HiFiMan Susvara
Feb 29, 2020 at 1:28 PM Post #3,406 of 12,858

sahmen

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Many times the grass is not really greener on the other side, we just see it from another angle.

Ha ha! I think the Susvara should be nicknamed "The Greener Grass Amp. headphone." Probably more than half of this entire thread is devoted to a debate on what the optimal best mode of amplification for the Susvara might be, but so far, I do not think there is a consensus about that. There are just occasional individual strong opinions about what amp might be best, but when it comes to a consensus, you might call the overall picture and result rather vague and always evolving. I have always been interested in headphone amps and curious about them, but I have never run across any headphone (with the probable exception of the He-6) for which finding the optimal form of amplification is such a big and often contentious deal that, one wonders to what extent the (often interminable) preoccupation and anxiety about finding/getting the right amplification, might threaten, if not entirely overwhelm the business of enjoying the headphone itself in peace. I am aware of the possibility that this almost endless challenge of finding the optimal amp might constitute one of the most appealing implications of owning the Susvara for some fans, and that is alright to me : after all, we all approach this hobby in different and personal ways, enjoy different things about it, and to each his or her own, blah, blah, blah. Personally, however, being a "set it and forget it" kind of guy, i find the restless preoccupation with amps to be a bit distracting, if not disconcerting, although i am curious about the Susvara, and would like to own one some day. The fact though is that I have never had to debate, or second guess myself about the right or optimal amp to use for my He-1000SE, or LCD-4, or LCD-X, or even HD-800. Because I currently have amps that drive all these headphones very well, I am always able to concentrate on how much (or how little) each allows me to enjoy (or not enjoy) a particular piece of music, without worrying whether, or how much, the amp I am using might be rocking or "ruining" the party. Why can't it be the same for the Susvara?
 
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Feb 29, 2020 at 2:00 PM Post #3,407 of 12,858

jlbrach

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Ha ha! I think the Susvara should be nicknamed "The Greener Grass Amp. headphone." Probably more than half of this entire thread is devoted to a debate on what the optimal best mode of amplification for the Susvara might be, but so far, I do not think there is a consensus about that. There are just occasional individual strong opinions about what amp might be best, but when it comes to a consensus, you might call the overall picture and result rather vague and always evolving. I have always been interested in headphone amps and curious about them, but I have never run across any headphone (with the probable exception of the He-6) for which finding the optimal form of amplification is such a big and often contentious deal that, one wonders to what extent the (often interminable) preoccupation and anxiety about finding/getting the right amplification, might threaten, if not entirely overwhelm the business of enjoying the headphone itself in peace. I am aware of the possibility that this almost endless challenge of finding the optimal amp might constitute one of the most appealing implications of owning the Susvara for some fans, and that is alright to me : after all, we all approach this hobby in different and personal ways, enjoy different things about it, and to each his or her own, blah, blah, blah. Personally, however, being a "set it and forget it" kind of guy, i find the restless preoccupation with amps to be a bit distracting, if not disconcerting, although i am curious about the Susvara, and would like to own one some day. The fact though is that I have never had to debate, or second guess myself about the right or optimal amp to use for my He-1000SE, or LCD-4, or LCD-X, or even HD-800. Because I currently have amps that drive all these headphones very well, I am always able to concentrate on how much (or how little) each allows me to enjoy (or not enjoy) a particular piece of music, without worrying whether the amp I an using have anything to do with it. Why can't it be the same for the Susvara?

The whole amp debate is overdone to say the least....people can debate the virtues of a speaker amp vs a headphone amp but as one who owns and loves the susvara I would simply say get a good dac and a high end headphone amp and stop worrying...it will sound glorious
 
Feb 29, 2020 at 6:34 PM Post #3,408 of 12,858

dleblanc343

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The amp debate is a tad overblown, but remains very much valid. Ideally get something with a hefty transfo that can dish out high current. Susvara imposes it’s character do tonal pairing of the amps isn’t all that important, but an amp that is more authoritative and effortless will really help Susvara thrive.

I personally use a heavily modified MC225 McIntosh for all my current headphones (susvara, k1000 and HE6)

My Susvara sounds better on my Yamaha receiver speaker taps, than it does on my BHA-1 or THX 789. Not as transparent or technical perhaps, but the image and dynamics are much more grandiose
 
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Mar 1, 2020 at 6:28 AM Post #3,409 of 12,858

Articnoise

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People have been arguing for and against all types of audio designs. Some people for example say that electrostatics are best other that planar, some say the R2R is better than delta sigma, others got a hang up on Class A or SET, while others swear that solid state amps are the most accurate. The list of things that audiophiles are arguing about is long. Once upon a time, that was not that long ago, most headphone amplifier was small, didn’t cost more than the headphone (which was also cheaper then) and didn’t have much power on tap. Then Hifiman launched the HE6, we didn’t have many quality headphone amps that was adequate (e.g. powerful) to drive them then.

Over the years other headphones, that many think sounding splendid, has been launched and to meet the demand of those harder to drive headphones also many headphone amps are much more powerful today than they was a few years ago.

I am not denying that generally speaking different designs have different characters. A design that you can clearly hear the “house sound” of, is adding distortion, roundness or whatever to the sound. I don’t want all music to sound the same and therefore don’t want to hear the sound of the equipment, per se. The good news is that the better the equipment get, the more similar they sound. What I mean is that a really good R2R DAC and a really good SD DAC doesn’t sound R2R or DS they just sound good and truthful, which mean no sound of their own.

Okay back to the discussion about speaker amps :deadhorse:. Yes nowadays the merits of using speaker amps because of power is exaggerated. Some powerful headphone amps have plenty of power to drive headphones like the Susvara. To me, to meet the power demand of a HP is kind of accomplishing the basic requirement. When we have meet and exceed the basic need its gets more tricky and subjective.

I have used speaker amps for over 4 years and are today using a Moon 600i to drive my HE1000se. I don’t use it because the HE1000se need that much power and not because it is a SS amp, or because it is operating in class A (up to 5 watt). I do it because it “sounds” better than the other amps I have compared to, at a price that I was willing to pay for it used. I would not say no to a quality tube amp, but I also know that the grass is not always greener on the other side. Meaning that at this level it is not so much about SS vs tubes as it is about one quality amp vs another quality amp. An amp which IMO can be of whatever design, as long as it get out of the way and make me enjoy all kind of music.
 
Mar 1, 2020 at 7:17 AM Post #3,410 of 12,858

cladane

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The amp debate is a tad overblown, but remains very much valid. Ideally get something with a hefty transfo that can dish out high current. Susvara imposes it’s character do tonal pairing of the amps isn’t all that important, but an amp that is more authoritative and effortless will really help Susvara thrive.

I personally use a heavily modified MC225 McIntosh for all my current headphones (susvara, k1000 and HE6)

My Susvara sounds better on my Yamaha receiver speaker taps, than it does on my BHA-1 or THX 789. Not as transparent or technical perhaps, but the image and dynamics are much more grandiose
Agree with @dleblanc343, until you haven’t listened to Susvara, very inefficient headphones, connected on the speakers tabs of great sounding big amps capable of high current output, it‘s not out of sense to say that a good headphones amp suffices.
Other headphones actually generate the same debate, the new Raal SR1a.
 
Mar 1, 2020 at 3:29 PM Post #3,411 of 12,858

MacedonianHero

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Agree with @dleblanc343, until you haven’t listened to Susvara, very inefficient headphones, connected on the speakers tabs of great sounding big amps capable of high current output, it‘s not out of sense to say that a good headphones amp suffices.
Other headphones actually generate the same debate, the new Raal SR1a.

I have on several powerful speaker amplifiers (Pass Labs, McIntosh to name a couple off the top of my head)...and in the end I can't discern any improvements over my headphone desktop setup FWIW.
 
Mar 2, 2020 at 5:10 AM Post #3,412 of 12,858

zorilon

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I subscriber to what @MacedonianHero is saying.
I had the opportunity to hear the magic happening using good speaker amps (very good bass and open soundstage) with Susvara and also had the opportunity to listen to very good headphone amps like Niimbus US4 that are driving the Susvara even better then the speaker amps.
A good headphone amp is more quiet and has blacker background portraying micro details, deep bass and open soundstage at the same time.
 
Mar 2, 2020 at 6:17 AM Post #3,413 of 12,858

Tekunda

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I subscriber to what @MacedonianHero is saying.
I had the opportunity to hear the magic happening using good speaker amps (very good bass and open soundstage) with Susvara and also had the opportunity to listen to very good headphone amps like Niimbus US4 that are driving the Susvara even better then the speaker amps.
A good headphone amp is more quiet and has blacker background portraying micro details, deep bass and open soundstage at the same time.
So if you had the choice between the Nimbus US4 and an excellent speaker amp, would you rather pick the Nimbus to drive your Susvara?
 
Mar 2, 2020 at 9:57 AM Post #3,414 of 12,858

JeffMann

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I subscriber to what @MacedonianHero is saying.
I had the opportunity to hear the magic happening using good speaker amps (very good bass and open soundstage) with Susvara and also had the opportunity to listen to very good headphone amps like Niimbus US4 that are driving the Susvara even better then the speaker amps.
A good headphone amp is more quiet and has blacker background portraying micro details, deep bass and open soundstage at the same time.


I have not used a speaker amp with my Susvara headphone, but I own a Niimbus US4+ headphone amplifier, which has a very low noise floor producing a significantly blacker background that allows for greater micro-resolution and superb soundstaging with lots of air between instruments. It is significantly better than my Vioelectric V281 headphone amplifier in that respect, even though the V281 can also drive the Susvara with adequate power.

Jeff.
 
Mar 2, 2020 at 10:49 AM Post #3,415 of 12,858

Tekunda

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I have not used a speaker amp with my Susvara headphone, but I own a Niimbus US4+ headphone amplifier, which has a very low noise floor producing a significantly blacker background that allows for greater micro-resolution and superb soundstaging with lots of air between instruments. It is significantly better than my Vioelectric V281 headphone amplifier in that respect, even though the V281 can also drive the Susvara with adequate power.

Jeff.
Have you ever had the chance to listen to an Abyss 1266 TC hooked up to your Nimbus?
 
Mar 2, 2020 at 11:18 AM Post #3,416 of 12,858

cladane

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Well, true, yet the V281 was very powerful and able to drive the Susvara, this about power. The example of the Niimbus doesn't impede nowadays the debate around speakers amps since priced at 6kEUR this amp is twice a Tsakiridis Theseus.

Personally, I prefer tube amps for headphones as I get a better feeling of openness particularly on Classical works. The output transfomers in speakers amps are bigger and can drive a lot of current. Very good for the Susvara.
 
Mar 2, 2020 at 12:59 PM Post #3,417 of 12,858

jlbrach

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I subscriber to what @MacedonianHero is saying.
I had the opportunity to hear the magic happening using good speaker amps (very good bass and open soundstage) with Susvara and also had the opportunity to listen to very good headphone amps like Niimbus US4 that are driving the Susvara even better then the speaker amps.
A good headphone amp is more quiet and has blacker background portraying micro details, deep bass and open soundstage at the same time.
I agree 100% my formula s/powerman drives the susvara beautifully and I have heard speaker amps
 
Mar 2, 2020 at 1:12 PM Post #3,418 of 12,858

zorilon

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So if you had the choice between the Nimbus US4 and an excellent speaker amp, would you rather pick the Nimbus to drive your Susvara?
Yes, only because I have a limited space in a desktop setup (small apartment) :) . Also I can add a power amp (maybe tube amp) and use the Niimbus as a pre-amp later on.
Otherwise I will definitely go directly to a good speaker amp to save money.
 
Mar 5, 2020 at 3:21 PM Post #3,420 of 12,858

Ciggavelli

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Both were outstanding. I think I can hear better detail retrieval and some better transparency from the Cardas, while the DanaCable is a warmer with a smidge of improved sound staging. Depends on what you're looking to do (and also your upstream rig might demand). Can't go wrong with either IMO.
I'm interested in trying out the Cardas Clear cables for my Susvara. Where did you buy them? Moon-audio seems to only have the 3.5mm hifiman connection (the Susvara is 2.5mm, right?). Thecableco version says "HiFiman cable," but doesn't say if it is 2.5mm or 3.5mm. So, I'm a bit lost
 
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