New toys just arrived, initial impressions

Discussion in 'PC Audio' started by bidge, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. bidge

    bidge New Member

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    hopefully i will form an impression of these babies soon, also got a westone 4(not pictured)

    First update
    ATH w3000ANV

    These are the newly released limited edition Audiotechnica woodies, only 2000 are made, mine is serial number 0381

    Coming from a sennheiser hd 650, which i recently sold to cool barn, these are extremely bright in comparison. however after around 5 hours of wearing them it didn't seem as bright as went i first tried it. this is probably because i'm just very used to the senn's laidback and mellow treble.

    The details on these things are insane, every nuance comes through, the way the guitarist slides his finger through the chord is captured in a very thorough way.

    Hifiman HE 500

    The biggest bang for buck in hi-fi headphones IMO, these slam hard, even harder than the hd 650 i used to had. it isn't as laid back, mids are beautiful, treble is much much improved compared to the senn's. in fact i can say without a doubt that these destroy the senn's in every way. not dissing the senn's, they are without a doubt one of the finest cans on the market, in this case however they are just outclassed.

    it is also a detail monster, but gets edged out by the w3000anvs ever so slightly. however these are much more accurate compared to the ATs, the AT is highly coloured compared to the much more balanced representation of the hifimans.

    Impressions are done using Asus Essence One with foobar bitperfect

    notes on build quality
    Hifiman's are built like a tank, very rigid, a lot of metal, only complaint is the cables connecting to the headphones are very small and looks flimsy, compared to the monster strain relief they put on the other end. also lots of microphonics but since these aren't really portable it's not that important

    Audiotechnica's build quality is just exquisite, they really ooze quality, from the beautifully made wooden cups, to the plugs. no real complaints here, but the hifiman does feel much more rugged and tank like.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012
  2. Uchuujin-san

    Uchuujin-san Member

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    mmm.. always wanted to check out the AT woodies.... I am jelly....:weirdo:
     
  3. VeeK

    VeeK Member

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    I'm just about to order some HE-400s.

    I hear they're a bit darker than the 500s so it should suit my tastes a bit better.
     
  4. nicej

    nicej Member

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    Hey bidge,

    nice headphones man. I just bought the Beyerdynamic T70, and I'm looking at purchasing the ASUS Xonar Essence One. Currently running them off sound card.

    What can you tell me about the Essence One? So far im pretty certain on them from the reviews it's been getting. How has your experience been with them so far?
     
  5. VeeK

    VeeK Member

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    What sound card are you running the T70s from?
     
  6. Growly

    Growly Member

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    Nice man! I'm in the market myself, looking to upgrade my HD595s...

    but I have the same question. What's your source? A headphone amp? (And if so, which?)
     
  7. OP
    OP
    bidge

    bidge New Member

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    my sources are a xonar essence one, as far as i can see they have no problems running the he 500s.

    the major upgrade from stx to one is in the headphone amp section, and the upsampling feature. the amp in the one just has so much more power than the stx its not even funny, but again this depends on what headphones you are using.

    i did contemplate on whether to get a woo audio 6 and use them with the stx or get the essence one, i auditioned both and came away mightily impressed by the one, they match the woo in almost everything but at 2/3 the price and a great dac to boot.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    bidge

    bidge New Member

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    nothing but good things about the essence one, i compared them to a woo audio 6 and felt at 2/3 the price they equal the woos in performance, upsampling feature is great, unit is built like a tank(very thick metals in the chassis).

    3 inputs are great, music through usb and tv+xbox through coax.
    decodes any bit and any sampling rate you can think of, not sure what to complain about. top does get a little warm but nothing that can burn your hand.
     
  9. Benno1988

    Benno1988 Member

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    In what sense is the upsampling great? How do you notice it/what changes? Curious!
     
  10. OP
    OP
    bidge

    bidge New Member

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    http://www.audiorecording.me/upsampling-audio-–-importance-and-methods-in-audio-mixingmastering.html

    the above link should explain what it does, if you are too lazy to read, it goes like this, you have a finite amount of points in the frequency graph, what upsampling does is it fills the holes between the points(created during compression) with interpolated data.

    this results in a smoother more coherent sound, think of it as anti aliasing but for audio.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
  11. Benno1988

    Benno1988 Member

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    Is it terribly noticeable? Notice it more on heavier compressed tracks?
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
  12. OP
    OP
    bidge

    bidge New Member

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    it's definitely noticeable, never tried with heavily compressed tracks but i did notice a bit of difference on 320 kbps mp3s.

    much less difference in flacs tho
     
  13. nicej

    nicej Member

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    im currently running them on a Creative SB X-Fi fatality champion.

    I run in Audio Creation mode with bit-matching playback enabled. i used to switch back and forth between gaming mode and audio creation when playing games etc, but due to Creative driver issues with sound cutting out after switching modes etc, I am just using audio creation for everything now including games and it's actually really damn good for games too. the sounds a quite different, guns sound different etc, but it does grow on you and you start to appreciate the clarity of the sound over time.

    the card supports upto 330ohms for headphones. eventhough im thoroughly enjoying the current setup so far with lossless files, i know it will be significantly better with a dedicated unit such as the Essence One.

    I will be ordering one next week.

    @OP
    yea all i've been hearing is positive things about the product. not a single person has anything bad to say about it. good to hear your feedback thx.
     
  14. Cool Barn

    Cool Barn Member

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    Hi Bidge,

    Good to hear the headphone section is strong in the One - you're obviously going to need it with those HiFiMan cans of yours!

    DAC-wise how superior does the One sound compared to an Essence STX when not upsampling? I know you have said it is definitely smoother and better overall, but at the end of the day would you call the upgrade noticeable, mid-range, or merely subtle?

    I currently have a Lehmann Rhinelander headphone amp which is pretty good, and am wondering whether it's worth hanging on to the Lehmann and upgrading my Essence ST to something like a DacMagic 100, or ditching the Lehmann and ST altogether and buying an Essence One instead? I'm just curious how a $400 unit like the Essence One can compare so similarly to a DM100/Lehmann combination which costs more than double that??? Is the One such good value, or is the latter overpriced?

    Cheers :)
     
  15. Benno1988

    Benno1988 Member

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    If you have a good headphone amp i'd be investing in a stand alone DAC. Gives you more options I think, be able to upgrade one at a time.

    Im liking the Audioengine D1 for its DAC, might end up adding an Amp or going the One when I get more power hungry phones!
     
  16. VeeK

    VeeK Member

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    To be honest that should suffice as a decent DAC, you may find it more beneficial to run the X-Fi through a dedicated amp to your headphones.
     
  17. OP
    OP
    bidge

    bidge New Member

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    Hi Barn ive never heard that combo before,but if you already have a external headphone amp, i wouldnt bother buying the one.

    The biggest upgrade is from the amping section, the dac section is good but not what i would call a huge upgrade. With the one you will lose a few software features the st has, namely dolby headphone, eq, and 3d surround processing for games.

    If you did not already have the lehmann, i would heartily recommend ditching the st and getting the one. But since you already have them i would call it a sidegrade.

    I would think the one will equal the performance of your combo, i tested the burson audio dac and amp, the woo audio 6 and quad dac(forgot model name), and the one performed admirably at 1/2 the price.
     
  18. Snufkin

    Snufkin Member

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    I would definitely suggest upgraing the Rhinelander - the Matrix M-Stage would easily outperform it by miles, let alone some of the higher end options (Corda Classic) - but it will depend on which headphones you intend to drive.
     
  19. OP
    OP
    bidge

    bidge New Member

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    correct me if i'm wrong but isn't the m-stage a clone of the lehmann black cube linear?
     
  20. Snufkin

    Snufkin Member

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    Yeah, with higher quality components, apparently.

    I got a Rhinelander in to test when it first came out, never bothered to order stock of it for the shop - it's just not a good amp.
    Fortunately our demo unit was damaged in one of our floods so I got to claim it on insurance :D
     

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