Head Gear Reviews by MRC001
  1. Meier-Audio Corda Soul

    4.50 star(s)
    I’ve used an Oppo HA-1 as my DAC, preamp and headphone amp for 4 years. I love its clean neutral sound, driving HD-580 and LCD-2 Headhpones, and my Magnepan 3.6/R speakers. Yet I wonder whether better sound could be had. Jan Meier built 2 Soul prototypes, each of which resembles a science project but is solid, if not elegant, and electrically and sonically equivalent to the production unit. If you contact him you can arrange to borrow the prototype. Jan has a generous policy of not charging to borrow it (though you have to ship it back to him in...
  2. JDS Labs The Element

    4.00 star(s)
    I've used the JDS Element with my Audeze LCD-2 and Sennheiser HD-580 headphones for a few months now. For comparison, I also have an Oppo HA-1, and have had several other headphone amps over the years (Corda Jazz, Headroom Maxed Out Home, Wheatfield HA-2, among others). First and most important: the Element has excellent sound quality. If you didn't know it only cost about $300, you might call it reference quality. A side-by-side comparison with the HA-1 and Corda Jazz reveal the Element is not quite as refined, lacking their richness in the bass and...
  3. Oppo HA-1 Integrated Headphone DAC and Amplifier.

    5.00 star(s)
    Based on solid reviews everywhere, I bought an HA-1 and have been super happy with it.   I use the unbalanced 1/4" headphone jack to drive Sennheiser HD-580s. I use the balanced headphone jack to drive Audeze LCD-2F. I use the balanced line stage to drive an Adcom 5800 to Magnepan 3.6/R speakers. I use the unbalanced line stage to drive my Tascam digital recorder.   The headphone balanced output runs in pure class A, beefy powerful, with adjustable gain so it can drive almost any headphone. It gets quite warm. The headphone unbalanced output...
  4. VSONIC GR07

    4.50 star(s)
    The overall sound is similar to the Audeze LCD-2F - slightly on the warm side of neutral, but without the ultimate resolution the LCD-2F has. And easier to drive so you can plug them into your phone. The bass is all there but it's not bloated or enhanced like it is with so many IEMs. The treble is all there but at natural levels so they don't sound bright. The mids are just slightly recessed but still sound natural with classical and acoustic music. And the entire frequency range is integrated smoothly with no apparent peaks or troughs. That's quite...
  5. Meier Audio Corda JAZZ

    5.00 star(s)
    I agree with pretty much everything the other reviews said, so I'll add how this compares to my Headroom Maxed Out Home (MOH).   First, a little on the MOH I'm comparing with the Jazz. The MOH is a great amp: toroidal power supply, OPA627s biased class A, quiet background (high S/N ratio), linear, neutral sound. Power limited to about 250 mW and 250 mA which is plenty to drive just about any headphone short of a a HiFiMan HE-6. The MOH sound is smoother and darker than most solid state amps, yet despite being slightly dark it has incredible detail...
  6. Esi Juli@ Audio Interface

    5.00 star(s)
    Edited to reflect observations after extended listening. I just installed this sound card and was pleasantly surprised at the sound quality. The reason I bought this card is because its unbalanced analog outputs were praised by The Absolute Sound and that is how I use the card. Their praise was well deserved. It normally sells around $200, I picked up one lightly used (still in new box) for $150.   My computer is a Dell with i7 4770 processor, 8 GB RAM, SSD, running 64 bit Ubuntu (my primary OS) and Windows 7 (which came with the Dell). The Juli@...