Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Little Dot Mk III
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Little Dot Mk III

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
My Little Dot finally arrived in the mail last friday and over the weekend I delved into my first experiences with tube gear.

I have only burned it in about 10 hours, but I must admit that at this point I have not been very impressed with the tube sound of this amplifier. It does some things really well: specifically electric guitar music, which sounds wonderful. Also, lyrics seem much easier to understand with this amp as opposed to other solid state equipment I've used. However I'm really missing the detail I had with other gear (my power amp is 41hz.com's amp 5 T-amp) as well as the seemingly lack of distortion. I know this amp needs much longer to fully burn in properly, but the distortion seems really readily apparent to me with this amp at this stage. Is it the stock tubes possibly? Already I've been hearing a faint very high pitched ringing sound that fades in and out (usually one channel at a time) that I'm guessing might be microphonics or arching? I don't know what these sound like. I'm completely new to tubes but might be interested in trying some tube rolling, any suggestions of replacement tubes and where to find them for sale? I'd like this amp to be as transparent as possible, right now it just doesnt seem that way.
post #2 of 8
Why did you get a tube amp if you wanted the most transparency possible?
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Let me rephrase that, if I were to do any tube rolling I would would want to start with tubes with a more transparent sound, as opposed to a more syrupy sound. I was under the impression that at least some tubes were capable of transparency. Something, so far just does not sound natural about the sound I am getting.
post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by systemerror909 View Post
My Little Dot finally arrived in the mail last friday and over the weekend I delved into my first experiences with tube gear.

I have only burned it in about 10 hours, but I must admit that at this point I have not been very impressed with the tube sound of this amplifier. It does some things really well: specifically electric guitar music, which sounds wonderful. Also, lyrics seem much easier to understand with this amp as opposed to other solid state equipment I've used. However I'm really missing the detail I had with other gear (my power amp is 41hz.com's amp 5 T-amp) as well as the seemingly lack of distortion. I know this amp needs much longer to fully burn in properly, but the distortion seems really readily apparent to me with this amp at this stage. Is it the stock tubes possibly? Already I've been hearing a faint very high pitched ringing sound that fades in and out (usually one channel at a time) that I'm guessing might be microphonics or arching? I don't know what these sound like. I'm completely new to tubes but might be interested in trying some tube rolling, any suggestions of replacement tubes and where to find them for sale? I'd like this amp to be as transparent as possible, right now it just doesnt seem that way.
Have faith, your MKIII will change a great deal as it burns in. The bass will tighten up and go lower, the upper midrange and highs will even out in balance and the highs will extend. That amp is as capable as your source and is more than capable of transparancy, detail and bass extention. You might find my first burn in stage comments helpfull.
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showth...II+impressions

The amp will take 200-300 hours to settle in but become very listenable after 20-30 hours.
If it lacks detail and seems distorted after that time (20-30) you may have a problem and David from little Dot is extremly helpfull.

Clean the pins on the tubes with an old toothbrush using rubbing alchohol if you have it, just nothing with an oily residue. If you have any Caig products Deoxit or ProGold use lightly on the pins. (if not, order some) The small input tubes were likely made in the 1950's or early '60's so a cleaning helps. Also check that the front end tubes are not leaning slightly sideways and contacting the case, that will seriously exagerate microphonics.

I might add any tube rolling at this stage may be a waste of your time. Give the Caps time to settle in a couple hundred hours. The tubes in it do a pretty good job. I have one well burned in and I've used EF92 & EF95 Mullards as well as M8161's and several US flavors, currently using 5654's like it came with but they are GE 5 stars, I've also liked someTung Sol black plates I tried.

You may be amazed at the detail the MKIII will uncover. A well designed tube amp lets you quietly smile when you hear people exolain what tubes can't do.
A set of cones or Sorbathane feet (vibrapods) helps if it's in any enviornment where any vibration is present. (computer fans, A/C, etc.)
post #5 of 8
This thread from the Headphones Forum may be of help:
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showth...ght=pink+noise

This utility from that thread, a small pink noise generator may also help:
http://www.edifier.com/scn2005/suppo...s.v1.01.en.zip
post #6 of 8

 

Rather than start a new thread, I thought I would post in this existing thread (in fact, I've posted this elsewhere too). I've had a Mk II for a year or two now and have loved every moment of music on it. I am wondering if upgrading the tubes will reveal any significant change in sound? David ZheZhe from Little Dot has suggested on his forum the Mullard M8100s or the Mullard M8161s, that seems like the ideal choice (the price is just within my budget too). One n00b question here: judging by the pictures on eBay of both the Mullard tube sets, I presume the M8100s are the smaller tubes that sit nearer the front of the amp, and the M8161s are the larger ones? While I'm at it, can someone explain to me what the smaller and larger ones actually do? (I know how vacuum tubes work in themselves, but I'm not sure how the smaller and larger ones actually differ... apart form size.)

Basically, I want to know if my £40 or so on tubes will actually make a significant difference to the sound coming from my Little Dot Mk II? (I use HD595s headphones, but am probably going to buy either some AKG K702s, or HD650s.)

Thanks!

post #7 of 8

I have the same amp and changing the tubes made a difference. The Mullard M8100 and the Mullard M8161 are both driver (front) tubes except that Mullard M8161s requires that you take the bottom off and move a jumper. For power tubes you may want to look at 6N6P . For more information you can look at the Mklll tube rolling thread or the Little Dots tube guide at http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/563884/little-dot-tube-amps-vacuum-tube-rolling-guide/15#post_7646036 

post #8 of 8

I can second the tube-rolling business: using the Voshkod 6ZH1P-EV really made me fall in love with this amp. A pity I've upgraded and am now looking to sell it biggrin.gif

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphone Amps (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Little Dot Mk III