Discussion in 'The Meeting Place' started by Draxcer, Nov 5, 2016.
Any examples? I'd like to give them a shot with the Utopias.
Another short video, Marten Duke 2 + EAR + VPI Classic: https://1drv.ms/v/s!Ah7t4MAbJhgZiyI9WzEdwtEwTyoQ
I think when it comes to amps that people actually have that something like Rag might actually be a nice pairing. I regret not trying that Yggdrasil-Rag stack with Utopia out on Saturday.
I will say as a disclaimer though, I find I listen a bit quieter than the average SBAFer and far lower than certain others. That may be part of the reason why I'm often not bothered by what others hear as treble harshness.
You are not alone... I was having this exact conversation with someone very recently. We low volume listeners get a different presentation for sure...
I found his HD800 to be more agreeable than Utopia, less rough and bright, less fatiguing, etc. when I tried it on my rig during his brief visit...FWIW. However, that's just based on memory, so maybe a direct comparison would change my mind.
Yeah we were debating what we should bring, we just decided to bring everything we had to offer.
To echo @TMoney the Utopias do pair well with black widow, speaking of powerful solid state amps that are smooth. Would love to hear it off Doug's solid state amps. As far as the T3 goes, @bazelio is right, the utopias sound pretty sweet when paired with brimar tubes and I suspect mullards might sound good with them too. The amperex I have are more edgy and aggro. That said, I haven't yet heard it off a zds or Donald amp (which makes me very sad indeed)
Yes, but my point was that they were closer than not, and that the "NY HD650 guys", who I am certain would not like the HD800 in any modded variant, would also very understandably not like the Utopia either. I'm trying to bridge gaps in understanding here like how I do with the guys I talk to on a regular basis. I generally find the HF'esque "Let's agree to disagree" completely unhelpful.
Yeah, to be more direct the second time around, the @Donald North Stellaris was a meet stand out for me. A touch of euphoria, but not too much ala the smaller one.
To establish a reference point, what levels are we talking about here (approximately)? Using an iPhone app, I try to keep average around 78-80 dB and peaks in the mid 80s.
Ah, OK, I get where you're coming from now. I'd agree they're closer than not.
How do you measure SPL with a phone? Adjust the volume for comfort, put the phone between the cups, and then add +X dB to compensate for lack of seal?
Yeah, I'm struggling to figure out an accurate way to measure as well without a measuring rig. I have an iPhone app too, but I don't trust the numbers it is giving me at all (mid 60s).
Bah, these STAX or ex-STAX guys listen at 40db or something.
See, I said so!
What's that Marv?
I think for headphone volume levels you need to have a volume calibrated measurement rig that is at least somewhat comparable to what we hear. For speakers using one of the phone apps could work, but I wouldn't trust it. I think it wasn't accurate with my phone.
I actually think that once you have a feeling for how loud certain sounds are you can guess without any apps or SPL meters. I tend to listen between 75 and 85db, with occasional peaks to 95db or so, maybe more depending on how dynamic the material is (as measured by my rig, which should be accurate). I tend to listen slightly louder with headphones than with speakers.
Anyway, any more meet impressions ?
Lacking a glaring flaw is perhaps the Utopia's strongest attribute, but that's not nearly enough to justify its price and market position. To be completely frank, it would only be a competitor in the ~$500 league.
Speaking of "glaring", that was the biggest weakness of the Utopias - a dry, unpleasant treble/upper mid response bereft of the delicacy of a good stat or even a tamed HD800. The other weakness is an anemic bass feel. While they have very good extension, the bass texture and proportional impact are merely average. These are some of the nitpicks which illustrate how the Utopias languish in a death by a thousand cuts.
Only checking them out on the Stellaris rig did I imagine wanting to listen further.
Ohhh, I totally forgot to add my impressions of Donald's stellaris. I am unfamiliar with his cd player, so it makes it a little challenging. Overall I thought the amp had monster dynamics and resolution, really big soundstage and excellent, rich and slightly warm tonality. I am quite upset he did not bring a stratus along, as I really want to hear that amp. I really doubt Donald is making any money on these amps, really seems like a labor of love to me.
Yeah I told Donald I was unsure about the CD player and its potential superiority over my digital Lynx chain too. I.e. I might not get that sound out of my digital source chain. But it got me to thinking that Stellaris plus vinyl could be ... Oh so good. Too bad I didn't have more time to listen. I could have wasted hours there.
@Donald North what IS your cd player? A Sonic Frontiers SFCD-1?
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