Corda Aria vs. Presonus central station
Feb 27, 2006 at 3:15 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 13

Banach

Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 22, 2006
Posts
54
Likes
0
Has anyone made a direct comparison between central station phoneamp section and corda aria? Are they in the same league? Both seem to be worth the money. I have in mind akg k 701 to hook up in one of those two. I will appreciate your comments.
 
Feb 27, 2006 at 4:58 PM Post #2 of 13

sionghchan

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 1, 2005
Posts
564
Likes
14
Man..tough one. I'll be very interested in any feedback here as well..
 
Feb 27, 2006 at 6:32 PM Post #3 of 13

jriihi

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 30, 2006
Posts
113
Likes
10
Well corda aria has nice crossfeed feature. I use it 100% of time
smily_headphones1.gif


Presonus has dac with lots of inputs included and preamp if you need that for something.

But dont really know how comparable are those as amps. I find my aria good and seems to get lot of good comments here.
 
Feb 28, 2006 at 6:56 AM Post #4 of 13

Banach

Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 22, 2006
Posts
54
Likes
0
Thank you guys for the comments. Anyone else?
 
Mar 1, 2006 at 1:39 PM Post #5 of 13

atx

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 13, 2005
Posts
915
Likes
13
Quote:

Originally Posted by Banach
Has anyone made a direct comparison between central station phoneamp section and corda aria? Are they in the same league? Both seem to be worth the money. I have in mind akg k 701 to hook up in one of those two. I will appreciate your comments.



The central station amp sounds very flat (ie lacks depth), a bit cold, and aggressively in-your-face with little to no soundstage. I suppose this is ok with some non-transparent headphones like grado (which is already flat sounding and aggressive) or those with a distant midrange, but not with the k701. It is not in the same league as the corda aria-- far from it imo-- the aria is *much* better.

That said, both are worth the money. To use as a home dac, I'd say the presonus is a far better value than the microdac or some garage made diy.
 
Mar 2, 2006 at 2:48 AM Post #6 of 13

visia

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 16, 2004
Posts
589
Likes
11
Quote:

Originally Posted by atx
The central station amp sounds very flat (ie lacks depth), a bit cold, and aggressively in-your-face with little to no soundstage. I suppose this is ok with some non-transparent headphones like grado (which is already flat sounding and aggressive) or those with a distant midrange, but not with the k701. It is not in the same league as the corda aria-- far from it imo-- the aria is *much* better.

That said, both are worth the money. To use as a home dac, I'd say the presonus is a far better value than the microdac or some garage made diy.



I am confused
confused.gif
. What do you mean "both are worth the money" if they cost about the same and ARIA is much better (at least as an amp)?
 
Mar 2, 2006 at 3:27 AM Post #7 of 13

Ferbose

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 27, 2004
Posts
1,822
Likes
19
Quote:

Originally Posted by visia
I am confused
confused.gif
. What do you mean "both are worth the money" if they cost about the same and ARIA is much better (at least as an amp)?



Central Station is a DAC/headphone amp/pre-amp.
Actually the pre-amp section is the main selling point. It is a paasive design using mechanical relays and resistor networks.
For its asking price, you can't even get a comparable passive pre-amp in the audiophile market, not to mention all the added functions.

That being said I don't think Central Station HP amp is flat, cold and in-your-face. Yes, Benchmarks DAC1's amp is a bit flat, cold and in-your-face, and in my house it is used specifically for SR225. I would not plug my K501 into it. My K501 is mostly powered by Central Station, and sometimes by my tube amp, too. When I listened to Central Station side-by-side with Grace m902 at a meet, the difference was minute at best. Central Station sounds at least as good as the Hornet at the meet. I never heard Corda Aria. The only amp I heard that is significantly better than Central Station is dynahi.
 
Mar 2, 2006 at 5:27 AM Post #8 of 13

atx

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 13, 2005
Posts
915
Likes
13
Quote:

Originally Posted by visia
I am confused
confused.gif
. What do you mean "both are worth the money" if they cost about the same and ARIA is much better (at least as an amp)?



Central station is worth the money as a dac/preamp. The aria is worth the money as a headphone amp. Also, when I said the aria is much better as an amp, I was using cs as the source!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ferbose
Central Station sounds at least as good as the Hornet at the meet. I never heard Corda Aria.


I never heard the hornet, but I do have the sr-71 and I prefer it over the presonus' amp.
 
Mar 2, 2006 at 5:36 AM Post #9 of 13

visia

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 16, 2004
Posts
589
Likes
11
Fair enough. How does it stack up against other DACs?

Quote:

Originally Posted by atx
Central station is worth the money as a dac/preamp. The aria is worth the money as a headphone amp. Also, when I said the aria is much better as an amp, I was using cs as the source!



I never heard the hornet, but I do have the sr-71 and I prefer it over the presonus' amp.



 
Mar 2, 2006 at 9:10 AM Post #10 of 13

Ferbose

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 27, 2004
Posts
1,822
Likes
19
Quote:

Originally Posted by visia
Fair enough. How does it stack up against other DACs?


Really good, see my review here:
http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=155336

BTW, I have better DAC and amp at home than Central Station, so don't count me as a fanboy. I bought it as a preamp. I am just delighted that it also has good DAC and HP amp sections.
 
Mar 2, 2006 at 2:45 PM Post #11 of 13

visia

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 16, 2004
Posts
589
Likes
11
By the way, from what I understand, Presonus uses very similar DAC to EMU-0404. In that sense (and I am talking just about DAC, not pre-amp or amp), would it be a significant upgrade over EMU?
 
Mar 2, 2006 at 9:15 PM Post #12 of 13

visia

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 16, 2004
Posts
589
Likes
11
Quote:

Originally Posted by atx
Central station is worth the money as a dac/preamp. The aria is worth the money as a headphone amp. Also, when I said the aria is much better as an amp, I was using cs as the source!



I never heard the hornet, but I do have the sr-71 and I prefer it over the presonus' amp.



By the way, what about the DAC part? Its sounds from the description of the Aria's DAC: "Built-in USB-DAC (PCM2704, 16 bit, 32/44/48 kHz)" that it should be far inferior to Presonus? Is that really a concern though, i.e. would there be a significant difference between the same file playing through EMU0404 - digital out - Presonus - external amp versus USB - Aria - same external amp?

Another question about Presonus, do you think it can be used as a preamp for SuperMacro? Xin suggests using 2 amps as a combo, I wonder if that would work with Central Station.
 
Mar 4, 2006 at 3:34 PM Post #13 of 13

atx

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 13, 2005
Posts
915
Likes
13
Quote:

Originally Posted by visia
would there be a significant difference between the same file playing through EMU0404 - digital out - Presonus - external amp versus USB - Aria - same external amp?


The Aria's dac has less detail and is less vibrant to my ears than the presonus-- the difference is easy enough to spot without a switch box. But I wouldn't describe it as "far inferior" -- the aria's dac is close to the emu0404.


Quote:

Originally Posted by visia
Another question about Presonus, do you think it can be used as a preamp for SuperMacro? Xin suggests using 2 amps as a combo, I wonder if that would work with Central Station.



You can, since both of the presonus' outputs have volume control. I use it as preamp for my sr71/portaphile.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top