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Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by magiccabbage, May 14, 2015.
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  1. iDesign
    No and Zenwave has the cables you need.
  2. Clive101
    Nice post, thank you.
    Would you be able to post the difference between the SPL Phonitor X and the GSX Mk 2 with Dave ....?
  3. tunes
    There is one other amp out there for around $2k that has high regard and wondering if anyone has heard it the Mjolnir Audio Pure BiPolar Amplifier from Iceland. I think this is the same builder that makes great amps for the STAX headphones.
  4. woodcans
    I have one. Sounds fantastic. Adds punch compared to direct Dave out. I notice no loss of detail.
  5. tunes
    Did you consider the PHONITOR XE. It also has been reviewed as a very transparent SS amp and what I like about it is it’s remote control capability. When listening to DAVE I often need to adjust the volume remotely for different selections.
  6. Torq
    I found the GSX Mk2 presented in a way that seemed slightly brighter than both DAVE's direct headphone output and the Phonitor X, and this was more obvious with the Abyss Phi (w/ CC pads) and the Utopia than with some other headphones. It wasn't a big difference, by any means, but it wasn't what I was after. Transparency was similar.

    A much bigger factor in why I don't own a GSX Mk2 is that I found the 24-step attenuator to have insufficient granularity.
  7. Torq
    Don't forget that you can alter the volume via DAVE and it's remote as well. In "DAC" mode it's operating at - 3dB attenuation, which is exactly the same output and processing as being in "Digital Pre" mode and choosing -3 dB - just with the volume selection disabled. Unless you're running DAVE at 0 dB in "Digital Pre" mode, there's already digital attenuation at play, so the only thing that changes is how much attenuation is applied.
  8. miko64
    did anybody compare dave with dcs stuff such as rossini? views highly appreciated
  9. tunes
    So does this infer that with any headphone amp that does not have a remote volume control I can use the DAVE
    remote to adjust the volume?
  10. Torq

    As long as it's in "Digital Pre" mode - which is the default when no headphones are connected, unless you manually switch it to "DAC" mode.
  11. tunes
    Thanks for the clarification. So now I don’t need to focus on an amp with a remote control volume feature when using it with DAVE. That’s great! Now I just have to decide between the PHONITOR Xe and Mjölnir Pure Bipolar Balanced Dynamic Headphone Amplifier
    Read more at https://www.innerfidelity.com/conte...8-icelandic-wonder-page-2#wCxzXlsRDTEE7rMA.99
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
  12. Torq
    Can't help you on that one.

    I've never read anything but positive feedback on Mjölnir's builds or the fundamental designs. But I'd still have to audition it side-by-side with a familiar reference to consider it even from a pure SQ perspective. And for various, non-SQ-related reasons, they're not on my radar outside electrostatic amps (which will probably be something I add to my setup in the near future).
  13. Clive101
    Thank you for your reply. Currently ( not wishing to cause conflict as your experience and your system YMMV ) I have a GSX mk2 but oddly I found the GSX slightly less transparent ( small margin ) no extra brightness but more musical than stand alone Dave.... I guess the extra power and headroom helped with the LCD4 I currently have. So I will give the Dave - GSX Mk2 another listen in the next few weeks.

    So I guess with the Phonitor X ( or XE my preferred ) will be warmer than my current set up which answers my question, Thank you.
  14. audio_1
    I compared the DCS Vivaldi to the Dave. The Dave sounded much better imho. The Vivaldi is an outdated DAC with incorrect topology and short tap length filters. It is impossible for it to sound good. I purchased the Dave and Blu II. The Blu II or Hugo Mscaler improve the Dave further still.
    jacc and Triode User like this.
  15. Torq
    Sorry, it looks like I cut-off the end of my 2nd sentence, which should have read: "Transparency was similar to, if not a perfect match for, the Phonitor X".

    The Phonitor X is still the only solid-state amp where I can't tell a difference in transparency vs. DAVE's direct output.

    I don't think I tried my LCD-4 in a GSX Mk2 vs. DAVE-direct comparison (don't have any notes on that combination). Before I got to doing so I'd already decided I wasn't going to go with that amp due to not liking the 24-step volume control so further testing wasn't useful. I don't care for my LCD-4 straight out of DAVE, though, and via my Phonitor X they definitely exhibit a more impactful and controlled bottom-end than vs. DAVE on it's own.

    I don't know if the Phonitor X will actually sound any warmer than the GSX Mk2 with the LCD-4. That the HeadAmp was a little brighter with the Abyss and Utopia may not translate the same way to higher-impedance (or even just "other") cans. But, again, once I was off the idea of having one I didn't listen further.

    It's worth noting that, with DAVE specifically, the 24-step attenuator is not an issue, since you have much more granular control on DAVE itself. But for my purposes, the amp wasn't just going to be used with DAVE, so the limited granularity of the stepped attenuator didn't work for me.
    Clive101 likes this.
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