Archive for category HeadPhone Amp Desktop
“At that point, I started comparing the TA-ZH1ES with the Pass Labs HPA-1 headphone amp, a well-regarded reference that, at $3,500, is considerably more expensive than the Sony. The two amps sounded surprisingly different, though the Sony was richer and fuller, which by contrast made the Pass Labs sound too lean. But, as I continued listening, I felt that the Sony’s honeyed rendering went too far, mellowing out the sound balances of familiar recordings (albeit in a very agreeable way). I came to prefer the more transparent sound of the Sony headphones paired with the Pass Labs amp. Of course, you might go the opposite way and crave the lusher sound of the all-Sony combo; it’s a matter of taste.
“There of course is a difference between the stock tubes and the tubes I rolled in (see above) and it mostly is the ECC82 tube that will influence the amplifier’s sound most. The upgraded tube set made the sound stage wider and deeper, the detail higher and slightly increased the smoothness. My OTL topology LaFigaro 339 – depending on the tube sets used – can be a very warm and smooth sounding amplifier but the HA2-SE never comes closed to this sound signature. The Auris is cleaner, more transparent and precise, more dynamic and dare I say, more neutral.”
” In sum, both V850 and V800 follow the same presentation approach, but V850 is a better dac in terms of the technical aspects. Both are great units, but I would choose V850 over V800, if I am about to get a completely new dac.”
” How does the Jotunheim sound? The answer is that the amp sounds powerful, refined, and accomplished—almost absurdly so in light of its price. You enjoy the punch and authority for which well-designed solid state amps are known, ample detail and resolution, plus the quiet backgrounds and precise control over the leading and trailing edges of notes that are the hallmarks of first-rate fully balanced designs. Though it costs only £385, the Jotunheim never sounds out of its depth, not even when paired with some of today’s finest (and most costly) headphones, such as the ENIGMAcoustics Dharma D1000, Focal Utopia, HiFiMAN HE 1000 V2, or MrSpeakers ETHER Flow (all of which I had on hand for my Jotunheim listening sessions). Moreover, with the lower of Jotunheim’s two gain settings engaged, the amp is so uncommonly quiet that it works beautifully when driving ultra high-sensitivity earphones and CIEMs such as the Westone W80 or Noble Audio Katana.
” The amps most standout points when it comes to sonics would be its slightly thinner treble tone that does account for it being a more excitable product and beyond that, it is full sounding with a spread out soundstage. It can also easily be categorised as your traditional warm valve based piece of electronics, just with the injection of energy. The bass is thick and firm, I wouldn’t say it is that woolly, soft type of low end you get with some tube amps. It really compliments the HD800, which is not known for copious amounts of bass and the combination has a really hard hitting low end! The midrange seems to edge towards clarity which makes sense as the treble is airy and exciting. I find the treble to be the weakest area, sometimes making tssh like notes and feeling just a bit feeble. It’s no tragedy don’t get me wrong, as I said it still plays well with my Sennheiser’s which can easily sound unlistenable if the treble gets too out of hand.”