What's your chain?

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by squishware, Jan 12, 2020.

  1. dncnexus

    dncnexus Friend

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    I am looking at the HD 800S as a potential add to my setup once I upgrade my chain, I love the HD 6XX line, but I am on the fence about the 800S. I am pretty sensitive to treble so I am a bit scared, I had to stop using my DT770 and 990 I had because the treble is just too much for me, hurts listening. Do you think it would still be worth for someone like me even though I enjoy the Sennheiser sound on the 600s?
     
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  2. Ntbm3

    Ntbm3 Friend

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    The 800s would probably not be a good match for you.

    I can only use mine with my tube amp, it took some time to find the right equipment match to make me a happy camper.

    Good luck!
     
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  3. luckybaer

    luckybaer Friend

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    PC via USB -> Gungnir MB -> Vali 2
    PC via USB -> Gungnir MB -> Freya -> Taurus

    DCD-1600NE [SACD or DSD]] -> Freya -> Taurus
    DCD-1600NE [REDBOOK or FLAC] -> Gungnir ->Vali 2
    DCD-1600NE [REDBOOK or FLAC] -> Gungnir ->Freya -> Taurus

    SL-1200GR -> NewWave Phono Converter -> Freya -> Taurus
    SL-1200GR -> NewWave Phono Converter -> Gungnir -> Vali 2
    SL-1200GR -> NewWave Phono Converter -> Gungnir -> Freya -> Taurus
     
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  4. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    Today mine is:

    Roon (player and DSP/EQ duty) on PC, USB -> Gungnir MB A2 Gen 5 USB, balance out -> Iso-Max PI-2XR (for balance to single ended conversion) -> Saga OG (for tube flavor and/or remote control) -> Asgard 3/Jot -> ZMF Eikon or VC/Focal Clear/HD6xx
     
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  5. will_f

    will_f Leave of absence from SBAF - having fun in RL

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    What do you think about the Eikon compared to the 6XX and Clear? I’ve been thinking about some flavor of ZMF for a while
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2020
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  6. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    I went with the Eikon and the Verite Closed because I crave closed back isolation (I live in a often loud domestic situation) yet TOTL everything ;). The Eikon is a sort of step-child in the ZMF line I think, overshadowed by the Auteur (open - with which the Eikon shares its driver), Atticus (closed), and everything else. It has that rich, downward slope (warm, dark, or just messed up depending upon your preferences) ZMF house sound. Yet, IMO compared to the Verite C its FR is more even, neutral, less recessed in the mids (particularly vocal region)...so ZMF sound but more "normal". Zach has admitted (somewhere on SBAF I believe) that with the Eikon he went with a highly damped design, whereas with the Verite C he went the other way, so the Eikon has this highly damped "controlled" decay and general sound in general and particularly in comparison to the Verite C (or Clear) it's a bit slow...but because of its other qualities it sounds pretty good overall and IMO is the more general use case can. In other words its less finicky with upstream gear (though it scales less than the VC), and more music just sounds "right" tonally compared to the VC.

    Coming from 6XX and Clear, IMO (and here I probably swim upstream compared to most at SBAF) the Eikon would be an easier adjustment compared to the VC, particularly with the Universe pads (the default Eikon pads are darker). The 6XX has that mid tonality that everything else is judged by, and neither the Eikon nor the Clear dislodge it from its throne though I think both of them are better overall. I don't have the same problem with the Clears treble that most do, though I am 50. I think any ZMF is going to sound too warm/dark at first coming from Clear, though I see you have Woo tubes and Bitfrost 2 upstream so your not exactly expecting a standard SS "neutral".
     
  7. dncnexus

    dncnexus Friend

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    I personally went from the 6XX to the Auteur and I found them to have a very similar sound signature, but the Auteur def has better texture, is more clear, and throughout the whole frequency response to be pretty great. The bass hits but isn't overpowering, the mids are just about the same, I find the Auteur mids to be super similar to the 6XX. The part I really enjoyed is that the Auteur has better treble, it was clear and accurate but not siblant. I am really sensitive to treble, and these really do it without doing it too much.
     
  8. will_f

    will_f Leave of absence from SBAF - having fun in RL

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    Thanks for your detailed answer. I’ve found that my Focals and AFC all have a tendency to sound metallic on a neutral SS amp. Both the Woo and Lyr3 solve that completely but I don’t think I would want things darker. I think what I really want is something with the superb mids of the 6XX with better technical performance at the lower end, better imaging and darker background. Anyway, I’ll stop derailing the thread.
     
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  9. will_f

    will_f Leave of absence from SBAF - having fun in RL

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    That sounds like what I’m looking for. Thanks!
     
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  10. JohnCarter17

    JohnCarter17 Facebook Friend

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    I am a speaker listener only. Office and LR are the heavy usage systems. I have nothing running balanced, all SE.
    At some point I'll (probably) integrate some cans, HD-6XX and more Schiit.


    Office

    PC via USB -> Eitr via Coax -> Mumby -> Loki -> Freya+ -> Aegir -> Elac 5.2

    Saga+ wasn't enough for those speakers as Marv and other said. But I was enamored with a tube preamp where I could roll away with only 1 tube. And I wanted Aegir over Vidar. So I returned the Saga+ and went Freya+ for the extra bump from the tube stage and the option of dual Aegirs. I do pretty good with the tube stage from Freya+, sitting 8+ ft from speakers. I have more than enough volume at 3:00 pushing the Aegir.


    Upgrades planned: Bifrost2 (backordered), Schiit transport I have XLR Makertek cables ready for the Bifrost2 -> Freya+ and monoblocks.


    Living Room analog
    Rega RP6 w/NEO/GrooveTracer subplatter/white belt -> Tavish Adagio -> Pioneer 1050-SX -> Ascend Sierra Towers w/ RAAL & Klipsch KSW-200 (speaker out).

    Living Room digital
    Yamaha DV-S5860 -> Yamaha TSR-7850 -> Cambridge Soundworks MC-500 & Klipsch KSW-200 (sub out)
    Panasonic DP-UB9000 -> Yamaha TSR-7850 -> Cambridge Soundworks MC-500 & Klipsch KSW-200 (sub out)
    TCL 65R615 via ARC -> Yamaha TSR-7850 -> Cambridge Soundworks MC-500 & Klipsch KSW-200 (sub out)

    Upgrades planned: When Bifrost2 comes in, Mumby for streaming audio from TV to boost sound quality.
    TCL 65R615 via optical -> Mumby -> Yamaha TSR-7850 -> Cambridge Soundworks MC-500 & Klipsch KSW-200 (sub out) for Pandora.


    Here are some low use chains.

    I decided to try a bunch of vintage hifi via fleabay, and some other stuff used. I just wanted to explore.
    Reading discussions about "great sound" from DACs in vintage CD players, so that is these last 3. So of course, I have them in different systems and haven't compared them properly. This is about different flavors and not replicating uber everywhere. Its also about trying stuff I never had the ability to in the past, now inexpensively.


    Library
    Luxman T-210L -> Luxman L-210 -> Ascend CBM-170 SE
    Luxman D-405 -> Luxman L-210 -> Ascend CBM-170 SE


    Bedroom
    Magnavox CD-2000 -> Yamaha RX-V995 -> Elac 5.2 or Pioneer SP-BS22-LR

    I got the Elac and the Pioneer for 250 shipped, I really like them in the office and want to see what Andrew Jones mini wonders sound like. This puts my old AVR amp to work (which is ten times better than the POS mistake replacement TSR-7850 I cheaped out and bought at Costco).


    Garage Workshop
    JVC XL-V311 -> Pyle PTA 1000 -> Martin-Logan Motion 2
    Note8 via BR -> Pyle PTA 1000 -> Martin-Logan Motion 2

    OK, yeah, its a pile of an amp, but it was cheap and for the workshop I can hear tunes from phone or CD.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2020
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  11. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    I have a completely and utterly ridiculous chain...

    Lenovo T480s -> Schiit Wyrd -> RME Babyface Pro FS ->(optical into) Prism Lyra 1 -> SPL Phonitor 2 -> monoblock Benchmark AHB2 -> Hifiman HE-6

    Monoblocks because I got the second one at a good deal and why not.
    Wyrd because again i have one and it doesn't hurt, plus the two way communication is needed if I want to record.
    Lyra because I like the sound, but the drivers are buggy for me.
    RME because it's arguably about as good as you can get for a USB powered and portable recording interface, and it serves as an optical bridge for the Lyra.
    Phonitor because I really like the crossfeed matrix.


    Hah, I'm surprised to see someone else here with the same speakers. I have mine mounted on a pair of dual-monitor arms, so I've got the two screens in the middle and the RM5s on the sides.
     
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  12. coatessey

    coatessey Rando

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    My chain is pretty basic currently and headphone only.

    Tidal -> PC via pyst usb cable -> internal (jot) dual akm4490 -> jotunheim -> amplifier surgery balanced cable -> hd58x

    Looking at picking up bifrost 2, hd6xx and verum.
     
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  13. Zurvv

    Zurvv Rando

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    Speaker: Qubuz -> PC/usb -> Yggdrasil -> XLR -> Freya+ -> XLR -> Vidar monoblocks -> Elac BS 403.2
    Headphone: Qubuz -> PC/usb -> Yggdrasil -> SE - > Mjolnir2 -> XLR -> HD800s

    Shame the Yggdrasil doesn't have dual XLR out, but i'm pretty happy. :)
    I've been thinking of getting the Focal Utopia...
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2020
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  14. Dash

    Dash Facebook Friend

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    PC>Modi 3 USB>Asgard 3>Elex or Mackie 3 monitors

    Pixel 3aXL>Sony IER M7
     
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  15. MattRG

    MattRG Facebook Friend

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    Picked up an ESI Julia XTe a couple of years back and it has served me well for a proper, transformer-coupled S/PDIF output that has helped me avoid any USB irregularities. This is feeding my lossless audio files into a Metrum Musette and then on to a Cavalli Tube Hybrid or Drop THX 789, depending on my mood. I like the HD 800 a lot with the CTH amp although I just received a second hand Focal Clear and I believe it is finally going to get me to retire my HD 800.

    I also have a Bifrost 2 on the way once Schiit catches up with all of their orders and am very interested to compare the new (to me) Unison USB to my existing Julia XTe.
     
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  16. aamefford

    aamefford Nothing like chamberpot coffee

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    RPi3B with a Digi Pro+ > OG Gungnir Multibit MB > OG Freya with no tubes (basically an overgrown attenuator and balanced to SE converter) > Liquid Crimson > HD800S. I like the very slight touch of euphony plus a good punch from the amp, the slight warmth of the OG Gungnir Multibit. The OG Freya could probably be a bit less grey. The HD800S is still a bit hot in the treble, but I actually like it, even it's maybe artificially distorted bass. The original HD800 never lasted more than a couple of minutes before flying across the room. Maybe a switch to Auteur someday, but I like the light weight and comfort of the HD800S.

    My other system? iPhone 7+ > Apple airbuds or Sony WTF-1000MX3's (the over ear ones, pretty heavily EQ'd with the app to tone down the MIDBASS). This system gets the most use. Convenience....

    Edit - I just re-read this for some reason. My impressions of my chain sound like a summary of the SBAF reviews of each product. Sorry....
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2020
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  17. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Headphones for desktop listening

    Dell XPS/usb --> Topping DX3 --> Schiit Asgard 3 --> ZMF Verites
    • DX3 because Bifrost placed closer to the listening position (roughly 9 ft away from the desk)
    • Verites + Asgard 3 feel like one perfect answer for my requirements. I even think they have higher value to myself than anything else I tried.

    Speakers #1 (primary)

    Apple MBP/usb --> Schiit Bifrost 2 unison --> DIY Hood '69 --> Spatial Hologram M3 Turbo S
    • The most time spent with this rig these days: Kudos to working at home!
    • Could realize how superb Hood can be with the 'right' pairing. In this setup, my cheapest amp sounds much uber-er..
    • Also could realize what Bifrost 2 is truly capable of (thought I knew, but I didn't)

    Speakers #2 (secondary)

    Apple MBP/usb --> Schiit Bifrost 2 unison --> DIY Accuphase (Weiliang A60+) --> Elac Vela BS 403
    • Works very well with jpop, janime, and many treble heavy or crap tracks
    • Keep returning to this rig when mentally tired or exhausted
     
  18. Mortsnets

    Mortsnets Rando

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    Headphone:
    Rpi->Allo DigiOne->Modi MB->Liquid Spark->Sennheiser HDX580 Jubilee/AQ Nighthawk/Oppo PM-3

    Speaker #1 Music Room/Cave
    Modified Sony PS1 CDP/Sherwood S-2300 tuner/U-turn Orbit TT->Musical Paradise MP301->JMReynaud Twin Signatures

    Speaker #2 Living Room
    Marantz CR612->Klipsch RP600M+DIY bucket sub

    Speaker #3 Bedroom
    Rpi->Allo Boss->Allo Volt+D->Optimus Lx4

    Speaker #4 Garage
    CCA/Tivoli PAL tuner/Panasonic SL-S120 CDP->AQ N22->Advent 400

    Speaker #5 Nearfield Desktop
    Laptop USB->Uptone USPCB adapter->Uptone Regen->Halide DAC HD->Serene Audio Talisman powered spkrs
     
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  19. Luckbad

    Luckbad Traded in a unicorn for a Corolla

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    My current chain is an anti-audiophile setup, kinda. It's what has worked for me to stay away from buying DACs, amps, and headphones for a good while now (and avoiding audio forums). Most of my listening is during work from Google Music or playing along to something with the guitar, so I don't need a great setup these days.

    The standard chain is the RME Babyface Pro FS to Dynaudio BM12A speakers (or Future Sonics MG5HX, or Sennheiser HD598s, Game Zeros, or Game Ones if I'm gaming). The RME is powered by a Power Designs 5020 or 5015D linear power supply with a too-long cable since work from home started (had to rearrange everything to get my work computer and third monitor going here).

    Sometimes I bust out the Garage1217 Project Sunrise III with my trusty modded Sennheiser HD650s. That is powered by a Power Designs Model 5020 precision linear power supply (which is absolutely amazing, and usually powers the RME if the amp is put away).

    Some of the satisfaction of this setup can be directly attributed to my hands getting in on the action. I built the Project Sunrise III, modded the HD650s, made some of the cables, and replaced capacitors and calibrated the power supplies for the bench PSUs.

    The result is a tower of power supplies on top of a speaker (it looks like it's about to fall off because I have a webcam wedged in there).

    IMG_20200601_195631.jpg
     
  20. Jay

    Jay Facebook Friend

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    My chain:

    iPod Classic (ALAC)-> Pure i20 coaxial -> Gungnir Multibit A1 -> Teac HA-501 -> Senn HD 650.
     
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