May 8, 2019 § Leave a comment
“The WA11 has absolutely no problem getting the 300 Ohm Sennheiser to blasting volumes. Loudness isn’t the problem of the Senn, as it’s an easier to drive headphone, but it can be very picky when it comes to sources. With the WA11 I feel it’s a good match. You will still get all the details from the Senn, but you will receive good amounts of body from the WA11, which makes a great blend of the two.
Don’t expect the bass of the HD800S to be elevated to levels of the Empyrean or even Diana Phi though, it’s still light on the lows, but mids are a notch denser with the Woo, which is also an area where the Senn could be improved on its own to me.”
March 18, 2019 § Leave a comment
“A problem with armature-based IEMs, such as my Ultimate Ears 18 Pros, is that their vibrating reeds start to run out of excursion with high levels of low-frequency tones, producing “doubling” (second-harmonic distortion). This was not the case with either the KSE1500 or KSE1200SYS earpieces, which played the low-frequency, 1/3-octave warble tones on my Editor’s Choice (CD, Stereophile STPH016-2) cleanly and with full weight down to 32Hz, provided the sleeves were making good seals with my ear canals. The combination of low-frequency clarity and weight in “Happiness Is Easy,” from Talk Talk’s The Colour of Spring (DSD64 file ripped from SACD, EMI 591452), made the sparse interjections from Danny Thompson’s double bass and Alan Gorrie’s electric bass sound suitably forceful. No, in terms of low-frequency weight, the in-ear Shures still couldn’t match my long-term headphone reference, Audeze’s LCD-Xes, driven in balanced mode by Ayre Acoustics’ EX-8 integrated amplifier. However, the over-ear LCD-Xes weigh my head down after the first couple of hours; the lightweight Shures remained comfortable throughout far longer listening sessions.”
March 4, 2019 § Leave a comment
“Upfront there’s a machined metal volume control and two headphone jacks, a standard 6.3mm jack and a 4.4mm Pentaconn jack (for headphones fitted with balanced cables with Pentaconn connectors; only one headphone can be plugged in at a time). The amplifier circuitry is fully balanced from input to output.
Too bad Woo didn’t also squeeze in a 3.5mm headphone jack, but space is limited. The amp’s side panel has a high/low gain switch for compatibility with easy- and hard-to-drive headphones.”
January 14, 2019 § Leave a comment
January 10, 2019 § Leave a comment
” see two quite different “types” of audiophile as the primary customers for the xDSD. First, younger, more mobile-oriented audiophiles with smartphones and portable computers could find the xDSD to be the perfect “step-up” audio device to improve sound from all sources. Long-time audiophiles (the ones with the 25-year-old DACs that they still love for Red Book) could add an xDSD to their system as an auxiliary digital device that would give them access to all the newest high-resolution files, streams, and digital codecs for a pittance of the price they paid for their “main-squeeze” DAC. Both types of audiophile will be pleased and impressed by the xDSD’s flexibility, utility, performance level, and overall value. I know I was.”