Diana: the second release by Abyss Headphones!
Aug 14, 2020 at 2:55 AM Post #2,416 of 3,893

Kernmac

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Have just received a DianaV1 and need recommendations for a balanced cable, please.
Perhaps somebody out there wants to sell his/her‘s?
IMG_0156.JPG
silvesurfer616, My Custom Cans 2.5 balanced cable, not for sale, but highly recommended. I don't buy cables for sound improvement and the Diana cable is as good as it gets anyway, however for balanced this is an excellent cable and very well priced. Absolutely flexible, no noise issues, and fits Diana well (HD 700 specified).
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Ultra-low-...268933?hash=item21595e3cc5:g:DdcAAOSwU1RZgu0J
 
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Aug 14, 2020 at 4:03 PM Post #2,422 of 3,893

dRnRcR

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Thank you man! Are you based in Vancouver as well? :)

Yes Jon. You bought my Campfires and took my advice on the xCan lol. Btw chain for mine is Chord Qutest, Phonitor E.
@silkytoad has a boss setup.
 
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Aug 14, 2020 at 5:20 PM Post #2,423 of 3,893

efejoao

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Yes Jon. You bought my Campfires and took my advice on the xCan lol. Btw chain for mine is Chord Qutest, Phonitor E.
@silkytoad has a boss setup.
Man I changed phones and lost your contact. I apologize.

The Ifi xCAN has a great sound for a portable device. I just got the JDS Labs Element II and man it is an amazing pairing with the Diana V1. I am waiting for the RME and the GS-X mini to give them a try and decide what I am going to keep.
 
Aug 14, 2020 at 5:23 PM Post #2,424 of 3,893

dRnRcR

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Man I changed phones and lost your contact. I apologize.

The Ifi xCAN has a great sound for a portable device. I just got the JDS Labs Element II and man it is an amazing pairing with the Diana V1. I am waiting for the RME and the GS-X mini to give them a try and decide what I am going to keep.
Gsx mini and rme great pairing.
 
Aug 14, 2020 at 7:55 PM Post #2,425 of 3,893

silkytoad

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lol :p

Oh wait the DAC is with the opamps

lol, what would be the best way to connect an iPhone to your stack? Would I need to use the lightning to usb dongle and then usb A to usb C to connect to the DAC? I do have the dongle but want to save as much space as possible.

Would the woo audio lightning decoding to usb c cable save me from having to use the apple dongle?
https://wooaudio.com/accessories/wooaudio-usb-cable

Have you tested the Oriolus Bluetooth? I would be worried about sacrificing audio quality by going that route.
 
Aug 14, 2020 at 8:20 PM Post #2,426 of 3,893

seamon

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lol, what would be the best way to connect an iPhone to your stack? Would I need to use the lightning to usb dongle and then usb A to usb C to connect to the DAC? I do have the dongle but want to save as much space as possible.

Would the woo audio lightning decoding to usb c cable save me from having to use the apple dongle?
https://wooaudio.com/accessories/wooaudio-usb-cable

Have you tested the Oriolus Bluetooth? I would be worried about sacrificing audio quality by going that route.
The woo usb cable should work.
Not too much interested in BT audio personally
 
Aug 14, 2020 at 10:58 PM Post #2,427 of 3,893

seamon

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Thank you! I’m actually interested in a transportable solution and don’t mind modding hardware. I also own the ADI-2FS! Would you mind sharing or PM’ing the opamps mod and the heat sinks? I suppose this would be a step up from the WA-11? I just ordered the BA20 to test with my HipDac!
Compared the stock BA20 opamps OPA1611 with MUSES03. OPA1611 has a clinical, analytical and bright sound. It's borderline harsh even. MUSES03 sounds much more natural, has more midrange body and has a slightly larger soundstage.

The buffer stage - BUF634A opamps can be made to sound more open by running them in wide BW mode - just gotta short pin 1 and 4 with a short wire.
 
Aug 17, 2020 at 12:08 AM Post #2,428 of 3,893

cj3209

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Lmao comparing this to the WA11 is an insult to this. This is at least 2-3 times the performance of the WA11(DAC + Amp)

The DAC has 2 dual Opamps in the I/V stage and 2 single or one dual(User Choice) opamp/s in the LPF stage.
For I/V I chose the MUSES01 which is considered to be one of the best for this stage and for the LPF, I chose the MUSES03 in 2xsingle Opamp mode.
For the I/V stage, Burson V5i-D might potentially be another good candidate. For the LPF stage, MUSES02 is another great choice if you want more bass.
PS: I can't guarantee if the V5i will fit.

They offer an OFC Cable with the amps which seem to be pretty well made. However, changing it to a JPS Labs Superconductor just increases detail retrieval by easily 20-30%.

The BA300s mkii cannot be easily modded. Someone like Romi can probably change the opamps at the bottom, they are the SOC type.

Just at this point, the output from the BA300s PreAmp surpasses the ADI-2 FS in my opinion.

The BA20 amp has 4 single opamps(or 2 dual) in the Amp section and 4 single opamps in the Buffer section.
For maximum transparency, the Buffer Section should be bypassed, they provide 4 bypass modules for the buffer section.
I currently have the stock OP1611 opamps in the amp section and waiting for 4 more MUSES03 opamps.
I also plan to make bypass modules for the Buffer Section using OCC Ag(just short pin 3 and 7 using wire).

For Heatsinks, I am using the smaller black heatsink from these and applying a 1mm thermal pad on top of the heatsink. This transfers the heat to the metal case and also secures the heatsink.

Now I need another Superconductor wire, damn....



The main problem I had with the DAC was that I thought the midrange lacked body with the stock opamps(I guess slightly V shaped). I am mostly looking for a great midrange in anything I listen to. The MUSES opamps completely solve this.
I would actually say this will still be the best transportable solution without modding. I had the WA11 and I would say even stock this is miles ahead.

BD20 -> BA300s = Superconductor
BA300s -> BA20 = stock OFC
BD20 -> Diana V2 = Superconductor


I was looking for a reference system for when I am travelling. I once carried a LCD 4 + AMP + DAC internationally and it was not fun. This is probably it.

PS: Funny story, the TSA agent checked the LCD 4 for drugs lol
Curious how much this Oriolus stack costs? Are we talking less than $1,000?

Also surprised to read that this stack sounds better to you than the WA11; the WA11 sounds really good with my Diana Phi.
 
Aug 17, 2020 at 12:56 AM Post #2,429 of 3,893

seamon

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Also surprised to read that this stack sounds better to you than the WA11; the WA11 sounds really good with my Diana Phi.

The problem with the Woo Audio WA11 is multi-fold. I wanted the WA11 to be my endgame DAC/AMP for my reference Transportable Headphone System with the Diana V2 but alas it sounded - "average".
Let's start with the DAC - there is one. I swear the DAC is no better than the ones found in a low end DAP. Imaging and details are hazy. When I first got my Diana V2, I thought it had poor Imaging and a small-average soundstage, turns out it was just the WA11 DAC and the problems disappeared when I connected the Diana V2 to my RME ADI-2 FS or used the ADI-2 FS as a DAC and the WA11 as an amp.
The DAC is absolutely crap tier that has no place in a reference system.

Then I thought - if the problem is just the DAC, maybe I can get a good DAC and use the WA11 as purely a class A headphone amp. I continued to use the WA11 as a Amp from the ADI-2 FS DAC while I was searched for a suitable portable replacement.
If you have the WA11, you must know that it sounds warm, almost exceedingly and annoyingly so. It's as if there's a warm hum there added to the music. There is.
The amp stage of WA11 distorts the bass and lower midrange:
index.php

This is from the ASR review confirming my suspicions. The distortion is very faint. The distortion itself is not audible but the effect it has on tonality is.
Whether this was done in an effort to emulate tubes or simply incompetent design we will never know but an amp is supposed to be transparent which the WA11 amp is not.
Therefore, neither the DAC nor the AMP of the WA11 has any place in a reference system.

I must admit it is a very pretty piece of gear and one my main reasons why I got it in the first place but if the sound is so trash, I cannot look past it.
 
Aug 17, 2020 at 1:22 AM Post #2,430 of 3,893

seamon

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Curious how much this Oriolus stack costs? Are we talking less than $1,000?

Meanwhile the Oriolus is a true reference system that trades blows and even surpasses Desktop Gear:

DAC - Oriolus BD20 - $460 - Super transparent. I was hearing details I had never heard before. It uses the ES9038Pro DAC module. As purely a DAC, I would say this is more transparent than the RME ADI-2FS. The DAC itself has a very neutral tonality to it. Comes with replaceable opamps in the I/V and LPF stage which I upgraded with MUSES opamps(~$200 upgrade). The MUSES make the DAC have more midrange body and smoother. The soundstage also increases a tad. The stock opamps - OPA1612 + OPA1662 sound a bit bright and analytical(still sounds on the neutral side, this is not a bright DAC) compared to the MUSES opamps. The difference is not that huge but noticeable.

~<$700 for the DAC all in.

EQ - Oriolus SE02 - $250 - There's a Oriolus EQ out there but I don't have it. This exists if you are interested. I might get one later to complete the system.

Pre-Amp - Oriolus BA300s - $360 - This is a tube amp which boosts the signal by +3dB. Compared to the WA11, this is super transparent and does not have any distortion issues. It adds a little richness to the midrange which possibly could be a little distortion but this is barely noticeable and does not sound bad(overly warm) like the WA11 amp. There are 2 versions - mki and mkii. The PCBs are identical but mkii uses USB C. I have both versions and trying to sell the mki on the classifieds.

Amp - Oriolus BA20 - $320 - A simple SS amp. It uses opamps to amplify the sound. There's not much to it. The replaceable opamps are divided into Amp stage and buffer stage. You can choose to bypass both stages. I am still modding and fine-tuning it. The best config I have right now is with MUSES03 opamps(~$250 upgrade) in the amp stage and bypassed buffer stage.

A little technical details:
The amp stage can be bypassed by the NE5532 unity gain opamps which imo is pointless. The stock OPA1611(single version of OPA1612 seen in the DAC I/V stage) sounds a little analytical and bright. The amp stage was replaced with MUSES03 opamps which sound more natural, smoother, has a slightly larger soundstage and more midrange body. I applied a heatsink to all 4 MUSES opamps.

For maximum transparency, the buffer stage should be bypassed with the included adapters. Do note that if the headphones draws more current than the amp stage opamps can provide then they will clip. OP1611 can do upto 55mA which is pretty low(but Diana V2) can be driven to good volume. MUSES03 can do upto 250mA max.

If you need more oomph then the stock buffer opamps BUF634a are decent(best available on the market). They do however decrease transparency by a tiny bit. They can do 250mA continuous and 350mA peak. At that point, the Diana V2 gets so loud that it's damaging to your ears if you listen for more than 5s.
The BUF634a can be made to run in wide Bandwidth mode by shorting pins 1 and 4 which increases air in the sound.

~<$570 all in for the AMP.

I have spent a little more than necessary on the system but I am on the search for the ultimate transportable reference system that is on par or surpasses desktop systems. This stack(BD20 + BA300s + BA20) even at stock ($1140) is miles and miles ahead of the WA11. With upgrades, this surpasses my RME ADI-2FS in detail and technicalities.
 
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