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The problem of Warwick Aperio


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  • 1 month later...
On 6/12/2023 at 1:47 PM, AudioGD said:

Sonic wise, while it doesn't have the stage height of Hifiman Shang SR and maybe even the seperation of Stax X9000 driven by T2/ Grand Cayman with TOTL source, it does have the best low extension as well as the most normal shape of stage. While I feel TOTL AIO electrostactic systems as HE-1 and Aperio have better transducer and headphones (or most current after market electrostactic headphones are problematic here and there ), they might be limited by the geometery to accomodate the best amplification. 

I dont have the ability to actualy talk about your questions, but having had the chance to dac roll HE1 I can say for certain that HE1 is pretty significantly held back by its electronics. I would put the dac on a similar tier to bricasti M1SE (non-mdx) at best and I think a lot of the fairly poor (compared to other all out systems at least) depth separation is an electronics issue plain and simple. Honesty, I wouldnt be surprised if the aperio had a similar problem. 

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On 6/17/2023 at 1:40 AM, spritzer said:

The drivers are just a further development of the HE90 so they can be easily converted to Stax standard.

Do we have a schematic for how exactly the HE1 is powered? TBH i've been curious if an after market amp would be able to be made for it for a while.

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  • 1 month later...

The Bricasti, Metrum, as well as Totaldac while share similar tonalities as HE-1, yet doesn’t actually have the resolution, staging and especially the low extension as HE-1. 

While DACs with loaded bass as Mojo Mystique SE, and Wavedream that you mentioned do have that loaded and hard hitting bass, they are exaggerated, colored and fatiguing. Also In my direct ab shootout of PBD and Wavedream, which are both overly thick sounding DAC, the latter also sounds largely flat, missing depth and height, as 2D versus 3D. The magic of the HE-1 is that musical and well extended bass that is real to life with no artificial colorization from the loaded DACs.

This is not to say the built in DAC of HE-1 is perfect, the major flaw is speed whose caveats could be almost all fixed by streamers/ servers as Aurender N30, yet the win of technicalities is at the cost of musicalities and naturalism. The N30 won’t make the bass overly thick as many aforementioned R2R and/or FPGA DACs, yet it makes the bass less moving and enjoyable for long term listening.

There is a saying Mid Fi seeks technicalities, Summit Fi seeks tonalities. It is true that Wavedream does have superb resolution, which only maybe MSB reference and select could defeat, yet it is exaggerated and analytical.

if you move above the DACs at this price range and include a broader scope of high end sources including CD transports and turntables above 100K, 300k and beyond, it is never about which one has more resolution, technicalities or details, but about which one is more convincing, musical, and real to life, making you feel like being there musically while not missing any details.






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  • 6 months later...

Time for a bump as I found a cheap Sonoma set.  5433.jpg

My amazing cable tidiness aside, the headphones that came with the set had an imbalance but my other two sets play just fine.  One was supposed to have an imbalance as well but nope, just the earpads that were utterly fucked.  That seems to be a common thing with these as the materials they used seem to be very cheap indeed so the earpads just fall apart. 

Now Kevin is already yelling at me to take apart the amp so I'll do that tomorrow.  A lot of thought and money has gone into this stuff and quite possibly the worst packaging ever designed... the wank factor is off the scale.  The box for the amp is more than 10 times the size of the amp... 2" foam on all sides is a bit too much for such a small unit. 

I did sit down and listen to them and it is quite an odd experience.  Everything sounds a bit fake and the single ended nature means they are as if you have yet to pop your ears... like the sound is further away than it should be.  It's quite an odd sensation compared to the normally open sounding electrostatics.  It's also easy to hear the DSP trickery going on here and the limited volume on tap is a dead giveaway... I'm almost at max volume with the RCA input and can easily listen at full tilt for an extended period. 

They also really don't like it when played off the head, you move your head or any transients... the drivers are not happy.  Running the drivers in free air creates a lot of audible distortion and they squeal with any movement. 

Such a shame so much effort has gone into what is at its core, a terrible driver design that has no real purpose. 

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so single stator headphones.  like beveridge speakers, but done horribly wrong.

2000v bias.  single supply ac coupled 450v with dual in parallel bsp135 as current sources, with dual bsp125 in parallel driven by opa1642 dual opamp.

without it being on your head, no seal for the diaphram.

lots of dsp to equalize this mess.  all analog input signals digitized and then stuffed into the dsp.

another example of stupidass (tm&c) engineering.  these people should get together with the engineers that did the eha5.

so much engineering money wasted.

edit:  no dsp found.

Edited by kevin gilmore
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