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Survivor II - $350 range amps

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I've followed the discussion concerning "entry level" headphone amps and was curious to hear Head-Fi participants' opinions on what might be considered the next level of headphone amps. I have in mind the Antique Sound Lab MG-HeadDT amp and the Corda Headamp-1. Both of these amps retail for around $325 which just happens to be the price range I'm interested in!

Feel free to add whichever amps you might suggest. I'm sure the low-high impedance issue will come up. FYI I'm using a set of Senn 600s.
post #2 of 9
The Hi Fi World HD 83 should be in that price range. It is an excellent tube amp, as good as some much more expensive amps. It has tube liquidity and warmth, but good dynamics. I like it as much as the Earmax Pro, and it certainly kicks the crap out of the X-Cans v1 or v2.

A lot of this will come down to tube vs solid state preferences.

Ross
post #3 of 9
Err Ross, don't forget to mention that you have to build it yourself! I love mine, but it has to be said that there is between ten and twenty hours of patient labor between the buyer and great sound.
post #4 of 9
Ah yes, I forgot to add that it is DIY, and it's not easy either. I had a technician build it for me, but it was worth it.

Ross
post #5 of 9
HD 83?

Where can one find this beast?
post #6 of 9
post #7 of 9
As good as the Earmax Pro, eh? $242 plus shipping with Mullard valves included is a pretty amazing deal.
post #8 of 9
Quote:
As good as the Earmax Pro, eh?
That's not quite what I said. I like the HD83 as much as - no, probably more than - the Earmax Pro, and I own both. However, they sound rather different, with the Earmax Pro having a lush. liquid, slow triode sound, while the HD83 is rather more dynamic and has a slightly less syrupy sound. The HD83 is in my opinion the more versatile amp because of its greater neutrality. And yes, it is a pretty amazing deal.

But my tastes run more to solid state, and I prefer the Maxed Out Home to either. So if you are a tube guy, take my opinion with a grain of salt.

Ross
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

ASL MG Head DT v. Grado RA-1

Recently I auditioned both the MG Head DT and the Grado RA-1. I brought my phones (Senn 600s), CD player, interconnects and music to eliminate changes in the signal path to a local dealer's showroom.

I spent a lot of time with the Head DT and found the sound lacking in bass and a little dull. Jazz featuring acoustic bass just didn't sound "live." There wasn't the impact I'm able to hear with a very good stereo system. I thought the mid and high frequencies smooth and mellow but perhaps a little too mellow.

The Grado easily powered the Sennheisers and definitely had a better bass performance. However, the Head DT had a better overall mid and high frequency feel.

The search goes on.
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