Q's about my new headsave ultra
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johnnysize

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I just bought a headsave ultra off of headfi here, I'm using it with cd3000's and shure e3's. Just curious to know how this compares to a ppa. I was also curious if i could turn it into a pps it has the hammond case and what not, do you think somebody here such as jmt or voodoochile would turn it into a ppa for me at a cheaper price than a new ppa, or perhaps i could do it myself, im not afraid to experiment i would just need someone to tell me what goes where, because i can't look at schematics. thanks for a comments/suggestions.
 
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fewtch

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You wouldn't save much having it turned into a PPA... probably only the case, headphone jack and RCA jacks could be reused. Can't tell ya how it compares, as I've only heard a PPA briefly at a meet. I'm sure the PPA is better tho.

P.S. if you just bought it, why not enjoy it awhile before upgrading...
 
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johnnysize

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its mostly out of curiosity, im not sure how much better the ppa is supposed to be. what happens is i can justify the initial $150 and then after i receive it i can justify spending another $150 if i think an upgrade would make a difference, but for some reason i can't justify spending $300 which i should have done in the begginning.
 
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fewtch

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Quote:

Originally Posted by johnnysize
its mostly out of curiosity, im not sure how much better the ppa is supposed to be. what happens is i can justify the initial $150 and then after i receive it i can justify spending another $150 if i think an upgrade would make a difference, but for some reason i can't justify spending $300 which i should have done in the begginning.



I'd advise just reselling it if/when you wanted to upgrade to a PPA... there's about zero chance of saving $150 by reusing parts.

The PPA is supposed to be substantially better, but how much "substantially" is depends on the quality of parts used, the quality of the power supply, etc. Also how trained your ears are to hear differences between amps.

Edit -- And how good your source is.
 
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xtreme4099

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there is no one ppa ... there are many optional things like opamps and capacitors that change the clarity and general dynamics of the sound, it all depends how far you willing to go...is there a point of diminishing returns, well im pretty much at that point with my amp, and only way to go for me is a better source.
 
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johnnysize

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actually i don't have a good source but i have a backround in high end audio, this is my first headphone venture though. Ive had a few high end systems, i buy and sell them like crazy, i have upgraditis to the extreme. My last system consisted of tyler acoustics taylo reference monitors, classe cap-80 integrated amp, northstar m192 dac, conrad johnson transport, cardas lightning digital cable, synergistic research speaker cable, ridge street audio silver rca interconnects, uprgraded iec calbes on everything. the funny thing is i could hardly tell any difference when i put in nice cables compared to stock cables, and while my source sounded great i was dissapointed that it wasn't all that much better than a $90 sony dvd player. Don't get me wrong the $3000 tranport/dac combo was better, it was amazing to me that it was only a little better. The biggest improvement was definitely the speakers, probably second was the transport, and closely followed by the amp. When it comes to dac/transport combos its important to realize that the transport is as important if not more important than the dac, so don't try and put a cheap transport on a really nice dac like i did with the sony dvd player, i literally could not hear an ab difference between the outboard and onboard dac. Once i added the conrad johnson that when i could hear an improvement over the dvd player by itself. So im basically just drunk and rambling on, but i like my equipment to be as revealing as hell. So i guess thats why i was wondering about the ppa, i will hook it up to the $90 dvd player and it will sound better than you think, if you don't beleive me a/b something with a cheap dvd player you might be surprised slash depressed. Everytime i made an upgrade i was convinced that it was way better than what i had previously, until i a/b them, so im pretty convinced that most of the difference we perceive is psychological, i should because my backround is in psychology. It's all about the laws of diminishing returns, if money is no object than it doesn't really matter that your paying 3000% more for a 10% improvement. to sum up a long post that really doesn't go anywhere, i can discern a difference between amps if there actually is one and its not psychological, my cheap dvd player should be a sufficient source, and i seriously have to stop upgrading so often.
 
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xtreme4099

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well my ppa is it ...but im waiting for LaRocco to finish to their next amp The Epoch and upgrade to that, its in my name xtreme upgraditatis.
 
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Demolition

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Quote:

Originally Posted by fewtch
I'd advise just reselling it if/when you wanted to upgrade to a PPA... there's about zero chance of saving $150 by reusing parts.


That's good advice. Even if johnnysize could scavenge parts from the Ultra, he would still need a fair number of extra parts, including the PPA PCB, the buffers and the rest of the opamps, a pile of caps and resistors, and a suitable PSU. As you said, selling the Ultra and putting the funds toward a PPA is the best course of action


Quote:

Originally Posted by fewtch
The PPA is supposed to be substantially better, but how much "substantially" is depends on the quality of parts used, the quality of the power supply, etc. Also how trained your ears are to hear differences between amps.


fewtch,

I've heard stock and custom PPAs head-to-head with maxed-out META42s and can state without hesitation that the PPA will blow the lesser amp out of the water. Even though the META42 has some minor similarities to the PPA, it just doesn't compare sonically.

I'm told that there's another Seattle meet in the works (during the Summer?). I imagine that several PPAs will be there, including xtreme4099's custom PPA-X, various LaRocco PPAs, and possibly aos' PACE and Grand PACE PPAs. Those are at the pinnacle of PPA excellence and once you hear them, your little Ultra just won't do it for you anymore.


D.
 
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Demolition

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Quote:

Originally Posted by xtreme4099
well my ppa is it ...but im waiting for LaRocco to finish to their next amp The Epoch and upgrade to that, its in my name xtreme upgraditatis.


Speak of the devil...

So, when are you guys thinking that the next Seattle meet will occur? Soon after the Epoch is complete, I hope.


D.
 
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fewtch

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Demolition
fewtch,

I've heard stock and custom PPAs head-to-head with maxed-out META42s and can state without hesitation that the PPA will blow the lesser amp out of the water. Even though the META42 has some minor similarities to the PPA, it just doesn't compare sonically.

I'm told that there's another Seattle meet in the works (during the Summer?). I imagine that several PPAs will be there, including xtreme4099's custom PPA-X, various LaRocco PPAs, and possibly aos' PACE and Grand PACE PPAs. Those are at the pinnacle of PPA excellence and once you hear them, your little Ultra just won't do it for you anymore.



I'm not suffering from upgraditis, and meets haven't had the ability to cause it for me in the past (mostly cuz I'm dead broke most of the time
). I don't expect to be getting a PPA anytime soon, but it's good to know it's that much of an improvement. My Ultra (actually not so little, it's in a larger than usual case
) will have to do the trick for the forseeable future... unless you care to make a donation?
 
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Demolition

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Ah yes, being broke is a good way to curb upgraditis. It's too bad that the reason that I'm broke, in the first place, is because of a bad case of upgraditis!


D.
 
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fewtch

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I s'pose I could sell my Ultra and HD600s, and have about enough for a very average PPA... that would leave me with HD580s to listen to it with. Worth thinking about, perhaps (but I probably won't do it).
 
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It's too bad that Norm at Headsave doesn't build PPA's anymore, because his configuration of the PPA was great at putting it as high as possible on the benefit axis of the benefit/cost curve without going out on the "diminishing returns" part of the curve. Norm's standard configuration of the PPA was a bang-for-the-buck PPA. I'm really enjoying Norm's new $65 Go-Vibe while it burns in as I type. Norm, and Headsave, really are great at delivering bang-for-the-buck.
 
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fewtch

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sbulack
It's too bad that Norm at Headsave doesn't build PPA's anymore, because his configuration of the PPA was great at putting it as high as possible on the benefit axis of the benefit/cost curve without going out on the "diminishing returns" part of the curve. Norm's standard configuration of the PPA was a bang-for-the-buck PPA. I'm really enjoying Norm's new $65 Go-Vibe while it burns in as I type. Norm, and Headsave, really are great at delivering bang-for-the-buck.


Definitely... I'm nothing but pleased with the two amps I've gotten from him (so far). The Ultra's a slightly custom job with a Neutrik locking jack, larger case and socketed resistors for adjusting gain... the buffers are quad stacked. Really a sweet sounding amp for the price (a bit over $200), especially with the NiMH battery pack I use. The MiniMe was (imho) a steal for the $110 he was charging, so if his newer amps sound better then it puts them in the realm of "stellar" for the price.
 
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scottder

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sbulack
It's too bad that Norm at Headsave doesn't build PPA's anymore, because his configuration of the PPA was great at putting it as high as possible on the benefit axis of the benefit/cost curve without going out on the "diminishing returns" part of the curve. Norm's standard configuration of the PPA was a bang-for-the-buck PPA. I'm really enjoying Norm's new $65 Go-Vibe while it burns in as I type. Norm, and Headsave, really are great at delivering bang-for-the-buck.


A review of his new Vibe amps would be interesting, since these new amps use a PCB of his own design. Be nice to hear how it compares to comparable amps in the "affordable" range.

Scott
 
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