19 November, 2012

Headphone Talk III: AKG K501, K701, Part II

Dared MP-5 atop the Harbeth LS3/5A in my new desktop system. Note the AKG K501 in the foreground.

Headphone Talk III: AKG K501, K701, Part II
Headphone Amp: Dared MP-5
My Latest Desktop System

Latest Desktop: Dared MP-5 + LS3/5A
For what the last iteration of my desktop was like, please refer to my last article. The current one differs only in the substitution of the venerable Harbeth LS3/5A. A few cuts and it is eminently clear that the LS3/5A is the better speaker than the Pioneer Pure Malt. That is no surprise. The LS3/5A is not at all the omnipotent thing some of its devotees portray it to be, but it is very good nonetheless.

I could bring in better amps to drive the LS3/5A but, come on, this is only a desktop. Are you sure you're always on your audio toes when typing away?

Dared MP-5 Suffice to say, even given the "difficult load" of the LS3/5A (nominal 11 ohm), the very humble Dared MP-5 (which I reviewed earlier) performed admirably. I re-read what I wrote, and almost all of it is still applicable! If you go with the flow, the setup is eminently listenable, its sins only of omission.

Dared MP-5 + AKG
Please the basic sound of the Dared, please refer to my last article cited above. The undeniable surprise here is that the sound is not as detailed as the iPod Classic! Compared to the iPod Classic, the Dvorak New World has a more recessed soundstage, and is not as pungent and exciting. There is more warmth, a more laid back nature. BUT, when it came to Ida Haendel's recital, there is little question that the continuity and articulation was superior, coming close to the feeling in the large system.

To conclude, it is clear that the tubed Dared, while not at all the last word in resolution, brings something more of a human face to some music. It is not at all "neutral", but it is musical and eminently listenable.

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