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Geshelli Archel Pro v/s JDS Atom v/s .....

Anubhav

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#1
I have the Geshelli Pro Amp along with ENOG2 DAC.
Also have the JDS Atom.

I know that JDS Atom has received much praise in the forum, but when I compared it against Geshelli, I find Atom to be inferior.
Though, looking at charts/graphs from Amir, that should not be the case.

Headphones I tested it with :

ATH-R70x --- These are demanding HPs. Atom could not power it as easily as Archel, even with Atom's high gain mode
Q701 --- could not figure out much difference, but again Archel was at 11am, and Atom at 1-2pm
NAD HP50 --- More airy with Archel and felt more open.
Fidelio X2HR --- again livelier with Archel
Shure 1540 --- Meatier / juicier detailed with Archel
HE4xx -- didn't test

My understanding was that AMPs should not make that much of a difference to sound, but DACs do.

DAC Used for comparison:
-- Geshelli ENOG2

Anyone using/used Archel PRO amp or similar experience with Atom ?
or
Anyone who can post graphs/comparisons and technical details comparing these 2 ?

Thanks
WhatsApp Image 2019-04-29 at 5.52.02 PM.jpeg
 

M00ndancer

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#2
Did you do a real blind test? Did you have the exact same levels? (within 0.1 dB)
Not a dismissal of your findings, just making sure that you don't fall for the "subjective stupid brain" trap.

Second note: The Geshelli amp might not be transparent. In that case you might prefer the sound. Similar to tube amps.
 
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Frank Dernie

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#3
My understanding was that AMPs should not make that much of a difference to sound, but DACs do.
My experience has been that all the properly engineered DACs I have tried sound the same.
Amplifiers tend to sound different into difficult loads if the load demands are outside their capability, otherwise the difference tends to be just hiss levels when no music is playing, and most are adequate here.
I don't know how one does a properly level matched listening test using headphones, but if the levels aren't matched the louder will sound better, as always.
 

Anubhav

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#4
Did you do a real blind test? Did you have the exact same levels? (within 0.1 dB)
Not a dismissal of your findings, just making sure that you don't fall for the "subjective stupid brain" trap.

Second note: The Geshelli amp might not be transparent. In that case you might prefer the sound. Similar to tube amps.
100% blind test -- asked my bro to help me.
I did not understand your 'Second Note' Geshelli amp might not be transparent ?
I thought tube amps sound substantially different to solid state
 

Anubhav

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#5
My experience has been that all the properly engineered DACs I have tried sound the same.
Amplifiers tend to sound different into difficult loads if the load demands are outside their capability, otherwise the difference tends to be just hiss levels when no music is playing, and most are adequate here.
I don't know how one does a properly level matched listening test using headphones, but if the levels aren't matched the louder will sound better, as always.
I am unable to do level matched comparison --but definitely have a good idea of the sound levels that i asked my brother to change. Unfortunately I am not a technically gifted person and an amateur audiophile at best, hence 0.1 db testing , not sure how to do as @M00ndancer suggested
 

daftcombo

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#6
I am unable to do level matched comparison --but definitely have a good idea of the sound levels that i asked my brother to change. Unfortunately I am not a technically gifted person and an amateur audiophile at best, hence 0.1 db testing , not sure how to do as @M00ndancer suggested
Even 0.1dB can make a difference.
 

Anubhav

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#7
Even 0.1dB can make a difference.
I know this forum favours more technically inclined tests and comparisons and tries to remove subjectivity and opinions with technical proof points... Hence requested, if anyone has tested Archel PRO and how does it look like on graphs and measurements, coz in blind testing (again subjective i know) Archel Sounds better. Definitely powers my ATH-R70x with enough sound at 12noon , which is same as 3-4pm (90%-100% volume) of Atom, which is not subjective for sure.
 

M00ndancer

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#8
I did not understand your 'Second Note' Geshelli amp might not be transparent ?
I thought tube amps sound substantially different to solid state
Sorry for not making my self clear. What I was referring to is the added distortion you get from most tube amps, changing the sound.
The atom is transparent as far as I know, but I do not know that about the Geshelli.
 

Frank Dernie

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#10
Definitely powers my ATH-R70x with enough sound at 12noon , which is same as 3-4pm (90%-100% volume) of Atom, which is not subjective for sure.
The volume control position is not a measure of 0 to 100% power on analogue kit. I don't know about the stuff you mention but a comparison of volume control position between 2 items with different gain and different power is certainly meaningless.
If you can't accurately set the levels to be identical you can't compare the sound quality by ear.
 

amirm

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#11
I have both and could compare but don't have any of your headphones.

I have been looking for a more power hungry high impedance headphone to test with than HD-650. I see that ATH-R70x has higher impedance so that may do it. I could purchase it and test. Any feedback on usefulness of owning this headphone for my testing?
 

Anubhav

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#12
I have both and could compare but don't have any of your headphones.

I have been looking for a more power hungry high impedance headphone to test with than HD-650. I see that ATH-R70x has higher impedance so that may do it. I could purchase it and test. Any feedback on usefulness of owning this headphone for my testing?
Mate - I tested this headphone extensively against HD650 & HD6xx at a local store who have their own Youtube channel as well. After an hour of listening i chose this. The guy asked be why I chose ATH R70x over HD650 / 600 , I replied him how neutral and for me reference grade was it....he smiled and said that their main guy who does reviews also prefers this over HD6-- series. See this review - its an amazing headphone. --
.
I would have sent you my set for testing but postage charges to-and-fro from Sydney to USA, not worth it ;)
 

Anubhav

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#13
I have both and could compare but don't have any of your headphones.

I have been looking for a more power hungry high impedance headphone to test with than HD-650. I see that ATH-R70x has higher impedance so that may do it. I could purchase it and test. Any feedback on usefulness of owning this headphone for my testing?
Mate - thanks for considering comparing Archel PRO v/s Atom
 

GGroch

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#14
I very much like the aesthetics of the Geshelli Pro Amp but it would be a non-starter for me because of its high gain with no lower gain option. The Atom has 2 gain options, both relatively low, which means that with headphones like the ATH-70x (which I owned for a brief period and like a lot) you will have to crank it a bit, but it should be sufficient.

On the other hand, the Geshelli Enog2 is unusual in that it has 3 preset gain options...so it pairs very well with the Pro Amp. You do not mention the gain setting you are using with the Enog2, but its high gain mode should be most compatible with the Atom, and least compatible with the Pro Amp.

Zeos, the master of entertaining purely subjective reviews discusses this on YouTube. The Geshelli pair seem to be well designed as a set, and if I owned the Enog2 I would probably also prefer the Pro Amp just because they work so well together.
 

Tks

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#15
The only thing that gives me pause about the Atom is some of the channel imbalance issues that have been spoken of. Though since you're (I assume) maxing the volume on it, this isn't an issue it might turn out to be.

If power is what you lack, and you want to stick to budget, the Magni 3 seems a close contender.
 

Veri

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#16
Mate - I tested this headphone extensively against HD650 & HD6xx at a local store who have their own Youtube channel as well. After an hour of listening i chose this. The guy asked be why I chose ATH R70x over HD650 / 600 , I replied him how neutral and for me reference grade was it....he smiled and said that their main guy who does reviews also prefers this over HD6-- series. See this review - its an amazing headphone. --
.
I would have sent you my set for testing but postage charges to-and-fro from Sydney to USA, not worth it ;)
It's a very neutral headphone but damn if it isn't creaky and plasticky as hell. Also, distortion wise the R70x has relatively high harmonic distortion for a monitoring headphone (SBAF has graphs of FR/distortion).
 

Anubhav

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#17
Plasticky - band (like most HPs)
Metal - ear cups
Creaky - not at all (creaky is Fostex T60RP)
Price : $350 AUD ($250 USD)

I am incapable of measuring distortion etc hence will trust what you say...

Went in store to buy HD6— series but walked out with these Japanese made beautiful sounding cans
Subjective it is , I know :)

Love my ATH R70x the most in opens
And
SRH1540 the best sounding closed headphones I have ever heard
 

Anubhav

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#18
I very much like the aesthetics of the Geshelli Pro Amp but it would be a non-starter for me because of its high gain with no lower gain option. The Atom has 2 gain options, both relatively low, which means that with headphones like the ATH-70x (which I owned for a brief period and like a lot) you will have to crank it a bit, but it should be sufficient.

On the other hand, the Geshelli Enog2 is unusual in that it has 3 preset gain options...so it pairs very well with the Pro Amp. You do not mention the gain setting you are using with the Enog2, but its high gain mode should be most compatible with the Atom, and least compatible with the Pro Amp.

Zeos, the master of entertaining purely subjective reviews discusses this on YouTube. The Geshelli pair seem to be well designed as a set, and if I owned the Enog2 I would probably also prefer the Pro Amp just because they work so well together.
Absolutely bang on mate....With Geshelli ENOG2 DAC on high gain and ATOM on high gain , it does not need to be turned up as much. Thanks for advising. Didn't ever have to change the gain setting on ENOG DAC hence never bothered and forgot.
But still the quality of sound ... ?Unsure why?
ATOM sounds right for low impedance headphones. But for ATH R70x (470ohms & 98 decibels) or other demanding headphones, it's getting dicey.

Waiting for @amirm to post his findings and results about the comparison between the two. Maybe that will help me realise my faults, if any !
 

FrantzM

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#19
Absolutely bang on mate....With Geshelli ENOG2 DAC on high gain and ATOM on high gain , it does not need to be turned up as much. Thanks for advising. Didn't ever have to change the gain setting on ENOG DAC hence never bothered and forgot.
But still the quality of sound ... ?Unsure why?
ATOM sounds right for low impedance headphones. But for ATH R70x (470ohms & 98 decibels) or other demanding headphones, it's getting dicey.

Waiting for @amirm to post his findings and results about the comparison between the two. Maybe that will help me realise my faults, if any !
My reply is not of a technical nature but.. How were those tests performed? Did you know what were the devices under test? if yes then this cannot be conclusive ... Try to remove the knowledge .. Try with a friend to do the switching ... several times, short pieces ans see how you fare ...
 

Noob

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#20
I have both and could compare but don't have any of your headphones.

I have been looking for a more power hungry high impedance headphone to test with than HD-650. I see that ATH-R70x has higher impedance so that may do it. I could purchase it and test. Any feedback on usefulness of owning this headphone for my testing?
The R70x was the first nice headphone I purchased. It is similar to the hd600 in being really neutral but with better bass and less bright. So the treble is probably closer to the HD650 than the HD600, but it doesn't have the warmth of an HD650. Bass is good though when properly amped. If you have a capable amplifier, it's a great choice. Unfortunately, I did not realize how demanding this headphone is untill after purchasing.
 

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