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High Rollers
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Posts posted by darkless

  1. Just get a pair of standard XLR-to-RCA adapters, unscrew the XLR end and cut the thin wire shorting pin 3 (negative) and pin 1 (chassis ground).

    My XLR-to-RCA adapters were wired this way. When I used them on the balanced outputs of my Weiss DAC1-MK2 they added a lot of distortion to the output. Thankfully no damage was caused since both outputs are short circuit-proof. I became fully aware of this issue when I approached the creator of my DAC:

    If the XLR-to-RCA adapter shorts pin 3 (or pin 2) to ground then one of the DAC1-MK2's output amplifiers is shorted, which can cause distortion also in the unshorted output because of the high currents flowing.
  2. That shows a total lack of commitment to DACs and frivolous spending.

    Well, if you were to find a DAC fully capable of amplifying your headphones directly, you could argue that the amp budget could instead go a long way of paying for said uber DAC, thus allowing you to go the extra mile on the DAC spending. ;D

  3. Here's another general question. Do you think that some DACs are inherently better suited to headphone listening than to speaker listening and vice-versa?

    In my experience, listening with headphones tends to bring everything closer to you.

    Personally I prefer to pair my HD800 with a DAC with a fairly even distribution of the various frequencies in order to be able to accurately follow each instrument in the recording. An example would be my own Weiss DAC1-MK2.

    However, when I A/B'ed the Weiss and an Audio Note DAC 3.x Signature in a high-end speaker rig the Weiss made me feel a bit more distanced from the sound, because it didn't highlight anything in particular in the recording. The Audio Note on the other hand brought out the midrange which gave that upfront and personal feeling that makes your foot tap.

    This is not to say that the Weiss didn't do this, only that the Audio Note enhanced the foot-tapping experience. I still believe that the Weiss was the most true-to-the-recording DAC of the two, but the Audio Note was arguably the most musical and fun.

  4. <snip>

    With ad2k/qualias/w5k the dynahi stomps all over the gilmore lite and the gilmore v2. The balanced reference however holds its own.

    Compared to the lite the dynahi had a much wider soundstage. You'd hear exactly where the soundstage ends with the lite while there seemingly were no limits to the dynahi. If a sound is placed really damn far away, then it would show up there. With the lite it seemed like there was a defined point on the left and right side where sounds will not show up further no matter the recording. The dynahi also had much better mids, was more impactful and had way better bass.

    The v2 was about the same as the lite, but had much improved bass and better mids.

    The gilmore balanced reference has the same sort of "infinite" soundstaging like the dynahi, but is more laid back. It isn't as punchy as the dynahi.. Everything else is about on par. The dynahi might still have the slight edge on bass and mids, but really it's less certain. It's a toss up which I like better. Need my dynamight and my balanced dynafet asap.

    Overall the dynahi seems a little bit faster but that might just be the punchiness.

    Thanks for your reply, Icarium. I was looking for information just like this. :)

    very dynamic music peaks may be ~25 dB above average levels, 95 dB pk spl from the senns would require < 1 mWrms

    if this is truly your listening scenario then you really don't need an amp - at worst just modify your source line out stage with a ccs load of ~4mA and any reasonable quality audio op amp will happily drive your cans with inaudible distortion in Class A

    I wouldn't expect anyone to be able to make fine distinctions at such low average listening levels - certainly little recorded music would "sound live" simply due to the Fletcher-Munson loudness effect changing the perceived frequency balance

    You do need to keep the level far below most live presentations for extended ”background music” listening of hours a day but I want an amp to drive my cans to near live levels if only for a

  5. Thanks, I had already checked out the resources you linked. They contain a lot of great information. :)

    Sadly, listening side by side in my own setup will never happen. To my knowledge no one in Denmark has ever built a dynamight. I was hoping that someone from the US had had a chance to compare the two designs against each other and would chime in with their impressions regarding the two sound signatures.

    What I don't understand, however, is that a lot of people are quick to claim the higher output amp to be the better sounding option when in reality there have been no such comparisons?

    For the usage pattern that I detailed in my previous posts, which I'd think would apply to most head-fiers, there would be little to no incentive to go with the more powerful dynamight or balanced Beta 22 assuming the dynamid (or GS-X) has enough power surplus to handle regular phones at normal listening volumes. In this case, preference would then have to be based on sound signature, but with no such comparisons available it's hard to pick a winner. ;)

  6. Dynamid is a balanced Dynalo (it is also GS-X). The dynamight is a balanced dynahi (it is not available commercialy). Since the Dynalo and dynahi share the same overall design, the dynahi was made after the dynalo and is supposed to be better.

    i'm not sure it is a good thread to ask, we are talking about SS design here.

    Thanks, but I didn't ask which amp was supposed to be better. My question was:

    will a dynamid driving eg. a pair of HD6x0 or HD800 at 65-70 dB (my normal listening level) sound any different compared to a dynamight?
    Thus, my question still stands unanswered. ;)

    I think my question is relevant in the context of the thread topic, given that I'm asking if there's any difference in sound between the two SS designs mentioned above when ruling out the need to power hungry phones, small speakers or amping to ear-bleeding levels.

    However, if my question is totally OT, I apologize and humbly ask for a mod to kick this stuff into its own thread.

  7. Since we're talking about designs and sound, will a dynamid driving eg. a pair of HD6x0 or HD800 at 65-70 dB (my normal listening level) sound any different compared to a dynamight?

    What about lower-impedance cans such as the L3000?

    I'm assuming both designs are well-implemented using decent components of similar quality and no "tweaks" applied, e.g. to boost bass.

    To put it another way: If I never listen at rock concert levels and don't have any hard-to-drive phones like K340/K1000/whatever, would I be able to tell any difference between the dynamid and dynamight?

    I'm already aware that Dreadhead hasn't been able to hear any difference between his GS-X and balanced Beta 22 at similar volume levels (67 dB). I don't know if he's ever had the chance to compare either amp to a dynamight, however.

  8. I won't mod the stock cable of the HD800. I'll be attending the upcoming Danish head-fi meet in two months and I want people there to be able to experience what it sounds like with the stock cable.

    I'll wait and see how it sounds unbalanced out of the GS-X. Then I'll decide if it's worth it to get an aftermarket cable.

  9. I wonder if the sources for the amps at the meet might've been inadequate or just poor matches, considering that the HD800 sounds very good in my rig, even when amped by the Pico.

    Next week I'll hopefully receive a Headamp GS-X. From what I've read, it has a very neutral and transparent character. I'm looking forward to hear what it can do when coupled with my Weiss DAC1-MK2 and HD800.

    Now I just need a balanced cable for the HD800. Unfortunately Alex seems pretty busy and a 6ft APS V3 cable w. Neutrik XLR connectors and super nylon sleeving would cost me $350, not including shipping and 25% VAT. Too bad that the amp purchase pretty much left me with no spare cash. :(

  10. I found my pair of HD800 bleh sounding out of the box. I put it back in the box and let it play pink noise at 90 dB(A) for several days, only interrupted by a few very short listening sessions (10-15 minutes) and two longer breaks where I had to power down the equipment. I found that the HD800 slowly improved until it had received a total of around 50 hours of pink noise. After that I didn't perceive further changes and after another day with no apparent changes I stopped the pink noise playback.

    It's been three weeks since I did the burn-in, so my memory is a bit blurred. I believe the changes I heard was mostly the bass becoming more apparent (but still less quantity than the HD650), the transient response improving somewhat and the upper-mids/low treble becoming more musical, for lack of a better word.

    I never put my impressions into words when I did the in-between burn-in listening sessions, so combined with the length of time since the burn-in it's quite possible that what I just described doesn't correspond with other people's impressions. I guess that was a long-winded way of saying YMMV.

  11. I still wonder how much better does a $5000 DAC really sound vs a $1295 DAC. There has to be a point of diminishing returns, where you could stop at something like this and never need to go past that?

    Comparing my Stello DA220 MKII ($1600) vs my Weiss DAC1-MK2 ($6700) there was a large performance gap between the two. OTOH, comparing the Weiss to a Danish Audio Design DAC20 (expected retail price $5-6000) showed very little difference, in which case it's down to one's personal preferences, e.g. wider or narrower soundstage, slightly different tonality, build quality, features, etc.

    I'm guessing that even higher performance can be achieved by investing $10000+ (such as Playback Designs) but considering the pace that digital audio improves and new standards emerge I'll never go there.

  12. I retract my earlier statement. I see that I made the mistake of not stating that I used the SPL meter with REQ solely for calibrating the lowend output of my SVS PB13-Ultra subwoofer and my speakers playing together. I did not make any corrections above 100 Hz.

    I've just played a bit with the auto-EQ again with my Audio Note AN-E/L speakers, and this time the result was much better than the last time. However, I'm still not quite sure what values I should consider sane for the "delta" and "max span" settings used when letting the auto-EQ do its thing. :confused:

  13. Too bad its ability to do auto-EQ sucks major balls compared to using Room EQ Wizard and then plot in the final corrections by hand on the DEQ2496.

    I know I've mentioned the software recently in the speaker forum too, but seriously... it's just that good. Just for the record, though, I did my measurements using a RadioShack SPL meter (analog version), because the DEQ2496+ECM8000 combo didn't allow me to send any measurement data back to my soundcard.

  14. The superfi 5s are a step down from the Sleeks imo.

    Damnit, not what I needed to hear. I currently own the super.fi 5 pros, but I've been eyeing the Sleeks for a while and I've decided not to purchase them until they release their wireless stuff.

  15. Johnny Blue,

    I heard the Omega II MkI / SRM-717 combo for the first time last Saturday during the annual Head-Fi meet in Copenhagen, Denmark.

    After having the usual "I-love-this-can't-put-these-down" feeling from listening to my balanced L3000s on an RPX-100 amp (the only balanced dynamic amp present at the meet), I decided that I wanted to try the STAX combo, which had been charging up for more than an hour.

    Swapping in my own Stello DA220 MkII as source and a top-notch album (Hans Theessink - Slow Train), I sat down and waited in anticipation for what this combo could do.

    I was very disappointed.

    Of course, I had already been warned by both Mikhail and Todd that the amp would hold the Omega II back, and I was listening to it under regular meet conditions, so there was a fair amount of background noise present. Still, I felt it was a far cry from being the high-end headphone everyone keeps saying it is. It severely lacked dynamics and had little PRAT. In short, it seemed lifeless, perhaps even a bit veiled.

    If anyone feels like shipping an amp to me that properly showcases the Omega II for what it really is, please don't hesitate to contact me. I would love to hear the true potential of this headphone, and this goes for the Omega II owner as well (who just can't afford a better amp at the moment).

    We would both love to hear this.

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