GUSTARD H10 High-current Discrete Class A output Stage Headphone Amplifier
Apr 11, 2015 at 1:49 PM Post #1,143 of 5,529

pippen99

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  Thanks Hibuck,
 
I think (hope) that my 'old skool, new tech' hybrid source will portray the quality of the recordings that it's fed, without emphasising the thin stuff, too much.
 
You're right; some recordings, particularly a lot of the 90's rock/grunge that I like, is mixed to sound 'exciting' on the radio, or less than transparent hifi. But when played on revealing equipment it can have you gritting your teeth, cringing or wishing that you'd kept your old system, with those tone controls (to filter out half of the music).
 
At least, with the combination of LCD-2F and H10, it seems I'll have a good idea of true north (once they've both had a good few hours of burn-in!).

This has been my experience.  I was ready to give in to despair after about 20 hours.  The change in the next 30 hours was considerable.  My main music genre is Classic Rock.  There are some tracks that are completely unlistenable.  Particularly bad are mono recordings converted to stereo(think older Beatles and some Doors).  The tracks recorded well will sound fantastic with the H10 +LCD-2f(that's what I have) and you learn to accept the other tracks as they are or play them in your car.
 
Apr 11, 2015 at 1:53 PM Post #1,144 of 5,529

bavinck

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This has been my experience.  I was ready to give in to despair after about 20 hours.  The change in the next 30 hours was considerable.  My main music genre is Classic Rock.  There are some tracks that are completely unlistenable.  Particularly bad are mono recordings converted to stereo(think older Beatles and some Doors).  The tracks recorded well will sound fantastic with the H10 +LCD-2f(that's what I have) and you learn to accept the other tracks as they are or play them in your car.

How would you describe the change that occurred with the h10, to your ears?
 
Apr 11, 2015 at 2:07 PM Post #1,145 of 5,529

stuartmc

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Interesting observations on the gain switches. A while back I tried almost all of the settings with both the HE-560 and the Senn HD600. I suspected that there might be a short burn in required for each setting, so I ran each for about ten hours. I also level matched each one with my spl meter. With my phones, I found very little difference in the gain settings. Not enough for me to draw any reliable conclusions. I suspect that this imaging phenomenon some of you are experiencing may be headphone dependent -impedance, reactance,etc. and possibly exacerbated by break in and level matching. The good news is that the H10 allows us to experiment and find the setting that sounds best to us, so it's a win regardless of the unique factors in play.

My personal preference is to choose a setting that places the potentiometer in the middle of its range at the volume level that I normally use. The old school rule was that potentiometer was the most linear and had the best left/right balance in this middle range.
 
Apr 11, 2015 at 2:44 PM Post #1,146 of 5,529

pippen99

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Quote:+
How would you describe the change that occurred with the h10, to your ears?

First qualification is that this is my first Hifi headphone system.  Second qualification is that I purchased the system (X12 + H10 + Lcd-2f) at the same time so I cannot point to one particular component(also lacking experience) and say this is causing this.
 
Initially I found everything to be quite congested.  Only on tracks with acoustic instruments and vocals could I get separation.  The mids especially vocals were pushed forward and dominated lows and highs.  After about 30 hours the soundstage began to expand and the bass began to round in to shape.  I still find the bass somewhat weak but at least its there.  I agree that something in this system is very revealing(again lack of experience) because some of my favorite music is now only marginally listenable.  I reripped everything to Apple lossless so I must accept that the original source weakness is to blame for some of what I heard.
 
Apr 11, 2015 at 2:58 PM Post #1,147 of 5,529

No_One411

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Well, your above description certainly 'rang a bell' with me.
 
I would have very much appreciated your input in a discussion about the HE400 http://www.head-fi.org/t/741024/he-400-bass-not-as-present-as-i-expected 
 
I've now sold my he400s, because both bass and mids lacked body and I also found the upper mids often to be a little too 'screechy' or 'ringy'. Actually they weren't that bad; I just decided that the LCD 2 should be a worthwhile improvement; they'll (hopefully) arrive soon.
 
So, that leaves the question of the amp; your description seems to suggest that maybe my current amp hasn't got enough steam for planars.
That wouldn't be too surprising; it's a Beyer A1 clone, which has about 0.5 watt (??? impedance). It's designed for the T-1, not planars.
But I wasn't sure; it has plenty enough power to get the he400 very loud, without distorting or losing any impact. In fact, the only time that I ever heard any 'weakness' was when listening to the treble shy and bass heavy Peter Gabriel 'Us' album; cranking the volume up to nearly 4 O'clock (for a few seconds) produced some tell-tale break-up. But only then, and that's hardly surprising; my normal he400 listening was at the 11-12 o'clock position. (I always wanted to turn it up, to fill out the bass, but the screechy mids and sibilant treble would soon have me turning the knob back).
As I'm currently living somewhere where it's very easy for me to get hold of Chinese domestic products, reading how so many are so impressed by the H10 (particularly with planar hps), then once I've burnt the LCD2s in a little, I know for sure what my next 'wife exasperating' purchase will be! 

 
Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with the Beyer clone, so I can't speak for how well that pairing would work. It seems much better suited for regular dynamic headphones though. 
 
The Gustard is actually a bit on the warmer side of things. It doesn't overly romanticize songs, but it isn't the harsh, analytical sound that everybody seems to associate with solid state amplifiers...
 
I never have an issue with volume and headroom with the H10, even when powering something like the HE-6. It works great with all the planar magnetic headphones I've thrown at it, and some high impedance headphones like the HD650 as well.
 
Apr 11, 2015 at 6:39 PM Post #1,151 of 5,529

Hibuckhobby

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  Quote:+
How would you describe the change that occurred with the h10, to your ears?

First qualification is that this is my first Hifi headphone system.  Second qualification is that I purchased the system (X12 + H10 + Lcd-2f) at the same time so I cannot point to one particular component(also lacking experience) and say this is causing this.
 
Initially I found everything to be quite congested.  Only on tracks with acoustic instruments and vocals could I get separation.  The mids especially vocals were pushed forward and dominated lows and highs.  After about 30 hours the soundstage began to expand and the bass began to round in to shape.  I still find the bass somewhat weak but at least its there.  I agree that something in this system is very revealing(again lack of experience) because some of my favorite music is now only marginally listenable.  I reripped everything to Apple lossless so I must accept that the original source weakness is to blame for some of what I heard.


I have about 80 hours on my H10 right now and with HE500's listening to Nils Lofgren's Acoustic Live I can't believe how good it sounds.  Clear without being analytical, warm
without being syrupy and great bass/transient response.  I've been in the audio game for 45 years, so it's not my first rodeo, but my jaw is hanging open.
basshead.gif

Hibuck....
 
Apr 11, 2015 at 6:43 PM Post #1,152 of 5,529

bavinck

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If the sound is different than in other players then it's altering it. So what you are hearing is some eq

Don't knock it until you try it... And read the manual where the author explains his philosophy and approach in writing the program.
 
Apr 11, 2015 at 6:47 PM Post #1,153 of 5,529

JoeDoe

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Been trying to read up on this amp since I have one in coming and I come to find out that there are no reviews in the headgear section! Some of you blokes needs to step up!
 
Apr 11, 2015 at 7:15 PM Post #1,155 of 5,529

stuartmc

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I have about 80 hours on my H10 right now and with HE500's listening to Nils Lofgren's Acoustic Live I can't believe how good it sounds.  Clear without being analytical, warm
without being syrupy and great bass/transient response.  I've been in the audio game for 45 years, so it's not my first rodeo, but my jaw is hanging open.:basshead:
Hibuck....

Greetings Hibuck. I think you qualify for our old school Gustard appreciators club, aka senior swabbies. You summed up my own listening experience with the H10 rather nicely.
 

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