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Reviews by: hodgjy

One fine amplifier with no noticeable flaws

Posted

Pros: Transparent and controlled; disappears from the chain

Cons: Use of op amps might turn some people off

I recently took delivery of the TEAC HA-501.  After giving it a good workout, I am happy to share my impressions about it.   TL;DR   This is one impressive amplifier.  It has clean, refined power.  It is very musical with a hint of warmness and smoothness, while retaining a high level of detail.  It is very transparent and essentially disappears from the chain.  Highly recommended.    Picture of My System   In the picture, you can see the TEAC HA-501, Bifrost Uber, iPod Classic, Pure i20, Trafomatic Head One, and Shure SRH1540.   Amplifier Basics   The TEAC HA-501 is a solid state amplifier.  Key features...
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Excellent at their price point (edit 2/28/14 and 3/19/14)

Posted

Pros: Bass, mids, smooth and clear treble, comfort

Cons: Poorly recorded tracks can suffer bass bloat

**I edited this review on 2/28/14 to include some new thoughts.  I placed the edits at the bottom of this review**   This review is a little unique for me.  Firstly, I'm more comfortable and experienced at writing reviews of amplifiers and DACs.  Writing a headphone review is a new thing for me.  Secondly, this is my first foray into premium closed headphones.  I've heard many closed cans in my day, but my premium cans have always been open.  This is my first attempt at analyzing flagship closed cans.   Review system:   Trafomatic Head One and Schiit Bifrost Uber.  Apple lossless files fed to Bifrost via coax.     Ok,...
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End game DAC for my system

Posted

Pros: Space, imaging, PRAT, micro detail, dogmatically vigilant sound

Cons: None at this price

Holy Schiit!   That's the first thing that came to mind when I connected the Bifrost Uber to my system and gave it a listen.  Here's a rundown of a few things.   Amp: Trafomatic Head One Cans: Sennheiser HD600 Old DAC: V-DAC ii with V-PSU ii Apple lossless -> iPod Classic -> Pure i20 dock -> coaxial connection   For a long time, I felt my rig was basically end game.  But, over time, I began to notice some weaknesses in my overall sound, which I started to attribute to the V-DAC.  Some of the hailed strengths started to be weaknesses to me.  For example, at times it was too smooth and polite.  It rounded some notes off.  Then,...
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My mini review of the V-DAC II

Posted

Pros: Musical, smooth, good value

Cons: Usb implementation not as good as optical

I recently took delivery of the V-DAC II and put it through the paces.  I have a good feeling for its sound and wanted to share them here.   First, a word about how I review gear.  I don't spend weeks going back and forth doing A/B comparisons.  Rather, I use a certain set of gear for quite some time and really get to know how it works.  I know how my favorite songs sound inside and out.  Then, I put a new component into the chain and listen to my favorite songs.  I'll immediately form an opinion of the changes.  I'll listen for a while to the new configuration and further develop that opinion.  Finally, I do some brief A/B comparisons...
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Mini Review

Posted

Pros: Excellent all around.

Cons: Not widely available. Limited tube rolling capabilities.

I've had my Trafomatic Experience Head One for a few days now and have put some hours on it.  I bought it secondhand, complete with tubes, so I'm assuming it has already been fully burned in.  I'm posting my impressions here in a little mini-review.  It is driving my HD600s, which I find to be a match made in heaven.   To understand where I'm coming from, I'll give a little bit of a background about me.  I grew up with Walkman cassette players and Discman CD players.  I listened to most of my music that way, complete with the cheap $1 headphones they throw in the box for you to use.  I didn't know any different.  I didn't know any better. ...
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