Cen.Grand 9i-906 "Silver Fox"
Sep 16, 2023 at 3:25 AM Post #706 of 932
BTW, I have been listening to the Abyss 1266 TC too on the Big Silver Fox, and I must say, since not many folks seem to be mentioning it on this thread, that it sounds particularly spectacular to my ears for the types of acoustic and avant-garde jazz--not to mention the classical music--I typically listen to. As usual, one has to find, not only the right chain and synergy of components, but also the correct positioning and "tuning" for these cans on the head to achieve optimal results, but once those conditions are in place, the wide and holographic spread and distribution of sonic effects in the soundstage is quite breathtaking, I must say. That spread is never missing the solid and weighty anchor of notes in the mids that seems to hold everything together and make the music cohere.

I am using a Norne Audio classic Vykari (fusion) cable with the TC (and not the Superconductor cable or any other more sophisticated or expensive cable)... If anyone wants to compare notes or suggest head positioning/tuning options for even better performance of the TC on the Big Fox, I am ready to listen, although I am quite impressed already with the performance as it stands now.

Unless I am mistaken, I have not heard much talk about the TC on this thread, and that seems a bit surprising given how nicely it seems to play with the Big Fox. Oh Well!
 
Sep 16, 2023 at 6:13 AM Post #707 of 932
These questions are quite narrowly targeted at a specific area of the Susvara's performance with the Fox, so it will require a correspondingly controlled session of auditioning in order to be addressed properly, which I cannot do because my Susvara is not with me at the moment, I should be able to address this question more adequately when the Sus is back in the house in about a week or two from now.

What I can tell you from having listened recently to the Sus on my Sonnet Pasithea/Cen.Grand Silver fox combo before it went away is that it has more character, musicality, and a certain increased dimensionality and weightiness to the notes as compared to the Sus on the same chain with Niimbus US4 in place of the Fox, and this is not a "diss" directed at the Niimbus as there is a lot about its performance with the Susvara that I still enjoy and love.

The remarkable thing about the Cen.Grand Silver Fox paired with the Sus is how it is able to make notes in the midrange sound more weighty and more soul-grabbing, while also (and at the same time) extracting and distributing quite skillfully in the soundscape and frequency spectrum, all manner of ethereal details (including the minutest pieces of detail one can think of), in a mesmerizing and captivating (not to mention feathery and silky) spread of sonic confections that are very well delineated in space... That spaciousness (not to mention airiness) is worth mentioning as the generously wide and deep soundstage thrown by the silver fox is one of its more satisfying virtues.

The Niimbus is also similarly capable of extracting detail, but it is in the way those details are presented that might set the Silver Fox apart as it is able to give some of them more room to breath, so to speak, a slightly but distinctively different character, at times, or a certain prominence and bloom that I have called "dimensionality."

Even without having my Susvara on hand at present, which I would like to do in order to give you a more targeted answer to your question about "tonal density in the midrange/bass region," I feel inclined to answer in the affirmative, but that is sounding somewhat premature too as I would like to give the Sus another listen on the Fox in order to be completely certain that I am providing the most precise and accurate answers I can come up with within the immediate context of a comparative audition as opposed to responding from what I can gather from audio memory alone.
When you compare Silver Fox and Niimbus, you will talk about Silver Fox operating in BTL mode, and Niimbus with what preamplifier?
Do your impressions from comparing amplifiers change when listening to the Niimbus at higher gain? Thanks for the answer.
 
Sep 16, 2023 at 6:26 AM Post #708 of 932
Hi, noticed you mentioned the headtrip. May i ask which model headtrip , that you feel the silver fox is superior to? The original, headtrip 2, or headtrip lvl2? and in what ways is it superior. Thank you
I have no experience listening to Flux Volot and HeadTrip. And I didn't say that HeadTrip is better.
I tried to convey the idea that it makes sense for owners who have headphones that are difficult to control to demonstrate the amplifiers I have indicated and choose the most suitable one. It seems that the developers of these amplifiers have the same philosophy of what the sound should be.
My assumption is based on the presence of high preset gain in these amplifiers. Two of the three amplifiers I mentioned have fixed gain.
 
Sep 16, 2023 at 9:56 AM Post #709 of 932
When you compare Silver Fox and Niimbus, you will talk about Silver Fox operating in BTL mode, and Niimbus with what preamplifier?
Do your impressions from comparing amplifiers change when listening to the Niimbus at higher gain? Thanks for the answer.
I have never messed with any of the settings on either amp, because the default stock settings seem to work very well for the headphones I have "as-is," and I am not into doing a lot of tweaking at the level of the amps as a rule. I could be missing something by following this policy--maybe--but if I am, I do not know it and I would like to keep things that way in order not to open another audio nervosa rabbit hole.:)
 
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Sep 16, 2023 at 7:11 PM Post #710 of 932
Thank you! I've been meaning to start a thread for a while now but just so busy with life and other review projects etc. So I'll just add on to this one instead.

Been using the Silver Fox along with the Cen.Grand DADAC1.0 Deluxe for a few months and they are now my reference system. Just superb in every way. Will add more thoughts and pics as I have them.
Hi I noticed you did a aquarius review awhile back. How would you rate the aquarius combo with silver fox vs the dsdac deluxe? Thanks
 
Sep 16, 2023 at 11:38 PM Post #711 of 932
I have no experience listening to Flux Volot and HeadTrip. And I didn't say that HeadTrip is better.
I tried to convey the idea that it makes sense for owners who have headphones that are difficult to control to demonstrate the amplifiers I have indicated and choose the most suitable one. It seems that the developers of these amplifiers have the same philosophy of what the sound should be.
My assumption is based on the presence of high preset gain in these amplifiers. Two of the three amplifiers I mentioned have fixed gain.
I was actually curious, if its better than the headtrip. Their specs is similar afterall.I just heard the silver fox in a store..it is magnificent. Liquid mids and highs yet incredible detail. Spatial and sounstage awesome..and bass impact and slam was fantastic..i tried on zmf VO, VC, atrium of which i own.
 
Sep 17, 2023 at 1:37 AM Post #712 of 932
Hi I noticed you did a aquarius review awhile back. How would you rate the aquarius combo with silver fox vs the dsdac deluxe? Thanks

I actually quite like the Aquarius paired with Silver Fox. Not quite as much as the full Cen.Grand stack, mind you, but it's still a very complementary pairing.

The Aquarius, to my ears, is a bit less colored than the various Denafrips models I've experienced (which would be the original Aries, Aries II, Pontus II, and Terminator II). Those all seem to have a warmer, smoother tone with extra richness at the expense of some detail and articulation. It's an enjoyable sound but to my ears can sometimes go too far.

Meanwhile the Aquarius, while keeping some of that meaty R2R authority and tone, is more linear and even-handed. So it still sounds rich and full bodied but also more open, clear, and technically accurate than the Denafrips models. To me it's the superior presentation though I admit the Denafrips sound can be addicting in its own way. But as far as synergy goes, I prefer Denafrips DACs with lighter, airier amplification - the Niimbus is an excellent match, as is Musician Audio's Andromeda. Meanwhile the Aquarius is comfortable pairing with a wide range of amps, since it starts from a more neutral baseline.

As for the Cen.Grand Deluxe, it does go notably beyond the Aquarius in terms of detail retrieval, holographic soundstage, and top-to-bottom tonal bandwidth. It's a special DAC - as you probably read in my big comparison review. Still, the Aquarius/Silver Fox is no slouch at all, and very enjoyable for a rather significant savings.

The real question would be how does the Aquarius compare with the DSDAC Super Clock version, since those prices are not too far off. Unfortunately I can't answer that one.
 
Sep 17, 2023 at 7:29 AM Post #713 of 932
I actually quite like the Aquarius paired with Silver Fox. Not quite as much as the full Cen.Grand stack, mind you, but it's still a very complementary pairing.

The Aquarius, to my ears, is a bit less colored than the various Denafrips models I've experienced (which would be the original Aries, Aries II, Pontus II, and Terminator II). Those all seem to have a warmer, smoother tone with extra richness at the expense of some detail and articulation. It's an enjoyable sound but to my ears can sometimes go too far.

Meanwhile the Aquarius, while keeping some of that meaty R2R authority and tone, is more linear and even-handed. So it still sounds rich and full bodied but also more open, clear, and technically accurate than the Denafrips models. To me it's the superior presentation though I admit the Denafrips sound can be addicting in its own way. But as far as synergy goes, I prefer Denafrips DACs with lighter, airier amplification - the Niimbus is an excellent match, as is Musician Audio's Andromeda. Meanwhile the Aquarius is comfortable pairing with a wide range of amps, since it starts from a more neutral baseline.

As for the Cen.Grand Deluxe, it does go notably beyond the Aquarius in terms of detail retrieval, holographic soundstage, and top-to-bottom tonal bandwidth. It's a special DAC - as you probably read in my big comparison review. Still, the Aquarius/Silver Fox is no slouch at all, and very enjoyable for a rather significant savings.

The real question would be how does the Aquarius compare with the DSDAC Super Clock version, since those prices are not too far off. Unfortunately I can't answer that one.
Thanks for the detailed comparison. The actual reason i asked is because i already have a musician monoceros preamp. Said to be the aquarius's soulmate. I am certain to buy the silver fox since i auditioned it and loved it. In my specific situation would you recommened to buy the aquarius and combine with the monoceros a i have...or still explore the dsdac? Thank you
 
Sep 17, 2023 at 4:37 PM Post #714 of 932
Thanks for the detailed comparison. The actual reason i asked is because i already have a musician monoceros preamp. Said to be the aquarius's soulmate. I am certain to buy the silver fox since i auditioned it and loved it. In my specific situation would you recommened to buy the aquarius and combine with the monoceros a i have...or still explore the dsdac? Thank you

In that case I would be tempted to go for the full Cen.Grand stack, since the DSDAC 1.0 Deluxe has analog inputs for preamp duty... and they work exceptionally well.

You could simplify the system (two box instead of three) and with the sale of your monoceros it would not be much of a price difference in the end. You'd then have a superior DAC as well.

The only issue might be the number of inputs - Deluxe DAC has one each for RCA and XLR, while the Monoceros has a single RCA but dual XLR inputs. If you need all three of those (or at least both of the XLR) then the Deluxe wouldn't work for you.
 
Sep 20, 2023 at 4:18 AM Post #715 of 932
In that case I would be tempted to go for the full Cen.Grand stack, since the DSDAC 1.0 Deluxe has analog inputs for preamp duty... and they work exceptionally well.

You could simplify the system (two box instead of three) and with the sale of your monoceros it would not be much of a price difference in the end. You'd then have a superior DAC as well.

The only issue might be the number of inputs - Deluxe DAC has one each for RCA and XLR, while the Monoceros has a single RCA but dual XLR inputs. If you need all three of those (or at least both of the XLR) then the Deluxe wouldn't work for you.
Thank you for your input. I thought maybe the aquarius and monoceros may end up being a more potent combo vs a single albeight excellent dac such as the sdac, due to the increased voltage output. But may i ought to audition the dsdac it seems.
 
Sep 20, 2023 at 4:27 PM Post #716 of 932
I'm sure either way would have merit. But whenever a DAC has an excellent integrated pre-amp function - and certainly not many of them do, even if they technically can handle the job - I figure why not make use of it.

I don't know the specs on the Monoceros but I was under the impression it was basically identical to the Denafrips Hestia. That device puts out 2V/4V for RCA/XLR respectively, whilst the Deluxe will do 3.5V/6.1V via those same outputs. So the higher voltage actually goes to the Deluxe in this particular case. Whether or not that matters depends on your particular system and preferred listening levels.
 
Sep 25, 2023 at 9:57 AM Post #718 of 932
greetings, any comparison to holo audio bliss kte
Not too many Silver Fox owners have tried the Bliss. I for one would love to compare the two. I think it's going to come down to user preference as from what I know about the Bliss is that it has a slightly different overall tonality than the Silver Fox.
 
Sep 29, 2023 at 12:58 AM Post #719 of 932
Does anyone have a comparison of the Silver Fox to the Audio-gd HE-9 MK2/3?

I think it is a good comparison to make because both seem to present a bold, tonally saturated type sound....--- so seems like a somewhat similar delivery from reports.
 
Sep 29, 2023 at 1:05 AM Post #720 of 932
Does anyone have a comparison of the Silver Fox to the Audio-gd HE-9 MK2/3?

I think it is a good comparison to make because both seem to present a bold, tonally saturated type sound....--- so seems like a somewhat similar delivery from reports.
I had he9 mk2 right before silver fox. I’d like say he9 is more neutral, more smooth, more “grey” sounding amp. Silver fox is on the next level technically. It has stronger bass region, more transparent, much more details and lushness. Highs are more detailed but never harsh or shouty. Silver fox is more full bodied and punchy amp.
 
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