Cons: Picks up interference from phone sometimes.
First let me declare that I am new to the head-fi world and this is my first dedicated amplifier. But with that said I would like to give my subjective review of the Little Dot MK III. Testing equipment is a MacBook Pro i7 (newest model if it matters) running to a HRT Music Streamer II DAC and then into the Little Dot MK III. Also I am using the AKG 702s with a gain setting of 10x on the amp.
A quick note the 702s only have roughly 80 hours of burn in and the amp only has about 6 hours as of this writing and i will update accordingly to the changes that burn in presents. With all of the formality stuff out of the way I can get into this exciting review!
First off as you can likely see the build quality and looks are simply wonderful and built to top notch standards. Everything got shipped perfectly no damage or anything and was packaged well. It came with some useful cables though I already had some so I just hooked it up to pre existing cables. First thing I did was set the gain to 10x for my 64 Ohm AKG 702s.
Starting it up I was impressed too say the least. I was presented with warmth and musicality and a nice soundstage. The soundstage managed to feel nice and wide on the songs that deserved it but also managed to stay nice in close when that was needed as well. Very adaptable to your taste of music and is definitely not limited to conventional classical, or jazz. In fact it worked quite well even with things like pop or heavy rock. It manages to retain great detail at the same time bringing the 'tube" sound too the table. Just for fun I turned off music and cranked the knob up the whole way and what I heard was pure silence and that is reflected in the great noise floor during music that can show it.
Day 2 and 20 hours of burn in later.
Much much more detail is now present and I am now hearing things that are extremely subtle with accuracy and detail. Bass has tightened up considerably and is now very present and and is not now as smudgy as it was before although I did not think it was at all bad in the beginning. Highs are not as bright as they first were and that is very pleasant cymbals now have striking detail,realism, and musicality and are not as harsh as yesterday. Separation of instruments also appears better.
This amp continues too impress me. I feel as though they have brought musicality too the 702s which were a little analytical but are now very musical and soothing too the ears. On another note this tube amp easily drives these phones, I rarely move the volume past half way if ever. I love the way pianos and guitars are rendered on this they sound stunning too say the least.
Day 4 and about 35 hours of burn in
I now feel that the burn is complete and I am getting the most from this amp excluding tube rolling and other mods.The signature tube sound is now more transparent and is a welcome audition to the sound. Musicality has also increased listening too jazz and classical is truly a delightful experience it sounds astonishingly realistic. I am blown away by the sound quality and since I lack the vocabulary terms to describe it I will end here. What this device is able to transcend from music is beautiful and must be heard. If your considering a tube headphone amp in or close to this price range definitely put this on your list to consider.
My only complaint is that I wish David would start making speaker amplifiers . I hope I was of use to somebody with this review. With that said good luck on your audio journeys and enjoy the music!