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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.

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



Since Sennheiser has allowed Drop to make the HD8xx, do you think it means  Sennheiser will be releasing a new TOTL headphone soon the HD900?

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32 minutes ago, bruc3 said:

Since Sennheiser has allowed Drop to make the HD8xx, do you think it means  Sennheiser will be releasing a new TOTL headphone soon the HD900?

I don't think so. Their consumer (non studio/pro) division has been losing money for years. They cut a lot of manufacturing staff and the R+D budget went on wireless and sub $500 portfolio. Trying to compete in the gaming and young adult segment and just losing market share. Poor strategy. No R+D on audiophile because that's not where the money/volume is. I hear they've been pushing back on discounting at distributor level to maintain margins. Suspect they've got a lot of inventory in parts and WIP (work in progress) that they want to shift off their books prior to the sale. Who's going to buy them though? Not enough IP, no pipeline, just the name which probably means little to their intended target market. 

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5 hours ago, elisix_ said:

Maybe a WA2 replacement ? 

when looking to service an hd800/hd800s/hd8xx (?) there is no need for a replacement for the wa2.

 

like a puppy - it's for life :)

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5 hours ago, Ccollins said:

when looking to service an hd800/hd800s/hd8xx (?) there is no need for a replacement for the wa2.

 

like a puppy - it's for life :)

 

You are probably right. I should really looks at tubes for my WA2. I haven't dabbled yet.

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Question: i have hd800, th900 and he1000 on hand.  should i go with wa6se or wa2 ? or save up for wa22?

 

PS: want a tube amp with really warm sound

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1 hour ago, skyliner34 said:

Question: i have hd800, th900 and he1000 on hand.  should i go with wa6se or wa2 ? or save up for wa22?

 

PS: want a tube amp with really warm sound

Wa22

 

wa2 is best with high impedance hps. Silky smooth sound. Great option if you were building your system for the hd800 only, as i initially did. 

wa6se i did not find it that tubey at all when i demoed it years ago. A bit too vibrant for my liking when looking at a tube amp. 

wa22 is a very versatile amp that you can tube roll with your preferences in mind but always with some level of tubeness in the offering. Works with so many hps.

 

here’s an old chart from woo:

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/56a27b6e2399a3d8d9bfa52a/t/5aa9869271c10bd74a298017/1521059475471/wooaudio_amplifier_comparisons.pdf

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1 hour ago, Ccollins said:

Wa22

 

wa2 is best with high impedance hps. Silky smooth sound. Great option if you were building your system for the hd800 only, as i initially did. 

wa6se i did not find it that tubey at all when i demoed it years ago. A bit too vibrant for my liking when looking at a tube amp. 

wa22 is a very versatile amp that you can tube roll with your preferences in mind but always with some level of tubeness in the offering. Works with so many hps.

 

here’s an old chart from woo:

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/56a27b6e2399a3d8d9bfa52a/t/5aa9869271c10bd74a298017/1521059475471/wooaudio_amplifier_comparisons.pdf

 

Thanks for the tips. i think i will aim for wa2. Cheers 

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3 hours ago, skyliner34 said:

Question: i have hd800, th900 and he1000 on hand.  should i go with wa6se or wa2 ? or save up for wa22?

 

PS: want a tube amp with really warm sound

Tricky this. WA22 is the warmest IMO. WA6se the most linear and brighter. Lots of people prefer the WA2 in this lineup. As  @Ccollins rightly says, WA2 is better for higher impedance HPs. However, your HE1K will probably sound better on WA22, especially with better tubes. That goes for all Woo though. Stock tubes are really only ok sounding. WA2 is a great amp for the money. Cheaper still is the Schiit Audio Valhalla 2. Better "warmer" tube amps also include Bottlehead Crack/Mainline. Elekit 8200 is getting some love here too. YMMV. Try as many as you can. Which DAC are you using?

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10 minutes ago, bruc3 said:

Showdown of 2 entry level OTL's. Only 1 will stay.

 

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I guess just send me the crack once it loses haha.

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5 hours ago, skyliner34 said:

 

Thanks for the tips. i think i will aim for wa2. Cheers 

You may find the th900 may not be suited to wa2. You nay want to demo it first
my he1000se works pretty well not ideal but pretty ok) with my wa2

 

when i started buying extra headphones (after my hd800) i had to buy a second amp.

eg lcd2 was okay, but not ideal with wa2.
utopias were just ok. Elears and empyreand were way too bloated in the bottom end. 
 

many people start with wa2 and later upgrade to wa22 and even later wa5le

 

Billy Jesse Ross at addicted to audio said to me in my early days that if i wanted an amp for my hd800 i should go the wa2 but if i wanted an amp for the wa2 and others go the wa22. Time told me he was spot on
 

i really like the wa2 for the hd800. It’s easily better than any solid state that I have heard it with, including my niimbus us4. 
If you go the wa2 you may later want to go the wa22 or get a solid state amp for other hps - and that’s also an option i went purely because i like my hd800 better out of my wa2 than the wa22 i demoed a couple of times and I didn’t want to end up with two tube amps

 

all the best

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28 minutes ago, Bengineer said:

I guess just send me the crack once it loses haha.

 

Done!! The crack looks surprisingly prettier in real life, I quite like the wood base and it takes up a lot less desk real estate vs Figaro. Need more time to decide which I prefer, but the Crack is really impressive to me for the price, but then so is the Figaro.

 

23 minutes ago, barbz127 said:

Very interested in your comparison here along with how the heat generated differs between them

 

I can say for heat generation, the Figaro runs much hotter, I can feel the heat from it more from my sitting distance and also chassis is much much hotter to touch than the Crack. Can probably fry an egg on the Figaro lol.

 

Sonic impressions to come later.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Ccollins said:

You may find the th900 may not be suited to wa2. You nay want to demo it first
my he1000se works pretty well not ideal but pretty ok) with my wa2

 

when i started buying extra headphones (after my hd800) i had to buy a second amp.

eg lcd2 was okay, but not ideal with wa2.
utopias were just ok. Elears and empyreand were way too bloated in the bottom end. 
 

many people start with wa2 and later upgrade to wa22 and even later wa5le

 

Billy Jesse Ross at addicted to audio said to me in my early days that if i wanted an amp for my hd800 i should go the wa2 but if i wanted an amp for the wa2 and others go the wa22. Time told me he was spot on
 

i really like the wa2 for the hd800. It’s easily better than any solid state that I have heard it with, including my niimbus us4. 
If you go the wa2 you may later want to go the wa22 or get a solid state amp for other hps - and that’s also an option i went purely because i like my hd800 better out of my wa2 than the wa22 i demoed a couple of times and I didn’t want to end up with two tube amps

 

all the best

Thanks mate,  mine one is he1000 v1 is it make much difference? i am using hd dac1 atm it 's ok for my 3 hps. just want to get something  have warm sound.

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8 hours ago, BlueOceanBoy said:

Tricky this. WA22 is the warmest IMO. WA6se the most linear and brighter. Lots of people prefer the WA2 in this lineup. As  @Ccollins rightly says, WA2 is better for higher impedance HPs. However, your HE1K will probably sound better on WA22, especially with better tubes. That goes for all Woo though. Stock tubes are really only ok sounding. WA2 is a great amp for the money. Cheaper still is the Schiit Audio Valhalla 2. Better "warmer" tube amps also include Bottlehead Crack/Mainline. Elekit 8200 is getting some love here too. YMMV. Try as many as you can. Which DAC are you using?

i only using hd dac1 atm. its kind of entry level for dac/amp

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8 hours ago, BlueOceanBoy said:

Elekit 8200 is getting some love here too.

 

Having Elekit 8200, Wa22 and La Figaro 339i... my preference  1) Elekit 8200  2) La Figaro 339i  3) Wa22.

 

All with the best tubes. These days I'm using just Elekit 8200 / 8500 while waiting for Odyssey to be built.

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Auralic Taurus Mk2 arrived since yesterday and I put it to the workout with v280 and Bifrost 2. If looking for a solid state, you need not go further than these 2.

 

 

IMG_1920.jpg

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It was hard for me to decide on these 2 amps but after a day, my ears got better accustomed to the sonic signatures and I have to give the Taurus the nod.

 

Taurus - airy, micro details abound, wide soundstage and a sweet slightly warm tone, almost leaning on transparency. Definitely go with the full balanced mode. It's a very powerful beast. I have no doubt it will drive the Susvara and He6se well. Great preamp as well.

 

v280 - hard hitting, warmer and more close in. Just as powerful but less power than the Taurus if ultimate power is important to you.

 

Both are great amps at this price (and even at higher price points) with my headphones of HE1000se and LCD-3f.

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Nice one Matt, glad you are enjoying the bull!

When I had both of them I also found it hard to decide which one I liked more. The head said V280 but the heart said Taurus?

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Had an awesome meet with Hugo @Indie Hi-Fi yesterday. Primarily to do A-B on Antipodes K and S series streamer/players. We ran two identical systems with Sonnet Hermes and Morpheus and then K30 vs S40 (+/- S20 reclocker and S60 power). MQA vs Non MQA in the Morpheus DAC too. Used the beautiful sounding Auris Nirvana with Psvane EL34 and HE1Kse and LCD4. Jazz vocal and folk were the main genres. 3 Hrs of audio Nirvana later what did we learn?

 

  • Antipodes make some really nicely built and sounding kit. Lots of good inputs/outputs and nice interface. Yes it is better to me than running a Roon Nuc (and I have a pretty good fanless one). Wider soundstage, instrument separation is better, more lively with Antipodes
  • I like the synergy of the Sonnet Hermes and Morpheus with I2S. The Antipodes S series stack really gives the K30 a run for the money
  • We found it hard to tell between MQA and non MQA in general
  • Both LCD4 and particularly HE1Kse sounded brilliant on Nirvana. A couple of times I had the raised hairs on the forearm thing going and smiling like an audio-fool!
  • Next weekend will hopefully bring a shootout between Mogwai SE, Bigger Ben and Auris Nirvana with Sonnet and Antipodes. Now that will be something!

Check out @Bengineer's Blue Dragon headphone cables. Also tried out his new Mogami RCAs - brilliant.

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49 minutes ago, Bengineer said:

Noice! Some serious gear there!

 

How'd the cheapo RCAs fair?

I don't see anything cheap about them at all! Sonically they're on a par with the Analysis Plus solo crystal. Now that may be the resolution of my system or my ears! YMMV.

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Alright here is my impressions of the Figaro vs the Crack.

 

Originally when I auditioned the Crack I thought I may have liked it more than the Figaro, but now I am not so sure.


I was pairing with my CMA12 as the DAC and Sen HD800S headphones.

 

BH Crack + speedball, with RCA 6as7g +  5814:

- brighter sound, bit more detailed

- More forward and aggressive sound, more similar to my solid state than the Figaro

- nice bass impact

- dynamic sound (more obvious to hear the quiet and louder passages in music)

 

La Figaro 339, with Mullard 6080 + EF86:

- more smoother sound, I guess the word I am looking for is euphoric sound
- bass impact seems roughly equal,  but I feel the Figaro goes bit deeper
- Has a bit more reverb sound going on, noticeable on the vocals etc.
- At times the Figaro seem to have a bit more holographic sound

 

Both of these amps have:

- Nice "organic" sound you can say when compared to my SS CMA12 amp.

- Both have wider/deeper soundstage than my CMA12, probably the Figaro had slightly the widest, but bit difficult for me to tell mostly.

- Seems they both have punchy bass and cant say I feel one is better than the other

 

I need to spend more time with these and listen to more music. I would say I would be happy with any of these amps.

 

But if I had to choose now purely based on sound, I think Figaro is my pick, but not by alot. BH Crack is damn impressive for the price I think, and comes in smaller package with only need for 2 tubes, also I really dig the wood look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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@Odyssey and @xtiva2000 will be coming over to my place soon so maybe I can get some of their impressions too, see if its in line with mine or not.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, BlueOceanBoy said:

Both LCD4 and particularly HE1Kse sounded brilliant on Nirvana. A couple of times I had the raised hairs on the forearm thing going and smiling like an audio-fool!

 

You must have a great time Neil with those amazing gear. So those headphones did raised hairs on the forearm with the Nirvana? 

 

When I tried LCD4 with Nirvana at Minidisc several moons ago, my head was bobbing with the LCD4 on it. Quite an amazing feat no less ! I have not heard HE1Kse on Nirvana though and glad you have a surreal experience with it, from the sound of it. 

 

I have a custom amp being build in June / July 2021 with similar parameters and configuration as Nirvana, using custom ordered Sowter transformer, Mundorf caps, Yamamoto sockets and utilising my Telefunken EL11 / EL12 spez tubes in addition to the whole array of KT150, KT120, KT88, KT77, KT66, 6L6GC, 6550, 807 as power tubes. Preamp tubes are EL11 or 6SL7 or 6SN7 or 12au7 / 12at7 / 12ax7.

 

Today, @xtiva2000 brought over Mcchanson KT150 amp for me to audition. It's a short audition and my thoughts are captured here.

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/eric-mcchanson-headphone-amp.718350/post-16192442

 

Lastly a visit to @bruc3 place with @xtiva2000 . Bruce was very welcoming and I get to test out La Figaro 339 vs Crack with Speedball. Crack had a Tung Sol 5998 and I am not sure what driver. La Figaro 339 had Mullard EF86 as drivers and Mullard 6080 as power tubes. I'll keep this short. Crack is clear, engaging and sounded good but switching over to La Figaro 339, it's a no contest. LF339 wins hands down. From soundstage, impact, tube sonics and just musical engagement, it's all in LF339 court. Even xtiva agreed. I agree with what Bruce posted in a few posts above regarding LF339 vs Crack. He is pretty spot on.

 

Now to revert to watching the Australian Open.

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1 hour ago, Odyssey said:

I have a custom amp being build in June / July 2021 with similar parameters and configuration as Nirvana, using custom ordered Sowter transformer, Mundorf caps, Yamamoto sockets and utilising my Telefunken EL11 / EL12 spez tubes in addition to the whole array of KT150, KT120, KT88, KT77, KT66, 6L6GC, 6550, 807 as power tubes. Preamp tubes are EL11 or 6SL7 or 6SN7 or 12au7 / 12at7 / 12ax7.

Wow - that sounds awesome and I bet it will too! Who is making it for you? Tomas at Ultrasonic studios? Or Donald North?

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Tomas is doing it. It will be very different from Oblivion and Citadel. Odyssey is based on old school amp design. Mogwai Se and Auris Nirvana are old school design too. Tomas is one of the pioneers in doing extensive modifications of the Little Dot Mark 6 so it's nothing new for him to produce a SET amp. Like Mogwai Se and Auris Nirvana, Odyssey is a SE amp. xlr balanced in and out are added for convenience only.

 

Donald North only makes Stratus and Stellaris. He doesn't cater for unique custom amps. Tomas is special in that he is very keen in this project and answers all my queries lightning fast. From chassis selection to what type of caps to use. He even offered ideas on driver(s) selection. The choice of using EL11 is his suggestion as I have many NOS pairs of those Telefunken tubes. EL11 or 6SL7 or 6SN7 or 12au7 or 12at7 or 12ax7 - use individually. You can use them together but that just corrupts the tone and add distortions.

 

Most crucial is the choice of power and output transformer in a SET amp, the quality of transformers dictate the SQ outcome. Sowter UK are very well known transformer maker. Even more unique than Lundahl.

 

The choice of using Yamamoto sockets is mine and will cost about 65 euro a piece and there are 6 sockets. It was also Tomas who suggested using tube rectifiers instead of solid state rectifier. Leaving the transformers exposed naked was also his idea as it would be in keeping with the old school design. As the Telefunken tubes are grey in colour, I finally went with Tomas idea of using a silver chassis as used in Citadel. Using a walnut wooden chassis would be a clash of colours. It was 2 weeks of exchange of ideas going back and forth. Now the planning stage is finished and I'll just wait for June to come by for the build to commence.

 

This will be the last tube amp or solid state for that matter. After that I will just listen to music. It's time I move on from being so engrossed in this hobby. ?

 

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As much as I like the Auralic Taurus Mk2, I much prefer La Figaro 339i. Guess I am a tube amp lover for it's euphonic tone. So the Taurus will be sold. If you are interested in it, PM me before I list it in a few days time. At the price I will list it, it will be sold very quickly for an almost mint unit. Bought it from Franky. Most likely the v280 will be sold too. 

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