Ultra stack or one of the desktops?
Nov 15, 2008 at 1:45 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 11

mcmyers

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So I'm trying to decide between the ultra stack or one of the desktop amp/dacs from Headroom. I'm listening with HD 650s through my Macbook, and my biggest concern is that I prefer a slightly darker sound. Too bright and my ears can't take it. So the question is, which amp/dac combo has the least fatiguing sound?

The ultra stack (especially on sale) is the right price, but I'd prefer the desktop for convenience of a single component and the extra inputs. As for the desktops, I'd probably go for the regular home module version (based on price) , but I feel like I've heard somewhere that it's a pretty bright amp and that the max modules are less fatiguing. Finally, I've also considered saving up and getting the balanced desktop, but I'm not sure how that compares to the ultra stack in sound quality, especially in the whole dark/bright category. Any help or advice would be appreciated.
 
Nov 15, 2008 at 6:34 PM Post #3 of 11

kboe

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Hey MCMYERS,
I have the Micro Amp and DAC stack(not the Ultra), and I also use the HD 650 with a kimer USB and a Cablepro mini to mini and I find my sound impossibly dark and deep. Its a great thing! I did not get this dark sound though with standard cables, upgrades are a must to push the micros to their full quality. I too would have rather have had the standard desktop for the all in one usage, but am completely satisfied with the stack. (also using a Macbook Pro as a souce)
Hope that helps.
Kevin
 
Nov 15, 2008 at 7:50 PM Post #4 of 11

mackman

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I'm extremely happy with the Ultra Micro Stack. I chose it over the Desktop line because I switch inputs frequently at work and wanted the switches on the front. I don't consider the sound particularly bright.
 
Nov 16, 2008 at 11:08 PM Post #5 of 11

mrarroyo

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OP, you may wish to consider the Millet Amp which HeadRoom has on sale (last unit). I had a chance to listen to it again yesterday and it is a very nice unit w/ lots of detail, punch, and a touch of warmth to take the edge of any sharp sounds.
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 4:03 PM Post #6 of 11

Tyll Hertsens

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I was hoping someone would chime in here, but I HATE bright, harsh, shrill, whatever you want to call it. It's been said a number of times that HeadRoom gear is some of the warmest solid state gear that people have heard. I think that's actually a little off base, I think we have a very smooth sound signature which, I believe, comes from using very high quality components.

The Desktop or Micros are pretty much the same in terms of sound signature; the difference is really the connectivity and ergos.

I'm quite confident you won't find our gear strident or edgy at all.

PS - the 650s are great headphones for someone with your taste. If you haven't already considered it I suggest you look into recabling them---it makes a heck of a difference.
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 4:24 PM Post #7 of 11

moogoob

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Tyll Hertsens /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I was hoping someone would chime in here, but I HATE bright, harsh, shrill, whatever you want to call it. It's been said a number of times that HeadRoom gear is some of the warmest solid state gear that people have heard. I think that's actually a little off base, I think we have a very smooth sound signature which, I believe, comes from using very high quality components.


Which is why I think my new Micro/Ultra stack fares so well with my Grado 325is.
biggrin.gif
It's smooth enough to not annoy, but razor-sharp on the attack for textured guitars and synths.

EDIT: I also realize that the Senn 650s are kind of the opposite of the 325is, sound-sig wise.
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 6:23 PM Post #8 of 11

Tyll Hertsens

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Quote:

Originally Posted by moogoob /img/forum/go_quote.gif
It's smooth enough to not annoy, but razor-sharp on the attack for textured guitars and synths.


I like to say organically smooth, and authoritatively articulate.

But I'm biased, of course.
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 7:10 PM Post #9 of 11

moogoob

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Tyll Hertsens /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I like to say organically smooth, and authoritatively articulate.

But I'm biased, of course.



LOL.
smily_headphones1.gif
And modest.
biggrin.gif
 
Nov 18, 2008 at 3:18 AM Post #10 of 11

mcmyers

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Tyll Hertsens /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I was hoping someone would chime in here, but I HATE bright, harsh, shrill, whatever you want to call it. It's been said a number of times that HeadRoom gear is some of the warmest solid state gear that people have heard. I think that's actually a little off base, I think we have a very smooth sound signature which, I believe, comes from using very high quality components.

The Desktop or Micros are pretty much the same in terms of sound signature; the difference is really the connectivity and ergos.

I'm quite confident you won't find our gear strident or edgy at all.

PS - the 650s are great headphones for someone with your taste. If you haven't already considered it I suggest you look into recabling them---it makes a heck of a difference.



Tyll, you have to be one of the few business owners whose opinion I actually trust about your own products. So thanks! Now if only you would post a B-stock balanced desktop amp/dac closer to Christmas, when I can use my Grandma money, instead of now, when I'm broke!
 
Nov 18, 2008 at 4:28 PM Post #11 of 11

Tyll Hertsens

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mcmyers /img/forum/go_quote.gif
So thanks! Now if only you would post a B-stock balanced desktop amp/dac closer to Christmas, when I can use my Grandma money, instead of now, when I'm broke!


Good luck, mate!

crapshoot.jpg


Ya never know.
 

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