chesebert

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About chesebert

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  1. I can see now. I really want those but simply can’t justify with my 3 Linn DS .... haha.
  2. @Briain That was very helpful! So it looks like the same Katalyst DAC but different output stages. I am glad I have the ADS/3 and not KDS/3 as I would certainly want to use XLR and RCA at the same time without quality degradation.
  3. Thanks. In terms of the difference between Klimax DS/3 and Akurate, my understanding is that the output stages of both streamers are the same. If Klimax suffers degradation from using RCA and XLR at the same time and Akurate does not, does that mean they don’t share the same output after all?
  4. That’s great. There are two sets of RCA outputs. Which one should I use?
  5. Does anyone know if I can drive two preamps with both XLR and RCA with Akurate DS/3? Both preamps have input impedance of 50k ohms. If yes, should I expect there to be any sonic degradation from driving multiple loads?
  6. I have had Ayre amp and Harbeth combo for almost 20 years now (few combinations within their respective lines) and I have heard many other brands but have not had the urge to upgrade at their respective price points. My front end has always been Linn. PS Audio products are just okay to my ears - like really good mid-fi stuff. Also, I think hi-fi is company specific and is agnostic to country of origin.
  7. Justin knows how to make a beautiful amp. Congrats!
  8. I would not recommend Grado with GS-X, unless you have a front end EQ. Granted, I have not heard GS-X mk2 so you can always try and report back.
  9. You need EQ; your amp is fine for now. If you want more accurate, bigger and fuller bass you can get Asgard (the older ones that run in pure class A not the new class AB version). Grado's problem is FR not drive. If you want to spend more, you can get custom Gilmore Lite (e.g., headamp versions) with low gain or ask someone to build you a low gain M^3. If you are determined to stick with tube, see if you can track down a Melos SHA-1 (or any amp with tube gain with FET output). I heard SHA-1 with HP-1 and PS-1 and they were absolutely wonderful (based on distant memory)
  10. I have been into headphone for over 2 decades now and have heard and played with almost all the old favorites. I can tell you definitely that I once paired $10k source with amp that's around $3k driving KSC75 ($25) and it was wonderful sounding. However, the main problem with headphones is that none of them has perfect frequency response and need EQ (whether using physical mods or digital EQ), even the $60k HE-1 (it's close to perfect...). My advice to you is to grab HD600/650 and just dump the rest of your funds into amp and source (separates and not combo units). When properly amped, EQ/modded, with high-end source (which you already have), there is almost no headphone on the market with better mid-range performance, including the entire Focal line. On the amp front, buy as big of an amp as you can, provided it's well built and measures relatively well. Also, don't worry to much about balanced vs single ended - "balance" is actually a misnomer, technically its bridged configuration. Using the right amp you will be hard pressed to find any difference, and often with a nod toward single ended due to less noise/distortion - I personally prefer big big singled ended amp with significant headroom. Edit: Specific advice for you: use your Renew as the source (even if you have to use amp loop out) and get a Pass Labs amp or GSX MK2. You can use DT990 for now and can try HD650 (better mid range with slightly less bass impact, but still deep, full and satisfying). Make sure you EQ (with Renew's SO) DT990 using the Harmon curve and raw measurement (you can find that online).
  11. I am not sure that's constructive. I value ASR's work and I think we need JA and ASR so we don't get suckered into buying equipment that's not well designed in the first place. There is a difference between poorly designed products that sound okay and well designed products with certain aspect not measuring as well (i.e., reduce/eliminate feedback to achieve certain sound that preserves timbre at the expense of distortion). I can look at ASR's measurements and correlate to what I am hearing and I think that's valuable. Is Codex as resolving as Linn ADS Kat? Hell no. But does Codex sound organic and musical? Absolutely. Ayre is trading resolution/SNR for better performance in the time domain from the analog stage and to get that particular sound. For the price, I think the trade off is well worth it. You can of course decide to not comprise and go straight to Linn DS with Katalyst.
  12. @Rayymondo I don't normally check this forum hence the delayed response. I did not do a direct A/B test between renew and Akurate DS3 so the difference may not be as big as I believe it is. The reason I upgraded from renew is not because renew sounded bad in my system. I simply wanted a new DS that can directly drive a power amp with and renew has a rather bad digital volume control. The Akurate DS3 was part of total electronics makeover: from renew + integrated amp to Akurate DS3 + power amp only. I did try renew with the power amp and the digital volume control was harming the sound quality (at around 50% volume). Having said all the above, I can tell you when I connected Akurate DS3 to the power amp my first reaction was "holy shit, that sounds real." I believe the largest difference between DS3 and renew is the level of detail and transparency. DS3 sounds cleaner, more detailed, more transparent and more analog and life-like all at the same time -- I know those descriptions don't usually appear in the same sentence, but what can I say. Details and space are easier to hear but in a very analog and life-like manner. The bass between renew and DS3 seems similar, but I don't have speakers that go really low so perhaps there are differences. In terms of dynamics, I can hear a small improvement going to DS3 - may be amp/speaker limitation. One note, I tried SO with both renew and DS3 and I can hear a decrease in transparency and sound quality in both cases in the mid/treble and instrument timbre - the sound degradation was obvious with renew and less so with DS3. Personally I think SO/room correction in general is a waste of time - you need to fix specific room problems using treatments rather than relying on DSP.
  13. Hi chesebert,

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  14. I have the Klimax Renew and also Ayre Codex. I have had Codex for a couple of years now and have tried it in the main rig and various headphone setups. I will not discuss the headphone amp section of the Codex as that is not what I use it for and I have much better amps for headphones. In terms of the dac section of Ayre, I have the following quick thoughts: Detail: Renew is better but we are talking about getting into the weeds for typical music. Things like making out what background people are talking about....in the weeds type of detail. Sound stage: Renew is ahead clearly in this area with larger stage and more precise positioning. Ayre is not far behind as it also throws a pretty big sound stage Mid-range quality: Both are pretty equally matched. Sometimes I think Ayre sounds more musical and more life like - I can hear more body around vocal and instruments. Bass: Renew goes deeper and cleaner. Ayre is close with satisfying bass slam and roundness PrAAT: About the same in terms of dynamics and foot tapping Ayre is a significant upgrade from Benchmark and Chord Hugo. In a surprise to no one, Akurate Katalyst is a significant upgrade from Renew....so Ayre is now in my back-up headphone system and renew has moved to main headphone duty. Edit: One thing to add, given Ayre does most things right and is warm, musical with great dynamics, I was never once not happy listening to Ayre in my main rig. Renew was just better, as it should be given the cost difference. Edit2: I am aware of ASR's numbers, but not sure if his measurements represent my situation. I run ASIO output at 32bit into Ayre and ASR's measurements were based on 16bit input data (note ESS dac inside Ayre is a 32bit chip). Some measurements make sense, including a slightly higher 2nd and 3rd order harmonics, which I perceive as warmth and body and I generally enjoy them.