$350CAD HERUS: Asynchronous USB Audio 2.0, 24bit 352.8Ks/S, DXD and DSD64/128, 2.4VRMS Headphone DAC
Aug 12, 2014 at 7:10 PM Post #256 of 326
Dang. I'm into prog and post rock and some of those tracks can have brief passages of silence. I'll demo it before If I can. I'm going to check Resonessence's return policy. Thanks, neco. 
Aug 16, 2014 at 9:59 PM Post #257 of 326
FWIW, I listen with UERM and I've never had an issue with the noise floor of the Herus, even on very quiet passages like the opening of the San Francisco Symphony recording of the Mahler First.  Maybe I'm just not sensitive to hiss (I'm old, and although I haven't had my hearing tested in a while, I'm sure I have some rolloff on top)..
Aug 16, 2014 at 10:09 PM Post #258 of 326
That's good to hear. Ha. 
But seriously. I am glad because I want a Herus but am not too keen on adding an amp to the chain to get the low noise floor. 
Thanks for the input. 
Aug 21, 2014 at 3:22 PM Post #259 of 326
Also, I spent almost an entire afternoon last weekend on a side-by-side comparison of the Herus and the Geek Out 450.  One of them got sold shortly afterwards.  Care to guess which one?
Hint: this message is in a Herus thread, not a GO 450 thread.
The details are posted somewhere.  If you're an Everton fan, you'll figure out where.
Aug 22, 2014 at 11:19 AM Post #262 of 326
Here's the full text of what I posted at the other place.

So, I spent several hours yesterday going back and forth between GO 450 and Herus. Source was a MacBook Pro running Audirvana, and phones used were UERM. I went through most of my standard evaluation tracks, a mix of orchestral, chamber, solo piano, bluegrass, jazz, female vocals, and blues-rock.

I found the differences to be very narrow.

The GO is maybe a little better at plankton extraction. I spoke in the shoutbox yesterday about how the GO brought out the vibrato on held notes in the English horn solo at the beginning of the second movement of the Baltimore Symphony recording of the Dvorak "New World" Symphony (44.1/16 ALAC ripped from CD).

Both are best-in-class at getting instrumental timbres right.

Surprisingly, given the GO's rated output power, I found that the Herus consistently scaled better. This was especially noticeable on two tracks. On SRV's "Wall of Denial (44.1/16 ALAC, ripped from CD)," it was a push at my normal listening volume, but when I cranked it up on the Herus, it kept its integrity; in contrast, on the GO at high volume, the cymbals receded into the background and the drums went from "thwack" to "thud." Similarly, on the second movement of the Branford Marsalis Quartet live recording of Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" (48/16 AIFF, ripped from DVD), at high volume Jeff Watts' drums should explode out of nowhere when he comes in. On the GO, they come in but they don't explode the same way they do on the Herus. On the same track, at high volume the GO adds just a little bit of excessive metallic sheen to Joey Calderazzo's piano.

The one thing that the Herus clearly does better than the GO is capture the innate drive of the music. I mentioned in the shoutbox that in the Dvorak (which is a live recording), the Herus is more "organic;" the orchestral crescendos sound like musicians asking more from their instruments, not like somebody pushing a slider in the control room. The GO is close, but it's a tiny bit more "artificial. The effect was similar on the first movement of the San Francisco Symphony recording of the Mahler First (DSD download). (Aside: the Mahler is also a great test of the alleged high noise floor of the Herus. I don't doubt that the folks who have remarked on it are accurately reporting what they heard, but it's never bothered me).

On tracks that really swing--like, for example, the violin solo in "Macedonia" from the Mark O'Connor album "Thirty Year Retrospective" (44.1/16 ALAC ripped from CD)-- the GO asks you to get on your feet and flop around like a fool, but the Herus DEMANDS it.

For me, with the way I listen and the kinds of music I listen to, I prefer the Herus by the narrowest of margins. The Herus also wins on versatility; you can run it off an iOS device without a powered hub. That said, because I've owned the Herus since the week it was introduced, mentally I've written off the cost of the Herus. If money is an object, the GO wins handily on value proposition, because it costs slightly less than half the price of the Herus.

Bottom line: I could be seriously happy with either, but if I were forced to keep only one, I would keep the Herus.
Aug 23, 2014 at 5:21 PM Post #263 of 326
^ Helpful. Thanks!
Aug 31, 2014 at 10:27 AM Post #264 of 326
I was going back and forth with whether or not I should order a Herus, as I was worried about the noise floor being a problem.
I would be using the Herus with a pair of Nuforce Primo 8's and I was afraid their sensitivity would produce unsatisfying amounts of hiss. 
I decided I'd try it out and ordered a Herus last Friday from Resonessence. I received it on Wednesday, which is pretty quick. 
As I feared, the noise floor was distracting, not horrible, just distracting. 
I had an iFi iCan Nano to plug in but that didn't do much for the noise floor. Dang. Back to the interwebs! I returned the iCan and started to look up alternatives and decided to give the O2 a shot. After a helpful conversation with John Seaber I ordered an O2 with the lowest gain setting and started the countdown. 
I received my stuff yesterday and am happy to report that it sounds excellent. The O2 has eliminated, for the most part, the problem with the noise floor. 
Here's a quick pic. 

Aug 31, 2014 at 4:32 PM Post #267 of 326
.... The O2 has eliminated, for the most part, the problem with the noise floor. 

Sounds like you're still getting hiss. There are only a few amps I've tried that are absolutely silent to me with the most sensitive IEMs. One is the Ray Samuels Tomahawk. The other is the Headamp Pico Power in low gain mode. Pretty much everything else I've ever tried I can hear hiss to some degree with the se530. I'm sure there are other silent amps out there that I haven't heard....probably...
Aug 31, 2014 at 5:37 PM Post #268 of 326
Still some hiss, yeah.
It's better with the O2 hooked up though. I was a little disappointed when I hooked up the iCan because I heard a lot of great things, but the improvements did not warrant my keeping it so I sent it back. 
I'm going to look into those other amps, see If I can do a comparison and pick a favorite. Thanks for suggesting 'em.
Aug 31, 2014 at 9:05 PM Post #269 of 326
  No line out, at least not obviously, so I think I am double amping. It's hooked up to the O2 with a Blue Dragon 1/4" to RCA IC. 

It can be used as a stand-alone DAC.
Aug 31, 2014 at 11:33 PM Post #270 of 326
 It can be used as a stand-alone DAC.

An FAQ page on Resonessence's site states this. But now I'm wondering, am I "double amping"?
Not that It's a big deal, I'd just like to know.
And can anyone here make sense of why Resonessence would suggest using a 1/4" TRS to RCA cable, instead of say an adapter and a mini to mini IC?

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