Search results
  1. project86

    Review: Niimbus Audio US4+ Statement Amplifier (includes large high-end amp roundup)

    Sorry not familiar enough with any Bakoon gear to compare. I have never really liked their stuff much, but that has always been with pretty limited exposure to them. Could be great, you never know.
  2. project86

    SparkoS Aries headphone amp

    I use Audio Art cables. Love their stuff, and they have something for everyone with various lines at differing prices. So far all that I've tried were extremely competitive or just downright better than others in that price class.
  3. project86

    Rafe's Inner Fidelity

    Minor update as I know a few people have been following along. I finally got a couple of my reviews converted over to the Stereophile site. If you take a look HERE you'll see all three of them (so far) out of what was originally around 100 articles total. The focus is entirely on custom IEMs...
  4. project86

    Sonnet Digital Audio: New kid on the block, well.. not really!

    I'd go so far as to say pretty much every DAC out there has appeared on the used market from time to time... including those which originally cost $10k, $25k, etc. Some people just love trying new stuff regardless, and of course no DAC (or headphone, or amp, etc) is perfect for everyone. I...
  5. project86

    SparkoS Aries headphone amp

    I appreciate having both options, despite the Aries only having a 1/4" output. That's because some DACs are far better via their balanced outs, while in other cases it doesn't matter. If using a DAC that sounds best via XLR, you can still take full advantage.
  6. project86

    Reply to review by 'project86' on item 'Violectric V590'

    Not likely, since the V550 is just the V590 minus the DAC portion. So I feel like that's pretty much been covered already.
  7. project86

    Sonnet Digital Audio: New kid on the block, well.. not really!

    I would email Sonnet to inquire. I had the MQA card in my review loaner but only tried it a handful of times via USB, and perhaps later with I2S from the Hermes. I want to say I2S worked but I honestly don't recall completely. I don't have much interest in MQA so it wasn't something I spent much...
  8. project86

    SparkoS Aries headphone amp

    Was there supposed to be a question or comment in there? It didn't go through...
  9. project86

    Violectric DHA V590 DAC/AMP - Blue Velvet

    It's always interesting to hear what gets results for some people, or what doesn't. For some it is PSU upgrades, for others it is USB tweaks, and for others it is vibration platforms, and on and on. Personally I have had great results with some stuff and absolutely zero benefit in other cases. I...
  10. project86

    Violectric DHA V590 DAC/AMP - Blue Velvet

    It probably comes down to our definitions of "huge" improvement. I consider that to be something immediately obvious, even to someone who is not particularly well versed in high-end audio. If I attempt to show my wife or kids the difference between two DACs, and have to explain what they...
  11. project86

    Violectric DHA V590 DAC/AMP - Blue Velvet

    "Worthwhile investment" is a relative term for sure. Running V590 fed by a Sonnet Morpheus (NOS R2R so theoretically quite different than the internal V590 DAC) is an improvement for sure, but I wouldn't call it drastic. Bigger dynamics, slightly more extended/convincing treble, and a richer...
  12. project86

    Violectric DHA V590 DAC/AMP - Blue Velvet

    I agree with the above post - V590 is in a higher tier compared to those. I've spent lots of time with the Hugo 2 family and all the RME ADI-2 models, along with the Questyle CMA800i (not the newer models but I don't think they are vastly different). All have their strong points and I would...
  13. project86

    Violectric DHA V590 DAC/AMP - Blue Velvet

    I prefer the Matrix, though Singxer is great as well. And I prefer AES over coax but coax is not bad at all.
  14. project86

    Violectric DHA V590 DAC/AMP - Blue Velvet

    I would have really disagreed with you about USB quality but then I recently tried the V590 using a more traditional cable, and now I see/hear your point. I have been using my BMC PureUSB1 active cable which apparently does wonders in cleaning up the result, making it on par with AES and coax...
  15. project86

    YULONG DA1: Flagship All-in-One with AK4499, 5W Class A BAL headphones and Pre-Amp

    I personally find this thing very intriguing. The massive outboard PSU will most certainly contribute to the overall SQ, and is beyond anything we've seen from Yulong before. I also love that buyers can stagger the expenditure by starting with the DAC and then later adding the upgraded power...
  16. project86

    Reply to review by 'project86' on item 'Violectric V590'

    Hmmm tough question. In that case I think I might gravitate towards the V590 (or V550, since we aren't using the DAC part). Only because Thekk is slightly more light weight/ethereal sounding, and would thus benefit from the slightly thicker Violectric tonality. But it's a really tough call and...
  17. project86

    ZMF Pendant SE Pre-Order Ending

    Stunning! I bet it sounds equally impressive as well.
  18. project86

    SparkoS Aries headphone amp

    The thing about my recent amplifier roundups from Darko Audio, is that it involved having all of them here at the same time to compare/contrast. Even though my goal wasn't to have a direct shootout, comparing each one against the others in every aspect, I still wanted to get a feel for how well...
  19. project86

    Violectric DHA V590 DAC/AMP - Blue Velvet

    The Pro volume implementation should not be giving you any significant noise. It is basically silent, and the only way to really notice it should be in direct comparison with a standard version. If you've got noise or other issues, I'd reach out to your dealer or Violectric directly, that...
  20. project86

    Violectric HPA V550 - Blue's Brother and the successor to the V281

    I think your comment about Violectric (and therefore Niimbus) having such good support and build quality ties directly in with the pricing aspect. Plus the company has always been open about wanting to pay their workers a proper living wage, and to do a good job with the builds in order to...
  21. project86

    Violectric HPA V550 - Blue's Brother and the successor to the V281

    I totally get the price is very high on the Niimbus products, and it's a sticking point for potential buyers. But I also think the comparison to the Edge M is apples/oranges. You can't just go by looks. Edge M is a power amp for speakers while the Niimbus is a preamp/headphone amp. Consider the...
  22. project86

    Violectric HPA V550 - Blue's Brother and the successor to the V281

    I think generally speaking, integrated DAC/amp units tend to have some compromise. That's typically by design rather than an inherent limitation - what's the target market, and which functions are they primarily interested in? Thus we end up with DAC products featuring a "bonus" headphone stage...
  23. project86

    Keces S3 Balanced Headphone Amp/DAC (ESS9026Pro) (analogue and digital inputs) (review in 2nd post)

    Keces S3 is a fantastic combo device, very underappreciated imho.
  24. project86

    Cayin HA-300 Flagship Tube Headphone Amplifier

    I've blown many fuses in many devices over the years. It's never fun, but also not something to worry about once the cause is determined and taken care of. Think of it like tripping a circuit breaker at your home. That happens to protect everything else in the system from harm, and no damage or...
  25. project86

    Sonnet Digital Audio: New kid on the block, well.. not really!

    Output impedance for XLR is 100 ohms, which is pretty far from ideal. Yes, it will make noise and possibly get loud enough. But it won't be representative of the true sound signature for the vast majority of headphones.
Top