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Oppo HA-1 Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by aamefford, May 7, 2014.
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  1. Maxx134
    I only tried 3 others besides stock.
    I have sold and bought back a Cardas 4pin xlr cable.
    Every other cable sounded better than stock but it was at the minor or micro level..

    I believe the key to best sound on HA-1 is using the balanced XLR headphone out..
  2. akhyar

    Thanks Maxx,
    I've auditioned the Cardas Clear balanced for HD800, but they come with 2x 3-pin XLR plugs. Will hunt around for 4-pin XLR to use with the HA-1.
  3. x RELIC x Contributor

    Yeah, balanced XLR headphone out is amazingly clear.

    I tried the single ended headphone out the other night and was again amazed at the difference balanced output gives. I also tried the X5 connected to the RCA input instead of coaxial and.............. well let's just say I never thought the X5 sounded too warm, but I immediately missed the DAC implementation in the HA-1. The funny thing is that I'm glad to hear a difference as I can drive my headphones with a powerful class A amp and listen to different DAC presentations when the mood strikes.

    This is a long honeymoon. :D
  4. HiFiAudio
    Here's a nice short review from Adrock (moderator, Blu-ray.com), check out the images also.
    lukeap69 likes this.
  5. sbgunn

    I'm currently using the moon audio 4pin black dragon cable with my hd800s. Its a nice cable and in 10ft length its still cheaper than the sennheiser balanced cable for the hd800
  6. SpudHarris Contributor
    With you there!
    I have been very happy with the HD800's via My tube amp (Icon HP8 MII) and have spent twice as much again on boutique / romantic sounding tubes. I keep going back to it, just to see if I'm missing anything by using the HA-1 and I'm not. Everyone who has tried a good tube amp with pretty much tell you the same thing, there is a certain musicality whilst still revealing micro detail that is generally not found in SS amps. I keep going back to the HA-1 because that's how it sounds to me. Can't bring myself to put the HP8 up for sale yet but guess it's just a matter of time [​IMG] I have so much money tied up in it it's hard to justify keeping it when it doesn't get the air time it deserves...
  7. jonstatt
    For those with an HD800, are you running low or high gain? With high gain, I am near the lower end of the volume (-19dB), but with normal gain, I am near to 0dB. The volume actually extends into the positive dB range but I don't know if there is a negative for doing that.
  8. Maxx134
    I tried both to see if I could notice any sonic differences but so far for non percussive and non demanding music I noticed no benefits,
    although if U read maybe two page back I think Frank stated that high gain was preferable.
  9. ogodei
    I am running the HD800 SE at high gain for volume.  I've tried both low and high and didn't find a penalty running in either mode, just the volume preference.
    Positive or negative dB numbers on the display should not matter for sound quality, the only consideration would be if you are running the volume control near the bottom of its range.
  10. SpudHarris Contributor
    I'm in balanced mode High Gain @ between -18/19dB
  11. docBliny

    The manual states that you should generally try to keep the the volume in the high area with low gain, rather than volume low with high gain. Page 19.

  12. Maxx134
    A general true statement,
    But for dynamics and control of any headphone, more power on tap is better. .

    I read in other website I shall not name,
    that the hd800 can surpass and climb even higher with greater visceral bass when properly amped..
    Need more testing,
    But I believe Frank...
  13. jonstatt
    I completely understand that the negative dB value is largely irrelevant because the volume is an attenuator control...it is not "changing" the gain when you change the volume. But that is why I am surprised you can keep going past zero into positive territory which "should" mean you are in fact no longer just attenuating...but gaining. So I am a bit confused what positive volume dB numbers mean.
  14. vigotone
    Anyone try this out with the Audeze LCD-XC closed cans? Love to hear your thoughts on that combo.
  15. craftyhack
    Indeed, I have, fantastic combo, also with the LCD-3s (pre-fazor).  It drives them both with aplomb obviously, I was able get to the top of the volume (+20db?  don't remember) with both (low gain), and my ear drums were tickling.  Yes, I know that is bad, and only did it for a few seconds on each, but the point of the exercise was to listen for clipping or distortion.  Absolutely NONE, and the presentation wasn't affected at all, it was incredible, what this combo can do.  I think with the relatively warm / dark presentation (relative to HD-800) of the LCD's, the combo with this smoother than normal SS amp, yet still forward and detailed, is near perfect.  That makes sense given they were designed for the PM series of headphones given the PMs are planar as well.
    Side note, I am still building my list of gear, where once complete I will begin posting reviews of combo's and comparisons, I don't want to start until I have all of the gear in hand that I will be reviewing so I can do each type in one or two sittings with true double blind testing (my wife will be doing the A/Bing, and she knows nothing about this gear, so I consider her blind :wink:).  My method with each set of cans/IEMs will be to A/B between the HA-1 in three configs, HA-1 DAC only, HA-1 AMP only, and HA-1 combo against other gear in replacing one or more of the components in the chain.  I will be acquiring gear to allow the switching to be immediate, so that I can write down my impressions without knowing which of the two (or three or four) setups I am listening too, and be able to tell her to switch back to A or C again real quick, etc.  I will *try* to rank what I prefer, at worst I will at least rank by what I prefer by mood/genre of source.  I am still working on how to affordably get more technical numbers to accompany my subjective data.  My focus for the first round will be to give impressions across all of the gear I have for each set of IEMs/CANs.  To date, here is the gear required, please give advice on what makes sense to add to the list, I think I am light on external amps and DACs, only have a couple more set of can's to add I think:
    1. *UERMs
    2. *UE18s

    1. JH Audio Roxannes
    2. Shure E500-PTH
    3. Ultimate Ears TripleFi's
    4. Many other <$150 pairs

    1. Audeze LCD3 (pre-fazor)
    2. Audeze LCD-XC
    3. **Oppo PM-1s
    4. *Hifiman HE-500s
    5. **Sennheiser HD-800 (bal)
    6. ***AlphaDogs
    7. Sony MDR-7506
    8. Sony MDR-XB1000
    9. Ultrasone 900
    1. Oppo HA-1 (to be ***RW-OPPO'ed :))
    2. Schiit Valhalla
    3. Schiit Mjolnar
    4. ***Woo WA7 with tp power
    5. *Hifiman EF-5
    6. Fiio E17
    7. Fiio E09K
    8. Fiio E7
    9. Pioneer Elite SC-68
    10. Pioneer 47TXi
    11. Onkyo 3008
    1. AK100 (to be RWAKed)
    2. AK240 (to be RWAKed)
    3. Sony ZX1
    4. XA5400ES
    5. Pioneer Elite 47Ai
    6. Pioneer Elite BDP-62FD
    7. Onkyo DV-HD805
    8. Toshiba HD-XA2
    9. iPod 160GB Classic x3
    10. iPod Touch 4th 64GB x2
    11. iPod Nano 6th 16GBx4 (great watches)
    12. Zune G1 30GB
    13. Zune G2 80GB
    14. Various desktops, laptops, and tablets w/ various apps (+JRiver)

    DACs/AMP/Receiver Sources
    1. Fiio E17
    2. Fiio E7
    3. Oppo HA-1
    4. Pioneer Elite SC-68
    5. Pioneer 49TXi
    6. Onkyo 3008
    7. Many other Onkyo's from 809-607 and a bunch in between
    8. many other standard BR, DVD, CD, and HD-DVD players

    *"on the way"
    **"working on purchasing right now"
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