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Glow Audio One

Posted

Pros: Clarity of sound. SET detail.Runs Isos from phone socket!

Cons: None

Bought as much because it LOOKED cute! Plus it is SET and.....well, I NEEDED a headphone amp for bedside use, didn't I? (Though my 595s run from iPod direct?)

The Cream pearl finish is excellent. The colour change light around the volume dial is fun. The sound is great. detailed and th amp itself is quiet despite being valve!

Rediscovered how good my (bought in 72!) Wharfedale Isodynamics sounded last year, and even though they need direct speaker connection to really sing, they sound pretty fine thru' the Glow! nd the phone socket runs them slightly better than the speaker o/p, for some reason.

Am listening to it as I type, playing through $20K Ocellia speakers and-ultimate bass aside - it is sounding excellent!

Only problem is mental on my part. Believing that something that isn't (as big/butch as my Pass F3) can sound as good!

Posted

Pros: Out of this world sound! Mature & accurate reproduction. No tube coloration. Point to point wiring. USB DAC. 110/220. Great looks. Responsive service!

Cons: No gain switch. Picky about headphone impedance.

 

Gorgeous, Useful & Mature

 

The Glow takes music reproduction a bold step forward from its kin, providing clean, smooth, accurate sound without the honey-like “warm” coloration that make tube amps a “love ‘em or hate ‘em” proposition for serious audiophiles.  Instead the full, mature, lush sound and pinpoint accuracy doesn’t so much emanate from an electronic device, but rather appears out of the ether of outer space, or an all but imperceptible breeze that stirs the hairs on your skin, without making the tiniest rustle or sound in the in the trees.

 

Quality-wise I feel this amp will hold its own to the flawless Grace 901 SS, but it’s so much more forgiving.  Rather than fish out every flaw for all to see as does the Grace, it covers them with, well, grace and allows every song to shine in its own way.  It's presentation is revealing and detailed to be sure, but kind.  Nothing actually sounds "bad" played through the Glow, even with less-than-perfect source material like most of my Vocal Trance collection (256k MP4).  Pretty awesome!  The songs lilt and flow like water.  It seems there is no limit to the amp's range and power, or the heights and lows it can drive your cans to reach for.  The Glow leaves literally nothing in the way of your falling in love with what you're hearing. I just can’t say enough about how GOOD and MUSICAL all of my music sounds through the Glow.

 

I used the following headphones to make my tests: (Mark) Lawton Audio modified Denon D2000, Sennheiser HD650 with Cardas cable upgrade, Etymotic ER-4S IE,  AKG K701 and Audio Technica AD2000.

 

Check out my full review here, including full descriptions of the sound through each headphone listed:  

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/504316/review-glow-audio-one-w-denon-d2000-lawton-mod-k701-hd650-er-4s-audio-tech-ad2000#post_6847202

 

 

Product Details

 

The design and look of the Glow, to me, is top notch.  The unit is 9.5” long (not counting volume knob), 5.25” wide, and 6” tall (feet to top of power supply / transformer thingy).  It weighs a whopping 15 pounds.  It has four tubes bordered by two chrome tube rails, and which sit under a mesh metal guard that connects (tightly!) by magnets.  Headphone port is on the left side (looking at the volume knob), and the on/off toggle is on the right.  All ports are in back, which include standard AC Power Supply (not wall wart connector), USB IN, 2 RCA IN jacks and 2 sets of speaker jacks.  It works on both 110/220 via a switch somewhere out of sight, and has no gain switch to my knowledge.

 

One cool thing about the Glow, which is neither here nor there, is the LED that encircles the volume knob is completely lit, and changes color every few seconds, softly fading in and out of about 5 or 6 different colors.  Pretty neat.

 

The Glow is very picky about headphone impedance levels.  I had some slight hum problems until I attached a conversion cable to my K701, which turned its 65 Ohm rating to 155 Ohm, and that solved the issue.  Additionally, none of the headphone plugs I’ve used fit correctly into the Glow’s headphone IN port, with the exception of the AD2000.  A simple .5 O-Ring from Home Depot fitted over the ¼” plugs of my headphone jacks makes them seat at exactly the right place in the headphone port, and problem solved.  Glow let me know that this issue was solved in the '09 model year, as well, my unit is an '08.

 

Last but not least… the Glow is of course designed to work with speakers!  And Patrick at Glow Audio went out of his way to recommend me trying it with quality speakers, as the sound is known to be supercalifragilistic.

 

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Glow Audio One
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Description:

The first Glow offering is a single-ended pentode integrated with USB input, one RCA input, one 1/4" headphone output on the left check and 6 different color options in thick high-gloss Enamel over anti corrosion sub-coated steel. The attenuator is a quality Alps, tube sockets are ceramic, the innards are wired point to point, the transformers are precision hand-wound jobs, negative feedback is minimal, bias is automatic and internal voltages are switchable from 115 to 220V with a chunky slider on the belly.

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