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Review: Commandos Monster Closed Headphone Test #2 - Page 2

post #16 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by commando
What's Lindrome's PPA got in it?

I've just added some thoughts about AOS DAC vs Chaintech AV-710 at the end of the review in the notes section. Impressive performance from the much cheaper card.
Wow. If I'm not mistaken Iron_Dreamer had said that the Sostenuto (which AFAIK uses an AOS DAC that is older than the AOS PPA DAC) was equivalent to a E-MU 1212m (or between that and the modded one, I can't remember).

I guess once again we see how in the end it's all up to the individual. In the days before the internet we probably would never have bought music equipment based merely on heresay without auditioning it, but nowadays it seems that since something is in the internet it must be the absolute truth. Of course, don't take my comment to any extremes, but it seems like a certain tendency at the very least.

(Btw I don't mean to diss Iron_Dreamer or commando, I think their reviews/comments are very helpful)
post #17 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoide
Wow. If I'm not mistaken Iron_Dreamer had said that the Sostenuto (which AFAIK uses an AOS DAC that is older than the AOS PPA DAC) was equivalent to a E-MU 1212m (or between that and the modded one, I can't remember).
Yes, I thought it was a bit better than the stock EMU, but that was using the EMU as a transport. It didn't sound as good using the Chaintech. I found the Sostenudo to be quite transport-dependent, it sounded worse than the Sonica using the Sonica as a transport.
post #18 of 54
Thread Starter 
I haven't compared my chaintech, sonica and pioneer dvd player's optical outs yet, and I don't know if I will. It's too much hastle to get them all in the same place (710's in my work PC). Might try and work it out sometime.

Either way, i'm impressed with the AV710, it's great value.
post #19 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer
it sounded worse than the Sonica using the Sonica as a transport.
Wow... That's the first time I'd heard of a DAC sounding worse than just using its transport alone.

Hopefully my Piccolo's DIR1703E "low jitter" receiver is better than the Sostenuto's!
post #20 of 54
"The A900 isn't as bright but has 95% of the detail of the CD3Ks..."


I think this is the sentence I have the biggest problem with. I suppose it depends on how you "percentagify" detail but I'll say the difference with a quality source is quite a bit more than that. The A900 is noticeably occluded (and by far more than 5%) compared to the CD3K, and not just in the decreased treble emphasis.
post #21 of 54
Oh.. I don't have a PPA.. but I've auditioned several on my way to eventually buying the HR-2. The problem is, with the various parts that can go into PPA, it's hard to nail down exactly which one I was listening to. I auditioned two built by JMT, two more that was built by Headsave, one that was built by LaRocco. Out of which, I think the Headsave one is the only "maxed-out" PPA that I've tried (black diamond triad buffer or something added?). I'm not clear how which opamp or what else they used either.

Either way, it was just too much fidgeting around to find the right matching for the CD3000... most of them still sound too bright for my taste. At the end of the day, getting a PPX3, MPX3 or Emmeline HR-2, or something similar along the line of those amps were just a much easier proposition to deal with. Perhaps even the Gilmore V2-SE, should've tested it when I got a chance.. doh! I remember the Gilmore V2 (not SE), although not greatly synergetic with the CD3000, was less bright than the PPA in the high treble regions. Overall I don't recommend Gilmore V2 though.
post #22 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoide
Wow... That's the first time I'd heard of a DAC sounding worse than just using its transport alone.

Hopefully my Piccolo's DIR1703E "low jitter" receiver is better than the Sostenuto's!
I got something other than the standard DAC AOS uses, it could be that one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bangraman
"The A900 isn't as bright but has 95% of the detail of the CD3Ks..."

I think this is the sentence I have the biggest problem with. I suppose it depends on how you "percentagify" detail but I'll say the difference with a quality source is quite a bit more than that. The A900 is noticeably occluded (and by far more than 5%) compared to the CD3K, and not just in the decreased treble emphasis.
What I mean is I can still hear all the same sounds, but it's better ballanced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lindrone
Oh.. I don't have a PPA.. but I've auditioned several on my way to eventually buying the HR-2. The problem is, with the various parts that can go into PPA, it's hard to nail down exactly which one I was listening to. I auditioned two built by JMT, two more that was built by Headsave, one that was built by LaRocco. Out of which, I think the Headsave one is the only "maxed-out" PPA that I've tried (black diamond triad buffer or something added?). I'm not clear how which opamp or what else they used either.

Either way, it was just too much fidgeting around to find the right matching for the CD3000... most of them still sound too bright for my taste. At the end of the day, getting a PPX3, MPX3 or Emmeline HR-2, or something similar along the line of those amps were just a much easier proposition to deal with. Perhaps even the Gilmore V2-SE, should've tested it when I got a chance.. doh! I remember the Gilmore V2 (not SE), although not greatly synergetic with the CD3000, was less bright than the PPA in the high treble regions. Overall I don't recommend Gilmore V2 though.
Cd3Ks just aren't my cup of tea. A900s with the PPA is very nice to my ears. It's probably possible to improve on it, but it'd not be that easy. I wonder how the A1000s sound...

Do these other amps use opamps, or are they discrete transistor based?

Edit - for the first time in a while i'm very happy with my headphone rig. Now everyone leave me alone for a while to enjoy the music so I can avoid upgraditits!
post #23 of 54
Great review commando.

Now I'm thinking that getting a DAC won't be worthwhile unless I get an expensive $1000 DAC.

You wrote:
"AKG 271 - I like it. Good bass impact and depth, highs are about right, and it just sounds good. 271s are good cans for heavy rock."

I think you are correct saying this. In don't listen to rock, but when I listen to TV music videos (like right now) with these cans on I can tell that they sound great with rock.
post #24 of 54
Commando, why ?? =) I was very happy with my 271s ... now I'm hearing it a bit 'veiled' with noticably less detail than the Senns. But I'd like to add that 271 is very neutral and relaxing to hear, everything is in good balance with no particular part of music trying to grab your attention.

Good review ! Would be nice if you can comment on build quality as well. Is the A900 as sturdy as 271? I heard complaints on the pivots.
post #25 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nak Man
Commando, why ?? =) I was very happy with my 271s ... now I'm hearing it a bit 'veiled' with noticably less detail than the Senns. But I'd like to add that 271 is very neutral and relaxing to hear, everything is in good balance with no particular part of music trying to grab your attention.

Good review ! Would be nice if you can comment on build quality as well. Is the A900 as sturdy as 271? I heard complaints on the pivots.
I think music preference has something to do with this. The AKG's are very well made pro headphones compared to the AT ATH series which are not as tough, but I don't think this matters much in a home environment.
post #26 of 54
Great review, but two questions. One, after seeing how detestable you found the cd3k's harsh high's and bass to be in most instances, how could you rate them as the best sounding in the tests? Judging from the tests, I would have concluded the a900's and senn280's to have tied for top dog.

Second, I think BT's Emotional Technology would have been much better classified as "As pop as it gets."
post #27 of 54
Commando, didn't you used to rate the 280's rather poorly? If so, I'm glad you came around to team 280 :-) Maybe they just took this long to finally burn in
post #28 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by commando
The Sennheiser 280s are amazing value cans. They hold their own against the big boys, and lack only in bass impact, while bass extension is the best i've heard - see the truck idling comment above. Perhaps they're not quite as smooth, but it's close. For under $100 these are amazing value and are great entry level audiophile cans.
Great review, but I have to take issue with your comment about the 280s' bass extension. You aren't the only person to report good bass extension, but I just don't hear it that way, to me they sound just like this chart from headroom shows http://www.headphone.com/layout.php?...tID=0020080280
the bass is significantly rolled off.
post #29 of 54
Nice job commando!
I guess cd3k will go first. Then k271 next. And maybe hd280...
What's you next upgrade if you get rid of all 3 phones mentioned above?
It looks like a900 are keeper, but other 3 phones are NOT...
post #30 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earwax
Great review, but I have to take issue with your comment about the 280s' bass extension. You aren't the only person to report good bass extension, but I just don't hear it that way, to me they sound just like this chart from headroom shows http://www.headphone.com/layout.php?...tID=0020080280
the bass is significantly rolled off.
that seems about right but as with all speakers a good EQ can help a lot.
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