sabato 24 gennaio 2015

LH Labs Geek Out 1000 | Unboxing e prime impressioni di ascolto

Questo post è stato originariamente pubblicato sul forum di LH Labs, produttori del DAC Geek Out 1000, nella sezione riservata alle impressioni sui prodotti LH.

Hi everyone, I've finally received my new Geek Out 1000, which will contribute to my HD audio experiences (along with a Musical Fidelity V90-HPA) while still waiting for the Geek Pulse + LPS I've funded on November, 2013!

The GO1000 was purchased (I won't say funded, since the crowdfunding campaign ended a few months ago) on November 27 taking advantage of the Geek Out 1000 Best Deal Ever offer, then the DAC left LH Labs on January 7: it was a bit unfortunate not having the chance to test it during the Christmas holidays, but this how "-funding" goes, which is ok to me. The tracking service provided by USPS was spot on, and here's my Geek Out's adventurous journey:

As you can see, it only took four days for the small package to reach the italian shores, the hardest part was getting through the customs, which added 11 long days to my wait and a €34,13 tax just to make things even spicier... Anyway, after a total of 56 days I was able to put my hands on this little audio genie, and here are the unboxing pictures I've taken at the office as soon as the postman left!

The Geek Out itself takes about half the space inside the carton box, it comes shrinkwrapped and with a small amount of Bubblewrap to make things safer.

Here's my current listening corner, very low-cost indeed! I like to swap headphones from time to time and I do own some decent models, like K551 from AKG or DT990PRO by Beyerdynamic (Superlux' HD668B remain one of my favourite choices ever, though), but these days I'm in love with this pair of E40BTs from JBL, which are excellent all-round headphones - including all the convenience you can expect from a stable and competent Bluetooth connection, when needed - with a bold no-fear attitude (any genre, any volume!) and a consistent depth of sound that you wouldn't expect at the price.

Maybe it's too early to say something about how the GO1000 performs and where it differs from the V90-HPA's sound I was getting used to. After installing the Windows driver and upgrading the firmware to V1.5 (all the necessary files can be found here, both processes went very smooth on my old Compaq 6720s notebook with Vista Business) I was rather impressed by a sound that I'd define as full, spacious and "snappy", with a bit more weight than the one offered by the V90-HPA.

Performance with MP3 files thru Foobar2000 v1.3.6 was notably worse (while Musical Fidelity seems to "up-scale" them), while a very balanced sound could be appreciated starting with FLAC files or playing CDs (same resolution, after all) from the notebook.

Speaking of HD content, I've made some preliminary tests with Branko - My World Electric (24-88.2), Counting Crows - August and Everything After (24-192) and Daft Punk - Random Access Memories (24-88.2), which all offered a natural and coherent sound in a european-kinda-way. I also played a little bit with the metal buttons which let you switch from Time Coherence Mode to Frequency Response Mode, with the second sounding a bit more "ethereal" and concentrated on the mids.

I'll be happy to answer all your questions (exspecially if you too are waiting for your GO in the mail!) and I cannot but thank you for reading and sharing my enthusiasm!