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The unit was delivered to @Wildcatsare1 on 1/14/16.
Just to inform that yesterday I received the unit for the Europe tour, it was a busy day so just opened the box today.
Started the 10 days period today Friday 5th of Feb.
Looking forward to a weekend of proper listening
The unit from jerick70 was delivered yesterday. I picked it up from my office just now and am very impressed by the build quality. Can't wait to start listening tonight.
A long time coming but hopefully worth the wait - enjoy your weekend with it
Forgive me, I've never written impressions of an amp before.
My initial impression of the Heron was that it was just a tad dark sounding. After spending more time with it I would now say that it sounds rich, the same way the original version of the LCD-2 sounds rich. This isn't to say the Heron lacks treble clarity. I think the treble sounds fantastic, not the slightest bit harsh. Even though the Heron sounds rich it is still neutral, neutral to me being that there are no frequencies that I feel are over or under-emphasized. To me it has a very natural, tube like sound signature. But with all the strengths of solid state. In short: It sounds good.
I've never thought HD-800's lacked bass like many others do. They produced great bass with my Valhalla 2, but the Heron is a definite step up. Bass is tight, powerful, detailed, and just sounds right. Another area where the Heron shines is track separation. I can pick out so many details, whereas on other amps things can muddle together a bit, especially the bass. The track separation/imaging of the Heron is probably my favorite thing about it.
I've seen a lot of others mention value. That's a hard thing for me to determine. My Valhalla 2 is a value. It bested amps 2-3 times it's price. Do I think the Heron is better than the Valhalla 2? Yes. Absolutely. Sounds better, built tougher, far superior volume control, etc. (Let the record state that I am a huge Schiit fanboy)
But is the Heron $1650 better than the Valhalla? I don't think there's a one size fits all answer. For some the answer will be yes, and others it will be no. If I hadn't just dropped big bucks on a speaker setup I'd be buying a Heron and a Ragnarok and returning the loser. So for me the Heron is worth the price. I like it enough to be ok with it's price. That being said I think it would sell like hotcakes if it could be sold in the $1300-1500 range. Why? Because the unit as it is has no pre out, no balanced out, and only one input each for balanced and unbalanced. The balanced out doesn't really bother me because I don't use balanced, but I know many do. No pre out made me sad because I would have loved to have have tried the Heron in my speaker setup. And the lone unbalanced input means I have to swap cables if I want to listen to a record.
I had spent a lot of time away from my headphone rig because I was anticipating my speaker rig, which arrived about two weeks before the Heron. Speakers trump headphones in many ways, but when I plugged my senn's into the Heron and started listening there was a brief moment of "oh god what have I done? This sounds so good and is so much cheaper". Headphones offer a level of intimacy speakers can't match. But you need a good amp. And the Heron is a good one.
I received the @AiristAudio Heron 5 from @Wildcatsare1 Saturday. Everything looks and works beautifully, I must say I have never experienced such fines in an amp before. I really feel present at the performance, really wish I had a better dac to complement it but my Aune X1s does quite well. Tomorrow the Hifiman Edition X's should be in so I'm interested to see how the super sensitive cans perform and if the low gain is still too much. Any who, check out my Unboxing video to see this beauty early.
Update for the Europe Tour,
Amp shipped to the next reviewer today!
Thanks for the opportunity. Review soon!
I shipped my unit to psonoda today.
Hope Army Fire Dawg loves the Herron 5, it's an exceptional amp. I'll be reviewing the Herron 5 for Headphone Guru, should be out in the April Edition!
Is anyone experiencing a lack of power with this amp. Is 5w at 32 ohms accurate?
I guess I'll find out if it can drive the Omni when my turn comes up here soon. I'll compare it to my Mjolnir power-wise and report back.
Just received the amp today. Got it hooked up to my system and warming it up. Can't wait to demo.
Has anyone else noticed a big jump in gain/volume on the last volume detent?
psonoda - You're in for a treat. Good call warming it up first; it definitely needs to warm up before it sounds its best.
Re: Volume jump at last detent - I never got past 11:30 - what headphones are you using that you can stand to play it so loudly?