A mini meet @ K4rstar's place (comparison/impressions)

Discussion in 'The Meeting Place' started by luximal, Sep 3, 2017.

  1. luximal

    luximal Made things right

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    Ever since @k4rstar got the gen 5 for his Gungnir Multibit, he was interested in seeing how it stacks up to the eitr. Since I have an eitr and wanted to try the Gungnir Multibit again, I decided to go up to his place and have a brief mini meet.

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    First off, the hugo 2 is bad. I said that already, K4rstar said that already, there's no need to talk more about it.

    Audial vs Gungnir Multibit:

    I posted this comparison in Hand's NOS dac thread, but at that time I was only comparing the audial to my mental notes of the Gungnir Multibit. After comparing both dacs, I feel like I was mostly right, but there are some differences compared to my previous impressions:

    Tonally the Audial is softer and warmer than the Gungnir Multibit. The Gungnir Multibit is a bit soft but it stays relatively neutral. The Gungnir Multibit has a bit deeper and more layered staging. Imaging is a bit more pin point on the Gungnir Multibit, but the separation and definition is not any worse on the audial. The softness does make things seem less defined, but honestly I think the separation and resolution is comparable to the Gungnir Multibit despite that. Clarity is similar as well, with the Gungnir Multibit being a tad airier.

    However the audial wins in the blackground and dynamics department. The Gungnir Multibit's blackground is pretty grey, and while the dynamics aren't bad on it, the audial gives me a more vivid and fun listen.

    Valhalla 2 vs mcintosh mc2505

    Since the he-6 can't really be used with the val2, I used k4rstar's hd 650 for this comparison. And it's not much of a comparison. The McIntosh is much better. The val2 is warmer, but it's not very smooth sounding and lacks dynamics. The mac on the other hand despite being SS, is smooth and is more spacious. It has great dynamics and while it's neutral sounding and not warm at all. It has no glare or steel in the sound either.

    gen 5 vs etir on the Gungnir Multibit

    Neither K4 or I heard any differences whatsoever. While it wasn't a long comparison and maybe we could've heard some subtle differences after a longer listen, for practical purposes they're pretty much the same with K4star saying both are better than his RME card. I would personally recommend the eitr, because it works with non schiit dacs, and you don't have to spend time installing it or sending it to schiit for installation like with gen 5.

    he-6 vs hd 650

    The 650 can sound pretty weak if you don't have a good amp or dac for it. And honestly k4star's setup is the only setup where the hd 650 does not sound like a weak, compressed POS. It's more intimate and thick than the he-6. And while the he-6 edges it out in terms of dynamics, it surprisingly not that big of a difference. That being said I think the he-6 is overall better with it's more spacious slightly less congested sound, non peaky upper mids, better bass extension and smoothness. The he-6's leading edges is a bit more rounded unlike the 650 which some people may not like. But I personally prefer the liquid and fun sound of the he-6.

    But the 650 is cheaper, more comfy, is not discontinued, has non shit build quality and is not a power hungry bastard like the he-6 which honestly makes it the more sensible choice.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2017
  2. Skyline

    Skyline Double-blindly done with this hobby

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    HE-6 > Everything.

    The McIntosh/Valhalla comparison cracks me up. I'm sure I missed it, but who does the McIntosh belong to? What's the going price on these?
     
  3. luximal

    luximal Made things right

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    it's mine :punk: I bought mine for 1100 Cad. I saw some for 500 to 600 usd a while back, but looking at hifishark right now, it seems they have gone up in price.

    it's sounds great and I love that vintage design

    dem vu meters
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2017
  4. Skyline

    Skyline Double-blindly done with this hobby

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    Just gorgeous.

    Also, thanks for screwing with my head on the Eitr. I was set to buy Gen V for my Bifrost. Probably still will, but this has me doing a stutter step now...
     
  5. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    I really miss my Gungnir Multibit for its instrument separation/layering vs. DSJr. f**k that Audial is a behemoth!

    Great write up, thanks for sharing.
     
  6. k4rstar

    k4rstar Britney fan club president

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    It remains my favorite ortho, though that isn't saying much as I don't care much for orthos and I would never consider owning one as my only headphone.
    If you see yourself keeping your DAC for the foreseeable future I would still just do the upgrade. There is a certain satisfaction that comes with getting great sound from nothing more than a simple USB cable to any device. Having conversion boxes going in and out of my DAC makes me feel like I was left behind a grade in school.

    [​IMG]

    @luximal thank you for taking the time to come over and bring all this gear. The Mac amp is very cool and while modern McIntosh gear disgusts me slightly with both its appearance and tuning this amp is clearly from a different generation. The separate L and R gain knobs trigger the f**k out of me however, no clue how you put up with it.

    The Audial MK2 DAC is a very pleasant listen. I believe it's the first time I've heard a NOS DAC, though supposedly this one is more similar to the Schiit multi-bit line than some of its NOS cousins. The TDA1541A definitely has some midrange magic going on and I would be very interested in hearing a good oversampling implementation using this chip. My first impression of the Audial was that it sounds very much like how I would expect a very high-end 90s CD player to sound. Anyone who knows me knows my 90s nostalgia fetishism knows no bounds so I don't mean this in a bad way. I could live with the Audial DAC but if I had to choose one to keep it would be the Gungnir Multibit.
     
  7. luximal

    luximal Made things right

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    Sometimes I don't know why I put up with it either. But I'm usually fine with it. That being said, it's handy if there's some inherent imbalance in the headphone or with the music. There are some tracks that have the vocals slightly off center, so I introduce a bit of channel imbalance to fix that.

    The funny thing is, I feel the same but in favor of the audial.

    This is probably due to our differences in music taste and in our headphones. The audial's warmth is perfect to smooth out the he6's treble which can be a tad coarse at times.
     
  8. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    I'm glad the Audial got some listening! To even compare it against the Gungnir Multibit and seem OK with it I think says a lot about it. Yeah, most will prefer oversampling, which I think you all made clear, but it's a really f'ing good NOS DAC if that's your thing. Glad you all had fun!
     
  9. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    From the Decware Taboo MkIV thread:
    Guess you won't be buying a Decware amp any time soon ;)
     

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