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Review of Little-Dot MKIVse - Page 47

post #691 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by intoart View Post
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.
Don't forget though: the MK IV SE also has an ALPS-27 potentiometer, those HUGE Mallory caps, and also I believe higher model Rubycons. Take a look at the pictures of the two boards, you can see the differences between the two. Those insides, along with the external differences (jacks/tube cage (kind of a waste, I've put dampeners on mine anyways)/tubes) make up the difference, and I think it was worth it to step up to it. It's your call, though!

LD MK IV SE


LD MV III
post #692 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by cswann1 View Post
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.

Thoughts and opinions on any of this??
I run my K702 through either my MKIV SE or Heed CanAmp (SS) and I prefer the sound through the SE. You are of course aware that the CanAmp is the amp most recommended on Head-Fi for the K701/702, so it's not as if I had paired it with an unsuitable SS amp.

To me, the K702 just sounds warmer and smoother through the SE than the CanAmp, especially with Jazz or Female Vocals. With the CanAmp, there is a graininess at the higher frequencies, although you do get more aggressive mids and a slightly heavier bass. Bottom line (as always), try your K701 through a compatible SS amp - you may just find that you prefer it with the SE...

Oh ya, as a reference (sort of), the gain setting on my SE is 10 (max) and I can't tolerate the volume past 10 o'clock on the knob when using the K702.

As for the SE's heat, I had written to David of Little Tube and he said it's a class A amp so it dissipates alot of heat. Also, I read a post somewhere (quite likely the Little Tube Forums) by Sword Yang, the LD's designer, that the LD IV's temperature may reach 50 degrees Celsius. Bottom line, it should feel very warm to the touch, but not so much that you can't hold it while it's on...
post #693 of 837
Hmm. I didn't realize there were such large internal differences. Something to consider.
It now becomes a matter of my ability to save instead of spending. I can afford a MKIII tomorrow. I would have to wait another month before affording the MKIV SE!
post #694 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by intoart View Post
Hmm. I didn't realize there were such large internal differences. Something to consider.
It now becomes a matter of my ability to save instead of spending. I can afford a MKIII tomorrow. I would have to wait another month before affording the MKIV SE!
Oh the agony of having to wait... It really does burn. Let us know which way you decide!
post #695 of 837
A general question about the MKIV (this applies to the MKIII as well.):
Can the outputs be used passively, to send an unmodified signal from my CD player to my integrated amp? I ask because I would love to be able to switch between headphone listening and speaker listening without disconnecting/reconnecting the interconnects every time (as I currently have to do with my I+.)
post #696 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by BombayTheIndian View Post
Oh the agony of having to wait... It really does burn. Let us know which way you decide!
Wait the month. It will be worth it. And then down the road you will not have to justify with yourself why you have a mkiv and a mkivse on order.
post #697 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by intoart View Post
A general question about the MKIV (this applies to the MKIII as well.):
Can the outputs be used passively, to send an unmodified signal from my CD player to my integrated amp? I ask because I would love to be able to switch between headphone listening and speaker listening without disconnecting/reconnecting the interconnects every time (as I currently have to do with my I+.)
I haven't tried it with my MK IV SE, but I do remember it working just fine with my LD II++ when I used to own a NAD cd player. Personally, I didn't like the unit as a pre-amp, but who knows what it would sound like with the MK IV!

You should give it a try and let us know how it sounds, though!
post #698 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by kds5000 View Post

Oh ya, as a reference (sort of), the gain setting on my SE is 10 (max) and I can't tolerate the volume past 10 o'clock on the knob when using the K702.
Ok. I think there is something wrong with my SE. Aside from the heat, which is not really alarming as it takes a good half hour or more before it reaches it's warmest temperature, there are two other things.

First, the chrome tops if the driver tubes turned a very dark color right away. The tops of the power tubes are still bright chrome.

Second, there is a very small difference between the lowest and highest gain settings. Even with both jumpers set to ON for a setting of 10, unless I go to 12 o'clock on the dial, I can hardly hear the music. This is confirmed on two sources. I have to go to at least 3 o'clock to get any significant volume through my K701's. Slightly less (1-2 o'clock) for my Grado SR60's.

I'm going to take a pic of the tubes and send it along with a description of these gain issues to David this evening. I'm hoping that a couple of new driver tubes will fix, what I now believe to be a problem with my amp.

Quote:
A general question about the MKIV (this applies to the MKIII as well.):
Can the outputs be used passively, to send an unmodified signal from my CD player to my integrated amp? I ask because I would love to be able to switch between headphone listening and speaker listening without disconnecting/reconnecting the interconnects every time (as I currently have to do with my I+.)
Penchum seemed to like the MKIVse as a preamp, but another option to consider is to buy, or make, some RCA splitters. That way you can just split the signal off and connect to two different devices without having to pass the signal through one to get to the other.
post #699 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by cswann1 View Post
First, the chrome tops if the driver tubes turned a very dark color right away. The tops of the power tubes are still bright chrome.
As far as I understand, that's a good sign. It means that the vacuum was solidified. if they never change color, then you've got a problem.
I don't know how long it's supposed to take, but I assumed that it shouldn't take very long for this process to happen?
post #700 of 837
My MK IV SE is a lot cooler since I tube rolled it with the Russian DR Supertubes and the Sylvania 5654 with round getters and black plates. I had to RMA mine last week because I noticed for a very long time a sound imbalancement towards the left channel.
David told me that they would update it to the lastest version and circuitry.

BTW, where is Penchum? I don't see him much often these days. Last time I heard of him is when he got back from the hospital. I hope he's alright. This guy helped me a lot with audio related questions.
post #701 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by BombayTheIndian View Post
As far as I understand, that's a good sign. It means that the vacuum was solidified. if they never change color, then you've got a problem.
I don't know how long it's supposed to take, but I assumed that it shouldn't take very long for this process to happen?
Well if the driver tubes change in color is normal, should I expect the same from the power tubes?

If there was a problem with the power tubes, that would make sense. The amp sounds fine, musically, it's just that it seems weak. I wouldn't think I'd have to crank the volume knob so much to get a decent output, and kds5000 reports 10 o'clock on the knob is as loud as he can go with virtually the same headphone, given the same gain settings as I have.
post #702 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by cswann1 View Post
Well if the driver tubes change in color is normal, should I expect the same from the power tubes?

If there was a problem with the power tubes, that would make sense. The amp sounds fine, musically, it's just that it seems weak. I wouldn't think I'd have to crank the volume knob so much to get a decent output, and kds5000 reports 10 o'clock on the knob is as loud as he can go with virtually the same headphone, given the same gain settings as I have.
You can assume that for every two years of a tube's age (if it's still new), it needs about 2 hours to utilize the getter and eliminate the contaminants (air included). If your power tube is a stock, new-production model, it should have completely sealed the vacuum and incinerated the contaminants (causing the coloration) by now, too. If it hasn't, you might assume that you've got leaky tubes!

I've also heard that brand new tubes straight from the factory to your door need 6-8 hours, though.
post #703 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by intoart View Post
Hmm. I didn't realize there were such large internal differences. Something to consider.
Yeah, certainly! I was under the impression that the only differences between current production MKIV and MKIV SE were connectors and tubes. In fact, during the email exchange with David when I bought my MKIV, he himself said that connectors and tubes are the main differences. His exact words copy pasted from the email: "the main differences between the Little Dot MK IV and the SE version are the RCA jacks, the headphone jack, and upgraded tubes." I do know that SEs from 2007 or so (for example the one Pench reviewed in this thread) have very different internals compared to normal MKIV. But, I was under the impression that MKIV and SE now use the same PCB and components as the cost of the original SE version's components became significantly higher circa 2007. All this is info picked up from this thread. Have I misunderstood something here or what?

EDIT:

Quote:
Originally Posted by BombayTheIndian View Post
...but I named the picture wrong accidentally. It's corrected now, thanks.
I thought it was something like this. Okay, nevermind. Ignore this post.
post #704 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by BombayTheIndian View Post
You can assume that for every two years of a tube's age (if it's still new), it needs about 2 hours to utilize the getter and eliminate the contaminants (air included). If your power tube is a stock, new-production model, it should have completely sealed the vacuum and incinerated the contaminants (causing the coloration) by now, too. If it hasn't, you might assume that you've got leaky tubes!

I've also heard that brand new tubes straight from the factory to your door need 6-8 hours, though.

Thanks very much for your help here. I'm going to email David now and explain my concerns and see what he says. There really should not be a need to send a picture. He seems like a pretty sharp guy
post #705 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverShadow View Post
Yeah, certainly! I was under the impression that the only differences between current production MKIV and MKIV SE were connectors and tubes. In fact, during the email exchange with David when I bought my MKIV, he himself said that connectors and tubes are the main differences. His exact words copy pasted from the email: "the main differences between the Little Dot MK IV and the SE version are the RCA jacks, the headphone jack, and upgraded tubes." I do know that SEs from 2007 or so (for example the one Pench reviewed in this thread) have very different internals compared to normal MKIV. But, I was under the impression that MKIV and SE now use the same PCB and components as the cost of the original SE version's components became significantly higher circa 2007. All this is info picked up from this thread. Have I misunderstood something here or what?
That picture is for the Little Dot III NOT the Little Dot IV.

From the Little Dot website:
Please note that the photos shown are from both the Little Dot MK IV and the Little Dot MK IV SE. The appearance of both versions is virtually identical with only the following differences:


SE version has label "Little Dot MK IV SE" instead of "Little Dot MK IV" on the front panel.
SE version has Neutrik-branded headphone jack
SE version has American CMC or Van Den Hul branded RCA jacks
SE version ships with different driver and power vacuum tubes
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