Ideon Absolute epsilon In The House

Gregm

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Mar 14, 2019
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196
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France
...and I am astonished* by the sound! So I thought I would share the experience...

The musicians are alive, they have presence, and the instruments are real, they have size, weight, highs and lows... and the music sounds right - complete and coherent and widely dynamic.
On a side note, there is at least 1.5 extra octave in the bass and sustained, high energy. I didn't know that digital had /hid so much bass (maybe it survived the mastering police because they couldn't hear it ;) )

Some things are probably similar to what Mike (Lavigne) experienced with the big Wadax, albeit I no longer have my Select II, so the contrast in my case is much bigger.

So far the Epsilon has only about 100 hrs on it at home but as it's the Munich 2022 piece it has accumulated some mileage already. I'll wait a while before I address speaker positioning and similar audiophiliac syndrome considerations to take over. For now, it's the music and, of course trying out native DSD

*Before I had to downsize & sell, I had reasonably good systems (Select II, Simon Yorke TT / Praedikat; Gen Vs modded by their late lamented designer; Symphonic Line, CAT, and Goldmund electronics; Valhalla cabling...) and equipment changes would bring about perceived improvements -- i.e. more resolution here, more dynamic impact and swings there, crispier presentation, etc.

The sound with the Epsilon is in a different dimension altogether.
It is also orders of magnitude better than what I heard at the Munich show -- which goes for most show conditions no doubt. Additionally the Ideon room at deLuxe was small and dwarfed by those huge speakers...

Anyway, I hope it all doesn't go away and I'll keep you posted! ideon_audio_absolute_ε_epsilon_dac_review_matej_isak_mono_and_stereo_2021_2022_2023_3.jpeg
 
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Alrainbow

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Dec 12, 2013
2,490
940
385
NYC , USA
does this dAC have an internal re clocker ?
are you using a preamp after or direct to amps from dac ?
 
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Gregm

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2019
287
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does this dAC have an internal re clocker ?
are you using a preamp after or direct to amps from dac ?
As I understand it the epsilon has an internal reclocking module. I am using my little external one as well.
Later on today I will try it out without the external reclocker.

Currently the DAC is connected through my TVC. Of course I will try it out direct as well. There may be more surprises in store there!
 

Alrainbow

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2013
2,490
940
385
NYC , USA
Good always worth a try
I have tried a few dacs direct no gold found yet
my amp is difficult to so not all pre amps work well. I’ll say this at 15 ohms imp out it should drive long or short interconnects Easy too. does it also have XLR and se ?
is there an internal gain setting
aside of vol control
 

Gregm

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2019
287
196
115
France
my amp is difficult to so not all pre amps work well. I’ll say this at 15 ohms imp out it should drive long or short interconnects Easy too. does it also have XLR and se ?
is there an internal gain setting
aside of vol control
The epsilon is standard balanced in / output and mine also has SE (which I am using now).
It has an internal gain setting, I have it on fixed output 0dB full-scale at the moment. Apparently, Ideon's recommendation is to go fixed, full-scale 0dB output, and connect to a world class active preamp stage -- which is exactly what Mike Lavigne & others have mentioned as well.

When I get back home I'll set it to variable output & connect it direct and see what happens - one user told me it has about 1W out, so as you said, it should drive long cables and difficult amps easily (mine are 10k Ohm input impedance)
 
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Gregm

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Mar 14, 2019
287
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115
France
Am now listening to Peter Gabriel's "Mercy Street" from So, I have bypassed the pre. There is a lot of echo added to both voices and a lot of very low frequency energy I hadn't noticed so much before.
I am still not sure about what I prefer. Empirically speaking, direct sounds faster and more staccato.
Impotantly, I am enjoying myself like a three year old swimming in chocolate:D
 

Alrainbow

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2013
2,490
940
385
NYC , USA
What I meant by gain is the dacs Internal output and then
you use vol or bypass.
a great preamp still has a sweet spot to make it shine
love the stuff from them.
same with pre amp input gain
too. most just set and leave soo much can be left on the table. you can adjust the weight and tone and not use cables to adjust things.
good luck play tunes take notes
enjoy
 

thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
1,138
976
200
62
Washington State, US
...and I am astonished* by the sound! So I thought I would share the experience...

The musicians are alive, they have presence, and the instruments are real, they have size, weight, highs and lows... and the music sounds right - complete and coherent and widely dynamic.
On a side note, there is at least 1.5 extra octave in the bass and sustained, high energy. I didn't know that digital had /hid so much bass (maybe it survived the mastering police because they couldn't hear it ;) )

Some things are probably similar to what Mike (Lavigne) experienced with the big Wadax, albeit I no longer have my Select II, so the contrast in my case is much bigger.

So far the Epsilon has only about 100 hrs on it at home but as it's the Munich 2022 piece it has accumulated some mileage already. I'll wait a while before I address speaker positioning and similar audiophiliac syndrome considerations to take over. For now, it's the music and, of course trying out native DSD

*Before I had to downsize & sell, I had reasonably good systems (Select II, Simon Yorke TT / Praedikat; Gen Vs modded by their late lamented designer; Symphonic Line, CAT, and Goldmund electronics; Valhalla cabling...) and equipment changes would bring about perceived improvements -- i.e. more resolution here, more dynamic impact and swings there, crispier presentation, etc.

The sound with the Epsilon is in a different dimension altogether.
It is also orders of magnitude better than what I heard at the Munich show -- which goes for most show conditions no doubt. Additionally the Ideon room at deLuxe was small and dwarfed by those huge speakers...

Anyway, I hope it all doesn't go away and I'll keep you posted!
I also expect to listen to Absolute( not sure Epsilon or not) at dealer's shop next Satrurday on 18th.

From your favorable experience, I have high expectation.

;)
 
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Gregm

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2019
287
196
115
France
I also expect to listen to Absolute( not sure Epsilon or not) on dealer's shop next Satrurday on 18th.

From your favorable experience, I have high expectation.

;)
Have the dealer place it on a hard sturdy surface (surprisingly stillpoints, nordost pulsars, cones etc seem to compromise the sound). And go through the filters to choose the one you prefer: if the rest of the chain is top-notch, I recommend you begin with fast roll-off minimum phase or linear phase. Good luck!
 

Gregm

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2019
287
196
115
France
Another tip: you'll know it's correctly set up if you listen to SRV's Tinpan Alley, the stick in the intro should be lighting fast and fade slowly, same with the guitar solo (check out the vid in the FMA thread -- it should sound like that, a tad faster maybe)
 
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thomask

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Dec 9, 2018
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Washington State, US

Fabulous review.

If I am impressed with Ideon at the shop, I will try to do audition at home.
 

Gregm

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2019
287
196
115
France

Fabulous review.

If I am impressed with Ideon at the shop, I will try to do audition at home.
You might want to check out some tips I mentioned above. Good luck!
 
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matthias

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Mar 14, 2019
756
296
138
Germany
Fabulous review.
Yes, but it would be nice to know in which way the three devices contribute to the listening impressions.

Matt
 
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matthias

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Mar 14, 2019
756
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Germany
Probably I will audition regular Absolute with reclocker.

I also have my own reclocker.

Thus I will compare between Absolute with and wo reclocker.
I am very interested in the Absolute Time. Looking forward to your impressions :)
Thanks

Matt
 
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Gregm

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2019
287
196
115
France
Probably I will audition regular Absolute with reclocker.

I also have my own reclocker.

Thus I will compare between Absolute with and wo reclocker.
When I first auditioned the Absolute I compared it to my Select alone, then I tried both with the Time in front. At the time both benefited very clearly, IIRC the Select even more so than the Absolute. Now I am using the two small 3Rs the consultant had supplied me with the ayazi, connected to a (diy) linear PS.
 
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matthias

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2019
756
296
138
Germany
When I first auditioned the Absolute I compared it to my Select alone, then I tried both with the Time in front. At the time both benefited very clearly, IIRC the Select even more so than the Absolute. Now I am using the two small 3Rs the consultant had supplied me with the ayazi, connected to a (diy) linear PS.
Please can you comment on the musical differences between the Time and the 3Rs.
Thanks

Matt
 

Gregm

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2019
287
196
115
France
Please can you comment on the musical differences between the Time and the 3Rs.
Thanks

Matt
Sorry Matt, I didn't compare the two directly... but subjectively speaking, I don;t think my two little 3Rs even with their (expensive) aftermarket linear PS are a match for the Time in any way (the Time accepts coax as well, the clocks are SOTA, it has a huge, calibrated, linear PS, etc...) .
I can tell you the difference the Time made: have you ever listened to a high resolution system with a quiet fan or AC live in the room? You enjoy the music, everything is outstanding and you hope it won't all go away... Then, you switch off the fan / AC and suddenly you get a whole lot more high-frequency and bass clarity than before.
To give a subjective point of ref: on mediocre recordings / masterings cellos often sound unclear. With the Absolute they sound like acoustic strings (rather than electric bass). Add the Time and you can often catch the sound of the bow on the strings...
 
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thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
1,138
976
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Washington State, US

I had Ideon Absolute Epsilon (47k$ ;) ) at my system for home audition yesterday.

It may be too early to reach conclusion.

But it is very positive so far.

i will keep this one untill 22nd of June.

It may not be easy to judge the sound recorded by Galaxy s20 phone.

Nevertheless you can have some idea.

it sounds very neutral, transparent with clean details and not overbearing but tight bass,:cool:
 
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thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
1,138
976
200
62
Washington State, US
Ideon Absolute Epsilon appears to be very sensitive to mechanical isolation.

After trying several options, I like Isoaccoustic foot which give fuller and organic sound.
 

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