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Audio-gd Compass!


Ruckus
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Audio-gd Compass Impressions, not a review!

Gear: Laptop, Foobar and MonkeyMedia, ASIO4all, AD900, HD650, Audio-gd Powe Cable.

Hey all Head-Case.

First off, nice to see so many of the excellent posters I respected at the other headphone forum here. I wondered where you all had gone, I mean once in a while I'll see a blue moon post, but not enough!

I had a wonderful opportunity to be among the first 18 testers to own the newest headphone solution from Audio-gd. For, I feel this is by far the best option for me as a beginner into headphone amps and dedicated DACs.

Audio-gd is a small company out of Beijing China, lead by their lead designer, Mr. He Qinghua, or for the westerners, he calls himself Kingwa. He was the First Prize winner of the American National Semiconductor Audio Design Contest. Actually right now on Audio-gd's website, he is selling the winning design, for those interested.

One of the great aspects of the Compass for those interested in design and technicals, Audio-gd is very open with their products. They truly believe in the quality of their products, sound and in design. Ask their lead designer Kingwa, and he will answer, it's impressive. This transparency is unlikely to be seen or matched in this secretive world of Audio.

The Audio-gd DAC was concieved out of a need for a replacement of the Zero. For so many like myself, who want to venture into this world Headphone Amplifiers, but don't want to jump in all in, the Zero was a great introductory product. But with numerous quality issues, OpAmps arriving in backwards and for even one user, fried his headphones to the point of being utterly useless. Currawong, with great experience with Audio-gd already and recognizing Kingwa's repuation, asked Kingwa and Audio-gd to take up the challenge of a Zero replacement.

The Compass for good or bad, has evolved to something far more and well beyond the budget of the Zero. So what is the Compass?

Compass - Is it is a DAC/Amp combo with a dedicated power source in modular design.

DAC - Based on the DAC-100. Uses the AD1852 and for USB input, the PCM2707. Like quality DACs, PCM2707 I2S to the AD1852. The digital audio interface is the DIR9001. Uses a OpAmp buffer, Audio-gd's discrete HDAMs, with your choice of Earth, Moon and Sun v2. 100% discrete output.

Amp - Class A, discrete amp placed on a different module, separate PCB, it is it's own amp. Comes with a Bypass option that disconnects the Amp from the DAC and allows the user to use the Compass as a dedicated Amp. The design is explained on Audio-gd's website.

Pre-Amp - Has a pre-amp option in the back with RCA output.

Quality - It comes encased in an all aluminum chassiss. Even the Knobs are all aluminum. Unlike the recent Fet-A from TTJV, even at the incredible low entry level price, the Compass skips nothing, parts for internals and externals! The headphone jack is the Neutrik locking jack. The volume pot is the Alps RK27 Blue Velvet. The PCB boards are copper gold plated and 2mm thick, and each component on separate modules. The soldering job top notch as Audio-gd assures their customers, all work done by enthusiastic Hi-Fi fans, not a sweatshop or workers off the street. All products undergo 100 hours of testing.

Power! My gosh, the power behind this unit is immense. Mine has 13db/19db option, I use it at 13db. The Volume starts at around 6:30, and maxes at 5:30. Even with the HD650, 10 o clock and my ears are at uncomfortable level. 9:30 is about right if you want loud. The volume control is quite interesting.

Compass volume control known as
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OP: are you mbd2884 on Head-Fi?

And wasn't said person banned for starting random shit and refusing to stop after argument was long over? :palm:

EDIT:

Yes, yes I am, but no worries, I won't be replying with reputed harshness/stupidity, as this forum lacks dumbass postings. I'll be sure to enjoy my stay here and follow forum rules to the dot here.

Ok, I will look forward to it.

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And wasn't said person banned for starting random shit and refusing to stop after argument was long over? :palm:

It's a 5 day warning and I was not arguing, but just annoyed by dumb postings. :palm:

As I have no intentions of starting problems, if want to comment please comment on the Compass and not myself please. I have read Head-Case forum rules and registered over a month ago. Thank you.

O LAWD IS THAT A GOOD DEAL?!

The current promotion and price I paid was $258. After promotion is over and the price decided, I cannot say if it's an incredible deal or not. I have not reviewed other products so can't make any comparisons.

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It's a 5 day warning and I was not arguing, but just annoyed by dumb postings. :palm:

As I have no intentions of starting problems, if want to comment please comment on the Compass and not myself please. I have read Head-Case forum rules and registered over a month ago. Thank you.

Alright. I won't read the super long and obviously partial review written by a stranger though.

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So you basically crapped on the TTVJ FET-A amp their only to step right up here with a blatant ad for this thing. WTF makes you think we'd buy your obvious scamilicious shill attempt?

ah..that's where I know his posts from.

Cankin: ah. I'm not that often in the appreciation threads, good job noticing. I'd been curious why someone would just start this thread here

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By shitting on Voltron's TTVJ FET-A review over there, you've started off on the wrong foot already. :popcorn:

I'll try to change it, by removing the Fet-A from impression.

Ok don't see edit button anymore.

Mod can you change "Unlike the recent Fet-A from TTJV, even at the incredible low entry level price, the Compass skips nothing" to Even at the incredible price... as it was just intended to say even at this low price, the exterior not neglected, or give the impression I am shilling :asshat:

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I'll try to change it, by removing the Fet-A from impression.

Ok don't see edit button anymore.

Mod can you change "Unlike the recent Fet-A from TTJV, even at the incredible low entry level price, the Compass skips nothing" to Even at the incredible price... as it was just intended to say even at this low price, the exterior not neglected.

Just stop posting man, this is textbook Head-case fail. :palm:

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I'll try to change it, by removing the Fet-A from impression.

Ok don't see edit button anymore.

Mod can you change "Unlike the recent Fet-A from TTJV, even at the incredible low entry level price, the Compass skips nothing" to Even at the incredible price... as it was just intended to say even at this low price, the exterior not neglected, or give the impression I am shilling :asshat:

No.

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