The All Purpose Advice Thread

Discussion in 'Advice Threads' started by Marvey, Sep 26, 2015.

  1. LSW

    LSW Rando

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    Can anyone recommend a portable DAC/Amp combo that can power a Mr. Speakers AEON? My smartphone, the Pixel XL, doesn't anywhere near the power to drive the Aeon's loudly. I want something for my bedroom that can also be portable. My headroom Micro stack, while portable in theory, has never been used with batteries, and frankly I don't want to mess around unhooking it and lugging around those substantial bricks a lot, they live at my desk. I also want something with a low output impedance so that I can pair it with any HP/IEM without modifying their frequency response (my phone is 5 ohms output impedance, too high).

    Is the LH Labs Go2pro still something that the Best Audio Friends recommend for a portable DAC/Amp? I've read through the thread and am a bit confused about the availability of it and how sever the quality control/customer services isues have been. It seems like their products break a lot, but on the other hand it seems as if people like the ones that work right. Was also looking at the JDS labs C5D, but some of their products seems not too fondly thought of on here.
     

  2. pandather

    pandather Acquaintance

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    Hi, I'm getting a pair of Sennheiser HD800's. I currently have a modded HD650, Asgard 2, and Mimby. Currently I feel the Asgard 2 doesn't pair all that well with the HD650, and I feel it won't drive the HD800's well at all. I am thinking of selling the Asgard 2 and getting a Schiit Vali 2, Valhalla 2, or trying to import a Laconic Night Blues Mini somehow. Any recommendations/advice? The Vali 2 would stack nicely with my Mimby, but I'm worried it won't have enough resolution for the HD800's. I'm hoping not to spend more than $300.
    Thanks!

    Addendum:
    I went to a mini-meet a few days ago and listened to my HD650's and the HD800 on a few amps. I really liked the Bottlehead Mainline on my HD650, but I never did a real comparison on the amps with the HD800. I think I'd prefer something warmer though, as vocals on the HD800 sounded thin (or just kind of wrong) in comparison to my HD650. I'm also willing to mod them once I get them and find out what I would like to change.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
  3. zonto

    zonto Friend

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  4. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    The HD800 does sound a bit thin and strident, by default. First order of business is to modify it somewhat, generally, to get rid of that ~6kHz spike and also bring the mids up a touch. That will give you a much wider range of options, rather than having to fixate on overly-gooey amps.
     
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  5. a44100Hz

    a44100Hz Friend

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    Fulla 2? I haven't tried the Geek Out stuff, but I know people like them. And the Dragonfly, I think... you'll have to search around for more info.
     
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  6. Grahad2

    Grahad2 Friend

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    I think overall the LHLabs stuff and the Schiit Fulla 2 are well received. Out of 2 LHLabs items only 1 has died (Geek Pulse), with the GO450 still alive, and both have been with me for quite some time.
     
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  7. pandather

    pandather Acquaintance

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    I did check out those threads but they leave me indecisive. I feel the Asgard 2 with the modded HD650 sounds too congested (even with the mimby) and in my face. It doesn't immerse me in the environment of the music that I felt with the Mainline. It just felt lifeless in comparison.

    I will definitely end up modifying it if it'll fix the vocals. I preferred the HD650's tone but I love the soundstage, imaging, and resolution the HD800 has. If I could fix the vocals the HD800 would be the clear winner in my case.
     
  8. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    A modded HD650 still tends to sound better than a modded HD800 in many setups, mind. While it's slightly different tradeoffs, don't imagine that just because the 800 costs more, that it's an "upgrade".
     
  9. a44100Hz

    a44100Hz Friend

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    @pandather I personally find the SDR/cork modded HD800 to sound grainy and unnatural compared to my modded 650. The sense of detail and separation is nice but feels gimmicky and the lack of low end body weight basically ruins the experience of listening for me. I imagine the unmodded 800 is even worse.
     
  10. pandather

    pandather Acquaintance

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    I am aware of this, I plan to keep my HD650's as well. Tonally the HD650 is perfect, but with my setup it is just too congested. I love the sound of my modded Pioneer SP-BS22LR speakers (though they are not very resolving in comparison to the modded HD650), but I won't be able to play them loud anymore. Going to the HD650 just doesn't give me the level of immersion that my speakers do. I expect to listen to them interchangeably.

    Thank you for your impressions, have you tried any other mods? I'm not sure how they'll fare against the HD650's with budget gear. My dream amp is building a Torpedo 3, but it's just not viable for me right now, and Beezar stopped selling diy kits. :(
     
  11. a44100Hz

    a44100Hz Friend

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    @pandather it's hard if not impossible to beat the modded 650 in performance / price ratio. If I was going to spend money in the $1000 range, I would get speakers. (Which is what I did.) Headphones will always have tradeoffs. The 650 is intimate but congested. The 800 is spacious but unemotional. But with my Genelec monitors I don't feel I'm missing anything.
     
  12. LSW

    LSW Rando

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    Well, I got impulsive and ended up throwing out my portable requirement and buying a Jotunheim because the onboard headphone output on my wife's laptop conveniently stopped working last night :) . Marvey's measuremets thread on it put me over the top on the impulse buy. I "gave" her my 10 y/o headroom Micro Amp/DAC stack so she can continue listening to her preferred headphone, my 20 year old beyer DT-250 80 ohms, lol.

    Anyway, this is my first foray into the balanced world.....so of course now I need a balanced cable. I'm probably going to get one for the Aeon first, maybe HD800 later. Any cable recommendations?

    Not even sure if it's something I should concern myself with trying, or if the jotunheim is optimized for balanced or normal output.
     
  13. a44100Hz

    a44100Hz Friend

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    Don't stress about the balanced out. It may provide better dynamics for certain cans, but it won't be night and day differences. Use whichever jack you already have for your headphones, and you can get a 4 pin XLR cable to experiment with at some point.
     
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  14. ibzrg1570

    ibzrg1570 Almost "Made"

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    Don't use Jotunheim with HD800, balanced or not. You'll have a bad time.
     
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  15. LSW

    LSW Rando

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    Yeah, I've read through the threads on HD800 amps and it seems like people recommend using it with tubes, not solid state, and I'm just not sure that's a rabbit hole I want to go down, may end up just selling it instead. I imagine the jot w/ hd800 will sound like the other low output impedance solid state stuff I've played the hd800 through, which is bright and a bit bass light, albeit with very accurate vocal timbre and wide/tall soundstage. I'll know soon enough.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017 at 11:36 AM
  16. Rthomas

    Rthomas Friend

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    Hi Guys,

    As my daughter is now 10 months old and is good at pulling out the tubes of my Mojo 2 (when switched off and cool of course :D) I feel the need to go solid state.

    Spritzer of Mjolnir Audio has an updated Dynalo for sale for $650. A few questions:

    Are his builds high quality? Has anybody here bought from him?
    Will the Dynalo do justice as a Mojo 2 replacement (I only need to drive the HD650s). I don't need the tube warmth but I don't want to lose the Mojo's punchiness.

    Any thoughts?

    Thank you.
     
  17. ButtUglyJeff

    ButtUglyJeff Friend

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    LISST?
     
  18. jexby

    jexby Raised by Carthusian Monks - Friend

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    dude WTH. set boundaries, lock doors, train and educate.
    having had a variety of tube amps from ages 0-6 with my kid, please edjimicate these youngsters:
    1. stay out of Daddy's listening room or else.
    2. only handle tubes if wearing nitrile gloves.
    3. Daddy keeps his tube amp since SS isn't as spacious or glorious in tone.
    :D
     
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  19. Grahad2

    Grahad2 Friend

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  20. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    Nah, to keep the kids out their cage needs to be made of metal bars.
     
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