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Lehmann Rhinelander... Finally Happy...

  1. counterpoint
    I have to start off by saying I have a Recording Arts BA and I know what I am talking about because I studied for 3 years for a piece of paper that gives me that right.

    I have been a long time lurker over the last 4 years? and I figured I would jot down my experiences.

    Anyways... I have been searching for something to properly power my Beyerdynamic DT880s (250 ohm) 2003s since I bought them in 2006 and realized what most people realize when they get into this "hobby": you need an amp to actually hear what they are capable of.

    I started off with these DT800s with an m-audio firewire solo which was "just enough".

    I DJ professionally and I spent quite a bit of cash (€450) on a Native Instruments Audio 8 DJ that I use and love. I have searched this forum over and over but could find NOTHING about it here. It boasts a super duper Cirrus Logic DAC. But the headphone out is TERRIBLE! I was hoping that by buying a headphone amp I could unlock its hidden (and expensive) potential with a headphone amp. I have paid my bills using this card and it does what it does incredibly well and I feel sorry for anyone who is stuck with Serato. That said, let me be the first to say that the NI Audio 8 DJ is great at what it does in the club but as an audiophile source its CRAP! I use the RCA outs to the mixer in the club but the headphone out is incredibly underpowered, my ipod sounds better. After comparing it to the Apogee Duet I can honestly say that it is NOT an audiophile grade DAC. Don't fool yourself if you own one.

    I spent a good 3 months lurking on this forum looking for an amp to buy that would use the source of the Audio 8 and finally bought the Lehmann Rhinelander as a poor mans Black Cube... When I first got it I have to say it is as light as a feather... The output was so incredibly bright through the DT800S my heart sunk. Both through the M-Audio and the Audio 8. I even plugged it into the headphone out of the M-Audio Firewire Solo and was disgusted with the quality compared to the actual m-audio headphone out which is quite good.

    I learned the effects of burn in with my Sennheiser HD25s (which I adore).

    Rhinelander = Burn in is essential... I can't count the hours this thing took...

    Fed up and with a fat paycheck I purchased an Apogee Duet... to replace the entire system and sell this disappointment of an amp!!!! The headphone out of the Duet is astounding... truly astounding! It powers the DT800s just fine and was happily loud enough :) Then I plugged in the Rhinelander... and did hours and hours of A/B testing...

    The Apogee has a wider stereo image for sure but the Rhinelander ads this 10% to 20% more accuracy to the transients. I still could not justify the price of €350 for the Rhinelander. Then I listened some more...

    The initial brightness... which was ear shattering has calmed to a nice "bite" and a touch of "air" on everything. I am telling you as a first amp, this thing pissed me off with how bad it sounded!

    I put it in it's box and was getting ready to stick it on ebay when I plugged it in again...

    I can't sell it... I just can't... it just ads that 10% to 20% over the Apogee Duet which is already astounding... Yes the image is a bit narrower but my god its accurate and punchy!!! It just adds that touch of punch to everything. I want to say the Apogee sounds better but then I plug back into the Rhinelander and the transients are so much sharper and more defined!

    I have spent HOURS reading this damn forum over the last 4 years? ... and thinking about it now? I have about a grand plugged into my ears... Damn you all! (My wife must NEVER KNOW!!!)

    Just wanted to say a few words about the Rhinelander and that it has taken about 2 months to finally burn in.... and for all the people who own the Native Instruments Audio 8 who did not find any info about it here... Great card in the club... but don't plug your DT880s into it and expect happiness.

    And the Apogee Duet... UGH! MY GOD!

    As they say ... Welcome to Head-Fi ... Sorry about your wallet. I will own a Black Cube... Someday...
  2. MomijiTMO Contributor
    Just say you are getting these things for a 'good friend' who's wife who controls his plastics. [​IMG]

    [You may have a BA (Recording Arts) but I'm not entirely sure you can say burn in is essential....]
  3. counterpoint
    If I showed you a brand new out of the box Rhinelander and the one I have burned in for 150 hours you would hear two very different amps.

    Unfortunately... I hope I don't have to burn in this Apogee Duet... But in my experience it will probably settle down to a different sound in a few months.

  4. St3ve

    Originally Posted by counterpoint /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Unfortunately... I hope I don't have to burn in this Apogee Duet... But in my experience it will probably settle down to a different sound in a few months.

    Great piece of kit. I have been through my fair share of AD/DACs in my time, but the duet is really excellent. I can't remember hearing any sonic changes, or anything I would put down to 'burn-in' with the duet.
  5. MomijiTMO Contributor
    Might be fall on deaf ears cause...


  6. shawn_low
    Has anyone tested the preamp functionality of the Rhinelander?
  7. gazeds
    Has anybody used the rhinelander with an ipod
  8. johnnyuk
    I have a Rhinelander,had it about a year and just decided to mess with the gain settings via the replaceable jumpers.
    I cant even notice any difference whichever setting i use,can anyone else?
    Are the red and black jumpers meant to be different too?
    I use Grado 325is headphones
  9. jibzilla
  10. Amictus
    "I have to start off by saying I have a Recording Arts BA and I know what I am talking about because I studied for 3 years for a piece of paper that gives me that right..."
    Good luck with that! I have a music degree and have worked as a record producer and there are still plenty of people who tell that I'm not hearing what I'm hearing...
    Anyway, although this is a semi-dormant thread, I thought that I would note here, as elsewhere, that Sevenoaks Sound and Vision, Holborn branch, London, has got in a Linear and a Linear SE at my request... they are difficult to find in the same place and at the same time. I am auditioning them on the 7th of April.

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