System Synergy - Special Sound

Discussion in 'General Audio Gear Discussion' started by atomicbob, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. Sam Lord

    Sam Lord Rando

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    Sorry, this is OT but would you mention which "orthos" of the several you have (did you many *any* of yours?) and whether they are run balanced? I have a Bimby but have not yet placed it in my system.

     

  2. Koth Ganesh

    Koth Ganesh Friend

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    Well I own the Audeze LCD-X, LCD-XC (gulp!), modded LCD 2.2, the Paradox Slants. The Slants are my favorite, followed by the 2.2 (this is more fun comparatively). I own the HE-6 but that is a beast which I use with my stereo power amp so I exclude it from my oath "stable".
     
  3. abraxas666

    abraxas666 Rando

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    Thanks to this thread, I have bought almost all the compnenents in the list. With the difference that I am running the setup with "standard" cables from Monoprice and a 6sn7 from Electro-harmonix (6sn7EH gold pins).
    Now what I am wondering is, what to upgrade or add to the chain considering the idea behind this setup is to get the best bang for your buck.

    I can really say the quality achieved by the system is great, thanks for sharing!
     
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  4. landroni

    landroni Friend

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    The System Synergy components underwent an adjustment when Bifrost MB replaced Gungnir MB. Now that Modi MB is out, is another adjustment on the cards for this low-budget, excellent value listing? This would naturally make the electronics be roughly at the same price point as the transducers, which is what many would argue is how it should be...
     
  5. Dino

    Dino Friend

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    [​IMG]
     
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  6. atomicbob

    atomicbob Friend

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    Here is a small footprint desktop system that is getting a lot of head time on my ears.

    20161116 SU-1 - Modi MB - Jetunheim - Vali2 - HD650.jpg


    20161116 SU-1 - Modi MB - Jetunheim - Vali2 - HD650.png

    Vali 2 uses Jotunheim preamp output. I can pick tube or SS as the mood or source suggests. Singxer SU-1 XMOS WinX device driver has proven to reliably transfer packets with minimal timing aberrations. The nice thing about using a DDC is having only one device driver to optimize and maintain when dealing with multiple DACs.

    Work warning: keep volume very low, play chewing gum music or be prepared to constantly be distracted by the music. Not recommended for use during tasks requiring high levels of cognitive function unless you are one of those fortunate few that can shut out auditory cues. But then why bother listening to such a system.
     
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  7. landroni

    landroni Friend

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    I'm looking precisely at such a system myself. I already acquired a Mimby (and even without fancy amp, source or transducers, it's impressive), and am considering a Vali 2 next. Now I've heard before that HD650 was perhaps not the best match for Vali 2 (with stock tube), and that HD600 would be a better choice. If you had a choice between the two, which Senn would you get?
     
  8. atomicbob

    atomicbob Friend

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    That's a tough one. Both are very good headphones. That said, I haven't used my HD600 for recreational listening since I obtained a recent production HD650, began using Sonarworks HP compensation and Waves NX virtualization. I didn't care for the stock 6BZ7 shipped with the Vali 2 with either headphone. Observing my past preference for rather large plate tubes you will see I prefer the EH 12BH7 with Garage1217 PS-III and PH-III. When it was determined the Vali 2 could handle the filament current, I found the EH 6CG7 to sound much better in the Vali 2 for the HD650 to my ears. For $20 ~ $25 it is a great, current production tube.

    Systems such as this may be built in stages as funds permit and yet still bring enjoyment to the listener while on the journey. Then a great deal of listening experience may be gained; a very good reference for comparing / deciding future directions, if any deemed desirable. Interesting to note that I have higher end systems in the lab which have greater (insert parameter here) and yet I find this system quite satisfying for long listening sessions.
     
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  9. philipmorgan

    philipmorgan Member of the month

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    Kind of funny how the biggest component in that chain is the solid state amp :)
     
  10. atomicbob

    atomicbob Friend

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    The Singxer SU-1 is slightly larger :D though it may not look that way in the picture.
     
  11. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    Oddly enough, I have those cans, amps, that DAC and that tube running on my desk- except the Mimby is switched through a Sys into the amps, and the balanced pre-outs of the Jot are connected to a pair of old Adam Audio A5 nearfields. It's quite a pleasant, if modest setup.

    Edit:

    A question for @atomicbob - have you measured where to have the volume on the Jot to produce unity/something approaching line, to feed out to the Vali 2? Curious in case I need to do that at any stage, for Reasons- completely unrelated to making room for more amps. Honest.
     

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    Last edited: Nov 16, 2016
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  12. atomicbob

    atomicbob Friend

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    Other way around. I put the Vali 2 volume control very close to maximum clockwise rotation to create unity gain through it. This way I can switch cans between Vali 2 and Jotunheim at a given volume determined by the Jotunheim and maintain the sound level for accurate comparisons.
     
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  13. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    Oh, cunning, thanks. If you can actually see the tiny dot on the Vali 2's volume knob, care to estimate where it'd be on the clock face for unity?
     
  14. atomicbob

    atomicbob Friend

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    20161116 Vali2 unity gain setting.jpg

    I should note that I am matching the Vali 2 unbalanced output to the balanced output on the Jotunheim with a DMM using a test signal of 440Hz at 0.500 Vrms. I should find the actual unity gain setting sometime.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2016
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  15. msommers

    msommers Almost "Made"

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    Please pardon my ignorance here but what is/are the chain(s) here?

    If I'm getting the jist of it, what kind of sonic differences did you notice using the Jot as a pre vs. just the Vali 2?
     
  16. batriq

    batriq Friend

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    Following @atomicbob 's cue I also got a Vali2 to connect to the Joti. I didn't like the Fostex purple hearts with the Joti but they sound great through the Vali2 in this setup. Their bass emphasis synergizes well with the soft bass of the Vali2. I listen to the HD650 directly through the Joti via a balanced connection. I'm not a big fan of the HD650 through the Vali2. My HD650 is stock.

    The tube on the Vali2 is a Amperex 7308 a friend gave me. This specific tube is too tall compared to a usual 7308/6922/6DJ8 and it is impossible to find a matching sample. So the Vali2 is perfect for it.
     

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  17. johnjen

    johnjen Friend

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    Having heard this system it truly is remarkable in how small the gear is, how well it scales and all for such a low cost.
    AND it can be incorporated into an existing system a piece at a time or purchased as a starter system.

    It truly is Amazing Times in Audio Indeed.

    JJ
     
  18. Vansen

    Vansen Friend

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    I brought some audio equipment into the office today to loan to a coworker. Before we made it out of the office, we stole a conference room and made the following setup, not expecting much:

    iPhone/ Tidal > Fostex HP-P1 line out > Vali 1 > HD600

    I'd never thrown these three together before, and have about $375 invested between the three. The synergy amongst them is incredible and I doubt I could find a sub $400 setup to beat it.

    It was also nice to see the eyes light up in some of the non-audio folks in the office as they gave it a listen.
     
  19. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Friend

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    Modi 2U AK4396 -> Asgard 2 -> HD 650 -> ears fueled by booze
    I find my setup to have decent synergy but needs a bit more treble definition that DS DACs can't provide to cut through the HD 650 dark side of neutrality and MOSFET haze. The alcohol helps. Don't build my setup without alcohol. Do Modibit -> Jot -> HD 650 or Modibit -> Vali 2 -> HD 600 if you're cheap instead.
     
  20. lm4der

    lm4der A very good sport - Friend

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    Righto, I think people sometimes neglect the importance of alcohol synergy. Do you want whisky for sipping with that warmy tube amp. Or shots of Jager with a jot?
     

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