Headcode Triad - pics and short impressions
Mar 5, 2006 at 2:10 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 24

saint.panda

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Headcode_-_orange1.jpg


Headcode_-_orange2.jpg


Headcode_-_back_connections.jpg


The Headcode has been here for about a week so impressions are only of preliminary nature. The amp is going to a small mini meet tomorrow and will stay at JaZZ's place for some time while I'm on spring break.

The Triad is custom order and has 3 amp boards and power supplies.

Well, whoever claims that the HD 650 can only be brought to a new level of performance by going balanced hasn't heard the Headcode Triad yet. Going from the Corda HA-2 MKII, not a lousy amp by all means, to the Headcode is like going from a closed to an open headphone. I've never heard differences in this order of magnitude except when I auditioned the balanced Dynamight.

Everything feels very expansive, airy and effortless. Very big soundstage. It's as if everything appears larger. A very fast amp but not in a forced way. The bass control is nothing short of amazing and shows me how sloppy the bass has always been before, especially in the upper and mid bass. And for the first time, the low bass is brought out properly on the HD 650. Sounds great with the PS-1, too, with speckless control on the bass.

The resolution and transparency are absolutely to die for. Other than the expansive soundstage, this is one of the things I really love about the Headcode.

Larry Milligan's build quality speaks for itself. The parts costs alone constitute a small fortune.

IMG_1789.JPG


IMG_1791.JPG


Ayt999 and a few other headfiers heard this Headcode but unfortunately it was not fully working at that time. This Headcode that just came back from repair is nothing like it the version before. It used to be too smooth, lackadaisical and somewhat lackluster in the transient response with not much of a soundstage to speak of, but fortunately Larry fixed that. I think the 3rd channel wasn't working properly.

Is there something I don't like about the amp at the moment? Soundwise there's nothing I could think of but I'm sure there'll be points for criticism in due time. Practically speaking, the price is very steep for a college student and not everything went smoothly upon receiving the amp.

Well, of course I'm raving now but I'm just greatly enjoying this amp at the moment. I'm looking forward to Kurt's comment tomorrow on how the Headcode compares to his former Dynamight with regards to technical capabilities such as soundstage and transient response.

More impressions to come. Maybe I can also get myself to write some more meaningful text lines other than undifferentiated ravings. But it's tough to write something negative about the best I've ever heard. In any case, more to come.



My favourite pics

Headcode_-_orange6.jpg


Headcode_-_orange7.jpg



Edit: All pics are also here http://photo.head-fi.org/showgallery.php?cat=718 and in high res.
 
Mar 5, 2006 at 2:12 AM Post #2 of 24

Teerawit

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omg...welcome to the next level!
 
Mar 5, 2006 at 2:20 AM Post #3 of 24

PATB

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Congratulations on an impressive looking and what surely is an impressive sounding amp!

Quote:

Originally Posted by saint.panda
Practically speaking, the price is very steep for a college student..


Cry once and be done with it! Enjoy the amp in good health.
 
Mar 5, 2006 at 2:28 AM Post #5 of 24

Teerawit

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Quote:

Originally Posted by hungrych

Btw, what is the "third channel"?



active ground channel
 
Mar 5, 2006 at 3:54 AM Post #7 of 24

Edwood

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Quote:

Originally Posted by saint.panda

Larry Milligan's build quality speaks for itself. The parts costs alone constitute a small fortune.




The most expensive parts are on the outside (minus the DACT inside). But that is some fine work inside and out.

-Ed
 
Mar 5, 2006 at 5:32 AM Post #10 of 24

aznsensazian

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wow, very impressive and complicated design. Will this be at the national meet?
 
Mar 5, 2006 at 2:18 PM Post #11 of 24

Jap

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[size=medium]It would be nice if Jazz or yourself could compare the HeadCode Triad (HT) to balanced or electrostatic systems. Having bought a Pocket Reference II, I am highly impressed with the LaRocco sound and would be ineterested in hearing their flagship product. If the HT can truly obviate the need for balanced or electrostatic configurations, they would become an obvious goal for this listener.
biggrin.gif


{Editted ...}
It would also be interesting to know whether the HT can drive the AKG K1000 to optimal sound quality levels.
[/size]
 
Mar 5, 2006 at 4:46 PM Post #12 of 24

nickchen

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Is this now the "Maybach" among all available and thinkable HP amps, or can things still be handled more excessive?
 
Mar 5, 2006 at 5:47 PM Post #13 of 24

Oski

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Beautiful piece inside and out. This is definitely an elite amp, like an exotic car. Larry and Phil do amazing work indeed.
 
Mar 6, 2006 at 12:03 AM Post #15 of 24

saint.panda

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Thanks for the nice comments. The amp is a real pleasure to listen to.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer
Looks top notch! It will be interesting to see how it compares with the Dynamite, not that the cost will be much different, but at least the power useage/heat output probably would be.


Actually, the the size and heat aspects were one of the main reasons I didn't want to opt for the Dynamight or a big tube amp. Soundwise I was considering the Dynamight as well before Kurt bought it. The Headcode is a one-box design that isn't too heavy and has average heat output. Gets a little warm but just a bit more than a Corda HA-2 or Prehead.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jap
[size=small]It would be nice if Jazz or yourself could compare the HeadCode Triad (HT) to balanced or electrostatic systems. (...)
It would also be interesting to know whether the HT can drive the AKG K1000 to optimal sound quality levels.
[/size]



I don't have the AKG anymore but ppl said that there shouldn't be a problem with the K1000 at all. The discrete, class A design can swing 15V RMS and output 3 amps RMS. That should be plenty for any headphone.



Regarding the comparisons to the balanced Dynamight, both Kurt and JaZZ heard the Headcode today and will each have the amp for about a week and probably chime in with their opinions. It's unfortunate that we didn't have the Dynamight for a direct comparison so the comments necessarily need to be taken with a grain of salt. Nonetheless, Kurt owned the Dynamight and JaZZ had it for more than a week in his system, so it's better than nothing and, in my experience, still more representative than short meet impressions. From my extended auditions with the Dynamight, I can only say that balanced as a stand-alone argument is certainly not the end of the story and rather hyped. I don't want to speak for Kurt but I'm sure there is a reason why he went from the balanced Dynamight to the single-ended Eddie Current Black Rose and stuck with it. As for the main reputed strengths of balanced drive, namely soundstage and transparency, the Headcode has it all IMO. Further, I prefer the tonal balance of the Headcode to the Dynamight but we did use a different source at that time (a very nice, balanced Dodson DAC). Again, my comments are obviously more strongly biased, so take them for what they're worth.


I can't speak for the national meet or the price, but Larry or Phil can be contacted directly here: http://laroccoaudio.net/contactus.html. Since I was asked in a pm, I also don't know how much of a difference there is between the Triad and the Dual Mono designs. This is something that needs to be answered by Phil or Larry.
 

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