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1 hour ago, Tony B said:

So if you had to pick one to live with, what would it be?

Hey Tony - I think that comes down to a few criteria. What else is in the chain. Cost. Functionality. Preference for a certain level of detail or warmth. On the value front, A22. Lovely dual mono AKM 4499. Top end TT2 + HMS - detail and power. I am using both the A22 and Sonnet right now. So, probably Sonnet if I had to pick only one.

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minunat    

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

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

Very thoughtful answer Neil. Personal preference and system synergy plays a big part here. For sure looks and sex appeal, it's the Chord stack whether in silver or black. Not 50 shades of grey.

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6 hours ago, BlueOceanBoy said:

Hey Tony - I think that comes down to a few criteria. What else is in the chain. Cost. Functionality. Preference for a certain level of detail or warmth. On the value front, A22. Lovely dual mono AKM 4499. Top end TT2 + HMS - detail and power. I am using both the A22 and Sonnet right now. So, probably Sonnet if I had to pick only one.

Neil, any chance of some comparisons (from what you can recall) between the morpheus and the matrix x sabre pro (which I currently have on my desktop) and hugo tt2 (which i have demoed) ideally without mscaler)?

 

cheers

peter t

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8 hours ago, Ray H said:

Has anybody heard the Auris HA2 SF ?

8B2CE1E4-6C12-49F7-8C43-93DD048CB94C.jpeg

 

Auris wooden amps looks is starting to grow on me. When I first saw the Nirvana at Minidisc, I didn't think too much of it but up close and personal, it is very well constructed. The leather and wood combination is very classy after it settles in your mind. All 3 knobs are very smooth to turn. The amp is really not that heavy but not too light either. Even the Euterpe is very well constructed. As an all in one, it is very good. I don't have a chance to compare it side by side with my Questyle CMA 12 but it sounded great with LCD-4 and 3f, particularly the latter.

 

I wonder how the Headonia 2A3 sound like. ?

https://www.aurisaudio.shop/collections/headphone-amps/products/headonia-2a3

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10 hours ago, Ccollins said:

Neil, any chance of some comparisons (from what you can recall) between the morpheus and the matrix x sabre pro (which I currently have on my desktop) and hugo tt2 (which i have demoed) ideally without mscaler)?

The Matrix is one of the best ESS interpretations I've come across. Analytical without glare. Great functionality and value. 

Sonnet brings the same level of detail, better instrument separation and more of an analogue feel. Generally, there's a trade-off with detail vs analogue but Sonnet nails it.

TT2 is all about the detail! It's precise like a scalpel that can make some tracks unpalatable. The fact it has a very powerful HP amp on board is a bonus. Adding the HMS, it scales well in terms of detail and imaging.

They are all well made and present those different signatures at three price points.

I had the Matrix with the HPA4 and HMS/TT2 was probably only 5% better - for headphones - and a lot more $$. Looks awesome though.

 

HPA4 - brilliant build quality, touch screen and intuitive interface. Powerful. One of the best volume pots I’ve ever used. Makes A-B so easy with 4 inputs. This is the most linear HP I've used. Each subtle but distinct volume change brings the same response across the whole range. Most amps have this sweet spot where everything comes together in terms of detail and musicality, often that can be at higher than safe levels. Something to do with the treble we hear apparently. In comparison, HPA4 can almost sound flat. It's not thin like some amps at low volume but flat as in linear. It presents the whole spectrum. When you increase the volume this response is linear, the whole spectrum goes up as one. Now, SS amps are better at this than tube amps in general but when you get used to it, it's really good. I like the HPA4 with LCD-3. You'd think it might be too much and an orthodynamic would be a better match and something like Utopia responds really well. But they (HPA4+LCD3) seem to work in parallel. The planar responding to the measured power. I'd love to hear LCD-4 or HE1Kse on it. DAC wise, I have used Matrix X Sabre Pro with HPA4 and it gave some awesome detail but I prefer an R2R DAC like Sonnet Morpheus. That brings detail and an analogue feel. 

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21 minutes ago, Ray H said:

Nice, makes me excited to receive my HPA-4.

 

@BlueOceanBoy did you get the remote with your HPA-4 ?

I think you'll love it Ray. What are you partnering it with? I did get the remote but I never use them!

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Thanks Neil, I’m only just starting to get into Head Fi.

 

I have an in Innuos Zenith mkiii server, a matrix element x as a source also. I have a Kennerton Atlas headphone amp/DAC for lounge room with Focal Clear.

 

The main headphone equipment is Focal utopia, lcd 3f with the hpa4 and I’m thinking of the Auris 2f when it’s available also.

 

The only other thing will be a closed back headphone, but I’m not sure which one as yet.

Edited by Ray H
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HPA4 is in my roadmap but it's 6 months away because I want to soak in my high end amps here first. I dare not call them mid-fi anymore otherwise @Bengineer will never make that speaker taps cable for me. ?

 

LCD-4 is in my roadmap too and maybe V590 to replace the v280. Another monster tube amp like the Nirvana or Mogwai Se and I'm done.

 

Or maybe the smurf Donald amp or a custom tube amp that uses these Telefunken EL11, EL12, EL12 spez in the picture below.

 

IMG-3261.JPG

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1 hour ago, Ray H said:

Thanks Neill, I’m only just starting to get into Head Fi.

 

I have an in Innuos Zenith mkiii server, a matrix element x as a source also. I have a Kennerton Atlas headphone amp/DAC for lounge room with Focal Clear.

 

The main headphone equipment is Focal utopia, lcd 3f with the hpa4 and I’m thinking of the Auris 2f when it’s available also.

 

The only other thing will be a closed back headphone, but I’m not sure which one as yet.

For someone starting that is all quality gear!

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44 minutes ago, Bengineer said:

Beyer T5p Gen 2 be up for sale tonight friends.

 

What I want is a mint LCD-4. If you do whisper it to my ears only. I sold off a 4 months old Beyer T1.2 for $750 and includes a Beyer balance cable.

 

Someone buy my Questyle CMA 12 - fire sale because I want to buy a dedicated dac - maybe Denafrips Ares II or the Gustard A22 that Neil has. What other option for dac not more than $1500? It's a 2nd dac so no need to be super good because Yggdrasil is super good to me already. 

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After having the taste of what R2R DAC can do to your music especially sound stage,  Ares should be on top of your shopping liat

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Did you know I was considering Ares I when I was getting Yggdrasil. Well I was actually wanting to buy Gumby but when I went to A2A, I heard Yggdrasil and the rest is history.

 

and now Neil suggest Gustard A22 which I’m very keen too because I love features ??

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1 hour ago, xtiva2000 said:

After having the taste of what R2R DAC can do to your music especially sound stage,  Ares should be on top of your shopping liat

When  you get an Ares II,  the top of a wish list will be a Terminator Plus ?

Edited by Niktech
Grammar
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8 minutes ago, Odyssey said:

I do not wish a Terminator Plus because Yggdrasil is Arnie. ?

 

I dunno....wait until you hear the Ares II in your system ?

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  @Odyssey  I can entice you with my R2R DAC :) little different but similar .. but it will compliment your MJ2 or WA22 :)

 

I have fallen love with R2R since my DAC... especially in NOS mode ..

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Holo Spring II is good but no better than Yggdrasil. Torq spoke well of both. In fact Torq love Yggdrasil so much, he started a thread called 'Life after Yggdrasil' ..... basically there's no life after Yggdrasil. ?

 

Having said that, I am eager to have Ares II as a back up dac. Like Robin is to Batman and you know who drives the Batmobile.

Edited by Odyssey
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12 hours ago, BlueOceanBoy said:

The Matrix is one of the best ESS interpretations I've come across. Analytical without glare. Great functionality and value. 

Sonnet brings the same level of detail, better instrument separation and more of an analogue feel. Generally, there's a trade-off with detail vs analogue but Sonnet nails it.

TT2 is all about the detail! It's precise like a scalpel that can make some tracks unpalatable. The fact it has a very powerful HP amp on board is a bonus. Adding the HMS, it scales well in terms of detail and imaging.

They are all well made and present those different signatures at three price points.

I had the Matrix with the HPA4 and HMS/TT2 was probably only 5% better - for headphones - and a lot more $$. Looks awesome though.

 

HPA4 - brilliant build quality, touch screen and intuitive interface. Powerful. One of the best volume pots I’ve ever used. Makes A-B so easy with 4 inputs. This is the most linear HP I've used. Each subtle but distinct volume change brings the same response across the whole range. Most amps have this sweet spot where everything comes together in terms of detail and musicality, often that can be at higher than safe levels. Something to do with the treble we hear apparently. In comparison, HPA4 can almost sound flat. It's not thin like some amps at low volume but flat as in linear. It presents the whole spectrum. When you increase the volume this response is linear, the whole spectrum goes up as one. Now, SS amps are better at this than tube amps in general but when you get used to it, it's really good. I like the HPA4 with LCD-3. You'd think it might be too much and an orthodynamic would be a better match and something like Utopia responds really well. But they (HPA4+LCD3) seem to work in parallel. The planar responding to the measured power. I'd love to hear LCD-4 or HE1Kse on it. DAC wise, I have used Matrix X Sabre Pro with HPA4 and it gave some awesome detail but I prefer an R2R DAC like Sonnet Morpheus. That brings detail and an analogue feel. 

Neil thanks for that.

 

I have been enjoying the Matrix Audio X Sabre pro (non mqa) that I recently picked up.

I agree on your comments on lack of glare. A bit like the chord qutest but softer and a little less attacking in a pleasant way - at least with redbook files. Maybe the qutest would be better suited with someone into high res files and/or wanting a more detailed, "leading" sound.

 

However the metrum hex dac, let me loosely call it the baby brother/cousin of the Sonnet, just has a real sweetness that is oh so .....sweet.

Also music is just a bit, but crucially, better laid out.

 

The thing that causes me to hesitate with the Sonnet (I have not heard it yet) is some forums talk about it being too NOS in style. Too rolled off up the top. Too mid-centric in it's highlights and its strengths. I would guess you may disagree with that?

I should add one post suggested that the Sonnet was like an uber uber uber metrum hex dac. That certainly warms my heart and causes me to miss a heart beat in anticipation.

 

I also hear that using it through usb inputs is not a good idea at all - any views on that?

 

 

from previously demoing the tt2, I'm now also thinking that perhaps the hugo tt2 might bring the best of both worlds together - ie some of the sweetness of the NOS dacs of Cees R with all the detail of the Chord clan

 

6 hours ago, Bengineer said:

Beyer T5p Gen 2 be up for sale tonight friends.

also, 

Kann cube with added goodies and shure 846 with added goodies coming up in classifieds

 

I would say the Beyer with the Kann Cube would work very well together

Edited by Ccollins
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10 hours ago, Ccollins said:

The thing that causes me to hesitate with the Sonnet (I have not heard it yet) is some forums talk about it being too NOS in style. Too rolled off up the top. Too mid-centric in it's highlights and its strengths. I would guess you may disagree with that?

I should add one post suggested that the Sonnet was like an uber uber uber metrum hex dac. That certainly warms my heart and causes me to miss a heart beat in anticipation.

 

I also hear that using it through usb inputs is not a good idea at all - any views on that?

 

I have not heard the Metrum but your comments make sense. There are definitely some non Sonnet lovers out there like with most gear. I see that as NOS hating more than the Sonnet implementation but some big names like purr1n on headphone community have commented on the "softness". Maybe that's the analogue feel we talk about or the difference between delta-sigma and R2R. I hear what I hear and I like what I hear! There's more detail retrieval in the Matrix, Gustard and TT2 for sure, just "brighter" than the Sonnet, I would say in one word.

I didn't think the USB on Sonnet was that bad, I slightly preferred the coax but that was through a Matrix SPDIF. I have had the Sonnet converted by @Indie Hi-Fi to I2S to make the most of the Sonnet Hermes Roon endpoint and that is definitely better. More detail and resolution.

As always, this is a pure HeadFi setup and YMMV.

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58 minutes ago, BlueOceanBoy said:

I hear what I hear and I like what I hear!

 

Amen to that. ? I always let my cat's ears decide.

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Any thoughts on Hifiman Ananda, I would like to grab specifically a pair of planar headphones in addition to Sennheiser HD650 and HD500. The price have come down from $1299 to $999, so a good time to go down that road. Was originally looking at HE400i 2020 edition.

Neo

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They are a solid performance headphone. Comfort is good.

 

Build quality is average. Cables SUCK. Get a aftermarket one.

 

For 999 there is value there. I liked them

 

Arya is under 2k now too. If you can scrape together more, or sell some surplus gear. 

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Also. Campfire Cascade still on sale direct from ALO with bonus cable.

 

I enjoy these much much more than anything else I've heard under 2k.

 

Completely different headphone though.

 

$1000 to spend I know what I would go for :P

 

 

20210121_131754.jpg

Edited by Bengineer
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Arya is out of the question unfortunately, started with he400i 2020 and now seriously considering Ananda. At this rate I would be looking at the Hifiman equivalent of Focal Utopia, price wise. 
One has to show restraint. 
In terms of planars unless secondhand anything else I should be seriously considering?

Neo
 

I’m specifically after planar headphones, had my romances with plenty of dynamic and electrostatic headphones 

Neo

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Planar it's good to buy new, especially Hifiman. Bit of a sketchy QC still.

 

$1000 Planars 

 

LCD2 Classis

DCA Aeon / Ether

Ananda

 

Think one or two lesser known brands might do some. Sendy, Kennerton etc.

 

For me, planars are great in the next price bracket. Arya, LCD3/X, Final, HE1000 etc.

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LCD-X and LCD-3f used would be great planars. Even LCD-2f would be ok. I'm more into Audeze planar tone until Hekse came along 

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5 minutes ago, Bengineer said:

Planar it's good to buy new, especially Hifiman. Bit of a sketchy QC still.

 

 

Good so far with my LCD-3f and Hekse. Solid no issues. Finding a good pair would be a challenge. Bought my LCD-3f in tip top condition from the SNA classifieds from someone who has moved on to Empyrean. I've recently replace the LCD-3f yoke, headband and earpads and they are as new as my new LCD-X now.

 

Listening to LCD-X now with Wa22 and it's lovely. @peppy seems to prefer my LCD-X over the LCD-3f but I just happen to love both. 

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59 minutes ago, Neo said:

Any thoughts on Hifiman Ananda, I would like to grab specifically a pair of planar headphones in addition to Sennheiser HD650 and HD500. The price have come down from $1299 to $999, so a good time to go down that road. Was originally looking at HE400i 2020 edition.

Neo

I second giving Dan Clark Audio Aeons a listen too

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3 hours ago, BlueOceanBoy said:

I have not heard the Metrum but your comments make sense. There are definitely some non Sonnet lovers out there like with most gear. I see that as NOS hating more than the Sonnet implementation but some big names like purr1n on headphone community have commented on the "softness". Maybe that's the analogue feel we talk about or the difference between delta-sigma and R2R. I hear what I hear and I like what I hear! There's more detail retrieval in the Matrix, Gustard and TT2 for sure, just "brighter" than the Sonnet, I would say in one word.

I didn't think the USB on Sonnet was that bad, I slightly preferred the coax but that was through a Matrix SPDIF. I have had the Sonnet converted by @Indie Hi-Fi to I2S to make the most of the Sonnet Hermes Roon endpoint and that is definitely better. More detail and resolution.

As always, this is a pure HeadFi setup and YMMV.

Thanks heaps Neil

 

one comment that is surprised was:

There's more detail retrieval in the Matrix

 

Based on your post i definitely need to revisit the tt2 before buying another dac - if i do change dacs

 

as crazy as i might sound i might even just stick to me hex and x-sabre (for a while). 
As per last night, if i’m not thinking of “what can i upgrade next”, i do totally get into what i am actually listening to without seeking to get critical. And then I catch myself 30 minutes later going “oh, i don’t really need to change gear, do i?”

 

cheers

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14 minutes ago, BlueOceanBoy said:

I second giving Dan Clark Audio Aeons a listen too


2nd person to tell me about Dan Clark in 2 days. This is from my India’s mate and he loves it.

 

F7A8F4DF-54CD-4C74-8888-04BF874B65E6.jpeg

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