Time to go Planar!

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Fretless
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Re: Time to go Planar!

Unread post by Fretless »

The Sabaj A10h is a great little amp, certainly with Hifiman Sundara. Ample power and control, very clear and detailed. A perfect starter device that is a step above the highly-regarded Schiit Magni. Sabaj A20h is a 'balanced' design and very likely even better.

The Monoprice is a major step up and (new) far more expensive than the obvious choice of an NVA AP10H. At this level you realise that headphones require serious over-capacity of power to sound their best.

Upstairs:
Vinyl
Pro-Ject 1.2 + Grado Signature Jr. + Cambridge Alva Duo
DigiAllo DigiOne SIG + Arcam CD62T + Metrum Musette
NVA: P50sa - A40s - Cube2 - SSP - LS6
CansHifiman Sundara + Sabaj A10h
Downstairs:
Vinyl
Logic DM101 + Syrinx LE1 + Grado Signature MCX
DigiDenafrips Ares II + Volumio PC + Cambridge CXC
NVA: P50 (phono) - PSU - A40 - BMU+ Arcam One
Headphone rig:
Digi
Tinkerboard + Oehlbach Masterclock + DacMagic Plus
CansMonoprice Monolith M1060C / M1070 + Sabaj PHA3

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Fretless
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Re: Time to go Planar!

Unread post by Fretless »

ljones67 wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 12:14 pm Also a fan of Equinoxe. Magnetic Fields was also a favourite. Haven't played them in ages so will give them a listen tonight.
Major Jarre fan here. Have pretty well everything. The new 'Oxymore' is a real experience, especially on headphones.

:grin: :guiness;
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ljones67 (Fri Nov 18, 2022 1:18 pm)

Upstairs:
Vinyl
Pro-Ject 1.2 + Grado Signature Jr. + Cambridge Alva Duo
DigiAllo DigiOne SIG + Arcam CD62T + Metrum Musette
NVA: P50sa - A40s - Cube2 - SSP - LS6
CansHifiman Sundara + Sabaj A10h
Downstairs:
Vinyl
Logic DM101 + Syrinx LE1 + Grado Signature MCX
DigiDenafrips Ares II + Volumio PC + Cambridge CXC
NVA: P50 (phono) - PSU - A40 - BMU+ Arcam One
Headphone rig:
Digi
Tinkerboard + Oehlbach Masterclock + DacMagic Plus
CansMonoprice Monolith M1060C / M1070 + Sabaj PHA3

ljones67
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Re: Time to go Planar!

Unread post by ljones67 »

Thanks.

Oxymore? Didn't know about that, I will have a look.

ljones67
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Re: Time to go Planar!

Unread post by ljones67 »

Ordered the Sabaj A10h. I went for a ‘used like new’ one for £66.33 from the same company that sells the new ones (via Amazon) so hopefully will be ok.
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Fretless (Sat Nov 19, 2022 7:03 pm)

Vinyl-ant
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Re: Time to go Planar!

Unread post by Vinyl-ant »

Interesting.. abit off topic, but you folks know more than me about these things.
The b&w p5s are really rather nice. Balanced abit towards the bassy end of the spectrum for me, but pleasantly smooth and engaging even though id prefer a more neutral presentation.
Ive been using them with my phone and tidal as it sounds better than spotify, so daughter can either use tidal or pay for spotify herself.
I can hear the headphone amp in the phone clipping, running out of puff somewhat, and its holding the sound back a little.

Now i never in a million years thought id be asking questions re a portable headphone amp to go with the phone or a portable dac to go with it, im an analogue person. Ive yet to set up the a20/p20 with a source and the at706 electret cans but will do so when i can find some space to do it.
Ive looked at the audiolab nano and some other bits and pieces but ive no particular experience of this and would rather not piss money away.

Help wanted, answers on a postcard..
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George Hincapie (Tue Nov 22, 2022 2:33 pm)
I am (barely....) in the hi-fi trade
Status: Manufacturer
Company Name bte designs
Www.bte-designs.weebly.com

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Re: Time to go Planar!

Unread post by Fretless »

Hi Ant. I have a B&W P7 here which isn't too different from the P5. Does need a bit of solid driving though and, as you say, the character is a bit subdued with an emphasis on bass.

Mobile amps: a good place to start is the AudioQuest Dragonfly or anything suitable from Fiio. An ancient Fiio X3 portable player is still making nice noises in my car and their portable DACs & amps are highly regarded.
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George Hincapie (Tue Nov 22, 2022 2:33 pm)

Upstairs:
Vinyl
Pro-Ject 1.2 + Grado Signature Jr. + Cambridge Alva Duo
DigiAllo DigiOne SIG + Arcam CD62T + Metrum Musette
NVA: P50sa - A40s - Cube2 - SSP - LS6
CansHifiman Sundara + Sabaj A10h
Downstairs:
Vinyl
Logic DM101 + Syrinx LE1 + Grado Signature MCX
DigiDenafrips Ares II + Volumio PC + Cambridge CXC
NVA: P50 (phono) - PSU - A40 - BMU+ Arcam One
Headphone rig:
Digi
Tinkerboard + Oehlbach Masterclock + DacMagic Plus
CansMonoprice Monolith M1060C / M1070 + Sabaj PHA3

Vinyl-ant
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Re: Time to go Planar!

Unread post by Vinyl-ant »

Cool, thank for the pointers of where to start
I am (barely....) in the hi-fi trade
Status: Manufacturer
Company Name bte designs
Www.bte-designs.weebly.com

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Fretless
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Re: Time to go Planar!

Unread post by Fretless »

Having now spent some time with the newer generation of planar headphones I must say that I am completely enthralled by them, with standard dynamic designs all sounding dull, slow and lifeless in comparison. Now in a process of upgrading and shifting components between rigs, also awaiting a new DAC (or 2) to maximise the effect that the Hifiman and Monoprice cans have brought.

The investment in new, dedicated headphone amplifiers has also paid off handsomely and given a few insights into the latest tech advances like Class D and THX processing (and tubes!).

THX is, in itself, an intriguing noise reduction / filtering system that some critics regard as cold and sterile. Well, the Monoprice HPA is certainly not clinically lifeless to my ears, rather, it is incredibly detailed and transparent. I know cold, sterile and clinical from the Mark Levinson setup that used to be here.

Also, it is evident that certain Chi-Fi brands are making susbstantial advances in sound quality and exceptional value, certainly where digital processing is involved. Although it is still a chancy hit-or-miss affair, especially if you buy via AliExpress.

Now, where is that postman ..... ?

:confusion-confused:
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George Hincapie (Tue Nov 22, 2022 2:30 pm) • CycleCoach (Wed Nov 23, 2022 10:31 am)

Upstairs:
Vinyl
Pro-Ject 1.2 + Grado Signature Jr. + Cambridge Alva Duo
DigiAllo DigiOne SIG + Arcam CD62T + Metrum Musette
NVA: P50sa - A40s - Cube2 - SSP - LS6
CansHifiman Sundara + Sabaj A10h
Downstairs:
Vinyl
Logic DM101 + Syrinx LE1 + Grado Signature MCX
DigiDenafrips Ares II + Volumio PC + Cambridge CXC
NVA: P50 (phono) - PSU - A40 - BMU+ Arcam One
Headphone rig:
Digi
Tinkerboard + Oehlbach Masterclock + DacMagic Plus
CansMonoprice Monolith M1060C / M1070 + Sabaj PHA3

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George Hincapie
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Re: Time to go Planar!

Unread post by George Hincapie »

I'm sure it won't be long :)
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Fretless (Tue Nov 22, 2022 3:38 pm)
Main System
Metrum Acoustics Ambre • Metrum Acoustics Adagio • Metrum Acoustics Forte • NVA Cube 1

Headphone System
Denafrips Iris • Denafrips Ares II • Linear Tube Audio MZ3 • Sundara • Arya Stealth

Cables
NVA TIS • NVA TSCS • Blue Jeans • Periapt

Power
Farad • Tomanek

Sources
Roon • Tidal • Qobuz • AudioLab 6000CDT

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Re: Time to go Planar!

Unread post by CN211276 »

Fretless wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 7:02 pm Hi Ant. I have a B&W P7 here which isn't too different from the P5. Does need a bit of solid driving though and, as you say, the character is a bit subdued with an emphasis on bass.

Mobile amps: a good place to start is the AudioQuest Dragonfly or anything suitable from Fiio. An ancient Fiio X3 portable player is still making nice noises in my car and their portable DACs & amps are highly regarded.
Have been doing some headphone listening at home as my other half has gone down with this flu bug and is sleeping a lot. I have the Audioquest Colbat and the Chord Mojo's. Compared the Colbat with the original Mojo and the later is a clear winner. A more open sound and greater authority. Following a price hike the Mojo 2 is more than twice the price of the Colbat. It does provide comprehensive filtering but lacks portability. I use to Colbat for out an about. I found it superior to the DF Red and worth the extra as it is smaller and does not require the Jitterbug up uplift SQ.
Main System
NVA BMU, P90SA/A80s (latest spec), Cube 1s, TIS, TISC(LS7)
Sonore OpticalRendu, Chord Mscaler & Qutest, Sbooster PSs
Network Acoustics Eno, ifi iPurifier3, AQ JB FMJ, Cisco 2940 & 2960
DH Labs ethernet, BNC & USB cables, Farnells cat 8 ethernet cable

Second System
NVA P20/ A20, Cubettes, LS3, SSP, SSC
Sonore MicroRendu, Chord Mojo 2 MCRU PSs, AQ Carbon USB cable & JB FMJ

Headphones
Grado SR325e/Chord Mojo, Beyerdynamic Avetho/AQ DF Colbat

RIP Doc

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