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Review of Little-Dot MKIVse - Page 46

post #676 of 833
Quote:
Originally Posted by BombayTheIndian View Post
The Little Dot MK IV outputs this for power:
# 500 mW @ 300/600 ohm
# 300 mW @ 120 ohm
# 100 mW @ 32 ohm

Remember that as a general rule, though, 4 solid state watts = 1 tube watt.

A concern with some tube head-amps vs solid state is that the bass/overall power is inferior. I can tell you from personal experience comparing the LD MK IV SE to a Creek OBH 21 SE Creek OBH 21 SE 800-229-0644 Creek OBH 21 SE Creek OBH 21 SE, the Little Dot wins hands down. The bass and power is even stronger than some of these higher end solid state head-amps, and you don't have to deal with over-analytical brightness that comes from CDs when you've got a tube amp. Hope this helps!
Yes, it helps and I appreciate the response. Yet, you also certainly raised more questions too!

"4 solid state watts = 1 tube watt". Really? Like I said, I am a newbie, but why is this exactly? So watts are not created equal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cswann1 View Post
This explains much to me. I've noticed that I really have to crank the volume knob to get a significant output to my K701's. There impedance is 62Ohms and have been told that pairing these cans with an OTL tube amp will yield mediocre results.

I more or less agree with that. I really love the sound of this combo, but these headphones really seem to me like they'd shine more with a SS amp. I say this because when I plug them into the headphine jack of my Logitech PC speakers wired remote, I can go as loud as I want without going past 2 o'clock on the knob. It may not be a dedicated hp amp but it gives the power.

J&R Music World has new HD650's for $319. I think I may get a pair to use with the LD. I've been considering building an M^3 or a single ended Beta 22 and I think the K701's would probably benefit more from either of these.

Thoughts and opinions on any of this??

Note: K701 haters please do not respond. I don't want to sound rude but it seems every time I mention these AKG's I end up trying in vain to defend them to someone who dislikes them.
We are in a similar boat, as I also have the K701's. I've only had them for a few days. Initial impressions are very positive overall. The detail and clarity is amazing. Very revealing, and the separation of instruments is impressive.

Yet, I do feel that they are slightly on the harsh side at times. I'm hoping that they will warm up slightly once broken in. I'm currently using the built in headphone amp on my Anthem Statement D2, but I want another setup in my bedroom, where I will need an external headphone amp.

Why do you think that a SS amp would be better with the 701's? I was thinking something like the MKIV's would give them a little more warmth? But do they have enough power to push them? Or would something like the Gilmore Lite be better?
post #677 of 833
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob T View Post
Why do you think that a SS amp would be better with the 701's? I was thinking something like the MKIV's would give them a little more warmth? But do they have enough power to push them? Or would something like the Gilmore Lite be better?
The MKIVse has the warmth alright. For acoustic, choral & string classical this amp/headphone combination is a very strong pair imo.

I just put in disc 2 from Pink Floyd's, The Wall. It just seems like it's underpowered for this material to me. I'm listening to the same CD on my PC as I type this and the drum beats have more punch and the symbols have more brilliance.

Although the Little Dot is only two days old I just don't see it making that drastic of an improvement as the tubes mature.

I listened to my same K701's on Pete Millets Starving Student hybrid amp at the recent DFW meet and that thing really impressed me. The hybrid design uses tubes for the signal gain, but the power comes from SS components, as I understand it. So that's why I think that for a do-it-all headphone rig the K701's really need a SS or hybrid amp.

If I didn't want to crank up the rock sometimes, I could happily live with the MKIVse and K701 combo though.

Edit: As to the harshness your hearing, I have a theory. The K701 puts your source under a microscope. Bad recordings that sounded Ok before will be revealed for what they are through these cans. I found out that much of my digital library is really sub-par after I got my AKG's.
post #678 of 833
Quote:
Originally Posted by cswann1 View Post
Not 620 Ohms, 62 Ohms
.
Oh boy, where did I learn to read? I'm a Sennheiser guy, so when I read that number, it didn't make me think "how is that possible? That can't be right."

Thanks for the clarification!
post #679 of 833
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob T View Post
Yes, it helps and I appreciate the response. Yet, you also certainly raised more questions too!

"4 solid state watts = 1 tube watt". Really? Like I said, I am a newbie, but why is this exactly? So watts are not created equal?
OK, I can't claim these words as my own, but here's the reason:

"Watts" is a mathematical calculation of power consumption, not a measure of loudness. Loudness is measured in "decibels". Though higher watts does certainly mean higher volume, the only actual way to compare the volume output of any two amps is to measure the decibels they produce, for each amp, or type of amp, may have a different "efficiency".

It's just like the fact that light bulbs are described per wattage, but the brightness of light is actually measure in "lumens". That's why a the new compact fluorescent light bulb listed as 15w (power consumed) puts out the same light as an old style 60w incandescent bulb (950 lumens).
post #680 of 833
Quote:
Originally Posted by cswann1 View Post
The MKIVse has the warmth alright. For acoustic, choral & string classical this amp/headphone combination is a very strong pair imo.

I just put in disc 2 from Pink Floyd's, The Wall. It just seems like it's underpowered for this material to me. I'm listening to the same CD on my PC as I type this and the drum beats have more punch and the symbols have more brilliance.

Although the Little Dot is only two days old I just don't see it making that drastic of an improvement as the tubes mature.

I listened to my same K701's on Pete Millets Starving Student hybrid amp at the recent DFW meet and that thing really impressed me. The hybrid design uses tubes for the signal gain, but the power comes from SS components, as I understand it. So that's why I think that for a do-it-all headphone rig the K701's really need a SS or hybrid amp.

If I didn't want to crank up the rock sometimes, I could happily live with the MKIVse and K701 combo though.

Edit: As to the harshness your hearing, I have a theory. The K701 puts your source under a microscope. Bad recordings that sounded Ok before will be revealed for what they are through these cans. I found out that much of my digital library is really sub-par after I got my AKG's.
Thanks for the response, it's nice to have someone with the same 'phones that I have using this amp.

At this early point in my head fi career, I would probably not want to go with a DIY type of amp like the Starving Student Hybrid. I need the confidence of buying something already fully built! Any other recommendations for a pre-built hybrid?

Also, I tend to agree with your theory about the 701's putting the music under a microscope. This can be a good thing with the very best recordings, but not so good for other stuff. I'm going to give them a chance though.
post #681 of 833
Quote:
Originally Posted by BombayTheIndian View Post
OK, I can't claim these words as my own, but here's the reason:

"Watts" is a mathematical calculation of power consumption, not a measure of loudness. Loudness is measured in "decibels". Though higher watts does certainly mean higher volume, the only actual way to compare the volume output of any two amps is to measure the decibels they produce, for each amp, or type of amp, may have a different "efficiency".

It's just like the fact that light bulbs are described per wattage, but the brightness of light is actually measure in "lumens". That's why a the new compact fluorescent light bulb listed as 15w (power consumed) puts out the same light as an old style 60w incandescent bulb (950 lumens).
So is the MKIVse as "powerful" in terms of db's it will produce as the 1 watt Gilmore Lite, even though it only puts out about half the power?
post #682 of 833
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob T View Post
So is the MKIVse as "powerful" in terms of db's it will produce as the 1 watt Gilmore Lite, even though it only puts out about half the power?
At 300 ohms it would technically be twice as powerful (500mw x 4 the output of a solid state watt = 2 watts), but I doubt that would line up directly with the "o'clock" reading of a volume knob.
post #683 of 833
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob T View Post

At this early point in my head fi career, I would probably not want to go with a DIY type of amp like the Starving Student Hybrid. I need the confidence of buying something already fully built! Any other recommendations for a pre-built hybrid?
It's odd but hybrids seem to be almost solely in the DYI realm. Pete Millet has several designs and offers them up to the public and asks nothing in return. Pretty cool I think.
But I understand you wanting to get a good amp, that you know you can enjoy right away.

Penchum, writes a lot of reviews and I remember that he said the Little dot MKV had a tubey sound for a SS amp. So that may be something for you to look at more.

Just now I was reading the Little Tube forums, and there are a few guys who relly like there K701/MKIVse combos. That's making me think that the line out from my Denon player is maybe just too low a signal. I'm going to do a little experimenting with my MKIVse and my PC and see if there is a big difference in gain. I may just need an outboard DAC in my signal chain.

More toys!!
post #684 of 833
Well no dice on cleaning the pins. I'm going to have to email Dave. I do have new tubes coming in shortly so I will try those also.

It sounds like a little kid randomly played with the EQ. Some frequencies sound loud, others don't... and the soundstage is like the music is being played in a closet. Very weird.
post #685 of 833
The gain is about the same for the PC and the Denon. I still may get a DAC, although the Denon player I have has an extremely clean sound. The silence between songs is absolutely pitch black, and detail it brings is impressive. I'd really rather not have to mess with the signal path by introducing another component.

GuruSY, I have very little experience with tubes personally, but I'm a PC tech and I troubleshoot for a living, and I just have a feeling that a faulty tube may be the problem with your amp. I guess I think that because it's sounds like common sense. Tubes are the most fragile part of the amp and the most likely to suffer trauma during shipping.
I really hope that's all it is. Rest assured David will do all he can to help, but I hope you don't have to pay to ship back to China and then wait a while.
post #686 of 833
Quote:
Originally Posted by cswann1 View Post
The gain is about the same for the PC and the Denon. I still may get a DAC, although the Denon player I have has an extremely clean sound. The silence between songs is absolutely pitch black, and detail it brings is impressive. I'd really rather not have to mess with the signal path by introducing another component.

GuruSY, I have very little experience with tubes personally, but I'm a PC tech and I troubleshoot for a living, and I just have a feeling that a faulty tube may be the problem with your amp. I guess I think that because it's sounds like common sense. Tubes are the most fragile part of the amp and the most likely to suffer trauma during shipping.
I really hope that's all it is. Rest assured David will do all he can to help, but I hope you don't have to pay to ship back to China and then wait a while.

Yeah being that it was an EQ problem, it had to be the tubes. But good news! It appears that all of the taking the tubes in and out removed enough of the oxidation that it sounds perfect now! This thing is rocking now!
post #687 of 833
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuruSY View Post
Yeah being that it was an EQ problem, it had to be the tubes. But good news! It appears that all of the taking the tubes in and out removed enough of the oxidation that it sounds perfect now! This thing is rocking now!
Fantastic!!
post #688 of 833
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuruSY View Post
Yeah being that it was an EQ problem, it had to be the tubes. But good news! It appears that all of the taking the tubes in and out removed enough of the oxidation that it sounds perfect now! This thing is rocking now!
Hey, great!
post #689 of 833
Quote:
Originally Posted by BombayTheIndian View Post
Also, in regards to your worn-down connectors. You may already know this, but I thought I would share this nice, cost-effective performance enhancer: cleaning the terminals and connectors with something (I use Kontac). If you've got worn looking terminals, then you've probably got all sorts of tiny particles of gunk and metal on the jacks and on the cable. By doing two cleans of both of those, you may find that the sound was either increased back to the performance it used to be (but you hadn't noticed the slowly declining quality b/c of the dirty jacks, or it opened up to sounds you never even heard before!
Well, the connectors aren't degrading the sound quality yet. Or at least I haven't heard anything like that. I'll probably try cleaning them nevertheless. (The classic audiophile "what if...?"-thinking ) Well, I'd better do it just for mechanical reasons. If they keep wearing down for some months/years, the connectors may end up being loose with anything less tight than these (pretty darn tight) Deltron Emcon connectors used on Schulz cables. Thanks for reminding me of this option. I was actually considering replacing the connectors with Van Den Hull RCAs but I realized I don't have the skill to solder the cables reliably enough.
post #690 of 833
I am actually beginning to lean more toward the MKIII. The only differences I can see between it and the MKIV are the connectors, the jack, and the cages around the tubes. None of these seem like they would have much impact on SQ.
Besides, after reading the paragraph cited above, I think I fall into the "looking for the best bang/buck" category.
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