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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I recently purchased a pair of Mr Speakers Ether 2 headphones. I'm looking for a headphone amp/dac to pair with them.

Main use will be for playing games off both my ps4 and also pc so most likely optical out into the dac. I've already got a portable amp for music listening and don't really listen to music at home hence why I'm putting my main focus here.

What I want to achieve is adding a bit more excitement/life to the headphones. There a little too laid back and gentle I want something a bit more textured a bit more detail. A example would be my ultrasone IQ in ears, I love how much depth they give especially to guitars. Like the intro to ACDCs back in black, my ultrasones give the intro a real gritty dark sound to the guitar and a real thump to the kick drums. They extenuate what things are, where the ether 2 feels more like its fighting it trying to hold it back. They almost make electric guitar sound like normal guitar and kick drums like normal drums. And I feel that this laid back character is going to again fight and tone down the effects in games.

I've already tried the questyle CMA400i and was not really a fan of it. Felt like it did not have enough output power and again way too laid back. On my shopping list is the chord mojo, chord hugo if I can find one cheap, topping A90 and headamp GSX mini. What other ones would you recommend? Looking at spending around 2k.

Last thing I wanted to ask was do you think it is worth getting a custom cable? I was looking at getting the silver dragon as a balanced XLR cable.

Thanks for your assistance.
 

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Audio-GD r2r, balanced, on a topaz isolation transformer, using optical or conditioned usb/usb to i2s. yw
 

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Oh and since it's for movies/games, split the optical signal to a bass shaker system, if using a PC, use impulcifer/ooyh/waves nx and eq the headphones using eq apo, if using a ps4, use something like an astro mixamp or creative g6 to do the virtual surround.
 

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and lastly, maybe the pads are swappable. Something like the Dekoni LCD Velours will reduce ringing/resonance and smooth out treble, you loose some slight bass extension but get a mid bass boost, and staging/imaging gets larger
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the recommendations I'll take a look into them. Yeah the G6 is what I've currently got. I'm going to be replacing it with the.AE9 once my new PC build is completed.

One thing I forgot to ask, has anyone had any experience with shiit audio? They seem to be really popular in the "reviewers sphear" but I've read a few user forums saying there a complete POS so I'm a bit unsure. Specifically the jotenheim I was looking at.

Thanks again.
 

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Thanks for the recommendations I'll take a look into them. Yeah the G6 is what I've currently got. I'm going to be replacing it with the.AE9 once my new PC build is completed.

One thing I forgot to ask, has anyone had any experience with shiit audio? They seem to be really popular in the "reviewers sphear" but I've read a few user forums saying there a complete POS so I'm a bit unsure. Specifically the jotenheim I was looking at.
If youre looking for excitement/life, what better way then personal room impulse response 7.1 binaural rendering and tactile transducers.

Use the G6 with the ps4 for the sbx 5.1 to binaural stereo conversion. send optical out of the g6 to an optical splitter, than one cable to the dac/amp, and one to the bass shaker system.

With a PC you can use virtual surround programs like impulcifer, Out of Your Head, or Waves NX, and then do the same thing and send the signal to the dac/amp and bass shakers.

You want to break that electrical connection with the pc, easiest way to do that is with optical.

If you didnt like questyle Schitt probably wont make any difference, its still negative feedback circuits. Its not just about power and using a balanced amplifier with planars though thats of benefit. Planars are much more resolving than dynamics and really benefit from the non feedback current signal amplifiers, as well as eliminating all external noise sources, just optical, the isolation transformer, and a quadrapole power cable does the trick(make the cable yourself, find a used one for $50-100, or buy it knew and support a company that makes quality but not rich audiophile prices).

Its not that youre hearing "noise" youre hearing the effects of noise on the circuits, the feedback distortion, the iv conversions, the inadeuqate voltage regulation, it all masks detail. When you say laid back and lacking depth it sounds like "low resolution" or "unresolving" but thats precisely what planars do best, reveal every little detail with huge undistorted extension.

With the balanced current signal non feedback amplifiers free of external noise planars gain a sense of depth and realism like nothing I've ever heard. I use my alpha primes for straight stereo music and its an absolute perfect rendering of the source material, natural decay and depth/dimensionality in every direction(if its there in the source, ive got alot of crammed right down the middle flat as a board metal).

And I would agree with your assessment, when I stick a pair of Audeze EL-8s into the pc motherboard out they sound not so great, and even with the topping d90 sound more detailed but bland. But with the an audiogd nfb7 and 1amp both on a topaz 91092-32 with vh audio flavor 4s, and galvanically isolated from the pc, using Out of Your Head and bass shakers, plus the dekoni lcd velour pads... perfection. Completely natural sounding virtual loudspeakers with realism that will make you take the headphones off your head to make sure youre not waking up the neighbors.

Or just stick with dynamics like from ZMF.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks again for the info ill take a look.

Just to clarify I don't think it was a lack of detail with the amp I tried it really did sound amazingly good just underpowered. And I'm guessing the lack of colouration in the guitars and punch of the kickdrums. Making me believe that more was the fact that I had to have the amp up to around 85% before I reached a decent listen to but definitely not background music level. I don't think I listen to headphones that loud, but I certainly did want a lot more volume out of it and I doubt it would of been able to get to the level I would normally listen at. Another example of this would be the old beyerdynamic headzone A1 I had. That thing i could run at 40% Max and even that would make my ears hurt after a while. Granted that was on the DT 990 at the time but still.

I'm going to try go addicted to audio on the weekend if i can try out a few of the recommendations see which I like best.

Oh and I should clarify yes I know I've chosen the wrong headphones for this. Planars are the exact opposite to what I like, but since a mate was selling these it was get this or get a pair of other headphones which would not of been in the same price range as these. I was suckered into the sticker price a little, and thought at least reselling these down the line should be a lot cheaper than going for a lower down set.

Not to mention never having tried planars before and having so many dynamics i was intrigued to try something different, and when it comes to clarity and resolution I have to say I'm glad I did. These certainly do sound better, but I do miss the getup and go energy. These are more Rolls Royce where i'm used to raw feel absolutely everything Senna.
 

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I see, the questyle does 1w at 32ohm, the audio gd amps do 9w, so output definitely couldve been an issue, i use about 1w for the el8s and 2w for the alpha primes when eqd and using ooyh.

With planars since theres no distortion you can add a 10db low shelf filter at 120hz and really beef them up too.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the info. Did a bit of research last night and read up that tube amps seem to be the best way to go to get the sound signature i want? I also read that planars don't like high impedance amps which tunes typically are so im not sure if they would be a good pick or not. If yes what tube amps would you recommend to try?

I'm a bit reluctant to go with the audio gd simply because it seems like here in Oz the only way to get it is off there website so I can't try it first. And thanks to the whole human malware thing everything out of chinas taking 2 months at least to be delivered atm. Hell i bought a byski water distribution block for my corsair 1000d direct from the manufacture on the 17th of may and its still clearing customs.
 

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Thanks for the info. Did a bit of research last night and read up that tube amps seem to be the best way to go to get the sound signature i want? I also read that planars don't like high impedance amps which tunes typically are so im not sure if they would be a good pick or not. If yes what tube amps would you recommend to try? I'm a bit reluctant to go with the audio gd simply because it seems like here in Oz the only way to get it is off there website so I can't try it first. And thanks to the whole human malware thing everything out of chinas taking 2 months at least to be delivered atm. Hell i bought a byski water distribution block for my corsair 1000d direct from the manufacture on the 17th of may and its still clearing customs.
Used markets are very active and I haven't had any issues selling/buying on ebay, usaudiomart, etc... audiogon, headfi. Near everything I have is used and I've resold thousands worth of equipment.

I'd sell those Ethers and get a dynamic you like. I've heard people like planar/tube combos but I think it will still sound like a planar.

My method of achieving a certain sound quality with planars is fairly contingent on meeting a few specific requirements. If you want to try out the effects of these I'd recommend keeping an eye out on the various used audio sites for the equipment.

Since I listen almost entirely to death/black metal, I initially assumed planars were the way to go, due to the "speed" everyone attributed to them. But much like you described, compared to the dynamics I had to compare, they sounded very detailed but dynamics had more impact and were much less fatiguing. I tried several different amplifiers, transports, and tinkered with external noise sources, and once some very specific sources of noise were eliminated and very specific circuits were used, the end result was very lifelike and rich with attack and impact and clarity, yet never fatiguing or dry sounding. phantom-like imaging is my description ;] Previously I would naturally reach for the dynamics, now I've sold them.

It involves the following from a pc:
usb hub chip powered by a linear power supply >
usb to spdif converter optical out >
Current signal non-negative feedback amplifier, with a quadrapole power cable and a low interwinding capacitance isolation transformer.

-DAC/AMP: Any used Audio-GD budget combo NFB-11 NFB-12. I sold an old nfb-12 recently I bought for $150 for $150.

-A twisted or quadrapole low inductance power cable for $50, like vh-audios flavor 2 or 4, or make one. The low inductance reduces noise caused by the varied current of digital devices.

-A usb to spdif converter with any decent xmos board, a linear power supply, and a TCXO. bought used for $50
something like this https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32499738639.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.2a7b770ctNfafp&algo_pvid=894329e7-3d8f-4bf5-8689-6f588f13eced&algo_expid=894329e7-3d8f-4bf5-8689-6f588f13eced-23&btsid=0ab6d69515941815695182904e356d&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_,searchweb201603_

-Easist here is an Uptone USB Regen, bought used for $50. Powered with a Jameco LPS for $15. When using the hub chip any USB cable is fine, I didn't notice a difference between cheap, supra, quadrapole. The hub chip regenerates the usb signal, reducing error correction, reducing phy noise created by the usb receiver performing error correction.

-A low interwiding capacitance isolation transformer for $50-100. Removes 140db common / 70db traverse mode line noise, and with the power cable improves wall electric thd
https://www.radwell.com/en-US/Buy/SC...E D/91092-12
 
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