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Best SS-amp Today; Cost NO Object?


Best SS-amp Today; Cost NO Object?  

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  1. 1. Best SS-amp Today; Cost NO Object?

    • Beta 22
    • Rudistor RPX-33
    • Rudistor RPX-100
      0
    • Rudistor RPX-1000
      0
    • Rudistor RB-010 (B)
    • RSA Apache
    • Headamp GS-X
    • Larocco Headcode
    • Singlepower SS1
    • Krell KSA-5
    • Naim Headline 2
      0
    • Meier Corda Opera Amp/Dac
    • TooleAudio Balanced Mosfet Amp
    • Headroom Balanced Max


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If you skip the active ground, you can get away with four boards and otherwise do balanced and single-ended. That's what I plan to do, anyway.

Well that's what I did too, because I really have no plans to use it SE, however if I did plan to use it SE much I think I'd like the active ground.

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Well I'll just have to be contrary and suggest a GSX also, especially if you primarily want to use it balanced. This amp simply gets out of the way and lets you here your source and transducers better than any other headphone amp I have used or heard. It also has plenty of power as it drives K340's very well.

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You need some better headphones than the Ultrasone 750 if you're going to spend so much for an amp. Maybe some electrostatics?

Yep, I know. That's also on the schedule somewhere and I have my mind set on the ed9.

Headphone-upgrade will come.

And a good source. I think a good source is more important than the amp, but then I've only heard the Corda Opera of the ones on the list. I don't think it is a good amp, certainly not better than a Zana Deux.

Source..yes..I know. An ipod will look a little, not the way to go. I'm still figuring out what source would suit my needs most. A while back I posted something about the Olive Opus 5. I'm gonna wait for the market to evolve a little more and hopefully will reduce the prices (the 750gb configuration is like

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If there's a meet sometime soon, I can bring the OII. You should at least give them a try before committing to the ED9. For the price of a ED9 + cable upgrade + amp, you can easily get the OII + a decent amp. I'm not sure if there were balanced headphones/amps at the recent meet but something like a pair of balanced HD 650s shouldn't be discarded from your options either. Also a lot cheaper than ED9.

I heard the HE60 before and while I really liked them, simply the best Sennheiser I heard, they're not for me. They lack the punch I'm so fond of with my 750's. I know the ed9 can give me that and even more. Also, they need to be closed. They'll be mostly used when working at home and when my boyfriend is watching the tv, well, I don't want to hear any of that.

Same is for the 650 (open). I would really like to hear a balanced 650 though, because the se 650 is absolutely not my cup of tea. Way too dark, no speed and boring to my ears.

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Indra,

If a music server is what you're after you might take a look at something like the Squeezebox coupled to a good outboard DAC. Yes, it means that you have to have a computer running somewhere in the house to host all of your music but for me that wasn't a big deal and the interface is very nice. Plus, HD storage for desktop computers is very affordable compared to all-in-one players like the Olive Opus. Speaking of which, I went their site and they appear to have revamped their line completely and not at all to my liking.

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Also could build a HTPC with a case that has a built in touchscreen. Could do a lot more than just play music. Totally OT but I am waiting on DTV to come out with their USB receiver so I can build a mega with HTPC with a couple TB of storage. Then I don't have to keep erasing Tyra and Americas Next Top Model so I can record Family Guy in HD.

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Indra,

If a music server is what you're after you might take a look at something like the Squeezebox coupled to a good outboard DAC. Yes, it means that you have to have a computer running somewhere in the house to host all of your music but for me that wasn't a big deal and the interface is very nice. Plus, HD storage for desktop computers is very affordable compared to all-in-one players like the Olive Opus. Speaking of which, I went their site and they appear to have revamped their line completely and not at all to my liking.

Yeah, I once started a thread on Head-Fi in order to find out if a device such as the Olive would excist. That's where they mentioned the Squeezebox.

I just think that's a such a hassle...I know I'm kind of demanding here, but I would like to have it in one machine and nicely done as well, concerning soundqual that means. I know the server option has a lot more advantages like future upgrades and stuff but I wouldn't like to have a server in the house just for my music.

The Olive is the only device which has all I want. I mean, 750gb / 1tb of space is really a lot and I don't think I will fill it up that fast, considering the fact I have now in use 105gb.

Does anyone know if their DAC is any good?

The new upgrade is absolutely damn ugly! Jeezzz, the Opus 5 was really hot! But they have gotten a LOT cheaper now: around $3000 for the 750 back then (if I remember correctly) and now $1699!

It's becoming afforfable.

I will have to think this through though. If someone says the Opus is absolute crap qua sound I'll let it go but if it's quite or very good it's still an option.

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I know the server option has a lot more advantages like future upgrades and stuff but I wouldn't like to have a server in the house just for my music.

For me it's a matter of keeping things flexible and not creating catastrophic failure points. If the HD goes in the Opus will you really be able to replace it and if so is it user serviceable? If it can't be replaced easily will you just have flushed $3k down the toilet? I would think that a Mac Mini w/ either an external hard drive or upgraded internal HD + SB3 would make a wonderful, small form factor music server (and much more if you wanted). Heck, if you want a really sweet music server setup you could set it up and use a full sized display (omit the SB3) with the mini - I think that folks have already done this with great success. And the other great thing is that support is easily accessible if you have problems and repairs are simple and cheap. If I didn't already own two Squeezeboxes it'd probably be what I did.
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Well, I've given it another thought and discussed the matter with my bf.

I think you're right when you say I'm betting on one horse with the Opus. If something goes wrong I have a big problem and the harddrive will always fail, it's just a matter of time before it does.

Still the whole server idea does not appeal to me. But I have come up with something else:

I'm gonna buy a new Macbook Pro in the near future as my current powerbook is getting old and slow. This Pro-version has an optical out which means I could link it with my Ipod, or when it get's too small, an external harddrive with no loss of qual.

I could then, via optical out connect it to a DAC and connect it to the amp. Since I always work on my laptop when I work this could be a perfect solution.

Just 2 questions:

Is it possibe to build in a DAC in the Beta which would mean it has to have an optical input?

When possible would it be a not so good option because of..well..whatever?

When not possible I would have to connect the DAC to the amp which means I would loose qual over the cable?

Or do I have to spend xxx money on a decent cable?

A DAC...would the Stello DA220 be a real nice option?

I know, I'm asking a lot of questions here and I'm so derailing this thread, but hey, I started it anyways ;D

Any help would be so appreciated as I'm so struggling with what to build.

Or would it not matter that much?

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Is it possibe to build in a DAC in the Beta which would mean it has to have an optical input?

When possible would it be a not so good option because of..well..whatever?

When not possible I would have to connect the DAC to the amp which means I would loose qual over the cable?

definitely possible, and seems like a good solution for you. You could work something out where you had the built-in DAC and then he ability to bypass it and use an external DAC.

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definitely possible, and seems like a good solution for you. You could work something out where you had the built-in DAC and then he ability to bypass it and use an external DAC.

What would be the benefit of that? (sorry for my newb questions sigh..)

Would it be cheaper getting an external DAC or have it built in? Depending on the kind of DAC I guess, but considering I'm looking at the Stello DA220 as it seems pretty good from what I've read, which is around $1200.

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What would be the benefit of that? (sorry for my newb questions sigh..)

Would it be cheaper getting an external DAC or have it built in? Depending on the kind of DAC I guess, but considering I'm looking at the Stello DA220 as it seems pretty good from what I've read, which is around $1200.

Considering that the DA220 MkII model is around

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Haha, source has become the topic now. Watch out, the source is potentially the biggest wallet-drainer!

I've tried the optical output of an AirPort Express and MacBook with various DACs. Sound quality is not too bad compared to other transport types. An AP Express matched with a DAC could be an inexpensive alternative to other music server solutions.

I think overall sound quality with optical can be dependent on the DAC, some work better with it than others. I've had good results using optical with a Chord DAC64, for example.

A combination DAC and CD/SACD transport works very well, you can have PC, network and disc-based playback.

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Haha, source has become the topic now.

A combination DAC and CD/SACD transport works very well, you can have PC, network and disc-based playback.

I'm thinking of picking up one of these for temporary CD/SACD playback until I can get something 'spensive.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000UIA6YM/ref=ord_cart_shr?%5Fencoding=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&v=glance

31FWGcJXh4L._SS400_.jpg

Aside from having optical to my DAC3 (which I'm convinced sounds better than USB on this particular DAC) I can listen to discs while ripping other CDs in EAC, and not tax the computer as much. I often have a huge backlog of new CDs that need to be ripped, and it becomes a choice of listening or ripping, when using USB.

I'm eyeing various Esoteric units. I've got half a mind to go for the P05/D05, but that would be months and months of saving. It would definitely be the most expensive purchase I've ever made, lol. I'd need something to tide me over I think. If I go with something like an X05, it wouldn't take that long.

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Haha, source has become the topic now. Watch out, the source is potentially the biggest wallet-drainer!

Yes, I was afraid of that!

I think it would be interesting if I would go for the Beta. There's someone in the Netherlands who has the RPX-33 and I would then be able to compare them. If I would prefer the RPX-33 I could always sell it with little loss but most important I would be able to compare something which is a learnful thing on itself.

Only it raises new questions, like would I implement the DAC in the Beta or buy a seperate one?

I would prefer the first as it would eliminate the hassle of looking into all those DAC's available.

When streaming the music from the Macbook via optical into the amp, the one thing determining the sound would be the amp, right?

When looking at a different source it would just be playing with the different DAC's in it and finding the ultimate combination, right?

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Yes, I was afraid of that!

I think it would be interesting if I would go for the Beta. There's someone in the Netherlands who has the RPX-33 and I would then be able to compare them. If I would prefer the RPX-33 I could always sell it with little loss but most important I would be able to compare something which is a learnful thing on itself.

Only it raises new questions, like would I implement the DAC in the Beta or buy a seperate one?

I would prefer the first as it would eliminate the hassle of looking into all those DAC's available.

When streaming the music from the Macbook via optical into the amp, the one thing determining the sound would be the amp, right?

When looking at a different source it would just be playing with the different DAC's in it and finding the ultimate combination, right?

I'll let Steve chime in, but I've been playing with his Twisted Pear DAC and beta22 for a while now and I'd had that to my short list of things to consider if you want an all-in-one DAC/AMP. It's a no brainer to "build" (the DAC is basically pre-built) and sounds pretty good. I would say that it's a nice compliment to the beta22's sound signature. If you can wait a bit, they have a new DAC coming out that seems from what I've read to be a very nice option. It's called the Buffalo. More info here:

http://www.twistedpearaudio.com/

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Indra,

Options for DIY DAC's that could be implemented in the same chassis will be pretty limited. And again if it were me I wouldn't put the dac in the same box anyway. If you ever want to upgrade/downgrade/change either component now you're stuck changing both.

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Thanx for the comment. Looks interesting though a lot of the slang used is like mumbojumbo to me lol. But okay...I did notice one thing...someone mentioned that the DAC would be around $29 which the person said was pretty pricy for a DAC ???

How come that when you buy a seperate DAC like the DA100 is so much more expensive?

Building a DAC in the amp would that be a concession regarding soundquality? Would a seperate DAC be better or would that solely depend on what kind of DAC is being implemented in the amp?

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Indra,

Options for DIY DAC's that could be implemented in the same chassis will be pretty limited. And again if it were me I wouldn't put the dac in the same box anyway. If you ever want to upgrade/downgrade/change either component now you're stuck changing both.

true, unless there were provision made to bypass one or the other, which I alluded to a few posts back.

I think a TP DAC could be included in the beta22 easily and it was definitely be a much cheaper option than an external DAC, commercial or DIY.

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Indra,

Options for DIY DAC's that could be implemented in the same chassis will be pretty limited. And again if it were me I wouldn't put the dac in the same box anyway. If you ever want to upgrade/downgrade/change either component now you're stuck changing both.

I agree.

But it would be a nice starting point for me I think. Building in a DAC would be cheaper than buying a seperate one if I get it right.

Also, I could get used to the Beta with that Dac and then start thinking about a seperate DAC. I would already have my amp where I could try it out with and see what would work best with that.

You could use both, right if you have optical and analog inputs?

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