Long trip impressions: Kann Cube as my only DAC/amp

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by wormcycle, Oct 21, 2021.

  1. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

    Aug 13, 2016
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    Toronto, ON, Canada
    I have been very quiet recently, traveling for two months, not having much time, or attention span, to contribute anything of value. Music is my only daily therapy in this crazy period of my life, regretfully I cannot really drink, and reading SBAF is a big part of it as well.
    I was considering taking RME ADI-2 pro with me but settled on Kann Cube as my only amp in this trip that started as 2 weeks vacation... seven weeks ago.
    Here is the basic travel setup: TP-Link 4G LTE 150Mbps hotspot router->Qobuz on KC-> Ara, Vega, HD25, and recently DT 880 600Ohm, for $100 new on sale I just could not resist.
    Surprisingly, I do not feel that my music listening experience is missing something essential since I have been separated from my BHA-1, HEKSE, LCD-X 2021 or HD800S.
    And to be clear I am not comparing DT880 to HD800S or or Kann Cube to BHA-1, I am just saying that with some attention to the synergy in your setup you can have a good time listening to music while traveling.

    I posted before about great synergy between CA Vega and Kann Cube and it did not get any worse. On high gain and with Xelastec 2 tips to control bass those IEMs have everything I need across entire frequency spectrum: very sonorous and resolving at the same time.
    CA Ara feeds my need for more analytical IEM and I prefer tonality of the Ara, DX220 setup. But the Kann Cube pairing, in spite of some, hardly noticeable but still present noise floor, takes Ara resolution to the next level.

    But the real surprise is how well Kann Cube can handle DT880 600Ohm. And this is an impression after probably less than 10 hours of total use. Kann Cube 6 Vrms in SE mode on high gain seems to be good enough to drive 600Ohm without any compromises. 2/3 of the volume is almost too loud, the sound is not thin at all, and lower bass has a good texture.

    Those HPs are seriously good, certainly better than their rice range, even without a discount.
    My plan was to use it here in Poland and sell for the same price when I get back but I am going to keep it for one single reason.
    In his great book "What to listen for in music" Aaron Copland recommends Baroque polyphony as great training in listening to music, specifically to the Bach "Orgelbuchlein" , the cycle of 40+ organ chorale preludes. Copland recommendation is: listen many times, listen to three voices of counterpoint separately, and then let your brain to put it all together. In some pieces separating voices is not that easy.

    I use Orgelbuchlein as the very fists test for every HP I touch, and I do not remember any other headphones that can deliver the magnificent architecture of JS Bach counterpoint to your ears with so little effort as HD880 600Ohm, even powered by Kann Cube. As good as it is it cannot possibly be an optimal pairing for DT880. And that's enough to keep it.

    If I find someone to mod it it to balanced, detachable cable I will certainly do it. To scary to do it myself.

    Kann Cube working hard:
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2021

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