The Watercooler -- Impressions, philosophical discussion and general banter. Index on first page. All welcome.
Apr 16, 2024 at 6:45 PM Post #86,851 of 89,877
They are both top of the game for that description. Depends where you want your warmth and your punch. I feel ike XE6 punches more toward lower mids/upper-bass while Trifecta is more even moving from sub-bass to lower mids... Treble presentation is different from memory. I found XE6 treble more incisive but it went over the line for me at times. I find Trfiecta smoother up top but I sometimes miss a little sharper edge there... For me, Trifecta presents a more cohesive wall of music, a wide sonic net, while XE6 is more peaky in places... Hope that helps...
Screen Shot 2024-04-17 at 8.43.21 am.png

One of these is peaky in the treble, the other is not. 🤷‍♂️
 
Apr 16, 2024 at 7:13 PM Post #86,852 of 89,877
Thanks that does help. Still a tough choice, though the XE6 are more expensive. I do think I’d potentially miss the feeling of the tactile sounds of cymbals if the trifecta is suppose to be smoother up top. On the other hand the trifecta sounds like it’s more colored than the XE6 which I think I’d like.
I would say they’re equally colorful with different strengths but I’d flip a coin with those 2 can’t go wrong when it comes to a unique colored totl Iem
 
Apr 16, 2024 at 7:16 PM Post #86,853 of 89,877

One of these is peaky in the treble, the other is not. 🤷‍♂️
I know I know. What can I say? Those were my impressions. To my ears the Trifectas present a smoother experience in the upper registers compared to XE6... Overall more coherent and balanced. Maybe it was associated with driver timbre as well, not sure... Don't mean to mislead anyone...
 
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Apr 16, 2024 at 7:52 PM Post #86,854 of 89,877
Is this... real?

lol, yes. It's Sennheiser's Surrounder. There are some old threads about it here on Head-Fi, but this is a good TL;DR:



Both men of culture I see 🧐

:pray: Clearly you're one of us!

Well not authentic SEA/Indian curry but very close to Japanese Katsu Curry.
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I can't remember when was the last time I had these. Years it seems. But they do compliment those nuggets well! 🙂

Ah, I see. So that's why it's sweet. :slight_smile:

Yus, there's a couple in the DMV – Washington, DC, Maryland, Virginia :chicken:🍗

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They've taken Norfolk?? 😮 🤣

Anyone else love hot sauce on their eggs?

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Obsessed with hot sauce. The spicier the better! I love making my own with apple cider vinegar and habaneros. 😎
Hell yes!! So good...
But, I LOVE hot sauce on eggs. Wife is Cajun and I'm Texan so we spice the hell out of everything!

I have to be in the right mood for it, but when I am, nothing else will do. 😃

Duddeeee I wish we had Gregg’s!! Hah.

:smile: Well since we've not brought but Cajun and British eats...

 
Apr 16, 2024 at 7:52 PM Post #86,855 of 89,877
iBasso is a prominent player in the HiFi audio market. They have a wide range of products including Portable DAC/AMPs, DAPs, etc, but what always attracted me in their line up is their top-cream products. I am talking about their mid to high end products such as the DX260(which i recently sold), to DX320(which i actually acquired after selling my DX260). Quite recently, iBasso came up with its new portable/transportable stack, the iBasso D16 and PB5. Each of these are priced at 1499$, making the stack a little hefty at 3000$. I got a chance to listen to the stack as a close friend of mine has bought the stack for himself and i requested a few days with the set from him. SO today, gonna share my initial impressions here.
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A short disclaimer before I begin:-

The iBasso stack belongs to my friend(Sandeep Aggarwal) who bought it from Jaben Singapore. I am no way affiliated or connected to iBasso by any means, all the impressions here in this blog are my own based on my own experience. For this initial impression, I have used the stack as my daily driver since the past week. Will spend another week before I share my review in Video format mostly.

Basic Intro of D16 TAIPAN and PB5:

First, the iBasso D16 TAIPAN, Well this is a DAC/AMP with a true 1-Bit DAC architecture. The D16 TAIPAN can be used on its own as well as it can handle both decoding as well as amping part and has analog headphone output as well. The PB5 on the other hand is a dedicated high-end balanced portable tube amplifier. It houses dual NuTube 6P1 tubes for a true vaccum tube experience in a portable form factor. It requires a source device that can feed it analog signal in the form of 4.4mm input. As for output, we have both 3.5mm and 4.4mm headphone outputs on both devices.

For the past week, I have used the D16 as a standalone as well as with PB5 as a proper stack as well.
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Design & Build:-

Both the devices are very identical to look at. They come in a green colored leather case. The PB5 has a glass window that shows the dual NuTubes while the D16 houses a display screen at that place. Both of them look very well-built. Well, they both are a little huge for being portable as a stack, so that’s why I call this actually a transportable source(but way smaller than other transportable sources in the market as of now). They are very well-built and have a premium feel to them(well they better have that because they are 3000$ together).

PB5 comes with two 4.4mm interconnect cables, one short and the other a bit long.

Sound Impressions:-

First about the D16 alone.

iBasso D16 is a very capable device. It is super clean with no audible background noise even with sensitive IEMs. Tonally, I find the D16 to have a neutral, natural tone. It doesn’t sound coloring at all and brings out the basic signature of the connected source without affecting it much. For my usage, I have tested the D16 with a bunch of IEMs so far including Madoo Type 512, Nightjar Singularity, Flipears Artha, etc.
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The main attraction for me so far with the D16 Taipan is its technical performance. The device is highly capable of producing a massive stage, it literally feels massive with a full 3D enveloping presentation. if you pair it right, you can get the best experience of your life which I had with the Flipears Artha. Every minute detail, Bass texture, Vocal texture, everything is so cleanly presented that it was an instant love affair for me. Another thing to appreciate is its silky smooth presentation. The overall signature of the D16 has an effortless, buttery-smooth presentation. It literally made me feel I needed to upgrade my DX260 to a better source and finally ended up at DX320.

Now on to the PB5, PB5 adds a bit of warmth and another layer of smoothness to the instrument notes. It adds that tubey flavour that I love. As an Amp and basically as a companion to the D16, the PB5 works excellently. Both the devices have a lot of power, I never had to go to high gain for any given IEM that I have tested so far with the combo. The way my Artha sounds on this particular stack has got me sold and I have already started saving for this combo.

How do I find the Stack against my recently bought DX320:-

Well, the stack is a step above in terms of output power and overall performance. But the overall signature is quite different to what I have on the DX320. I can call them complementing each other in terms of tone. D16 makes the sound smooth and buttery, DX320 is raw and edgy in nature. Soundstage, both are identical and produce a massive stage, but the addition of PB5 just takes the performance to another level on both devices. I want to take the D16 as well because it provides me with a different sound signature and I feel like the D16 has the upper hand in terms of battery life as well.
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For me the key points:-


>Outstanding stage size, it feels massive.


>PB5 adds a rich tubey taste while not making the sound go muddy or lifeless.


>D16 on its own also works quite well, so we can buy them one by one and not rush into buying both together(yeah the stack is a bit pricey).


>The volume control on the PB5 is a little noisy, so i prefer using the volume control through the D16.


>I find the stack a bit too costly, like a 3000$ setup for portable :/ But after listening to it, I am like let’s save up and get this beauty someday :)
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Like that Madoo Type 512 and custom cable , assuming you are enjoying quite competent IEM.
 
Apr 16, 2024 at 7:58 PM Post #86,856 of 89,877
Thanks that does help. Still a tough choice, though the XE6 are more expensive. I do think I’d potentially miss the feeling of the tactile sounds of cymbals if the trifecta is suppose to be smoother up top. On the other hand the trifecta sounds like it’s more colored than the XE6 which I think I’d like.
Don't snooze on the Volur. Arguably best bass implementation in any IEM right now. With a fun leaning warm organic sound with solid technicalities overall. Less divisive than the Trifecta, but similar to Xe6 in regards to wider appeal. From auditioning the Trifecta, I definitely want a set but it's definitely not as good of an all rounder to me than the Volur or Xe6, which I heard at CanJam. It would be a great rather wide-ranging specialist to me, but still not a total all rounder.
 
Apr 16, 2024 at 8:15 PM Post #86,857 of 89,877
I know I know. What can I say? Those were my impressions. To my ears the Trifectas present a smoother experience in the upper registers compared to XE6... Overall more coherent and balanced. Maybe it was associated with driver timbre as well, not sure... Don't mean to mislead anyone...
Funny I thought the opposite, lol, everyone hears differently. XE6 I thought had more defined edges in the treble region but was not as raised in presence as the trifecta.
 
Apr 16, 2024 at 8:21 PM Post #86,858 of 89,877
Funny I thought the opposite, lol, everyone hears differently. XE6 I thought had more defined edges in the treble region but was not as raised in presence as the trifecta.
I agree, tho. More defined edges in the treble - that's how I heard XE6. Maybe I shouldn't have used the word peaky. And, like I said in my initial response, every once in a while I wish for that with the Trifectas, which are also, yes, raised in the presence region, which I normally don't love, but that region has this balance with the bass that just works for me to create a massive, coherent flow.
 
Apr 16, 2024 at 9:33 PM Post #86,859 of 89,877
I know I know. What can I say? Those were my impressions. To my ears the Trifectas present a smoother experience in the upper registers compared to XE6... Overall more coherent and balanced. Maybe it was associated with driver timbre as well, not sure... Don't mean to mislead anyone...
trio does it all much better, just look and compare that treble.
 

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Apr 16, 2024 at 10:17 PM Post #86,860 of 89,877
Screen Shot 2024-04-17 at 8.43.21 am.png
One of these is peaky in the treble, the other is not. 🤷‍♂️
No idea how these measurements were taken, but the Trifecta is anything but peaky in the treble. If you did not care for it because it sounded too dark or too smooth, that would make more sense. It sounds nothing like this graph to myself and to pretty much all the folks I have ever discussed it with. Anyway, my 2 cents.
 
Apr 16, 2024 at 10:32 PM Post #86,861 of 89,877
Apr 16, 2024 at 10:33 PM Post #86,862 of 89,877
lol, everyone hears differently.

There are a multitude of factors that govern how we hear and perceive sound.

At the obvious end of that spectrum are things like signal chain (gear) and artists/genres (music). For example, though I love his music, I find that anything Bob Mould touches - especially his solo work and Sugar projects - are quite sharp to me.

But I'd also like to point out that sibilance can occur broadly between 2 kHz and 10 kHz, depending on various factors like age, gender, etc. Most people tend to report that it's worst around 6 kHz to 8 kHz, again depending on the individual. For me personally, 6 kHz tends to be my danger zone. Anyway, just wanted to put out there that - due to a wide variety of factors - one person's peak could easily be another person's trough, and vice versa.

Additionally, there is a condition named Hyperacusis that can also affect how people perceive audible frequencies.

Anyway, my point is that we can, quite literally, all hear things differently.
 
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Apr 16, 2024 at 11:10 PM Post #86,864 of 89,877
There are a multitude of factors that govern how we hear and perceive sound.

At the obvious end of that spectrum are things like signal chain (gear) and artists/genres (music). For example, though I love his music, I find that anything Bob Mould touches - especially his solo work and Sugar projects - are quite sharp to me.

But I'd also like to point out that sibilance can occur broadly between 2 kHz and 10 kHz, depending on various factors like age, gender, etc. Most people tend to report that it's worst around 6 kHz to 8 kHz, again depending on the individual. For me personally, 6 kHz tends to be my danger zone. Anyway, just wanted to put out there that - due to a wide variety of factors - one person's peak could easily be another person's trough, and vice versa.

Additionally, there is a condition named Hyperacusis that can also affect how people perceive audible frequencies.

Anyway, my point is that we can, quite literally, all hear things differently.

6kHz to 7kHz is my sibilance area. That area really pings a lot in my hearing.
 
Apr 16, 2024 at 11:27 PM Post #86,865 of 89,877
lol, yes. It's Sennheiser's Surrounder. There are some old threads about it here on Head-Fi, but this is a good TL;DR:


You can't make it up :). Sennheiser's innovation to bring toilet seat to your shoulder.
 

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