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Going through this thread has been fantastic - and I have learned a lot.   Here is my current rig and Headphones: Marantz CD6006 (nice used as a transport but the upgrade bug is startin

minunat    

He is shadey like A2As B-Stock specials.   Dont tell anyone, but I think A2A B-Stock is just Neil's returns.

12 minutes ago, Odyssey said:

Anyone want to trade a good dac for my Questyle CMA Twelve. I'm all ears.

@Coldplayer Stretch that budget a bit and do it right.

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Ah Coldpayer is looking for a mint HD800 and mine is the mintiest of them all together with an extra Forza Noir HPC Mk2 balanced cable.... still debating whether to sell that ! 

 

What dac has Coldplayer got? Or perhaps he can just buy my CMA 12 outright and I will get an Denafrips Aries II from Alvin. After all, it's a backup dac to Yggdrasil.

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51 minutes ago, BlueOceanBoy said:

Hopefully I will get mine early next week. Geoff has sold out of all of Benchmark's AUS stock.

Hi @BlueOceanBoy

Your HPA4 is shipping tomorrow :) 

There's plenty more coming in too 

We're flying in the biggest Benchmark order ever. 

Geoff

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4 minutes ago, Odyssey said:

Now I'm in a dilemma. HPA4 or V590.

Now that is a dilemma! I fancy that V590! And that Niimbus gear too!

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1 minute ago, BlueOceanBoy said:

Now that is a dilemma! I fancy that V590! And that Niimbus gear too!

 

We are starting to think alike.

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2 hours ago, Odyssey said:

Ah Coldpayer is looking for a mint HD800 and mine is the mintiest of them all together with an extra Forza Noir HPC Mk2 balanced cable.... still debating whether to sell that ! 

 

What dac has Coldplayer got? Or perhaps he can just buy my CMA 12 outright and I will get an Denafrips Aries II from Alvin. After all, it's a backup dac to Yggdrasil.

 

Ahh unfortunately i got impatient and picked up a pair of HD800S's instead of 800's  and blew out my budget so no big dac/amp upgrade for a while.

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No worries. I'm not in a rush for changes. Still formulating what I want but I have an idea already.  In the meantime I'll enjoy CMA-12 ?

 

 

 

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Shootout #3

Previous caveats apply:

Stax LR-700 MK2 vs HD800s

I know! Not the shootout advertised. I have to let the Stax 007MK2 burin for a bit. So, I had a go with these two. HD800s on Mogwai via RCA from Sonnet. LR700 on SRM-353X via XLR from Sonnet. Tracks were very piano based jazz like Brad Mehldau, Joey Alexander and Ludovico.

HD800s - you all know this HP. Mogwai drives it superbly. Loads of space, wide soundstage (of most headphones), great imaging and instrument separation. I don't EQ even with Roon DSP, as I always feel it moves the overall tonality around. 

LR700 - Typical stat speed, sharp and precise transients, lovely timbre and bass tightness. For piano, a great tone and vibrancy. 

 

HD800s vs LR700 - They both respond really well to this genre. HD800s with it's soundstage is like sitting in front of an orchestra, you can see and hear every instrument spread out before you. LR700 is more intimate, like a jazz club. HD800s is very side to side in presentation, LR700 more front to back, wide vs narrow. That can lead to HD800s being a little diffuse, less accurate with the LR700 almost putting you in the piano! HD800s can be a little splashy in complex passages, LR700 more mid focussed with a denser image. HD800s smoother, LR700 sharper and possibly more fatiguing. For me the intimacy and tonal density of the LR700 make it the winner for this specific genre. Bring in vocals though and HD800s wins. LR700 is a bit recessed compared to HD800s even though being mid focussed. 

 

Bring in 006Ts for LR-700 = wow daddy! Just ups the ante on bass response and widens the soundstage. Everything is bigger and denser. More treble extension too - almost a bit hot. Will go back to jazz vocals to see if that improves vs HD800s. On reflection, I won't compare LR700 with 007. It's not a fair comparison, they're too different. Will go 007 vs Verite Open and maybe Utopias!

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I did just recognise you on HeadFi last night showing off your gear. Amazing setup Odyssey. :)

 

I've just been starting to look into what benefits I might see from adding a streamer to my setup, both 2go for my Hugo 2 in the office/home portable, and something else for my desktop setup. I was all but convinced that it would improve my source instead of just connecting my RME/V281 or Hugo 2 to my MacBook Pro, but reading Neil's research above makes me doubt making that further investment!

 

I moved really quickly a year ago into 'Head Fi', learning a lot from Neil, peppy and Bengineer, but I more or less settled on my current setup for 6+ months now. That said, I am wondering what the next steps are for me in improving things so I am keen to read more about DAC/AMP upgrades or sidegrades. I'm more or less set on the headphones I have until such time as I go down the 1266 TC/Susvara path.

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Thanks elisix. That's my working from home gear madness but it is fun. Now I'm ready to consolidate and move on. Well I've been telling myself for the last 4 years and the setup is constantly revolving. It's part of my audio journey and will probably only stop when I give up this hobby but that will not happen. ?

 

I did think that this photo shows me at my happiest with my gear. ?

 

IMG-3381.JPG

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9 minutes ago, Bengineer said:

Did you know that people who make sleeved headphone cables for a living experience a 300% increased risk of depression @bruc3

 

haha.....I guess the little money they make from selling said cables can be used to partially cover the depression medication, so not all is lost.

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Shootout #4

Verite Open Vs Stax 007 MK2

VO via Mogwai fed by Sonnet. Stax 007 via 006Ts fed by Sonnet

 

VO is the "goldilocks" headphone where everything just sounds right. It does need decent amplification though. VO has a warm natural timbre and smooth tonality across the board making it a very "easy" headphone to listen to. Quality is top notch and hand made. It's liquid without being mushy and quite fast for an ortho thanks to those BE coated drivers. Nice soundstage and imaging. A great HP for Jazz vocals and west coast. 

In comparison, in this setup, 007 was a bit disappointing. 007 being flatter and more linear. Accurate and detailed as you'd expect in a stat but vocals are lost and the bass response is quite weak. It's like listening to a recording of a recording, kind of veiled and distant. Quite unlike the LR-700MK2 I reviewed recently. It''s had a very good burn in but I suspect that the 006Ts just isn't up to the job. It's a common complaint that 007 needs a lot of voltage gain and why people go to KGSSHV type amps like from Mjolnir. 

So, an easy win to VO!

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And straight to shootout #5

LaFigaro 339i vs A&S Mogwai SE

The Mogwai SE is a  output transformer coupled, SET, zero feedback tube amp with 2.8W @300 Ohms. It's got the juice! LF339i is a dual mono OTL and preamp based on the DarkVoice 337. 

 

Mogwai is a neutral to slightly warm tube amp that is able to roll various power tubes like KT88, EL34 and KT77. That makes the SQ quite varied. It has 3 taps @8, 32 and 300 Ohm. My current preference is a TS6SL7, EZ34 and KT88s. It has a liquid, smooth response with a wide soundstage and is laid back but has depth and punch. With the different tube combos and impedance taps, it's a very versatile piece of kit that is beautifully handmade, if somewhat industrial.

LF339i is fun, fun, fun. A slightly mid focussed and treble forward presentation gives the LF339 serious punch with nice bass slam and extension. It's fast and furious! Definitely benefits from tube rolling. In this case, Bendix 6080 graphite cores and RCA 5693 Red Hots. Dual mono means dual volume controls in this case, a great feature.

Listening was done on LCD3 and VO mainly with some LCD-X and HD800s.

This ended up being way closer than I expected. I've had both amps for a little while now, so I now their strengths but with a true A-B, it was very close. LF339 has the punch, Mogwai controls the power for a smoother delivery. All of the HPs just excel with both amps, so hard to choose a favourite combo and not necessarily genre specific. When you look at the pricing, LF339i is a steal! I also think it has a blacker background than the Mogwai, which is very quiet for a tube amp. Ultimately, the Mogwai for me. More variations, better build, giving a slightly richer more relaxing but powerful sound. Man, that LF339i is good though.

 

HPA4 won't get here until next week now Odyssey. 

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31 minutes ago, BlueOceanBoy said:

VO via Mogwai fed by Sonnet

Much love for that combo. As you say a ‘rightness’ and broad application from the VOs. I’m out of my depths on Stax but a tough opponent it had. 

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13 minutes ago, BlueOceanBoy said:

This ended up being way closer than I expected. I've had both amps for a little while now, so I now their strengths but with a true A-B, it was very close. LF339 has the punch, Mogwai controls the power for a smoother delivery.

 

Thanks for the comparison Neil, helps us little guys who cant dig so deep into our pockets to get a more pricey tube amp.

 

I can be more happy now with my Figaro, I bet you if I listen to my Figaro now it will suddenly sound 5x better after reading your comparison.

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24 minutes ago, bruc3 said:

I can be more happy now with my Figaro, I bet you if I listen to my Figaro now it will suddenly sound 5x better after reading your comparison.

 

You didn't believe me did you... when I was singing the praises of LF339 on head-fi. Kind of revive that thread again. ?

 

It was with deep regret that I'm trading my 'mint' LF339 with @xtiva2000 for his Schiit Mjolnir 2 but I did it for 2 reasons. Firstly he is a very nice guy. Came to my place when I said I was interested in the Mjolnir 2 and brought that amp and his main amp - the SPL Phonitor X. I had a great time with him, listening to various headphones with many amps. It's like a mini meet between 2 persons. So yes after listening to my WA22, he LOVES it but say that is out of his reach. So that leaves my La Figaro 339 as he wanted a tube amp to compliment his Phonitor X. So I agree to the trade. Let him have it and enjoy it. If I wanted to and I probably will, I will get a new LF339i from ShenZhenAudio. My LF339 has been upgraded with some juicy caps and resistors and it look mint on the inside as well as on the outside.

 

Despite the many tube amps that I've tried and owned, I think LF339 is quite special and dirt cheap. It's just a raw diamond though. With some perfectly alright tubes, it can hum and have no sound in one channel. Switch the tubes around and it's perfectly alright. So once I get the 'right' tubes in, I'll leave it and the sound .... is to die for. ?

 

Drop recently sold out the LF339 220v version in just 2 days. Yuking can't make them fast enough. There are quite a few problem with cold solder joints. Some corners must be cut in trying to get the amps ready as quickly as possible. If my LF339 has that problem, I'll just take it to http://www.thefactoryaudio.com/ they can do anything for your amps for a reasonable price. My Glenn OTL amp went in for complete 7 tube sockets replacements and some new Vishay resistors and caps. It came back like new and sound so much better !

 

Alright even advertisement for La Figaro and Neil, thanks for letting me know the HPA4 is on the way. I'm now itching for a Violectric HPA v590 or Niimbus US 4 without the + because the + is 9 grand at A2A ?

 

This hobby is getting expensive. ?

 

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8 minutes ago, Odyssey said:

It was with deep regret that I'm trading my 'mint' LF339 with @xtiva2000 

Thanks Odyssey for trading :) have already ordered new pair of Mullard Tube that you recommended 

 

can't wait

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Tonight Peppy came over to my place and brought 2 headphones and his DAP to try out with my amps. My place is starting to be a workshop now. Anyway it was nice to have finally met Peppy. Problem is he doesn't look like Peppy though because I only know how Peppy looks - like his avatar profile. ?

 

So he brought his Kan Cube (DAP) and that tiny device does have some muscles. He also brought 2 headphones - HD800S and Verite close. I've heard HD800S a few years ago at a meet in Sydney. As I had just listen with a HD800 then swap to a HD800S, I find the lack of details astonishing and the bass bloated. Since that time I've never bothered with HD800S again. However tonight, listening to the HD800S with Questyle CMA 12, I was quite astounded. Good clarity and details, bass is phenomenal and the soundstage is without peers except of course my HD800. So I am very impressed with HD800S now and might even get one .... ?

 

Next I tried the Verite Close with CMA 12. Prior to selling Verite Open, I had love it with my LF339. Didn't get a chance to try VO with all the new amps I bought since Xmas Eve. However tonight VC with CMA 12 just seem to peak too much at the high frequencies.... and I'm one to love high clear top end but that combo was a bit too much for me. Yup it's all subjective. Someone else might love that combo and that's alright.

 

Anyhoo, nice meeting you Peppy.

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7 hours ago, Odyssey said:

VC with CMA 12 just seem to peak too much at the high frequencies.... and I'm one to love high clear top end but that combo was a bit too much for me. Yup it's all subjective. Someone else might love that combo and that's alright.
 

 

I felt the same way with the VC and CMA12 combo - it was not to my liking.at all.

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3 minutes ago, barbz127 said:

 

I felt the same way with the VC and CMA12 combo - it was not to my liking.at all.

 

Thanks for validating my ears or hearing. ?

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9 hours ago, BlueOceanBoy said:

fun, fun, fun

That was my exact thought with Auteur on the Felix OTL @sly_bastard brought to the last meetup (with Kompakt DAC).  Must be something about OTLs and ZMF. A toe tapping combo. 

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8 hours ago, Odyssey said:

Anyway it was nice to have finally met Peppy. Problem is he doesn't look like Peppy though because I only know how Peppy looks - like his avatar profile. ?

C'mon ...I will wear less make-up next time, I am actually a mirror image of my avatar !

@Odyssey Thanks for allowing me to try your awesome gear :). Your head-fi setup is fits well with your SNA name 'Odyssey' !!!

 

You know what I am interested in ;)

 

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43 minutes ago, peppy said:

You know what I am interested in ;)

 

Ok talk to me quick then because I just put it up for sale and there's a little special for you only. ?

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53 minutes ago, hardinge said:

That was my exact thought with Auteur on the Felix OTL @sly_bastard brought to the last meetup (with Kompakt DAC).  Must be something about OTLs and ZMF. A toe tapping combo. 

 

That I can confirmed, having own Eikon, Atticus and Verite Open in the past together with Feliks Elise and Euforia. Had those 2 amps for 2 solid years or ears.

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9 hours ago, Odyssey said:

However tonight, listening to the HD800S with Questyle CMA 12, I was quite astounded. Good clarity and details, bass is phenomenal and the soundstage is without peers except of course my HD800. So I am very impressed with HD800S now and might even get one .... ?

 

 

The HD800S and CMA12 have great synergy and is an awesome pairing, hence why the CMA12 is a keeper for me.

 

Even though measurements show the HD800S having harmonic distortion in lower frequencies, myself and many others dont seem to hear that distortion at all and I think the bass although somewhat light it is very clean sounding. Compared to my HD6xx, I would say the bass on that can sound somewhat bloated or distorted at times.

 

But if I were you, dont ever sell your original HD800, as they are becoming rarer to find now days.

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Yeah I know but Geoff is now tempting me with a Formula S and Powerman. All I need is the Abyss AB 1266 Phi TC and I'd have arrive at nirvana.

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10 hours ago, Odyssey said:

 

You didn't believe me did you... when I was singing the praises of LF339 on head-fi. Kind of revive that thread again. ?

 

It was with deep regret that I'm trading my 'mint' LF339 with @xtiva2000 for his Schiit Mjolnir 2 but I did it for 2 reasons. Firstly he is a very nice guy. Came to my place when I said I was interested in the Mjolnir 2 and brought that amp and his main amp - the SPL Phonitor X. I had a great time with him, listening to various headphones with many amps.

?

 

 

Yes, the Figaro 339 is a keeper also for me so I got my end game solid state in the CMA12 and tube amp now.

 

Im surprised you let the Figaro go, but its probably good excuse for you to get the new 339i and then you can also try the preamp to speakers on that hehe...

 

 

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Just now, bruc3 said:

 

Yes, the Figaro 339 is a keeper also for me so I got my end game solid state in the CMA12 and tube amp now.

 

Im surprised you let the Figaro go, but its probably good excuse for you to get the new 339i and then you can also try the preamp to speakers on that hehe...

 

 

 

I've too many headphone amps with preamp ability now. ?

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So look out for the ads.....

 

Bluesound Node 2i

Giesler Kompakt + Kraftwerk LPSU

Matrix X SPDIF2

Gustard A22 (Maybe even Sonnet Morpheus as doing some more USB vs Coax vs I2S input today)

LaFigaro 339i

LCD-X

HD800s with Dekoni pads

Stax SRM 353

Stax 007 MK2

 

Will get Utopias back from Ben and see how they go

Phew!

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Dips on the LF339i and you can have dips on my Oblivion. ?

 

Damm I have to do my own culling too. I should just end up with Formula S + Powerman and Abyss.

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