Kan visited me today. The moment when he entered inside, we started playing the blind test. Two dacs were hooked up to the same transport, i.e. Zanden 2000p with the superclock. The Orpheus Heritage always creates its own master clock signal regardless of the accurancy of the incoming clock data. On the other hand, the 5000s was linked to the super clock inside the Zanden transport.
We were playing the Get-A-Life Live Concert Recording by Eason Chan. Maybe, after 3 minutes, I switched to input 2. I have to say it is not easy to tell the differenc which is which in a short period of time because I had tried hard to understand the two the night before.
Kan told me it is hard to say which is better because in his view there are obvious strength in both cases. In the first case, the emphasis was more on the soundstage, whereas in the second case, the spotlight was on the vocal. Then, I revealed to him that the first case is a full Zanden combo, whereas in the 2nd case it was the Zanden/Heritage combo.
I got what he meant. The Heritage depicts varying pressure on the microphone with each passing lyric from Eason's mouth. Such process is flawnessly revealed and hence draws your attention to the vocal. The surrounding ambience as well as the audiences' behavior with a varying depth perspective filled the entire soundscape without any holes.
In the case of the full Zanden combo, the inflation of ambience would make you feel the soundstage is very large. Within the soundstage, each individual objects are located properly in their respective spaces with their own behavior. Image of everything seems to be larger than the case when the dac was heritage.
I feel that the perceived differences are mainly between the perspective of TOP DOWN and BOTTOM UP. Seeing things from different perspective always yields different result.
We discussed more and more with different recordings. In my view, the Heritage is still a better machine in its own right. In soprano recording, I draw Kan's attention to the upper high area in the case of Zanden dac. Then, we immeidately played the same recording on the Hertiage. The upper mid-high session in the case of Zanden is slighly warmer than the heritage. It cannot go up as high as the Heritage. Put it this way, the Zanden dac is already very transparent, but the Heritage is PRISTINE.
Then, Kan played a familiar recording of his own. He could tell the differences between the two dacs in a more specific way after we back and forth tested many discs. It was a fruitful session as he also helps me to understand the new Zanden super combo. It is only through discussion and field experiences could we learn more about our own system.
In the late evening, a similar experience also happened. Due to the fact that the needle of my Dynavector XV-1S was broken last week, I had to send it back to Japan for re-tipping. Today, J.Lam sent me the UNIVERSE. A vinyl expert finished setting it up at 9pm this evening. It is now 12:30a.m. the next day. Where am I now?
In the UNIVERSE.
To be continued tomorrow.....