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HEAD-DIRECT EF-5 Headphone amplifier

post #1 of 296
Thread Starter 
Don't know if this is a mistake but I was checking to see if they still sell the EF-1 (so I can use it for my SR225i) but they don't sell them anymore. Now the price is now at $400 and it's using a new name (EF-5). It did say on the website that it will be available soon.

Head-Direct.com | YUIN

Now I wonder what is this going to be!? Personally I don't need a DAC/AMP combo like the EF2, just a hybird amp unit similar to the EF1. If anyone have any ideas or if Fang can jump in then I would be happy.

I was planning to buy an amp in middle of January so could it be possible that we have something better than the EF-1? And I need a good amp for the 32ohm Grados so I hope this new amp does the trick! Try to stay away from Chinese tubes if possible, you are already destroying my wallet when it comes to January (and thus put more money in the world of tube rolling)!
post #2 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by HyperDuel View Post
Don't know if this is a mistake but I was checking to see if they still sell the EF-1 (so I can use it for my SR225i) but they don't sell them anymore. Now the price is now at $400 and it's using a new name (EF-5). It did say on the website that it will be available soon.

Head-Direct.com | YUIN

Now I wonder what is this going to be!? Personally I don't need a DAC/AMP combo like the EF2, just a hybird amp unit similar to the EF1. If anyone have any ideas or if Fang can jump in then I would be happy.

I was planning to buy an amp in middle of January so could it be possible that we have something better than the EF-1? And I need a good amp for the 32ohm Grados so I hope this new amp does the trick! Try to stay away from Chinese tubes if possible, you are already destroying my wallet when it comes to January (and thus put more money in the world of tube rolling)!
I think it was made to match perfectly with their new ortho HE-5.
post #3 of 296
Thread Starter 
We'll see about that, the EF1 was perfect for my needs. I don't want to get a Little Dot as I found the build quality to be questionable at best.
post #4 of 296
then look for a used one or maybe contact them to see if they still have some stock left over. I don't think talking about it on the forums will make head-direct continue the EF1
post #5 of 296
It's an EF-1 modded to best match the new HE-5 headphones. I wasn't under the impression that it was intended to replace the EF-1, but I could have been wrong.
post #6 of 296
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by driftingbunnies View Post
then look for a used one or maybe contact them to see if they still have some stock left over. I don't think talking about it on the forums will make head-direct continue the EF1
I was thinking about buying an used model but I won't have the money for an amp until January.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmanGeorge View Post
It's an EF-1 modded to best match the new HE-5 headphones. I wasn't under the impression that it was intended to replace the EF-1, but I could have been wrong.
Well I'm hoping that it might be more of an upgrade from the EF-1 since they are charging $400 for this before shipping (yes I once known that the EF-1 was once $400 before shipping).

$299 for a new EF-1 was perfect for my budget, but $400 is a little steep for me. If the EF-5 is going to be a good improvement over the EF-1 then I may buy it.

I'll wait and see how this amp does with Grados, or I might go with a higher end Little Dot.
post #7 of 296
the specifications look the same as the EF1, only that now the EF5 comes with a sylvania tube instead of the rca cleartop. they didn't even bother to change the explanations links in their site. so what the extra 100$ for?
post #8 of 296
EF-5 improved sound quality and output current from EF1. Similar soundsignature, but better.
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post #9 of 296
I kinda wish the EF1 was still available for $300 because it's such a good bargain. That being said, for $400 it's still a good buy and recommended. I love the design. Small and powerful. Go EF5!
post #10 of 296
maybe ef5 wil be just as good a value. I hope so, I got one on order.
post #11 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeW View Post
maybe ef5 wil be just as good a value. I hope so, I got one on order.
Is there an estimated shipping date on the unit?
post #12 of 296
This is just from casual meet listening but I've had a chance to hear both the EF-1 and EF-5. I liked the EF-1 when I heard it but this past Saturday I had a chance to listen to the EF-5 through the HiFiMan HM-801 and the new RE252 iems. Wow! This sounded great. Definitely the best sound I've heard from a portable player.

The only question I have though is at the meet the EF-5 had a separate power supply box but doesn't seem to show that on the website. Actually, it looks like the photos on the website are of the EF-1. So does it have a separate PS unit or is it powered by a wall wart?
post #13 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by HyperDuel View Post
We'll see about that, the EF1 was perfect for my needs. I don't want to get a Little Dot as I found the build quality to be questionable at best.
I think you should reconsider you position on LD. For low impedance cans, the Little Dot I+ is great.
post #14 of 296
The EF1 was originally $399 and I felt it was worth the money, and sold my DV336i with $120 tubes after I got the EF1. At $299 I was telling everyone to get one. Now my EF2 sounds about as good but with less power for only $189, making it a steal. Anyways, I will be trying the EF5 very soon (on the way) and I have no doubt that it will be a winner if it is even better than the EF1. I'll also be able to try a Siemens ECC82, a Mullard 12AX7 short plate and Mullard long plate with it. The EF1 was excellent with Grados and Denon, Ultrasone and others, and since the EF5 is optimized for more current for the 30 ohm HE-5 it should still be a good match for those.
post #15 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
The EF1 was originally $399 and I felt it was worth the money, and sold my DV336i with $120 tubes after I got the EF1. At $299 I was telling everyone to get one. Now my EF2 sounds about as good but with less power for only $189, making it a steal. Anyways, I will be trying the EF5 very soon (on the way) and I have no doubt that it will be a winner if it is even better than the EF1. I'll also be able to try a Siemens ECC82, a Mullard 12AX7 short plate and Mullard long plate with it. The EF1 was excellent with Grados and Denon, Ultrasone and others, and since the EF5 is optimized for more current for the 30 ohm HE-5 it should still be a good match for those.
I have the EF1 on hand and the EF5 just arrived so I can evaluate tonight. I agree with you that the EF1 is fantastic and it sounded awesome driving the HE5 (or rather the HE5 sounded awesome driven by the EF1). If the EF5 is even better, then the setup will be seriously top notch. Tonight will be fun!
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