The All Purpose Advice Thread

Discussion in 'Advice Threads' started by purr1n, Sep 26, 2015.

  1. Adrien

    Adrien RobS / neomax

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    Hi @purr1n , have you ever made a post here on the importance of having a pre-amp? I think this would be very helpful and useful to a lot of people, especially the differences between passive and active, how to interacts with one's system, etc.

    You've said preamps are guilty of committing sins of omitting or committing signal info. Personally I'd like to go the purist route and eliminate the need of a preamp but not sure how to do that with a DAC to power amps and speakers in the chain. Would adjusting the volume slider in a music playback software be worse than having a preamp?

    But anyway would be interested to read your thoughts in preamps in general.
     
  2. crazychile

    crazychile Eastern Iowa's Spiciest Pepper

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    Yep, LaScalas and Cornwalls are pretty much the size of a washing machine. Not for everyone.
    Another option would be to see if any used Forte IIs pop up in your area. The footprint is close to the Heresy, and you won't need a sub right away. With any speaker 96dB or greater, a single Aegir will be all the amp you need.
     
  3. zonto

    zonto Friend

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    On the Klipsch Facebook group there’s a lot of love for Chorus II as well. Basically the Forte but with 15” woofer and passive radiator.
     
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  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Use active preamp for following reasons:
    1. Technical need: impedance matching or gain
    2. Ease of use: remote control or input switching (note this could be passive too)
    3. Coloring the sound: deeper stage, more bottom end, tube bloom, more top end, tone controls, whatever
    4. SE to balanced or balanced to SE conversion
    Adjusting slider in music software can be bad - you lose bits at the digital output.

    A lot info here: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/preamps.2862/

    --

    I use this a home for a passive because I am a cheap bastard. Modern DACs should be able to drive this.
    https://www.amazon.com/JBL-NPATCH-B...ild=1&keywords=jbl+nano&qid=1587666501&sr=8-2
     
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  5. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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  6. Smipau29

    Smipau29 Rando

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    Thanks all for the help with my research into this. I ended up securing a pair of Heresy III for about half what they cost new + size look works for the room. Ill let ya know what I personally like about them!
     
  7. amill

    amill Rando

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    Looking for a DAC recommendation under $1k. My last setup was Topping D50s > JDS Labs Atom > Hifiman he-400i. I didn't like the sound much, it sounded quite harsh. I was able to hear details though. Latest is ? > SMSL SP200 > HD6XX. I've been reading threads in the DAC section, especially about the Schiit Bifrost 2. It seems like what I'm looking for to give the system a bit of warmth with Unison USB. I've also been considering a NOS dac like the Metrum Amethyst to achieve a warmer sound. I'm lacking experience to make a decision and would like any input or recommendations on this.
     
  8. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Based on my experience with atom and hfm, it seems all of the components in the current rig are attributable to your perceived harshness. Or maybe likely some synergy in the negative direction.

    Bifrost 2 is a right way to go. That's true. But better take care of other parts, too. And as a rule of thumb, when every element matters, it's the best bang for the buck to concentrate transducers first then amp or dac later.

    If 6XX didn't do good for you, (1) apply simple mods such as KISS and/or (2) 600/580 could be alternative, too.
    To stay in the planar world, consider Verum-1 as well.
    If budgets allow, build a rig based on Borelias.

    If I were you, I'd first grab Borelias headphones, try to see if budget stretches to magni+ (ideally asgard 3), and then save up to bifrost 2.
     
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  9. tommytakis

    tommytakis Gear Cycler SoCal Edition

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    @amill I actually agree with @Vtory as well. HD650 scales like mad, but no amount of synergy can get rid of the subbass rolloff or the 3 blobby imaging that is inherent with the HD6x0 series. I have a soft spot for the Senns so I will always have one in my setup, but it's definitely not for everyone especially if you listen to genres with sub-bass. If you like the planar sound, Verum-1 is an excellent all rounder for its price range that sounds good off of a phone.

    Borealis also sounds decent even without a full setup, but will scale w/ better gear and is a good foundation to build your system around (if your budget allows). Bori has excellent macro &microdynamics, faster transients than Focals, and excellent timbre.
     
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  10. moriya

    moriya Acquaintance

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    EDIT: Arg, just realized there's a 2-channel advice thread. Moving my original post.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2020
  11. amill

    amill Rando

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    Thanks @Vtory and @tommytakis for that recommendation on Borealis. I'll be sure to check them out for my next pair! I'm hearing you @Vtory that transducers are the best value, but I only just bought the 6XX. Maybe my post made it seem so but I have nothing against the 6XX. I'm using them with SMSL SP200 (~ Massdrop THX 789) connected to my current DAC Topping D50s, and am amazed. I don't have the vocabulary to describe what I like, and haven't put in nearly enough time. There's a wow factor already though. My main goal is adding a DAC to bring some analog warmth into the system.
     
  12. tommytakis

    tommytakis Gear Cycler SoCal Edition

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    Don't get me wrong, HD6xx/650 is a great headphone, probably one of the best value items in this market even today despite being 10 years+ old. It's more of a matter of what you value in sound. Some prefer to focus on detail and resolution while others favor slam/dynamics or soundstage. You should definitely keep the HD6xx as a guide in figuring out what you like/don't like about certain headphones. I think that's the most efficient way of going about this hobby, especially if you are just starting out. Good luck and have fun!
     
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  13. amill

    amill Rando

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    Will do thanks again.
     
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  14. lagadu

    lagadu Acquaintance

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    Personally my solution was the Freya S and I'm extremely happy with it; With my speakers and amp I never really felt a need for tube bloom so I wanted a preamp to replace the previous tube preamp that I used. What surprised me the most was the balanced > SE conversion in 4x mode: I had read conflicting opinions on whether the gungnir SE outs had worse quality outputs so I just figured it might have small differences but nothing significant unless you're really looking for it. Boy was I wrong; it's a big improvement. I was skeptical about it so I had a friend help me with blind testing it and it was pointless, I could tell with perfect accuracy which output was being used.

    Regarding the + vs S: it looks like the + allows you to have the best of both worlds and you get to retire the 6sn7 preamp, with the S you'd have to keep it if you want to keep tube sound in your aleph chain.
     
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  15. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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  16. Itamar

    Itamar Rando

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    For modding my HD6XX -
    Are there any sound deadner mats like the second skin or dynamats that can be bought from china (through ebay/ aliexpress) that are as good or close enaugh to do the job?
     
  17. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    I am having both, and I think you pointed out the most critical weakness of sys.

    Sys isn't doing passive pre duty any more after nanopatch superseded. It's current role is 2-1 or 1-2 selector. haha.

    My ear isn't that golden enough to differentiate audible differences though.
     
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  18. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    I'd have to get new cables, so I wonder if there's any advantage/disadvantage to going balanced out from Bifrost 2 and letting the Nano convert to SE or the SE outs and using RCA-to-¼" cables.
     
  19. pechelman

    pechelman Acquaintance

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    Thanks for the input. I reached out to schiit as well for their opinions and it got me leaning toward the FS over the plus. They had some really appealing things to say about it over F+ in buffer mode and then some of the things I went back to read about 4X over Tube mode appealed to me as well. The thought had occurred to me about retiring the other 6sn7 but decided to take the fully solid state option in the end.

    I'm glad to read your comments on the balanced connections. Ordered a bunch of mogami 2534 and a handful of neutriks and a new bullhead xlr pair to install into the Aleph. Going to run this chain fully balanced to see how it sounds.
     
  20. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Can't hear any difference. The JBL is 5k/10k SE/BAL, so a slightly more difficult load.
     
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