Dan Clark Audio Stealth Review, Interview, Measurements
Oct 23, 2021 at 1:04 AM Post #2,269 of 4,248

MSA1133

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Just be mindful volume level does not equate to driveability of the headphone.
They are related but still fairly different.
The sonics will definitely be impacted if the amp doesn’t have the required current and voltage swing.
100% this.

The sound might be loud but the headphones would sound slightly "dead". Low current and voltage swings will impact your low end, sound stage and dynamics. Moreover, chances of clipping will crop up here and there. I learned this the hard way where I was only looking at the "VRMS" and "Watts/Ohms" values only.

It's definetly listenable, and sometimes enjoyable (good for moving around and traveling scenarios), but if you're buying a flagship TOTL, make sure you have at least a powerful desk setup that would be able to drive it in order to enjoy it to its fullest and grasp the differences/compromises with your own ears. :)
 
Oct 23, 2021 at 5:10 AM Post #2,270 of 4,248

newworld666

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Hello, looking for input here- I recently purchased the Astell & Kern SP2000T. Would I be able to drive the Stealth with these or do they require a full desktop amp?
I just made some A/B comparison between a A&K Kann Alpha alone .. Kann Alpha (2V Line out) + Less BX2+ and a Windows 10 UMPC/SMSL M500/Monolith THX 887 ...
The Kann Alpha alone, though it should provide 12V output, is the only combo totally unable to produce, crystal clear without any hisses, mid-high and high frequencies .. also unable to reproduce a grand orchestra and still keep some details of most instruments, and is really clipping in low and ultra low frequencies.
I would say, the A&K Kann Alpha gives a very good Sound Quality with the portable amp Less Bx2+ .. not really far from a powerful desktop combo.
I don't think any A&K DAP is able, without the help of an external Headphone power amp, to move properly a DCA Stealth (I was hoping it would do, but it's really a fail when the Kann Alpha is alone, the 12V output are lost in the path)
 
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Oct 23, 2021 at 7:58 PM Post #2,272 of 4,248

Widell

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How abt Chord H2 and DCA Stealth? Anyone?
 
Oct 23, 2021 at 10:06 PM Post #2,273 of 4,248

rfernand

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I’ll keep evaluating them and play with them. But they may very well be closed back endgame for me.

Still playing. Still liking ’em a lot. It feels like you’re in a very well treated room with these guys. I give them a long (cool) Jazz session and they were very happy getting out of the way. They do have an opinion on music (they’re not “neutral” by any means). They seem to tame the kids a bit and give bass a nice overall presence. They seem fairly “right there” for me.

I’ll do a full review after I get used to them. No quirks so far, to be honest.
 
Oct 24, 2021 at 2:35 AM Post #2,276 of 4,248

801evan

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Comparing the Stealth to my LCD4 and I can confirm a few things. If the LCD4 sounds better than the Stealth, it's because of the distortions in the chain, (USB chain, transport, power quality). After modding my IFI Diablo with external power, the Stealth exceeded the LCD4 by a lot in all counts. The Stealth is a revolutionary leap and I want to thank and congratulate Dan Clark and his team for the breakthrough technologies he incorporated in this HP.

The same behavior is seen on the Dave. LCD4 sounds great on USB input while Stealth sounds grey, undynamic and even distorted. Even more so on redbook that I've lost interest in listening. When I got the SRC DX, it opened up the floodgates on the full potential of the Dave. Stealth sounded full, smooth, pure, linear and with zero resonance. Going back to the LCD4, it sounded shouty and the ear pad resonance starts to show itself too much.

With the Diablo and the Dave, I can hear the room in the recording on the Stealth. With the LCD 4, I hear too much of the earpad (or the environment within the seal) that it creates its own room and overwhelms the ability to hear the room in the recording.

The Diablo pairing is amazing too with MQA and balanced. MQA is also the best format for the Dave to my surprise. Diablo + Stealth 4.4 is the only time I've appreciated balanced. There is a track i use where I'm studying the detail of an instrument and it's biased to the right a bit on Diablo and Dave 6.3mm. With 4.4, it's smack in the center. I use low gain on the Diablo for both 6.3 and 4.4 as it is more resolving.

Stealth is perfection in my book and easy to drive. I am a big convert. Don't wait for an open version as this faithfully captures the room in the recording with zero resonance from the can. I've had chains where it WILL sound undynamic and disappointing as many other impressions here and canjam have claimed and I can confirm that it will be the sound you will get if the chain isn't optimized. Don't waste the potential of the Stealth by using a beefy amp as it's boosted color will ruin all the true resolution of the track that the Stealth has the ability to give.
 

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Oct 24, 2021 at 2:42 AM Post #2,277 of 4,248

newworld666

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In my opinion Hugo 2 works fine. But some people think you need more power.
As the Stealth is only 86db/mw sensitivity, it will probably work and give a lot of sound pressure, but it will be clipping for some low and ultra low frequencies, and it should be nearer a marmalade jam with some big orchestra music than a sum of distinguishable instruments.
It will make an expensive combo for a rather poor result.
I can easily confirm my analysis with a Kann Alpha which should be powerful by itself and is so far of what I get with it when I use a portable Less BX2+ (2x2450mw at 32 ohms) or a Monolith THX887 (2x3000mw) between the Kann Alpha and the DCA Stealth !!!
Maybe 80% of the time the Kann Alpha with its 12V output can drive the Stealth, but it is really frustrating when music is clearly degraded when high instant power is needed.
 
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Oct 24, 2021 at 2:46 AM Post #2,279 of 4,248

x RELIC x

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How abt Chord H2 and DCA Stealth? Anyone?
I use one, and a Mojo, for knocking about the house. It has more than enough power for my needs, granted I don't listen at ear-damaging volume but never once in 2+ years have I felt a lack of power. Is it a replacement for my TT2? No, but it's pretty fantastic for something portable.
 

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