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GUSTARD H10 High-current Discrete Class A output Stage Headphone Amplifier - Page 13

post #181 of 5338
Quote:
Originally Posted by swannie007 View Post


The ranking of guinea pig is indeed a noble title. Image, if you will, our current lifestyle and it's wonderful devices and medications and think what an important role guinea pigs played in all of this and how many of these wonderful things would not exist, or be as advanced, if not for the noble guinea pig.
Go forth and aspire to be a guinea pig and advance the betterment of mankind!

Oh my, I almost skipped that :D Thanks a lot sir, it does make me feel good about it.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by stuartmc View Post
 

 

My google translator always does funny things with Japanese. I can't make out everything this author is saying, but his general impression is that the X9 is quite good and plays with boys costing over twice as much.

 

I am currently using the Aune S16. It uses the new AKM, AK4495S chip which accepts up to 768kHz PCM data and 5.6MHz DSD data. It has balanced outputs that my H10 seems to like.

 

Thanks. I can't say it's not hard to think about the X9 (X10 might be a bit too costly) when considering DACs on that price range.

post #182 of 5338

The Japanese site has no good review for the DAC.

It said the LCD is too bright, not stylish, and the usual quality for Chinese DAC that he expected in usual so on.

He added some digital volume control for it, and found some improvement has been observed.

However one thing is certain that X-9 generates some curiosity for sure.

post #183 of 5338


Listening to the H10 with my T90's driven from my Mac through Bit Perfect via optical input to the Breeze Audio dac and I must say that it is superb! I find the 400i's just a little dark for my taste but this may be due to limited hours on the 400i's(about 60 hours). I will continue to burn in the 400i's and see how they sound after about 150 hours on them but right now, I am very happy with this combo. Next I need to upgrade the dac. Toss up between the Aune S16(which is being tested by a noble guinea pig as we speak) or the Gustard X10. No rush to upgrade just yet as my current dac is quite capable and I am enjoying the sublime sound. Hopefully, in time, there will be a comparison by some noble guinea pig between the two. I wait with baited breath! Cheers. 

post #184 of 5338
C'est moi?..ha ha, the not so noble guinea pig checking in. Swannie, after your 400i breaks in, if you still find it a little "dark", I would suggest you try the grill mod. I did it and very much like the results. I think it smoothes out the response and eliminates some of what you may be calling darkness.
post #185 of 5338
Quote:
Originally Posted by stuartmc View Post

C'est moi?..ha ha, the not so noble guinea pig checking in. Swannie, after your 400i breaks in, if you still find it a little "dark", I would suggest you try the grill mod. I did it and very much like the results. I think it smoothes out the response and eliminates some of what you may be calling darkness.


Sir GP, (the senior, noble guinea pig), I think this mod you mention may well be a worthwhile endevour as I love the 400i's but, for my taste, they need to "open" up a little, i.e. they need a little more "sparkle" on the top end and this explains why I love my T90's and Q701's so much. So the grill mod was ......? 


Edited by swannie007 - 12/2/14 at 6:19pm
post #186 of 5338
Quote:
Originally Posted by No_One411 View Post
 

Here are my thoughts on using the H10 with the HD800. 

 

The HD800 felt thin and wispy the first week I had the H10. I didn't hear sibilance or harshness persay, but it really lacked dynamics, and wasn't an enjoyable listen. I was really worried that the H10 would end up being one of those cold, analytical amplifiers. I had much more success pairing the H10 with my Paradox Slants. It exhibits much better driver control for planar magnetic headphones. 

 

With that said, I think I've reached the point where the H10 has really started to open up, and the HD800 pairing has started to sound much better to me, particularly when listening to classical. 

 

I've also noticed that the amp seems to perform better after being left on for a while. It may be any arbitrary length of time, so I don't want to specifically quote any numbers. What I do after coming back from work is turning the H10 on, taking an initial listen on a couple of test tracks, and come back after dinner. (Let's say an hour or so) The amp sounds so amazing at this point. Everything I put it through sounds absolutely fantastic. HD800, Paradox Slants, Alpha Prime, UERM, etc. There is no fatigue, no lack of body, no lack of dynamics, etc. 

 

I suggest to just turn the amp on, and enjoy the music. There is so little to complain about with the H10. 

 

Note: I did start using the 4V balanced XLR outputs from the Anedio D2. There is a slight improvement overall there, but I can certainly live with the RCA outputs if I did not have a DAC with balanced outputs. 

No__One411: Mind sharing your subjective impressions about the H10 + Paradox Slant combo?

post #187 of 5338
Wow 399 usd, I might give it a try.
post #188 of 5338
Quote:
Originally Posted by audionewbi View Post

Wow 399 usd, I might give it a try.


You won't be sorry. Just let it burn in for about 40 hours or so and it really does open up nicely.

post #189 of 5338
Quote:
Originally Posted by swannie007 View Post
 


You won't be sorry. Just let it burn in for about 40 hours or so and it really does open up nicely.

Just got one from pollychen. Made the leap. Especially given the price. 

post #190 of 5338
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schopenhauer View Post
 

Just got one from pollychen. Made the leap. Especially given the price. 


Welcome to the club. Enjoy!

post #191 of 5338
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schopenhauer View Post
 

No__One411: Mind sharing your subjective impressions about the H10 + Paradox Slant combo?

Hi there, 

 

The biggest things about the H10 with the Slants is how much control over the driver the amp exhibits. I've found this to be true for all the planar magnetic headphones that I've driven out of the H10. It is certainly a more satisfying combo to me than with the HD800 thus far. 

 

What do I mean by more control?

 

Well, it never feels like it's struggling. Everything is kept extremely tight, and yet you never get a sense of sibilance. You get a very full sounding headphone, that's still very exciting and dynamic, along with a neutral sound signature. I've noticed that it's easy to tell when planar magnetic headphones are not being driven enough. You lose a lot of body, and the bass seems very loose and weak. The mids also seemed a little recessed and did not have the lush mids that you generally associate with planar magnetic headphones.  Not with the H10. The pairing with the Slants isn't something someone who only listens to Dubstep and needs just bass would find satisfying, but most other people would have no complains about both the quality and quantity of bass. Female vocals sound absolutely amazing with the pairing as well. Again, never a hint of harshness, even with close-mic recordings, which generally plague Asian singers who record with relatively weaker mics and are very susceptible to the harsh "ssss".

 

So far, I've tried the H10 with HE500, HE6, HE560, Paradox Slants, LFF Enigmas, Alpha Prime and Code-X. All of them pair exceptionally well with the H10. I do generally try to avoid Audeze headphones due to poor fit and discomfort, so I apologize for no experience there. A common problem with planar magnetic headphones is providing enough current. The H10 has that in spades. For the HE500, Alpha Prime and Paradox Slants, I am pretty happy with the +6 pregain option, and keep the volume around 11 o'oclock, which is enough volume for my listening preferences. I do need to turn it a bit higher for the HE560, HE6 and Code-X, or simply switch to the +12 option and keep it around the same. 

 

Hope this helps. I know I'm not great with descriptions.

post #192 of 5338
Quote:
Originally Posted by No_One411 View Post
 

Hi there, 

 

The biggest things about the H10 with the Slants is how much control over the driver the amp exhibits. I've found this to be true for all the planar magnetic headphones that I've driven out of the H10. It is certainly a more satisfying combo to me than with the HD800 thus far. 

 

What do I mean by more control?

 

Well, it never feels like it's struggling. Everything is kept extremely tight, and yet you never get a sense of sibilance. You get a very full sounding headphone, that's still very exciting and dynamic, along with a neutral sound signature. I've noticed that it's easy to tell when planar magnetic headphones are not being driven enough. You lose a lot of body, and the bass seems very loose and weak. The mids also seemed a little recessed and did not have the lush mids that you generally associate with planar magnetic headphones.  Not with the H10. The pairing with the Slants isn't something someone who only listens to Dubstep and needs just bass would find satisfying, but most other people would have no complains about both the quality and quantity of bass. Female vocals sound absolutely amazing with the pairing as well. Again, never a hint of harshness, even with close-mic recordings, which generally plague Asian singers who record with relatively weaker mics and are very susceptible to the harsh "ssss".

 

So far, I've tried the H10 with HE500, HE6, HE560, Paradox Slants, LFF Enigmas, Alpha Prime and Code-X. All of them pair exceptionally well with the H10. I do generally try to avoid Audeze headphones due to poor fit and discomfort, so I apologize for no experience there. A common problem with planar magnetic headphones is providing enough current. The H10 has that in spades. For the HE500, Alpha Prime and Paradox Slants, I am pretty happy with the +6 pregain option, and keep the volume around 11 o'oclock, which is enough volume for my listening preferences. I do need to turn it a bit higher for the HE560, HE6 and Code-X, or simply switch to the +12 option and keep it around the same. 

 

Hope this helps. I know I'm not great with description. 

That helps greatly and is a fine description. I should have my G10 by the end of this week. In the next week or so I may receive a custom Paradox Slant. Hence my question. It's good to hear that it the H10 pairs well with the HE500, which I now own and love, and the HE560, which I hope to get in the future. Some people complain that the Alpha Dog can sound strident depending on upstream gear. I notice you have the Alpha Prime. Did you have the Alpha Dog beforehand? If so, care to comment on the Alpha Dog's treble when paired with the H10? If you didn't own the Alpha Dog beforehand, care to comment on the Prime's treble? I'm interested as I'm particularly susceptible to a hot treble. That means the bit about the absence of sibilance in the Paradox Slant + H10 combo is great news!

 

Also, your gear looks ridiculously awesome. I would love especially to pick up an Enigma and a Code-X.

post #193 of 5338
Jeff, that was a really great description. I couldn't agree more about the H10's grip on the planar magnetics. My HE400i sounds way better than the HD600 when plugged into the H10, when in contrast it was just a slight improvement when listening through the Ifi Ican. This tells me that the ultra low impedance and high current of the H10 benefits planar magnetics more than headphones with conventional drivers.
Edited by stuartmc - 12/2/14 at 10:21pm
post #194 of 5338
Quote:
Originally Posted by swannie007 View Post


Sir GP, (the senior, noble guinea pig), I think this mod you mention may well be a worthwhile endevour as I love the 400i's but, for my taste, they need to "open" up a little, i.e. they need a little more "sparkle" on the top end and this explains why I love my T90's and Q701's so much. So the grill mod was ......? 

Go to the HE400i impressions thread and the boys talk all about it. It is also discussed on all the other Hifiman headphone threads. Head-fier Jerg is responsible for it as are all the pad mods.

My experiments with power cords and interconnects have had more influence on tonality and soundstaging than the grill mod did. I have so many options lying around here that it has been maddening, but the results have made it all worthwhile. The biggest change came with the digital cable from my Rega Apollo R to the Aune S16. Surprisingly, a non-digital interconnect was by far superior to everything else I tried. The Acoustic Zen, Zero Crystal, Silver Reference was the clear winner. They also were the best when running the Rega straight into the unbalanced inputs of the H10. The H10 was also pretty sensitive to power cord choice and also to power conditioning. I will keep this simple and just say that the opening up and top end sparkle you're seeking are very much effected. The Tice power block III was a no no, but the Quantum Octave with an extra Quantum Symphony plugged in turned out to be a big yes yes. I swapped in and out five different power cords and finally settled on the Analysis Plus silver Oval directly into the H10 and the Acoustic Zen Tsunami feeding the Quantum Octave power conditioner. I was doing a lot of talking to myself during this process....mostly mild expletives about how in the heck this can change the sound so much.
post #195 of 5338
When running balanced from the Aune S16 to the H10, I only had one pair of xlr fitted interconnects to use. Fortunately, they were a half meter pair of Analysis Plus silver Ovals that I already knew were quite good. I think mono Crystal silver cables tend to give the best top end without harshness. They also have consistently given me the most open and expansive soundstage. All of this blather is just to recommend that you play around with interconnects and power cords to tune your sound to the way you like it.
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