"R-10H" first impressions....
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Nik

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To all R-10’s owners and headphone listeners friends.

“R-10 Headphone System”

Introduction:

The day is arrived… after a long wait, today I can to say that my research of an ultimate amplifier for my R-10 is finally terminated! The queen of the cans has found her king! I have the best headphone amp for the SONY MDR R-10 and now I can to tell that the headphone is sounding with all the potentiality they have. I’m very glad that the only worth companion of the R-10 was born in Italy (sorry…) and his name is: “R-10H”. The amp is in the same class of my Linn Sondek CD 12, in the same class of my R-10 cans and even in the same class of my Shinpy cables and Siltech Octopus Signature mains distributor. I haven’t more any doubt: I’m arrived! Peace!!!!

Comparison and listening experience:

It really impossible to describe the beautifulness of this State of the Art piece: “R-10H” custom amp for R-10 headphone… The direct compare that I can to do is with the EAR HP-4 and Sugden Headmaster, (I’m not considering the Max Headroom, the Grado RA-1 and his old brother HPA, the Xcans, the MeCormak, because not competitive). Its good to compare the “R-10H” with two of the best amplifiers in the world, one tube and the other solid state. I always remember when the technician told me about my EAR: “I can to build for your cans an amp that will sound immensely better than this EAR”. Guys, is really this: IMMENSELY BETTER, all parameters. I never heard anyone telling: “This amp sounds immensely better than the EAR HP-4”, including Holmes Powell DCT-2 and Cary 300B SEI. I say even immensely better than the Sugden: all parameters. You know the transparency of this amp? Well, the “R-10H” is much transparent than the Sugden, you know the bass of the EAR? Well, the “R-10H” has a abyssal bass, much better than the EAR, the imaging is out of any imagination. If the Sugden is “water” for his transparency and speed, the EAR is “honey” for sweetness and fluidity, the “R-10H” is “blood” for his human sense of music reproduction and because goes directly to your heart! I’m very lucky guys, at this moment I know that I’m listening better that everyone in the planet… the only thing that I can to change now are my ears!!!! (And I’m not intentioned to do this…). I know that what I’ll say now would be bad for many friends R-10’s owners, really believe me: you don’t have listened your cans yet, nobody has heard the R-10 headphone! And I add: NIMO, that means NOT IN MY OPINION. This is only the truth. Period. Respect to the EAR HP-4 the cans now is giving the 99,9999999999%, of they self, with the EAR… it was the 70%, this is the right proportion. I cannot imagine the R-10 cans sounding better!!! It is all. Period.
Yesterday night I was in my bedroom with Cassandra Wilson (do not think…) she was singing just for me, yes!!! She was really there, and the musicians too. INCREDIBLE sense of “real sound”, I haven’t words (even in Italian) to describe the physical sensation of the “real”, because was an emotion that really captured me in a sort of ecstasy, pleasure of listening: music, music, only live music!!! All the notes that you hear are “real”, I can’t to explain… The soundstage is without limits, you cannot tell which is the best aspect of this amp: all is in the maxim level for me, unimaginable! It is impossible to find any limit. And I know that the unit is still in break-in time. The mid-bass (that in my opinion is a difficult task for the tube amps), is not prominent (as generally is) and let to flow all the spectrum bands, giving a sense of palpability of music. This amp really “PLAY” music exactly like a musical instrument. I had the identical sensation that I had when I experimented the R-10 cans for the first time. I have the security that this is “the” amp, (the last ring of my equipment) that I was looking for, that my headphone was looking for. Even if I know that the entire system is playing to produce this extraordinary performance. I don’t know if the “R-10H” is the best headphone amp in the world, I’m just saying that is the best for the R-10 cans. This was my objective and I can tell that is totally attained. The last thing… did you cry sometimes when listening your favourite music? This happened to me today!

Nik
 
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Flasken

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Thanks for the review!
 
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88Sound

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I've been following these threads about your search for the perfect headphone setup and want to say first of all CONGRATULATIONS!

You obviously are very passionate about your music and have put in a lot of thought, time, faith and money into your perfect setup and IT PAID OFF!

A satisfied audiophile ? Can these two words be in the same sentence?


I wish you the best of luck with your new KILLER setup!
 
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andrzejpw

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I am in awe. Congratulations on your setup, it sounds amazing. Hopefully, it'll bring you many years of happy listening. But one thing needs to be asked: where do you go now?
 
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hokiefritz

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Awesome Nik! Thanks for sharing your passion for this with us.
 
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eric343

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My god, that sounds like an amazing amp. It looks like you've become a living oxymoron - an audiophile without an upgrade path! Congratulations! You may now consider yourself the luckiest guy on Head-Fi.
 
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andrzejpw

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"In other news, scientists in Boston have devised a way to beam sound directly into one's ear, at absolutely NO loss in sound quality. Amazingly, estimates for the product run only about $20."

That would be evil.
 
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eric343

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Yeah, and? What about those old recordings that sound best through tubes? That nice warm lush TUBINESS? For that people still pay money, you know



 
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TimSchirmer

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what about speakers?
 
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HD-5000

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Looks like its almost time to get an R10-H v2
 
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KR...

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Thanks a lot for that review, it sound like you won't be upgrading in a long, long time if ever. So now all your money can go to buying cds to play on your great system! It's all about the music!
Thanks for letting us share in your fun

 
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Tomcat

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Quote:

(...) for his human sense of music reproduction and because goes directly to your heart!


Nik,
That's what it's all about, isn't it? Congratulations!
 
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Nik

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Third day of listening, the experience continue… I think more correct now to use the word “system” instead of amplifier, because the entire system is responsible of my impressions, the R-10H is just the last arrived. When a wooden box with something inside succeed to touch your heart, really you can to be arrived! This system is changing my meter of judge, no more numbers but sensations, emotions… as if material can to have a sort of soul inside.
This system is teaching me a lot about listening. Especially about what you must to consider for a “real live sound”. For ex. the “speed”, as we call, do not must be exaggerated, because do not modify naturalness of “live”. Another thing that I’m finding: never, never I heard the sibilance (s,z,c,v) in human voices in a correct mode, now I’m listening perfectly, not exaggerated but an “S” clean, present, real. The sensation I’m feeling is that this system go farther the “recording” to recuperate the original sound of instruments and voices, I know that this is an sensations, but I’m not exaggerating. You do not think: “which kind of microphones are used in this recording”, but, Good, a very nice voice, this singer”, understand? You are transported farther the technique in the original event, directly to the voice of the singer, or the string of that violin …incredible. There was an experience yesterday night when I was listening a children coir with pipe organ, I don’t read in the CD, but certainly they was singing in church for the atmosphere that you can perceive, you are stimulated to imagine the face and colour of eyes of the soloist children that is singing in that moment…see you next impression…


ALL THE NIGHT....
 
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Zanth

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Hi Nik!

I noticed the avatar change, wow! I believe that what you have achieved is personally what I am after. I don't want to discuss physics, numbers, quantitative observations. I want to discuss the music in terms of poetry, feelings, sensations. I want everything to be qualitative observations. Musical? Full-bodied? Soul-moving? Those are the words I want to be able to use....you have found it...I need a listen


See you in 9 months
 
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Tomcat

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Quote:

Originally posted by Zanth
See you in 9 months


But can Head-Fi bear to wait that long?

Nik,
coming from Germany, I'll be in Florence in mid-September. You don't happen to live in Northern Italy, do you?
 
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