New from Garage1217, the solid-state Project Polaris!

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by asr, Jul 7, 2014.
  1. Reiven
    Any idea how would Polaris work with MrSpeakers AEON?
    I remember reading posts that Ether and Polaris wouldn't match well and they are from same "house".
    Although AEON is easier to drive (AEON 14ohm 97dB/mW /ETHER C 22ohms 92dB/mW)
  2. Ulises
    The Polaris amp is not the quietest amp out there. You might be able to get it to work using an adapter that Jeremy sells for very efficient/sensitive cans. 
    I heard some hissing with my current setup to give you an idea. 
    Ubuntu 14.04/Tidal Hifi/Master > Wyrd > Modi 2 Uber > Project Polaris > beyerdynamic T5P (v1) [I'm using PYST usb cables, which I highly recommend]
    The noise is reduced with higher output impedance. With the adapter, the noise drops completely.
    P.S.: I realize that I make it sound as if the noise is very loud. It is NOT, it's very faint and you may not be able to hear it. In my setup you need to be actively trying to hear it
  3. Ulises
    I'm finding a very strange thing using my (awesome) Polaris amp. My setup is as follows:
    Ubuntu 14.04/Tidal Hifi/Master > Wyrd > Modi 2 Uber > Project Polaris > Beyerdynamic T5P (v1)
    Noise: very low without adapter, disappears with adapter.
    If instead of streaming from my laptop I connect my Axon 7 or Nexus 9 via OTG cables there is very noticeable hiss (a constant "sh sh sh sh"). Now here's the interesting thing, when I hover my hand over the Polaris  or when I touch it the hissing intensifies. This does not happen when the source is my computer.
    I don't think this is interference coming to the amp from the phone/tablet because I can leave my phone right next to the amp and I don't get noise when the source is my computer. Note that I'm using two different OTG cables (USB-C for Axon 7, micro USB for Nexus 9). Furthermore, I didn't get noise when I was using my previous amp, the Modi 2. Interesting, no?
    Any ideas what the blip is going on here? :) 
  4. Cavi
    Wanted to chime in and give a shoutout to the Topping D30 DAC as being a good pairing for the Project Polaris. It's very transparent and lets the amp do its job. Very pleased with the pair. And very happy about the convenient footprint to allow for a decent stack on my desk!

    Jeremy had sent me a new opamp chip for my motherboard buuuut I snafu'd it. The chip cracked and the resulting damage made my motherboard sound unusable. I decided to try the Topping D30 because I heard it was a good XMOS unit for the money. The Polaris offers so much character and is a wonderful amp - the DAC just lets the amp do its job.

  5. ilcg1
    Just received my Polaris and have two setups now. Will keep only one of them: schiit Modi Multibit/Polaris or Bifrost Multibit/Jotunheim.
  6. ilcg1
  7. iamxLn
    Talk about the differences you're hearing
  8. oswalakhil
    I've been using the Polaris for a week, and I absolutely love it! I compared it on the HE400I to my O2 and Schiit Vali 1, and it's definitely better than both of them - with much sweeter mids, control over bass, and non-harsh highs, and separation. The differences are relatively small, but I have a feeling that with more demanding headphones the Polaris will shine way more - as they have way more power than I need right now. I can see absolutely nothing wrong with it - and if it matches well with the HD6XX incoming in December, it looks like endgame for me!
  9. Tunkejazz
    The designer of Polaris uses the HD650 regularly, and I can confirm that the combo matches nicely, at least given my taste :wink:
    bixby likes this.
  10. Vu Chau
    You're in for a treat. The HD650-Polaris is a great pairing. Very sweet mid and treble, and a very dynamic bass. Plus, you can change the Polaris damping factor to adjust how euphonic you want your headphones to sound. I was using the Polaris to drive my HD650 for a year before upgrading to an Auralic Taurus MKII at 5 times the price for a tiny improvement. Nowadays I'm using the Polaris for my planars.
  11. oswalakhil
    That's great to hear, and I'm really looking forward to it. How do I change the damping factor anyway? Would that require major mods?
  12. Vu Chau
    The settings are on the sides - it's called output impedance. You can set the jumpers at either low, medium, or high.
  13. mandrake50
    Change the output resistors via the jumpers that are provided... No major modifications required.
    Damping factor is basically the ratio of the source impedance to the load impedance.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
  14. oswalakhil
    I see, thanks! I have been playing with that and settled on Medium for the HE400I, I wasn't aware it was called damping factor. Any hints as to how it affects the "euphonic" nature of the mids?
  15. mandrake50
    It is not called damping factor... it is the output impedance that you are changing. But that changes the ratio, which IS the damping factor.
    In theory it should not change too much with a Planar headphone other than the output level.
    The technicalities:
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017

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