GS1 vs Audigy 2zs output Part 2
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Joey_V

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The difference is clearer now.

I was wrong in expecting a complete change in sound from my 650s. What the GS1 really does is IMPROVE the sound. It can't improve what isnt there, but the improvement is definitely welcome.

I have said in previous threads that I wasnt sure if the GS1 is worth the price.

I can definitely say, as long as you're not hungry or famished - the GS1 is worth the money.

The GS1 is akin to wearing contacts while the 650s with the Audigy is like forgetting them. You can still see without contacts, but it isnt very focused. With the GS1, there is better focus. The vocals are better centered and the instruments sound a little livelier (for lack of a better term). The bass is somewhat improved (but nothing out of this world), too.

However, the best upgrade is the overall balance of the 650s. There is a greater sense of musicality and a definite and tangible level-up with regards to balance. The 650s sounded great before the GS1 and sounds measurably better with it now.

Lastly, I should mention that I am able to enjoy the 650s at a lower volume level. Perhaps there is greater dynamics allowed by the GS1. Also, the vocals are an entity by themselves and seem to move a little forward (regardless of how low the volume is) - thus, giving an enhanced 3d imaging.

I will be buying an EMU 1212 in an effort to upgrade the soundcard, perhaps this will get rid of some kind of an interference noise I hear on my headphones when the GS1 is connected to the Audigy2zs' analog out... no, it (static) doesnt exist when I go 650 -> straight to the Audigy2zs.

I also have the Glite coming for additional comparo.

However, an amped 650 is definitely looking good at the moment.


Bottomline:
I'm enjoying the music even moreso than before... and at the end of the day - it's the music that counts, not the gear.
 
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Jazper

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(edit: reread post)
 
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Glod

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I recognize my own set up a lot in what you write. I don’t have an Audigy but the standard on-board AC97 sound first and then I upgraded to the RME card. In my case, I have to say, the change to a proper sound card had a larger improvement than the adding of the GS-1 to the RME card. Nevertheless, it is nice to see you are enjoying the amp.

I think upgrading to another and better sound card is a path which will pay off, but I should stress that I have never listen to neither an Audigy card nor an E-MU, so I cannot give you I hint as to what to expect. But to be honest, I think it is better to save the money and invest in a good second hand top CDP later. I am pretty sure you will have to pick up your yaw, manually, after a session with the HD650, GS-1, very good cables, and a, say Meridian, Linn, Ayre, Copland, MF, Mark Levinson or such.


I also understood that you are of the opinion your expectations of upgrades perhaps were too high. I guess that we, the members here, have a part in raising expectations in general. Upgrading certainly follows the law of diminishing returns and, as e.g. Sean H wrote, double the monetary value of your equipment will not always translate to a 100% increase in sound quality. The money you´ll need to invest is rather then exponential in relation to SQ.
 
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sgrossklass

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If you've got "mouse interference" on the 2ZS' output, check quality of grounding and power supply. Grounding issues seem to be more common over the pond (while crappy PSUs can be found everywhere...). BTW, upgrading to just about any half decent current sound card will make a fairly noticeable difference - the output stage used in the Creative cards apparently gives them a very narrow soundstage (the Live! 24-Bit I've heard is no exception - it's a bit like turning on the "Grado mode"
; more seriously, this does show quite noticeably in recordings that are normally rather spacious/airy sounding). Since I assume the 1212M to be a good bit better still than my Aureon, the sound card change will be a fairly noticeable upgrade.
 
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