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Corda Swing, Corda Cantate.2 or X-can V8

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I recently have bought a pair of Denon D5000's and I am considering a headphones amp.

Not sure what to expect from a headphones amp, I once did a comparison between a headphones out of a (similar Marantz as mine) stereo amp and a Creek OBH11 headphones amp and couldn't tell much difference, but the fact that the Creek was more sibilant and slightly harder sounding than the supposedly inferior phones-out of a stereo integrated amp, made me doubt I would ever buy a dedicated headphones amp.

Now the Denons are very capable headphones and they sound great already plugged in my Marantz amp, but the general consensus (or fact?) is that they 'need' a headphones amp to really shine.

So here I am, my first steps in the world of headphones amps.

My budget is around $500, I really don't want to spend more.
I live in the Netherlands where we use different power plugs (do you call them that way?), we use 220V, and since I am 'technically challenged' (I know nothing about ampere, voltage and the lot) ordering form the US may give some problems, incompatible plugs etc.?

For now I have interest in the following amps

Meier Audio Corda Swing $310
Meier Audio Corda Cantate.2 $515
Musical Fidelity X-Can V8 $500


The Corda Swing is labeled as a PRaT amp, but since I mostly will listen to clasical I am not sure if this is the one for me.

The Corda Cantate has a built-in USB DAC and a USB input which is great for MP3's on my Mac, but I don't care much for the looks though.

And finally there's the Musical Fidelity X-Can V8
With USB input, built-in USB DAC and tubes...I like the idea of a smooth sound, but not that tubes wear out and have to be replaced.

I'd appreciate some advice.
Anyone tried any of the two listed above?

Thanks!
post #2 of 15
Thread Starter 
Anyone please?

I have read everything there's to read about the D5000's paired with the X-Can V8, but I am still a bit worried about the highs, they seem pretty harsh with the stock tubes?
And I wonder if the whole 'tube thing' really makes a different and if the Corda Cantate wouldn't be just as good, but without the hassle of replacing tubes etc.
Does anyone have a idea how the Cantate pairs with the D5000's?

Finally,
I know I shouldn't expect much from the built-in USB DAC (in both the X-Can V8 and Corda Cantate), but would it be any better than iMac's (2007 20 inch model) sound card?
If not, than the Corda Swing may be just as good or maybe even the Lehmann Rhinelander?

Thanks.
post #3 of 15
I have the X-Can V8 - D5000 combo, and they work very well together. The X-Can is fairly transparent with the D5000 (won't add/subtract from the sound signature) but it would tighten up the bass and give it better impact/punch. The highs on the D5000 are relatively bright, but its not very harsh out of the X-Can. Tube rolling is certainly an option with the X-Can, this can have an effect on how the combo sounds so it gives you the ability to tailor to your tastes. I think the Amperex 6DJ8's sound the best in this combo.

From my experiences with iMac's is that it has a 3.5mm line out, and a 3.5mm headphone out, so you will need a DAC of sorts. I havent had any experiences with the Meier-Audio amps so I cant give a comparison between them.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Great.
Thanks for the reply.

I have a question about tubes, if I bought a spare pair already, how should I store them? are they fragile and do they wear out (if unused?)
About the Amparex tubes, are they widely available or do you really have to search for them?
Sorry for all the questions, but I am new to this.
post #5 of 15
The X-CAN v8 is a level above the Corda amps you mention (IMO).
The tubes hardly wear out, they will last you probably 10000 hours... (and cost $25 and 10 min of your time to replace).
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Nice...the Musical Fidelity is getting closer and closer
Since you live in the Netherlands too Kees, where do you get your tubes?
Via internet?
Germany?
post #7 of 15
Actually the holland made amperex tubes are the best. I usually get them off ebay, but there should be local stores to you....perhaps.
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks
I will get the Musical Fidelity

Amparex 6DJ8, I will look for them
Are there tubes which should be avoided?
post #9 of 15
I get my tubes on the internet: e-bay, tubedepot, tubesworld, Brent Jessee.
The tubes you want are 6922, 6DJ8, ECC88, E88CC or PCC88 (different names for the same type, don't ask me why, it just happened that way in the tube world).
Different brands and even different years for old stock tubes have different sound signature.

I forgot about the Russion 6N23-EB (written as 6H23-EB in Russian), which are widely available, cheap and very good.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks.
I already ordered a pair of Amperex 6DJ8 Bugle Boy tubes from hifitubes.nl
They sell the 6DJ8 Orange Globe as well.
Not sure which is better, almost bought a pair of these too, but first I want the amp to arrive and see how the stock tubes perform
post #11 of 15
Good luck with your new rig, the X-Can and D5000 are said to have excellent synergy - report back!
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks!
I will.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
I have a question (I haven't received the amp yet)
Can I still use iTunes' equalizer when my iMac is connected with the X-Can via USB?
Or does the X-Can's USB DAC overrides these settings?

I know, true audiophiles shiver at the idea of using an equalizer, but some tracks really fare well with some eq'ing
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mink View Post
Thanks
I will get the Musical Fidelity
Hi Mink. Did you manage to get hold of a new MF X-Can V8P in the Netherlands recently?

Last week I heard they weren't available anymore in the Benelux. I contacted the distributor (Viertron) and they confirmed the sad news

I've been looking for a MF X-Can V8P for two weeks now, but even the demo units of some well known Dutch specialist stores were allready sold...
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeFa View Post
Hi Mink. Did you manage to get hold of a new MF X-Can V8P in the Netherlands recently?

Last week I heard they weren't available anymore in the Benelux. I contacted the distributor (Viertron) and they confirmed the sad news

I've been looking for a MF X-Can V8P for two weeks now, but even the demo units of some well known Dutch specialist stores were allready sold...
Hi Gefa,
Sorry, I just read your post today.
I didn't get a new X-Can V8P, but a demo model V8 (without pre-amp functionality)

I guess I was lucky, googling on "X-can V8 order" no longer gives me any 'hits', nothing at eBay as well.
Sorry.
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