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Simaudio Moon High End Audiophile Amplifiers and Sound

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  #21  
Old 01-03-2018, 01:25 PM
PHC1 PHC1 is offline
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Originally Posted by smatsui324 View Post
I have 3 main balanced headphone cables, a Wywires Platinum, Norne Draug 2, and a Double Helix Complement 2. All are terminated with mini XLRs on the headphone end. I had Alex from Wywires make 2sets of short adapters with the Platinum wire (with a Utopia connector, the other with a plug for the HiFiMan HEK v2 and AQ Nighthawk), to plug into the mini XLRs.

The adapters allow me to use any of the 3 main cables with my Utopias, HiFiMan HE1000 v2, Audioquest Nighthawk, and any Audeze LCD series headphone. My new HE1000 v2 is on its way to me.
That is a neat idea. The multiple connectors in the cable is perhaps a slight sonic penalty and using different cables in line with each other is a bit questionable in my mind... but it does make it easy to use with multiple headphones.
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  #22  
Old 01-03-2018, 02:10 PM
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What are your thoughts on the HiFiMan HE1000 v2?
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  #23  
Old 01-03-2018, 02:40 PM
smatsui324 smatsui324 is offline
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What are your thoughts on the HiFiMan HE1000 v2?
I heard my friend's HEK v1 and I liked it better than my LCD X. However, I liked the Utopia just a bit more than the v1 so I ended up buying the Utopia late in 2016. The only issue I had with the v1 was it had a slight softness to it. It was very musical, large SS, excellent imaging and deep extended bass. I have not heard the v2, I just ordered it last night. The v2 supposedly addresses the issues with the v1. Nearly everyone in the HEK thread on Head-fi that owned the v1, likes the v2 better. We shall see. I hope to get it next week.
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  #24  
Old 01-03-2018, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by smatsui324 View Post
I heard my friend's HEK v1 and I liked it better than my LCD X. However, I liked the Utopia just a bit more than the v1 so I ended up buying the Utopia late in 2016. The only issue I had with the v1 was it had a slight softness to it. It was very musical, large SS, excellent imaging and deep extended bass. I have not heard the v2, I just ordered it last night. The v2 supposedly addresses the issues with the v1. Nearly everyone in the HEK thread on Head-fi that owned the v1, likes the v2 better. We shall see. I hope to get it next week.
Looking forward to your impressions!
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  #25  
Old 01-03-2018, 02:52 PM
smatsui324 smatsui324 is offline
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Oh, and I forgot to mention, the HEK v1 was much lighter than my LCD X. I have the carbon fiber upgrade headband on my X which helps tremendously but it's still heavy. The HEK v1 is very comfy and the v2 is even lighter and supposedly even more comfortable. I like the SQ of my 2014 LCD X but if I like the HEK better, I'll sell the X.
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  #26  
Old 01-03-2018, 07:13 PM
mulveling mulveling is offline
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I remember listening to the v1 HEK (when it was new & noteworthy) and thinking that not only was it overly warm/soft, but also it somehow had just enough of a rough spot somewhere in the treble region to cause me notable listening fatigue. Never got to hear a v2 unfortunately, but the v1 didn't impress me enough to pursue -- especially after witnessing my friend holding the bag with his quickly old-hat v1.

The Utopia hasn't caused me such fatigue in 2 short auditions, so I'm hoping that holds up long-term when I get my pair. There are lots of reports of folks finding the Utopia fatiguing. But then, I'm also a guy who thinks the Stax SR-009 (properly driven) is basically fatigue free and has nearly perfect treble. Even though it has a lot of upper-range energy overall, I think it must have to do with sensitivity to certain regions of treble that the 009 (and hopefully Utopia) dodges. Seriously, an SR-009 driven by BHSE (NOS tubes) is easily the lowest fatigue I've ever experienced from a headphone setup. I can listen for hours at a loud level with zero issues.
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  #27  
Old 01-03-2018, 07:41 PM
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I am still baffled by the stereotypical labels when it comes to the headphone community. Headphones are discussed as a separate entity as if the amplification, cabling, DAC, none of it comes into play when we all know that is the furthest from the truth. If a headphone has serious deficiencies, ok, perhaps nothing will save it but when discussing reference grade headphones? The top players know how to build a good headphone and the results speak for themselves. True that some offer different flavors for different tastes and purposes but you would be hard presed to find a terrible set overall from the brands we typically discuss here on AA.

As far as the Focal Utopia. It has tremendous resolution and speed, not too far from electrostatics. It does bass better than most electrostatics but not a bass heavy set and it has weight and body to the sound instead of the lightweight presentation. I can clearly hear all the differences between all the amps and cables. My favorite amp so far with Utopia is the smooth and weighty, full bodied sounding Violectric but tubes are showing incredible potential as well. I just don’t have a great tube amp to partner them with yet. I could never call Utopia bright but simply jaw dropping resolving and detailed. A wrong amp may simply produce grain and the lean sonic signature will definitely show through. As does intentional guitar distortion in music, tube vs solid state guitar amps, dynamic range compression, all becomes very clear and audible. I didn’t pay the crazy money for Utopia for them to sound colored. My euphonic and romantic set is the LCD3 and I also enjoy them but it is a different flavor for sure.

It would be unwise to invest that kind of money into Utopia and not go through the motions of finding a great partnering amp paying attention to your source/DAC. Fantastic headphones but require care in matching with other gear.
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  #28  
Old 01-03-2018, 07:50 PM
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The Sennheiser HD800 is probably the most debated and complained about headphone set as of recent memory. I owned them when they first came out, yes it was very resolving and sounded lean to my ears but I didn’t have the proper matching amp for them nor did i explore the possibility of cables. I simply sold them after owning HD600 for many years before knowing that I was not going to go to great lengths to find the right balance for the 800 at that time. So while some still whine about them, others are enjoying them to their fullest with the right amp/cables/source/DAC.
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  #29  
Old 01-03-2018, 08:03 PM
mulveling mulveling is offline
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I’ve heard the hd800 a bunch of times with many very fine balanced amplifiers, and it still remains a huge disappointment to me. Sure I’ve heard it sound like something approaching very good on a couple amps, but not good enough to perform in the top tier IMO, and it shouldn’t be that hard to find a match for a headphone. In a typical case, it’s almost impasible for me to enjoy music through them. It always reminded me of a poor Sony Qualia 010 clone, with perhaps less severe weaknesses, but also with greatly weakened strengths.

I love to complain about the hd800 btw
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  #30  
Old 01-03-2018, 09:54 PM
smatsui324 smatsui324 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mulveling View Post
I remember listening to the v1 HEK (when it was new & noteworthy) and thinking that not only was it overly warm/soft, but also it somehow had just enough of a rough spot somewhere in the treble region to cause me notable listening fatigue. Never got to hear a v2 unfortunately, but the v1 didn't impress me enough to pursue -- especially after witnessing my friend holding the bag with his quickly old-hat v1.

The Utopia hasn't caused me such fatigue in 2 short auditions, so I'm hoping that holds up long-term when I get my pair. There are lots of reports of folks finding the Utopia fatiguing. But then, I'm also a guy who thinks the Stax SR-009 (properly driven) is basically fatigue free and has nearly perfect treble. Even though it has a lot of upper-range energy overall, I think it must have to do with sensitivity to certain regions of treble that the 009 (and hopefully Utopia) dodges. Seriously, an SR-009 driven by BHSE (NOS tubes) is easily the lowest fatigue I've ever experienced from a headphone setup. I can listen for hours at a
loud level with zero issues.
I didn’t find my friend’s HEK v1 fatiguing at all when I had it and Jude’s Utopia for 3 days in my own system. I sold my SR-009 last week after owning them for 5 years. Although they’re very transparent, I found them a bit lean and too analytical even out of the BHSE that I heard at Axpona. I don’t find the Utopia fatiguing in my system. The stock HD800 with stock cable is fatiguing to me. I have a 19ga OCC Cu cable wired directly to the drivers. Also I modded the HD800 with the SDR mod. My modded HD800 sounds much fuller and I can listen to it for hours with no fatigue.
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