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Little Dot LD II+ Review and comparison to LD II - Page 3

post #31 of 426
After listening to more CDs and evaluating, the brightness can be a little high but I like the liveliness of the sound. Also depends on what CD I'm listening to. Overall, for the price, it's nice. It's going to be a part of my basement rig. If you're on a budget, it's not a bad choice. I would use a darker sounding headphone maybe to match.
post #32 of 426
More CD's listened. Some sound great and some ok with this amp. The brightness seemed to tone down a bit which is good. At this moment in time, I'm listening to David Gilmour's "On an Island" CD with a K701 and it sounds fantastic. Gilmour's voice sounds glorious.


EDIT:

The amp is improving and impressing me more and more, of course a K701 to accompany doesn't hurt. Definetly a great bargain. Big bang for your buck amp. Thanks for recommending this amp. Great purchase.
post #33 of 426
Ordered mine today...
post #34 of 426
How can I order one? I'm in Hong Kong until early September.
post #35 of 426
post #36 of 426
anyone get the II+ in black? is the paint job better than the LD II regular?
post #37 of 426

Black LD2+

Quote:
Originally Posted by munchies
anyone get the II+ in black? is the paint job better than the LD II regular?
I have one in Black and the paint seems adequate. The front and rear panels and trans cover are smooth texture paint which from past experiance hold up well. From the smell of the paint curing as I was burning in the amp, the paint is basic oil based enamel which once cured holds up pretty well with the caveat that paint won't bond to aluminum well without an etch primer. I have been in and out of it quite a few times and the paint's held up fine. Looks really good.
The fit and finish are better than a lot of things out there for a lot more money.
post #38 of 426

LD2+ Impressions

I might as well toss my $.02 in. What I have read from most forums has been positive as it should. I have been listening to tube gear and building tube amps, pre-amps and tube-digital interfaces for a heck of a lot of years.

I bought one of these on a whim - it looked neat and was primarily somthing that NOBODY is mentioning. The LD2 is a Directly Heated Triode amp for less money than a pair of 2A3's. DHT's have a magic that can't be measured. Not big on power usually but Sweet doesn't come close to describing them.

Sword-Yang has put together a simple and rather elegant design that shows a strong understanding of tubes. And - does not try to over complicate what should be left simple. Once the amp breaks in, and that takes a while. It is spooky how well this is balanced. Nothing is spectular, nothing glares, No need to waste a lot of adjectives on this, it's just musical. You are listening to music, not an amp.

For those of you who are unfamilier with tubes they are high impedance circuits and cables interact. What may be your favorite interconnect with solid state might not be the best with tube. You don't need to spend a ton of money on wire. Actually I think too many people get robbed trying to make solid state sound good by buying wire . Use stuff you set aside before, borrow cables. I make my own using Mogami Nyglex 2534 quad. My favorite wire for most high impedance audio. Shield grounded on one end only. (source)

Before you do anything let this thing break in for a few weeks. It's gonna' change quite a bit. For the first Hundred hours I just plugged in a set of cheap 50 ohm phones and ran white noise through it unatended for 4 days. (Old FM tuners are great white noise generators with no antenna.)

If you are un-familier with DHT's do some searches, read a few tube forums.
This is one of the best bargains out there. I build most all of my gear and modify the heck out of what I don't build. I will do very little to this amp.
I intend to change 3 caps. That's it.
post #39 of 426

Which Ones & Why?

Which caps do you intend to change and why / what improvements do you expect from those changes?

Also - to anyone... do all LDII+ have noise with low impedence phones (e.g Grados)?

GF2
post #40 of 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradofan2
Also - to anyone... do all LDII+ have noise with low impedence phones (e.g Grados)?
I have no noise problems with my SR225. At full volume with no music playing I can (barely) detect a hiss, but with volume a 4 o'clock position already there is no trace of any hiss. My normal listening level with Grados is 10-11 o'clock.
post #41 of 426

Noise in LDII+

Quote:
Originally Posted by fwojciec
I have no noise problems with my SR225. At full volume with no music playing I can (barely) detect a hiss, but with volume a 4 o'clock position already there is no trace of any hiss. My normal listening level with Grados is 10-11 o'clock.
So... you hear no noise at normal, or even high, listening volumes - only a trace at full volume (which no one can tolerate) - correct?

Is your LDII+ stock? What tubes are you using? If the stock Mullards, do you find the highs too attenuated, or is the detail compromised?

GF2
post #42 of 426

LD2+ cap change

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradofan2
Which caps do you intend to change and why / what improvements do you expect from those changes?

GF2
The 2 caps that have the most effect on the sound of the amp are the output coupling caps. Other than ceramic the worst caps possible for coupling applications are electrolytic. That's not an opinion there is plenty of research to back it up. That being said the El with the lowest dissipation factor and dialectric absorbtion specs will generally sound much better than standard parts.
Elna Cerafine and Nichicon Muse both have a 220uF 100v cap that will fit. Which one depends on how the amp sounds 3 month from now when it has stabilized.
Changing caps now is wasted effort. The next cap that effects the character of the amp is the 33uF 250v B+ cap for the input amps. That also remains to be determined. All the electrolytics are properly bypassed with PP film so there is not much else to fool with. Or should it be. When someone who knows what they are doing designs an amp, the components are chosen for a reason.
I know from experience and what listening I have done that the output coupling caps can be improved. The front end B+ cap may not need to be changed but I suspect it's DA is rather high. Regarding what to expect from the changes it would be 3 things, Detail, detail and detail.

I could live with this amp without doing a thing. It does so much right.
I have had tube amps for about 40 years. Not much impresses me any more.
This does for cost/performance ratio.
post #43 of 426
If you do upgrade the caps be sure to post part #s and pics, I would be verry ibtrested.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Negatron
The 2 caps that have the most effect on the sound of the amp are the output coupling caps. Other than ceramic the worst caps possible for coupling applications are electrolytic. That's not an opinion there is plenty of research to back it up. That being said the El with the lowest dissipation factor and dialectric absorbtion specs will generally sound much better than standard parts.
Elna Cerafine and Nichicon Muse both have a 220uF 100v cap that will fit. Which one depends on how the amp sounds 3 month from now when it has stabilized.
Changing caps now is wasted effort. The next cap that effects the character of the amp is the 33uF 250v B+ cap for the input amps. That also remains to be determined. All the electrolytics are properly bypassed with PP film so there is not much else to fool with. Or should it be. When someone who knows what they are doing designs an amp, the components are chosen for a reason.
I know from experience and what listening I have done that the output coupling caps can be improved. The front end B+ cap may not need to be changed but I suspect it's DA is rather high.

I could live with this amp without doing a thing. It does so much right.
I have had tube amps for about 40 years. Not much impresses me any more.
This does for cost/performance ratio.
post #44 of 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradofan2
So... you hear no noise at normal, or even high, listening volumes - only a trace at full volume (which no one can tolerate) - correct?

Is your LDII+ stock? What tubes are you using? If the stock Mullards, do you find the highs too attenuated, or is the detail compromised?

GF2

The only difference from stock configuration is that I use a Volex power cord. Tubes are stock. Correct, I hear no noise until I turn the volume up all the way. At normal listening levels the amp is noiseless.

The highs are slightly attenuated in comparison to my M^3, but this actually works well with Grados - M^3 can be harsh and edgy at times. With Senns I prefer the M^3 highs by some margin though. LDII+ is not on the same level as M^3 when it comes to detail, but the difference is not huge, IMO.
post #45 of 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by fwojciec
The only difference from stock configuration is that I use a Volex power cord. Tubes are stock. Correct, I hear no noise until I turn the volume up all the way. At normal listening levels the amp is noiseless.

The highs are slightly attenuated in comparison to my M^3, but this actually works well with Grados - M^3 can be harsh and edgy at times. With Senns I prefer the M^3 highs by some margin though. LDII+ is not on the same level as M^3 when it comes to detail, but the difference is not huge, IMO.
And... I guess a person could always roll the tubes (Mullards) to some that have a brighter top end - which would likely be neccsary with the Senns.

Has anyone rolled the tubes to give a brighter top end for Senns?

Thanks...

GF2
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