Friday, September 12, 2014

A Trip Through Time!

Well guys I've got an interesting piece of equipment with me today. A HeadRoom Little Amp With More Power Supply. This is about a decade old amp, so I figured why not send it through the paces versus my big Fully balanced Audio GD? 

I'm running the HeadRoom Little Amp With More Power Supply through my Audio GDs DAC Line out, set to high gain, as on low gain Line out the HeadRoom Little Amp With More Power Supply doesn't have enough grunt. 

For headphones I am using my HE-4, with a SE to Balanced inter connector made by Brian At BTG, who was kind enough to use my W1000x SE Jack [since I removed it and Balanced it as well] 

But first, let's do some background on the HeadRoom Little Amp With More Power Supply, my seller assured me that back in the day the combo would go for around $600. Putting it at about the same price bracket as my Audio GD, and mind you it's just an amp. 

So that said, my purpose in this review is to in a sense gauge the progress we've made in this hobby! What did $600 get you back in the day? What does $600 get you today! Hopefully by the end of this review, we'll have a bit more appreciation for our gear and how inexpensive it is to get these days! 

It should be noted to, that the date for this amp is around 2001 and was discontinued in 2005.  

Let's start with some pictures! 

Size wise it's not a small amp, in that the power supply is rather large, but the amp section isn't to big either. I've got the two units about a foot apart  with the cables run behind the scene. 

As to the specs on it, I have no earthly idea. Sadly. It has less head room than my Audio GD Unit does and at louder volumes it tends to get a little harsh in the treble.

It like any amp, does get hot after some time. It heats up a little quicker than my Audio GD does. 

So let's talk about the sound, to start with the Head Room is a little noisy, and has a touch of grain throughout. Listening to Michigan & Smileys Sugar Daddy, and the high hats are a touch hot. Additionally, the bass is very full but the mids though lack smoothness. Not to say they are recessed, but there's a touch to much bass to enjoy the touch of decay in the guys voices.  The HeadRoom Little Amp With More Power Supply while having more body to it's sound isn't smoother.  

Moving on now to Sarah Jorasz's The Book of Right on, again I'm noticing not that the mids are recessed but they tend to drown a little when compared to the rest of the music, there's not much body to the vocals. How ever on a positive note, the violins and other upper mid instruments have a really lovely body and presentation to them. 

I'll finish up this review with a little bit of metal, giving Animals as Leaders Woven Web a listen now, I will mention the post processing in the HeadRoom Little Amp With More Power Supply brought out some details within the track that I had not previously noted, namely an almost secondary guitar riff playing behind the main riff. Which is honestly pretty cool to hear! 

Going from the HeadRoom Little Amp With More Power Supply to the Audio GD I immediately pick out the secondary riff  after hearing it on the Little, so that was a pleasant surprise! How ever, the bass in the track is a touch loose on the HeadRoom Little Amp With More Power Supply.

So in conclusion, how does the HeadRoom Little Amp With More Power Supply compare to my Audio GD NFB10ES2. Well the post processing effect is nice in pulling some of the mirco details a bit more forward, but overall the amp lacks a touch of smoothness and definition. However, each amp is today at a totally different price range.

Thus, in the last decade we've made some great progress!  As a side not how ever, I may get in touch with HeadRoom and see if they will allow me to demo one of their newer amps! I'm curious to see what progress they've made in the last 10 years.

Non the less guys thank you for reading! 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Review LCD 2 Rev 2.2 Fazor

Big thanks to head fi member jodgey4 for allowing me the chance to demo the LCD 2.2F! 

To start with the comfort of the LCD 2 with Vegan Pads was very good! The headband and ePads distributed the weight of the headphones very nicely, despite rumors of the Audeze cans being "too heavy to wear" I found them to very comfortable and the weight didn't bother me. Of course, some of you may be more sensitive to weight than I am.

As far as the sound goes, the overall profile of the LCD 2 REV 2.2 Fazor 

Was warm, good sense of tactility and speed,  yet still a touch laid back. Easy to listen to, and rich with details

As far as music goes, I found the LCD 2 REV 2.2 Fazor to work wonderfully with vocal heavy tracks, both male and female vocals have a great sense of body to them. 

The LCD 2.2F also worked well with classical duos or trios, music in which only 1 or two instruments are played at once. Avant Garde Classical,  was especially wonderful. Clear on a Cloudy day, which features a spastic arrangement of elements, was wonderful on the LCD 2.2F it's speed and well imaged presentation worked very well. The impressive dynamic speed of the LCD 2 works great for these smaller pieces. 

How ever bigger orchestral pieces, did not work as nicely, in addition the addition of a voice into a symphonic piece shows the flaws of the LCD 2, it does great for voices, and for classical duets, but not a combination of the two.  Epics "Solitary Ground Version" was a little wonky on the LCD 2.2F the lower notes of the singers voice, made the backing for the vocalist some what blurred, or un-focused. 

Now the last genre of music, I'll speak of is EDM. The LCD 2.2F works well with, deep heavy bass lines, and slower more ambient music. Where it falls short is with faster paced music, the LCD 2.2F did not impress me with any break beat, it lacked the ability to produce an aggressive sound for more aggressive forms of EDM. I was not a wobble friendly headphone either, so the LCD 2.2F again shows it self as a more laid back headphone. 

In short, the LCD 2.2F is a colored headphone, with emphasis on the low mids and a noticeably recessed upper mid section. This in turn, makes it an easy headphone to listen to, but it struggles with larger classical pieces and often lacks the proper balance for use with all genres of music, or rather it struggles to add a sense of realism or a "wow" factor to all genres of music, or rather It lacks aggression at times when it's needed and wanted.