The Watercooler -- Impressions, philosophical discussion and general banter. Index on first page. All welcome.
Feb 7, 2024 at 3:26 PM Post #80,866 of 89,544
Oh it is
TOTL DAPs and the big stacks are definitely a bigger improvement for IEMs and not just marginally.
But I d also say with the right desktop synergy you could potentially get that performance for way less budget but one has to find the right synergy.
Sometimes it can sound "too much" on IEMs and not natural anymore.
I meant the trade off in conveinience. Most of my IEMs sounds much better off of my Pietus Maximus, Black Widow 2 vs my RS6 or my Questyle Dongle, but I can't exactly move those. The Q7 is probably the largest transportable amp I'd be willing to carry I guess. If i was trying to carry around my RS6 with a Mass kobo portable amp I think I'd lose my mind even if the added sound quality would be 5-10% better. Different strokes, I guess.
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 3:28 PM Post #80,867 of 89,544
I meant the trade off in conveinience. Most of my IEMs sounds much better off of my Pietus Maximus, Black Widow 2 vs my RS6 or my Questyle Dongle, but I can't exactly move those. The Q7 is probably the largest transportable amp I'd be willing to carry I guess. If i was trying to carry around my RS6 with a Mass kobo portable amp I think I'd lose my mind even if the added sound quality would be 5-10% better. Different strokes, I guess.
True..for moving around I'd just use DC Elite or RU7 with IEMs but if you have options then I d use these
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 4:36 PM Post #80,869 of 89,544
I was in a WhatsApp group where @Sajid Amit said that portables are moving towards transportables. It was ingenious because I realised this after purchasing the Onix Mystic XP1.

Therefore, as a seasoned audiophile he is focussing on listening to IEMs from his desktop at home, which is something I have been doing for the past few days and thinking that it is so much better. The headspace, dynamics, darker background etc are just phenomenal.

I had been eagerly wanting to buy the IBasso D16 + PB5 stack and decided against it on the spot.

I truly feel that either something is portable or a desktop, transportable is not the fine line in between but much rather an expense, which does not seem worth its while.

I can get a custom made Tube Amp in India for $800, which "could' actually be a lot better than PB5.

Denafrips / Musician / Ladder / Gustard R2R DAC at a similar price of D16 would "probably" perform a lot better.

Any comment for or against this?
All depends on how simple you want to keep the chain. If I could have a TWS that sounds as good as a TOTL wired IEM connected to a TOTL DAP, believe me I'd drop everything else and buy it. I'm personally more than satisfied with the performance of today's TOTL DAPs, and the fewer wires I have in the chain, and fewer batteries I need to charge, the better. To each his own though - no doubt the bigger the device (or multiple devices), the more likely you'll squeeze more performance out if it.
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 4:37 PM Post #80,870 of 89,544
My wallet is very angry at me. I went from a budget of under $1100 setup with Fiio M15 and Monarch MkII to almost $4k with the addition of a silver cable and TOTL DAP. No more! Still need to sell some stuff... Ears are super happy on the other hand :ksc75smile: Listening to all my tracks even those I've listened to a hundred times before feels like new experience!

I got to try the Annihilator 2023 and Amber Pearl yesterday many thanks to @timeslip Both sound better than my mmkII, with the AP sounding more similar to my MkII than the Anni. Anni is super duper fun! I won't be able to afford it for a long time, but considering the price difference I'm very happy with my IEM's performance and it has been scaling very well with better cables and DAP. I'm excited to receive IEMs from the Watercooler Tour. I'll be able to hear their full potential with my newly acquired DX320 Max ti.

Thanks @main character for lending me various equipment. @ttt123 and @Whitigir for entertaining my idea of directly soldering IEM cable onto a Sony WM1AM2.. wont happen anymore but I'm sure youre both glad I went another route lol. Special thanks to many people who I asked about cables and DAP comparisons.

I know I can push further with something like the Anni 2023, but I'm already overspent so this setup will be my end game for at least a few years.

20240207_113237.jpg
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 4:59 PM Post #80,871 of 89,544
Could anyone who is going to Canjam get impressions of the Mass Kobo 465? I've heard it's the best ever made, that it makes DAC's an option not a necessity.
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 5:04 PM Post #80,872 of 89,544
All depends on how simple you want to keep the chain. If I could have a TWS that sounds as good as a TOTL wired IEM connected to a TOTL DAP, believe me I'd drop everything else and buy it. I'm personally more than satisfied with the performance of today's TOTL DAPs, and the fewer wires I have in the chain, and fewer batteries I need to charge, the better. To each his own though - no doubt the bigger the device (or multiple devices), the more likely you'll squeeze more performance out if it.
Bluetooth adapter for IEMs may be close to what you are describing very soon.
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 5:06 PM Post #80,873 of 89,544
Could anyone who is going to Canjam get impressions of the Mass Kobo 465? I've heard it's the best ever made, that it makes DAC's an option not a necessity.
For $17,000, it's better be. However, I don't think it has DAC built-in, you still need DAC to feed it.
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 5:36 PM Post #80,876 of 89,544
Venture Electronics Grand Duke + DUNU DUW-03 + HIBY R8 II

Tonight late session, guilty pleasure IEM. Not always we want correct, at least not me.
  • Immense bass
  • Lush midrange
  • Spacious stage
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 5:41 PM Post #80,877 of 89,544
Waking up around 5 am cos of side effects of medication can be a pain. However, there are blessings in that I get an early start to some music. Slightly off the beaten path in the Cooler thread: the Stax Lambda, circa 1979, which started the long lived Lambda line. Amazing that it is still so good after all these years. :)

IMG_2848.jpeg
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 5:43 PM Post #80,878 of 89,544
Could anyone who is going to Canjam get impressions of the Mass Kobo 465? I've heard it's the best ever made, that it makes DAC's an option not a necessity.
I look forward to trying it out with my Sus. It will have to go some to outperform the Zahl HM-1 I heard last year. Hopefully both will be at the show. ( hopefully a Riviera as well ).
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 5:51 PM Post #80,879 of 89,544
I was in a WhatsApp group where @Sajid Amit said that portables are moving towards transportables. It was ingenious because I realised this after purchasing the Onix Mystic XP1.

Therefore, as a seasoned audiophile he is focussing on listening to IEMs from his desktop at home, which is something I have been doing for the past few days and thinking that it is so much better. The headspace, dynamics, darker background etc are just phenomenal.

I had been eagerly wanting to buy the IBasso D16 + PB5 stack and decided against it on the spot.

I truly feel that either something is portable or a desktop, transportable is not the fine line in between but much rather an expense, which does not seem worth its while.

I can get a custom made Tube Amp in India for $800, which "could' actually be a lot better than PB5.

Denafrips / Musician / Ladder / Gustard R2R DAC at a similar price of D16 would "probably" perform a lot better.

Any comment for or against this?

Kinda related but I also found many DAPs are under increasing pressure from both ends. From the lower end, dangles, such as my RU6 when connected to my laptop, are even better than my Sony WM1AM2 in term of playing streaming and YouTube music. From the higher end, D16/PB5 probably will also outperform most of the DAPs.
There's certainly use cases for all different types of devices, it just comes down to what you need/value. I have zero use currently for any transportable DAC or amp, and I've had very little success with any dongle, so for me it's either full desktop or DAP. I get superior price/performance with the former when I'm at home, and single-device simplicity with the latter while on the go, and that is all I need.
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 6:01 PM Post #80,880 of 89,544
IMG_1139.jpeg

Two new additions to the team. I let them both burn in together for 100 hours, and now the listening really gets to start. Quick take is I really like how smooth and very well-balanced the VEX is. Intimate with a medium stage and relatively modest technicals. Great with vocal focused songs in particular, though it seems to scale with any music type I throw at it so far. But we are still getting to know each other and we'll see how the relationship evolves.

Meanwhile, I appreciate how transparent and resolving the DC-Elite is, and the lower end punch it packs. More testing to come but it is a stretch to call it in the same category as my RU7. Rather, it seems more fitting to compare it with my N30.

IMG_1154.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Back
Top