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sparkos ARIES

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Hi
any one here know about Sparkos Aries ?

Info

AriesInnerd.jpg
 
Passion for sound says it is unbelievable. I've got one ordered. review hare
 
I have a Sparko Aries and firstly I should say that Alex and Dennis from Burson, Chris from Audeze and Andrew Sparks from Sparko are all great to deal with.

What I can say is that based on my listening, subjectively the Sparko Aries is as least as good as my Burson Conductor 3X ref driving my Audeze LCD4s and LCD xc. But that comparison so far has only been with 2 different DACs so the comparison is Burson conductor using its own internal DAC vs Sparko Aries with a Chord Qutest. So its not just a headamp comparison.

I might at some time get my act together and just compare the Amp stages. I could drive both the Aries and Conductor with the Chord Qutest (which is outstanding) and I think I can drive the Aries with the Burson Conductor DAC and compare it that way. I could also run both headamps with my Cambridge Audio 840C and my circa 1990 Marantz CD80, which was modded a decade ago with burson opamps, burson low jitter digital clock, new caps and a Philips TDA1541A S1 double crown d/a converter. Actually it might have been a Philips TDA1541A S2 double crown d/a converter.

The CA 840C has a fully balanced layout, twin Analog Devices AD1955 24 bit DACs, true balanced XLR outs, use of DSP processing to up-convert the signal to 24bit/384kHz. It extracts detail amazingly well and has a great soundstage. I've thought about modding it with Sparko and Burson components but hasn't happened yet. review here:
https://www.dagogo.com/cambridge-audio-azur-840c-cd-player-review/

Re comparison the problem is whenever I plug the headphones into either combination it sounds so good I just start giggling like a school kid and enjoy.

As an aside, the 30yo CD80 wipes the floor with most other players/dacs I have compared it with. Especially with simple acoustic music. And the error correction is astonishing, It played the worst scratched discs. The Marantz CD80 player and PM80 amp, which does 20 watts class A and is switchable to 100w class AB, is running a pair of Dynaudio Image 1s on the desk of my home office. The CD80/PM80 also have sensational headphone stages that runs my headphones well, even difficult loads like the LCD4s. This Marantz/dynaudio setup I got when I was selling HIFI part time when I was at Uni. Buy quality and it lasts.

The Conductor is fully balanced, and the Aries is single ended.

The Burson is sensational for music and AV, as both a headamp and preamp. Actually when I bought it the main reason was I had no headphone output in my main system and I thought I was just going to use it as a headamp and possibly DAC, and stick with my current preamp, a Musical Fidelity Nuvista, #176 of 500 made.

I never thought I'd upgrade the Nuvista, it could be the most beautiful thing I have owned in form and function. It sounds unbelievable and is the only piece of audio equipment I've ever had with valves. But the Burson is better to my ears so I'll be selling the Nuvista.
Subjective reviews here https://hometheaterreview.com/musical-fidelity-nu-vista-preamp-reviewed/
and here http://www.audioreview.com/product/...s is better than,the lack of balanced outputs

Regarding the Aries, this review combines subjective thoughts and objective measurements:
https://soundnews.net/amplifiers/headphone-amps/sparkos-labs-aries-review/

Even if the Aries came up better in a listening test It will stay in my home office. It doesn't have a remote, Bluetooth, wifi etc. Which doesn't matter on my desk, but would be a pain in my main system.
 
I have had the Sparko Aries for a while now. It is so pure and detailed in how it drives my LCDxc and LCD4s. But not clinical or fatiguing, it is completely musical. It is also a testament to how good the Chord Qutest is. Apologies for all the subjective terms.

Another bonus, no urge to upgrade, as when I upgrade stuff I use Sparko components and they are already in the box :) Well I use Burson too but nothing is going to do a better job than the sparko Pro opamps, power supply or voltage regulators already in the Aries.

I just wish it had a remote. The Qutest doesn't either. It's a pain, but fine if I am leaving it on my home office desk which is where it will probably stay.

Although, I have the version with the single ended headamp/balanced preamp, so one day I might switch it with my Burson conductor 3X which is in my main system and see how it goes.

If it came with a remote I would buy a 2nd one for my main system.
 
@Sam Spade Any chance of sending your Aries and Conductor 3X Reference to Amir for review? I would very much like to see those measured. Thanks.
 
@Sam Spade Any chance of sending your Aries and Conductor 3X Reference to Amir for review? I would very much like to see those measured. Thanks.

Matias, where is Amir located? I am in Australia.

I have talked to Andrew Sparko and Dennis and Alex from Burson, they are all great. They may be closer, or have a distributor or retailer nearby.

They have both sent units out to multiple reviewers, both subjective and with objective measurements from memory. I could find the links and post them here. Although I might have that mixed up with the LCD4 being reviewed by another reviewer with graphical data, but not on this site. Although someone did put up a graph of the LCD4 frequency response here and bagged it.
 
Yes, it is too far away from the US, shipping would be too much... Better someone nearer, I agree. Hopefully someone can drop ship them to him for testing.
 
Yes, it is too far away from the US, shipping would be too much... Better someone nearer, I agree. Hopefully someone can drop ship them to him for testing.
Burson is in melbourne too about 700km from me. Sparko is in Colorado. Alex and dennis at burson are great. So is Andrew Sparko. They know me through my purchases and email conversations. Feel free to contact/email them and say that you'd spoken to sam wade and i highly recommend their products. It might help.
 
Yes, it is too far away from the US, shipping would be too much... Better someone nearer, I agree. Hopefully someone can drop ship them to him for testing.
Hey matias, here's some reviews worth looking at.

My decision to buy the aries was based on a number of factors:
1) the sparko pro opamps sounded great in my burson conductor 3X ref and better than the burson V6 vivid. The sparko is a bit more expensive from memory. (Both opamps are awesome, I'm not dissing the burson and i still need to try the V6 classics too. My guess is that if i had highly analytical headphones like sennheiser 8xx i might prefer the V6 classics. Note that the sparko pros draw a lot more current so you'd need to check the capacity of the target DAC/Amp before going for the PROs. Sparko also make a smaller footprint single and dual opamp that i think will plug straight into the burson and most other dip8 gear.
2) Andrew Sparko is a complete legend and so helpful
3) reviews like this https://soundnews.net/amplifiers/headphone-amps/sparkos-labs-aries-review/
and this https://darko.audio/2020/10/moving-upfield-sparkos-labs-aries/

BUT the Burson Conductor 3X Ref DAC/Headamp/Preamp is about 1/3 the cost of the Sparko top model headamp/preamp and the Chord Qutest DAC.

I could die happy with either combo. The Burson appears to have more power and it looks better. They both drive my Audeze LCDxc and LCD4s superbly and are great preamps.
 
Sam I had an 840c a few years back, modded it with tentlabs clock and supply and added local jung regs for the analogue rail on the dac chips and rebuilt the output stage. It was very marginally improved.

It's a great cd player, much underrated.
 
Sam I had an 840c a few years back, modded it with tentlabs clock and supply and added local jung regs for the analogue rail on the dac chips and rebuilt the output stage. It was very marginally improved.

It's a great cd player, much underrated.
I've always loved it. It sounds like It might be better leaving it as it is?
 
I'm not one to overplay the changes mods make, the difference was audible and I preferred it. There wasn't the options in clocks back then that exist now so ymmv.

As an example, on my iancanada, pi3, fifopi, dual ess 9038qm stack swapping from cheap as chips clock to a crystek was audible, the difference between crystek and ndk wasn't.
 
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