I think I'll still keep my vote as the headless panther, until they fix it or until we know that the vast majority of sub 12Hz content in movies can be played without protection mode kicking in (related to the voltage & load variable that you mention). Otherwise I'd up it to Great golfing panther.I don't know. I only tested at the one voltage and load.
Hard to drive headphones is a thing.Nice device.
But the question for me is: Who nees such a device in this days? Normally more or less all DAC´s offer a headphone connector, most of all amplifiers do so. So where is the benefit of this thing? Okay, if you are using a cheap DAC with no headphone plug, than this device could make sense, but otherwise? Im using an older Benchmark DAC2 with headphone plugs and when im listening with my AKG K701 it does sound very well and more than loud enough. No distortion audible and no problems with sub-frequencies like 12 Hz or so ;-)
If you’re limited to one source, sure.That's a bit definitive, and I do own one that I love, with very nice PEQ settimgs, wich I always leave on... Many of us deploy EQ on the source, and that's enough for all use cases, with different presets..
So, excellent DAC/can amps or preamps with no EQ, at a lower price than Equing variants still have their place,
Depends on your setup and where you need to insert it, but with so many of us using computer based sources it actually makes more sense implementing it there, and with better results, with much more processing power.
Who watches movies with headphones?I think I'll still keep my vote as the headless panther, until they fix it or until we know that the vast majority of sub 12Hz content in movies can be played without protection mode kicking in (related to the voltage & load variable that you mention). Otherwise I'd up it to Great golfing panther.
Ha, it's true that I don't, but I'm sure people do. I have done in the past, a number of years ago. If the amp shuts off when trying to play any sub 12Hz content then that would be an annoying bug, hence headless panther from me.....but if it was proven that in real world conditions that this amp doesn't shut off when trying to play "real" signals below 0dBFS below 12Hz then I would change it to Great golfing panther - or if they put out a fix.
I'm a little surprised by the comments on this amp, given the hobbyist nature of this forum.
Sure, there are a lot of great amps on the market right now, but the vendors are differentiating within their own lineups. And I certainly don't think SMSL should just cede the market to Topping.
Yeah, they may have the same parent company butthey are stillcompetitors.
From what I've read so far, this particular amp is only the second (?) iteration of SMSL's precision linear feedback circuit (PLFC) design in an HPA, which they have obviously designed to compete with (and to stop paying royalties to) THX. I imagine Topping developed NCFA for the same basic reason. And good for them. If we stopped innovating once we exceeded human hearing, everyone should have just given up after Drop released the 789 and moved on to building wacky tube amps instead.
The other SMSL PLFC HPA is the SH-8s which has two-stage gain, no pre-amp out, and no 4.4mm jack; so the differentiation with the HO200 is substantive. Functionality (if not power) wise it sits between the A30Pro and the A90 but with a price closer to the A30Pro, and most people seem to agree that the high gain on all three amps is mostly there for show.
I grant that having the RCA->Unbal measure better than the XLR->XLR is unusual, but Amir's dashboard for the A30Pro and the A90 are both (XLR input and unbalanced 1/4 headphone out), and the HO200 measures practically identically to the A30Pro, so it's still in the 121 SINAD club (and deserves the golfer). Why would we penalize them for making the unbalanced chain competitive with the L30?
As to the protection kicking in at ~12Hz, I'll leave it to people who know more than I do to weigh in on the technical merits, but the official spec says "20Hz to 500kHz frequency response" so it's not like they claim it works down to 10Hz. From the protection behavior in the XLR->XLR impedance sweeps (and the presence of that USB service port), they seem to have put a lot of software controls in place. After what happened with the L30 I wouldn't blame them for being conservative with this much power and a relatively new circuit design.
I wish that storm hadn't cut the review short. I would like to get Amir's subjective assessment, even if it is "Yep, that's an amp alright." But I appreciate all the time invested regardless.
I have to say, I'm not a fan of the new voting thing so far. I think I prefer the panthers to be Amir's exclusive discretion. The whole conversation around this amp just feels weird and a little unfair, and I feel like the voting thing might be why. I'd love to hear JohnYang1997's take on this amp. He might be a competitor but he's always been fair.
Would that BQ be for Build Quality or Bull$!tt Quality?It would really be cool if we could have a ratings page where you choose your piece of gear and rate it on some of this stuff - you rate how satisfied you are with BQ, usability/ergonomics, you mark whether there is audible channel imbalance, whether there was a malfunction at some point.
Build up a database. Then one could actually quantify unit to unit variation of the same model and statistically compare different products on various things. It's not perfect since it depends on the honesty of people doing the marking - that they 1) actually own the product and 2) are responding honestly. Even with those (and some more) limitations, it would be really interesting to have.
classic 5+ different fonts with variations on a single device, RCA labels on different levels. some things never change.