Airist Audio Heron 5

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by velvetx, Nov 17, 2015.

  1. SKiring

    SKiring Friend

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    Thanks for the impressions, really helpful.

    I think this is the biggest problem here. With the amount of amplifiers out which both exceed and surpass any standard in price/performance, having a $2000 amp that has the same issues as the Hugo: jack of all trades, master of none, not even remotely worth the asking price, is something we don't need more of in the hobby.

    Of course I haven't heard the amp so I won't comment on it, but with the Val2, Carbon, BW, CH or even the Rag/Mjo2 and more exceptional price/performance counters, it's very hard to justify an amp in that price range, which objectively and subjectively doesn't seem all that impressive, even if many are saying "it doesn't do anything wrong" and "it's pretty good".
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2015
  2. thegunner100

    thegunner100 Hentai Master Chief

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    Well, it looks like the Heron 5 doesn't get any louder even when using the Yggdrasil's XLR outs. The Yggdrasil is supposed to output 4v with its balanced outs, and 2v with its SE outputs. Is it possible for the amp to somehow step-down the input voltage?

    That being said, I THINK the balanced input sounds just a tiny bit better. Like 3%. I'm not sure if I'm actually reliable hearing anything though. I know it's not the most reliable method but I'm just doing quick A/Bs using the switch on the back. It may just be due to the balanced outputs on the Yggdrasil sounding a tiny bit better since the signal doesn't have to be summed inside the dac. Either way, it's nothing to fuss over with this amp. It doesn't change my evaluation of the amp in any way,

    I think it's very brave of Airist Audio to send out a loaner unit to us, especially if they know the reputation we have around here or back on CS. They're going to get honest feedback from us, whether it's positive or negative. I hope that they learn some lessons from this, as their amp simply isn't worth $2000 in SQ or features. Airist Audio, please don't perpetuate the trend of increasingly expensive audio equipment that don't perform well.
     
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  3. Luckbad

    Luckbad Traded in a unicorn for a Corolla

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  4. kn19h7

    kn19h7 Rando

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    Isn't that what the summing circuit inside Yggdrasil is doing? Yggdrasil's SE output has lower amplitude than balanced out, because the summer's gain is configured as so.

    Regarding Heron 5, there is also chance that it probably just throwing away half of the signals like..
    [​IMG]

    edited: hopefully easier to read now..
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2015
  5. thegunner100

    thegunner100 Hentai Master Chief

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    Mmm... I want to know what the Heron 5 is doing with the balanced signal that it's getting from the Yggdrasil, since it only has a SE output. I don't think anything is being thrown away with the SE output on the Yggdrasil, but someone would need to confirm or correct me.
     
  6. kn19h7

    kn19h7 Rando

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    To clarity, that "throw signal away" comment was meant for Heron5..
     
  7. Colgin

    Colgin Friend

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    I only heard this amp relatively briefly at the NY fall meet, so meet conditions and all that . . . But I was really underwhelmed with this amp, particularly given the price and I think thegunner100's comments are pretty spot on. I tried the Heron with my Oppo PM-2 which is very efficient and still felt the need to really crank the volume knob. The sound was not bad but not particularly engaging either. Far better was the Lyr 2 I heard for a fraction of the price. At $2,000 price point you really have a lot of good options too.

    The people from Airist all seemed genuinely nice and I wish them well, but this product seems to fall short. That said, there were some DIY amp guys at the meet who I spoke with and who seemed to enjoy the amp and after speaking to the designer like what they were trying to do with this. So, there are some other opinions on this out there even if they have not yet been voiced at SBAF.
     
  8. Maxx134

    Maxx134 Dunning–Kruger effect poster boy

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    I hate to be negative here, but only 4 transistors per side valued at less than $1.50 retail each and I believe half of them non-operational due to shunted missing electrolytics and extra heavy resistors laid over what looks like one of the transistor legs.

    Sorry but even if it never had power issue,
    It would still be worth $500 to me,
    as I can get a nice dac/amp with more features for that.

    The oppo HA1 I owned destroys this many times over.

    Again I feel bad to give the harsh news.
     
  9. thegunner100

    thegunner100 Hentai Master Chief

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    Hmm, how do you know how much the transistors cost? (I don't even know what one even looks like)

    There are still some unanswered questions about the amp. Airist hasn't posted anything on the HF thread either.
     
  10. Maxx134

    Maxx134 Dunning–Kruger effect poster boy

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    I was describing only the power transistors,
    Not the nice looking group of smaller transistors huddled in four groups on board.

    Why would a single-ended design have four Similar mirrored groups on the board?
    That to me aluded to a "balanced" design .
     
  11. thegunner100

    thegunner100 Hentai Master Chief

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    I get the feeling that if they attend the next NY head-fi meet, it's going to be pretty awkward when I see them.
     
  12. Maxx134

    Maxx134 Dunning–Kruger effect poster boy

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    I looked up the power transistors.
    Not sure about their choice but they must have their reasons.
     
  13. Maxx134

    Maxx134 Dunning–Kruger effect poster boy

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    I am not one to bother.
    If they can get more nice reviews and sales, more power to them.
    But no way I would let a friend I know buy one.
    :)
     
  14. sphinxvc

    sphinxvc Gear Master (retired)

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    You're this guy, right?

    [​IMG]

    Have at him, Airist.
     
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  15. thegunner100

    thegunner100 Hentai Master Chief

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    @velvetx, are you bringing the amp to the Bay Area or OC meet?
     
  16. velvetx

    velvetx Gear Master West/Vendor Spotlight Moderator

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    Probably both as I think I get this on 12/24.
     
  17. thegunner100

    thegunner100 Hentai Master Chief

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    Cool. I'm not sure if it'll actually arrive on the 24th since it's Christmas Eve but you should get it early next week I hope. I'm looking forward to hearing what the West Coast people have to say about it.
     
  18. Luckbad

    Luckbad Traded in a unicorn for a Corolla

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    They just dropped the price to $999.
     
  19. Pyruvate

    Pyruvate Friend

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    Pretty steep price drop.
     
  20. thegunner100

    thegunner100 Hentai Master Chief

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    Actually... they have a promo code, CANJAM2016. Drops the price down to $163 wtf? LOL.
     
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