HD800 SE at high gain for volume.  I've tried both low and high and didn't find a penalty running in either mode, just the volume preference.

 

Positive or negative dB numbers on the display should not matter for sound quality, the only consideration would be if you are running the volume control near the bottom of its range.

post #745 of 4750
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonstatt View Post
 

For those with an HD800, are you running low or high gain? With high gain, I am near the lower end of the volume (-19dB), but with normal gain, I am near to 0dB. The volume actually extends into the positive dB range but I don't know if there is a negative for doing that.

 

I'm in balanced mode High Gain @ between -18/19dB

post #746 of 4750
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxx134 View Post

I tried both to see if I could notice any sonic differences but so far for non percussive and non demanding music I noticed no benefits,
although if U read maybe two page back I think Frank stated that high gain was preferable.

The manual states that you should generally try to keep the the volume in the high area with low gain, rather than volume low with high gain. Page 19.

//TB
post #747 of 4750
Quote:
Originally Posted by docBliny View Post

The manual states that you should generally try to keep the the volume in the high area with low gain, rather than volume low with high gain. Page 19.

//TB
A general true statement,
But for dynamics and control of any headphone, more power on tap is better. .

I read in other website I shall not name,
that the hd800 can surpass and climb even higher with greater visceral bass when properly amped..
Sooo
Need more testing,
But I believe Frank...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank I View Post


...The HA-1 doing well with both the high and low impedance headphones...

Sound good on high gain with the hd800 and use low gain for everything else.
smily_headphones1.gif
Edited by Maxx134 - 6/12/14 at 7:32am
post #748 of 4750
Quote:
Originally Posted by ogodei View Post
 

 

I am running the HD800 SE at high gain for volume.  I've tried both low and high and didn't find a penalty running in either mode, just the volume preference.

 

Positive or negative dB numbers on the display should not matter for sound quality, the only consideration would be if you are running the volume control near the bottom of its range.

 

I completely understand that the negative dB value is largely irrelevant because the volume is an attenuator control...it is not "changing" the gain when you change the volume. But that is why I am surprised you can keep going past zero into positive territory which "should" mean you are in fact no longer just attenuating...but gaining. So I am a bit confused what positive volume dB numbers mean.

post #749 of 4750
Anyone try this out with the Audeze LCD-XC closed cans? Love to hear your thoughts on that combo.
post #750 of 4750
Quote:
Originally Posted by vigotone View Post

Anyone try this out with the Audeze LCD-XC closed cans? Love to hear your thoughts on that combo.

Indeed, I have, fantastic combo, also with the LCD-3s (pre-fazor).  It drives them both with aplomb obviously, I was able get to the top of the volume (+20db?  don't remember) with both (low gain), and my ear drums were tickling.  Yes, I know that is bad, and only did it for a few seconds on each, but the point of the exercise was to listen for clipping or distortion.  Absolutely NONE, and the presentation wasn't affected at all, it was incredible, what this combo can do.  I think with the relatively warm / dark presentation (relative to HD-800) of the LCD's, the combo with this smoother than normal SS amp, yet still forward and detailed, is near perfect.  That makes sense given they were designed for the PM series of headphones given the PMs are planar as well.

 

Side note, I am still building my list of gear, where once complete I will begin posting reviews of combo's and comparisons, I don't want to start until I have all of the gear in hand that I will be reviewing so I can do each type in one or two sittings with true double blind testing (my wife will be doing the A/Bing, and she knows nothing about this gear, so I consider her blind ;)).  My method with each set of cans/IEMs will be to A/B between the HA-1 in three configs, HA-1 DAC only, HA-1 AMP only, and HA-1 combo against other gear in replacing one or more of the components in the chain.  I will be acquiring gear to allow the switching to be immediate, so that I can write down my impressions without knowing which of the two (or three or four) setups I am listening too, and be able to tell her to switch back to A or C again real quick, etc.  I will *try* to rank what I prefer, at worst I will at least rank by what I prefer by mood/genre of source.  I am still working on how to affordably get more technical numbers to accompany my subjective data.  My focus for the first round will be to give impressions across all of the gear I have for each set of IEMs/CANs.  To date, here is the gear required, please give advice on what makes sense to add to the list, I think I am light on external amps and DACs, only have a couple more set of can's to add I think:

 

CIEMs:

  • *UERMs
  • *UE18s


IEMs:

  • JH Audio Roxannes
  • Shure E500-PTH
  • Ultimate Ears TripleFi's
  • Many other <$150 pairs


Cans:

  • Audeze LCD3 (pre-fazor)
  • Audeze LCD-XC
  • **Oppo PM-1s
  • *Hifiman HE-500s
  • **Sennheiser HD-800 (bal)
  • ***AlphaDogs
  • Sony MDR-7506
  • Sony MDR-XB1000
  • Ultrasone 900

 

Amps:

  • Oppo HA-1 (to be ***RW-OPPO'ed :))
  • Schiit Valhalla
  • Schiit Mjolnar
  • ***Woo WA7 with tp power
  • *Hifiman EF-5
  • Fiio E17
  • Fiio E09K
  • Fiio E7
  • Pioneer Elite SC-68
  • Pioneer 47TXi
  • Onkyo 3008

 

Sources:

  • AK100 (to be RWAKed)
  • AK240 (to be RWAKed)
  • Sony ZX1
  • XA5400ES
  • Pioneer Elite 47Ai
  • Pioneer Elite BDP-62FD
  • Onkyo DV-HD805
  • Toshiba HD-XA2
  • iPod 160GB Classic x3
  • iPod Touch 4th 64GB x2
  • iPod Nano 6th 16GBx4 (great watches)
  • Zune G1 30GB
  • Zune G2 80GB
  • Various desktops, laptops, and tablets w/ various apps (+JRiver)


DACs/AMP/Receiver Sources

  • Fiio E17
  • Fiio E7
  • Oppo HA-1
  • Pioneer Elite SC-68
  • Pioneer 49TXi
  • Onkyo 3008
  • Many other Onkyo's from 809-607 and a bunch in between
  • many other standard BR, DVD, CD, and HD-DVD players
     


*"on the way"
**"working on purchasing right now"
***"considering"


Edited by craftyhack - 6/12/14 at 7:05pm
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