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New Loaner Program TTVJ/Millett - Page 5

post #61 of 134
No worries, James...

Here's my early portable review:

Bottom line:
I spent quite a number of hours with this little wonder last night and today, and I'll sum up my experience by saying that this is easily the most pleasurable and listen-able portable amp I have ever come across. Granted, it's also the most pricey by a decent margin, and as such, I'm a bit pressed to come up with a "worth it" value assessment, but from an absolute sound standpoint, I love this amp.

I've since sold off all of the portable amps I listed above save the Corda Move and A/B'd these two quite extensively. From a power / punch standpoint, the Move easily keeps up with the TTVJ Millet, but that's where things end. While the Move does offer great, quality, strong, forward sound (quite similar to the Hornet M if I recall) the Millet takes "listen-ability" to the next level.

I fully agree with previous posters about the "lushness" that this amp puts forth. The sound of the Millet made the Move sound overly surgical and too precise. That's not to say that the Millet sounded flabby or loose, very much the opposite. I found snare drum attacks to hit hard and deep, but it's really in vocals where the Millet shines.

The best thing I can say about the Millet's sound is that after a little bit, I stopped thinking about the sound, stopped thinking about the review and the comparison with the Move, and just… started listening.

I thought of this comparison today:

You know when you graduated away from that junky bed mattress you got after college? You actually spent what seemed like a ton of money in that $500 or so for a "good" mattress. It was firm, yet soft, not bouncy, and suited your needs just fine. Quite well, even.

And then, years down the road, you finally ponied up for "the bed" that $1000+ pillow top, single coil, blah blah blah boxspring mattress set, and realized… "whoa. There is more to it."

That's it right there, just that incremental, yet very tangible increase in comfort that's TOTALLY WORTH IT.

That's the Millet. I can listen to the Move just fine, and can appreciate the power, the sonics, the highs, etc. But when I move over to the Millet, I stay longer, and just relax in how the sound sounds real-er. Not necessarily "live" like a concert, but just more real in how you think a female voice or a snare drum or a piano plink sounds like.

Check out "Lesson Learned" on Alicia Keys' new CD. She sings a gorgeous, soulful tune in front of hard hitting, and very very tight bass and snare drums.

So, that's that on an absolute level for me.

Now is it "worth it"? Hm, don't know. At $500, it's definitely up there. And the "bell ringing" microphonics are very much an issue, given that it's a portable – but if you just "set it and forget it" it's not a problem. I'd like the volume knob to have a tad bit more resistance, but compared to the "need elf fingers to manipulate the Move" volume pot, the Millet is light years better.

For yuks, I'm going to compare the Millet sound to my Headroom Balanced Desktop with Home Module, running off of a CI Audio VDA2 running in balanced mode.

Ah, one last thing – headphones.

This amp exhibits super synergy with my Beyer 990. The Beyer's naturally bright, but the Millet tames it just enough to retain the Beyer's punch, spaciousness, imaging, and very nice vocals.

The Senn600 is certainly different in that the vocals are so much more emphasized, and quite a bit more forward compared to the slightly distant Beyer.

BUT, that's not to say that I preferred the Senn to the Beyer – I fully assumed going in that I'd prefer the Senn, given that it's my reference can. The Beyer's slightly distant vocals were still quite nice, and while different, I couldn't say it was better or worse than the Senn.

Drum punch between them both was pretty similar, interestingly.

Then I went to my Grado 325i. Ugh. Man, flabby, lousy, too in your face sound. I'm not sure if it's the lack of synergy, or if I'm just moving away from the Grado house sound. I remember loving my 80's when I first started out, then over the years, as I upgraded my equipment, I figured I might as well get some good Grados. I don't even really like the 325i in my balanced system either, so… guess that's that.

More to come after the balanced comparo…
post #62 of 134
Thread Starter 
HI All,

I hope you are having fun with the TTVJ Millett amp. I did want to clear a few things up that have been said in other threads. I do have a pretty large stock of replacement tubes for the amps though I believe they should last a lifetime. At some point the battery will start to fade and I will have a replacement battery (the same one as is currently in use) program as needed. It will require sending the amp back to have the battery replaced but cost will be minimum. This will happen to any amp with a rechargeable battery. We use a very high quality battery and expect it to work for a few years at least and probably more.

We made 100 of the TTVJ amps and are down to just a few left. We intend to make 100 more soon and then we will be out of tubes (but we will have a stock of replacements should any go bad) and the TTVJ amp will be history. So it will be a limited number of the amps built and in circulation.

I am impressed with the reviews and appreciate the time those who have had the amp have taken in writing about it. It is a win -win for all of us and encourages me to continue these loaner programs. Good work!

post #63 of 134 for my Headroom Balanced Desktop vs. TTVJ Millet review:

From a "listen-ability" perspective, I have to reiterate what I said earlier about Todd's little amp. Just a pleasureable experience, one that you could just lose yourself to for a long period of time.

I've owned tube amps / add-ins (Musical Fidelity XCanV3 with mod & Tube pass-through) in the past, and they both didn't compare with the combination of solid punch and lush sound that was produced by the TTVJ Millet.

Comparing dynamics, well, the Balanced amp walks all over the TTVJ, which is what you'd expect from a highly regarded 2x pricepoint product. So much more slam, controlled highs, and strong smooth vocals that I (thankfully) don't regret spending what I did on the HR amp. (Not to mention the three sets of balanced headphones!)

But is the overall performance of the HR balanced amp 2x more? Nope, and of course, this is where we enter into a "diminishing returns" discussion, and how the pursuit of perfection in this hobby can lead to a number of less-than-rational purchase decisions.

Thanks again for allowing me the opportunity to review your amp, Todd! You've built a little wonder.

Keith, the amp is on its way to you - to arrive on Monday.
post #64 of 134
wwwwhere are the new reviews?
post #65 of 134
My time with the TTVJ Millett Hybrid Amp was very enjoyable! As it has been stated before, it’s a very musical amp. It matched so well with my iPods and full size cans. I especially liked it with my Denon D5000s, sweet! I had to crank it up a bit for the Senns of course but it loss no musicality. Bass response was just right and the highs were crystal clear without any harshness.

Where the amp did not perform as well was with my IEMs. While using my Shure E500s there was an audible hiss. It can be heard while the volume is at zero and during the quietest of passages. It was, however, a distraction at times.

While handling the amp, a slight ringing can be heard that quickly dissipates once the amp is stationary. I carried the amp with my iPod in my front shirt pocket while out on a photo jaunt and could not recreate this sound.

So its off the next recipient. I look forward to reading their take on the Millett. Thanks Todd!

post #66 of 134
Well, I just received mine in the mail (purchased from a fellow head-fier)

Though I can't listen at all now or anytime soon (see sig for my sad gear situation :P), I thought I would get some pics up for everybody. Apologies for the cheap cam I have

^--- with the charger

I was really shocked by the size of this. The iPod is an 80gb 5.5gen Video.

The weight of the TTVJ Portable is pretty similar to taking my ipod and putting that Phantom of the Opera cassette in it's case on top.

My impressions will still be a few months off, I'm afraid
post #67 of 134
It looks like I'll be meeting up with Luminette Friday or Saturday, and I should be able to review the TTVJ Millet Hybrid Portable on an extended loan/exchange program (unless I talk him out of it). Should be interesting.
post #68 of 134
Just a quick note that I received the Portable Millett Hybrid loaner today (I am #10 on the list) yesterday. I will start the review this weekend.

Would James Chou, who is next, please send me his address in a PM?

post #69 of 134

MINI-REVIEW TTVJ Portable Millet Hybrid (why are mine all mini-reviews now?)

While I am not an official "Loaner Program" reviewer, I would like to post my experience with the TTVJ Portable Millet Hybrid (PMH) amplifier here.

I like this amp. That is all.

Nah... I have more, but I do like the amp, enough that I bought it tonight

I went out of town and picked it up from Luminette on Friday, and listened to it a bit with my Livewires and SE530 with custom tips. I didn't think to bring full size cans with me on my trip. The gain is too high to really enjoy the amp with these 119db/mw kinda IEM, and you have to play it louder than normal to get above the channel imbalance in the volume control. Just above the point of channel imbalance (8:30 o'clock) the sound is great with Livewires, and the mids and highs are sweet, with tight bass. I would never listen to it turned higher than that with these IEM.

With the volume all the way down, there wasn't so much of a hiss as there was a rushing sound (like water, or like listening to a seashell at the beach). It was still not rushing very loud and didn't get loud enough to ever hear over the music. After I got home Sunday, with the RS-1 I cannot hear this rush or hiss, and with RS-1 there is minimal hiss if I pause my iMod and turn the volume all all the way up. Even the hiss in the quiet time between songs with the iMod playing is not bad when the volume is cranked up. Still, I have to find a manual and see if there is a low gain setting hidden inside at all. Switching to Altec Lansing IM716 with podectomy and resistors as low as 22 and as high as 102 ohm, there was no noise.

Most of my listening was Sunday and Monday with RS-1 and D2000, after I returned from Denver. The TTVJ is very musical, and brings life to my APS re-cabled Grado RS-1 as well as any of my desktop amps can. I really appreciate the little bit of bass boost it gives the RS-1, but the bass is bordering on heavy with my APS cabled Denon D2000. It definitely has a lot of power, and can propel the RS-1 to earsplitting levels if I wanted.

It does a beautiful job with acoustic music, and brings life to Saxophone and Piano, Violins, Trumpets, and everything else. Saxophones are both warm and reedy at the same time. It passes my Diana Krall test with several tracks from Girl in the Other Room. The Piano in Tsuyoshi Yamamoto's "Autumn in Seattle" is never piercing on forte hits of the keys (like my stock ibasso D2 did). Cymbals have an appropriate sheen to them, and String Bass is well controlled. It is very dynamic and detailed, with good ambience and sound stage.

I did most of my listening with the iMod and Amp rubber banded together and sitting it on my desk. I could make the tubes ring if I flicked the TTVJ PMH with the back of my finger and fingernail, but carrying it around did not cause problems, and there is no heat coming off the amp like my modified STAX SRM-001. My BIGGEST complaint is the volume knob turns too easily, and it is almost impossible to NOT have the volume change when it is placed in a coat pocket with the iMod playing tunes.

I briefly (no long A/B) compared it to my Predator and Pico, with iMod as source (using both my portable v-cap dock and a jumbo cryo silver x LOD) and it plays right up there with the best of them. The D2000 were better with the Predator and Pico, and Grado RS-1 were magical with the TTVJ, probably more the fault of the D2000 than the TTVJ as they do like to make bass. The iMod+TTVJ even has more bass than my 300 hour maxed Woo 6 via Apogee mini-DAC, but at the cost of a little less detail and clarity (the Woo has the $10 Sovtek rectifier tube while I burn in the v-caps and BlackGates and I do feel it is bass shy with the RS-1, go figure).

I was not expecting to like this amp, and was thinking of not even listening to it, as it was originally just going to be collateral on a loan of some other equipment. I have to say this is one enjoyable little amp, that will be used often when I am using my RS-1 instead of IEMs with my iMod. I haven't had a chance to try it with other Grados, HD600/650 or Edition 9 yet, so please don't ask. I assume based on how it did with the other headphones, it should be great with those as well. But, with the RS-1 I found a sweet spot and am not feeling the urge to move on right now.

Hope this helps!
post #70 of 134
Originally Posted by Todd View Post
HI Guys,

Sorry for the delay in posting the list of participants. We decided to allow more than 6 to try the amp - If you sent me an e-mail and you are not on the list then send it again and I will add you to the list. so here you go...

1) Erik Zenhausern
2) Jin-Woo Park
3) Jeff Greenman
4) Josh Murray
5) Greg Clark
6) James Stewart
7) Eric Haruki
8) Keith Harris
9) Everett Wood
10) Rob Hughes
11) James Chou
12) Kenneth Linder
13) Whitney Dafoe
14) Nick Lange

I hope you all have fun and enjoy your time with the TTVJ Millett amp!!!

Not sure #14 Nick Lange (Nick20) is still around these parts - last time I heard from him (Jan 25) he was going away for a while. His last post was 1/28/08.
post #71 of 134
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
Not sure #14 Nick Lange (Nick20) is still around these parts - last time I heard from him (Jan 25) he was going away for a while. His last post was 1/28/08.
Agreed - this should not be sent to Nick, unless he re-surfaces.

I do have Mr. Chou's address, and will be sending to him when I am done.

And nice review as always, Larry!
post #72 of 134
Thanks Skylab
post #73 of 134

I ordered one

Todd made me do it...
It should be here on Monday...

Santa Fe
post #74 of 134
Skylab, where is your review ?!?!?
post #75 of 134
Any chance of this making it's way over the pond?

I was #4 on the list btw
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