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MAD Ear+ Purist HD appreciation thread. - Page 6

post #76 of 1133
Seen all this MAD love I have to post a pic of my Ear + Purist HD100.

Click on the thumbnail to view the full size pic:

BTW for those who do not know the front is magic eye, the HD100 can use two the EM80 and the EM81. when in use these two magic eyes do the following:

EM80:

EM81:

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post #77 of 1133
Quote:
Originally Posted by osocan View Post
In summary, I am pleased with the MAD HD2. Admittedly, I have no experience with other amps to compare it with. But I am very pleased.
Good writeup and photos, well done. Props also for the Roksan CD, nice machine.
post #78 of 1133


Osocan, I noticed that your HD2 has the Hi Z at the right and the Lo Z at the left. Plus your connectors are silver where mine is all black. Did you have it modded?
post #79 of 1133
Quote:
Originally Posted by indelibo View Post


Osocan, I noticed that your HD2 has the Hi Z at the right and the Lo Z at the left. Plus your connectors are silver where mine is all black. Did you have it modded?
Same here ...
post #80 of 1133
The black earphone plugs look good with the red chassis and black wood side pieces.
post #81 of 1133
I am hoping mine comes that way!
post #82 of 1133
Quote:
Originally Posted by indelibo View Post
Osocan, I noticed that your HD2 has the Hi Z at the right and the Lo Z at the left. Plus your connectors are silver where mine is all black. Did you have it modded?
Mine is stock standard, not modded at all. The screws at the top of your set are red as well. I like the black jacks and red chassis on your set much better.
post #83 of 1133
I thought I'd just give an update since the MAD has crossed the 150-hour mark. I am still a newbie, so please bear with me.

Since my initial impressions, I have replaced the Roksan Caspian (which has gone back to its speakers duty) with a Cambridge Audio Azur 840C. My set-up now looks like this:

CA Azur 840C --> Straightwire Encore II --> MAD Ear+ Purist HD2 --> RS-1

With so many new components in the chain, it would be impossible to attribute any SQ characteristics to any particular one component. So this is not exactly an update about the MAD, more like an impression of the current set-up that I have. I have run the Roksan briefly through the MAD and similarly, I have heard the Supermacro briefly with the 840C. Not a fair thing to do, using the Xin amp as a reference but that's the only headphone amp that I listened to most. Only where I am confident enough to attribute a particular quality to a particular component, would I do so.

Treble The treble is silky smooth. It sparkles without being strident. This is probably due to the synergy between the 840C and the MAD. Although the highs were never harsh with the Roksan+MAD, it was not as sweet as compared to the 840C+MAD. Naturally, there are plenty of details.

Mids This is probably the weakest part of the spectrum, depending on how you look at it. On certain recording, the vocals were sucked out (Queen: Bohemian Rhapsody). Same with electric guitars (Joe Satriani: Ice 9). With almost all other recordings, the mids were never the most forward, imparting a sense of depth of a soundstage. I am not sure if I can hear any warmth that is associated with tube amplification. And no sibilance.

Bass There is plenty of bass but perhaps a little less than the Supermacro and very different too. To give an analogy: bass from the Supermacro was like a hammer slamming on your chest when it hit you. With the MAD, it is the same hammer but this time the hammer is wrapped in a piece of very thick cloth. Although lacking the punch and quantity of the Supermacro, I find the MAD's bass more natural and better balanced when the whole spectrum is taken into consideration. The Supermacro's bass was unbearable at times when it intruded into the mids (Corinne Bailey Rae: Like A Star).

PRaT With the MAD, you'll definitely tap your feet. However, when it was substituted with the Supermacro, you'll stand up and jive (Led Zeppelin: D'yer Mak'er). No contest here. Not that there is anything wrong with MAD's PRaT. Just not as PRaTty.

Headstage / Soundstage Headstage is above the eyes and around my receding hairline. Image is solid enough. Soundstage is very narrow but there is depth. Not much that I can say here.

If you ask me for a single word to describe the whole set-up, the first word that would come to my mind would be legato. Similarly, replacing the MAD with the Supermacro was like staccato to me.

The Supermacro provided the slam that the MAD could never match. And because of the way it controlled each note so tightly, it seemed that you can see into the black background that was there. It also seemed very cold, lacking the overall warmth that the MAD has.

With the MAD, it is syrupy. Each note seems to flow into the next. Perhaps it's due to the air and decay. Because of this, it is difficult to discern the same background as in the case of the Supermacro. There are plenty of details and clarity is so good that sometimes I can actually "see" the fingers plucking a chord. The treble remains well extended and the RS-1 remains a bright headphone but I can listen to it hours on end without fatigue. The mids are perhaps not the best here but it only affects a very small number of tracks that I have.

So nothing is really perfect after all. Having said that, I am enjoying the whole set-up thoroughly. MAD + RS-1 is the best combo that I've heard (not that I have heard many others LOL).
post #84 of 1133
I know on the regular HD, tube rolling can give enough change to adjust the things more towards your liking. It can make the mids sweeter, tighten the bass, or even take that little bit of edge off the highs. It keeps the same house signature but improves upon it. I find the stock tube to be pretty good but mids are the biggest improvement you get when switching to a NOS or used old stock tube.

I know the PS-1 is more revealing, so I don't know if the RS-1 would show the changes as much. I also have the HD which is supposed to have more PRAT and be a little more impactful that the HD2. Also, your source makes a big difference too. My old DAC had a much smaller soundstage but with the new DAC, the MAD really lets the source shine though.
post #85 of 1133
Two dumb questions:

Does the wood siding come with the kit?


If I want a toggle (in the kit), instead of the switch, does it cost more?
post #86 of 1133
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamoneagain View Post
I know on the regular HD, tube rolling can give enough change to adjust the things more towards your liking. It can make the mids sweeter, tighten the bass, or even take that little bit of edge off the highs. It keeps the same house signature but improves upon it. I find the stock tube to be pretty good but mids are the biggest improvement you get when switching to a NOS or used old stock tube.

I know the PS-1 is more revealing, so I don't know if the RS-1 would show the changes as much. I also have the HD which is supposed to have more PRAT and be a little more impactful that the HD2. Also, your source makes a big difference too. My old DAC had a much smaller soundstage but with the new DAC, the MAD really lets the source shine though.
Thanks iamoneagain. The mids do not lack sweetness. They're just not as lush as I thought they would be. I think you're right about the source being the "culprit" here. Will definitely explore tuberolling options as you have suggested.

Quote:
Originally Posted by buddha911
Two dumb questions:

Does the wood siding come with the kit?


If I want a toggle (in the kit), instead of the switch, does it cost more?
Yes the wooden ends came with the kit. I have also seen toggles on other MAD amps so it should be an option. AS for the cost, you would have to ask the good Dr himself
post #87 of 1133
Quote:
Originally Posted by osocan View Post
I thought I'd just give an update since the MAD has crossed the 150-hour mark. I am still a newbie, so please bear with me.
Thanks for your impressions. I just ordered the MAD Purist HD2. I'm hoping with the stock setup of tubes the mids are upfront. If not, I guess I'll have fun tube rolling as well.
post #88 of 1133
Quote:
Originally Posted by riceboy View Post
Thanks for your impressions. I just ordered the MAD Purist HD2. I'm hoping with the stock setup of tubes the mids are upfront. If not, I guess I'll have fun tube rolling as well.
Firstly, the slightly laid back mids is not an overriding weakness. It is just a very minor flaw. I have also read somewhere in this forum that Freddy Mercury's vocal is really sucked way back into the rear, something that is not really apparent to me in my other systems but is severely exposed in my current set-up. The slightly laid back mids portrays a sense of depth. The in-your-face kind of intimacy is lost but what you gain is a slight soundstage (depth wise).

Secondly, I am not sure that this will happen in your set-up. In other areas where I had a point of reference, I gave my comments readily. But this is one area where I absolutely have no reference point. Part of the problem (if you really can call it a problem) is the recording itself. The other unkowns include the CDP as well as the IC to a certain extent, which could be the source of the problem. No doubt, your set-up would be quite different from mine, as far as the source is concerned. It's still too early to conclude the amp was the "culprit".

Thirdly, I would not trade the overall smoothness and warmth in the presentation for an increased impact and slightly forward mids. I might have been over-critical of a minor flaw that did not really impinge on the overall enjoyment. I apologise if that has caused you anxiety in your anticipation. Sure, I yearn for that little improvement but that would be perfection And I dont need perfection to achieve excellence.
post #89 of 1133
When I switched from an HR-2 to the MAD HD, the biggest improvement was the sound of the guitar. They sounded very upfront and alive but without any harshness that shouldn't be there. Obviously distorted electric guitar should be harsh if the recording was supposed to be like that.

The other change was the overall organic sound. The solid state amp was very quick and had great impact but didn't seem as natural as the MAD. I had a GS-1 amp before than and that was lightning fast but once again failed in overall sound for my tastes.

I'm not too sure how the MAD compares to the Singlepower tube amps. I tried my PS-1 on an MPX3 for about 5 minutes and thought the bass was a tab bit overpowering and the MAD had sweeter sound. Maybe an extended listen would change my mind but why spend a lot more money when I already loved what I had.
post #90 of 1133
I haven't heard a MAD but my Singlepower PPX3 changes so much with each different tube that I can't say it has a particular sound signature. That MPX3 with a set of different tubes could have sounded much more to your tastes.

Regards,
Diego
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