High End Audiophile Thread Part 2

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by vbetts, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. sykozis

    sykozis Ancient Guru

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    Well, I was considering some new headphones.....but after reading this thread, among others, I'll stick with my almost 7 year old Superlux HD681... my hearing isn't good enough to be that picky or pay that much....

    You missed the audiophile USB card.... https://jcat.eu/product/usb-card-femto/

    geez.... company looks like it's just out to rip people off.
    audiophile network switches, audiophile usb cables, audiophile network cables, audiophile sata cables..... wonder how much they charge for the audiophile grade drugs they've been consuming.....
     
  2. mikeysg

    mikeysg Ancient Guru

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    Jeez, the sponge earpads on my Grado GS1000i disintegrated on touch, was wondering where those black bits of crap I had on my fingers. Ordered two pairs of replacement pads - one pair for GS/PS cans, the other for SR cans. I decided to use the smaller SR compatible pads first.
    [​IMG]

    Since I'm staying home more than usual, I've been rummaging thru my collection of cans. The old HFM HE series headphones do suck a lot of power, don't they? With SE plug, I'd have to push my Oppo HA-1 to pretty high, about 11 o'clock mark to attain satisfactory loudness. Swapped out to my custom Balanced cable and I need only about 9:30 to achieve equivalent loudness. Gonna roll thru my HFM can, starting with my HE-560, then the HE-4, on on to the HE-1000.

    After that, I intend to break out my HD800 and AKG 812 from storage for more audio bliss....
     
  3. Chastity

    Chastity Ancient Guru

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    I got new pads too... enjoying my DT-1990 with Dekoni Elite Velours. So comfy :)
     
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  4. mikeysg

    mikeysg Ancient Guru

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    Talking about pads, I didn't realize I had a spare pair of MrSpeakers Alpha Pads, I put them on my HFM HE-4 and have been using it and my Oppo HA-1 for audio appreciation since I'm home all day. Deciding if the pads jells well with the HE-4, so I'll be using these for a while...oh yeah, using a custom made Balanced SMC cable.
    [​IMG]
     

  5. alanm

    alanm Ancient Guru

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    The ultimate system.

     
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  6. gridiron whirlw

    gridiron whirlw Ancient Guru

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    I have had my Grado pads do this to me also. They get old and disintegrate
     
  7. Chastity

    Chastity Ancient Guru

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    My 12-yr old Sennheiser HD580 pads have disintegrated too. 2 years ago I changed out the headband foam, and yesterday I ordered Dekoni Elite Velours for teh HD6xx series. The memory foam in them shouldn't disintegrate like the old ones. Plus, I found a vendor on Amazon selling them cheaper than Dekoni's site or Sennheiser's for OEM pads.
     
  8. gridiron whirlw

    gridiron whirlw Ancient Guru

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    I have never used any Dekoni ear pads, but I am guessing they are pretty nice as many people seem to use them.
     
  9. OnnA

    OnnA Ancient Guru

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  10. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    I came across the new Holo Audio May R2R DAC a few days ago, not sure how I missed the pre release reviews for 1/2 a year! Too busy enjoying what I have already :)
    https://kitsunehifi.com/product/holo-audio-may-dac/

    It appears the final release version is even better than the pre release reviews and they are good!
    Its been at least 5 years coming but I didnt expect it to perform quite this well.
    This is of special interest to me as I have the Holo Audio Spring Level 3 (almost Kitsune) R2R DAC and the Magnafied SU-1 DDC as an I2S feed, more of this would be amazing.
    A report by Magna Hifi and Kitsune say the new May is better without a DDC, direct USB feed sounds best, cool!
    Its not cheap, $5000 for the version I'm interested in, eek!

    Pre release tests, Nov 2019 (edit, is the demo version of the Level 2 May, not a pre release)
    https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...may-probably-the-best-discrete-r2r-dac.10161/
    DNR of 130dB, SINAD 118dB, superb for an R2R DAC, close to the performance of the very best there is.

    Release version of the May Level 3 Kitsune (KTE) model, Feb 2020
    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/kte-may-technical-measurements.8933/
    DNR of 140dB, wow!!
    No SINAD reported but its sure to be higher than the pre release. (edit, higher than the Level 2)
    This might beat the very best DACs, period!


    The Holo Spring Level 2 measured DNR 116dB and SINAD of only 106dB.
    (My Level 3 DAC should be a bit better, it sounds absolutely fantastic. I also use a jacked up version (Magnafied) of the Singxer SU-1 for I2S input which should boost the results somewhat further.)
    https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-measurements-of-holo-audio-spring-dac.10047/
    He calls it The Spring 2 Level 2 in the graphs but it must be the Spring 1 level2 because his review of the newer Spring 2 here is a bit better:
    https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...easurements-of-holo-audio-spring-2-lv2.10678/
    The May should be a solid upgrade coming from both those, I cant wait to hear it.

    Has anyone come across the May DAC yet?
    I so want it...
    (What a crap name for a DAC though lol)
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2020
  11. gridiron whirlw

    gridiron whirlw Ancient Guru

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    I too have been wondering about this, but for the most part I have not even looked at any other dac's since I bought the L3 Spring.
    Sounds very interesting though.
     
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  12. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    Made the move back to a planar headphone, after my R70 Left driver started doing distorted sound in the bass and highs. I had it beyond the warranty so i couldn't RMA it. I had it for 3 years and around 7 months, longer then what I usually keep headphones. Originally I wanted the HE-5se, but they stopped showing up on ebay and then my SH-8 amp wouldn't been enough for it, even if I had went balanced. But I ended up going for the Sundara any way, So far I like it, but I currently waiting for my balanced cable to ship. After I get the cable, I be all set.

    Sundara.jpg
     
  13. Chastity

    Chastity Ancient Guru

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    I've been eyeing an Ollo S4X myself.
     
  14. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    Turns out the first technical review I posted is of the May Level 2 as a demo unit, not a pre release model.
    The second review is the Level 3 KTE, this explains the 10dB higher dynamic range.

    Whats baking my noodle is the almost complete lack of reviews other than tech testing.
    Even the tech reviewers wouldnt provide an opinion on how it sounds. One said he might buy one because it looks great inside and made sure we knew he wasnt basing this on the sound quality.
    The only review I found so far is from December 30th by a user who provided useful info but didnt go in depth:
    https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/58090-holo-audio-may-dac

    This strikes me as strange.
    We are almost 5 months later and while CV19 probably had an impact in the last 3 to 4 months, it wasnt affecting much before then.
    And other electronics reviews have not stopped being written, so what gives?

    The Holo Spring thread has the most information around the time of its launch from post #968 onward:
    https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/28637-holo-audio-spring-dac-r2r-dsd512/page/39/
    Bimmer100 is Tim from Kitsune, Miska is Jussi who wrote HQPlayer, and other decent folk.
    It certainly appears to be impressive from what Tim says, but the loaner mentioned seems to have gone mia.
    During the thread, Tim had an epic mood in February over very little really, and stopped contributing.

    And I'm surprised that Tim tried to pass it off as having 23bit resolution, claiming the 140dB DNR figure proves this.
    Yet the ENOB (Effective Number Of Bits) uses this equation:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effective_number_of_bits
    ENOB = (SINAD - 1.76)/6.02

    It resolves from SINAD not DNR.
    Indeed, if using DNR it gets the answer he claims, so this is the equation he used.
    ENOB = (140.4 -1.76)/6.02 = 23.03bits

    SINAD was measured to be 118dB on the Level 2, it should be a bit higher for the KTE version.
    I'm not quite sure the equation is the same for ADCs and DACs though, all references I found to the equation were using it in this form for ADC numbers, with a -1.76 offset that caters for quantization errors (an ADC issue).

    So being very kind I will use the following formula, and will for arguments sake say the SINAD for the May Level 3 KTE version is 121dB.
    ENOB = SINAD/6.02

    = 121/6.02 = 20.099bits
    Still great figures but very different from Kitsunes claim.


    All this makes me a bit queasy.
    What is going on?
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020

  15. sverek

    sverek Ancient Guru

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    Don't forget to apply oil on balanced cable, that'll make all the difference :D
     
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  16. Chastity

    Chastity Ancient Guru

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    Depends on what amp he has. ex: If he has the THX 789,. then his SE out is nerfed compared to balanced.
     
  17. alanm

    alanm Ancient Guru

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  18. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    Thanks for the headsup, but really annoying when I only bought a new AVR a couple of years ago, cheers.
    No surprise at that time though, and I had to get something! Its a shame top end AVRs cant match high end DACs otherwise I would get one unit for everything.
    Oh well, I can connect video straight to the TV for 120Hzness once I get a 4K120 telly.
    I have a new DAC to look forward to in a week, that'll keep me quiet :D
    Sadly I p/x'd my current DAC so no music this week :(
     
  19. OnnA

    OnnA Ancient Guru

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