Originally Posted by Who?
Thanks for the extra information! This is very, very hard! I like how the ASL would be so different compared to the SS amp I already have. How would OTL add up to my HD 650? Is it really worth it? Also I am not planning to roll tubes right away so I am currently looking for out-of-the-box performance.
I think I am getting there! Within a week or so I would like to purchase a new amp, will be a nice present for christmas! (too bad I have to buy it myself)
OTL amps with the right tubes are reported to have a lovely warm sound. The ASL MKIII has the TC and OTL options both available which you might enjoy experimenting with. I only got to hear the ASL quite briefly so other head-fiers comments would be worth looking at. It definitely is a fantastic amp though and has a lovely pairing with the HD650, but you probably wont be too bowled over with the stock tubes and should budget for a decent pair of EL84s (such as the Gold Lion re-issue) and a 5751 tube for the stock 12ax7.
You might want to read Skylabs reviews of the Elekit, J. Sound Lab and Ming Da amps, all of which have a warm lush sound according to his impressions. The first two have an advantage in that the tubes are quite inexpensive so it might be a factor to consider if you are on a tight budget.