Talking Synergy
Apr 6, 2021 at 3:02 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 39

ChrisOc

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 6, 2020
Posts
634
Likes
1,912
Location
London, United Kingdom
You have bought your new earphones, how does it fare with your sources and DAC/Amps.

Tell others about what works for you and what does not work for you. Get the right synergy and the discarded and forgotten earphones and headphones will become your favourite. The best IEMs may be in the drawer somewhere, just find a good match for them.

Let's share our experiences.
 
Apr 6, 2021 at 3:13 PM Post #2 of 39

ChrisOc

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 6, 2020
Posts
634
Likes
1,912
Location
London, United Kingdom
My current favourite sound is with the Littlebear B4X tube amp, which I have had for some two years.

I only recently added a Taotronics bluetooth receiver/transmitter for some £26 or so. The aim was to reduce noise by keeping by phone away from the B4X and BOY does it sing now! It sounds just wonderful!

20210406_154956.jpg


My synergy chain here is made of:

Samsung Note 10 plus
Taotronics bluetooth receiver
Littlebear B4X Tube Amp
DIY cable from Ali Express
IMR Aten
KBEAR Believe red tips.
 
Last edited:
Apr 6, 2021 at 9:55 PM Post #3 of 39

baskingshark

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jul 6, 2019
Posts
4,792
Likes
14,608
Location
Jabberwock Island
Thanks for this nice thread.

My go to desktop amp for "synergy" is the Topping L30. They had a bit of issue end of 2020 with reports of the amp not having ESD protection and this may have caused some folks to get damaged headphones/IEMs due to electrostatic discharge, especially in winter/low humidity climates.

I live in a tropical area so I had no issues with it (I bought mine as one of the first released batches), but Topping did issue a recall and replaced units FOC, so I did get a new unit with ESD protection. I think all units being sold nowadays come with protection.

Anyways, this amp is my favourite cause it is very neutral with a dark background, it has 3 gain switches from low to normal to high gain, so it can pair well with anything from highly sensitive multi BA IEMs all the way to power hungry planar headphones. So it does syngergize with most gear and it doesn't colour the music much so to speak, good for assessing a headphone/IEM. Some may find it too analytical though and want something more "musical", so YMMV.

Current setup -> Windows Music Bee player -> Khadas Tone Board (DAC) -> Topping L30 (amp) -> IEM/headphone (rotate thru a few per day!)




I know some audiophile friends of mine purposely pair a warm amp with a bright IEM and vice versa, so as to "balance out" the sound.
 
Last edited:
Apr 7, 2021 at 2:11 AM Post #4 of 39

ChrisOc

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 6, 2020
Posts
634
Likes
1,912
Location
London, United Kingdom
Thanks for this nice thread.

My go to desktop amp for "synergy" is the Topping L30. They had a bit of issue end of 2020 with reports of the amp not having ESD protection and this may have caused some folks to get damaged headphones/IEMs due to electrostatic discharge, especially in winter/low humidity climates.

I live in a tropical area so I had no issues with it (I bought mine as one of the first released batches), but Topping did issue a recall and replaced units FOC, so I did get a new unit with ESD protection. I think all units being sold nowadays come with protection.

Anyways, this amp is my favourite cause it is very neutral with a dark background, it has 3 gain switches from low to normal to high gain, so it can pair well with anything from highly sensitive multi BA IEMs all the way to power hungry planar headphones. So it does syngergize with most gear and it doesn't colour the music much so to speak, good for assessing a headphone/IEM. Some may find it too analytical though and want something more "musical", so YMMV.

Current setup -> Windows Music Bee player -> Khadas Tone Board (DAC) -> Topping L30 (amp) -> IEM/headphone (rotate thru a few per day!)




I know some audiophile friends of mine purposely pair a warm amp with a bright IEM and vice versa, so as to "balance out" the sound.
I have heard a lot of good things about the Topping L30. I would have considered it, but my 8-year old daughter will paint it for me, if I am lucky. If I am unlucky, she would do what I did to my father's sound system age 10ish.....destroy it. So I am on portables.

I seriously considered the Khadas Tone Board 2, but in the end I opted for the HA11 on AliExpress during the recent sales...so I cannot wait to see how it fares with my IEMs.
 
Apr 7, 2021 at 5:59 AM Post #5 of 39

dharmasteve

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 1, 2014
Posts
2,170
Likes
4,037
Location
London, England
My current favourite sound is with the Littlebear B4X tube amp, which I have had for some two years.

I only recently added a Taotronics bluetooth receiver/transmitter for some £26 or so. The aim was to reduce noise by keeping by phone away from the B4X and BOY does it sing now! It sounds just wonderful!



My synergy chain here is made of:

Samsung Note 10 plus
Taotronics bluetooth receiver
Littlebear B4X Tube Amp
DIY cable from Ali Express
IMR Aten
KBEAR Believe red tips.
Of course when we talk of synergy what comes with the territory is MAGIC. Most of us have at times been imbued by that magic. The Littlebear B4X tube amp, which I have too, and it is really great bit of kit with that great analogue sound, and can be part of that synergy/magic chain. There are days I listen to music and I am receptive to it's meaning, and like all of us I am moved deeply. Those moments we are receptive to the synergy and the magic produced are probably why we are all visiting this site. The magic of music can give life meaning and to many different genres.

 
Last edited:
Apr 7, 2021 at 8:48 AM Post #6 of 39

ChrisOc

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 6, 2020
Posts
634
Likes
1,912
Location
London, United Kingdom
Of course when we talk of synergy what comes with the territory is MAGIC. Most of us have at times been imbued by that magic. The Littlebear B4X tube amp, which I have too, and it is really great bit of kit with that great analogue sound, and can be part of that synergy/magic chain. There are days I listen to music and I am receptive to it's meaning, and like all of us I am moved deeply. Those moments we are receptive to the synergy and the magic produced are probably why we are all visiting this site. The magic of music can give life meaning and to many different genres.

Brilliantly stated! When you feel that perfect moment, it would be great to hear what your magic chain is.
 
Apr 7, 2021 at 11:58 AM Post #7 of 39

Barusu Lamperouge

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 24, 2018
Posts
1,132
Likes
1,715
Location
Lugnica
Thanks for this thread. And, although I have a very limited gear and amp inventory, I am more than content with it. They may not be TOTL or even mid-fi level gear but, hey who cares if it's perfect for my current gear! 😁

For desktop I use - HP G3 with B&O audio drivers> Foobar music app> Walnut F2> IEM/HP in rotation

Also use this as my work setup so at times I just unplug F2 and use it directly via my laptop to take calls

Portable -

Redmi Note 4 modded with Ainur Narsil+V4A> Neutron> Walnut F2> with neutral bright IEMs like T2 and also for the IEMs which require extra power like DeeTee6

For others

S20 FE with Dolby Atmos> Neutron> BTR5 (USB DAC)> IEMs in rotation

And for convenience, I use BTR5 wireless as well.
 
Apr 7, 2021 at 2:29 PM Post #8 of 39

povidlo

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 2, 2020
Posts
443
Likes
758
Location
Toronto
My current favourite sound is with the Littlebear B4X tube amp, which I have had for some two years.

I only recently added a Taotronics bluetooth receiver/transmitter for some £26 or so. The aim was to reduce noise by keeping by phone away from the B4X and BOY does it sing now! It sounds just wonderful!

20210406_154956.jpg

My synergy chain here is made of:

Samsung Note 10 plus
Taotronics bluetooth receiver
Littlebear B4X Tube Amp
DIY cable from Ali Express
IMR Aten
KBEAR Believe red tips.
Cool thread!

+1 on B4-X! Great synergy with any planar magnetic driver I've tried so far. Little Bear also works great with high impedance earbuds.

B4-X is connected through LO to Fiio M7 dap. M7 is using ESS Dac chip with clean and cool sound. Good synergy with Little Bear which is warm and thick sounding with its tubes. M7 has a bunch of music loaded and can be also used as LDAC receiver for streaming music from android phone/tablet/etc.

20210407_135436.jpg


chain:

Fiio M7
ALO SXC 8 (interconnect)
Little Bear B4-X (modded with 2x Burson V5iD op-amps; o-rings)
Monolith M570 (modded with Monolith 8-core silver-plated 4N OCC copper cable; straight pads)
 

Attachments

  • 20210407_142045.jpg
    20210407_142045.jpg
    2.1 MB · Views: 0
Apr 7, 2021 at 2:46 PM Post #9 of 39

ChrisOc

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 6, 2020
Posts
634
Likes
1,912
Location
London, United Kingdom
Thanks for this thread. And, although I have a very limited gear and amp inventory, I am more than content with it. They may not be TOTL or even mid-fi level gear but, hey who cares if it's perfect for my current gear! 😁

For desktop I use - HP G3 with B&O audio drivers> Foobar music app> Walnut F2> IEM/HP in rotation

Also use this as my work setup so at times I just unplug F2 and use it directly via my laptop to take calls

Portable -

Redmi Note 4 modded with Ainur Narsil+V4A> Neutron> Walnut F2> with neutral bright IEMs like T2 and also for the IEMs which require extra power like DeeTee6

For others

S20 FE with Dolby Atmos> Neutron> BTR5 (USB DAC)> IEMs in rotation

And for convenience, I use BTR5 wireless as well.
It matters not whether it is an inexpensive setup or an expensive setup, what matters is how it sounds!

That synergy could give you tons of joy, which is why we are here.

I also find the BTR5 so convenient plus it has changed my mind about bluetooth, very good idea and well implemented.
 
Apr 7, 2021 at 2:52 PM Post #10 of 39

ChrisOc

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 6, 2020
Posts
634
Likes
1,912
Location
London, United Kingdom
Cool thread!

+1 on B4-X! Great synergy with any planar magnetic driver I've tried so far. Little Bear also works great with high impedance earbuds.

B4-X is connected through LO to Fiio M7 dap. M7 is using ESS Dac chip with clean and cool sound. Good synergy with Little Bear which is warm and thick sounding with its tubes. M7 has a bunch of music loaded and can be also used as LDAC receiver for streaming music from android phone/tablet/etc.

20210407_135436.jpg

chain:

Fiio M7
ALO SXC 8 (interconnect)
Little Bear B4-X (modded with 2x Burson V5iD op-amps; o-rings)
Monolith M570 (modded with Monolith 8-core silver-plated 4N OCC copper cable; straight pads)
Your setup looks cool! I bet it sounds good too. I might just consider your Littlebear B4X mod.

I love the sound of the Littlebear B4X with planar magnetic headphones and IEMs. The only issue I had was not enough power to drive my Blon B20.
 
Apr 7, 2021 at 3:14 PM Post #11 of 39

povidlo

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 2, 2020
Posts
443
Likes
758
Location
Toronto
Your setup looks cool! I bet it sounds good too. I might just consider your Littlebear B4X mod.

I love the sound of the Littlebear B4X with planar magnetic headphones and IEMs. The only issue I had was not enough power to drive my Blon B20.
That's interesting because M570 I'm using with Little Bear is supposed to have the exact same driver as your B20 (also same as SendyAudio Aiva)

No issues driving mine at all. Difference is likely due to Burson op-amps which are more powerful than stock ones.

Another suggestion would be to try to increase gain/volume through the pots inside as outlined here and here.

Mods on my amp are the most basic ones, but are worthwhile imo . There's a lot more interesting stuff in the dedicated thread.
 
Apr 8, 2021 at 3:34 AM Post #12 of 39

Barusu Lamperouge

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 24, 2018
Posts
1,132
Likes
1,715
Location
Lugnica
It matters not whether it is an inexpensive setup or an expensive setup, what matters is how it sounds!

That synergy could give you tons of joy, which is why we are here.

I also find the BTR5 so convenient plus it has changed my mind about bluetooth, very good idea and well implemented.
Absolutely agree with you. Ultimately it's about enjoying the music.

BTR5 is actually making my life a lot easier in these dark times of smartphones without headphone jack. And their wireless implementation is also very good.
 
Apr 9, 2021 at 10:35 AM Post #13 of 39

slex

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Posts
2,042
Likes
1,671
Location
SG/MY
ok this my synergy, makes the NM2+'s bright high frequency gone with added euphoric tone and greater slam on the midbass with tighter low frequency. Those still holding on to NM2+ , I urge you to look into this pairing of quedelix or BTR5 if you have. Surpass all the newly budget heavyweight like DQ6 and alikes.

Tried on QKZ VK4 before that, sounds like full size headphones.👍 I own desktops tubes amp like Vali ( hybrid)and OTL (100E). The Laidys is a little versatile and portable amp ( 2000 mAh LG battery ) for your bright IEMs or high impedance buds.

The Knob need to change as the rotation is not smooth ( it's without screw secure ). But at mere US$115 estimated at aliexpress, it's a worthy investment. My blind buy paid off big time!!!
20210409_203047.jpg
 
Apr 9, 2021 at 12:40 PM Post #14 of 39

Barusu Lamperouge

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 24, 2018
Posts
1,132
Likes
1,715
Location
Lugnica
ok this my synergy, makes the NM2+'s bright high frequency gone with added euphoric tone and greater slam on the midbass with tighter low frequency. Those still holding on to NM2+ , I urge you to look into this pairing of quedelix or BTR5 if you have. Surpass all the newly budget heavyweight like DQ6 and alikes.

Tried on QKZ VK4 before that, sounds like full size headphones.👍 I own desktops tubes amp like Vali ( hybrid)and OTL (100E). The Laidys is a little versatile and portable amp ( 2000 mAh LG battery ) for your bright IEMs or high impedance buds.

The Knob need to change as the rotation is not smooth ( it's without screw secure ). But at mere US$115 estimated at aliexpress, it's a worthy investment. My blind buy paid off big time!!!
20210409_203047.jpg
Can you please share their full name? This looks very interesting.
 
Apr 9, 2021 at 12:56 PM Post #15 of 39

slex

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Posts
2,042
Likes
1,671
Location
SG/MY
Can you please share their full name? This looks very interesting.
Sure, It's Laidys Tube Amplifier.
20210408_172214.jpg

https://m.intl.taobao.com/detail/detail.html?id=595227128077&item_id=595227128077

You can click on tabao link above, you can use google translate for customer feedback. The IEM is NF Audio NM2++🤣( NiceHCK Goldenfall Cable).Include stock 3.5mm AUX cable. Listening on Deezer Hifi. I just ordered a knob below to replace.
Screenshot_20210409-184110_AliExpress.jpg

Upgraded knob, it will do for now.Smoother and more secure.😊
20210419_225944.jpg
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Top