Lampizator Horizon v. dCS Vivaldi Apex Listening Comparison

howiebrou

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But the point is that when I connected the alternative Kondo KSL DAC that was still idling, it was a disaster. I also appreciate it a lot, and have spent now a long time listening to it with great pleasure, knowing how good it can sound when used with the Audio Research REF40. But the difference was abysmal. I will soon put the KSL DAC on sale, but it will not surely be the choice of an Hans Zimmerman fan ... ;)
Make sure you copy and paste this as the sales pitch! ;)
 

Tango

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Mike, I am sure you have identified a subset correctly. It works the other way too...some can go around a show and say Wadax is the best dac...I mean what can go wrong...they will get in to the in crowd. After all, Mike Lavigne has endorsed it in his portfolio, Roy Gregory has written about it, it is the highest price, so the safest way to pretend one is golden eared is to say Wadax is the best despite having heard it only at a show

The same goes for lower priced products. There are those who will shun lower priced products because they are lower priced, and some will pretend to be giant-killer finders.

The same attitude is for reviewers, i.e. he is saying that because he is just a reviewer (enter all Caesar quotes) or wow even so and so reviewer endorsed it.

At the end there are subsets for all it is for the reader to decide who is really listening and evaluating for the sonic differences and presenting them accordingly. There is a reason some people are trusted and some are not and that has nothing to do with the price of the components or anything like that.
I normally avoid hitting like for you.
 
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Mike Lavigne

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Mike, I am sure you have identified a subset correctly. It works the other way too...some can go around a show and say Wadax is the best dac...I mean what can go wrong...they will get in to the in crowd. After all, Mike Lavigne has endorsed it in his portfolio, Roy Gregory has written about it, it is the highest price, so the safest way to pretend one is golden eared is to say Wadax is the best despite having heard it only at a show

The same goes for lower priced products. There are those who will shun lower priced products because they are lower priced, and some will pretend to be giant-killer finders.

The same attitude is for reviewers, i.e. he is saying that because he is just a reviewer (enter all Caesar quotes) or wow even so and so reviewer endorsed it.

At the end there are subsets for all it is for the reader to decide who is really listening and evaluating for the sonic differences and presenting them accordingly. There is a reason some people are trusted and some are not and that has nothing to do with the price of the components or anything like that.
agree. agendas are part of a subjective hobby. and extreme price just ramps up the motivation to activate them, low price can spin things too. price based appraisals cut both ways. you do your homework and at the end of the day make your decisions. people judge any way/method (or lack thereof) that they want to.

we can apply this process to all types of product questions. dacs seem to bring out the most extreme polarized perspectives since we all are experts. and digital gets reactions for many reasons across the board. more of a contest type vibe. some other product categories are mostly celebrated and not nearly as contentious. probably related to dacs/digital players becoming door stops regularly. or that it takes no work or particular experience to fine tune digital (other than tube rolling).....plug and play mostly. and more a latest thing.....thing.

not knocking digital, it's what i listen to 70% of the time. just part of the narrative of our digital gear talk.
 
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microstrip

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Thanks, appreciate the info. I knew that Portugal is a country of culture!

Thanks for the support AL M. Considering that the UK is a country of culture and our older alliance only an extremely ignorant or extremely evil minded member from that country would write the referred nonsense. Although Portugal is a small country - population 10 millions - we have several large concert halls, a famous opera house and many smaller halls, as well as two large orchestras and several smaller ones. Our orchestras are represented in the discography of known recording labels, as well as our better performers - they often do tours in Europe. I must say that I had the pleasure of listening to some of the best European Orchestras and musicians in performances in Lisbon and Porto. Music from portuguese composers is sometimes played in the UK - the UK label Hyperion did a great job recording it with excellent sound quailty - I would risk to say with audiophile standards.
 
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Al M.

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Thanks for the support AL M. Considering that the UK is a country of culture and our older alliance only an extremely ignorant or extremely evil minded member from that country would write the referred nonsense. Although Portugal is a small country - population 10 millions - we have several large concert halls, a famous opera house and many smaller halls, as well as two large orchestras and several smaller ones. Our orchestras are represented in the discography of known recording labels, as well as our better performers - they often do tours in Europe. I must say that I had the pleasure of listening to some of the best European Orchestras and musicians in performances in Lisbon and Porto. Music from portuguese composers is sometimes played in the UK - the UK label Hyperion did a great job recording it with excellent sound quailty - I would risk to say with audiophile standards.

Wonderful!

Also, Stockhausen had a few concerts at the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon -- including some world premieres of his works. Incredible and important composer, and I value that he was appreciated in Portugal.

I will travel next month to see some great Stockhausen concerts in Germany, and I very much look forward to that.
 

PeterA

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no, no qualifiers, only if they are not actually interested in the Wadax for themselves, what are they interested in? and their attraction to that or those can be an influence on their views. justification is a strong influencer.

if i've settled on the Ideon, or the MSB, or my vinyl or tape, and have no personal interest in the Wadax for myself, then those intensions skew my perspective. then the price of the Wadax becomes an influence for a negative perspective.

not being able to afford the Wadax is not the issue, more commitment to other paths is the issue. how do we eliminate price as the obstacle? not easy when you are the most expensive by multiples.

what causes us to investigate a product? people contact me about products all the time. does it take a huge price to get my attention? trying to think of how to answer that. i had a prior relationship with Elliot from my visits to his room in 2019, so that led to him contacting me. but i did not commit until i did my head to head in my OWN room.

i've purchased lot's of modestly priced gear and loved it. and talked about it. the CS Port phono was $17k retail and i owned it and loved it for 3 years. it was about how it performed. i used an $1100 preamp for three years (Placette RVC) along side my $75k Rockport Sirius III. i think i listen and decide.

OTOH over-the-top ultra gear can get peoples attention...mine too. but expectations then go thru the roof and naysayers come out of the woodwork.

I think a distinction should be made between full retail and what people are actually paying. The full retail price of something like the Wadax gets one's attention. Actual purchase price may be quite different on some of these very expensive items. How many middle people are there, and what are the margins. I've heard so many stories over the years, and had experience of my own, to know that prices for the same component can vary wildly. Variable pricing exists, it is just not discussed much.
 

PeterA

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The real proof of the sound quality of the XLFs is that all my audiophile friends who used to listen to them regret not being able to listen to them anymore.
What matters is our ears and system, not other people ears.

I do not understand. Do we select gear based on what we like or what others like?
 

andromedaaudio

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Mike, I am sure you have identified a subset correctly. It works the other way too...some can go around a show and say Wadax is the best dac...I mean what can go wrong...they will get in to the in crowd. After all, Mike Lavigne has endorsed it in his portfolio, Roy Gregory has written about it, it is the highest price, so the safest way to pretend one is golden eared is to say Wadax is the best despite having heard it only at a show

Sure as its the easiest/ cheapest way to get any respect on an audio forum i thought i might as well give it a shot .
Spending 600 € on a trip to munchen has given me all the credit i ever dreamed of lol , a great deal .
I just had to say Wadax is the best and i m all l set .
By the way pretending to have golden ears as you say is not a felony , as apparently anyone is able to make that claim

I think im going again next year , i wouldnt wanna miss the great discussions afterwards.
 
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bonzo75

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I'm not entirely convinced that a 17k phono stage is moderately priced but I guess it's all relative!
He said modestly not moderately. If you buy 17k phono or dac on this forum you are hiding your modesty.
 
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bonzo75

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microstrip

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I do not understand. Do we select gear based on what we like or what others like?

In my case, surely on what I like and can afford. Many other factors affect our buying decisions. But if others confirm or even share our preference our listening bias and ego increases ... ;)
 
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Armsan

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I guess it must be a Portugal thing then. Just trying to understand why. I looked on bachtrack which lists all classical concerts anywhere, and it shows 2 classical concerts this year in the country of Portugal.

View attachment 94999
And add, a different genre, Rock in Rio that ended last sunday.
 

Lagonda

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Sure as its the easiest/ cheapest way to get any respect on an audio forum i thought i might as well give it a shot .
Spending 600 € on a trip to munchen has given me all the credit i ever dreamed of lol , a great deal .
I just had to say Wadax is the best and i m all l set .
By the way pretending to have golden ears as you say is not a felony , as apparently anyone is able to make that claim

I think im going again next year , i wouldnt wanna miss the great discussions afterwards.
No one has ever accused you of having golden ears, a particular Dutch sense of humor, and a healthy skepticism of horns yes, golden ears not so much ! ;)
 

Lee

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I just want to applaud Patrick and Ron for doing these comparisons. I think that ultimately these bring more data points to the table on how various DACs compare.
 

Sampajanna

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I agree. I like this thread! I am excited to hear what is selected in the end….
 
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Tuckia

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Sorry to interrupt the philosophizing, rationalizations, and general banter; but if I may, I’ll add something about the subject matter of the thread title ;)

One month ago, I received the Horizon dac which was the unit auditioned by the OP and compared against the dcs unit. Included we’re the tubes used for the comparison. I can offer that 4 additional weeks of break in along with changes in the tube set have made significant improvement in the performance of the unit.

Upon receipt I inserted the supplied tubes and listened to this configuration for a couple days before rolling my own tubes in.

Supplied tubes:
EML 274b mesh rectifier
Psvane blue ball 6sn7
KR KT 88
Tung-Sol KT170

Rolling to either the csf 5687 or Tungsol VT-99 from the blue balls made an immediate improvement to resolution, depth, and naturalness. Each in its own way.

The EML274b is just fuzzy sounding, although dynamics were decent.
Replaced with the RK 5u4g to tighten things up. However, it can go too far. It is not a good pairing with the KT170. The additive result is a scream in the upper mids. Just too much. I suspect the Tak 274b will be better overall as the RK’s edginess can be a detriment.

Either KT’s can work for me, depending on the other tubes used.

Additional time has allowed the Horizon to open up and smooth out. Resolution and dynamics are first rate now.

So this is really just a young Horizon vs. mature Horizon comparison along with an opinion on tube choices.

Point is, the Horizon as auditioned by pk-LA was not in top form, but it is now.
 
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Ron Resnick

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In my case, surely on what I like and can afford. Many other factors affect our buying decisions. But if others confirm or even share our preference our listening bias and ego increases ... ;)

In my personal opinion neither one's ego nor one's identity should be entangled with a variable as independent as the subjective listening preferences of other people.
 

bonzo75

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Sorry to interrupt the philosophizing, rationalizations, and general banter; but if I may, I’ll add something about the subject matter of the thread title ;)

One month ago, I received the Horizon dac which was the unit auditioned by the OP and compared against the dcs unit. Included we’re the tubes used for the comparison. I can offer that 4 additional weeks of break in along with changes in the tube set have made significant improvement in the performance of the unit.

Upon receipt I inserted the supplied tubes and listened to this configuration for a couple days before rolling my own tubes in.

Supplied tubes:
EML 274b mesh rectifier
Psvane blue ball 6sn7
KR KT 88
Tung-Sol KT170

Rolling to either the csf 5687 or Tungsol VT-99 from the blue balls made an immediate improvement to resolution, depth, and naturalness. Each in its own way.

The EML274b is just fuzzy sounding, although dynamics were decent.
Replaced with the RK 5u4g to tighten things up. However, it can go too far. It is not a good pairing with the KT170. The additive result is a scream in the upper mids. Just too much. I suspect the Tak 274b will be better overall as the RK’s edginess can be a detriment.

Either KT’s can work for me, depending on the other tubes used.

Additional time has allowed the Horizon to open up and smooth out. Resolution and dynamics are first rate now.

So this is really just a young Horizon vs. mature Horizon comparison along with an opinion on tube choices.

Point is, the Horizon as auditioned by pk-LA was not in top form, but it is now.

Personally I think those who cannot/will not roll tubes, are the same as those who will not bother to adjust/tune/investigate any component in any system, should not be auditioning products but simply tell their dealer to install something and leave it at that.
 
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