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New from Garage1217, the solid-state Project Polaris! - Page 3

post #31 of 532
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundsgoodtome View Post

So far I can say I'm very impressed with the amp driving my he4 and 560s which don't take well to low powered amps. 

 

Great!  I'm hesitating between the Asgard 2 and the Polaris for my HE-560.  The Asgard 2 might too bright for my tastes so I hope that the 560s are not too bright with the Polaris.

post #32 of 532
The Ember is better than the Asgard 2 for the 560 according to a local member who owns the 560, ember, asgard 2, and Bifrost as a dac. The Polaris to me is a step brighter (depending on the tube used on the Ember of course), faster, and a bit more linear sounding than the Ember but qualities are on par with one another. One of the features I'm really loving on the Polaris is the bandwidth selection. The 560 will let you know when you've got a bad master or low bit rate file specially on a solid state. I find setting the bandwidth to medium or low takes enough off the treble makes modern/poorly mastered tracks tolerable. Pop in a some well mastered music with the high bandwith setting (Sara K's Hell or High Water for example) and it's headphone bliss. Jeremy says some will not hear the difference but that may be depending on the headphone being used and of course the listeners ear, it's quite apparent on the 560 but less so on the Grado woody. The bandwith setting essentially rolls off above 10khz according to Jeremy but I can hear vocals also getting toned down on the 560 when going from high to low bw.

The effects of letting the amp some run time seem to be making the Polaris more settled, a bit more spacious on soundstage and imaging as well as less edge on the treble (even on high bw). Same as goes with the Ember which I recently got a 2nd unit of brand new. This allowed me to go from a well used Ember to new unit while using the same setup and tube so it's not a matter of brain burn in but sound changes from the amp.
Edited by Soundsgoodtome - 7/30/14 at 11:09am
post #33 of 532
Is the Polaris a significant upgrade from the D100's built in amp for driving the HE560?
post #34 of 532
The D100 has a fine built-in amp with a similar treble roll-off feature. Gotta thread carefully with terms like significant but I would say yes. Keep in mind I've never tried the D100 and Polaris together which should yield a better a/b and I've only tried the 560 briefly on the D100 but I would say an audiophile significant yes (D100 is my work unit). The D100 can only reach a certain volume before the pot movement no longer makes much spl differences, although we're talking 85db but you're at the edge of the amps capability. Any louder and you're going into the realm of clipping. I'd want more headroom for my classical music and just because headroom to me is lile keeping a gas tank above 1/4 mark, it just feels good. The Polaris is also much more linear whereas the D100 has a slight bass boost, forward mids (although I like the forward mids to the 560), and can make the treble uncomfortable on a lot of tracks with no roll-off setting. The Polaris's bass is true and tight, mids are in place with the bass and highs are just slightly pushed forward although I think this is the 560's trait. The Polaris also more headroom on low gain alone.

Again no true A/B between the D100 but this is off memory and the Polaris is still basically new and in need of some run time.
Edited by Soundsgoodtome - 7/30/14 at 12:23pm
post #35 of 532
Here's a height comparison between Ember and Polaris. The Polaris also runs MUCH cooler than the Ember where as I'd be worried on heat when using the taller BH7 tubes under my laptop tray. Pictured is a stock height tube.


Edited by Soundsgoodtome - 7/31/14 at 12:07pm
post #36 of 532
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundsgoodtome View Post

The Ember is better than the Asgard 2 for the 560 according to a local member who owns the 560, ember, asgard 2, and Bifrost as a dac. The Polaris to me is a step brighter (depending on the tube used on the Ember of course), faster, and a bit more linear sounding than the Ember but qualities are on par with one another. One of the features I'm really loving on the Polaris is the bandwidth selection. The 560 will let you know when you've got a bad master or low bit rate file specially on a solid state. I find setting the bandwidth to medium or low takes enough off the treble makes modern/poorly mastered tracks tolerable. Pop in a some well mastered music with the high bandwith setting (Sara K's Hell or High Water for example) and it's headphone bliss. Jeremy says some will not hear the difference but that may be depending on the headphone being used and of course the listeners ear, it's quite apparent on the 560 but less so on the Grado woody. The bandwith setting essentially rolls off above 10khz according to Jeremy but I can hear vocals also getting toned down on the 560 when going from high to low bw.

The effects of letting the amp some run time seem to be making the Polaris more settled, a bit more spacious on soundstage and imaging as well as less edge on the treble (even on high bw). Same as goes with the Ember which I recently got a 2nd unit of brand new. This allowed me to go from a well used Ember to new unit while using the same setup and tube so it's not a matter of brain burn in but sound changes from the amp.

 

Thanks for your feedback.  So the Polaris is not too bright for the 560s ? Are you using the production pads ?

post #37 of 532
Th sound has noticeably settled as of last night (approx 40hrs run time) and I can play all my Flac in high bw without the treble being even remotely uncomfortable. I'm using pre-production pads which is known to have a calmer treble but I'll switch to production later tonight.

Soundstage and imaging has also greatly improved and the sound is just hauntingly good. Very spacious
Edited by Soundsgoodtome - 7/31/14 at 10:56am
post #38 of 532
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundsgoodtome View Post

Th sound has noticeably settled as of last night (approx 40hrs run time) and I can play all my Flac in high bw without the treble being even remotely uncomfortable. I'm using pre-production pads which is known to have a calmer treble but I'll switch to production later tonight.



Soundstage and imaging has also greatly improved and the sound is just not hauntingly good.

 



So do you prefer the Ember or Polaris for the HE560? Also I don't think the HE560 needs that much power since I rarely even go 10 o'clock on my D100 and there's plenty of headroom for me.
post #39 of 532
As of right now I'm preferring the Polaris. That's not to say the Ember is not as good but the flavor of speed and accuracy makes the 560 really show it's ability as a reference planar. Subtle differences but enough to call refreshing. Whereas the Ember has a more musical flavor, the Polaris offers more transparency.

I may take home the D100 to try the he560 in a quiet setting for a better impression. My work setting has a higher noise floor and that's no way to listen. Plus I think I may have a buyer for the D100 so my days with it are numbered.
Edited by Soundsgoodtome - 7/31/14 at 11:02am
post #40 of 532
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundsgoodtome View Post

I'm using pre-production pads which is known to have a calmer treble but I'll switch to production later tonight.
 

 

Thanks, can't wait to hear your feedback with the production pads ;)

post #41 of 532
Quote:
Originally Posted by pfillion View Post
 

 

Thanks, can't wait to hear your feedback with the production pads ;)

It'll be interesting to see how the bandwith filters effect the production pads as the treble boost for them are around 8-10k IIRC from the graphs. Plus I'll be hitting the +50hr mark sometime tonight with the Polaris so I think the sound should be well settled.

post #42 of 532
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundsgoodtome View Post
 

It'll be interesting to see how the bandwith filters effect the production pads as the treble boost for them are around 8-10k IIRC from the graphs. Plus I'll be hitting the +50hr mark sometime tonight with the Polaris so I think the sound should be well settled.

 

Yes.  I think that the bandwidth filters will be a must with the production pads.

post #43 of 532
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundsgoodtome View Post

As of right now I'm preferring the Polaris. That's not to say the Ember is not as good but the flavor of speed and accuracy makes the 560 really show it's ability as a reference planar. 

 

I'm very close to pull the trigger on the Polaris ;)

post #44 of 532

I got my Polaris in and brought it into the office to test it out along with my Mad Dog 3.2's initially. By no means am I an audiophile, but it sounds great. :) I prefer it over my M-Stage for sure which is much darker. I need to play with the bandwidth settings some as this option is new to me, but right now I'm still getting use to the amp. One thing I can say is it is dead quiet with no interference or noise issues I occasionally get on my Ember with certain tubes. Hopefully others with more experience in the audio field will be able to comment, but it looks like Jeremy has another great product for the price. Because of the open design and pretty LED, it gets a lot of traffic at my desk as people walk by. :D

post #45 of 532
I tested the production pads and 560. It's a bit bright on a lot of the more modern tracks (aka mediocre mastering). The more audiophile tracks found on my Chesky Albums as well as classicals and a few rock CDs I have sounded very good. However, I'm just not into the Focus pads as I am with the Focus-A and it's more flatter/subdued treble. I feel the 8-10k boost on the production pads takes away form the imaging and depth as well as soundstage. Something to do with the treble being more in your face than the older pads... but this belongs on the 560 thread.

The production pads and Polaris will be unforgiving on any bad masters and will be borderline for mediocre, regardless of where the bandwith switch it's at. The bandwith effects subtleties in the vocal treble region and really just changes the sizzle and air of the headphone. Throw on Chesky's new demo CD (currently on the frontpage again) and the Polaris/560 shines. Classical albums? Fantastic. Now throw on something new with less dynamic range with a hotter master and you better like treble.. For a more flexible rig I would recommend the Ember over the Polaris with the production pads. If you can be choosy on your source files (high bitrate FLAC or similar) and music to the better mastering, the production and Polaris is a good match. Although I still recommend all 560 owners to pick up a Focus-A pads while they're still available.

8/2 edit
HE560 + Focus (production) + Polaris = True to sound, boost at 8-10k, clean
HE560 + Focus-A (pre production) + Polaris = AMAZING added warmth of the pad while keeping treble extension, extended depth and soundstage, versatile with lossy music and lesser masters, my preference!

My chain goes:
(FLAC > Foobar2k >) Dell XPS Laptop > V/Link 192 Coax transport > Beresford Bushmaster MK2 > Project Polaris > HE560


8/2 edit: Spent more time with the he560 with production pads and Polaris. My initial impression might've been a little harsh on the combo, call it brain burn in but the treble isn't as hot as I initially thought. Maybe the swapping of pads made the treble jump at first but I'm listening to a few modern mastered albums and it sounds good even in high bw. The amp delivers the music so cleanly and I'm still all smiles on the SS sound with the 560s speed. I've never heard bass texture and detail like this before, not even the he4 with more impact has this kind of detail.
Edited by Soundsgoodtome - 8/2/14 at 11:04am
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