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The GS-1 Thread - Page 20

post #286 of 541

Of the two new amp coming out, the Bryston and the GS-X.  From a technical perspective what would be the differences in these amps.  Both seem to be of a fully balanced design.  However, the GS-X is likely to cost 2x as much (maybe).  I know we're not able to compare the sound sigs of both yet - but from a topology perspective - what's the difference?  

post #287 of 541

Don't quote me on this but I think the Bryston gets its balanced out from a splitter  and is cap coupled.  The GS-X does neither.

post #288 of 541
Originally Posted by justin w. View Post

As I said a few posts back, the GS-X is still a headphone amp/pre-amp.  It is not a speaker amplifier, or a speaker amp pretending to be a headphone amp, or a headphone amp pretending to be a speaker amp.  It will not be the most powerful headphone amp in existence, but it could certainly drive the HE-6 especially in balanced mode.


If you really want a lot of power, I would suggest: http://www.firstwatt.com/


Notice the name and the philosophy: "The first watt is the most important watt".  High power chip amps tend to have high distortion at low levels, as well as high noise.  Even though some headphones like the HE-6 may be very inefficient people would be surprised to know that they are probably only averaging a few milliwatts of power at normal listening level.  no different from the philosophy of these amplifiers for powering speakers.


if you still want something that can blow up your phones, for something vintage and cheap try a Hafler DH200 or similar speaker amp.  Still beats the crap out of most modern stuff.


Thanks for the frank and detailed feedback, Justin.  Based on what you've said, I will probably just keep my eyes out for a First Watt amp to use with the HE-6, as the pure Class A Pass Labs amps are beyond what I'm looking to spend just for powering a headphone for the moment.


For some reason I thought First Watt was another one of Nelson Pass' companies, and didn't realize it was a small outfit where he sold personally designed amps for the enthusiast crowd.  I have seen very few First Watt amp reviews (but a lot of Aleph reviews) and will do more investigation.  Honestly, if it's for dynamics, I'd rather just have a Nelson Pass design, but something a bit newer than the Alephs.

post #289 of 541
Originally Posted by Solude View Post

Don't quote me on this but I think the Bryston gets its balanced out from a splitter  and is cap coupled.  The GS-X does neither.


Not sure about the AC coupled output (do you have any good pics on the inside, especially underneath the boards?) but the Bryston certainly isn't fully balanced.  It only has a two gang volume and balance control so SE input only. 

post #290 of 541

The new layout doesn't look quite so coupled....



post #291 of 541

Those blue caps look highly suspicious in an all SMD layout... 

post #292 of 541
Originally Posted by spritzer View Post

Those blue caps look highly suspicious in an all SMD layout... 



Excuse me for asking - what's SMD?

post #293 of 541

Surface Mount Device, used to to describe electronic devices (such as resistorscapacitorstransistorsLEDs,integrated circuits, etc.) mounted or soldered on the surface of printed circuit boards.

post #294 of 541

Edited by preproman - 6/30/12 at 2:26pm
post #295 of 541

Ehhh no, SMD has nothing to do with balanced or not.  AC coupled in a modern SS amp is just sad though. 

post #296 of 541

Should we start a new GS-X thread to acknowledge Justin's revision and the fact that this is the GS-1 thread ?? Given that I haven't even heard either amp, its not my place to do so - someone ? 

post #297 of 541


post #298 of 541

Solude is right.  There is no point in splitting or starting a new GS-1 thread given that:

  • It's best to consolidate all information about a narrow family of devices within a single thread.
  • There are enough commonalities between the GS-1 and GS-X with respect to design, performance, and purchasing considerations.
  • Consolidating information within a single thread makes it easier for new people to gather information.
  • Fewer threads helps Justin, by reducing the number of HF threads he has to manage communications across.


Your jab at Solude isn't funny or warranted.  You asked a question and said that it's not your place and you haven't heard either amp.  Solude gave you an answer.  Let's get back on topic.

post #299 of 541

Also not the first time Justin has a new design ready to go but doesn't get to market because of external factors.  Part supply last time if memory serves.

post #300 of 541
Originally Posted by justin w. View Post

the new modules can be retrofitted into the existing GS-1 or GS-X just without the benefit of the additional voltage output.  the old modules can NOT be used in the new GS-X, assuming the above changes are implemented.


Justin, what is the point of putting in the new modules into older units if there is not additional voltage output?  also, can V2s or V2SEs be updated too?

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