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Audeze Deckard - class A amp, USB DAC

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by lamode, Jan 6, 2015.
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  1. WilCox Contributor
    raoultrifan and TJ Browning like this.
  2. Alphaman0606

    Is the package about the size you were thinking?  It may get a lot done with a smaller than average package?  I'd be interested to know how you think it stacks up?
    Remember....It's not the size of the boat but the currents in the ocean...or something like that...[​IMG]
  3. Tambourine Guy
    Thank you so much for sharing this photo.  It is nice indeed, linear power supply, good size transformer, Elna caps, symmetrical layout, alpot, changeable op-amp.  This boat is definitely sea worthy in an ocean of choices. 
  4. WilCox Contributor
    A very positive review of the Deckard by Michael Lavorgna was just posted over at AudioStream.  This is very timely, since I just received mine on Tuesday and find it to be a superb amp for my LCD-2s as well as my Alpha Dogs.  What's even more surprising is that it works extremely well with my HD 800s with strong, foundational bass and smooth, non-fatiguing treble.  I need more listening time, but right now, I think the Deckard is a better match for the HD 800 than the HDVA 600 -- and a bargain as well.
  5. 0rangutan
    Can any Deckard owners help with this quick query?
    When using the pre-amp outputs, what happens when you plug in a pair of headphones?  Do the pre-amp outputs mute or do they play at the same time as the headphones?
  6. heishiro

    looks like a photo copy of Matrix M-Stage HPA-3U ????
    Fapandeggs, Matias and sheldaze like this.
  7. 0rangutan
    It's not subtle is it!
    Presumably Matrix are OEM'ing it for Audeze.
    So is the Audeze casing worth an extra $280? :wink:
  8. WilCox Contributor
    It would be interesting to do a listening comparison between the Matrix and the Audeze.  There are a number of changes between the two which could result in very different voicing: SMT vs. through-hole and a different USB input board for starters.  A few years back, I built four versions of a Pete Millett hybrid amp, each with different power supply caps, coupling caps, resistor types, gain settings, output transistors and tubes.  Each one had a very distinct voicing and performance characteristics but, using the same PC board, the circuit was essentially the same for all.  Ultimately, the proof is in the listening and the Deckard sounds very, very good.
  9. elvamir

    Mute. They are not pass-thru type outputs. They also require the amp to be on and the volume knob will adjust the output level.
    0rangutan likes this.
  10. Cook77
    Hey everyone, I'm a new member on here.  I'm just getting into this foray of a hobby and I am enjoying it very much.  I had a couple questions about the Deckard. 
    I just ordered a pair of EL-8 closed back cans, but I also have a pair AKG 3003i IEM's and some older Westone W3's.  I recently sold a pair of SE846's that I wasn't too impressed with.  
    I have the Geek Out 100 IEM DAC/amp that I use through my MBP and Audirvana software.  I also just ordered the Geek Out 1000 and I have the Geek Out V2+ Infinity on the way for when I want to go portable with my iPod.
    My questions are this:
    1.  I know the Deckard will be just fine to power my EL-8's, but will the low setting be too much for my AKG 30003i or W3's?  My 3003i sounds great out of my iPod, and of course even better through the Geek Out 100 and Audirvana with my high-res files (mainly 192/24, some 96/24), but will they sound even better through the Deckard?  
    2.  What kind of difference will the EL-8's sound like through the Deckard compared to the Geek Out 1000?  
    3.  Lastly, what would be a good rig set up for me?  I read so much stuff on here and I'm trying to discern through all of it.  I want a nice portable rig that (I was thinking Astell Kern AK100 II) and amp that I could slap together and have it be decent for my EL-8C and my IEM's.  Then what do you recommend for a desktop amp?  Will the Deckard suffice if all I plan on doing is running it through my usb output on my MBP?  Is there a better option?  I want to keep my portable set up under $1000-1200 and my desktop set up under $1000 as well.  I can get the Deckard for $549.  
    Thanks for your help, I appreciate all the good info contained in here!

  11. hoth
    I'll try to provide some answers but really the answers have to do with your tastes.
    1.  The Deckard should be able to handle the full range of in-ears to planar headphones.  However, what sounds better is ultimately up to you.  I would presume the geekout can drive the planars fine but I have read complaints about in-ears.  I think the issues of really high-powered amps without a low gain setting driving in-ears typically have to do with not enough range in the volume settings, hiss and too high impedance.
    2.  As both seem to have enough power for the EL-8's, the differences can come through in voicing, soundstage, depth, clarity of treble or bass, etc... Some may describe these differences as subtle and others dramatic.  My GUESS from internet posts (take it for what you will) is that the Deckard might be more "refined".  But really it might just come up to your taste.  Sometimes things that others have described as dealbreakers on amps haven't bothered me at all and vice versa.     
    3.  This is a difficult hobby.  Often I think we're chasing our tails and some people just like the acquisition aspect of the hobby.  Therefore, a lot of people are always finding fault in what they have to justify buying other - often more expensive - gear.  The AK100 and the Deckard are a great setup.  I think people would say the Deckard is a better "bang-for-the-buck" than the AK. But I had the AK100 and now have the AK240 and love it so everyone's definition of what is worth the price is different.   
    Cook77 likes this.
  12. MacedonianHero Contributor
    Remember the Deckard has a DAC included. [​IMG]
  13. 0rangutan
    They both have a DAC! I believe that the Matrix also supports DSD.
  14. MacedonianHero Contributor
    The M-Stage HPA-3B does not, sorry...I thought you were referring to that amp (though it is an outstanding amplifier with a huge amount of value)...I happen to be reviewing one right now....actually the review is done and waiting to be scheduled for publication...coming soon!  The Deckard with the DAC offers outstanding bang-for-the-buck performance as well (my review can be found in my sig below)...it's a winner too!
  15. 0rangutan
    I was comparing against the HPA-3U (with DAC), not 3B (without). Will check out your review though :)
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