Creative Sound Blaster X7 - Detailed Review & Impressions
Jan 12, 2017 at 2:38 AM Post #2,191 of 3,536

Clean6eR

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@mbyrnes great write up sir! Now You made me want to buy the duals too.

From my experience, the speaker taps are also affected by the op amps (the hiss created by the burson duals is audible through the speakers.

Also, it should be possible to make the SS3602 under the lid by removing the second set of extenders.

hi,
 
after you told me this earlier i contacted sparko and ended up ordering 2 duals and 2 singles, i was left to belive that you cannot remove the other plastic legs (the 2 4 pin ones in that picture). i assume the pins are soldered to the tops of them, if you remove is you might end up with VERY short pins/pads and need to solder them on ala surface mount!
 
he didnt confirm that and my chips are in the post at the min so i cant confirm it until they get here but he did say the  legs are not removable.
 
"Im not sure what you mean about a
spacer - the legs are soldered into place."
Andrew Sparks
 
 
 
i feel i introduced confusion and he thought i meant to remove the copper legs from the board.
 
pretty sure as im shipping from us to uk i will get hit buy customs so not sure how long the delivery will take but ill take pictures up close of how those plastic bits are attached when they get here.
 
Jan 12, 2017 at 2:48 AM Post #2,192 of 3,536

mbyrnes

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hi,

after you told me this earlier i contacted sparko and ended up ordering 2 duals and 2 singles, i was left to belive that you cannot remove the other plastic legs (the 2 4 pin ones in that picture). i assume the pins are soldered to the tops of them, if you remove is you might end up with VERY short pins/pads and need to solder them on ala surface mount!

he didnt confirm that and my chips are in the post at the min so i cant confirm it until they get here but he did say the  legs are not removable.

"[COLOR=212121]Im not sure what you mean about a[/COLOR][COLOR=212121]
[/COLOR][COLOR=212121]spacer - the legs are soldered into place."[/COLOR]
Andrew Sparks


 


 



i feel i introduced confusion and he thought i meant to remove the copper legs from the board.

pretty sure as im shipping from us to uk i will get hit buy customs so not sure how long the delivery will take but ill take pictures up close of how those plastic bits are attached when they get here.


I'll have to pull out one of mine and see. I'm completely fine with the lid being off, its on the bottom of the unit, so dust collecting shouldn't be an issue at all.

I cannot wait to hear your thoughts on them. Hopefully you love them as much or more than I do!
 
Jan 12, 2017 at 3:08 AM Post #2,193 of 3,536

Clean6eR

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yea ill leave my bottom cover off too, after seeing your picture (thanks!) i think that looks OK clearance wise.
 
I'm hoping i like them they will end up cost £250 after all the duty and vat to add, which is over half the price of the x7! (I'm using the LE with the bigger psu)
 
i have muses01 and muses02, also ad 627 and 797 to play about with, also the stock op amps and some others, the reviews led me to believe these will be more clean and crisp than the burson v5i ones which I'm hoping is the case. i found my 627 and muses02 caused a deviation on loud songs.
 
also everybody says these op amps increase the volume, this worries me.
 
with the muses02 and 797 op amps when i turn direct mode on and high gain the sound doesn't start until my windows volume mixer hits 3 and then its too loud for comfort on sensitive headphones like the ad700.
 
the hd800's however sound acceptable at about 6 to 8 (this is out of 100!)
 
a test album to show problems is red hot chili peppers californication. play that on a loud track without direct mode and i hear real crunching and distortion, but with direct mode on it is gone, its like a re sampling issue. same thing is heared out of the optical out into the hdvd800 and balanced hd800 and w5000. when using the dsp in the x7 it seems to sound bad but direct mode or outputting to the optical directly solves the issue (that's what makes me think its to do with re sampling)
 
another irk with the x7 is that when i turn surround on it applied it to ALL of the inputs, so when chatting on ps4 using the Bluetooth receiver my friends voices are also (surround sounded?!) it makes them sound echoy. that's a shame as the mixer lets me chat and balance the audio but i can select which channels get the surround applied to them. would be awesome if they added a tick box to the mixer page of what input you want to hit that dsp.
 
Jan 12, 2017 at 7:52 AM Post #2,194 of 3,536

mbyrnes

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Wow you listen at a low volume! I'm in the 30s with the TH-X00 Ebony, and in the 70s with the HD6XX when I'm desiring loud music. I'm also surprised you have an audible issue in the low gain mode. I personally haven't used low gain so I can't comment. Interesting, I'll have to check that out.
 
Jan 12, 2017 at 8:15 AM Post #2,195 of 3,536

Clean6eR

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 those audio issues I wrote about I get in both high and low gain mode (the resampling type issue) its also very hard to notice but with that one album I can clearly tell the difference between using the dsp chip and direct mode.
 
when I hear about people and how they set their volume on devices I do sometimes think I have hearing problems. my Schiit amp I can barely raise above where the channel imbalance is present on the volume pots!
 
my hd650 on the x7 I feel is ok up to about 12! :p if I put them to 50 I will have to just use them on my desk like speakers. I do have quite a silent house.
 
 
looking forward to my new op amps now...
 
Jan 12, 2017 at 10:26 AM Post #2,196 of 3,536

kellte2

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  Sparkos SS3601 and SS3602 OP amp upgrade:
 
Equipment: I7 laptop running Foobar with the latest updates, WASAPI, Samsung EVO 850 500GB SSD, , all music files FLAC, connected to the Creative X7 via USB
MicroZOTL2 with LPS connected via RCA outs of the X7
 
Headphones: Fostex TH-X00 Ebony, Sennheiser HD6XX, AKG K702 65th Anniversary
 
Songs:
 
Nirvana-Remastered Nevermind/In Utero/MTV Live/etc. I own a lot of their albums!
Eagles-Tequila Sunrise & Hotel California/Hell Freezes Over
Lumineers- Ho Hey & Stubborn Love/The Lumineers
Lorde-Tennis Court/Pure Heroine
Silversun Pickups- The Royal We/Swoon
The Beatles-I Want You (She'sSo Heavy)/Abbey Road
Warren Zevon-Lawyers,Guns, and Money/Excitable Boy
Elton John-Tiny Dancer/Madman Across the Water
Led Zepplin- Babe I'm Going to Leave You/Led Zepplin II (remastered)
Counting Crows-Mr. Jones/August and Everything After
Arcade Fire-Reflektor/Reflektor
Adele-Hello/25. 
 
Disclaimer: I am in no way associated with Sparkos Labs, I purchased the SS3601 and SS3602 directly from Andrew. The price for all 4 was $199 shipped. I did ask Andrew for a discount on the 4, and the price I paid is not full retail. I also have written this review to the best of my abilities, giving my honest feedback. We all hear things differently, and your results may vary. 
 
My Personal Background:
 
I have been a Head-Fi member for about 6 years, initially joining to follow the goodness that is Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide. I was a regular at AVSforums, and still am to this day (I use the same screen name, Mbyrnes). Mad Lust Envy had basically a copy of the Head-Fi thread there, but he couldn't retrieve his lost password, and shifted the entire thing to Head-Fi. Head-fi was far more active, with more contributors than AVS. I immediately joined and started commenting. 
 
I am a 39 year old man, I am divorced, and have no children (Yay!), and have been exposed to great music and systems my entire life. My father was a huge music enthusiast, and I became one early. At 10 years old (1987), I had an Onkyo head unit, Sony CD player, TEAC tape deck, and Bose 301s as speakers (these actually weren't that bad). At 12, I received Infinity SM122s for Christmas, the baby brothers of my fathers SM152s. I had a system that  destroyed anyone that I knew, except my father. My father and I adjusted to the times, added Surround Sound, Laser Disc players, and speakers when it became available. I have advanced my system as time has gone on, and watched the entire industry change so drastically. I did not own a proper headphone until 2011, When I had the Tritton AX720, and purchased the Sennheiser PC360 headset. Even with my surround sound setup, it seemed people were preferring headphones with DDH over a 5.1 proper system.  So the madness started, I eventually bought an Astro Mixamp 2011, AKG K702 65th Anniversary, Antlion Microphone, and a Schiit Magni, with help from the guide. That served me well for years, but once I bought a house and installed a theater on the lower level, headphone gaming was done. 
 
Due to an back injury in August 2015, I eventually lost my beautiful house, and sold off my beloved theater equipment. I am extremely fortunate to have Long Term Disability Insurance and everyone should have it.  Living in a 2600 sq ft house on a heavily wooded lot, driving a Mercedes Benz E350 4matic, and fixing up my house DID NOT make me happy. I chased the American dream, and did what I thought I was supposed to do. It sucked, so I did something I had always wanted to do, move into Philadelphia, PA. I sold off the majority of my possessions, and kept the things that really mattered to me (A/V equipment mostly). I had lived the majority of my life 20-25 minutes from downtown Philly, and it is amazing how little I went into the city, for various reasons. Drinking and driving, parking, and not knowing all of the great spots to go. February 1, 2016, I became a Philly resident, an apartment dweller once again, and a headphone enthusiast, more than I ever have been in my life. I was excited to be in the local music scene again, hearing acts live is my favorite way to consume music. There is almost always live music of all types playing every night. I have no plans to ever leave Philly, as I love it that much. Headphone equipment became a very good investment for gaming, movie, music playback.  I game a lot on my Xbox One, and the Astro Mixamp always just didn't feel right. It was good, but there had to be better. I found the Creative Sound Blaster X7 here at Head-Fi, and began reading the huge thread from start to finish. I purchased my Creative Sound Blaster X7 LE from Amazon for $349, and received it November 10, 2016. 
 
Receiving the X7:
 
My initial impressions of the X7 were fantastic! For gaming the sound was much clearer, and the ability to alter the sound to my liking was a HUGE bonus. I felt like I finally had options, and the $349 was easily the best money I had spent in my search for gaming/movie/music nirvana. Now to be honest with everyone, I have a mental condition called 'Borderline Personality Disorder'. Essentially, my emotions swing much further than the average person, so depression/anxiety hit me far harder. I can go from fine to enraged so quickly that it scares the living $h!t out of my friends/family. Another issue it causes is I try to buy happiness, and in a venture that I love, I will go crazy spending money. From November 2016 to today, I have bought the X7 ($349), Sparkos OP amps ($199), DT990 ($129), Sennheiser HD6XX ($199), Fostex TH-X00 Ebony ($499), CD ripping software (DB Poweramp, $90), and last but not least, the MicroZOTL2 headphone amp with original and upgraded LPS, and a bunch of Tubes ($950) used from a fellow Head-Fier. that's $2415 in less than 3 months, which is as I imagine, far beyond what the average Head-Fi member can spend. The important thing with all that spending is, did the money spent = value and happiness. 
 
Sound Blaster X7 Reviews: 
 
While reading all of the reviews, and I suggest you do if you aren't familiar with the X7, OP amp rolling was touched on. Here is Earphonia's Fantastic Review, a must read, along with Evshrug's excellent review, 
 
Sparkos SS3601 and SS3602:
 
Andrew Sparks is the owner of Sparkos Labs. I contacted him through his website's email. For all of the amazing details of these OP Amps, please check out the SparkosLabs website here! I emailed Andrew at 10:30 EST on a Friday night. I was expecting it to sit until Monday, but I had made up my mind that I wanted to try his OP amps, and didn't want to forget. I was blown away as he answered my email within 10 minutes, we went back and forth a few times, but buy 11:30 pm, I had paid for the OP amps, and he would ship them out first thing Monday morning. Monday came and my tracking info was sent to me. The important part of the email conversation was Andrew STRONGLY recommended swapping all 4 OP Amps. Essentially, Swapping one set only gets you half way there if you are lucky. The SS3602 would make a larger difference than the SS3601 if you were to swap only one set. Andrew knows his business, his products, and enough of the X7's build to know what would be best. I honestly trusted him with our emails. Just came off as an awesome guy, someone I would like to meet one day. 
 
The Sparkos came in simple packing. A bubble wrapped envelope, with each OP Amp in its own anti-static bag. 
 
The OP Amps also had extenders on them. Andrew does this to protect the pins underneath during shipping. I removed the extenders for a closer fit in the X7. I still cannot get the lid back on, the SS3602s are just too tall. This does not bother me in the slightest, because the X7 when upright makes it difficult for dust to settle inside. Honestly it will gather the same amount of dust with or without the cover on. Wanted to let others know though as this may be more of an issue for them. The OP Amps are much, much larger than the original OP amps. It is a tight fit along the one side, but honestly I had no issues installing them. The Sparkos are built like tanks compared to the stock OP Amps. Installing and removing the Sparkos was cake. The stock OP Amps not so much. I used pliers to remove the stock OP Amps, and no matter how hard I tried, the pins always bent when removing them. This was a major pain in the @ss, and each swap really became a battle of controlling my anger. 
 
I initially installed all 4 OP Amps, and let them burn in for 25-30 hours playing music or gaming, the X7 remained on for 5 days before any comparison was done.. I am not much of a believer in this, and have no idea if this is even necessary with OP Amps. Maybe someone can chime in on this. 
 

 
The large L shaped Copper mark is where Pin 1 is. The Original OP Amps use tiny impressed circles to indicate pin 1.
 

 
 
DO NOT mix this up!!!!! I fried one of my stock amps by inserting it incorrectly. Essentially, when I was straightening out the pins for the 10th time, it got reversed and I didn't check myself before powering on. Took maybe 2 seconds to send up smoke and me racing to unplug it. This was the only time I didn't check myself, because my patience was about gone. Those stupid pins are so weak, they literally bend if you breath wrong. Thinking back, I should have installed them on the extensions that came with the Sparkos. The extension pins are more durable and would have made the swaps easier. Live and learn. 
 
I did a few different setups: They consisted of swapping just the SS3601 in, Swapping the SS3602 by itself, and of course, both SS3601 and SS3602 complete swap. For a little fun, I changed just one side of the OP amp section, so SS3601 and SS3602 on one channel, while leaving the stock OP Amps on the other channel. I did this for the Left only, and the right only, and honestly I felt this was the best way to compare the swap. 
 
Sound Impressions: 
 
Ah the part everyone has been waiting for!
 

(Picture from Sparkoslabs.com)
 
SS3601 with Stock Duals- This combo I tried first, as others have also swapped just the SS3601. At first it was difficult to hear any differences. I honestly didn't know what I was looking for, as this is the first time I have ever tried something like this. I was also very skeptical to say the least. I started out with my favorite group of all time, Nirvana. I have heard the Nevermind album literally thousands of times. I own it on almost every format, I have bought it for every girlfriend I have ever had, and it changed my life when it was released. It is as much about the music, as it is about the time when it released, and the memories I have from it. What I noticed was that everything was cleaner. Background noise on the recording was more quiet, the snap of the snare drum ring taps on Lithium (when Dave is hitting the rim, not the drum itself), the symbol taps during the quiet, just sounded more realistic. It sounded less like a recording, and more like I was actually there. This was slight, and something I can easily see someone missing if you weren't looking for it. Overall the SS3601 cleaned up the music, making it more realistic sounding. As others have said, I find that it is an increase of about 20-30%. 
 
SS3602 with Stock Singles- Now this is where I found a difference in sound almost immediately. This was a major upgrade, and one I wasn't going to live without. While listening to The Eagles- Hotel California (live) from Hell Freezes Over, the performance went from listening to a CD, to literally being there. Background noise once again was much lower, bass was tighter while remaining prominent, the ring of the guitar strings, the bongos, drums, all became lifelike. Most importantly, when the chorus came in with Don Henley and company singing in harmony, their voices were clearer, the distortion was gone, with each voice being easily clearly produced. I found with the stock OP Amps, their voices were muddled, scratchy, and I didn't like it. Very obvious change to me with this song, I listened to a bunch of music with this setup, and everything just sounded more accurate. This was an upgrade for sure, that I found immediately on my setup. 
 
SS3601 and SS3602- Now if you take the sum of the two thoughts above, you essentially get the complete swap here. Combined they lower the noise floor, clear up the overall sound, and it is very noticeable on complex music, where several instruments are all playing loudly. When it gets loud, they hold up and deliver a really impressive signal. I love Silversun Pickups, and on The Royal We, it gets a little crazy. The drums are upfront with electric guitar and bass. the violin drops up and down in the mix, and when it gets loud and crazy with everyone jamming, every single instrument is easily heard. Brian Aubert has a very unique voice, and when he screams he still maintains distinct notes. Before the swap, it would kinda fall apart during the loud sections. Some things would get screechy and become fatiguing. Again, distortion was greatly improved, and this really has a major affect. 
 
Hotel California from Hell Freezes Over, became 3D, with each each instrument just sounding perfect. I love live music, and this was like being there. With the TH-X00 Ebony, I felt like I was on the stage with them, being able to walk around them. The Ebony's more closed sound stage really does live music well. Very different headphone for me compared to the others, but a fantastic buy. Of all the songs I listened to, this song was by far the most revealing for me. It's a wonderful track that contains great deep bass, multiple instruments that all add something special to such a great song. It is very well recorded, and when the crowd cheers loudly, you can still hear every single instrument perfectly. The Sparkos reduce the distortion across the frequency range, and it is particularly noticeable in the bass and vocals. 
 
Another of my favorite singers is Bob Dylan. Everyone should own his greatest hits, he did win a Nobel Prize after all, and he is the first Singer/Songwriter to ever do that. One of the toughest songs to reproduce accurately is 'Like a Rolling Stone'. There are so many instruments, and on a poor recording or poor system, it sounds like trash. The organ, piano, bass, guitar, harmonica, tambourine, drums all have very detailed parts that can be easily distinguished. With the double swap, this is the best I have ever heard this song sound. 
 
Over the course of a week, with hours and hours of listening time, I am very happy with the upgrade. As far as a DAC/Amp goes, I don't know how much I would have to spend to improve over the X7 with Sparkos, but I imagine it will not be cheap. I found a clear difference, with the SS3602 making a larger difference over just swapping the SS3601.
 
SS3601 and SS3602, One channel- After frying one of the stock amps, I was pulling the other stock amp from the same channel, and had the thought to change just those back to the Sparkos. I don't know why, but it seemed like a great idea at the time. I was actually shocked at the difference between the the two. Again listening to songs I listened to with the other variations, it was very obvious which side had the Sparkos. It was a very big difference between the two. I would swap the arrangement to give the other channel a try. Same thing. Really weird how easy it was to tell something was off, one ear was hearing something more distorted and wrong. What started out as a weird science experiment that I thought would fail, ended up being an eye opening experience. Maybe I am weird, but it gave me a different perspective.  
 
Secondary Benefits 
 
1) While I was performing all of the OP Amp changes with the X7, I was only listening out of the headphone jack of the X7. I did notice that I would have to adjust the volume of the X7 once the Sparkos were in. It was much louder than with the stock amps. I have no way to measure how much of a difference, but it is there. You will gain more amplifier power with the Sparkos. It isn't a crazy amount, so don't get excited about driving an HE-6 or anything, lol. 
 
2) Once hooking my MicroZOTL2 back up to the X7, it was very apparent that the OP amp swaps also affected the RCA outputs. Now I thought that this might be an added benefit (I was begging it to be true!!), as the RCA jacks are driven from the volume knob on the X7 (I put it at 100% when using the MZ2). I looked for the answer online and came up with nothing. Asked Andrew Sparks, and he said he wouldn't know without looking at the X7 design, but he thought that the SS3601 would most likely be a part of the RCA output. I ended up contacting Creative directly, and I was told that BOTH the Single and Dual channel OP Amps drive the Headphone and RCA outputs. This is a huge thing if you are trying to improve the DAC quality, while still using a separate amplifier. This is a tremendous bonus for me, as I will be using a tube amp 90% of the time with my X7.  
 
Wrap-up:
 
The X7 is a wonderful all in one box, and even stock it's a heck of a music player. If you are a gamer, or watch a lot of movies, and listen to good quality audio files, the X7 is such a great device. I came into the OP Amp swap idea thinking it wouldn't make much of a difference. Well I was wrong, and now I have some doubts about a few other things in the audiophile world that I have always thought crazy. The SS3601 swap was subtle, but noticeable. The SS3602 swap was easily more obvious. The complete swap is definitely worth it if you are trying to reach another level with your music. I initially ordered the Sparkos because I was trying get every last ounce of performance out of the X7. I am truly blown away with the sound I have now, and upgrading is going to take a different path. I have recently been looking into a stand alone DAC, thinking the Sparkos wouldn't help my MZ2. Since they obviously are, and the music sounds this wonderful, I may start looking into the Smyth Realizer, to take surround gaming/movies to the level I have been hoping to reach the past 5-7 years. Music right now is sublime. 
 
Things I have noticed: Blacker background/noise, tighter bass, overall a clearer presentation, less distortion. These attributes help to make the music seem more realistic, less like a recording and more like a live performance you are attending. The difference with my MZ2 as the amp is just special. Recordings I thought were bad actually sound much better, like a whole new album. I am literally hearing things I have never heard before, in songs I have heard hundreds of times. 
 
Should you swap to the Sparkos? That depends on what you want, budget, current gear, etc. $200 isn't a terrible amount of money to me, but may be for you. Are you blown away with your music as is? if not the Sparkos may reach that next level that you are trying to reach. I know a lot of people have the X7 and a dedicated DAC as well. There are a lot of ways to spend $200 in this hobby, and IMO this is one of the better ways to spend it. I wanted to buy the best OP Amps I could find, and I have no doubt that the Sparkos cannot be beat. If I was going to do a swap, I would swap all 4. There was enough of a difference to say stopping short doesn't make sense. I am hoping someone else jumps on the wagon, and confirms what I am hearing. 

 
Incredible write-up.  Appreciate the thorough review, including the interesting bits of information gathered with respect to the RCA outs and op-amps.  Particularly interesting to hear how much better you thought the doubles were compared to the singles.  I bought the SS3601 after Yethal posted his initial review of them months ago and thought that they represented a substantial upgrade over the stock sound.  Reading your comments makes me think that my mind would be blown by also upgrading the doubles.
 
 
That said, I'm still very much on the fence regarding whether I should invest more in my X7 or simply upgrade for a considerably more powerful amp with the hopes that my current headphones would appreciably scale to the new level of power.  $150 for op-amps seems steep when a whole new amp like the much praised Jotunheim can be had for $399, but your impressions suggest that it may be worth it.  I'll need to think on it.
 
Jan 12, 2017 at 5:42 PM Post #2,198 of 3,536

mbyrnes

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Thanks everyone! The scary thing is I thought I should write up about double what I did, but I wanted to get something out more quickly. First review ever, so glad it came out helpful. 
 
As for whether people should upgrade the op amps or buy a secondary amp first or another DAC (could still link the X7 into a new DAC with optical out and get Surround). The X7 puts out 1.2W of power at 32 ohm. That is the only measurement of headphone amp power I have found. It isn't talked about anywhere that I can find. That should be enough power to drive most headphones. The question I would ask is, what are you trying to reach with this hobby? Do you want to go balanced at some point? Do you want to decode DSD, DXD, MQA (Greatest thing EVA!!!), or higher than 24/192? Craving to try an R2R DAC? Looking to go Tube amp? There are so many ways to spend money and improve your setup. 
 
This is a tough hobby on the wallet for damn sure. It also seems to change too quickly, with what is the next "greatest thing ever". I listen to more games and movies than I do music. That is changing some with my current setup, but I will always mostly use headphones for GAMING as top priority. I have a 2 channel setup that I also love, and this upgrade improves that as well (MZ2 pre-outs go to my AVR and Vienna Acoustics Mozart Grands). This upgrade benefits me a lot for my usage, and how I consume media with headphones. The op amp upgrade makes gaming better, movies better, and music, whether through headphones or my 2 channel system. It was a great $200 to spend for my situation. I am far from rich, and I have to really think out my purchases just like you do. 
 
If you are eyeing the Jotenheim, a Mojo, or some other upgrade that is not cheap, really look at what you are trying to accomplish, and your longer term goals. Sadly financial situations are a major factor, FOR EVERYONE. Very few can go out and spend $30,000 on an uber DAC from Meridian, McIntosh, Levinson, Krell, etc every single year. Let alone all of them to cover all bases. There is only so much time in the day, and what you are searching for is truly your search alone. There is no right or wrong way, it just gets more expensive!!!!
 
Jan 12, 2017 at 6:03 PM Post #2,199 of 3,536

Yethal

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Incredible write-up.  Appreciate the thorough review, including the interesting bits of information gathered with respect to the RCA outs and op-amps.  Particularly interesting to hear how much better you thought the doubles were compared to the singles.  I bought the SS3601 after Yethal posted his initial review of them months ago and thought that they represented a substantial upgrade over the stock sound.  Reading your comments makes me think that my mind would be blown by also upgrading the doubles.

Exactly what I was thinking. Jump from stock to SS3601 was an obvious upgrade to me yet he calls it subtle when compared to SS3602. Well, I guess there's only one way to find out.

I really want to believe that it's scientific curiosity that makes me want to buy them and not upgraditis.

mbyrnes You may want to post Your review in the reviews section of Head-Fi so people who are not in this thread can read it too.
 
Jan 12, 2017 at 6:12 PM Post #2,200 of 3,536

mbyrnes

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Exactly what I was thinking. Jump from stock to SS3601 was an obvious upgrade to me yet he calls it subtle when compared to SS3602. Well, I guess there's only one way to find out.

I really want to believe that it's scientific curiosity that makes me want to buy them and not upgraditis.

mbyrnes You may want to post Your review in the reviews section of Head-Fi so people who are not in this thread can read it too.


Good point. No clue how to do that, but once I'm in front of my laptop I'm sure I'll figure it out quickly. Where's the review of the Senns? Lol. Like i need another headphone. But it is very tempting!
 
Jan 12, 2017 at 6:16 PM Post #2,201 of 3,536

Yethal

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Good point. No clue how to do that, but once I'm in front of my laptop I'm sure I'll figure it out quickly. Where's the review of the Senns? Lol. Like i need another headphone. But it is very tempting!

http://www.head-fi.org/products/sparkos-labs-ss3601-discrete-op-amps
 
Just click on Add a Review and You're set.
 
Jan 12, 2017 at 6:26 PM Post #2,202 of 3,536

VeerK

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I'm going to do the full Sparkos Upgrade and try to get my hands on a ModiBit and Jotunheim combo. These seem to be the most common high performance yet reasonably priced gear out there, and if the X7 Sparkos can perform reasonably similarly to a MombyJot system for about the same price, the X7 would be a great buy for gamers who also use speakers. I'm skeptical about op amps making such a big difference, but volume matched ABX is the only way I can think of answering these questions.

Wish my wallet luck!
 
Jan 12, 2017 at 6:38 PM Post #2,203 of 3,536

mbyrnes

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Jan 12, 2017 at 6:43 PM Post #2,204 of 3,536

mbyrnes

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I'm going to do the full Sparkos Upgrade and try to get my hands on a ModiBit and Jotunheim combo. These seem to be the most common high performance yet reasonably priced gear out there, and if the X7 Sparkos can perform reasonably similarly to a MombyJot system for about the same price, the X7 would be a great buy for gamers who also use speakers. I'm skeptical about op amps making such a big difference, but volume matched ABX is the only way I can think of answering these questions.

Wish my wallet luck!


Wow, and I thought I was crazy, lol. I'm truly hoping you do this, as this info just doesn't exist.

Hopefully, you have both at the same time. I would LOVE to see the Mimby fed the surround sound through optical from the X7, and your impressions of that combo. Granted, this is a setup most won't dare try, but I would if you found it much better.
 
Jan 12, 2017 at 10:00 PM Post #2,205 of 3,536

kellte2

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I'm going to do the full Sparkos Upgrade and try to get my hands on a ModiBit and Jotunheim combo. These seem to be the most common high performance yet reasonably priced gear out there, and if the X7 Sparkos can perform reasonably similarly to a MombyJot system for about the same price, the X7 would be a great buy for gamers who also use speakers. I'm skeptical about op amps making such a big difference, but volume matched ABX is the only way I can think of answering these questions.

Wish my wallet luck!


Can't wait to hear these impressions. My wallet is crying.
 

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