It's only been a week since Panda's been fully armed and operational. It feels like so much has happened since then! Here's my summary:
I first had it hooked up to my £30 Chinese ES9038Q2M DAC and an old pair of Vivanco headphones that I thought had started to deteriorate. Turns out the headphones were fine and sounding good. So then I hooked up my old 150ohm HD595 Sennheisers, it turns out they have given up the ghost, the left channel has no bass. So after checking the DC offset for the umpteenth time, I hooked up the Beyerdynamic DT990 Pros. Better; good bass and in your face, but sibilant at times. So then...
I hook it up to the iFi iDSD Nano (another recommendation from this forum!). Now you're talking. Sibilance gone. Instead I'm listening to treble detail that I've never heard before. Bass that's big and deep, but controlled. I get through my usual test tracks with a big grin on my face and move on with glee to the rest of my music catalogue. Several hours later it's 1am and I grudgingly put myself to bed.
2nd night and I shouldn't stay up late again, I've got to be awake at work. :-) Several hours later and it's 1.30am. This time I've been thinking about what's next. I've decided to stop spending time trying to get the £30 DAC up to standard. It's Christmas soon, the British designed/manufactured Chord Mojo has come down to £300 recently. I'll spend the time I save ditching the £30 DAC project to sell other stuff and help pay for the mMjo. Chord Mojo ordered. Oh, and I've fancied the Hifiman HD-4XX planar headphones for a while and that's on offer at "Drop". HD-4XX ordered and I now have the basis of my new hi-fi man cave sorted.
The Chord Mojo arrived first. I left it to charge and warm up. I only got 30 minutes with it a couple of nights later to try it with the DT-990s. Oh bummer. The bass is too big, and there's slight sibilance with a couple of my test tracks. I don't panic (I haven't got time), I walk away and leave it for another time.
The HD-4XX turn up from Holland. I dash upstairs, plug them in and leave the whole setup running for a few hours for an initial bed in. Later that night, this Monday I think, I sit down with a whole bunch of jobs to do. 3 hours later, I've got no jobs done but another insane grin. The Mojo has a sound that takes a bit of time to get used to. It's less immediate and 'in your face' compared to the iDSD/DT990 combo. The bass isn't quite a 'large'. But, it has a larger soundstage than I've experienced before. It also seems to treat every detail with care and doesn't let any other part of the music crowd it out of the way, you can listen to the decay for an eternity. I found myself digging out tracks that have soundscape and quality production. Some tracks tell a story, staying small and controlled in the middle of the soundstage for a while before introducing 'peripheral' sounds and then growing out in to that soundspace, magic. It felt a bit like watching a film, but my eyes had no idea what to do. Anyhoo, I'm dead chuffed with the Mojo/HD-4XX combo, I think the HD-4XX have the control and ability to output the detail that the Mojo delivers (via the Panda) that makes all the soundstaging possible.
The Mojo has now been taken away to be wrapped up ready for Xmas, but that's OK. I've got a good chance now to familiarise myself properly with the Panda, iDSD and DT990/HD-4XX.
And all this before everything has had a decent chance to bed in :-) Patience isn't one of my virtues.
I have to confess that I don't know what I'm doing when it comes to installing the mains varistor and suppression capacitor. I believe that they go across the terminals of the IEC connector. Any instructions/advice would be much appreciated.
Once they're installed, does the 'standby' power consumption increase? Would I be better off installing them using the 'post On/Off switch' Live feed?
Am I right in thinking that the MOV protects against surge, and the capacitor will help against pops and crackles induced by other equipment on the mains ring?
Once I've installed them, and poured copious amounts of threadlock on to the RCA connectors and volume bar grub screws, I'll be done. I can then take my photos and upload to the "Show us your Panda" thread.
Hi 4c I just install them on the mains in. A Cheapo and effective mains filter. If you have a detachable lead just connect to pins on the socket inside the amp, if not where the power connects to the pcb or tx. On another point I’d be a bit careful with thread lock on the rca sockets as I’ve had experience of it causing corrosion on the threads, the last thing you want. I must admit a decently torque up nut has always been ok for me
Thanks Pingu. Does it go across the L and N terminals? Are the MOV and capacitor directional, or can they be connected in any orientation? Apologies for the noob questions!
No probs 4c there’s lots I don’t know and have to ask advice on so don’t worry.
Yes they go across the mains pos and neg no polarity so any way round is ok. Just wind the legs of the cap and resistor around each other then solder to each mains terminal, one leg to each side, bit of heat shrink to insulate them if you have it but not essential If you PM me with your email I’ll send you a pix of what it should look like as I have probs publishing them on th forum Maybe Mike has a shot he can upload.