Super Best Audio Friends
The evolution of the original irreverent and irrelevant and non-authoritative site for headphone measurements, i.e. frequency response graphs, CSD waterfall plots, subjective gear reviews. Too objective for subjectivists; too subjective for objectivists
- I argue an ultimate headphone amp should drive and sound like ECP DSHA-3F. Proximity to that specific product is largely the way how I rate headamps.
- I've consistently shown my dispreference toward opamp-based headamps. Also strongly believe that excellently measuring amps are all shit. None of Heresy, Atom, 888/789 worked for me, although heresy was noticeably better than the rest.
- As of early July in 2020, Jotunheim seems regarded as a flavor of two or more years ago. I am a member of the minority group who still likes Jot over similar alternatives such as 789. Amps listed in the second bullet point were worse than Jot in one or multiple criteria. At least for the headphones I enjoy.
I will keep the subjective impressions short. While the OG Andromeda (without much tweaking and from a near zero ohm source) has a slight V-shape, the Andromeda 2020 is a dark sounding IEM. Actually quite a bit darker than the measurements below would indicate. The highs up top do sound a bit more refined, but I am not sure if this is via the tweaks since the OG Andromeda (applied to Solaris), or a function of the FR differences (more lows and less highs).
I'll start first with how it sounds and keep it short and sweet. The first thing I noticed about the Phono3 is how clear and free of veil it sounded compared to practically all other phonostage unless they were super high-end or special custom jobs designed for a specific use case. iFi says the Phono3 is direct coupled design, and it certainly sounds like it. Most phono stages will have several caps in the signal path, even disregarding the caps...
if you love music, and i mean really love it, not just as background noise - why are you still bothering with D/S converters? I feel as though there has been an increase in discussions and interest regarding D/S DACs on this forum in the past two years. I attribute this mainly to two things:
1) PRO AUDIO MEMES FOTM (AKA 50 SHADES OF GREY)
my perspective after 4 years
I know all of this has been hashed out to some extent one way or another before, but i feel like an honest and stark refresher is in order. i know there are several community members who had similar experiences to me, and i would like to ask anyone who messed around with D/S converters in the past and settled on R2R as the righteous path to share their experience.
These latest discussions are why I am super hesitant about getting folks into TTs. It's going down the rabbit hole that either leads to wonderful or severely messed-up results. It's Lucy in Sky with Diamonds and Are You Experienced. You have absolutely no idea what kind of trip it's going to be.
ON VINTAGE OR USED GEAR ... THE PHONOSTAGE ... ALL TOO EASY TO SAY VINYL IS AWESOME ... FREE IMPROVEMENTS - 10000 ADJUSTMENTS ... PHONO CARTS ... IMPERMANENCE AND OTHER CRAP
First off, this is one of the few solid state amps out there that synergizes well with HD800. no joke, even the stock HD800 was sort of listenable which really surprised me. What was even more surprising for me was that it wasn't a warmpoo amp trying to mask all the flaws of HD800, rather play to its strengths without messing up the FR too much.
The quick takeaway is that the Motu Ultralite mk4 is the bees-knees best-thing-since-sliced-bread at an affordable price point of $700. It does everything we can possibly imagine and more. It serves as an excellent DAC for the price point.
- Employs es9016s 8 channel DAC
- Excellent performance, especially considering price and size
- Dynamic Range > 130 dB This surprised me as Motu specifies 120 dB
- Gain Linearity tight to -110 dBFS then less than ± 1 dB to -130 dBFS
- Channel Crosstalk is exceptionally low with separation > 145 dB Bal and > 128 SE
- Possibly highest performance / price ratio pro audio interface existing at the time of this post
- Has earned duty in my pro audio setup replacing RME Fireface UC for most lab and studio functions
I didn't think this possible, but from the Modius' balanced outs, this Velvet Sound stuff is no longer. Or at least none of the disadvantages of the Velvet Sound (murky lows, recessed mids, soft attacks, raised last octave) but with all its advantages (resolution and expansive soundstage). Holy cow, this actually sounds like the older Modi 2 or other AKM4399, 4495 based DACs with the crisp attacks, evident mids, more palatable highs, bass textures, punchy bass even! After what seems like years, it's so nice hearing the E and A notes on a guitar not sound as they've been processed through a blender.
THD+N (db) vs Amplitude (dbFS) at 1kHz. GRN = SE, RED = BAL