Has the manufacturer got an official website ?
post #61 of 736
2/7/08 at 4:16am
I sneaked out of work at 10 to 5, made it to the PO at 1/4 past 5, and had the MKV connected up by 1/2 past 5. So that's 30 Jan - collected from Little Tube and left China, 05 Feb arrived in UK, 06 Feb attempted delivery and waiting for me at local village post office.
Not bad service!
The package got through customs and excise without me being charged extra for import duty, which I estimate would have added another $60 - which is nice!
Now the start of a review:
The unit is pretty big, sat next to my Slee phono stage - but then it does have power transformers inside rather than an offboard psu. I'd already got the wires waiting for its arrival, so was a simple case of connecting it up.
Full system is:
SimAudio Moon Nova cd player -> Acoustic Zen Silver Reference -> Cyrus Pre X -> tape out -> Black Rhodium interconnect -> Little Dot MKV.
All 3 components (cd player, pre amp, headphone amp) are powered from an Isotek Minisub mains conditioner.
Headphones are Sennheiser HD580's (100% stock) and I use an extension cable made from Neutrik plugs and van damme cable.
The unit is well constructed, looks good, solid connectors, positive volume control, decent switches, the leds are quite bright but that's all. The volume control range is such that 9 o'clock is loud, so I settled on somewhere between 8 and 9 as being a good comfortable volume (I'll confirm the exact marking later). Selecting input 2 I could still hear input 1, but for my purposes, input 2 is likely to remain unused, so this is not an issue.
So how did it sound?
Last week I put another 100 hours on the 'phones in preparation, as I'm not sure how often I've used them in the past.
Straight from the box and cold, it was perfectly acceptable. I listened to 2 recent purchases, the recent Jeff Buckley "best of" and Cowboy Junkies "Trinity revisited". There was already decent bass extension, decent attack on drums, good stereo imaging.
I'm leaving the system powered up, so the MKV is on right now and playing Radio 2. I'll listen some more tonight, and attempt to make comparisons between the MKV and the headphone socket in the Cyrus Pre X.
The amp needs a good 100 hours on it.
I used this program with the pink noise option from this site >> Download section for Burninwave generator
and ran it 120 minutes with 30 minute rests for 5 days (default settings) hooked up to my laptop. It does it all by itself so you can leave the amp on 24 hours untill next week. Beleive me there is a big difference once you do this. The amp sounds much better. All the people that say burnin is bull don't have hi-fi ears. HA
I broke in the amp and the headphones at the same time.
I didnt do much a/b'ing, so need to experiment more, but last night I was a little disappointed in that the MKV didn't do much if anything over the headphone socket in the back of the Cyrus Pre X. They sounded remarkably similar. I might need to do a bit of cable swapping, as the MKV takes its feed from the tape out on the preamp, not direct from source, and so perhaps a better interconnect might help.
The other experiment I'm going to attempt, to minimise the memory effect as much as possible, is to use 2 pairs of ipod headphones (the only one of which I have 2 pairs) so that I can swap quickly from Pre X to MKV - though the limitation here is the 'phones themselves and as I type I wonder if this might prove to be a pointless test.
Do you need to de-solder the current opamps if you wanted to change it or the designer already provide DIP socket?
Out of interest how does this compare with the (around half price, yet op-amp customisable) Zero 24bit DAC/amp?