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MG Head's clones

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Where is the upgraded MG Head available? I contacted a distributor of this product and he said the upgraded version has a tube cage and a detachable ac cord (cost: $325). He said he wasn't aware of any upgraded parts inside the amplifier. This is weird since Headwize's announcements page says that the upgraded version has better potentiometer (Alps?), better capacitors, and JJ tubes. It also says that the price of the unit is $279. How many versions of this amp are there? I know Holmes Audio in Chicago customizes these babies with better parts, maybe even better capacitors, but I am not sure if these mods are worth it if one gets the version with the tube cage.

Any light on the subject is greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 7
I believe headroom sells the "upgraded" head.
It does have the cage and detachable power cord.
I'm not sure about any other mods though.
post #3 of 7
hippo,

I purchased the upgraded MG Head from Holm Audio a few months back - w/cage, and removeable power cord. I can not recall, from my conversations with Albert, if there were internal upgrades or a tube upgrade. Mine came with a JJ (12AX7) and what seems to be a pair of Sovteks (El484). I demoed their set-up - an older MG with a click stop volume control and fixed power cord with a NAD c521 and Senn 600s.

I don't think Holm Audio would "upgrade" existing external/internal parts on the MG, that would void the warranty. However, they will recommend a power cord upgrade (~$200) and they sell a few replacement tubes. I bought an electroharmonix (12AX7) and it sounds fantastic paired with my Yugo (Ei) El484.

If you are in the Chicagoland area, I would demo the MG with your cans and music. I had a great 2 hour demo session and bought it on the spot! I'd pick one up from Holm Audio, unless you are outside of Chicago and have a MG Head dealer in your area. Albert will not sell to an area where there is a MG Head dealer. Albert does not want to step on anyone's toes. He is a great guy, very knowledgeable and willing to share it.

Regards - reynman
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi guys

Reynman, thanks for your reply. Unfortunately I live in the SouthWest, not in the Chicago area. But I will definetely follow bootman's advice and give the HeadRoom's guys a call.

I've read good things about this amplifier. The other alternative is the Wheatfield 1 but it is definetely out of my price range. I'm looking for a relaxed sound. Since I own Sennheiser 600 I would like to know how this combo performs. Later I might get me something cheap from Grado Labs like the SR60 or SR80 just to get a different taste. Reynman can you describe your experience with your setup (like what kind of source you use, etc etc) I'm kind of worried I might have to upgrade my source too since right now I only own a cheap portable cd player.

Thanks in advance
post #5 of 7
Based on my findings I would advise you to avoid the HA-1. It's midrange is unacceptable for this price and is surprisingly unmusical for a tube amp. I spent a chunk of change to have some NOS tubes rushed so I can give it another chance before It goes back, but my expectations aren't high.
post #6 of 7
hippo,

I've had the this rig for about 2-3 months using the stock tubes of the MG along with a 30 minute warm-up period. I've averaged about 3-4 hours of listening a night during that time, so I've become accustomed to the sound of my rig. It offers up a warm, neutral sound, very detailed, crisp, non fatiguing highs, tight, but not overpowering bass especially with jazz and classical. Within the last 2 weeks I've changed the tubes:

NAD c541
MG Head - Mullard CV4004 and a pair of Yugo (Ei) El484s)
Senn 580 (w/ Clou Red Jaspis cable)
Beyer DT 250-80
ICs are Nordost Solarwind

This particular tube set-up with the 580 is better suited for pop/dance/trance/ambient, etc. It has more bass extension, but yet retains great detail, still without being fatiguing. I can't wait to get my 325s and see how the Grado sound affects the rig.

I replaced my 10 year old Sony with the NAD. I did a lot of research on the web for CDPs in the $400-$600 range, I learned a lot, but nothing replaces auditioning. I spent 2 hours at Holm Audio with a similar system NAD c521, MG w/ stock tubes, Senn 600, and Nordost Red Dawn ICs (~$350/ meter!). That system had more bass (Massive Attack's Angel sounds great), but the highs were a bit too much, bordering on shrill, especially the horns on Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man. I slipped on my 580s and everything was right with the world. I did not need to hear anything else, though the ICs were a bit too much and bit too revealing. Albert recommended the Blue Heaven or the Solarwind for a bit less detail and less money. The improvement over the Sony was the proverbial veil being lifted from the music.

I must admit that I've been bitten by the tube rolling bug, but as I said I became accustomed to my rig (daily listening for about 2-3 months with various music) with stock tubes before I made any judgements as to what needed refinement. If you don't have the cash or patience, the stock tubes do a wonderful job. I thoroughly enjoy the music that flows from my rig.

Buy the MG Head from Headroom. Ask Todd some questions about the amp. He is a great guy working for a great company!
There are other positive reactions to the MG/Senn 580/600 combo. This, of course, is mine IMHO.

Regards - reynman
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you guys for the replies

Well, I just ordered the MG Head from HeadRoom. I'll let you guys know my experience when I get it.
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