Takstar Pro 82 Review, impressions and discussion thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by BenF, May 14, 2017.

Which headphones do you want Pro 82 to be compared with?

Poll closed Jun 13, 2017.
  1. Brainwavz HM5/Yoga CD-990/NVX XPT100

  2. ATH-ES700

  3. Isk HP2011

  4. JVC HA-S400

  5. JVC HA-S680

  6. JVC HARX900

  7. Bosshifi B8

  8. B&O H6

  9. B&O H7

  10. Creative Aurvana Live!

Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. skeletor_bass

    I know i've already asked you to compare bass with JVC s680, but i am really close to buy s680, but Pro 82 are really tempting.

    I have s500 and i love them so much, nothing that i had (regardless of price) was so good to my ears as s500.
    I've never experienced such energy as i do with s500, highs are really special and whole sound signature is "HD".

    Can you give me your opinion, please - if i should go for s680 or Pro 82.
    I was also thinking about Panasonic HD10 (i really like the driver exposed beauty), but i hear they lack bass, which i dont like D:

  2. BenF
    Pro 82 for sure, no competition - both comfort and SQ are waaaaaaaaay better.
    S680 was great by 2013-2014 standards, but in a world where Pro 82 exists, S680 is not a viable option anymore.
    skeletor_bass likes this.
  3. BenF
    Welcome to the club!

    I'm a bit worried about your amp/dac inventory - it seems to be leaning towards dark sound (one amp is even called "DarkVoice").
    Even iFi Micro ICAN SE, which is a SS amp, has the "TubeState" technology, which makes it sound like a tube amp.

    In order for you to really hear what Pro 82 is all about, I recommend you to buy SMSL Idea.
    It's 86$, but you can take 6$ off with Select Coupons and another 2$ with store's coupon - so 78$ only at the end:

    It sounds a bit dry when used alone (still good enough to see Pro 82's strong sides), but when connected to O2 amp - it becomes very musical.
    I've been listening for this combination for the past 6 hours, can't stop (just got the Idea today).
    It sounds as good as Oppo HA-2, which means it sounds better than the new Oppo HA-2SE.
    You can get a brand new O2 (B-stock, not refurbished!) here:
    Don't forget to set the gain at 1x/3.3x.

    I don't have DF Red, but DF v1.2 was a huge sonic disappointment to me.
    Unlike DF Red/Black/v1.2, SMSL Idea supports sample rates above 24/96K - up to 32/768k, as well as DSD up to DSD512.
    Also unlike DF, it's an actual DAC/Amp, not just a DAC.
    It measures better than DF (at least "Black") too:

    There is a cheaper version of SMSL Idea - Sabaj DA2:
    It's 15$ cheaper, but I don't like its volume buttons, and it only comes in black - so I chose Idea.
    SMSL Idea looks gorgeous in red, I'll post pictures later.
    It's ridiculously tiny too.

    I did buy Sabaj DA3 though - liked the idea (no pun intended) of having a screen:
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2017
    OscarPaz likes this.
  4. HerrWallen
    Haha, well the DarkVoice is an OTL Tube amp used exclusively wilth my HD650s. The high output impedance will probably make the Takstars sound worse but don't knock the tubes because of it, they are nowhere dark or muddy used with the right cans.
    With that said, I do prefer a more balanced sound. Recently I've tried a couple of Chinese budget IEMs that were really treble-heavy and it didn't sit right with me. Not that I'm overly sensitive to treble but that signature really over-shadowed everything else of what I was listening to.

    I wouldn't call the ICAN dark per se but then again, I have always considered "dark" to be more of a veiled sound.
    I think it it's rather transparent and relies more on the source than anything else. With that said I can see how some would call it an "polite" amp in the respect that it has a slightly more mellow sound than the iDSD BL for example. I never really "got" the whole TubeState thing by the way; what it means and what it does to the sound to be honest, the amp sounds really great regardless.
    The Black Label on the other hand is more lively, a dac/amp with punch and extension and I choose it over the Mojo simply because it had a much more dynamic sound (in my very humble opinion). It is a terrific device that'll do even the hardest to drive justice.
    I deeply recommend you to listen to them if you get the chance, especially the iDSD BL.

    I never got the chance to listen to v1.2 or the v1.5 (Black) so I can't comment on them but the Red is good but not without flaws. It has been relegated to non-serious listening since the iDSD does everything sooo much better in my book.

    It generally seems to be considered "leaning on the bright side" and at times it can come of a bit analytical and lean&clean. From what I read, most people prefers the Red to all other Dragonflys and I can understand why with the equal amounts of punch and clarity it packs in such a small package. The amp-section (it most certainly is a dac + amp) does a good job dealing with the sabre-glare though and paired with warmer headphones I think it can sound really good.
    On the other hand, I have heard "lesser" devices (with XMOS implementations of which the Red lacks) do most of what the Red does good so all things considered, even if I think it's a great device, it is a wee bit expensive.

    That thing looks really exciting, ticking of all the right boxes honestly. I might be tempted to try one, especially considering the dual dac/balanced output.. Have you received it yet?
    I'm currently waiting on the shipping of my Fiio X7 mark 2, should be arriving before the weekend and I hope it will be a great match with the Takstars.
  5. Miguelbazil
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
  6. BenF
    Depends on the revision of ODAC - the first revision, with ES9023, sounds very close to HA2.
    So O2 + ODAC would sound almost identical to HA2 as Amp/DAC.
    Wouldn't touch Rev. B - I am a NwAvGuy purist.

    However, you would be missing the added musicality of O2+Idea, which is likely a result of double amping (since Idea doesn't have Line Out).
    Sabaj2 should sound identical to Idea.

    Later I will test HA2(headphone out) + O2, it should have the same musicality as O2+Idea.
  7. BenF
    Here is SMSL idea with my two favorite green things:

    And compared with my favorite Amp/DAC Oppo HA-2:
    trellus likes this.
  8. Miguelbazil
    Here's the thing, musicality is something that you can't really define right? It's something related to the way things sound, and it's kind of subjective right?

    Also, green matcha tea... Meh :p
  9. BenF
    Subjective it is: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/describing-sound-a-glossary.220770/
    Musical (or musicality) - A sense of cohesion and subjective "rightness" in the sound.
    For me personally, it means that:
    1) The music sounds so natural, that I forget I'm listening to headphones - I am transported to the concert hall/recording studio
    2) I don't just appreciate how well the music sounds, I get emotionally involved.
    When both of the above happen, that's "musicality" for me.
    Don't knock it till you tried it.
    It's not tea - it's tea flavored KitKat.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
    trellus and Miguelbazil like this.
  10. Miguelbazil
    Yeah, then the definition is the same that I've been reading around, and I just wanted to be sure that you were using the same. I'll have to consider it in time, for now, I'm waiting on the O2, which once I have the money, will come. I'll add the Idea to my wishlist.

    Also, I've tried that KitKat actually, my GF loves it. Me not so much, I prefer other chocolate combinations :wink: But that's good for you, one less competing with you for it haha :D
  11. BenF
    Yesterday I have tried SMSL Idea + HA-2 (as an amp) with Pro 82.
    While the result is much better then SMSL Idea alone, it doesn't reach the same musicality as Idea+O2.
    Also, the soundstage is more expansive with O2.

    This is the first time I heard an audible difference between O2 and HA-2.
    Kinda makes sense, an amp is just a small part of HA-2, O2 was designed by the legendary NwAvGuy.
    It's a miracle they are as close as they are.

    I'm writing this today, because only until the end of the day you can get O2 for 89$ - a record low!
    It's B-stock - 100% new, not refurbished. There may be slight cosmetic imperfections, but usually there aren't any, you just get a regular O2.
  12. BenF
  13. OscarPaz
    Hahaha, how many do you have know? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
  14. BenF
    It's my second one.
    I also bought a second Pro 82 and am considering a second SMSL Idea - so I will have the best setup both at home and at work.
  15. BenF
    A couple of Aliexpress stores have listed Pro 82 at an unrealistically low price - 63$.
    Do not buy from them! These stores have history of "selling" Pro 82 and never delivering.
    Here is some feedback in the MH Recording Music Store from Pro 82 buyers:

    Here is some feedback from Original Brands Market:

    The only store that is 100% guaranteed to have stock, is the Takstar factory store:
    After a store discount, the current price is less than 75$!

    Another store that is likely (not 100%) to have stock at the moment is Volemer High-end Life Tech Store:
    They have a mixed track record with Pro 82, but claim to have it now - at reasonable price.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
    trellus likes this.
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