The All Purpose Advice Thread - Part 2

Discussion in 'Advice Threads' started by shotgunshane, Mar 27, 2022.

  1. ergopower

    ergopower Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2018
    Likes Received:
    635
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    South Central PA
    Wad up a corner of 2-ply toilet paper and dampen it. I learned that here, and yeah it's no worse than any pursang earplug I've had.
     
  2. Beefy

    Beefy Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2021
    Likes Received:
    1,320
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Canada
    Etymotic ER-20. Good and cheap.
     
  3. Gezellig

    Gezellig Rando

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2020
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Having read a fair bit of the Schiit and HD650/M Compendium threads (+ some others), and realizing that a lot of the thread consensus agreements match my own limited experience preferences, I have the following questions:

    The HD650 compendium thread lists the Schiit Jotunheim as the best value solid state option for this headphone.
    1. Is this still the case in 2022? Are there new competitors in the best value ss, hybrid and tube categories? Is the Lyr 3 still considered the best value hybrid option?
    2. I'm trying to determine how much gear optimization (if any) I will miss out on, if I choose a best value hybrid over a tube amp for the HD650. For me, best value tops out at $750. But that can be second hand price, I buy most of my gear used (Europe).

    Background:
    The headphone hobby comes and goes for me over time. Currently it's on the uptake. Am currently using an HD58x and HE-500 with the Gustard H10 and Gungnir Multibit gen 5 USB. To my own surprise, I'm finding that I prefer the HD58x in this setup. The HE-500's bass was always a spellbinder for me, as it was my first headphone that plummeted to real depth. Guess I'm over that now. Because of the strong HD58x interest, I've wondered for some time if the HD650 would be to my liking. To test that I bought one second hand today, waiting for it to arrive. I've owned an HD600 in the past, but found it too neutral / analytic. Only tested it on budget amps though:

    Schiit magni 2 > too narrow soundstage
    Little Dot MKII > harsh? Aren't tubes supposed to be a bit bloomy?
    Schiit Vali > can't remember exact outcome, but since it was sold, must not have been good

    Perhaps HD600 never got much of a fair chance back then, but we'll see how the HD650 fares in the current setup

    After previously using a Metrum Quad (congested), Gungnir DS (too harsh top end), Modi MB (knees bouncing a bit again), I am pretty sure that the Gungnir MB will not leave this house anymore (Damn, this is really good…). So the DAC's not likely to change soon, because it also performs much to my liking in my stereo setup. That leaves source and amp to work on. Source will become a Pi2AES as that appears to be a killer budget option. That is, if I can get a hold of one…

    The Gustard H10 is the only amp I have used since the Gungnir MB entered the house, so I don't really have a frame of reference for other amps over $150 but under $750 second hand. I also have zero reference with tube amps, with the exception of the Little Dot. So hence the HD650 / amp questions above. I've tied myself to Solid State amps a lot so far, and am certainly open to try tubes. I've tried to summarize my thought process for the gear optimization a bit, feedback on that though process and the questions is appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2022
  4. Gezellig

    Gezellig Rando

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2020
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Right, and that's why my interest in this hobby over time looks like a pair of granny sagging boobs, with no nipples, when expressed as a graph. I cannot seem to extract consistent findings when listening with my own head. Just extensively re-compared the HD58X jubilee with the Hifiman HE-500 on the current setup, and SQ wise, the HE-500 is a clear winner after all. Apparently I have used the HD58X too long, and have started to romanticize it's result over time, without doing the necessary re-checks.

    I am still trying to figure out whether it's dynamics or detail that are better with the HE-500. determining the next step, whether we're talking micro- or macro- is even further away, not going to go there yet. Issues with the HE-500 are the weight and discomfort after listing sessions > 1 hour + some treble spike somewhere. But the treble spike is less offensive than the more boring result from the HD58X. The HE-500 physical discomfort is a substantial issue by itself, but I want to focus on SQ for the time being. One challenge at a time.

    In any case, the HE-500 and Gustard H10 match is likely to be better than the HD58X + Gustard H10. At least on paper. Maybe with a high value tube amp, I can start properly determining where my preferences lie, amp and headphone wise.
     
  5. RestoredSparda

    RestoredSparda Requested Vacation Ban

    Friend Banned
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2021
    Likes Received:
    922
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    NY
    No need for a high value tube amp. Get a Vali 2+ and listen to your HD650 that is coming. Many members find this combo extremely synergistic.

    Please note the HD58x from massdrop is no where near the level of the HD 650, 600 or 6XX. The 650 and 600 scale and scale and scale with better gear, and can be played LOUD. The 58X can do neither of those things well.

    It's a relabled HD 555 /595.

    I've owned both the HE500 and all those senns you've mentioned. Although I had a short love affair with the HE500 when it first came out, if I had to do things again with today's gear I would start with a Vali 2+ and HD6XX. The value and synergy can't be beaten. IMO
     
    • Like Like x 8
    • Agreed, ditto, +1 Agreed, ditto, +1 x 1
    • List
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2022
  6. Gezellig

    Gezellig Rando

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2020
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Thanks, that's an easy enough test budget-wise that I probably shouldn't pass on.
     
  7. Gezellig

    Gezellig Rando

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2020
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Used 3 year old HD650 arrived, been giving it casual and focused listening this evening with the Gustard H10. Sounds more relaxing to me than the HE-500. Perhaps due to better behaved treble. That works well with classical and jazz, but with stuff that needs more energy like electronic, the result is a bit boring. Vali 2+ should arrive later this week. Curious to see what that will bring.
     
  8. roshambo123

    roshambo123 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 26, 2018
    Likes Received:
    1,755
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Hear-O's
     
  9. Gezellig

    Gezellig Rando

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2020
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Vali 2+ arrived, and although I'm not drawing any permanent conclusions after just one evening of listening, the following stands out so far:

    - rather excellent bang for buck
    - 2+ breathes some soul into the HD650, result is no longer boring as with the Gustard H10
    - despite the apparently good synergy with HD650 and Gungnir MB, there are things lacking compared to the HE-500 / Gustard combo that are hurting. Lack of impact/slam, treble extension, bass extension (I was hoping for just a bit more in that area from this headphone). I could enjoy the HD650 / vali combo a lot for music styles mentioned earlier, but the lacking bits may hurt more than the improvements in well behaved treble and more natural presentation (timbre?) compared to the HE-500 / Gustard H10 combo.

    I saw some discussion in another thread about sins of omission and comission, and maybe omission is the one I'm more sensitive to.

    But let's give it some more days / weeks of casual and focused listening. Don't want to end up misjudging again like with the Drop HD58x, and fooling myself for months
     
  10. roshambo123

    roshambo123 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 26, 2018
    Likes Received:
    1,755
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    As I mentioned in that thread, I think the omission/commission distinction is word games but the things you bring up are criticisms I'd expect with this component chain.

    Vali 2 has a bit of a roll on both ends (although I haven't heard Vali 2+ which is reported better). The HD650 is dark, not fast or slammy, nor does it have planar like bass extension. It does scale though.

    Also, Vali 2+ is SE which is the lesser output on the Gungnir MB, so you're not getting the full performance there, which if I assume you were using the XLR inputs on the Gustard H10, you'd have had the better DAC output with that chain.

    So, bottom line, that you find Vali 2+ a sidegrade to the H10 is not surprising. If after months of baking in the new setup you find you are still searching for more, then likely you are in mid-fi hell. The best way out of that is probably to find which headphone you really like and then getting an amp that's a big step up. You already have a good DAC, but you don't want to build a system around that without choosing your main headphones first.
     
  11. Gezellig

    Gezellig Rando

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2020
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Netherlands
    I compared the SE and balanced outputs on the Gungnir MB with the H10 when it came in a couple years ago. I read the SE outputs are considered a substantial step down from the balanced ones, but I found the difference small myself, not substantial. Then again, the H10 is not a fully balanced amp, it's a cheater like many others. So maybe I haven't heard the full potential of gungnir's balanced outputs yet?

    Still, I'd warrant that, as you said, the main headphone characteristics are more the influencing factor here. Maybe the HD650's darker presentation is not for me. Or it only becomes a real thing for me with a synergized TOTL setup, because the good characteristics got great, and the bad ones became ok or good.

    What I really need is a meetup with lot's of gear to experience and compare, but there's not much going on in The Netherlands.
     
    • Agreed, ditto, +1 Agreed, ditto, +1 x 2
    • List
  12. daduy

    daduy Rando

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2019
    Likes Received:
    46
    Trophy Points:
    13
    Location:
    NZ
    I got a Yggdrasil A2, can I "simply" buy an A1 card and swap them in my Yggdrasil? Or are there some fancy firmware flashing that need to be done?

    Thanks in advance
     
  13. roshambo123

    roshambo123 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 26, 2018
    Likes Received:
    1,755
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    You can simply swap A1 analog cards and use the A2 firmware on your current EEPROM. This creates an Yggdrasil "GS." I have both A1 and A2 cards and have rotated them multiple times while leaving the same A2 EEPROM in place.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agreed, ditto, +1 Agreed, ditto, +1 x 1
    • List
  14. dericchan1

    dericchan1 Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2021
    Likes Received:
    65
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Canada
    Hi everyone

    So the electrician came andinstalled the global surge protector at the panel and added a dedicated 20A line for the listening room/HT.

    Now I wonder if it's a good idea for me to leave the network switch, pc in a regular 15a circuit and put all audio related stuff (streamer, dac, preamp, amp, receiver and subs) with the dedicated 20a circuit?

    Also I wonder if I should just plug all audio stuff to the wall directly rather than using the furman power conditioner/strips now that I have a global surge protector?

    Cheers

    Deric
     
  15. Qildail

    Qildail Friend

    Friend Contributor
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2021
    Likes Received:
    1,493
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Iowa
    I'm not saying power conditioning isn't important, but I think you've done your bit. The rest of your house (and your neighbor's house, and the line to both houses...) is still humming at 60Hz. You'll never completely eliminate it.

    I mean this in the nicest possible way... put all that important stuff on the new protected circuit and get back to listening to some music. :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agreed, ditto, +1 Agreed, ditto, +1 x 1
    • List
  16. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2016
    Likes Received:
    4,476
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    [QUOTE="Gezellig, post: 389425, member: 8561] I read the SE outputs are considered a substantial step down from the balanced ones, but I found the difference small myself, not substantial. [/QUOTE]

    No one can quantify these differences. One man's "small" is another man's "substantial". Some say they are not gimped at all. Who's right? Nobody. Everybody.
     
  17. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2016
    Likes Received:
    4,476
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    No one can quantify these differences. One man's "small" is another man's "substantial". Some say they are not gimped at all. Who's right? Nobody. Everybody.
     
  18. bokonon

    bokonon Rando

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2019
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Czech Republic
    Hi everybody, please help me with my DAC decision. Right now i have Valhalla 2 with BM (first one) and I use the HD800S. I have a chance to get Yggdrasil OG for a great price. Will I hear sound improvement with Valhalla 2 (i run Brimar CV4033, like it very much) or is it waste without better amp (like some EC or DNA big bo amps)? Would be better to get Gungnir multibit instead? What about synergy with HD800S? With Yggdrasil i will have ultimate dac for future amp upgrade. Thank you very much.
     
  19. Garns

    Garns Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2016
    Likes Received:
    2,293
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Sydney, AUS
    You have a few options:
    • Audio gear through 20a, everything else through 15a
    • Everything through 20a.
    And independently:
    • Furman on audio gear
    • Furman on everything else
    • Don't use Furman
    My advice is that you kind of have to try all of them and see which sounds best. It will depend on esoteric stuff like how your gear is grounded, the geometry of your wiring and how your house ground is connected. Also worth trying cat5 vs cat6 from your router to streamer (unshielded vs shielded) as this affects how the grounds are connected.

    I suspect audio through 20a, everything else through the Furman and 15a socket will sound best. Or else everything through the 20a, Furman on the non audio gear. Furman on audio gear probably the worst option (loss of liveliness and dynamics).

    Don't go mad doing the comparo. Do it quickly and go with your gut. No difference heard, no worries. Let your new line settle in a bit before doing any comparisons.
     
  20. dericchan1

    dericchan1 Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2021
    Likes Received:
    65
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Canada
    Thanks for this. for the time being I have my Amp, preamp, DAC and streamer, subwoofers, receiver all to the 20A to the wall.
    Bluray player, turntable, Amazon fire tv cube to a regular power strip to the 20A

    PC, network switch to the Furman to the 15A

    Sounds fine to me so probably will stick with that for a while
     

Share This Page