Originally Posted by EdipisReks
i kinda want to buy one, would make a great computer amp, i bet. if it's better than the HA-1 MkII, then it has to be really nice.
It's even better than the HA-2 (both MKI and MKI upgraded to MKII) in my eyes.
I've just borrowed JaZZ's HA-2 MKII (again
) and albeit a very good amp (I had the MKI version myself), I just don't like it as much as the Aria prototype. When I went to borrow the HA-2, I also compared the Aria to the EMP again, this time with very good Sovtek tubes, and I still prefer the Aria even though the tube goodness was undeniable with the EMP. However, the Aria had a better soundstage (more holographic and bigger), more precise imaging and a more detailed and better textured bass. Midrange was a tie depending on the song and mood with the Aria being cleaner and the EMP being more bloomy. Overall bass impact was better on the EMP but also a bit muddy in comparison. However, I think the price difference and convenience of SS amps and the integrated USB dac creates significant disparity in value.