Finally- I say finally since I ordered a Lead Audio LA-100 last September, and I got this Lead Audio LA-120 a week ago. The reason was that the shop that were selling the Lead Audio LA-100 had them as out of stock, and instead of going for more units they had heard that the LA-120 were coming, a unit that was supposed to fix some problems and correct some things. Well, I also order a HD USB audio cable. Can’t really say whether it makes a big difference or not, but it is green and looks nice. Oh and the sound coming out of Lossless ripped wave files sounds truly great.
I also made one of those shaky camera stuff and posted to YouTube, you can find it here: –>> Now, there are a lot of things you might want to add to when it comes to evaluate a DAC, I mean you have all the numbers, and what they mean. Now, I admittedly don’t know that much to give you the numbers and tell you what they mean and whether this is a good DAC with AMP due to those figures or not. So I will simply state what I use and what I listen to and tell you what I have experienced so far.
My Setup is a Computer running Foobar 1.2.3. I play lossless wave files ripped by dbPoweramp with Lossless settings. I put it out through my Foobar to the LA-120 via Wasapi 24 bit. I don’t use any Equalizer settings. My headphones are: AKG K-550, AKG Q701 and a pair of Sennheiser HD25-1 II.
With this set-up I listen to my music that varies a lot in style. Absolute favourites range from Nick Cave, Tom Waits, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Metallica, PJ Harvey, System of a Down, Tom Petty, Dire Straits and Heather Nova. Part from this the styles heavy metal, grunge, alternative, sing-song writer stuff I go from classic opera to Slipknot. I have a few – but really not into electronica and pure pop.
So how does it sound?
Well, I’m right now experiencing bliss with listening to “Nick Cave’s Push the sky away” on my K-550’s and it sounds absolutely rich. The chorus, the song and violins, string instruments and a rather soft but noticeable drum is all very evident. Now before, I listened with my nuForce uDac 2, and to compare is almost ridiculous. Now, I’m one of the lucky it appears that haven’t had that much trouble with my uDac – but even if I think that one was good – I can’t say that going back would ever be an option right now. The LA-120 just blows everything out of proportion right now. The headphones deliver rich sounding music. There is a clarity here that isn’t close on the uDac – the bass is also there and all over the spectra you get this simply great listening experience. Now that comes with a cost of course. Some albums that I have just doesn’t sound good any more. The mixing is simply too poor and with this set-up it is just so clear that some mixing and albums are poorly made or lack in quality.
I know that this isn’t by far a good review – and it doesn’t aim to be. It simply is something I needed to post. A sort of – wow – look at how happy I’m right now! And I am. Comparing the price with the previous AMP’s and Dac I have – this one cost double that and I got a bargain with this one – simply leaves me finding new stuff in my favourite songs as well as getting a blast out of my more pricey headphones that finally get something that delivers something for them to chew on 🙂