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He1000se arrived and I've been listening for an hour. Initial thoughts are that this is my kind of headphone. Imaging and soundstage stood out but so are details and clarity. Bass is not as pronounced

The transformers are ginormous. From early listening makes for very effortless sound.   

Shootout #2 Previous caveats apply: Gustard A22 vs Sonnet Morpheus So, the Sonnet comfortably saw off the Giesler Kompakt in tonality, imaging and depth, albeit close though. The A22 is

22 minutes ago, bruc3 said:

 

I just received my balanced cable from @Bengineer, I am very happy with the end result, as I was a bit picky/particular with the cable and also wanted something cheaper but still of good quality, and he was able to deliver exactly what I was looking for.

 

 

 

 

Glad it works :S

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@Bengineer @Odyssey  sorry but curiosity got the better of me.

 

I connected both my headphones via balanced, so HD800S via 4.4mm and HD6xx via XLR to the CMA12 at same time, and both seem to be working with no side effects/problem as far as I can tell, not even a difference in volume/power it seems.

 

However, if I connect a headphone via 6.35mm SE then the audio goes all funny, like channel imbalance, some sounds missing from left channel etc.

 

So it seems you can use both headphone balanced connectors at same time, but not SE and balanced together.

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Still maybe careful doing it. Different headphones drawing different power from the same circuit, i'm no sexpert, but seems like a bad idea :P

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Just now, Bengineer said:

Still maybe careful doing it. Different headphones drawing different power from the same circuit, i'm no sexpert, but seems like a bad idea :P

 

Yes, you are probably right, so I have disconnected one headphone anyway just to be safe.  Guess there is really no need to have both connected at same time anyway since I can only listen to one at a time anyway.

 

 

 

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40 minutes ago, bruc3 said:

@Bengineer @Odyssey  sorry but curiosity got the better of me.

 

I connected both my headphones via balanced, so HD800S via 4.4mm and HD6xx via XLR to the CMA12 at same time, and both seem to be working with no side effects/problem as far as I can tell, not even a difference in volume/power it seems.

 

However, if I connect a headphone via 6.35mm SE then the audio goes all funny, like channel imbalance, some sounds missing from left channel etc.

 

So it seems you can use both headphone balanced connectors at same time, but not SE and balanced together.

 

Bruce, I just had a look at the CMA manual that came with it. 

 

Page 9:-

 

You are NOT allowed to plug in all of the three jacks at the same time. With the 4-PIN balanced headphone jack plugged in, the other two jacks are NOT allowed to be used.

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Just now, Odyssey said:

 

You are NOT allowed to plug in all of the three jacks at the same time. With the 4-PIN balanced headphone jack plugged in, the other two jacks are NOT allowed to be used.

 

Dont worry, I have unplugged it now, only connecting 1 headphone at a time going forward.

 

I have to say my HD6xx sounds noticeably better now running balanced via CMA12. I dont think the HD800S is going to get any ear time tonight.

 

 

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, bruc3 said:

I have to say my HD6xx sounds noticeably better now running balanced via CMA12. I dont think the HD800S is going to get any ear time tonight.

 

 

Oh there's no doubt that balance on the CMA 12 sound better and more forceful. It's got da slam dunk !

 

Does the 4.4 Pentacomm gives the same 'tapping toes' feeling as the xls 4-pin balance? Same punch?

 

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9 minutes ago, Bengineer said:

https://doublehelixcables.com/product/molecule-se-quad-occ-copper-litz-diy-wire/

 

Tidy. Tempted indeed.

 

@Mightygrey Length of this, 550 paracord from the split to plug, then exposed twisted pair from splits to cups? Litz but I'll manage. Faaaaancy.

 

So maybe cut off the outer PVC core? So it's not stiff and keep the 4 strands twisted in their pvc core.

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Heh?

 

Litz is the enamel coating on each tiny tiny tiny little strand. So you can't just solder it. Basically have to melt and burn away the enamel before it sucks up any solder, and do that without melting the fine strands of wire or melting the PE jacket back too far. That what you getting at?

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29 minutes ago, Odyssey said:

 

Oh there's no doubt that balance on the CMA 12 sound better and more forceful. It's got da slam dunk !

 

Does the 4.4 Pentacomm gives the same 'tapping toes' feeling as the xls 4-pin balance? Same punch?

 

 

Will be a bit trickier to tell, as I will be comparing the HD800S vs HD6xx. Dont have both a XLR and 4.4mm cable for any one headphone. For now I will just say the XLR sounds better just because I like the traditional look of XLR more than the newer pentaconn :P

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20 minutes ago, elisix_ said:

Unsure if you guys are across this Abyss scenario at the moment, but here’s a summary for those interested.

 

https://www.headphonesty.com/2021/01/the-abyss-headphones-crinkly-controversy/?fbclid=IwAR2KM6rjcNnv2dxnmnK2Y_sCkALqJO1XPwz8U10pwlwDnpPigc9tRcWStIc

Ha. Dumb.

 

Change the 1266 headband design and bring it under $4000 and I'll be interested :P

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Yes a Medieval torture device is one way to describe how the 1266 ‘phones looks.

 

That and an obscene price to pay for them.

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1 hour ago, elisix_ said:

Unsure if you guys are across this Abyss scenario at the moment, but here’s a summary for those interested.

 

https://www.headphonesty.com/2021/01/the-abyss-headphones-crinkly-controversy/?fbclid=IwAR2KM6rjcNnv2dxnmnK2Y_sCkALqJO1XPwz8U10pwlwDnpPigc9tRcWStIc

I get a sense of smugness at times in their youtube videos and I can’t say I’ve warmed up to them over time, but hey, maybe that’s just me

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Joe is the smug one to me. The others seem much less so. Particularly the (young one), guy on the left. To me Joe is just a bit out of touch and thinks his **** doesn’t stink as they have the ‘best headphone in the world’. It’s not a title they gave themselves really - reviewers did. I’m sure they’ve taken it on board and believe it now as a result.

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I doubt I'll get the Abyss because I don't know if I'd wear that for many hours. Ben those 3 in 1 connectors looks good for a pig tail because all my cables are with 4-pin male balance connector.

 

Just getting drawn to the Questyle CMA Twelve sound more and more. It's better than I thought. I'm starting to prefer it over the Mjolnir 2 sound. I might also love the v280 but that's borrowed by my son. He loves it with Hekse. These days I seldom fire up my Wa22 but I do miss the LF339. @elisix_ you've nice gear there in the RME ADI-2 and v281 final edition. Never tried the RME but heard lots about it. Must be a useful dac/amp.

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9 hours ago, Odyssey said:

@elisix_ you've nice gear there in the RME ADI-2 and v281 final edition. Never tried the RME but heard lots about it. Must be a useful dac/amp.

 

The RME is an interesting unit with an insane amount of functionality comparative to what's in the market. In fact, I don't think any other DAC/AMP offers what the RME does. The ability to make changes via parametric EQ, cross-fade, loudness are all hugely beneficial - at least I find them to be.

 

The pairing with the V281 is an essential one for me, as it takes a slightly cold leaning DAC and adds some warmth to the overall presentation resulting in a clear and dynamic full body sound. I mainly listen to EDM and this pairing suits that genre very well. I really liked the RME paired with the HPA4 also for this genre of music.

 

Where it lacks slightly is in creating an organic natural sound - it's not bad, but there are better options out there. This is where I find pairing the RME with the WA2 helps, though ultimately a DAC like a Denafrips ARES II would shine.

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Is the RME ADI-2 FS the latest or what you're referring to? as shown in the link below. There seems to be several version.

https://www.rme-audio.de/adi-2-dac.html

 

Not that I'm getting it because I think the Questyle CMA Twelve is very capable albeit with less features. 

 

Also in A2A website, there's the Violectric v281 standard at $3799 and the final edition which you have which is $500 cheaper. Are they essential the same amp and features? 

 

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1 hour ago, Odyssey said:

Also in A2A website, there's the Violectric v281 standard at $3799 and the final edition which you have which is $500 cheaper. Are they essential the same amp and features? 

Some interesting pricing as the Final Edition has the onboard DAC and the V281 does not. 

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Has anyone compared the Questyle CMA Twelve to the CMA 400i by any chance?

Looking for a new amp to pair with my Clears and HD650. Considered the RME at first but I doubt I'd use all the DSP features, and I keep seeing comments on the Questyles having great synergy with these cans, particularly the Clears.

I don't have any need for the wifi component and can live without the remote, but the dual DAC chips and better pot in the Twelve is tempting, especially after reading some people having issues with the pot on the 400i. A real shame they stopped doing analogue inputs that were on the 600i too, would have liked the ability to use my TT...

The Twelve is beyond my budget currently as I need to fund some replacement cables for the Focals as well, so I guess I'm just wondering if there's a substantial upgrade in sound over the 400i and worth saving more for?

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Read this review by Matt. https://www.headfonia.com/questyle-cma-twelve-review/3/ he compares it with the 600i.

 

I heard the 400i at Minidisc last Sat when I went there to collect my LCD-3f. Tested it with that amp for one song. Since I had the CMA 12 for a week, I could not detect much difference between the 400i and 12. It was a casual listen.

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14 minutes ago, chronomancer said:

Has anyone compared the Questyle CMA Twelve to the CMA 400i by any chance?

 

Looks like you live in NSW, so best to just make a trip to Minidisc as they have both the CMA12 and 400i on demo for you to test all day if you like.

 

My guess there won't be huge differences between them in the sound department, I opted for the CMA12 mostly because it has more power and has the 4.4mm balanced and thought what the heck I have money to burn lol.

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Awesome, thanks guys, appreciate it!

 

I'll have a read of that review. Odyssey, I would've snagged your 12 in the classifieds already if I wasn't left with such bare pockets after Xmas haha.

 

I'm in NE NSW, so would be a 16 hour round trip to try them at Minidisc unfortunately.

 

Any other recommendations to consider in sub $2k range?

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3 hours ago, Odyssey said:

Is the RME ADI-2 FS the latest or what you're referring to? as shown in the link below. There seems to be several version.

https://www.rme-audio.de/adi-2-dac.html

 

Not that I'm getting it because I think the Questyle CMA Twelve is very capable albeit with less features. 

 

Also in A2A website, there's the Violectric v281 standard at $3799 and the final edition which you have which is $500 cheaper. Are they essential the same amp and features? 

 

 

2 hours ago, BlueOceanBoy said:

Some interesting pricing as the Final Edition has the onboard DAC and the V281 does not. 

and, I think BlueOceanBoy suggests this, the amp side is exactly the same.

The dac, which i have never heard but read about, is basic nothing "special" at all, by that I believe it is comparable to a dac costing a couple of hundred dollars

 

There is a very noticeable difference from v280 to niimbus (as the price suggests), but if you are considering a v281 Odyssey, I would say strongly consider passing the v281 and looking at the newer v550 or v590 (i hope I have those numbers correct). Because let's face it if you go down the Violectric path you will be tempted to go the newer models later, and the resell value of the v280 and v281 is not really that good anymore. Mind you that also means patience can lead you to buying the v281 second hand cheaply and they are very versatile solid amps

 

It took a while , i sold my almost new v280 for about $1550 (which is a good price for the buyer mind you) so you might be able to get a v281 for not much more than $2K or even a tad under.

 

so if you the newer models are over your current budget and you really want to go from v280 to v281 i would go 2nd hand

bu your v280 probably would be quite similar to the v281 so i can only presume the upgrade would be noticeable, but closer to marginal than hugely significant.

 

my 2c

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2 hours ago, chronomancer said:

Looking for a new amp to pair with my Clears and HD650

Hi Chromancer - it's not clear if you need just an amp or DAC/amp. I'd suggest Topping A90 or Schiit Jotunheim/Lyr 3 for amp duties and then they could be combined for Topping with D90 (+/- MQA) and either Modi Multibit or BiFrost 2 with Schiit (or just add a MB module to either Jot or Lyr 3). To me, both manufacturers offer great value for money, would work well with your cans and you could go either AKM chipset with Topping or R2R (in MB format) with Schiit. Both sell well on the used market and are generally easy to buy.

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@Odyssey the RME I have is the latest one. RME ADI-2 (V2 4493). The difference between this and the version prior is an updated remote and DAC (4490 to 4493). For me to switch from the RME, it's going to be when I go next level. What I mean by that is TT2 or Sonnet Morpheus like Neil has been toying with. Ares II would be a side-grade but offering a different sound to the RME.

 

As for the V281 FE, it's on sale to run out the now discontinued V28X line. I believe the key difference between the V280 and V281 is the additional pre-amp, and FE add's a basic Violectric DAC as mentioned. I don't particularly rate the included DAC when i'm comparing it to a Hugo 2 and RME ADI-2. That said, as an all-in-one, the V281 FE is an excellent value offering for $2200-$2500 used. 

 

The V281 still kicks it with amps well above that price, though some of the newer amp offerings around the 6k mark will of course top it. That is of course to be expected.

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@Ccollins I'm with you on your thoughts because that's my thoughts too. Not looking to upgrade right now because I've just landed a couple of very nice solid states and hybrid and I've also several tube amps. So in theory, I shouldn't have to upgrade at all because these sound so good with my headphones.

 

I'm still trying to let the tonality of v280, CMA 12 and Mjolnir 2 sink in and honestly they are very good even after hearing that monster setup at Minidisc. 🙂 A almost new La Figaro 339i is also going to be making it's way to me. Enough to keep me contend for at least 6 months to a year. 

 

By that time (or maybe sooner :-)) I'll then consider v590 or even Niimbus. There's also HPA4. So that's it for one good solid state. Then I'll be casting my eyes on a Mogwai Se. Don't like the headphone jacks sticking up on top but guess I can get use to it. Thereafter I am probably done ... after I swap LCD-3f and LCD-X for LCD-4 or 4z. 🙂 However seriously I really like how LCD-3f and X sound now. 

 

Yesterday, I play some vinyl on my lounge stereo system and wonder why I don't spend more time with it. I think I know. Sometimes I get up in the middle of the night and would listen to music for an hour before I hit the bed again. That's when I need headphone system otherwise the cops will come knocking on my door. 🙂

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Bengineer said:

Bifrost 2 to Jotuneheim 2.

 

Done and dusted.

 

Can't wait to get Yggdrasil for the Schiit stack with Mjolnir 2 I've been waiting for. I'm a sucker for looks and sound. That will be a nice stack together.

 

11 minutes ago, elisix_ said:

@Odyssey the RME I have is the latest one. RME ADI-2 (V2 4493). The difference between this and the version prior is an updated remote and DAC (4490 to 4493). For me to switch from the RME, it's going to be when I go next level. What I mean by that is TT2 or Sonnet Morpheus like Neil has been toying with. Ares II would be a side-grade but offering a different sound to the RME.

 

As for the V281 FE, it's on sale to run out the now discontinued V28X line. I believe the key difference between the V280 and V281 is the additional pre-amp, and FE add's a basic Violectric DAC as mentioned. I don't particularly rate the included DAC when i'm comparing it to a Hugo 2 and RME ADI-2. That said, as an all-in-one, the V281 FE is an excellent value offering for $2200-$2500 used. 

 

The V281 still kicks it with amps well above that price, though some of the newer amp offerings around the 6k mark will of course top it. That is of course to be expected.

 

Thanks. Just curious and fascinated by others gear. Really no reason for me to get those gear now because of what I already have. The next upgrade will have to be plan carefully and I'm afraid it will be expensive. 🙂

 

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8 minutes ago, Odyssey said:

 Don't like the headphone jacks sticking up on top but guess I can get use to it.

 

 

I know its nit picking, but I have avoided some tube amps for this very reason. I have always been curious to get the Bottlehead crack but could never get over all the input/output jacks being on top, just is such an eye sore to me. So you can say I am a very shallow guy when it comes to aesthetics of an amp. Figaro is one of the better looking tube amps in my opinion, I probably look at it more than even listening to it haha..

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Geez. Work around it Bruc3. Just buy some right angled plugs to neaten it up!

 

Or when you build it, re-route them into the back and front.

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3 minutes ago, Bengineer said:

Geez. Work around it Bruc3. Just buy some right angled plugs to neaten it up!

 

Or when you build it, re-route them into the back and front.

 

For me it would be the Mogwai and not gonna be rebuilding the Mogwai. Might create a Godzilla.

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12 minutes ago, Bengineer said:

Or when you build it, re-route them into the back and front.

 

I struggled to build a lego disney frozen character for my daughter, and you think I can re-route some thingy on a bottlehead amp, yeah nah dont think so.

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1 hour ago, Bengineer said:

As an all in one?

 

Not too fussed really.

 

I suppose having a good amp section is my priority. My Burson Play is ok but limited to USB input and OTL tubes don't play nice with the Clears. If I can find a good separate amp, then I'm happy to use a cheap spare Topping DAC in the meantime and upgrade at a later date.

 

25 minutes ago, BlueOceanBoy said:

Hi Chromancer - it's not clear if you need just an amp or DAC/amp. I'd suggest Topping A90 or Schiit Jotunheim/Lyr 3 for amp duties and then they could be combined for Topping with D90 (+/- MQA) and either Modi Multibit or BiFrost 2 with Schiit (or just add a MB module to either Jot or Lyr 3). To me, both manufacturers offer great value for money, would work well with your cans and you could go either AKM chipset with Topping or R2R (in MB format) with Schiit. Both sell well on the used market and are generally easy to buy.

 

Sorry about that. I'm mainly after a decent amp, I have DACs I can use if need be. However, if it's a really nice AIO, that's fine too, which is why I was leaning towards the Questyle units.

 

The A90 does look good,  just thought there might be something a bit nicer out there if I spend a little more. Never been keen on the Schiit stuff, not sure why, just a perception thing I think, maybe the QC issues in their early years. Guess it's time I look into their equipment a bit more.

 

Thanks!

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