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Bakoon HPA-01 headphone amplifier - Page 3

post #31 of 38

I've had some time with mine now and I gather that this is not the sort of change that is going to be love at first sight. I do get some occasional glimpses of real greatness, and I have been adjusting my system in an effort to bring that greatness out.


It's a very curious sound, both resolved and forgiving at the same time. The current output is really unique, it's certainly nothing like the CMA800R or indeed any amp I had used previously.


There seem to be some genuine break in and warm up issues with this amp and not just the subtle changes that are usually experienced with new equipment. For the first day or two I found the volume was creeping and I was constantly adjusting it up. That has settled now and I suppose it is understandable given that the amp runs on batteries. Warm up is an issue as well and I had felt it was a little smeared sounding when first started up. Bakoon says 10 minutes of warm up but I would say closer to 30. 


I'm going to continue on with the setup and listening with the LCD-X until I get the best sound I feel possible and then do some comparisons with the CMA800R. There is a completely different synergy and I am trying out different cables to bring out the best. I've even got my Audiophilleo set up (I found the Audiophilleo was just toooo much with the CMA800R) and it brings a good balance to the Bakoon with the added resolution and contrast. 


Don't get me wrong this is a great amp, but can it be pushed into being one of the few best amps? I am beginning to think I should have bought the HPA-21, or that I will eventually end up having to buy it.

post #32 of 38
Originally Posted by Sonido View Post

The HPA-01 has less gain so it should be better for these more sensitive headphones? Also anyone have any experience pairing with Alpha Dogs?


I am about to receive my Alpha Dogs on Friday and a Bakoon HPA 01 too. I will be able to share my findings. 


I used to own and love the Mad Dog 3.2 with Soloist SL. I am a bit hesitant on the Alpha Dogs after being told it has less bass than my beloved Mad Dog but then again I am no longer the bass head I once was. 


I also owned a TH900 and HPA 21 (both gone now). Unfortunately I didn't have that many DACs on me and those I did have made that combination far too bassy for my tastes. 


Anyway, I am curious how it will compare to my primary setup comprising of T1 + Crack + Audio GD SA1.32 (PCM1704UK) which is borderline perfection for me. 

post #33 of 38

Alright, I'm not sure if it's a synergy or a preference thing but I found that Alpha Dogs lacked bass impact. Bass presence was there but impact wasn't. The bass notes were played but it lacked the "oomph" or thump. This applied for mid bass and low bass. Drums in particular stood out and sounded very realistic but apart from that everything else was inferior to my T1s. 


Current out on high gain was the best sound on the Alpha Dogs but it didn't alleviate the problem I mentioned above. Voltage out sometimes seems better but it's a harder sound and not as smooth. The treble was better on Current Out as the Alpha Dogs occasionally threatened to expose poor recordings/files for what they were. It made me want to put the Doggy Treat foam bits on to take away the harshness. 


My main set up is a T1 on a Crack amp. The DAC I used for testing is the Audio GD SA1.32 which is a PCM1704UK DAC that sounds very natural and tilts slightly to the darker side. On my T1 setup, the sound is near perfection. 


I decided to try the T1 on the Bakoon and believe it or not, the Current Out sounds fantastic on the T1. Bass extension increased noticeably compared to the Crack which already had a pretty decent bass and lacked for nothing in any department. The highs on the crack were still a little bit nicer but there was zero complaints about the Bakoon. 


The whole exercise made me contemplate buying another T1 for my home setup (the T1 and Crack is in the office). 


I also tried my JH13 FP PRO on the Bakoon Voltage Out and it sounded really good. The RE400 I used before to test with the HPA 21 of course sounded fantastic as well. I normally find the RE 400 to be a limp so-called neutral IEM with pathetic bass. However, on either of the Bakoon amps, soundstage size doubled, the size of the sound itself increased and suddenly there was sufficient bass on any song. 


I tried my 5 driver IEM (similar to Merlin) but it made the TWFK drivers sound harsh so that's a pairing I will not be doing anymore. 


I think that if I had a Burson Soloist SL or Lyr or another high powered amp known to do well with the Alpha Dogs then I will be able to make a fair comparison but seeing as the HPA 01 is the only amp that can drive the Alpha Dogs (the Crack doesn't play well with low impedance sensitive headphones), the Alpha Dogs seem quite average on them. It seems almost a step backwards from the Mad Dog 3.2 I used to own (albeit I had the Soloist SL back then). 


It probably doesn't help that I have a beautifully synergized T1 setup sitting here to compare it to. 


Bottom line, I might wait until my Geek Pulse arrives so that I can give the Alpha Dogs a fair shot. If it was based on the test with the Bakoon HPA01, it'd already be up for sale. The HPA 01 itself though I really like. Awesome with most IEMs on Voltage Out and sounds great with the T1. 

post #34 of 38

Hi I'm thinking of adding an Audeze LCD XC to my "collection" 


Does any of the HPA-01 users here tried or heard this combination? I love the Bakoon with the LCD-2.2, but I'm looking for a closed headphone to be able to listen while my wife it watching TV (with the LCD-2 we both "suffer" from each others noise.



post #35 of 38
I'm just throwing it out there that my HPA-01 has found its way into the classifieds.

It's simply not a good match with my Ultrasones as they are so sensitive that I have very little play on the volume control before it gets too loud. I also find the combination too smooth for my liking. This being the voltage output, I get significantly more range on the volume in current mode but I have a clear preference for voltage with my ED12s.
post #36 of 38
Originally Posted by Gerzom View Post

Hi I'm thinking of adding an Audeze LCD XC to my "collection" 


Does any of the HPA-01 users here tried or heard this combination? I love the Bakoon with the LCD-2.2, but I'm looking for a closed headphone to be able to listen while my wife it watching TV (with the LCD-2 we both "suffer" from each others noise.




The LCD-XC, because the cups, drops some of the mid-bass and has a touch of harshness in the treble. That is the main difference but otherwise they use the same driver as the LCD-X does.

post #37 of 38

Can some of you help me verify that the HPA-01 is extremely sensitive to different RCA interconnects. 


I switched between two very similar interconnects from Neotech and the sound was noticeably different. Could be just me. :p

post #38 of 38

i wonder if the HPA-01 Voltage output does the CIEMs right? the Bakoon series is kind of Neutral on the warm side or?  i am a Treble head, i still like the musical sound sig ofc,

but do i have to worry about the Treble's fun with the HPA-01?  i got Metnor 10 drivers CIEM and looking to pair it in the future with Chord Hugo being the DAC.


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