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Old 19-04-2015, 07:37 PM   #16
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perhaps will take a look at single ended options as well as seperate dac/amp, any recommendations for all rounder dac / amp (seperates that is) to audition?
Dude,
Set aside a budget first, else we can come up with a dCS price DAC with Woo Audio 234 mono blocks as amp
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Old 19-04-2015, 07:46 PM   #17
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Dude,
Set aside a budget first, else we can come up with a dCS price DAC with Woo Audio 234 mono blocks as amp
hehe, probably around $3k for both dac / amp?

just a newbie starting, not so hardcore like all you guys man.

took some quick look at Woo Audio too, WA7d seems nice
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Old 19-04-2015, 07:58 PM   #18
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hehe, probably around $3k for both dac / amp?

just a newbie starting, not so hardcore like all you guys man.

took some quick look at Woo Audio too, WA7d seems nice
If want all in one can try bmc puredac. Tiagong the balance out from it is jin fap.
Maybe can try burson conductor virtuoso also
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Old 19-04-2015, 08:06 PM   #19
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hehe, probably around $3k for both dac / amp?

just a newbie starting, not so hardcore like all you guys man.

took some quick look at Woo Audio too, WA7d seems nice
That's quite a generous budget for starting into headfi journey. Don't get suck in too deep though

WA7 is quite a good all-rounder but I'm afraid you might outgrow it very fast if you scale up the ladder with your TOTL headphones.
I had the WA7 (without the d) with upgraded EH tubes (but stock PSU) for a few months to apir it with HD800 and LCD-X but sold it later as I found the built-in DAC is the achilles heel for a quite a good all-in-one box solution.
You can pair the WA7d with an external DAC, but to me you loose the aesthetic of the WA7.

If you target the HD800 and the LCD's series, can visit AV One at Adelphi as they have demo HD800, LCD's to try with some good amps from Woo Audio, Burson, Cyper Labs, etc.
After that you can always visit next door Jaben to try some of the amps but they don't carry Audeze's products
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Old 20-04-2015, 12:24 AM   #20
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hehe, probably around $3k for both dac / amp?

just a newbie starting, not so hardcore like all you guys man.

took some quick look at Woo Audio too, WA7d seems nice
Walao newbie with $3k budget is alot leh... my setup also don't have so much

Yeah do check out the Bursons and Woos. For Woo Audio, try to aim for at least a WA6, or better still, WA6SE or WA2. WA7 is rather "weak" both as an integrated or standalone amp IMO.

Besides allocating some budget for USB cable, if you aim separates, don't forget to allocate some for interconnects too. General rule of thumb say around 20-30% of system on cabling, which includes power cables (if you don't wanna use stock kettle cords), USB cable and interconnects.
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Old 20-04-2015, 12:34 AM   #21
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If want all in one can try bmc puredac. Tiagong the balance out from it is jin fap.
Maybe can try burson conductor virtuoso also
thanks for the input! will take a look as well

That's quite a generous budget for starting into headfi journey. Don't get suck in too deep though

WA7 is quite a good all-rounder but I'm afraid you might outgrow it very fast if you scale up the ladder with your TOTL headphones.
I had the WA7 (without the d) with upgraded EH tubes (but stock PSU) for a few months to apir it with HD800 and LCD-X but sold it later as I found the built-in DAC is the achilles heel for a quite a good all-in-one box solution.
You can pair the WA7d with an external DAC, but to me you loose the aesthetic of the WA7.

If you target the HD800 and the LCD's series, can visit AV One at Adelphi as they have demo HD800, LCD's to try with some good amps from Woo Audio, Burson, Cyper Labs, etc.
After that you can always visit next door Jaben to try some of the amps but they don't carry Audeze's products
will try to read up abit before heading down to audition, just hope don't end up over-budget
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Old 20-04-2015, 12:43 AM   #22
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Walao newbie with $3k budget is alot leh... my setup also don't have so much

Yeah do check out the Bursons and Woos. For Woo Audio, try to aim for at least a WA6, or better still, WA6SE or WA2. WA7 is rather "weak" both as an integrated or standalone amp IMO.

Besides allocating some budget for USB cable, if you aim separates, don't forget to allocate some for interconnects too. General rule of thumb say around 20-30% of system on cabling, which includes power cables (if you don't wanna use stock kettle cords), USB cable and interconnects.
remember originally i narrowed to HA1 or HDVD800, HDVD800 also like $2.5+, so thinking if seperate probably more exp loh, so up budget abit, of coz if can cheaper the better

realized that much talk is about amps, now kinda clueless on dac portion. example, to match WA6/WA2 with what dac?

cables/interconnects, another area to learn about
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Old 20-04-2015, 01:43 AM   #23
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remember originally i narrowed to HA1 or HDVD800, HDVD800 also like $2.5+, so thinking if seperate probably more exp loh, so up budget abit, of coz if can cheaper the better

realized that much talk is about amps, now kinda clueless on dac portion. example, to match WA6/WA2 with what dac?

cables/interconnects, another area to learn about
My master using Yulong DA8 > WA6SE > HD800/T1 and some others. Can ask him how fap they are

Paging master paging master...
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Old 20-04-2015, 02:05 AM   #24
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Actually... searching for the decks to get... perhaps more important is still go by the sound you like, instead of functions. With that you may want to look up more about the DAC and amp characteristics before shortlisting and going out to try try... like what DAC chip it uses... typical DAC brands' sound signatures and so on. Then for amps... whether solid state or tubes... what kind of differences each has, etc.

Eg. WA2 and WA6SE are at the same price point. WA6SE is like a WA6 on steroids... and is very solid state sounding. WA2 on the other hand is more tubey and sweeter sounding. Both will drive HD800 very well with different sound signatures, so depending on which one you like.

DACs also will have their typical signatures... TI/BurrBrown, ESS Sabre, AKM, Analog Devices, Cirrus Logic...

Solid state amps at least is buy-and-forget kind of thing. If you get sucked into tube amps, then there's tube rolling... opens up another can of worms but can be really rewarding


Have fun!
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Old 20-04-2015, 07:48 AM   #25
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Eh... just want to chime in you don't need to necessarily spend so much money on the DAC and amp when 75% of the signature comes from the headphone themselves.

First of all, I think you can take a listen at stuff that is more portable from ifi audio (Stereo carries this) or CEntrance (Jaben has this) and then Schitt (at E1?) and then audition the more boutique stuff from Woo, et al (AVOne has Woo, I think).

For example, the HD800 has a bright signature and in many cases fatiguing if you listen it for too long. There is some arguments on whether you can change this but just take a look at what Sennheiser themselves have done with it in the HDVA600/800 by putting a 40ohm resistance in the headphone output which basically makes the two amps less of a match for other products.

Woo makes nice products but I personally think they are somewhat overpriced - no matter what you say, you are paying a premium for tube amps that you might find cheaper alternates online. Also note that the classic tubey sound might not be what you like - in general, it de-emphasizes the highs and emphasizes the lows and mids for a more lush tone that might not do well for genres that rely on the treble region for a good experience. Do note that the WA7s are very pretty though - and that might be important to you as well.

If you are aiming at the Audezes, just be warned that they are considerably heavier than normal full-size gear. I personally found the LCD-2f not to be that compelling in the first place - not when the HD800 is just $100++ more. You might be persuaded by ergonomics to opt for the PM-1/PM-2 instead from Oppo.

Now the LCD-3f ... that is a different story. Very nice sound indeed. Too bad it cost another $1100++ more than the HD800. Very silly money indeed.
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Old 20-04-2015, 10:28 AM   #26
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For HD800 being fatiquing, I would think is either "wrong" genre of music played, or simply isn't being driven right. It is not difficult to drive it loud, but it is not easy to drive it right.
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Old 20-04-2015, 10:45 AM   #27
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Hmm presently, there is a LCD 2 + Violectric V200 combo on Massdrop. I have not heard the violectric amps before (AV One might have them on demo), but people have given good reviews on their products. For single-ended amp options, some people considered them endgame material.

I recently bought the preorder for the Cavalli Audio Liquid Carbon. You can consider it too as it's currently limited to 500 units (further units beyond that is not confirmed yet), but only thing is I don't find it as powerful as other TOTL amps.

DAC-wise, I've heard good things about the Oppo HA-1, with many saying that the DAC section is very very good, but is limited by the amp. If you find that to be the case, then it might makes sense to go for the HA-1 now, and when your budget allows again, get a separate amp, keeping the HA-1 in your system.

Another DAC I was looking at the Audio-gd DAC19 Anniversary edition, which I felt seems like a good deal at US$750 for a R2R DAC.
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Old 21-04-2015, 02:01 AM   #28
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Actually... searching for the decks to get... perhaps more important is still go by the sound you like, instead of functions. With that you may want to look up more about the DAC and amp characteristics before shortlisting and going out to try try... like what DAC chip it uses... typical DAC brands' sound signatures and so on. Then for amps... whether solid state or tubes... what kind of differences each has, etc.

Eg. WA2 and WA6SE are at the same price point. WA6SE is like a WA6 on steroids... and is very solid state sounding. WA2 on the other hand is more tubey and sweeter sounding. Both will drive HD800 very well with different sound signatures, so depending on which one you like.

DACs also will have their typical signatures... TI/BurrBrown, ESS Sabre, AKM, Analog Devices, Cirrus Logic...

Solid state amps at least is buy-and-forget kind of thing. If you get sucked into tube amps, then there's tube rolling... opens up another can of worms but can be really rewarding


Have fun!
cannot open more cans of worms leh, money no enough
after some readup on Woo Audio stuffs, WA22 kinda attractive but price is not

Eh... just want to chime in you don't need to necessarily spend so much money on the DAC and amp when 75% of the signature comes from the headphone themselves.

First of all, I think you can take a listen at stuff that is more portable from ifi audio (Stereo carries this) or CEntrance (Jaben has this) and then Schitt (at E1?) and then audition the more boutique stuff from Woo, et al (AVOne has Woo, I think).

For example, the HD800 has a bright signature and in many cases fatiguing if you listen it for too long. There is some arguments on whether you can change this but just take a look at what Sennheiser themselves have done with it in the HDVA600/800 by putting a 40ohm resistance in the headphone output which basically makes the two amps less of a match for other products.

Woo makes nice products but I personally think they are somewhat overpriced - no matter what you say, you are paying a premium for tube amps that you might find cheaper alternates online. Also note that the classic tubey sound might not be what you like - in general, it de-emphasizes the highs and emphasizes the lows and mids for a more lush tone that might not do well for genres that rely on the treble region for a good experience. Do note that the WA7s are very pretty though - and that might be important to you as well.

If you are aiming at the Audezes, just be warned that they are considerably heavier than normal full-size gear. I personally found the LCD-2f not to be that compelling in the first place - not when the HD800 is just $100++ more. You might be persuaded by ergonomics to opt for the PM-1/PM-2 instead from Oppo.

Now the LCD-3f ... that is a different story. Very nice sound indeed. Too bad it cost another $1100++ more than the HD800. Very silly money indeed.
did a quick check on weight of LCDs headphones, almost 600g is indeed considerably heavier than most headphones, will have to see how it goes when trying it
seems not much talk on PM-1/PM-2 headphones around too

thanks for your comments, appreciate it

Hmm presently, there is a LCD 2 + Violectric V200 combo on Massdrop. I have not heard the violectric amps before (AV One might have them on demo), but people have given good reviews on their products. For single-ended amp options, some people considered them endgame material.

I recently bought the preorder for the Cavalli Audio Liquid Carbon. You can consider it too as it's currently limited to 500 units (further units beyond that is not confirmed yet), but only thing is I don't find it as powerful as other TOTL amps.

DAC-wise, I've heard good things about the Oppo HA-1, with many saying that the DAC section is very very good, but is limited by the amp. If you find that to be the case, then it might makes sense to go for the HA-1 now, and when your budget allows again, get a separate amp, keeping the HA-1 in your system.

Another DAC I was looking at the Audio-gd DAC19 Anniversary edition, which I felt seems like a good deal at US$750 for a R2R DAC.
thanks xuan87 on shredding some light on DACs to me

quite a lot of brands/type to go through, just wondering if most are available for audition locally.
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Old 21-04-2015, 10:28 AM   #29
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Actually... searching for the decks to get... perhaps more important is still go by the sound you like, instead of functions. With that you may want to look up more about the DAC and amp characteristics before shortlisting and going out to try try... like what DAC chip it uses... typical DAC brands' sound signatures and so on. Then for amps... whether solid state or tubes... what kind of differences each has, etc.

Eg. WA2 and WA6SE are at the same price point. WA6SE is like a WA6 on steroids... and is very solid state sounding. WA2 on the other hand is more tubey and sweeter sounding. Both will drive HD800 very well with different sound signatures, so depending on which one you like.

DACs also will have their typical signatures... TI/BurrBrown, ESS Sabre, AKM, Analog Devices, Cirrus Logic...

Solid state amps at least is buy-and-forget kind of thing. If you get sucked into tube amps, then there's tube rolling... opens up another can of worms but can be really rewarding

Have fun!
Would many people here agree that specific DAC chips have their own sound signatures?

I used to think that way as I've listened to a few gears using flagship ESS chips which were similar sounding and not to my liking, only to realize that my current favorite DAC, the ODAC, is also using a ESS chip!

My portable DAC, the JDS C5D, is using a TI chip, while the Schiit Modi is using a AKM chip, both of which I really really like.

My current favorite DAP, the L5, is also using a AKM chip.

Of course, in all cases, I wasn't able to do a direct comparison of each DAC using the same amp, so obviously some of the sound signature will be affected by the amp that it was connected to, but now, I find that I shouldn't discount a particular DAC just because it was using a certain brand of DAC chips.


thanks xuan87 on shredding some light on DACs to me

quite a lot of brands/type to go through, just wondering if most are available for audition locally.
The more common brands are available for audition locally but you may have to look for a user/owner here if you are interested in a particular brand and model. I think we are more spoiled for choices when it comes to headphones and earphones.
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Old 21-04-2015, 11:17 AM   #30
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Would many people here agree that specific DAC chips have their own sound signatures?

I used to think that way as I've listened to a few gears using flagship ESS chips which were similar sounding and not to my liking, only to realize that my current favorite DAC, the ODAC, is also using a ESS chip!

My portable DAC, the JDS C5D, is using a TI chip, while the Schiit Modi is using a AKM chip, both of which I really really like.

My current favorite DAP, the L5, is also using a AKM chip.

Of course, in all cases, I wasn't able to do a direct comparison of each DAC using the same amp, so obviously some of the sound signature will be affected by the amp that it was connected to, but now, I find that I shouldn't discount a particular DAC just because it was using a certain brand of DAC chips.
Ok maybe I didn't elaborate... it's not just by brand but perhaps sometimes by model. ODAC's 9023 isn't a flagship.

Of course, tuning may alter the traits but just more of generalizing to make it simpler.
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