Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Review of the Little-Dot MKII Tube Headphone Amp/Pre-Amp
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Review of the Little-Dot MKII Tube Headphone Amp/Pre-Amp - Page 9

post #121 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penchum View Post
Hehe! Ya, it fools you though. San Fransisco to Arizona is a LONG ways! If your's clears customs today, you may have it Thursday or Friday. That would be cool!
Thursday or Friday?!?! Try TODAY! Absolutely incredible shipping considering this thing just traveled a couple thousand miles. Ordered on Thursday morning, received the following Wednesday afternoon.

Sounds fantastic. I know that the tubes aren't broken in and that will take a couple hundred hours or so, but wow oh wow does this thing sound SMOOOTH.

One quick question though: I checked the dip switches just to make sure they were set correctly for my high-impedance HD650's. The manual says the default is both 1 and 2 off, and that's for high-impedance. I'm glad I checked because both pairs of dip switches were actually set to the side that says ON, and so I flipped both pairs to the other side. Is this the correct setting for my HD650's?

mmmmm glowy tubey goodness. Did I mention that they even smell good as they're warming up?
post #122 of 452
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigStig View Post
Thursday or Friday?!?! Try TODAY! Absolutely incredible shipping considering this thing just traveled a couple thousand miles. Ordered on Thursday morning, received the following Wednesday afternoon.

Sounds fantastic. I know that the tubes aren't broken in and that will take a couple hundred hours or so, but wow oh wow does this thing sound SMOOOTH.

One quick question though: I checked the dip switches just to make sure they were set correctly for my high-impedance HD650's. The manual says the default is both 1 and 2 off, and that's for high-impedance. I'm glad I checked because both pairs of dip switches were actually set to the side that says ON, and so I flipped both pairs to the other side. Is this the correct setting for my HD650's?

mmmmm glowy tubey goodness. Did I mention that they even smell good as they're warming up?
Fast! Fast! Fast! Shipping at the speed of light! Yepper, both off is what you want. I love the smell of new tube amps in the morning! You are in for a real treat too. It just gets better and better from here. Put some hours on the clock and try not to freak out when the 40-55 hour changes take place. I just love Little-Dot amps!
post #123 of 452
I just swapped out the stock power cable on my LD MkII.

The bass is sounding cleaner and tighter now, i also feel that my setup is brighter now.

Another tweak for you owners to play around with!
post #124 of 452
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by doubletaps View Post
I just swapped out the stock power cable on my LD MkII.

The bass is sounding cleaner and tighter now, i also feel that my setup is brighter now.

Another tweak for you owners to play around with!
What did you swap it with?
post #125 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penchum View Post
What did you swap it with?
Belden 83803 with Wattgate 320i IEC and hospital grade plug.

post #126 of 452
Thread Starter 
Last week, my NOS 6CQ6 EF92 Haltrons came in. After about 45 hours, they sound almost identical to Mullard 6CQ6's, but cost substantially less.
post #127 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penchum View Post
Fast! Fast! Fast! Shipping at the speed of light! Yepper, both off is what you want. I love the smell of new tube amps in the morning! You are in for a real treat too. It just gets better and better from here. Put some hours on the clock and try not to freak out when the 40-55 hour changes take place. I just love Little-Dot amps!
So what should I expect? I'm creeping up to about the 40-hour mark. I want to say that the bass is cleaner. Listening to some bass heavy electronica (Massive Attack, Phutureprimitive, etc), the massively low bass is fantastic and it seems more accurate than it was in the beginning. I can certainly tell a difference in power from this amp vs my PA2V2. Bass never sounded like this.

I haven't detected a change really in mids or highs as it's aging. Still absolutely as smooth and accurate as it was when I first fired it up. I cannot believe how velvety and rich female vocals such as Jane Monheit, Madeline Peyroux, and of course, Norah Jones sound through this amp. Stunning, really. Very sonically similar to my buddy's $50k B&W 2-channel listening room. And that's saying a lot from not even $1k worth of equipment. Excellent 'dimensionality', too. Really great channel separation and directionality from instruments. Nice and wide soundstage. I can even pick up a bit of soundstage depth from some of my 'deeper' recordings (Chesky stuff, for instance). I don't know if headphones can ever accomplish a truly deep soundstage like a good speaker setup can, but it's pretty amazing.

For example, I have one live recording where someone in the audience coughs. At home listening to this, I've actually been fooled into thinking that someone was actually coughing in the room behind my den. The effect is pretty neat. While working and listening to the same recording at work, I didn't really realize it was that song and actually hit pause and took off my headphones when it happened, thinking someone was coughing/clearing their throat at my office door, which is behind me. First time that's ever happened with headphones. Bravo!

I'm also surprised that it works quite well with sub-par sources such as XM Radio. Right now I'm listening to XM Pops (one of their higher-bandwidth channels) through it and it actually sounds pretty good. Sure, there are compression artifacts, but it's pleasant enough to listen to. The warm mid-range of this amp works really nicely to help take away some of the coldness of XM's compression. No, it won't turn a lump of coal into a diamond, but it's not grinding the coal up and blowing it in my face as I thought it might.

Luckily I can listen to headphones at work, and my work schedule allows for 4 or 5 hours of music every day, now done entirely with my LD MKII + HD650 pair. Talk about heaven in my office...
post #128 of 452
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigStig View Post
So what should I expect? I'm creeping up to about the 40-hour mark. I want to say that the bass is cleaner. Listening to some bass heavy electronica (Massive Attack, Phutureprimitive, etc), the massively low bass is fantastic and it seems more accurate than it was in the beginning. I can certainly tell a difference in power from this amp vs my PA2V2. Bass never sounded like this.

I haven't detected a change really in mids or highs as it's aging. Still absolutely as smooth and accurate as it was when I first fired it up. I cannot believe how velvety and rich female vocals such as Jane Monheit, Madeline Peyroux, and of course, Norah Jones sound through this amp. Stunning, really. Very sonically similar to my buddy's $50k B&W 2-channel listening room. And that's saying a lot from not even $1k worth of equipment. Excellent 'dimensionality', too. Really great channel separation and directionality from instruments. Nice and wide soundstage. I can even pick up a bit of soundstage depth from some of my 'deeper' recordings (Chesky stuff, for instance). I don't know if headphones can ever accomplish a truly deep soundstage like a good speaker setup can, but it's pretty amazing.

For example, I have one live recording where someone in the audience coughs. At home listening to this, I've actually been fooled into thinking that someone was actually coughing in the room behind my den. The effect is pretty neat. While working and listening to the same recording at work, I didn't really realize it was that song and actually hit pause and took off my headphones when it happened, thinking someone was coughing/clearing their throat at my office door, which is behind me. First time that's ever happened with headphones. Bravo!

I'm also surprised that it works quite well with sub-par sources such as XM Radio. Right now I'm listening to XM Pops (one of their higher-bandwidth channels) through it and it actually sounds pretty good. Sure, there are compression artifacts, but it's pleasant enough to listen to. The warm mid-range of this amp works really nicely to help take away some of the coldness of XM's compression. No, it won't turn a lump of coal into a diamond, but it's not grinding the coal up and blowing it in my face as I thought it might.

Luckily I can listen to headphones at work, and my work schedule allows for 4 or 5 hours of music every day, now done entirely with my LD MKII + HD650 pair. Talk about heaven in my office...
Makes you want to take it home with you, doesn't it?
The bass will improve a little more, the mids will maintain that great sound, and the highs will get more definition, like cymbals ringing instead of crashing sound. The tubes themselves are either done, or very close to done already. The rest is in the amp itself. I think you are doing it the right way too. Get very familiar with the default tube set, the changes happen while you listen, and then tube rolling will impact you like it should, when you feel you are ready. Good show!
post #129 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigStig View Post
Thursday or Friday?!?! Try TODAY! Absolutely incredible shipping considering this thing just traveled a couple thousand miles. Ordered on Thursday morning, received the following Wednesday afternoon.

Sounds fantastic. I know that the tubes aren't broken in and that will take a couple hundred hours or so, but wow oh wow does this thing sound SMOOOTH.

One quick question though: I checked the dip switches just to make sure they were set correctly for my high-impedance HD650's. The manual says the default is both 1 and 2 off, and that's for high-impedance. I'm glad I checked because both pairs of dip switches were actually set to the side that says ON, and so I flipped both pairs to the other side. Is this the correct setting for my HD650's?

mmmmm glowy tubey goodness. Did I mention that they even smell good as they're warming up?
Yeah, the shipping is amazing. I think that Little Tube must send it before the money has even been payed O_O. I was a bit worried about that tube smell at first as I thought it was something burning... Good to know its normal


Hmmm my tubes have probably warmed up by now. BRB!
post #130 of 452
I do have one little question about the MKII, or perhaps tubes in general. When I flip it off, I shut down my source, then flip off the amp with my headphones still plugged in, then unplug them. But I noticed that a couple of seconds after I shut it down, I get a sort of neat little dinging noise from the headphones while it's plugged in. Almost like a wind chime or some sort of Tibetian meditation chime. It's actually kind of a lovely sound. Might do it in the right ear, then softer in the left, then maybe one more really faint one in the right. Just a little tink...tink.......tink. Is this normal? It certainly doesn't sound like a problem, just the tubes losing their charge or something.

Is there a different startup/shutdown order that I should follow?

Anyone else?
post #131 of 452
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigStig View Post
I do have one little question about the MKII, or perhaps tubes in general. When I flip it off, I shut down my source, then flip off the amp with my headphones still plugged in, then unplug them. But I noticed that a couple of seconds after I shut it down, I get a sort of neat little dinging noise from the headphones while it's plugged in. Almost like a wind chime or some sort of Tibetian meditation chime. It's actually kind of a lovely sound. Might do it in the right ear, then softer in the left, then maybe one more really faint one in the right. Just a little tink...tink.......tink. Is this normal? It certainly doesn't sound like a problem, just the tubes losing their charge or something.

Is there a different startup/shutdown order that I should follow?

Anyone else?
Quite normal. It is your reward for using tubes! I have often thought about trying to capture that sound and record it for tinkering. Another way to hear them is get your ears as close to the tubes as possible (don't burn them) and listen that way. The sound through the headphones gets cut off early as power diminishes. Outside, they can clink and twink for a little while longer.
post #132 of 452
Thread Starter 
I've been rolling in some EF91's lately, and both brands have an excellent sound! They seem to be very similar to the 6CQ6 EF92's in sound quality and dynamics. Some are going fairly cheap on eBay, so this is another way around paying the extra high prices on the most popular 6CQ6's, if you have a MKII or MKIII.
post #133 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penchum View Post
I've been rolling in some EF91's lately, and both brands have an excellent sound! They seem to be very similar to the 6CQ6 EF92's in sound quality and dynamics. Some are going fairly cheap on eBay, so this is another way around paying the extra high prices on the most popular 6CQ6's, if you have a MKII or MKIII.
Are these (Mullard CV131 / 6CQ6 Little Dot Amp MkII MkIV EF92 - eBay (item 280201494031 end time Feb-23-08 09:32:32 PST)) good 6CQ6 tubes? How do they sound compared to stock? Im really interesting in buying a pair but want to check with you guys first.

-Frank
post #134 of 452
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankWong View Post
Are these (Mullard CV131 / 6CQ6 Little Dot Amp MkII MkIV EF92 - eBay (item 280201494031 end time Feb-23-08 09:32:32 PST)) good 6CQ6 tubes? How do they sound compared to stock? Im really interesting in buying a pair but want to check with you guys first.

-Frank
Yes indeed. I have a set of those and really like them. They will blow the stock ones away, totally!
post #135 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankWong View Post
Are these (Mullard CV131 / 6CQ6 Little Dot Amp MkII MkIV EF92 - eBay (item 280201494031 end time Feb-23-08 09:32:32 PST)) good 6CQ6 tubes? How do they sound compared to stock? Im really interesting in buying a pair but want to check with you guys first.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penchum View Post
Yes indeed. I have a set of those and really like them. They will blow the stock ones away, totally!
I agree with Penchum, the Mullard CV131 are very nice sounding tubes indeed, especially compared with stock. The price is right for a matched pair and that seller is pretty awesome, good find.
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) › Review of the Little-Dot MKII Tube Headphone Amp/Pre-Amp