Manley "Absolute Headphone Amplifier"

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by AllanMarcus, Sep 7, 2018.

  1. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    It's not an amp for listening to.

    It's an amp for other people who come to you replace to look at.
     
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  2. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    Also, let’s not forget the Chinese market.
     
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  3. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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  4. m17xr2b

    m17xr2b Friend

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    LOL @ the first comment. For this kind of money I'd get the Teton anytime.
     
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  5. ductrung3993

    ductrung3993 Almost "Made"

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    ^
    can't tell if that guy was being sarcastic or not.
     
  6. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    To summarize/paraphrase the article:

    OMG Jill! Manley is the bestest! I used to do things, and back then, Manley was like... THE best in the world! When I saw they made a headphone amp, I almost died dead. So, I got one, and it killed me (!!!) but it was so good OMG. This amp is the second coming of Audiophile Jesus, and I'm ded but in heaven, so don't mourn for me. LULz. Buy one.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
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  7. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    My interpretation is a bit different form @Elnrik .

    The whole review reads like the following:

    "They (Manley) said it sounded great. They also provided me with shitty tech details (yeah! I can copy and paste!). They promised me some money in return of generating a futile article. So I am doing my job. Absolutely no idea how it actually sounds or how it stacks up against competitors in the same league. Honestly, I don't know how to critically evaluate audio gears.."
     
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  8. Thenewerguy009

    Thenewerguy009 Friend

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    What? Come on now, he made a very detailed & in-depth review of the sound signature!

    He said, "it does what a amplifier is supposed to, increase volume".

    What more do you want from a review?
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
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  9. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    All for the rock bottom price of $4,500.
     
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  10. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    "I'm not one to throw around the word 'value' but this thing punches way above its asking price."

    /barf
     
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  11. MisterRogers

    MisterRogers Ethernet Nervosa

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    Tough crowd
     
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  12. manatworks

    manatworks Friend

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    Uhmmmm? “Wire with gains” seal of approval so you can be sure that it wont “colored” your sound?

    Joking aside, this is one weird choice for chassis design. I think my local dealer got this on demo .....lets find out how it sounds.
     
  13. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    I thought it was good review, as audiophile reciews go. Maybe we can stop the circle jerk of comments from folks that want to jump on the bashing bandwagon and just post about actual impressions from people that have heard the amp.

    We can all agree that the look of the amp is controversial and not to many people’s taste, but others like it. We can all agree that $4500 is a lot of money. It has a lot of features. Purrin pointeed out how it achieves the switching may be wonky.

    I’ve heard it (show conditions) and played with the controls. I’ve posted my impressions. I appreciate the link to the review. Thanks
     
  14. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Maybe we were a bit cynical. But I still think that review is VERY POORLY written by any means. It is not surprising at all to criticize pro(=paid)-reviewer if his/her work does not meet the bar.

    My criticisms are largely summarized:
    • Fuck you "wire with gain" framing (the 2nd paragraph of "the listening" section) -- is he reviewing cmoy?
    • No comparison is provided. Honestly, the review gave me NO ADDITIONAL INFORMATION. I cannot imagine how the amp sounds against possible alternatives. No help toward informed purchase.
    • Too general, abstract, and naive statements. Honestly it seems that >90% of sentences can be reused for any audio reviews. For Lv 1 rando post in a random internet forum, it may be acceptable. For a paid review? That's just BS.
    Really the whole review just look like rephrase of fucking marketing material. Well deserved to any kind of criticism, mockery, and bashing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
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  15. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    Tempted to jump in earlier, but I kinda agree with this. I get that people are generally afforded some leeway but more impressions would have been welcome. Would have left it with a like but just to clarify things:

    I emphatically disagree :))

    add: Vtory beat me to it, my dumb butt forgot to hit Reply. Okay, dogpiling over :p
     
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  16. Zhanming057

    Zhanming057 Friend

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    I'm mostly curious about how an amp with 1% THD across the entire FR can be anything close to a "wire with gain".

    I mean, isn't the whole point of tube amps to distort your music in a delightful way?
     
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  17. brams

    brams Rando

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    For what it's worth I actually heard this today and was impressed.

    Yes, I'm a fairly new user with very few posts and I understand my comments will raise some suspicions, but I there's nothing I can do about that.

    I had seen the amp design about 2 years prior to launch and was not bowled over by the look (Ok .. I found it laughable), however, in actual use I did not hurl uncontrollably when I saw the unit (the dealer had the black version on demo). Strange, but there is an oddness to it that kind of grew on me for the short time I used it and even the rear connection did not turn out to be a big deal in actual use. It is a bizarre design choice though and I also did not like that I could see some of the internal circuitry behind the curved plexi (?) top surface.

    Straight out of my Samsung S9+ using Jet Audio as the player and listening to standard rez FLAC files via a pair of Utopias my impression was of a slightly warm unit with a very smooth, open presentation that still had nice tight bass and lots of detail across the range. The sense of space was quite good and there was not much in the way of edginess or grain. I can't think of any obvious negative that immediately jumped out at me after warm up. Maybe dynamics was a bit lacking relative to my setup?

    It was possible to adjust the sound quite a bit using the feedback, gain and tone controls, but mostly I listened on medium gain with the feedback control set about 1/2 way and the tone controls bypassed. Switching from PP to Triode mode had only a slight effect IMO, but the evaluation time was way too short to draw any conclusions. I did find that the sound improved appreciably over the 40 minutes or so that I tried the unit.

    Cabling on the Utopia was stock as was the power cord on the amplifier, but the line out to RCA cable provided for the demo was the Audioquest Angel which I Iater found out to be ridiculously expensive (at least for me).

    I'm not as familiar with end game equipment as I assume many on this forum are; that plus the fact that I was unable to compare directly to my usual setup (CEC transport>COS Engineering Dac/Amp > Utopia) means my comments are less than useful to most. Nevertheless, I was not as angry at the price as I thought I would be after listening. In fact I just might start scanning the ads for resale units.

    It is still hideously expensive though so it would be great to get some actual impressions form those with more experience in this area who have actually listened to the unit long term and compared to well known gear.

    That is all ...
     
  18. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    How can one discern the quality of this amp with shit (relative to desktop) sources such as phones and portable DAPs?

    "I will start with, you get out of the Manley Absolute Headphone Amplifier exactly what you put into it, which is high praise for an amplifier, and unusual for headphone amplifiers"​

    The Modi 3 has specific areas of weakness. The Questyle DACs are pure suckage. These DACs are below in capability at what truly good DACs can do. Why did the reviewer not comment on this if the above was true?
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2019
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  19. brams

    brams Rando

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    One can't in absolute terms. At the very least I wish I could have directly compared to another amp using the same source. The CO'S h1 only accepts digital inputs so it was not even possible to compare using the same source at home.

    My point was that the Manley sounded much better than I expected with a (relative to desktop) mediocre source.

    Looking forward to some impressions and comparisons from experienced users under proper test conditions.
     
  20. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth SBAF Gearmaster

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    Do you have any comparisons to other amps? To be honest I find most audiophile reviews useless because there's no basis of comparison. All of them follow the format of:

    "____ is amazing! Sounds so smooth, liquid! Buy this now!"

    tl;dr, compare to other known products to get an idea for sound.
     
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