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Survey and Opinions of Chinese (or other) Tube Head Amps.... - Page 2

post #16 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradofan2
Talk with Drartherwells about most of these... since he's tried most of them, and is in the best position to describe their relative attributes... and seems to have a pretty good sense of judgment in such matters.

But... be forewarned, he has a distinct preference for the BADA PH12 - perhaps justified... I wouldn't know. I would be tempted to try it however... before, I'd try the LD II+.

Personally... in this general price range, I (and several others) have found the WooAudio 3 (with the upgraded tubes), or the XCAN v3 with the PinkFloyd mods), tough to beat with Senns (high impedence phones)... and the the XCAN v3 (with mods) great with both Senns and Grados (low impedence phones). There are 2 WA3's with the right tubes on the for sale forum right now at great prices.

Good luck...

Bada PH12 is the best of all amps I have owned.

Others sound good but I keep going back to the Bada for a palpable tone that is etched in empty space - very natural and realistic.

Must use good tubes.

Must not take out tubes until the amp has been turned off for some time - removing tubes when some residual power is in the amp can weaken the mosfets. I turn off and wait two hours or more before removing tubes to change them.

If you want my issues with amps I have owned other than the Bada send me a PM - I don't want to upset amp makers with a public description of their faults.


The MC66AE is a bargain as is the G&W T2.6F. The Xian Sheng 708B is close to these and is cheaper. Each has its special qualities and issues.

I have thought of Singlepower and am looking for aused MPX Slam (to get my money out of it when I sell it - if I do) but am not real enthusiastic about the OTL design with the AKG K701 HP (the best of all presently produced HPs).
post #17 of 48
I think the FEEL HP200SE is the best looking Chinese amp. But you should prolly buy a G&W or a Darkvoice?
post #18 of 48
Yeah, I agree. Cheap can be great and impressive. Before you buy a cheap amp, just read the reviews. The cheap Little Dot 2+ has impressive build quality. Very sturdy and sounds wonderful. I think it's somewhat mind boggling in a way how the dollar can be powerful for China. I do plan on getting a more expensive amp though in the future so I won't always buy cheap. Spending $600-$1500 for an amp is great too as long as it's a good one and many of those higher priced amps are good and worth the investment.

That said, the nice thing about a great cheap amp is that you can use it in the office or even use it at your vacation house (if you have one) and not really worry about it because it's cheap. Or get one for the guest room and impress your guest if he/she is a music lover.

China is a different economy and the dollars can be great and go a long way, just like in Mexico where I can get absolutely incredible food, beer and women for a fraction of the price in the U.S.....but that's another topic.
post #19 of 48
Thread Starter 
Some new names of amps. Much Thanx. Still reading.

...then I have to decide which $200+ cans to buy as all I have sound like I'm listening through a curtain.

...DT880?
K701? (but I have a big head and I read they're kinda 'small')
K340? (used, and modified?)
HD6xx?
Grado RS-# (no doubt, headphones I know the least about)
....???

...but I digress! Please ignore.

P.S. I kinda like the idea of rolling tubes, so beginning to think along those lines. That's something I'd never consider with my Audio Research Classic 150 monoblocks...
post #20 of 48
Thread Starter 

time to decide...

Whatever I decide, I better make it soon. The value proposition of the DT880 was something I couldn't pass up ... I just bought two of them from a local place through eBay, one for home and one for work. Since it's close, they should be here tomorrow or Monday. I NEED ANOTHER AMP!

P.S. What spurred this on was I really am not loving the K477 + LDII+ combination I'm using @ work. I know the can's aren't "the greatest", but I also don't think the LDII+ is well suited to the very low impedance of those cans. So I needed to make a change, for the better I'm sure you'll agree.
post #21 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by m8o
Whatever I decide, I better make it soon. The value proposition of the DT880 was something I couldn't pass up ... I just bought two of them from a local place through eBay, one for home and one for work. Since it's close, they should be here tomorrow or Monday. I NEED ANOTHER AMP!

P.S. What spurred this on was I really am not loving the K477 + LDII+ combination I'm using @ work. I know the can's aren't "the greatest", but I also don't think the LDII+ is well suited to the very low impedance of those cans. So I needed to make a change, for the better I'm sure you'll agree.
The Beyerdynamic website shows the DT-880 impedance as 250 ohms, and I have seem 880's referred to as high impedance cans here, so I am not sure why you are calling them a low impedance can.

BTW, if it was me, since you already have the LDII+, why not see how that combination sounds before trying something else?

Randy
post #22 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by randytsuch
The Beyerdynamic website shows the DT-880 impedance as 250 ohms, and I have seem 880's referred to as high impedance cans here, so I am not sure why you are calling them a low impedance can.
sorry. LOL You must not have understood what I meant ... how I started the next paragraph was, "What spurred this on was I really am not loving the K477 + LDII+ combination I'm using @ work...". Meaning the Senn K477 cans which I think are about 30 ohms, are too low for the LDII+. That mandated I purchase some great higher impedance hi-perf cans sooner then the later I was planning on. I liked that the DT880 is kind of 'mid-impedance'. I already know the LDII+ also doesn't drive my other headphones @ the other end of the impedance specturm, my AKG 240 600 ohms, as well as I'd wish. It could use an "11" on the loudness-dial.

You're 100% correct regarding taking some time. I'm eager for the 880s to arrive so I can listen all of next week with the LDII+ while I work. ...just planning ahead for the amp that I need @ home. LD III+ is actually a serious consideration of mine among all discussed. I do however hope to be pulling the trigger on something @ the end of next week.
post #23 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by hugz
Ming Da mc66-ae is a quality amp. Ming da is a good brand, very reputable

The amp is build well, and sounds fantastic. I seriously dont think you would be unhappy with it
Seconded. It's a nice bit of kit and really great value.
post #24 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by m8o
sorry. LOL You must not have understood what I meant ... how I started the next paragraph was, "What spurred this on was I really am not loving the K477 + LDII+ combination I'm using @ work...". Meaning the Senn K477 cans which I think are about 30 ohms, are too low for the LDII+. That mandated I purchase some great higher impedance hi-perf cans sooner then the later I was planning on. I liked that the DT880 is kind of 'mid-impedance'. I already know the LDII+ also doesn't drive my other headphones @ the other end of the impedance specturm, my AKG 240 600 ohms, as well as I'd wish. It could use an "11" on the loudness-dial.

You're 100% correct regarding taking some time. I'm eager for the 880s to arrive so I can listen all of next week with the LDII+ while I work. ...just planning ahead for the amp that I need @ home. LD III+ is actually a serious consideration of mine among all discussed. I do however hope to be pulling the trigger on something @ the end of next week.
I am the one who should be sorry, I read your post again, and see where I misunderstood what you were saying.

Good luck with whatever you choose.

BTW, I am thinking about buying a tube amp for my K340's and DT880's, and have been considering the darkvoice 336. It will probably be that, or build something myself.

Randy
post #25 of 48
Thread Starter 
EDIT: I decided to maintain the 2nd message in this thread with all my updates & additions to the list.
post #26 of 48
This is fairly OT, but anybody know what sort of shipping costs I'm looking at from Pacific Valve? I've spec'd a lot of units from China, but the shipping costs kill the competitive advantage.
post #27 of 48
Bada PH 12 from China is $425 total - air freight in two days.

Comes with Chinese tubes - have to change these - see my Bada link in my signature below.
post #28 of 48
I've gotta give props for m8o for gathering together a lot of info, could be potentially useful for newbies.

Wanted to say that earlier but my internet has been going in and out recently, but better late than never right?

also, drarthurwells: Which amps that you've used can double as preamps? I know that the cayin and LDIII+ can be used as preamps. But I'm curious as to any other suggestions since you've seen so many of the chinese amps already.
post #29 of 48
I really like my ASL MG Head OTL with Senn 650's, and it's pretty good as a pre-amp in transformer mode. I had an LD2 and liked it with Grados (and as a pre-amp also.) Neither of these amps worked well with my DT880s, though, which is paired up with a vintage Luxman integrated amp primarily designed for speakers. The DT880s need the power and refinement of this amp. Since you got the DT-880's, you will have to find the best match for it, and it is picky about amplification.
post #30 of 48
Thread Starter 
Foo, thanx & my pleasure. Hopefully the collection of material will be done in a few more sessions by the weekend. Then, onto my next task, to compile all the directly heated triode info I can find into one post.

Jbucla, I could'a used that opinion about a 1/2 week ago before pulling the trigger. [LOL] I actually bought two, one for work and one for home ... so buying a matching amp is very important ... yes. I do think the DT880 will match my old [ok, mid-aged] and tired/worn ears well once they break in ; very sharp edge'd even through the LD II+ right now. Should have nice brightness with smoothness after a few dozen hours. I read the LD II+ requires something like 100 to perhaps 500(really...that's what was said) hours to really break in. I -do- however wish they could take over 100mW of power. I do want more. But I'm going to reserve judgement.

I am loving the idea of DHT at affordable prices so the LD III+ with the higher power Mullard driver -- so I can use the amp as a add-hoc 2-ch pre-amp to my Klipsch La Scalas driven by a Butler Hybrid amp which usually serves duty as the mains of the 5-ch system -- is a front-runner right now. So that's the thinking at this time.
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