Geshelli Erish Headamp

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by Vtory, Jul 6, 2020.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Building Magnis part time because it's peaceful.

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    75,201
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Padre Island CC TX
    Yup pm me address.

    Gilmore Lite with Sabre and HD600 would be torture. Bad synergies there IMO. Some people like that sound though. I think 80% of peeps at HC are into that.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 1
    • List
  2. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

    Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2016
    Likes Received:
    7,698
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Greater Philadelphia Area, PA
    [​IMG]

    I've been long thinking about why I like this amp a lot -- particularly when paired with HD650. [1]
    This eventually led me to rethink about (1) what contextual combination I identify as engaging, and more generally (2) what (personal) values I am looking for in this hobby.

    Two recent experiences -- gilmore lite2 / grado (respectively, not as a combo) -- helped me organize such thoughts.

    My preference is generally fast, tight, vivid, yet meaty presentation. FWIW the first three and the last elements have been negatively correlated (at least mildly so I believe). So, my audio choice can be described as a constrained [2] optimization. Put alternatively, I have been looking for optimal balances among mutually-contradicting values. In the realm of cost no object chains, some combos easily cross my mind. Such as SR1a driven by Accuphase high power class a or Verite driven by Ravenswood. HD600+Ravenswood to less extent. Note that I swear all those sound different.

    In the context of HD650, the paragraph above can be rephrased to "Senn presentation with proactive adoption of Grado virtues". Yup I know with any modification or equalization senn can't be grado -- and of course hd650 can't turn to hemp. But wanted to push hd650 that direction as much as possible.

    Tradeoff factored in, the above translates to "Can you accept/prefer results overly done or too much something?" [3] One thing I found myself differ from others is having a fairly generous upper limit of tolerance.

    With all those said, Erish pushed hd650 in the very direction, to the most appropriate extent I've wanted. Still not grado or raal level for sure. But all other merits Senn bring to the table taken into consideration, the combo can cut in the competition against grado, raal, zmf-based chains. THX couldn't (great black and nicer transient but too inorganic and boring for me). Gilmore not so much (resolving, richer tones, but traisient not fast enough, highs lacking vividness, lows somewhat weak, too [4]).

    Overall, Erish still drives HD650 unrivally better than anything else I heard to my liking. Reminding me some of good synergies created by HD600+Ravenswood (hd650+ravenswood lost me btw). Time to time endangered by Grado chains, yet contestable.

    Head to head thunderdome with Magnius planned. Will that serve for my hd650 needs better? IDK. We will see.

    I am also planning to experiment Hemp+Erish as I found f-hemps have the darkest highs among Grado spectrum AND erish does not tip up as I thought initially. Maybe some interesting synergy happens. Who knows.

    Footnotes
    [1] It also works with Verite Open very damn well, but I don't think that combo unrivally good any more as I liked Gilmore Lite2 tad better. When price also factored in, still Erish is my top choice though.
    [2] Constrained financially, physically, etc etc
    [3] I don't believe exact optimality easily obtainable. Instead we're likely to end up with a little less than done optimally or a little more.
    [4] Senn's bass aren't amp problem but physics. But lite2 made me a little more bother that issue.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 5
    • List
  3. purr1n

    purr1n Building Magnis part time because it's peaceful.

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    75,201
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Padre Island CC TX
    Have you had a chance to compare with Gilmore Lite yet?
     
  4. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

    Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2016
    Likes Received:
    7,698
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Greater Philadelphia Area, PA
    I did -- no, 'have been doing' is righter wording as I still throw in different tracks constantly every day.

    So far my finding below
    • Erish did a better job in hiding 650's inherent low notes (sub to mid bass) blurring. Lite2 makes me a little more bothered with this issue from its more honest bass presentation.
    • Lite2 had a noticeably better tone and timbre, but not as squared or fast decaying as I expected. It rather sounds a little slower by comparison. I couldn't find Lite2's transient keep up with opamp-based products.
    • Veil and laid back presentation more proactively lifted by Erish. Lite2 wasn't not bad at all in this respect. But that doesn't seem a strong suit.
    • Roughly any information at 3khz and above have better articulation and cooler coloration with Erish. But staging not as good as Lite2.
    • Top end more extended with tons of airs with Erish, but I'm still suspecting that's somewhat fake. Lite2 more spot on.
    • Overall, Erish led me to hear better details and finer dynamic gradation (particularly in highs) from modern tracks with complicated passages. I prefer Lite2 with the tracks with sparse but nuanced information though.
    All above from HD650. Verite Open results not that different, but all Lite2's relative weaknesses less bothering and every strength more evident.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 5
    • List
  5. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

    Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2016
    Likes Received:
    7,698
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Greater Philadelphia Area, PA
    My Erish has survived for 7 months. Nice job, Geshilli.

    Want to update some of my thoughts

    • It's now serving for the Verites only -- Magnius is taking of everything else. At this point, I can comfortably say Erish is a league or two above in many aspects I am concerned. At least for Verite-driving purposes. I am emphasizing this for good reasons. See below.
    • Apart from Verite, I've driven M200 and HD650 without major issues. Nevertheless, wasn't fully convinced with each for different reasons respectably. M200 did not like higher gains of Erish and moreover they just equate Erish's excellence enough to motivate me to escape from hassles (using 2.5mm to XLR adapter isn't very good experience).
    • HD650, on the other hand, was rather satisfying with Erish, but I ended up with liking murkier, oilier, and more V-ish presentations from Magnius. Erish+HD650 sounds too normal -- borderline boring -- to have any competitive advantages against Vertie, Hive, and things especially appealing to me.
    • In contrast, Verite (aside: I typically mean universe lamb pads equipped unless explicitly specified) can benefit from Erish's clearer yet less dauting highs. I also like Erish over Gilmore lite 2 as GL2 was occasionally too vivid and exaggerating to me with Verite. Whereas Erish per se is NEITHER non-stimulating nor forgiving product, combination with Verite has been win-win happiness for both. Erish can obtain liquidity, wetness, and some hint of organic feels where Verite can really horn sharper and cleaner vocal presentations otherwise sometimes too recessed.
    • I do believe op-amps (or SS active parts in general) do have a tendency to get sterile and simplify plankton. I'd never say Erish is immune to such issues (Ravenswood is still the only non-tube product to nail it perfectly). Na. Never. Instead, Erish did much better jobs in *curating* things. Without careful concentration, everything sounds so well-organized and better-behaved that I can forget Erish is indeed less resolving than better alternatives. After many months with Erish, the experience was good enough to start thinking I may not need every plankton recorded in the medium. For this price range, this approach makes sense to me.
    • For unknown reasons, Erish reminds me of the experience of Convert-2. Some hint of over-slamming (it does have fake bites), simplified presentation, and kinda-pushed back dimensionality. Not to mention artificially inky-blackground. Overall, Erish is still in the opamp realm, but successfully exceeded what I initially thought of opamp limitations.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 9
    • List
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2021
  6. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2018
    Likes Received:
    2,046
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    SouthernCA
    Listened Friday for 5 min with Geshlli's JNOG DAC and a JAR HD600. Won't comment on the sound too much yet as it was only a brief listening session but in short, the stack was good for $400. I would pick this amp over the 789 and JDS Element - which, as far as I know, are probably the 2 most popular "internet" SS amps ~$200. 789 is much more compressed sounding. JDS Element has a bit of the "annoying SS/digital sound" to it (not severe though). The Erish didn't have either of these problems. Compared to an Asgard3, I would sum this up as a little cleaner in the upper mids and up with (obviously) no Schiit house sound. Not totally neutral but more so than the A3. Slightly more energetic and with a little more separation than my arcam rhead.

    2 minor cons:
    1. With the Erish stacked on top of the JNOG, I heard a soft but distinct white noise when music was playing. Doesn't happen when nothing is playing and when placed side by side about 4 inches apart, the issue went away. In other words, it's something in the circuit acting as an antenna, not a headphone or source / recording issue.
    2. Low gain (sounded like it was approximately unity gain) didn't sound that great to me. Not a huge deal given that many, but NOT all, other amps are the same way to me - if they even give you a gain option.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 3
    • List
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2021
  7. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

    Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2016
    Likes Received:
    7,698
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Greater Philadelphia Area, PA
    Glad I am not the only one who hear this amp lol. Very much agreed with your impression, too!

    Speaking of the two issues you described, I didn't hear any such noise, but that's maybe because I placed it distantly. And low gain must be rather a feedback problem. I believe 99% SS amps of multiple gain options adjust feedback parameter in their own ways. And huge personal variation witnessed in various products regarding where and in what adjustment one feel annoyed. I prefer low gain of Erish as it's more in line with Geshelli's own presentation and coloration to me.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 1
    • List
  8. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2018
    Likes Received:
    2,046
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    SouthernCA
    Yes, it absolutely may have been a feedback preference. But without specs, data, or taking it apart and analyzing, I don't know for sure, so I left that part out. That and I'm not super experienced with tweaking feedback levels or doing direct A/B comparisons so I'm not as comfortable w/ trying to triangulate or educated guess it.

    On a different note, as a whole for anyone who may have also heard this, I'm also curious about this vs Gilmore Lite and maybe one of the iFi amps. I know the Gilmore is $500 vs $200 for this, but still.
     
  9. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

    Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2016
    Likes Received:
    7,698
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Greater Philadelphia Area, PA
    Speaking of GL2, it's a little weird I thought GL2 was edgier, faster, and shaper on highs albeit GL2 is discrete class-A. Richer and more nuanced timbre might come from its topology though.

    I'm very excited to compare with Jotunheim 2 myself (looking forward to getting the loaner jot 2 later this week). Cause I met and fell in love with Erish when I finally gave up waiting for Jot 2's birth for years. Haha.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 1
    • List
  10. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth SBAF Gearmaster

    Staff Member Friend Gearmaster
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2018
    Likes Received:
    7,233
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Avalon
    Geshelli Labs Erish Impressions

    I'll be blunt; for the asking price, the Erish is worth consideration as an alternative to something like Schiit Asgard 3. I do think that some consideration with DAC is required, but not super, super important like with some amps.

    Sonics*
    *Please note that the comparison between Asgard 3 and Erish is all done through a Yggdrasil. For the Asgard 3, a Jensen 1:1 transformer was used to convert the balanced outputs to SE.

    The most logical comparison to the Erish is the Asgard 3, as the prices are the same. In this regard, I believe them to offer similar total sonic performance per dollar, albeit presented in very different fashions.

    Perhaps this is the design of the two amps, but the fundamental timbre of the two amps are very different from each other. The Erish is thoroughly modern and clean; the Asgard 3 has a bit of the richer timbre kind of like a tube. Whichever one is better depends more on preferences and the system that they are used in.

    In terms of dynamics, the Erish wins in macrodynamic slam except in the low-to-mid bass, where the Erish seems to lose a bit of the impact and instead becomes tied with the Asgard 3. The Asgard 3 wins in microdynamics; much better able to reproduce the tiny inflections within the notes themselves.

    The Erish in the transients is more square and has better defined delineation than the Asgard 3. The Asgard 3 kind of has this "overhang" at the decays that can muddy up complex passages and make it sound a bit congested; the Erish doesn't have that characteristic at all. However, when talking about resolve, the Asgard 3 beats the Erish by a fair amount. This is definitely a give-take with these two amps.

    Stage-wise, the Erish actually stages noticeably larger than the Asgard 3. Part of this could be that it feels like the Erish stages further back and also doesn't sound rolled in the top octave (more on tonality later). That being said, I'm detecting less depth in the stage than Asgard 3. But this is all headstage anyhow, and I'm not really sensitive to this as long as it's not offensively flat, blobby, etc.

    Where consideration for your total system needs to be taken into consideration is the tonality. The Asgard 3 is more mid-centric and warm-tilted. The Erish has some upper-mid and low-treble emphasis that may not be suited for people who like the stock HD600. I also would not recommend pairing the Erish with Focals for this reason. That being said, the Erish seems to have very good extension on both ends of the spectrum, especially for an amp of this price.

    Conclusion

    Overall, it can be said that the Erish has more sins of omission, but fewer sins of commission than the Asgard 3. Personally, me likey, and if I didn't already have an Asgard 3 I'd consider buying an Erish for myself for its diminutive, desk-friendly form factor.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 15
    • List
  11. Raimei Templar

    Raimei Templar Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2019
    Likes Received:
    526
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Osaka
    Finally getting around to writing my thoughts on the Erish.

    Let me start by saying the first one I got was defective, and interestingly enough sounded a lot like the graphs Ishca posted back in the day. Very oddly jacked air frequencies, oddly harsh at times and sounded slightly off. I was surprised at the time that I was preferring the Archel over it, then suddenly one day the left channel died completely and it started making noises not unlike aliens attempting to make contact. Geshelli was nice enough to send me a replacement board quickly and the new one sounded thankfully far far better.

    The Erish is IMO, the most "neutral" sounding op amp based amplifier I have ever heard. Most op amp based amps have a tendency to squash the soundstage and either sound overly harsh or go the other route and sound ultra dull. Not with the Erish, it could easily trick you into thinking its a discrete amplifier as it stages quite wide and has a good deal of air going on. It sounds to me very transparent, as in its just letting the dac and headphones sound like themselves, with possibly a hint of extra air going on.

    Its interesting to compare it to the Archel 2.5 because design wise they are extremely similar, both use the same op amps and are by the same designer but they don't sound alike to me. The Archel sounds like it rolls off the treble and air while simultaneously adding some extra midbass punch/thickness. The Archel also has the typical op amp style soundstage which is that it sounds a bit compacted and rather than things going off into the distance as they should it sounds like its slamming into a brick wall and just stopping suddenly. Erish sounds much more open and detailed in comparison. The Archel also sounds warmer, but I think the Erish is more accurate, though some may find it a little cold.

    Interesting enough even though the Archel has more punch going on, the Erish has considerably more subbass presence. As Vtory mentioned it actually doesnt slam that hard, but you hear the subbass very clearly, its just off in the background doing its rumbling thing. The extension in both treble and bass is really impressive, when I hooked a T60rp to it I was actually getting it to go down to 14hz, which is impressive.

    I think the Erish is the only amp out there that gives the Asgard 3 a run for its money at its price point and I actually prefer the Erish overall to that. Erish makes a great reference amp imo as it is extremely close to being that fabled wire with gain, without compromising the soundstage.

    I hope in the future Geshelli can make a single ended output amp that sounds as good or better than the Erish as that is really the only sticking point for me, is that being balanced only means you have to buy expensive cables and some headphones just straight arent usable without mods.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 7
    • Epic Epic x 1
    • List
  12. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

    Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2016
    Likes Received:
    7,698
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Greater Philadelphia Area, PA
    Who Should Avoid Erish?

    Erish has survived for 10 months in my house. For a crazy spinner like myself, this would prove either the amp's solid performance or preferential fit with my taste. Perhaps both.

    At this point I can comfortably assert that if you're coming from highly seasoned old-school audiophiles, this amp is NOT your cup of tea. You can even hate it at worst -- e.g., guys like Erroneous I've spoken to recently. Compared to Jotunheim 2, Erish obviously kills some magical (note: I may prefer to describe this "colorful") experience elements typically found in higher end audio gears.

    Are these so-called the sin of omission? IDK. I'm honestly unsure if such cues per se are inherently in the medium or added during playback. In either case, Erish seems to take them out slightly. ...Or substantially, depending on your stance.

    FWIW old-schooled audiophiles are relatively sensitive to such aspects. Up to twice Erish's price point, there can be a few worthy considerations better work for such people. SW51 would be the easiest recommendation as being high value OTC implementation. it comes with low cost transformer limitations though. Jotunheim 2 is also awesome choice if you're fine with slight loss form non-OTC nature (compared to sw51). Like I posted in J2 thread, it was much better amp to drive Verite than Erish in engaging myself without sacrificing any modern technicality. Supremacy greatly reduced in low-Z context though.

    Note: Paragraphs above only apply to high-Z or decently inefficient drivers. I could hear the aforementioned loss with neither Clear Mg nor LCD-X.

    Oppositely, if you want something like more objective amplifiers (THX variants, Topping, Magnius, etc), Erish won't satisfy you, either. I bet all of them would measure more or less similar but Erish is less clinical, less analytical, smoother, and more revolving to my ears by healthy margin. I'd dare to say Erish is more refined and perfected products than most chip amps.

    With all that being said, Erish is still very strong to me in the following aspects

    • Low impedance, high SPL efficiency headphones. These headphones barely benefit from amplification ability. They may need buffering, isolations, and some attenuation though. I take Erish any day in this use case over anything else I mentioned.
    • I love how Erish performed out of R2R source feeding. Erish is (to me) transparent enough to deliver all the benefits resolved by good dacs. It synergizes with R2R well by adding or boosting a few high-tech virtues that can please modern music listeners.
    Finally, as usual, YMMV.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 2
    • List
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2021

Share This Page