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Survey and Opinions of Chinese (or other) Tube Head Amps.... - Page 3

post #31 of 48
Originally Posted by m8o
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.
My problem precisely with the DT-880's and LD2 was brightness and harshness. The LD2+ is probably better, but it seems like you are echoing my own complaints. I actually reserve my DT-880's for listening with vinyl and my mellow sounding tube Luxman, and even then I prefer my HD-650's/MG Head combo by a small margin.
post #32 of 48
Thread Starter 
I definitely like the LD II+ and DT880 much MUCH better the first few hours after the LD II+ is turned on then after having it on for 8 hours (where I might only be listening for 2 - 3 hours total throughout the day, so it's not the ears getting worn ) I'm able to happily listen @ work at low volume while the amp's still kewl, with the amp dial on 3. By the end of the day the character of the sound is much darker with ambiance more muted then I'd like; I have to turn the dial to 5. I wonder if that's "heat-soak" of the other LD II+ components. But again, it's still early is the usage life of both of them; have to see how it all evolves.
post #33 of 48
Originally Posted by m8o
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.
please let us know what you find if you get this amp. aside from it's nice looks, and that, with it's slotted covers and outboard pwr supply, it reportedly runs much cooler than the ld2, it has a feature that may make it really versatile with it's ability to impedance match. this should allow you to run anything from grados to your high impedance akgs and still have a good match.
interesting that the ld2 changes so much if you run it for protracted periods. i wonder if the above mentioned differences make the ld3 more stable.
post #34 of 48
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Jbucla2005
My problem precisely with the DT-880's and LD2 was brightness and harshness.
I've beeen listening to the combo all week, and have an observation. I wonder if what you were hearing was overloading of the LD input?

I notice that at certain times on certain tracks, when there is a wide spectrum of high energy to the music, I get an almost harsh long playing static. I find turning down the volume of the iPod through a dock [line-out] removes it, but not immediately; as if the LD II+ got "charged" and needs time to "dis-charge". I've re-played those sections where this occured with the volume turned down, and it definitely smoothed out sound. The line-out of the iPod has about 30 levels. So I usually listen from 2 to 9 clicks down from max output. So just a thought.

I'll have to e-mail David to find out what the input sensetivity of the amp is; my thinking is it's kinda low.
post #35 of 48

Pacific Valve shipping

Originally Posted by Nugget
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.
I just ordered a Xiansheng 708B last week from Pacific Valve and the shipping came out to $23.50. Unfortunately it's backordered.
post #36 of 48
Yeah, that's why I picked one up off Ebay for $190 shipped. Not the best Ebay price, but $35 cheaper and actually available is a decent combo.
post #37 of 48
Yeah that is a good combo! I'm going to wait a little bit for them to contact me with an ETA. If it turns out to be weeks I will probably go with something else. At this point I'm thinking that it would probably be better in the long run just get a better amp in the first place. I need one with a pre out and would prefer exposed tubes. The WooAudio 3 looks like a great value and it uses common tubes. I like the looks better too. They are made here as well aren't they?
post #38 of 48
Thread Starter 

I pulled the trigger! LD III+

After much contemplation and internal deliberation, it is decided. The Little Dot III+ is officially on order!

I will point out, not only for the headphone capability, impedance detecting capability, and triode/pentode selectability, but I can't wait to also connect them to my Klipsch LaScalas! .... and then to compare them to the Butler 150W/ch x5 tube/ss hybrid driving them today, as well as some Heresy's in the back of the room now. Won't that be a kick in the pants if the LD III+ gets reasonably loud and sounds sweeter at those levels. I am after all getting my bass from two M&K subs, so the LaScalas don't have a lot of bass to push, where power is really needed.
post #39 of 48
This post is maybe a little late but here goes.

The World Audio Designs MK1 is what I have. The only difference with the MK 11 is that they made it look prettier and altered the layout inside.

This is a SET - single ended design using a pair of Mullard ECL83 valves. In each envelope is a signal triode and a small power pentode.

When I first bought the amp s/hand it had been built virtually standard - it was OK. There are only two caps in the signal path and I changed these out for Dynamicaps. I left the big PSU caps 470uF x 450V as to change them for appreciable difference meant spending real money. I used a Rifa PEH 100uF x 450V and changed out most of the other caps for Elna Silmics which I really rate and I shunted the Alps pot.

This now is a first class h/amp and no it is'nt slow and the bass is anything but lumpy. The Mullard valve is a beauty and with any luck I should have a Bada PH 12 in my hands within two days - it will have to be good to better the WAD valve amp.

Part of the reason in buying the Bada is that it is a hybrid amp and I want to hear what this is like against a pure valve SET design.

post #40 of 48
Back in the bad old days, tube amps were considered better suited for higher impedance headphones compared to lower impedance headphones because of the differences in regards to low voltage / high current as opposed to high voltage / low current. Of course nowadays even tubed headphone amps can put out so much power that they'll work well either kind, but differences do exist - Singlepowers SLAM series for example uses different (higher output) output tubes compared to the non-SLAMs precisely for this reason. Even though there are fewer concerns in regards to synergy with headphones, it is still something to think about - best amp for the phones you plan to use them with.
post #41 of 48
Quick question: any of these Chinese manufacturers make a Stax electrostatic amp?
post #42 of 48
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by m8o
After much contemplation and internal deliberation, it is decided. The Little Dot III+ is officially on order!
Holy Cow. I ordered it on the 17th, paid the 19th, and here it is the 25th and it arrived all the way from China! I had been talking to David a few days earlier then the 17th about it, so I have to assume he got the ball rolling on constructing the LD III+ before I decided to pull the trigger; I still want to believe they're 'really' made to order. But wow, that was quick!

Let the Burn-in Begin! Full write-up to be done in a few weeks.

One observation already. The 1st time I started it up it detected my DT880 phones as 32 ohms. So I listened a little, and the amp had the same 'level' as the LD II+ I just unplugged; sounded almost identical. After a few minutes I said, ok let's make sure this impedance auto-detection works. Turned it off and on. The hum scared me, but that's obviously the tone put through the phones to detect the current draw. The correct 300 ohm light lit up this time. And the amplitude of the music in the phones was noticably louder. ...ah, good, it's working! And man, this baby has a good deal more gain then the LD II+. I kinda think it could blow the DT880 if I turned all input and output levels to max. Sound is also a -good- deal more crisp without being 'sharp' as with the LD II+ before it got many hours of burn on it. That's with only minutes of burn-in on the LD III+.

edit: I gotta add. Since it has so much more gain, listening @ the same 'loud' level through the DT880 yields a noticably cleaner signal. Also, listening only in Triode mode so far.

....I gotta pretty good feeling I'm gunna be really, REALLY happy for years to come with this...

gunna hook it up and drive the Klipsch La Scalas with it in a few hours.
post #43 of 48
Originally Posted by m8o
....I gotta pretty good feeling I'm gunna be really, REALLY happy for years to come with this...
Come now, haven't you spent enough time on Head-Fi to know that months of satisfaction with your gear, before upgraditis kicks in, is unheard-of?

Seriously, congrats on a satisfying purchase. The LD3 is a sweet-looking piece of kit, and if David can pull off the LD2+ at $175 I can only imagine what he can do for twice that.

Incidentally, I'd nominate this thread for a sticky if I had anything resembling nominating power. It's been invaluable for me in choosing my first amp, and no doubt many others. Thanks for the time and effort, it's much appreciated!
post #44 of 48
Thread Starter 
Update: I haven't been good at notifying of updates. I remembered today...

Added G&W T-2A, Darkvoice 336, T.M.S. T-200MKll
post #45 of 48
Thread Starter 
updated: added WooAudio3 linx
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