LH Labs Geek Out v2 Discussion Thread
Nov 9, 2015 at 10:51 AM Post #646 of 1,391

sheldaze

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In contrast tonight I could hear that there was a difference between the Mojo and GOV2 immediately, and in terms of specifics the bass difference came through pretty rapidly. With the GOV2 the bass was more weighty and impactful, the sound overall more dynamic, which made it a better pairing for the Ether C than the Mojo to my ears. Cymbals sounded a little more splashy with the GOV2 however, and I would imagine over a longer listening session it could be a bit more fatiguing (although I may be overestimating that, given I am a bit more sensitive to sound with the nearly resolved cold). Interestingly if I changed the digital filter on the GOV2 to the FRM filter it was less fatiguing, cymbals were a little better behaved, and it sounded closer to the Mojo signature, while still retaining some advantages in bass and dynamics. Soundstage and detail retrieval seemed similar to me, and it would take more sessions to meaningfully flesh out if I could hear any differences in those (or other) areas.

Well-said, sir!
 
I am unfamiliar with the Beyer headphone, and have no desire to renew a relationship with their cans - I am familiar with the Ether and Ether C, and loved what I heard. The above quoted paragraph, I share your view completely.
 
Nov 9, 2015 at 9:01 PM Post #648 of 1,391

Dithyrambes

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Cross-posted from the Mojo thread, might be of interest to those following this thread also:


Interesting for a few reasons. With regards to the T5p, they're fairly neutral, although on the brighter side of neutral, and a bit bass light to my ears. Their main deficit for me though is how lean they are - it's not a matter of they are neutral and the Mojo is neutral and so the pairing is not ideal. They definitely want a pairing that is warmer and has a bit more body than the Mojo I think (EQ'ing will help somewhat). I had a similar take tonight comparing the Mojo with the Geek Out V2 with the Ether C. I need to compare more formally, but I think the Ether C is a little on the leaner side too, if not as much as the T5p (and with a better bass response).

With one DAC/amp plugged into each side of the laptop, and after volume matching them both to 75dB with a test tone, it was pretty straightforward to switch - just left the audio devices setting window open and changed the default playback device when plugging into the alternate DAC. Still a slower changeover than I'd really like, given the brevity of audio impressions, but at least the volume matching persisted through changeover. Listening to the GOV2 was via the balanced output, and mostly with the default TCM digital filter mode. Almost all files were 16/44 FLAC, with one exception being some 24/96 Pink Floyd. Music choices varied a fair bit - Rage Against the Machine, Pantera, Ella Fitzgerald, Alanis Morissette, Miles Davis, Tool, Muse, Massive Attack, Pink Floyd.

I tested for an hour, which is probably as long as it's worthwhile to test for with this kind of listening (and certainly my limit at present, as I recover from a cold that featured some unpleasant eustachian tube dysfunction last week).

The last time I did a "DAC-off" was with the Auralic Vega and PS Audio Perfectwave Dac II, and there it took some time to acquaint myself enough to discern any difference, and even longer to drill down into that and realise where, specifically, the differences lay. In that case the sound of cymbals was about the only area where I felt I could reliably hear a clear, if slight, difference (with my preference going to the PWD2, which I felt sounded more natural with cymbal sounds). That took place over a couple of weeks, and I still think a blind test would be the sternest of challenges for me...

In contrast tonight I could hear that there was a difference between the Mojo and GOV2 immediately, and in terms of specifics the bass difference came through pretty rapidly. With the GOV2 the bass was more weighty and impactful, the sound overall more dynamic, which made it a better pairing for the Ether C than the Mojo to my ears. Cymbals sounded a little more splashy with the GOV2 however, and I would imagine over a longer listening session it could be a bit more fatiguing (although I may be overestimating that, given I am a bit more sensitive to sound with the nearly resolved cold). Interestingly if I changed the digital filter on the GOV2 to the FRM filter it was less fatiguing, cymbals were a little better behaved, and it sounded closer to the Mojo signature, while still retaining some advantages in bass and dynamics. Soundstage and detail retrieval seemed similar to me, and it would take more sessions to meaningfully flesh out if I could hear any differences in those (or other) areas.

Take all that FWIW, I’m getting over a cold, and I think as much as anything this might reflect one headphone pairing and shouldn’t be generalised. If I have any time before returning the GOV2 I will try with some other headphones (perhaps with MHP1000, which are not lean in the least, or perhaps with the Pandora Hope VI too) and see how they fare with the respective units. What I would still take away from this is that the Mojo isn't necessarily going to be the be all and end all for all headphone pairings.

When/if the V2+ becomes available I will likely buy it and have a fairly lengthy comparison period including some multi-participant blinded tests. After this evening, I could perhaps see myself selling the Mojo.


I will have both as well :)
 
Nov 10, 2015 at 9:58 AM Post #649 of 1,391

wakka992

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Hi guys, I'll paste what I asked on the GO V2+ thread since this looks like a more active thread:
I am really interested in this new geekout and while looking for further info on the DAC ESS chip I just noticed that on the productor site the ES9018AQ2M is no more present but the ES9018k2m of geekout v1 is still listed... Have ESS discontinued their new DAC mobile flagship?? Any news on that side? Will LH labs act accordingly changing DAC chip?
Thanks
 
Nov 10, 2015 at 10:53 AM Post #651 of 1,391

musicheaven

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You can bet ESS has not dropped the ball on their highly successful AQ2M chip, to be honest their site has been a little less than marketing friendly and for a good reason, folks there are more technically inclined. I would just dust it off under the rug and look at their similar siblings as they use, for all intend and purposes, the same HyperStream technology. I strongly advise anyone to download their well written paper on the subject, quite an eye opener.
 
Nov 10, 2015 at 5:11 PM Post #652 of 1,391

Mr Creosote

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In the Chord DAC's the actual DAC Chip is in the FPGA. So adding the ES9018Q2M DAC to it would be meaningless.  If you want a better device then you should go for the full ES9018S reference grade chip in mono mode, not the cut-down lower end chip targeted at mobile phones with some stupid FPGA added. With the reference grade sabre in dual mono you get 135dB dynamic range and manufacturers can load custom complex filters into the DAC Chip itself, so you do not need any FPGA to do this instead.This seems to be far the best option,
 
Nov 10, 2015 at 6:22 PM Post #653 of 1,391

mscott58

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In the Chord DAC's the actual DAC Chip is in the FPGA. So adding the ES9018Q2M DAC to it would be meaningless.  If you want a better device then you should go for the full ES9018S reference grade chip in mono mode, not the cut-down lower end chip targeted at mobile phones with some stupid FPGA added. With the reference grade sabre in dual mono you get 135dB dynamic range and manufacturers can load custom complex filters into the DAC Chip itself, so you do not need any FPGA to do this instead.This seems to be far the best option,


Out of curiosity have you heard one of Chords FPGA DACs? Cheers
 
Nov 10, 2015 at 6:36 PM Post #654 of 1,391

ejong7

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Now that I received my unit, I can finally see why people are talking about the casing. it's not nice when you receive a new unit and you can already see a few specks of dust inside. And it doesnt feel as nice or premium as the V1 the casing.
 
Nov 12, 2015 at 6:55 AM Post #655 of 1,391

NZtechfreak

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So I posted some thoughts the other night on Mojo Vs GOV2…and now I have to kind of retract them.
 
The very next night I went to compare my T5p with the Ether C from the Mojo, and without even altering the volume between headphone changes my SPL meter was saying they were the same volume. Ruh-roh. Given their relative sensitivities I didn't believe that for a second, and sure enough on listening the T5p was subjectively at least twice as loud as the Mojo! So we're talking in the ball park of a 10dB error. There was definitely not so dramatic a difference in volume the night prior when I had done Mojo Vs GOV2, however the SPL meter behaviour the next night was enough to make me want to redo the earlier comparison (for science!).
 
With my SPL meter out of action I resorted to a smartphone app. Not ideal, but given I didn’t require absolute accuracy so much as relative accuracy that was fairly reproducible, I think it was adequate.
 
After repeating the test I think it is clear that there was a volume difference favouring the GOV2 during the earlier comparison. This time around there wasn’t any apparent dryness or lack of dynamics from the Mojo. I would say the Mojo edged the GOV2 (FRM filter on the GOV2) - better instrument separation, blacker background, microdetail retrieval – overall a more refined and composed sound, but this time not lacking in engagement factor. I do mean ‘edged’ as well, I felt like the margin, while distinct, was small. I remain keen to grab a V2+ when/if it arrives and do a blinded multi-participant comparison against the Mojo (any NZ readers keen to be part of that flick me a PM).
 
Apologies all for my earlier post, where the SPL meter problem clearly influenced the result. I will have a freshly calibrated meter for the blinded tests when it is time for them.
 
 
 
 
Note on method and music choices etc: One DAC/amp plugged into each side of the laptop, volume matched to 93dB with a test tone (producing average volumes ~80-85dB when listening to music). Pretty straightforward to switch - just left the audio devices setting window open and changed the default playback device when changing headphones into the alternate DAC. Still a slower changeover than I'd really like, given the brevity of audio impressions, but at least the volume matching persisted through changeover. Listening to the GOV2 was via the balanced output, and mostly with the FRM digital filter mode. Almost all files were 16/44 FLAC, with one exception being some 24/96 Pink Floyd. Music choices varied a fair bit - Rage Against the Machine, Pantera, Ella Fitzgerald, Alanis Morissette, Miles Davis, Tool, Muse, Massive Attack, Pink Floyd, Daft Punk. 
 
Nov 12, 2015 at 10:53 AM Post #656 of 1,391

sheldaze

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Originally Posted by NZtechfreak /img/forum/go_quote.gif
 
Apologies all for my earlier post, where the SPL meter problem clearly influenced the result. I will have a freshly calibrated meter for the blinded tests when it is time for them.

I still agree with your original post, with regards to the "splashy cymbals" and potentially more fatiguing nature of the GOV2 versus the Mojo. I would describe the sounds from the Mojo as feather pillows caressing my ears. I could listen for hours on end, and lost some sleep the first few nights I had it. While I felt the balanced output of GOV2 improved the quality tremendously, I did not feel it was competition for the Mojo.
 
It was quite interesting though, at a meet this past Saturday. A number of people heard the Mojo and thought it paled in comparison to a desktop setup, Schiit Gungnir Multibit > Cavalli Liquid Carbon. You might say, sure - huge price difference. But one person also thought the Schiit Fulla kept much of the quality of the desktop unit.
 
What I am trying to say, and may be failing miserably, is the Mojo is to my taste a better USB DAC/AMP. But it is certainly a taste, which one may or may not acquire. It seemed very odd to my ears on first listen. Then it became pillows
tongue.gif

 
Nov 12, 2015 at 1:23 PM Post #657 of 1,391

NZtechfreak

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I'd still stand by those comments. After redoing the test I agree the Mojo is indeed better, but then at twice the price it should be (not that this always works out in practice). On the repeat it had the dynamics that a few dB of volume had robbed in the first test, but was still less fatiguing than the GOV2.
 
Nov 12, 2015 at 4:28 PM Post #658 of 1,391

Mr Creosote

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Yes I have spent some time and with a few headphones throw in to mix things up. I also  think it important to listen with a good speaker system.  My friend has the hugo and is lining up for the mojo. He likes the chord range. The fpga is nice and gives resolution that is second to none. I would say if you are a hd800 person this suits you down to the ground. I’ll report when I have spent time with the mojo
 
Nov 13, 2015 at 1:36 AM Post #659 of 1,391

laevi

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Has anyone used the V2 with an LG G4 smartphone?
 
My V2 doesn't even power on when connected to the G4. The V2 has no problems with a friend's Samsung Note 5 or my cheapo ZTE Zmax smartphone.
 
Nov 13, 2015 at 2:32 AM Post #660 of 1,391

NZtechfreak

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Has anyone used the V2 with an LG G4 smartphone?
 
My V2 doesn't even power on when connected to the G4. The V2 has no problems with a friend's Samsung Note 5 or my cheapo ZTE Zmax smartphone.


Samsung phones have always been capable of putting out more charge than other Androids. You'll need to use a USB OTG Y cable or powered USB hub to work around the issue.
 

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