Audio-gd New C-2 Owners unite [DAC-19 DSP ADDED 22/06/2010]
Apr 11, 2010 at 8:07 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 53


Headphoneus Supremus
Oct 26, 2009
EDIT- Review Added POST 12.

I've been waiting with loads of anticipation built in my mind about what the amp will do for me.

It should be delivered tomorrow,I will post pictures and impressions as soon as I've setup the unit.

Owners could you please share some worthy information on whether you used the low or high gain, I would be using Grado SR325is and AKG K701's.

Please share your experiences,what moments with the amp made you realize certain passages had more instruments in your songs then you heard before.

EDIT- More pictures added.
Apr 13, 2010 at 9:35 AM Post #2 of 53
The unit arrived after numerous calls to EMS, went to collect it at the post today,there was this long queue and standing there with amazing anticipation I cited my beautiful box stacked up with other delivery parcel, for a second felt I should pick it up and run home, but then realized that I live in the same suburb and would be embarrassing to come back

bought the 5 Kg parcel home,opened and see what I found


My name on the box

The packaging was really nice, very tightly packed, definitely not a rushed with job,It took me about 15 mins to unpack everything,some more pics




Once the packaging was opened boy did it disclose this Black Beauty, it has a nicely brushed black aluminum front, the ports on the back sparkle with gold, the Alps Volume is just so smooth to rotate, its massive in size.

The Neutrik plug did say he was expensive, loved the tiny aquamarine power LED.



The unit did have a sticker with my name on it,won't take it off

Feels very special and custom made,not your out of the mill product.


I will post more impressions,I did a little quick audition, made sure that the Gain was on low, on high this thing will probably kill my Grado's its that LOUD.


Initial Impressions, the sound is more detailed then what my portable amp iBasso D4 produced, the low end did have that timbre and definition what my Grado's were capable to produce.


Will keep you posted
Apr 13, 2010 at 10:05 AM Post #3 of 53
wow! really impressive looking amp (and headphones..) thank you for the pictures and the impressions. audio gd gear is really look impressive but from all the review I still didn't get the overall sound signature of it (to the warm side maybe?).
please post on how you like the sound. how is the bass? punchy,deep?
Apr 13, 2010 at 10:52 AM Post #4 of 53

Originally Posted by plonter /img/forum/go_quote.gif
wow! really impressive looking amp (and headphones..) thank you for the pictures and the impressions. audio gd gear is really look impressive but from all the review I still didn't get the overall sound signature of it (to the warm side maybe?).
please post on how you like the sound. how is the bass? punchy,deep?

I'am very temped to post my review, but want to spend some more hours before posting it, definitely not warm, as neutral as it could be, something similar to water and not coca-Cola as Kingwa describes his ACSS technology amps.

The bass is punch , my Grado's don't extend very low so cannot comment on that aspect, the bass timbre is very profound and lively.
Apr 13, 2010 at 6:46 PM Post #5 of 53
Thanks very much for your initial impressions. I've been on the fence about ordering a C2 to match my DAC19DF but am not sure it represents an improvement over my GLite or KICAS. I anxiously await your full review.
Apr 14, 2010 at 5:55 AM Post #6 of 53
I just ordered mine from Pacific Valve, I can't wait to get it
. Also ordered a Dac-19DSP to go with it from a member on here. They should do my MD-5000's great justice.
Apr 14, 2010 at 6:03 AM Post #7 of 53
Apr 14, 2010 at 11:28 AM Post #10 of 53

Originally Posted by MadMan007 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I'm confused. You're not running the headphone out from your portable amp in to the C2 are you?

I'am using the iBasso mamba as the DAC running the C-2.
Apr 17, 2010 at 1:52 AM Post #12 of 53

The views below are strictly my observations and in no way reflect what audio gd advertises or promotes the New C-2 headphone Amp.
I would like to thanks everyone you recommended me and assisted during the process of purchasing this amp.
I would also like to thank members reading this review, thanks for taking the time to read through my reflections of this amazing headphone amplifier.

Timbre and Tonal Balance

Timbre stands for quality of a musical note or sound or tone that distinguishes different types of sound production, such as voices or musical instruments. The physical characteristics of sound that mediate the perception of timbre include spectrum and envelope.

The perception of a specific instrument sounding very close to being 'live' is achieved to some degree, the music note changes can be easily distinguished, something that not many amps establish.The drums especially do extend way lower then conventional amps, obviously it comes down to whether your headphones can produce that kind of detail.
The freshness of the beat been hit could be felt, the resonance after every hit was very profound.

Tonal balance is best described to be the balance or volume relationships between different regions of the frequency spectrum, including bass, lower midrange, midrange, upper midrange and highs.

We don't enjoy any aspect of music being over or under emphasized, that just deprives you of the rest.
The C-2 is a very neutral amp and will produce no colour whatsoever of its own,to some it may sound a little lifeless or uninteresting but that just means
your rest of the system isn't coming to the party, since the C-2 does what every amp should add nothing,delete nothing.i listened to very varying Genres and didn't feel even for a

single moment that some aspect or the other is being produced with more emphasis.


Dynamics normally refers to the volume of a sound or note, but can also refer to every aspect of the execution of a given piece,
either stylistic or functional.Dynamics do not indicate specific volume levels, but are meant to be played with reference to the ensemble as a whole.

I felt one of the biggest problem with portable amps was the dynamics, that was precisely the reason behind getting a desktop amp, I feel AC power brings about the best in the complete dynamics.

The C-2 was was pushing every instrument to stand up and speak for itself not allowing it to drown in somebody else's note,if you understand what I mean.
This includes the distortion, it can sometimes be a little irritating as the C-2 is very revealing ,Kingwa did explain to me,my Alanis Morisette album is almost unlistenable.
That was my favorite 2009 album,oh my.

Soundstage and Imaging:

Soundstage is the ability to visualize the placement of musical instruments and vocalists in a music recording. A good soundstage also allows the listener to perceive the size and space of the performance venue in which the recording was made.
A good soundstage in a music recording should be three-dimensional with height, width and depth.

I couldn't probably much of this aspect as the review was done using my Grado SR325is headphones which are notoriously lacking in soundstage,I will edit this section
Once I test the C-2 with another pair of headphones.


Imaging is the ability to visualize the spatial location of various instruments and vocals in a music recording.
Good audio imaging helps makes an audio recording sound live.

Imaging compliments instrument separation and the C-2 does definitely excel in this aspect, every instrument has its character represented perfectly some wise person once said
"we could even gather detail from the speaker on the telephone, the only difference is that you would probably have to concentrate that much harder", imaging may probably not be C-2 best character but it definitely
is above average.


Transparency would be a clean glass revealing everything on the other side, the glass being the C-2 in this case, C-2 is definitely a very spotless glass, the details is astounding,
something that can be appreciated with only hi-fi headphones,I obviously don't have close enough headphones to match it.The stock Opamp being dead neutral the detail is revealed to an extent where you feel you cannot concentrate on a specific instrument as you want focus on them all
since they all sound nice.


A super duper amp with a decent price tag,physically very robust and attractive especially the front brushed black aluminum in very enticing and the huge aluminum knobs are just a pleasure to touch I keep fiddling with the volume.
Apr 17, 2010 at 7:07 AM Post #14 of 53

Originally Posted by Poleepkwa /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Thank you for a good review. Any plans to try the different OPA's?

I probably wouldn't because will be using the ACSS along with the DAC-19 which by passes the opamp anyway therefore would be a waste.
Apr 17, 2010 at 7:45 AM Post #15 of 53
I reckon that once you have your new DAC that you'll revise some of your impressions about the C2. Grados can have a wide soundstage, I've found.

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