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Ian15
26
Jun 17, 2016
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Is this better than a magni 2?
Jun 17, 2016
subjectivismisignorance
6
Jun 17, 2016
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It depends. Are you an objectivist, in other words do you have a scientifically minded worldview where you demand evidence to support claims, never take anything at face value, and not only willing to change your mind when presented with evidence that conflicts with your established beliefs but regularly do so? Then yes, this is better than a magni 2, because all of the specs are measurably better, and specs are what matter (edit: most manufacturers don't even publish most specs, they typically leave it at THD+N and some form of output power. If they don't even publish the complete spec doesn't that suggest to you that they have something to hide?). The device was designed by a good engineer for the purpose of high sound quality while ignoring demonstrably false audiophile beliefs like the individual component specs matter more than the device as a whole. The O2 doesn't have its own "sound" because it's audibly transparent. When you listen through the O2 you are listening to the music, the O2 does not get in the way. You don't have to "match" it with certain headphones, it just works. If on the other hand you're a subjectivist, you believe in things that aren't real, you think that you can hear the difference between CD quality and "HD" 24bit/96KHz despite the fact that the human ear's range tops out at 20KHz (on a good day, if you're 15), or you cling to the even more absurd belief that vinyl sounds better than a digital copy from the same master, then probably don't get the O2. Matter of fact don't get the Magni 2 either, because you'd be the kind of person who thinks dropping $2000 on a Schiit Yggdrasil will be money well spent. Read nwavguy's blog. Read all of his articles relevant to the O2. You will find the answers you need there. In short, just get the O2. It is the only headphone amp you'll ever need until you get to planar magnetic headphones, and even then the O2 will drive some of those. Get the medium gain option unless you have planar magnetics. The standard will be too strong. You don't want to have to have the volume control down at 10% all the time because volume knobs have channel imbalance problems at low volumes.
Jun 17, 2016
babybum
28
Jun 17, 2016
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@subjectivismisignoranceI normally listen to my music with either IEMs, or easy to drive headphones. My question is which gain version should I get? (Standard or medium gain) Your suggestion is much appreciated! 😂
Jun 17, 2016
Ian15
26
Jun 17, 2016
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Okay thanks for the great answer I will go with this.
I would be using my Fostex THX-00 once they get here. Right now have Beyerdynamic COP.
Should I get the desktop version for $15 extra? Will it still have regular headphone jacks?
Jun 17, 2016
subjectivismisignorance
6
Jun 18, 2016
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@babybumI would definitely go medium. Standard gain is too strong for all but planar headphones. I would advise against assuming that you can just choose the standard gain option and then use lower volume, because volume controls (potentiometers) have channel imbalance problems that are worse at low volumes - one side of your headphone would sound slightly louder than the other. So you don't want to have to keep the volume control really low all the time. So go the medium. It will be plenty loud enough even with the gain switch on low (unity gain). Worst case, if you get planars later, you can always change the gain yourself if you are comfortable with basic soldering (it's just changing two resistors), the designer of the amp provided instructions on his blog.
Jun 18, 2016
babybum
28
Jun 18, 2016
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Your knowledge is very helpful for me to decide which gain option to get. I almost pull the trigger for the standard gain LOL. Thanks for your help!
Jun 18, 2016
subjectivismisignorance
6
Jun 18, 2016
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@Ian15No problem, happy to help. For most people I'd suggest the portable/standard version rather than the desktop version. I personally got the portable option as you can put batteries in it for $10. I can leave the charger at home and take the amp to work and use it there without having to bring the charger home again. Or I can leave the charger in one spot and move around the house with the amp. It's pretty useful. Even if you don't want to do that now, you can change your mind and add batteries later with the portable version. I don't think you can do that with the desktop version. The desktop version has the larger style 1/4" jack rather than the usual 3.5mm jack. Some people would say that's a good thing. You don't get better sound out of the larger jack, but as they are rated for more insert/remove cycles, it will last longer especially if you always unplug and plug in your headphones rather than leaving them plugged in. You just have to always use an adapter if your headphones have large plug. The RCA jacks won't give you better quality either. Well it will, but you won't hear it. The difference is so minimal it's only worth doing if you're recording.
Jun 18, 2016
Pierre111
411
Jun 18, 2016
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I consider myself an objectivist, and someone who just like the Idea of transparency and don't go for the hype and nonsense when it comes to audio. But the claim you make, suggesting anything else is plain ignorance is very debatable. 1. The Human ears range is less tan 20k, that's absolutely and objectively correct, but the thing is, everything above that still reach our eardrum, but don't get trough, but those harmonics have an influence on the waveshape that we do hear, they just get filtered out, everyones ears have a different, unique response. but there is absolutly no evidence that the way it's filtered by our audition system is the exact same way the filter at the input of a DAC does it. Keeping the inaudible frequencies of a signal insure that its your ears that will do that job. Play a square wave at 15k, there is a difference between what I, what you, and what a measurment microphone picks. 2. the word lenght, or if you prefer difference between 16 and 24 bits. is directly linked to Signal to noise ratio and I can assure you that a trained ear can ear the difference. Maybe not in pop music, but capture an uncompressed performance and with 24 bits you are a magnitude further than the added noise floor of your equipment. It will be heard sometime, and sometimes not, but it's in any case not subjective, if background noise is being heard, it's real. 3. I just like the sound of vinyl, yes it's subjective, it's just something I like. Claiming it's better is not the point, but claiming it's a preference, there is nothing wrong about that, cause OBJECTIVELY, it sounds different.
Jun 18, 2016
Ian15
26
Jun 18, 2016
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Yeah that's a good point, I'll go with the portable one for the ability to use batteries. Good to know, thanks again!
Jun 18, 2016
subjectivismisignorance
6
Jun 18, 2016
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Ah, unfortunately Mr Pierre111 you HAVE gone for the hype and nonsense. Your statement that there is absolutely no evidence that our ears work the same way as a sigma delta DAC's filter not only makes no sense, but is completely irrelevant. The burden of proof is not on me. The burden of proof lies with the people who assume that bigger numbers means better sound. The burden of proof lies with the one who claims they CAN hear the difference. On the contrary: there is not a single, scientifically valid test demonstrating that humans can hear the difference between 16bit and 24bit playback (notice I said playback, NOT the use of 24bit in the recording/mixing/mastering process). It has been claimed so many, SO GAWDDAMN many times now that if it were true then SOMEONE would have proof by now. You know I don't even care to discuss this further, perhaps it is arrogance but at this point I don't care. It only ever goes around in circles. It's a religion, it really is. So whatever, I fully realise this means you win by default, I just don't care.
Now as for your preference for vinyl, that's fine. As long as you realise that the noise floor simply will never go beyond 13-bit equivalent, whatever, you might just prefer it, that's fine. I have no problem with that. It's when someone tries to say it's BETTER than CD (i.e. 16/44) where there's an issue, because... well... it plain isn't. But you can still prefer it. I prefer basic pizza over gourmet. Whatever.
Jun 18, 2016
Pierre111
411
Jun 18, 2016
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No it's not about who wins, I agree with mosts of what you say and I'm not saying that I would hear the difference each and every time. Your claim might actually be true where everything else is perfect but it's not the case. Do you know exactly what your digital volume steps represents? Do you know exactly how far from the 0 DBFS Limit you are when listening at a confortable volume? Are you actually Listening to your music represented on 14 bits? maybe 15? Do you know what dithering process is used when in real time converting 24 bits files down to your 16 bit only DAC? Did you measured the artefacts created by the process? For me 24 bit is just an insurance, that it will reproduce the source properly and as close to perfect but I play and enjoy CD quality music all the time. On my ear filtering job, that you say makes no sense, I would agree that I was trying to over simplify things. I'm gonna put thing differently, there is many ways to implement filters, and in most case what they are doing with the inaudibles harmonics will have no effects on the audible range. But there are ways to do it that will create distortion even in the audio range. I never said I hear a clear difference between a Standard and Hi-resolution audio. All it does is put potential problems further away to insure it doesn't mess with what I can hear. That's not subjective to say that in SOME cases there could be a difference.
Jun 18, 2016
Pierre111
411
Jun 29, 2016
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Jun 29, 2016
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