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Everything posted by nnotis

  1. One of the reasons I haven't taken advantage of the occasional HD800 deal I see pop up is that my amp is a Beta 22. I'd describe it as being on the bright side of neutral.
  2. I understand that. Even if you do set up that comparison, you have to trust your own perception in that moment. Then you have to wonder if a particular DAC might be better at one format or the other. Then you have to set up a tightly controlled blind test. Eventually, you realize it's all too much trouble, buy a DAC that does it all, and enjoy. If you do end up getting one, let us know how it is.
  3. I heard the benefits of burn in can only be maximized when using one of Patrick83's cables.
  4. I hope most of that $500 goes to good DAC performance. I see quite a few posts here about DSD playback. Is it that inconvenient to convert files to 88.2/24 PCM? DSD just seems like a pain in the ass format with no clear benefit over PCM.
  5. Comparing the Roxannes to JH13s on an iPhone will probably only reveal the most general differences in signature. I'm actually starting to doubt the Roxannes can be maximized by any portable source. They're just too revealing. Couple that with being too sensitive for most portable amps, they're kind of frustrating to build around. At least iDevices have best in class noise floors. But sense of depth, depiction of far sounds, close sounds, room reflections, and other bits of micro detail the Roxannes can do will get lost.
  6. Now you've killed my interest. If the DAC is inadequate, there's not much point. Or was it the particular pairing that seemed to fail?
  7. You guys really have me interested now. So, you can't hear any noise floor with either the 1000 or the 720? Are there any other notable differences in performance?
  8. Would you care to elaborate on what differences you perceived between the three models?
  9. Rob, regarding the earpiece being too small: I recall seeing Headphone Addict post on this several years back. He used many layers of nail polish or something like it to slowly build up until he had a good seal on the piece. If HPA is out there, maybe he can elaborate. It's also possible my memory is full of shit.
  10. My friend let me borrow his Dragonfly 1.2 today, so I compared it to the Microstreamer and Pico DACs. I continued using the Pico amp throughout. I found the Dragonfly to perform at the same level as the other two. It's definitely brighter than the Pico DAC. It might not have quite as much a sense of depth as the other two. That sort of thing can be tricky to assess with quick back and forth listening. It has a very nice combination of smooth and articulate though. That might be why some describe it as warm. It's also possible that using its amp with full sized headphones leads to a warmer frequency response. When plugging directly in, It's noise floor was much lower than that of the Microstreamer. I could still easily hear it. But it wasn't that bad. The bottom line is that if it worked with my phone, I'd probably get one. It does work with my friend's Note 2, so long as he's listening with USB Audio Player Pro. Maybe I need to find a deal on those planar IEMs too.
  11. I got a Microstreamer a few weeks ago. So in case anyone still cares, I'll chime in. I spent a while yesterday comparing its DAC to that of the Pico, using the Pico amp in both cases. It seems to present as much a sense of depth as the Pico does. The sound is different though. For now, I can't say which one is more accurate. I'd probably have to compare both to my Lavry DA10 to figure that out, and I'm currently too lazy to do so. The software controlled amp works as they claim. There's a little delay after you hit the volume key on your phone, tablet, or computer, then the volume changes. There's also a line out, which is a good thing for me. Unfortunately, the amp only has one gain setting, which is way too high for IEMs. With the Roxannes, which are efficient even for IEMs, the Microstreamer amp is unlistenable. The noise floor is terrible. I can't really fault HRT for this though. They have to build to a common denominator. The first thing half the fools on Head-Fi do when they get new portables is plug their HD800s in. At the very least, there's an expectation that LCD-2s will have sufficient gain. I wrote HRT and asked them if there was a firmware modification to drop the gain. Unfortunately, they sent me a link to an attenuator cable. The DAC is the stand out. I'm impressed with it thus far. The sample rate indicator is nice too. But it's all of very limited use because of the amp's high gain and associated noise.
  12. I compared the two for several days before handing my original 13s off to a friend for reshelling. Here's what I found: 1. The Roxannes are largely brighter. That's not to say they're bright. But the 13s seemed almost impervious to sibilance. I think the Roxannes give it to me when it's in the recording. I did hear some hi hat type noises that were louder on the 13s. That surprised me, and suggested that not all of the treble range is more pronounced on the Roxannes. 2. The Roxannes' bass reproduction is clearly superior. When set to neutral, I haven't yet noticed a frequency bump. When comparing it to the LCD-2 bass, I found performance to be equivalent. That's quite an achievement. 3. Relative to the 13s, there's an added sense of impact. Perhaps this is a freqphase enhancement? There's a softness to the 13s. I don't know how else to describe it. The Roxannes don't have it though. They sound relatively sharp and focused. 4. Front and back layering is the most significant improvement for me personally. The Roxannes separate "in front" and "behind" sounds the 13s couldn't. 5. As expected, imaging is improved. The soundstage is surprisingly coherent. 6. The previous five points add up to a significantly more detailed set of IEMs. Before the 13s came out in 2009, I had UE10s. The performance gap between those two was enormous. I don't know that the gap between the 13s and the Roxannes is quite as large. But subjectively, I'd say it's fairly close. In other words, it's a big enough jump that I didn't feel any buyer's remorse after hearing the Roxannes.
  13. Agreed. I don't want a dedicated player. I want to use my phone or tablet with a quality DAC/Amp. And to that end, I still haven't found a better portable sound than what the 6 year old Pico provides. I can't believe it's that old. My only complaint is that I can't get it to work with my Optimus G Pro anymore. It connected perfectly for about a month, and then mysteriously stopped. Even after wiping and installing a fresh build of Android, it didn't start working again. I'm guessing the power my phone outputs is right on the margin of what the Pico needs. In any case, it works like a charm on my iPad mini 2. It's not the most portable combo. But that screen combined with the sound... Edit: Scratch that. It works again after flashing a CM11 update. The dream is alive.
  14. I certainly remember that being uber loud. Maybe the source actually had dynamics. I don't know. In the mean time, just listen to Kendrick's "Good Kid Bad City". Such a good album, and surprisingly dynamic for a big commercial release.
  15. I just read this hilarious bit from Wikipedia's Raw Power page. It starts with a quote from Iggy: "In retrospect, I think the little touches Bowie put on the mix helped and I think some of the things MainMan did helped, and more than anything else, what the whole experience did was to get me out of Detroit and onto a world stage. And also I learned a helluva lot being over there in England and I started thinking differently. It led to a very ambitious piece of work, and that's fine. But the fact was that neither Bowie's mix nor my previous mix could do justice to the power of the band or even to the legibility of the vocal…I feel that now I have the wherewithall, the position, and the expertise at my disposal to give this thing its due sonically, and I didn't have that before. So it's kind of like I'm finishing that off. I don't think you can beat David's mix, it's very creative. But this is just a simple, straight band mix of a powerful band. I feel like there's a closure on it and that's a nice thing.[14] On the other hand, some fans – guitarist Robert Quine among them – felt the new remix was as unfaithful to the material as the original 1973 mix, and further criticized the audible digital distortion in the new mix.[18] In the reissued CD's liner notes, however, Pop points out that one of his intentions in doing the new mix was to keep audio levels in the red (which would deliberately cause such distortion) while at the same time making the music more "powerful and listenable". This new version is arguably the loudest album ever, reaching RMS of -4 dB, rare even by today's standards.[19]"
  16. Wow! I almost want to hear that now, especially since it's originally from the 70s. And digital limiters from the 90s really struggled with distortion. That CD must be comical.
  17. If people I'm friends with are too broke to pay for mastering, or if I fear they'll pay someone who sucks to brickwall their albums, I offer to do it for free. I have them give me 24 bit bounces at the native sample rate. I master all of my own albums too. But that's a different situation, since I'm already considering the mastering for the last third of the mixing process. I don't have anything to do with a label. At least he didn't get any 3s.
  18. I think brick walling has actually turned into a team effort. Pop mixes are baked from the ground up to have no dynamics. My current favorite example is the new Pharell Williams album. You can hear that every track in every mix was compressed into a block of sound. It has a very different quality to it from dynamic source recordings that got smashed in mastering. Those always have a lot of distracting artifacts from quiet & loud relationships getting distorted. On rare occasions, I master an album. Assuming the mixes were at least moderately competent to begin with, I do very little. I'll add a touch of EQ if there's a bump to tame. Maybe I'll need to change the relative volume of one song, or add/remove space at the end of another. That's it. My goal is basically to not fuck up what was given to me. It really shouldn't be hard to make "audiophile" versions of recordings. And for old stuff on tape, they can do strait transfers and call it done. It's a perfect chance for those in the studio to sip some coffee. Just don't ever pay money for an "audiophile" version of Pharrell's album. It won't be any different.
  19. Too right Tyll. If Neil Young manages to bring dynamics back to commercially viable music, I'll declare him the best human.
  20. Indeed, Bandcamp. I'd appreciate 24/88.2 myself. 88.2 is the lowest available sample rate above Dan Lavry's goldie locks rate, but not high enough to cause errors. And being a multiple of redbook is an extra convenience. 24 bits is just nice because there's no need to dither and noise shape when bouncing. Quantization distortion is a non issue at 24 bits.
  21. nnotis

    Audeze LCD-X

    I appreciated the pro audio perspective. Maybe he figured it best to leave the full measurements and their subsequent interpretations to Tyll. As much as he liked the LCD-X, I wonder what he'd make of SR-009s with a BHSE?
  22. nnotis

    Audeze LCD-X

    These were reviewed in Stereophile, in case anyone's interested. http://www.stereophile.com/content/audeze-lcd-x-headphones
  23. I'd love to hear one of those. But I'm totally wedded to using my iPad & Optimus G Pro as digital sources and interfaces. I wonder if there's a mini USB DAC & amp as good as the 901? Maybe the Chord Hugo is it, but at the price they're asking, I'm not inclined to buy and find out. And It seems as though its amp isn't best suited to uber sensitive IEMs. It's pretty hard to interpret anything from its Head-Fi thread though. I love seeing pictures of people plugging HD-800s into their new Hugos. I wonder how long it'll be before someone posts about how well it handles K1000s?
  24. Justin is the shit for making one amp to drive them all, except stats. Enjoy listening. I'd recommend shooting high when finding a portable set up for the Roxannes. Maybe that Sony fits the bill, I haven't heard it myself. I'm using an iPad mini and a Pico DAC/amp, which is excellent. But it doesn't achieve the dream of sounding as focused as my desktop source.
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