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Gilmore Lite Amp Owners Unite! - Page 2

post #16 of 80
My GLite is the best audio purchase that I ever made. I really want to obtain a DPS somehow...
post #17 of 80
Thread Starter 
I have amended the title of the initial post, so that we can now consider it the 'official' Gilmore Lite appreciation thread. Feel free to discuss what you appreciate about this effective little amp here. In particular, it is always appreciated to hear about the headphones, sources and other gear that compliment the Gilmore Lite (and optional DPS) best. Waxing poetic about Gilmore Lite kin such as the Headamp GS-1 and many permutations of the Kevin Gilmore Dynalo board-based amps is also appreciated.
post #18 of 80
Add me to the list! I've got one of the limited black edition Gilmore Lites! I love this little amp and I don't think I'll get rid of it even if I decide to really move up the amp ladder. I think it pairs great with the HD650s. I've had this combo for years and it still makes me happy listening to it.
post #19 of 80
I have trouble understanding why people would consider this as not being good match with the HD650. Not only do they have enough power, they help out where the HD650 needs it IMO, in gaining clarity, speed, and decent high end extension... without boosting the bass in the process. Perhaps the discrepancies could be all due to the source...

What I especially love it with is my RS1 Classic with Flat pads. They bring it more attack, detail, and speed that the WA6 failed to deliver fully (in comparison, of course. WA6 is plenty good as well with it, just not as good). It pairs exclusively with GL now. With my HD650 and K701, they're swapped between the two amps depending on what type of sound I'm in the mood for (more smooth, open, organic WA6 or detail, clarity and speed of GL).
post #20 of 80
I've had probably 5-6 glites over the years. It is one of the best pairs with the hd650/600 ever. I use a black LE one right now!

Anyone know why they were disco'd?
post #21 of 80
I don't think Justin have given a specific reason. There's been few speculations though:

- Justin becoming too busy with portable amp venture and GS-1
- Necessary parts becoming increasingly difficult to acquire
- Justin developing a new amp in its price class

Or it could be combination of all of these factors, who knows. Either way, I believe it had a production run of around 8 years, which is great for any amp, and testament to its excellence.
post #22 of 80
Thread Starter 

I am now in possession of a well-loved pair of Sennheiser HD650's and very much love the combination. The Gilmore Lite does appear to inject a little sparkle into the music presentation. (I should say that the last time I heard these cans - belonging to Blastvegas - we were listening using a Woo Audio WA6. Definitely a slightly darker, murkier beast.) I had long thought that the impedance rating of the HD600's and HD650's would be a 'mismatch' with the Gilmore Lite. But, it appears I was waaay off. I soon will have a pair of HD600's to try out with my rig and will certainly indicate the outcome of that particular marriage here. Much has been said about the HD600's being easier to 'power' using the GLite (vs. the HD650's, which have been said to be more amp-finicky). I can't wait to hear about that, first hand...


Edited by sampson_smith - 6/17/10 at 11:01pm
post #23 of 80

Yup, that was one of the cases where impedence mismatch thing didn't really seem to affect things overly much... at least on my end.  I had the HD650 matched with GLite for a short time, and it definitely had good synergy with each other as long as your source also matches well.  It does lack soundstaging and smoothness that an amp like WA6 would give, but I liked the GLite much better for all other sonical reasons.

 

One theoretical problem with the combo is that if one prefers to listen to HD650 at high volume, it's much more likely to clip than then a combo with better impedence match.  However, at safe volumes I don't think this should be an issue at all.

post #24 of 80
Thread Starter 

I am currently now using my Gilmore Lite + DPS with a pair of trusty HD600's and I CANNOT BELIEVE MY EARS. The pairing is the best (so far) that I have been able to come up with. I had previously been using HD650's with the GLite and found that they offered a better match than expected, but the ever-present veil of those particular Senn's prevented them from being 'all around' cans. With the HD600's, I am experiencing a new level of clarity - somewhat intrinsic to the HD580's/600's, I know - resolution, and utter smoothness. The soundstage is also very large compared to what I am used to.

 

Altogether, I am in a very nice place with my rig, right now. And I don't even have a good DAC in the chain yet. I will be sure to report on the synergy of the V-DAC in my system, when it arrives, in a week or two. Also, I cannot wait to be able to again afford a pair of HF-2's which, if I recall correctly, are a near-perfect partner for the GLite. Oh, the opportunities...


Edited by sampson_smith - 7/2/10 at 7:05am
post #25 of 80

I have been very happy with my Gilmore Lite and have tried it with a ton of headphones and various sources. Based on my experiences atleast, my favourites with the Gilmore Lite, they do great with Grado's upto the RS1. I didnt quite like em much with the GS1000, but to be honest I dont quite like the GS1k with anything anyway.

 

My Ultrasone's I would say sound the best with GLite, I tried the 680's with pricier amps and really didnt find anything I was missing as such. Same story with the 780. So if you are an Ultrasone fan check out Gilmore Lite, its good. Similar story for the Audio Technica lower-mid range A700/900/AD2000's. The Gilmore Lite does a nice job with those, but can tend to sound slightly thin. But man was I surprised when they could do a good job with my Beyer 990/600. I honestly was expecting a major struggle, but it sounds pretty darn good.

 

Really quite an all rounder ready to take on anything. A real workhorse of an amp, solid build quality and finish, and its amazing how small it is in person. There are some shortcomings, but these are obvious only when you A/B with higher end amps. Infact to be perfectly honest, I didnt feel like I needed to upgrade when I heard the SPL Auditor. Yes it was a bit fuller sounding but I didnt quite get the urge. I find the DPS to be waay overpriced at 299$ that Justin is selling em for right now, even if they are discontinued en all that, 299$ is quite a lot. At 199$ I wouldve picked one up without thinking twice. If it makes a real significant difference or not, I cant say.

post #26 of 80

I've had my Gilmore Lite+DPS for a while and it is, to me, the best amp I've heard yet under $600. I haven't heard every desktop amp out there but I have owned or still own the Headroom Micro Amp, the Millet SSHT, the LD MKIII. I have spent time with the Matrix M Stage, LD MKII and Auditor. Portable amps can't compete.

I just want to note that the DPS does make a nice difference than without it. I originally purchased my GL from Justin with the stock wall wart and later picked up the DPS from another Head-Fi'er. I can't say it's a night and day change, but I will say it's a significant improvement. Well worth the price I paid. Not as sure it's worth Justin's price but I feel it elevates the amp's performance and is worth street prices. EDIT: 7/11/10 - I have been thinking of trying the Sigma-22 with the GL to see what that will do and compare it to the DPS.

The GL is the closest I've come to a wire with gain in this category. Even though there is no gain selection, it's an extremely versatile amp. I've had IEMs, portables, full sized, closed, open, planar, dynamic, high/low sensitivity, high/low impedance headphones, cheap, expensive. Grado, Senn, Beyer, HiFi Man, AT, Shure, Denon, AKG, SkullCandy, and others. A lot of headphones have been plugged into my little GL and it's handled them.

No noise with high sensitivity phones. No strain with power hungry phones. It does everything with a very low sound floor that makes it a nice black background. That and the ample power makes many headphones sound effortless when played at even above moderate sound levels.

The GL is a very balanced amp that doesn't seem to color the music that other amp's I've heard can do. The amp is nicely refined and very well controlled.

I'll reiterate what several others have already said about the pairing with the Senn HD650, it's a great mating. Although that Senn was never to my taste, I finally thought I reached it's full potential with the 650/GL.

I think the K-70x is spectacular with the GL. Talk about detailed! And I still enjoy the music. But, hey, I'm a detail freak. :)

The HE-5LE, which has been said to be a difficult headphone, works very well with the amp. Still the best headphone I've owned. I do have to listen to it with the dial at about 12:00-12:30 for moderate levels. Although it does start to lose some of it's composure at very high listening levels past 3:30 on the volume knob.

The T1, on the other hand, is (one of) the best headphone(s) I've heard. I've had the good fortune (or a curse? :) ) to spend some time with the T1 and my Gilmore Lite. This is a spectacular headphone/amp combination. I listened to the T1 through two other amps for comparison. I think the GL was my favorite. What, I felt, a neutral paring!

The Denon D7000 was not my favorite headphone as it's too bass heavy for me. The GL did seem to tame and control the bass somewhat. Just not enough for me to like the headphone overall.

I had the Grado HF-2 for a while with this amp and although I felt the two worked well together, I didn't feel that they worked that much better than with the Headroom Micro I had. But I've felt that Grados are a bit more forgiving of amps than other headphones.

EDIT: 7/11/10 - I received the HD800 on the 9th and have spent the better part of two days listening to them. While I haven't had the opportunity yet to compare it to the T1 I can say the GL, again, works effortlessly with yet another headphone with this Senn. The GL really allows to HD800 to show off. More than just a few at the NJ meet really enjoyed the GL/HD800 pairing.

EDIT: 7/26/10 - The GL can't drive the HE-6

EDIT: 7/26/10 - I have now have the trio of the 840/M50/D1001 in my stable and each one of them sounds great with the GL. The thing it does best with the three is help control the bass better. This is especially important with the M50.

EDIT: 7/26/10 - I've had the opportunity to listen to the Asgard and don't feel the amp is close enough to the GL that I would pick one up.

So those are my musings on the GL. Is it the best amp ever? Probably not. Are there better amps? I'm sure there are at higher prices. Will I ever want to step up? Maybe. Who knows? The GL is serving me well right now. :)

Peace


Edited by baka1969 - 7/25/10 at 10:41pm
post #27 of 80

Just bought a G Lite and figured you guys would know of some good dac pairings. I have a uDac at the moment so I'll probably use that for a little while until I'm able to sell off some of my gear. I'm looking for a nice stand alone dac for about $200 (maybe up to $300 if there is a substantial difference). USB would be nice but not needed. I'm planning on purchasing it sometime within the next couple of months or more. The cans I'm going to be using with it are in my sig. Thanks!


Edited by NapalmK - 7/22/10 at 10:35am
post #28 of 80

For under $300, you'd be better off not buying anything and just sticking with the uDac. Almost everything in that price range will net you either little or no benefit in sound quality - in my experience, "sidegrading" within a price range has usually yielded little or no benefit sonically. If you want a real improvement in sound quality you need to budget substantially more than $300 and the minimum I'd submit might be something like the Pico DAC. I used my own Gilmore Lite with a Pico DAC at one point in time and found it to sound pretty good (though it's capable of sounding much better out of other sources). The Pico DAC was even on sale for 20% off last week which put it in your price range, did you miss the announcement?

 

You might find it worth your time to audition an Arcam rDac once they come out. Although it's outside your price range it has coaxial, optical, and USB, and because it's made by Arcam, it's almost guaranteed that you'll be able to find a local dealer - and one of the benefits of having a local dealer for anything shoud be obvious.


Edited by Asr - 7/22/10 at 11:06pm
post #29 of 80

Add me to the list of happy G Lite owners.  I lucked out and was able to snag a DPS when three of them suddenly became available from HeadAmp a couple of months ago.  The G Lite & DPS, along with a DacMagic and HD650, make up my main rig, and it's about as close to perfect as I can get without going into bankruptcy.

post #30 of 80

Quote:

Originally Posted by Asr View Post

For under $300, you'd be better off not buying anything and just sticking with the uDac. Almost everything in that price range will net you either little or no benefit in sound quality - in my experience, "sidegrading" within a price range has usually yielded little or no benefit sonically. If you want a real improvement in sound quality you need to budget substantially more than $300 and the minimum I'd submit might be something like the Pico DAC. I used my own Gilmore Lite with a Pico DAC at one point in time and found it to sound pretty good (though it's capable of sounding much better out of other sources). The Pico DAC was even on sale for 20% off last week which put it in your price range, did you miss the announcement?

 

You might find it worth your time to audition an Arcam rDac once they come out. Although it's outside your price range it has coaxial, optical, and USB, and because it's made by Arcam, it's almost guaranteed that you'll be able to find a local dealer - and one of the benefits of having a local dealer for anything shoud be obvious.

 

Thanks! That's what my wallet was hoping to hear. I guess I must've missed the sale though I wasn't in the market until a few days ago. I'll definitely give the Arcam rDac a look though the closest dealer is 4 hours away. I swear my area is like a deadzone for audio gear.

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