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Mini Review: PHENIX G3

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I got my PHENIX G3 today and I must say it sounds very good! It has an incredibly warm sound compared to my X-CanV8P. In comparison the X-CanV8P is rather sterile! As expected it did not fare well with my Grado's.

Onward to the impressions!!

Gear Used:
1)X-Can V8P (Line Out, Pre Out, DAC)
2) Audio-GD Roc
3) Custom UPOCC IC's


PART 1: The Sound

TREBLE:
This seems ultra smooth and almost kind of reminds me of a HD600's treble smoothness. Treble extension is decent and fairly detailed.

MIDRANGE:
The mids are incredibly lush and yet transparent. The mids sound very nice and seem to go well with guitars and vocals.

BASS:
The bass is very very impactful. It makes my 600Ohm DT880's have a nice thump and boom effect on certain music. Extension is good in the bass, but does not seem to go as low of my other amps. On lower impedance phones you get a nice increase in bass. My HD555's benefited from the bass as their bass is somewhat a little hidden.

SOUNDSTAGE:
The sound stage has good height, width, and depth. It's slightly smaller than the one from my V8P, but tiny compared to the cavernous one from the Roc.

DETAIL:
This amp seems to trade a lot of details for smoothness and musicality. Not a bad thing though, but a lot of micro details seem to be lost.

TONE:
The tone of this amp is: smooth, musical, lush, bassy, and very inviting.

PART 2: Headphone Impressions

DT880:
The DT880 600Ohm seems to do very very good with this amp. I hear no clipping and the richness of this amps midrange complements the analytical nature of the DT880. Also the treble on the DT880 600Ohm is very tame with this amp. The biggest improvement was the bass quantity/impact of the DT880. It went from thump to BOOM with this amp. I guarantee you'll love the combination.

HD600:
The HD600 becomes a very seductive mistress with this little amp. I guess you can say it's like a lovely woman is speaking very softly into your ear, and you just listen to her voice. The HD600 still retains is "veil" but gets added bass control and impact, and in my opinion it didn't need more impact. The mids sound very lush and seductive and the highs are recessed even further.

HD555:
Coming Soon

K702:
The K702 become very smooth and the treble emphasis was turned down a few notches. The mids also became more inviting and the bass made an appearance in a big way! Though the increased bass seemed to muddy the sound... One thing I noticed is the sound become slower and more relaxed. Though the overall sound was lacking and somewhat thin as the amp could not provide the current they craved.

UR40:
Coming Soon

SR-325IS:
The SR-325is's gained so much more bass, and it it didn't et muddy, in fact it sounded rather good with this little phone. Their treble prominence was pushed back and the mids thickened up considerably. Otherwise they didn't change anywhere else. Their sound signature was still there.



PART 3: Amp Comparisons
1) X-CanV8P
This amp is much warmer and but also more energetic than the X-Can. The X-Can sounds like it has not tubes in comparison to the G3 since the G3 is so lush sounding.

2) Audio-GD Roc
The G3 sounds toasty warm in contrast to the Roc's neutrality. Also the G3 is far more musical, but the Roc has a far larger soundstage. A;so the Roc has deeper bass and much higher treble.



PART 4: Conclusions
I believe this amp is a killer deal for those with high impedance phones as it can power many of them very very good. Not all low impedance phones sound good on this amp, but I'm sure some sound great.

Buy this amp for a taste of the otl tube sound.










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post #2 of 42
It sounds great as the partner with those high impedance Cans.
post #3 of 42
Could you describe the sound through K702 again when this amp has more than 100 hours of use? Don't know if burn in will improve, but...

Any possibility of tube swap impressions too?

I don't get the the "big bass" and "treble enfasis down" with the somewhat "thin" description.
post #4 of 42
Great review and thanks for the comparisons.
post #5 of 42
Thanks for the review. This sure sounds interesting.
post #6 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sganzerla View Post
Could you describe the sound through K702 again when this amp has more than 100 hours of use? Don't know if burn in will improve, but...

Any possibility of tube swap impressions too?

I don't get the the "big bass" and "treble enfasis down" with the somewhat "thin" description.
I mean their is more bass with less treble, but the k702 sound very off on this amp. sure they have a fuller sound but something is missing and they have the hollow quality to them.

Yeah, I'm awaiting new tubes to come as we speak. So I'll do impressions then.

Also I don't believe in the burn in thing, it's all a myth to me.
post #7 of 42
Thanks for sharing your impressions Zombie_X.
I've never tried a tube amp, and probably this will be my first choice when I'll decide to buy one.
OT: which amp do you prefer with your K702? Roc or X-can?
post #8 of 42
Hey Zombie_X dont know if I read your review right but from your review you seem to give the impression that the phenix and the x-can are not too far apart. If thats the case then with what phones, because i would have thought the x-can being a hybrid would be alot better than the OTL phenix with low impedance phones like the grados.
post #9 of 42
Thanks for the write up Zombie_X, keen to see how your tuberolling goes.
post #10 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by realmassy View Post
Thanks for sharing your impressions Zombie_X.
I've never tried a tube amp, and probably this will be my first choice when I'll decide to buy one.
OT: which amp do you prefer with your K702? Roc or X-can?
The Roc gives them a bit more oomph IMO and gives them more bottom end. The X-CanV8P warms up the sound and makes them more musical. Overall I believe the Roc powers them better.
post #11 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcoops16 View Post
Hey Zombie_X dont know if I read your review right but from your review you seem to give the impression that the phenix and the x-can are not too far apart. If thats the case then with what phones, because i would have thought the x-can being a hybrid would be alot better than the OTL phenix with low impedance phones like the grados.
The PHENIX does an okay job with my lower impedance stuff, but you definitely tell it's not pumping all the juice they need. And yeah the X-CanV8P is far better for lower Z phones, it just gives them much more current.

The best Amp I tried for lower Z stuff is my Roc, but that's in a different league.
post #12 of 42
very nice review, thanks
post #13 of 42
Thread Starter 
No probs, and I'm not too good at doing reviews. Hope it doesn't show too much.
post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombie_X View Post
The PHENIX does an okay job with my lower impedance stuff, but you definitely tell it's not pumping all the juice they need. And yeah the X-CanV8P is far better for lower Z phones, it just gives them much more current.

The best Amp I tried for lower Z stuff is my Roc, but that's in a different league.
Ok thanks for the reply
post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombie_X View Post
The Roc gives them a bit more oomph IMO and gives them more bottom end. The X-CanV8P warms up the sound and makes them more musical. Overall I believe the Roc powers them better.
Thanks for your reply, Zombie_X
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