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So the UPS guy knocks at the door and guess what? A semi-large box with Grace Desing M920 logo. I open it up and wow what a sleek unit silver brushed aluminum not as large as I imagined but quite heavy. Next step installed the feet and mounted on top of my studio monitors. Changed to USB2.0 and installed the driver as audioman suggested. Then guess what ..no sound! Sure enough the volume was on low I guess I forgot out of excitement. Took it to 6.0 and plugged in my Grado RS1i. Opened up the Spotify Premium and just WOW. What clarity and transparency.. mind blowing...incredible. I hate to admit but I think I had misty eyes. The level of detail you guys got to hear it. Its out of this world. Also sound is slightly warm and not fatiguing for the ears. Audioman, I understand the HD700 is lacking that warmth as do most of HD lines unless HD600 which is why your using the tube amp?. I recommend you give the build in headphone amp of m920 a trial. You may decide to sell the Woo :)
Anyway guys... I'm looking to hear what your first impression is like to those who have the unit delivered and those that hopefully will be there soon.
To guys at Grace Design thank you for making this deal possible. If it was not for the deal I would not have had the opportunity to hear your product which is so good it brings me to tears listening to music :)
Good for you! I don't know if I would place electronics on top of speakers due to the vibrations (hence why my desk is very crammed right now lol). I don't think the the built-in headphone amp is bad by any means. It's very good, but I definitely prefer the Woo so far. Also, the Woo does have more power. I have to run the m920 at around 65+ to get decent volume, and go up into the upper 80's for high volume (granted, I listen to things louder than I should), where as on the Woo, I pretty much never go above 2/3 of volume (and have actually accidentally bottomed out my HD 700's by accident from being too loud). The m920 does have the power for the HD 700's, but I have to crank it up way higher as you can see (as I said, I'm pretty sure that the m920 was designed for low impedance headphones, and while the HD 700's aren't super high, they're certainly not low either). Above all though, I think the Woo is just a better pairing for it, but if I didn't have it, I would have no problem using the m920.
Have you played with the digital filters at all yet? I'm not sure which ones I like best yet. I've been using mostly the slow and minimum phase filters.
I do understand where you're coming from with the Woo, its an amazing peace of hardware. I had a tube amp before (not as high end as the Woo) and the sound was addictingly good. As for filters I've been playing around different and settled with S-Slow Response. It appears to provide highest level of sound quality for me. Fast response (F) is not bad either but S-Slow offers a nice balance between musicality and attack.
By the way Audioman, have you tried DSD and if yes what has been the experience?
Yeah, I've been using the slow and minimum phase filters the most.
I have not tried DSD yet. I don't have any DSD files, but I'll have to try them sometime. Right now my music library is a bit of a mess. My desktop as well as my external hard drives are dead, and I don't have the money to replace them at the moment, so my space is pretty limited.
Listening to 320kb music on Spotify Premium I can highly recommend it. The sound quality is fantastic and great value overall. Just got my TH900 and I have to say with Grace Design M920 it sounds out of this world. Tight but deep layered bass great mid and upper mids. The vocals are clear and not fatiguing. Truly a world class combination. I recommend you try these headphones and maybe just buy. Wont be disappointed.
Someday when I'm not broke lol. I'd also really like to get some planars, like a pair of Audeze headphones.
Have you tried FLAC files yet?