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REVIEW: Firestone Audio Amps - Cute Beyond and Fubar III - Page 2

post #16 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
Well, I do have two sets of a pair of OPA627AU soldered onto a 2:1 adapter that I might be able to put in both the Cute Beyond and the Fubar III to compare the two with the same opamps. I also have two sets each of AD8397 and LM4562 that I could put in both amps and compare. I'll see if I can find the time to do this next week.
Excellent, I look forward to your impressions.
post #17 of 56
Thread Starter 
GuyMe, I have not had time to open these up and pop in new opamps. I still want to try to find the time, but in the meantime I am looking for the next person who wants to review these two amps.

I would prefer to ship to someone who has done other reviews before, and who is willing to absorb the small shipping charges to send it to another reviewer when they are done reviewing the two amps (DAC). Skylab has already had them, and mrarroyo has declined at this time. I was thinking someone like oicdn, Jamato8, or Asr. Just PM me with your resume' and we'll see about sending them your way.

I cannot afford right now, having become disabled, to ship these out over-seas, sorry. I also don't have permission from miniature audio to let them leave the USA.

I stand by the fact that the Cute Beyond is a great amp with the stock opamps, and the Fubar III has a similar tone and timbre but lacks the detail and ambience of the Cute. I just have not been able to convince myself that the effort to roll opamps was worth it, since I wont be keeping it (loaner). Due to my poor health, I typically don't have the energy to do everything I want to do.
post #18 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
I stand by the fact that the Cute Beyond is a great amp with the stock opamps,
Have to agree, for what it's worth. I've been very impressed with the stock Cute Beyond. In fact I'm surprised it's not making more of a stir. I suspect some people are turning their noses up at this cheap little op amp based upstart that doesn't look as if it could possibly sound as good as it does.
post #19 of 56
Thread Starter 
Sherwood has the Cute Beyond and Fubar III for review now. He collected them from me last weekend at the Colorado head-fi meet. He already has a Fubar II feeding a Millett on his iMac, and is looking forward to examining other Firestone Audio Products, hence the review due to familiarity and the desire.

I will link to his review when he posts it as a new thread.
post #20 of 56
I only first heard about headphone amps recently, a friend of mine has a Cute, so I searched, read your Cute Beyond review and I decided to give it a shot after debating on how much money I planned to spend Anyways I picked up mine and although I'm very "noobish" on the whole headphone amps topic I must say Im really impressed. I had no idea that headphone amps can make such an impact on my music. I had to post and say thanks for the nice review. Great job, even if the spec's (and some jargon) are a little over my head

Cheers
post #21 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StayOnBoard View Post
I only first heard about headphone amps recently, a friend of mine has a Cute, so I searched, read your Cute Beyond review and I decided to give it a shot after debating on how much money I planned to spend Anyways I picked up mine and although I'm very "noobish" on the whole headphone amps topic I must say Im really impressed. I had no idea that headphone amps can make such an impact on my music. I had to post and say thanks for the nice review. Great job, even if the spec's (and some jargon) are a little over my head

Cheers
Great!

I'm curious about what headphones and source you use with it?
post #22 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
Great!

I'm curious about what headphones and source you use with it?
I use a set of Sennheiser HD600's.

I use it with one of these bad boys

Great setup IMHO
post #23 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StayOnBoard View Post
I use a set of Sennheiser HD600's.

I use it with one of these bad boys

Great setup IMHO
Cool. That should keep you happy till you get the urge to drop $1400 on a Headroom Balanced Desktop amp with DAC, and then $300 on balanced cables...
post #24 of 56
Here is a very late thank you for the fantastic review. It was one of the many endorsements that led me to my Cute Beyond purchase! I was very impressed from the get-go and later added the Supplier PSU and added a separate USB DAC to really get the most out of it. After playing around with a few other amps and DAC's I can really appreciate the tremendous value and competence of the Cute amp. I always thought the high gain setting would not be a desirable feature to me but once I tried it out with my K702's I haven't gone back. The signal may be slightly less clean (I'm not sure, it could just be in my head!) but the difference both in fidelity and full frequency range, especially at the bottom end, was very surprising to me.

And I just received my Little Country III, but need to get some hours on it before I can give a decent review.
post #25 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by darwinshardhat View Post
And I just received my Little Country III, but need to get some hours on it before I can give a decent review.
What is your impression of the LC3?
post #26 of 56
The LC3 puts out a fuller and more enveloping sound than the Cute Beyond. It's not so much a wider soundstage as much more complete fidelity. All sounds and instruments have much more girth to my ears. It has more authority over the sound. The Bass goes deeper but has a bit of a warm and fuzzy quality to it with heavier and more complex bass passages. I've never owned or heard a tube amp before but I'm guessing this is both a characteristic of tubes in general and the fairly mediocre quality of the factory provided tubes. Though this may sound like a criticism it still sounds superior to the low-frequency fidelity of the Cute Beyond+Supplier.

As with the Cute Beyond, I found the LC3 delivered the best overall sound in the High-Gain setting with my K702's. Maybe once I hit 300 hours or so of play time with my K702's they may open up enough that the extra gain is not beneficial but for now these cans really seem to benefit from the boost in power.

The LC3 has another feature which I've found to be extremely useful, which is the pre-amp output in the back. I've put more hours into it playing computer audio through my home stereo system using the LC3 as my pre-amplifier than as just a headphone amplifier.

Hopefully that helps!

BTW, Audiophile Products now has a few ready to install op amp upgrade options for the Cute Beyond on their site so that may close the gap in performance somewhat. I'm going to try that out soon as well before considering parting ways with the Cute Beyond.
post #27 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by darwinshardhat View Post
The LC3 puts out a fuller and more enveloping sound than the Cute Beyond. It's not so much a wider soundstage as much more complete fidelity. All sounds and instruments have much more girth to my ears. It has more authority over the sound. The Bass goes deeper but has a bit of a warm and fuzzy quality to it with heavier and more complex bass passages. I've never owned or heard a tube amp before but I'm guessing this is both a characteristic of tubes in general and the fairly mediocre quality of the factory provided tubes. Though this may sound like a criticism it still sounds superior to the low-frequency fidelity of the Cute Beyond+Supplier.

As with the Cute Beyond, I found the LC3 delivered the best overall sound in the High-Gain setting with my K702's. Maybe once I hit 300 hours or so of play time with my K702's they may open up enough that the extra gain is not beneficial but for now these cans really seem to benefit from the boost in power.

The LC3 has another feature which I've found to be extremely useful, which is the pre-amp output in the back. I've put more hours into it playing computer audio through my home stereo system using the LC3 as my pre-amplifier than as just a headphone amplifier.

Hopefully that helps!

BTW, Audiophile Products now has a few ready to install op amp upgrade options for the Cute Beyond on their site so that may close the gap in performance somewhat. I'm going to try that out soon as well before considering parting ways with the Cute Beyond.
Awsome! thanks for the impression. the LC3 should be here on Monday. I also have some amperex tubes coming so it will be fun. I'm looking forward to it
post #28 of 56
if you don't mind me asking, where did you buy those tubes?
post #29 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by darwinshardhat View Post
if you don't mind me asking, where did you buy those tubes?
I got them from e-bay, and they do sound much better then the original tubes. It does sound beautiful and smooth on the DT-880 very details and deep bass, on certain songs (more than a feeling from Boston comes to mind) the bass sounded like it was little distorted, I hope that's the recording and not the amp.
post #30 of 56
Does ECC81 Tubes match the LC III?
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