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Getting My Feet Wet With Balanced- MKVII Initial Impressions - Page 3

post #31 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorander View Post
Doing a full re-cable (as opposed to a simple re-termination) on the K601 isn't exactly easy, thanks to those grilles which are a bitch to open (esp. without the right tools). The K501 can be simply un-screwed so they are easier to open.

I like the price on this balanced amp. Has anyone done a comparison between it and the GS Solo?
yep, that's what i've heard. the k501 is easy because of the screws...i have a thread somewhere in the diy section about my k501 recable...but the k601 is tougher to get the grilles off. once they're off, though, the actual recable job isn't very hard.

i'm debating whether to pick up this amp or wait a couple of months to build a balanced m3...maybe both?

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post #32 of 103

2 watt power output: balanced/single or both?

Sorry for the noob question but... the specs for this amp show that it has a power output of more than 2 watts.I assume that's regardless of whether its in balanced or single ended mode.I know it may be a silly question, but i just want to be sure.Unless i'm missing something, this seems to be an extremely powerful amp!
post #33 of 103
offtopic sorry, but what is that laptop?

also, great intro to balanced audio! its addictive
post #34 of 103
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sizwej View Post
Sorry for the noob question but... the specs for this amp show that it has a power output of more than 2 watts.I assume that's regardless of whether its in balanced or single ended mode.I know it may be a silly question, but i just want to be sure.Unless i'm missing something, this seems to be an extremely powerful amp!

Hey sizwej

Yes it's pretty powerful. High gain is for K1000. Low gain for everything else. Have not yet tried my Grados or Denon....couple Ultrasones I tried sound awesome. Trying to sort out which phones I'm going to re-cable/re-terminate balanced, but single ended sounds great too.

Power Output

2800 mW into 8 ohms
2600 mW into 32 ohms
2000 mW into 120 ohms
800 mW into 300 ohms

"2.8W + 2.8W is for the balanced mode only. For single-ended mode, the output power is 1.4W + 1.4W (or 1.4W per channel)"



Quote:
Originally Posted by DoYouRight View Post
offtopic sorry, but what is that laptop?

also, great intro to balanced audio! its addictive

Hey DYR

It's a Compaq V6444US w/ XP Pro...

Addictive? I'm telling you. Just saw that Jack is shipping the WA22s already. I already have my eye on it. Have a bunch of 6AS7/6080, & 6SN7s from my other amps that I would love to try in there. Trying to sort it all out because I already have a maxxed WA2, so I've emailed Jack for the differences between the two. I really, really, really don't want to let the WA2 go to get the WA22. Love that amp...Trying to not think about it too much....

You know I hooked up the 01USD with this setup and everything sounds great...
post #35 of 103
Heatfan - thanks for the great thread!

I was just curious if you've had a chance to compare your HD650's through the DAC_1 + WA2 (single-ended) as opposed to through the DAC_1 + LDVII balanced combo?

A balanced rig at for <$800 is pretty tempting indeed, but I confess I'm pretty happy with my current Woo 3 -> HD650 rig, and I'd hate to cash out for a sidegrade. The Woo 2 has a pretty similar (albeit superior) flavor to the Woo 3, so if you have time for a back to back, I'd love to hear your impressions.

Also, since you mentioned the Woo22, I'll comment that I absolutely loved it at CanJam (it was paired with balanced HD650's with a ultra-thin balanced woo prototype cable). The presentation of the WA22 is closer to the Woo 6 SE than it is to the OTL series of amps (the WA2/WA3), but its far more resolved than the 6 SE. Definitely worth driving out to a meet if there's a chance to plug into one
post #36 of 103
god that is a very cheap balanced setup. it is truly balanced?
post #37 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoYouRight View Post
god that is a very cheap balanced setup. it is truly balanced?
through and through
post #38 of 103
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
Heatfan - thanks for the great thread!

I was just curious if you've had a chance to compare your HD650's through the DAC_1 + WA2 (single-ended) as opposed to through the DAC_1 + LDVII balanced combo?

A balanced rig at for <$800 is pretty tempting indeed, but I confess I'm pretty happy with my current Woo 3 -> HD650 rig, and I'd hate to cash out for a sidegrade. The Woo 2 has a pretty similar (albeit superior) flavor to the Woo 3, so if you have time for a back to back, I'd love to hear your impressions.

Also, since you mentioned the Woo22, I'll comment that I absolutely loved it at CanJam (it was paired with balanced HD650's with a ultra-thin balanced woo prototype cable). The presentation of the WA22 is closer to the Woo 6 SE than it is to the OTL series of amps (the WA2/WA3), but its far more resolved than the 6 SE. Definitely worth driving out to a meet if there's a chance to plug into one

Thanks very much skeptic

Coincidentally, I finally setup everything where it is going to sit and I have the LD DAC_I on one of the inputs of the WA2 for SE. Will compare the HD650s on both tomorrow.

Thanks for the info on the WA22. Looks very promising...Trying not to think about it too much....
post #39 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatFan12 View Post
Thanks very much skeptic

Coincidentally, I finally setup everything where it is going to sit and I have the LD DAC_I on one of the inputs of the WA2 for SE. Will compare the HD650s on both tomorrow.

Thanks for the info on the WA22. Looks very promising...Trying not to think about it too much....
hi, did you get the chance to make the comparison? i'm interested in these LD products so maybe you can update your impressions
thank you
post #40 of 103
Yes, update?
post #41 of 103
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
Heatfan - thanks for the great thread!

I was just curious if you've had a chance to compare your HD650's through the DAC_1 + WA2 (single-ended) as opposed to through the DAC_1 + LDVII balanced combo?

A balanced rig at for <$800 is pretty tempting indeed, but I confess I'm pretty happy with my current Woo 3 -> HD650 rig, and I'd hate to cash out for a sidegrade. The Woo 2 has a pretty similar (albeit superior) flavor to the Woo 3, so if you have time for a back to back, I'd love to hear your impressions.

Hey guys,

Work and schedule have been crazy and not enough time for serious listening the last couple of weeks. I finally setup everything in its place and have been enjoying some great music and it’s been lots of fun comparing the HD650s single-ended and balanced w/ the LDMKVII and WA2 with LD DAC_I feeding both.

Final set-up

LDMKVII- LD DAC_I balanced output
WA2- LD DAC_I RCA output
LDMKVII- SE input to Marantz CD5001 (RCA out)
Laptop- Acer Aspire 5520…w/ optical.





All inputs of the DAC_I are being used in one form or another (laptop usb or optical, usb to spdif converter, CDP…)


I was late to the game with Porcupine Tree’s new album and did not pre-order, but finally received it. So, I thought, hmmm, great time to put my HD650s to work and enjoy some music. So, I ripped, encoded, tagged etc…and fired up Foobar…

I cued up some PT and Rush and sat back and relaxed. Both balanced and SE w/ the MKVII. The WA2 was fitted w/ 6H13C power tubes, Tesla ECC88 drivers and Tungsram EZ-80 rectifiers.










I’ll admit, I’m an Ultrasone freak, but after spending the last couple of days solely with the HD650s, I have found new love for them. Again, in balanced mode they are a different animal, very evident with prog, IMO. You “feel” the music deep down. The clarity, detail, soundstage and imaging is amazing. The drums especially sound very, very crisp. Don’t get me wrong, the HD650s single-ended, properly amped (which both of these amps do with ease), with an upgraded cable, also sound awesome. As I stated before, balanced just takes them up to the next level.

I have had the WA2 for a while now, so I know what it is capable of. It is a delicious piece of tube goodness. It plays beautifully with all my phones and with four inputs and a pre-amp out it is definitely a winner. My listening was not to compare the two (one is tube and one is SS and the difference in price is about 1K), just to enjoy the music with both w/ the 650s, since I had them connected to the same DAC. The DAC_I is a great match for the WA2 btw. Its transparency lets the tubes do their thing without sounding dark. Just the right mix to maintain balance.

In reference to the MKVII, I’m still surprised how good it sounds single-ended w/ power to spare. Tried several phones and they all sound good, hence my dilemma in which ones to re-terminate or re-cable and would the difference be as evident in balanced mode as with the Senns. If this amp’s single-ended performance was weak it would be a no brainer, but that’s not the case. I think my AH-D5000s will be next to see what they are made of.

All in all, the purchase of the MKVII, for me, was a solid choice. For the price, specs and service it really is hard to beat.

Favorites in this session

Well, anything by PT and Rush are favorites really and all sound awesome…

But again, the energy of Anesthetize in balanced mode is surreal. Live- Rush’s By-Tor And The Snowdog, Closer To the Heart, Cinderella Man--incredible. But the one that totally blew me away was Neil’s solo, The Rhythm Method (Different Stages)…Did I mention that drums sound amazing with balanced Senns…..

Of course, all of the above is IMO, with my ears, my gear and YMMV…..
post #42 of 103
Hey Heatfan, this may not be the best comparison, but do you think the MK VII holds it's own against the much pricier WA2? In a few weeks i'm going to have the same setup you have, but i'm interested to know how the MK VII compares to amps costing twice as much.
post #43 of 103
I had a Mini Meet at my place and heard a balanced set up with Senn 650s and was blown away. As you mentioned HeatFan, balanced takes the 650s to another level!

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f45/gu...2009-a-446267/

It was Prickely Peete's gear and he suggested the Little Dot balanced dac & amp as an inexpensive way to get into a balanced set-up. I searched to see what reviews I could find on the equipment (not a whole lot) and found this great thread, thanks HeatFan for your review & comments. From what I've read it was a "wow moment" for you listening to the 650s balanced.

So I took the plunge and ordered the MK VII and DAC 1. I won't get them until about the 3rd week of October though

David at Little Dot sure is lightening fast responding to emails!

it will be interesting comparing my 650s single-ended with the DarkVoice 337 to balanced with the Little Dot.

post #44 of 103
What foobar config is that so sexy!
post #45 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuck57 View Post
I had a Mini Meet at my place and heard a balanced set up with Senn 650s and was blown away. As you mentioned HeatFan, balanced takes the 650s to another level!

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f45/gu...2009-a-446267/

It was Prickely Peete's gear and he suggested the Little Dot balanced dac & amp as an inexpensive way to get into a balanced set-up. I searched to see what reviews I could find on the equipment (not a whole lot) and found this great thread, thanks HeatFan for your review & comments. From what I've read it was a "wow moment" for you listening to the 650s balanced.

So I took the plunge and ordered the MK VII and DAC 1. I won't get them until about the 3rd week of October though

David at Little Dot sure is lightening fast responding to emails!

it will be interesting comparing my 650s single-ended with the DarkVoice 337 to balanced with the Little Dot.

Why do you have wait until mid October?Little dot is usually lighting quick when it comes to shipping.
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