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Is this dac an end game dac ?
Depends what you are looking for. I have this DAC but I also have others. If you are looking for a DAC that measures excellent as it sounds then yes, this can be end game. If you are simply looking for a DAC that sounds good that measures good as well, the Grace Balanced DAC will get you where you want to go but for much less (I have this DAC, too). If you don't care about measurements but want something that sounds actually awesome, the Airist R2R sounds really, really good.
Why do you need both SML VMV D1 and Grace Balanced Dac ? Do you have Airist R2R ?
I have all three DACs. The D1 is my 'reference' DAC as it's super sterile. The R2R adds color to music. The Grace travels with me as it's very small and can easily be thrown into a back pack.
That make sense. Why dont you get tube to colour the sounds ? May I know what amp pairing you do ? there any advantage to a balanced DAC ? Either way, am getting BENCHMARK DAC3 B - DIGITAL TO ANALOG AUDIO CONVERTER. This will be my main Dac of the dac reference for main end game.
I've never heard the Benchmark but their reputation is stellar - you can't go wrong there.
Currently, I have the D1 paired with the Stax SRM-727II and L700 MK2. The R2R is paired with the THX AAA 789 and Focal Elex. The Grace bounces from the THX, Stax and a little stereo setup I have (Marantz amp pushing Focal Aria 906's)
THX 789, typical. My question is direct to a solid state not electrostatic energizer. Electrostatic are ear speaker and a different category to plannar/dynamic. But to me they still consider as headphone but that argument is for another day. Anyway, why do you go for Marantz amp, is that a speaker amp ? What do you mean their reputation is stellar ? Did you went to rocky mountain audio fest to view the benchmark ?
Benchmark, from a measurable standpoint (there's equipment review sites that measure equipment), is top of class. From a price standpoint it should be but sadly, not all expensive equipment is engineered well. I just know Benchmark by reputation.
The Marantz amp is a speaker amp. Just a simple stereo setup
What do you mean from a price standpoint in reference to the BENCHMARK DAC3 B ? Meaning the DAC2 B is not engineered well so what are you trying to imply. By the way, am going with the THX 888 amplifier.
Not at all. There are companies out there that charge a premium for their product and their published specs do not match the engineering of the actual product when measured by third-party people. The measurements I've seen from Benchmark products so far that met or exceeded their published specs from these third-party fact checkers.
That make sense and it is very obvious from a rational point of view. Can you least some of the companies ? One of them I know from your statement of reference is Chord Dave (it received a glorious review, overrated af). Are you stating that Benchmark amp exceed in measurement and actual sound performance against the expensive ones in the market ?
There's a few folks doing equipment measurements... Audio Science Review, Super Best Audio Friends, Head-Fi, etc. I recently read a review of a Benchmark product on the Audio Science site.
Well most of them dont really do all measurement so yeah. Anyway, what is some of the companies charge a premium for their product and their published specs do not match the engineering of the actual product from your reference of statement ?
They're out there. Peruse the Audio Science site. Whenever the situation comes up it gets called out.
what is some of the companies charge a premium for their product and their published specs do not match the engineering?
From your questions it sounds like you are really uneducated about audio...which is fine, we all have to start somewhere. But the best way to learn is to research. Go research, you might learn something.
No am not. I want to know from you based on your experience. Am asking from you ? Not for my help. Understand ? So list some companies would you.
Ahhh...you're a troll. You know the answers, just want someone else to give them to you. LOL!
Good day, sir!
No am not a troll. Am someone who is straight forward with rational thoughts, not in denial. Troll is a person who starts quarrels or upsets people on the Internet to distract and sow discord by posting irrational and aggression thoughts. I know there some companies but not really accurately and specific thats why I ask you. What are some of the companies who charge at a hefty price tag ? In my opinion, Chord is one of them, dont you agree ?
If we're talking price/value ratio in regards to measurements then Chord is one of them, yes. Someone can easily get equipment that measures like or better than Chord products for less. The difference would be perceived sound and function.
So is Chord actually is bad due to charging people at a hefty price ? Overprice product ?
That's different for every person. The budget Audiophile will go with Topping and SMSL and the like and will have equipment that measures the same or better. What you are paying for with Chord is the engineering and functionality/looks (perceived sound is subjective). I personally haven't heard any Chord products but with the options out there I'm in no hurry to buy that product, either.
For my experience and opinion Stax is one of the companies that charges a huge premium for well underrated products. Their gear sound ridiculous for the huge price paid... I live in Japan and often go to listen to their products and new line up. Their sound signature is always absolutely without low end... also their earspeakers or how they want to call their fancy plastic headphones leak sound like it is played by cheap small speakers sold on the beach of Italy by good looking immigrants. Not kidding here. Also Chord I fund absolutely way to expensive for what they actually give to customers. For a little portable AMP they charge like the most premium home AMP with all bells and features that you can find from an other good brand for example Topping, Aune, SMSL, Fostex, Audiotecnica. Some of the headphones out there also make me laugh for their price/performance/built like the Meze Empyrean for example. It weight practically a TON and you can use it for weight lifting and to break windows if you are a robber. I could talk hours about headphones I reviewed and tried here in japan (there are so many shops that allows a person to try all the expensive gear) that cost thousands of dollars and some of them sound and feel worse then other 100USD models out there.
First thing first, are you from Japan ? Isnt because Stax is an electrostatic and its expensive to make one. Isnt their L700 is the reference of how electrostatic suppose to sound with the holographic image of music ? What is wrong with Chord, is their sound better ? What competitor at lower price beats or equal to Chord Hugo ? You dont like the Meze Empyrean ??
Yeah I live in Japan. I don't know for sure how expensive is to make an electrostatic but if Koss can make it and sell it for 500 so can stax not 3000. It seems way too expensive for how it sound in my opinion. I did not hear koss but stax many times. It has not holographic sound it has a over bearing highs and mids because the low end is not existent. You need to go and listen and judge for yourself as you might like that sound as many apparently do. I hated it. For the chord I tried it with several headphones I own as I could bring them to try. I ended up buying a FiiO E10 for 5 times less price and the sound for me was pretty similar and way more portable the FiiO. The Empyrean I heard it several months ago and I did not like it at all. The major problem was that it was so unconfortable. So heavy. I used it with several high end amp that were into the shop including a tube amp and I mean gear that cost over 10 grand. The tube amp price was like 15 grand. I don't remember the brand though. My 789 sound like all those amps anyway... I think it is just a gimmich after certain price... just a little difference in tonality if it is a colored amp if not good gear just should amplify clearly and thats it so why a 10 grand amp? What justify this price? Gold nobs perhaps? They were good looking for sure... Fancy and futuristic looking Amps that sound the same as other amps that cost much much less. I loved the Sony MDR Z1R and Audiotecnica new ADX5000 but again 1600usd and 2600usd and someone needs to really evaluate the real value of those when the open back AKG712 Pro exist (which I own) that sound AMAZING... At 200USD and when the closed back MDR Z7 exist which is not that different in sound then the Z1R except a little more present highs and a touch more controlled bass in the Z1R. You hardly notice those differences if you wait couple of minutes to switch between one and the other.
When you refer $3000, were you referring to SR-007Mk2 ? Have you heard their SR-009 flagship ?If you do please tell me. L700 sounds meh to me. I thought the Empyrean is world class with warm and nice holographic sounding ? FiiO E10 for 5 times less price and the sound for me was pretty similar and way more portable the FiiO, so wtf Chord charge so expensive for ? I also thought the Empyrean is one of the most comfortable flagship headphone in the world ? For the amplifier comment, so the THX 789 sounds similar to 10 to 15 grand ? I guess amplifier was charge for looks ?Not really a big fan of the Sony MDR Z1R ? Have you tried the AD 2000x and compare with the AD 5000X , are they really an upgrade from the AD 2000X ?
I dont give a F. Does the Chord sounds better than budget audiophile such as Topping and SMSL. I dont give a crap about their looks and also their aesthetics looks weird.
There goes nick talking to himself again...
Am talking to you and not to myself.
Sorry bro have been away... The Empyrian I fund to be the most unconfortable headphone I tried. For the price geez there are definitely of more confortable out there. For sound did not match my AKG 712 Pro and I paid only 130USD second hand for them but again musicality is about taste and it differes among people but the price paid make the music to my ears much more sweet and sounding lol. The THX789 like many amps of thousands of dollars must only increase volume and should not color the music so why pay 15000usd when the THX789 exist at 400usd? I fund not more volume and more transparency on the most expensive ones just more features like more imputs, remote control, better materials, fancy nobs and lcd display screens. Some of them also had equilizer. The features where nice but nothing that cannot be added to the THX for few hundred bucks. The one I heard was the L700 and L300 from Stax and didn't like either of them. A shrilling high pich headphones if u ask me. I did not hear the new 009 or the mk2 yet but this stax company for years and years made always the same sound signiture so I was not curious. For the audiotecnica I have the ATH AD1000X and it is very similar to the AD2000X but has even better highs. Those two headphones lack lpw frequencies big time though. The AD5000X fix this giving an overall more balanced sound across all frequencies as I remember. I was impressed with the tight bass but again for the money.... Wow expensive. I compared all to my AKG 712 Pro that sound amazing compared to many headphones much more expensive. Also I love my Fostex T50RP mk3 with balanced modification with the THX. Lately I purchased the 3 Koss entry levels headphones and this changed all the level of cost/performance in my book... Geez those 3 headphones sound amazing especially the KPH30i. What is your preferres headphone that you use daily?
Its alright, glad you reply. The Empyrian as they said is one of the most comfortable high end at headphone. I think the AKG 712 Pro is mostly for wide soundstage. Am not sure about other expensive amplifier but in comparison to the 789 with other high end THX amp known as Benchmark THX AAA 888 seems to liken for $3000 price justification. One of the comment stating: "
“When I look at the 789, I see all the corners they cut to get it down to $400. When I look at the HPA4, I see all the corners that they could have cut, but didn't, and a bunch of extra corners thrown in on top.”
“Music sounds so real and immediate and nuanced, it's a bit eerie. I can see how others might find it too weird at first. Personally, I was sold on the amp within 30 seconds. It's simply incredible. That was definitely not my first impression of the 789, or my second. It still falls into the category of "hmm... maybe." It's good, it's worth its price, but owning one means, for me, compromising on a few things that I'm not sure I want to give up.”
Some say L700 is an end game and 009 is world class and some say its sound like a headphone rather than an electrostatic. I dont know. Anyway, regarding the of the audio technica air series, are there any difference to the AD2000x in comparison to the AD5000x. I suppose the 5000x focuses on nuetrality embodiment and overall linear sound and AD2000X specifics on highs and narrow imaging with female vocals and piano instruments.
To your reference, I think you are highly value on price per performance rather than on its technical prowess as high end or something like that. Moving on, I would not say I have a preferred headphone for daily usage because they are very random, plus I dont have many headphones to say the least. At home fidelio x2 and HD6XX and protable DT 770 pro 250 ohms. What do you think ?
Yeah probably you said it right I became more concerned on price/max performance because I bought also a W5000 that cost me quaite a bit sound really good but it is unconfortable so I am not using it much. The ATH2000x is more for classical and female voices and less for rock and heavy bass music compared to the 5000x as the bass is nearly not existent but enough for classical... I do prefere my AKG 712 Pro though as much more all rounded With very nice bass also. I have also the 6XX but for me it is too dark compared to my HD58X which I use much much more. For the Amps I love the THX789 so analytical and I use it daily but when I went some more color to the music I use the Loxij P20 which is really good for the money and it does impress all the people also that listen to it. Yes definitely I love spend the least amount of money trying to get the best sound I can possibly squeeze out of the gear 😁😉
Eitherway, what is the current amp and dac you are using ? Thats why have told everybody my overall rule of thumb to them regardless of price point. Get what solid state and tubes are best at and if you cant own both, you will not go wrong with solid state. Solid state, Tubes and a Dac. Not a big fan of amp/dac combo. So you have HD58X and 6XX ?
I am using a THX789 connected via balanced connection to a Toppings DX7s. To feed music I use a google chromecast connected to the toppings via Optical and using Spotify premium via my LG V20 mobile which by itself is already a fantastic Headphone Amp. Yes I have 6XX and 58X, also HD598cs and HD598se, Fostex T50RP mk3 with balanced modification and memory foam pads from shure, several audiotecnica headphones like the w5000, ath1000, ath900, the akg 712 pro, the AKG 550 mk3 which has really good quality sound, the Sony Z7 my favorite for my bedroom for night listening as closed, the Koss Porta pro, Koss KPH30i the koss KSC75, the ATH MSR7 and few others.....
So how many headphones do you have actually ?
I think 17 or 18. Couple I need to find them lol... One was a fantastic in ear headphone by Bowers and Wilkins and must be in my other house in Australia.
God damn, you really know how to spent money. How many headphones do you actually need as well as amp and dac ? How many house do you have ?
Most I bought them second hand. Here in Japan we have Yahoo auction something like eBay... Many people here are into Audio gear. It is easy to find good second hand at cheap prices. Except the Sony Z1R that for some strange reason does not get much discount. I swap them around all the time. Some I need them for when I go walking as I walk for hours on mountains or wherw I am and make kilometres and kilometres weekly... I use my LG V20 mostly. Some headphones I use them with my PC. I have a ATH S55G there that sends 50 full watts into the headphine output. A fantastic amp thst has also high and low controls. As dac I use a creative soundcard one latest model which also I bought second hand. I live also between three countries and I bring some headphones with me every time I travel. Sometime I leave one or 2 in each place but never my HD58X and Sony Z7 my favorites of them all for open and closed. These two always come back with me. I have a house in each country.
What about you? Where do you live? Which amp and dac do you use and which headphone is you main?
Nearby Singapore. At the moment is Mayflower Arc amp/dac combo. I have no main headphone. I guess its the DT 770 pro. "I have a house in each country." Dont get offended, are you a millionare ?
No Nick just working. I am married and both we earn. I worked for the Navy and Air Force as an officer for few years salary was ok but nothing to become millionaire. After I left I studied finance and started some investments but not big things just personal and just make a living out of it. Definitely not a millionaire. I would buy all new and for sure I had the most espensive headphones and amps out there.... lol Singapore is nice. I had a girlfriend from Singapore for a year... She worked for the Singapore airline. I Came to Singapore few times... Beautiful place.
Oh that make sense. Dont tell me you have a fetish for Singapore ?
I think I heard enough. Thank you very much !
Not problem Nick. Take care. 🎉
This is my set up in my bedroom if you interested Nick. I have also an emotiva BASx100 on the bottom driving 2 Denon SCM33 bookshelf speakers.
Interesting, I dont see any bookshelf speakers
They are to the other wall of the bedroom. Small speakers but amazing sound with a decent amp.
This thread is stunning. Bravo!
Digital will not be an "end game" for a while. It keeps changing too fast.
Now, my Linn LP12 with Lingo is approaching "end game"... just as soon as my wife allows me to drop $15K for a Keel, new power supply and tonearm.... and then the cartridge.
No, nothing is an "end game" when it is a hobby. ;-)