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Icon Audio HP8/MP 3 - Page 10

post #136 of 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by zigy626 View Post

Ok guys I finally went with the Lehmann Black Cube for my HD800's. Mainly because I read somewhere that Icon Audio HP8/MP3 is only designed in UK but is manufactured in China. Nothing against made in China, my Macbook air is made in China. But to be very frank how much of that £600 asking price for this amplifier is attributed to the fact that it has a designed in UK badge on it.

 

It's not so much the location where it was designed, but rather the people who designed it. Icon is a legit company who has been around for a while. They have a solid history behind them making tube related audiophile gear. So that quality shows in the HP8. Yes, you can find a Darkvoice or Little Dot or other quality amp designed in China, and those may be good options.... or you can go with a device made in Germany. Nothing wrong with that.

 

While we are at it though - you actually pay a lot more for the device being made in Germany as compared to China. I don't know about Lehmann at all, but Violectric is a German company who does everything local. They pay a lot more for their labor, their facilities, their taxes, etc. And that all gets passed down in the final price. Is it worth it? Depends. I love their gear, and I love the Icon HP8. The Violectric gear could be cheaper if it was outsourced to China for production. The Icon would be significantly more expensive if it was built in house at Icon HQ in the UK. 

post #137 of 249
Yeah I guess you are right but I wish they would be a bit more forthright with the information on their website. I wonder if someone would pay £600 for a hp8/mp3 if it had Made in China also printed on it. You can buy a Darkvoice tha337Se dual monaural for £730 because its made in China. And it's internals look like a piece of art (end to end wiring and no printed circuits). It's literally double the Amp when compared to HP8.
post #138 of 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by zigy626 View Post

Yeah I guess you are right but I wish they would be a bit more forthright with the information on their website. I wonder if someone would pay £600 for a hp8/mp3 if it had Made in China also printed on it. You can buy a Darkvoice tha337Se dual monaural for £730 because its made in China. And it's internals look like a piece of art (end to end wiring and no printed circuits). It's literally double the Amp when compared to HP8.

 

I tend to assume everything is made in China unless I hear otherwise. That's just the state of things right now. I don't necessarily love it, but then again I'm not sure I want to see the 30-60 percent price increase (or more) that would apply if things changed. It's a tough subject.

 

Regarding Darkvoice - I owned the 337SE for several years, and it was my reference amp. I like Darkvoice and respect their product, but I'd call the Icon HP8 mkII a superior amp in every way. The 337SE sure looks like a more intimidating piece of gear and as I said, it sounds great. But the HP8 is just a whole different league. 

 

HP8 is also hand wired point to point, and has really well designed output transformers which I assume is the secret to the excellent sound:

 

post #139 of 249

Just dropping in to say curiosity gets the best of me and I received my Icon Hp8 today, not sure why did I get another amp though tongue_smile.gif

 

Quite surprising to me, but the Hp8 mkii now received the "facelift" treatment like some of their recent statement gear (The La5 pre + 845 mono) - a copper plate on top. Also the paint is matte black instead of glossy black.

 

 

 

post #140 of 249

Nice! I actually do like the facelift - the original looks nice enough, but perhaps a little "plain", and sort of blends in compared to the many other fine tube amps out there. This new look is more distinctive. 

post #141 of 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by khaine1711 View Post

Just dropping in to say curiosity gets the best of me and I received my Icon Hp8 today, not sure why did I get another amp though tongue_smile.gif

 

Quite surprising to me, but the Hp8 mkii now received the "facelift" treatment like some of their recent statement gear (The La5 pre + 845 mono) - a copper plate on top. Also the paint is matte black instead of glossy black.

 

 

 

Congrats, looks really good. Let us know what you think after it has settled in.

Slightly OT, seen your Copland for sale on the Wam. What do you think of it powering the HE6?

post #142 of 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by alvin sawdust View Post

Congrats, looks really good. Let us know what you think after it has settled in.

Slightly OT, seen your Copland for sale on the Wam. What do you think of it powering the HE6?

Pretty much the best sound I heard with the he6. It makes me stop bugging dealers for demo speaker amp tongue_smile.gif. It does soundstage and piano "right", which are the most important requirements for me. Would have worked as my sole He6 rig if it's missus-approved though.

 

About the Icon, I think it sounds pretty nice, and the impedance switch has some interesting effect on the He6. The stock tube (the 12AX7 in particular) is crap though, and matched pair of 6sn7 is quite hard to source in the UK as I only have 14 days to decide whether to keep the Icon. 

post #143 of 249

khaine1711

 

Congratulations on your purchase and I hope that you decide to keep it. You're right in stating that the supplied valves are rubbish, so bang in some NOS Mullards instead. Steve from http://www.mullardmagic.co.uk/mullard/default.aspx has a large stock and is a nice guy to deal with, so search his website and email him if what you're after isn't listed, as he can normally acquire most NOS valves. 

 

Cheers,

Andy. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by khaine1711 View Post

Pretty much the best sound I heard with the he6. It makes me stop bugging dealers for demo speaker amp tongue_smile.gif. It does soundstage and piano "right", which are the most important requirements for me. Would have worked as my sole He6 rig if it's missus-approved though.

 

About the Icon, I think it sounds pretty nice, and the impedance switch has some interesting effect on the He6. The stock tube (the 12AX7 in particular) is crap though, and matched pair of 6sn7 is quite hard to source in the UK as I only have 14 days to decide whether to keep the Icon. 

post #144 of 249

Thanks for the recommendation Andy! He does have some nicely priced Mullard.

 

I'm still waiting for Icon's response about using 5751 instead of the 12ax7, and 7n7 (with adapter) instead of 6sn7. Quite safe substitution in most cases, but I don't wanna risk anything. Wonder if anyone has tried this?

post #145 of 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by khaine1711 View Post

Pretty much the best sound I heard with the he6. It makes me stop bugging dealers for demo speaker amp tongue_smile.gif. It does soundstage and piano "right", which are the most important requirements for me. Would have worked as my sole He6 rig if it's missus-approved though.

 

About the Icon, I think it sounds pretty nice, and the impedance switch has some interesting effect on the He6. The stock tube (the 12AX7 in particular) is crap though, and matched pair of 6sn7 is quite hard to source in the UK as I only have 14 days to decide whether to keep the Icon. 

Shame the Copland has to go especially when you really like it so much. They have always, to my eyes, made beautiful gear. Before moving into computer audio I lusted for one of the older Copland cd players with the VRDS transport. Anyway sorry for going OT.

 

Does the HP8 have sufficient juice for the HE6?

post #146 of 249

I'd like to hear it from the horses mouth, but I suspect the HE-6 is probably being underpowered by the HP8. Probably gets decently loud but doesn't have the same level of drive and control as with the big amp. Just guessing though.

 

And I have to disagree with you all about the stock tubes being terrible. They aren't amazing, but I've heard far worse. 

post #147 of 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by alvin sawdust View Post

Shame the Copland has to go especially when you really like it so much. They have always, to my eyes, made beautiful gear. Before moving into computer audio I lusted for one of the older Copland cd players with the VRDS transport. Anyway sorry for going OT.

Does the HP8 have sufficient juice for the HE6?

I'm a fan of Copland gear too, and Danish stuff in general. Hopefully a few years into the future, I can afford a s/h Copland 506 and the matching preamp.

I've heard from Icon today, and they call the current HP8 Mk2.2; which is the same as the MkII, just different look together with the stereo/mono and the loop out. Didn't get approval on using 5751 and 7n7 though =p.

The stock valve isnt as bad as some Chinese gears - Mingda and Darkvoice comes to mind; but then it still hinders the Hp8 a lot - and I think they will sell a lot better if one was to put in some NOS valves (hopefully) for the demo unit at their HQ. With the stock valve, the sound is kinda tense and flat/congested. Also there's some weird tonal issue with piano. I've put in a few 12AX7 (left over from the Copland) and it becomes much better. Still waiting for some NOS 6SN7 to arrive though, quite hard to source them locally here in a timely manner.

About the He6, with a standard 2.5V rms source, my comfortable listening position is around 9-11 o'clock for rock/metal, and slightly higher for classical/dsd. If I change the source voltage to 1.25, I'll need to crank up quite a bit. Hard to say about the "juice" part, ime the hd800 and the he6 scale pretty high, so it depends on what is the best amp you've tried/heard. At least the Hp8 doesn't clip/distort on some difficult classical stuff that I usually listen to. Of course it can't really compete with the Copland, or a few other speaker amp that I've used, but it's quite formidable that this tiny amp doesn't clip.

I'm curious on how it fares against similar priced amp though, in particular the Little dot mkvi; quite tempting to grab the one in classified to compare.
post #148 of 249

Soren Mac Larsen, chief designer of some of my favorite Copland gear, is now designing for Lead Audio/Northern Fidelity. I've got a nifty DAC/headphone amp of theirs in for review, and it seems promising so far. 

 

I'm glad to hear Icon threw in a loop out. Makes the devices more versatile, and easier to integrate into some systems. Good call. 

post #149 of 249

I officially have an HP8 on order with Music Direct.  Hopefully some more people will follow soon.

 

I have something else in the wings amp-wise that's coming soon as well, but I wanted to make use of my 6SN7 collection and this seemed like a great way to do it.  All of my other new/existing amps don't use this tube now.

 

I pinged Icon with a few fairly technical questions and ended up having them forwarded to David Shaw himself to answer.  On a Sunday no less.  :)  Great guy all around.  He told me he sees no problem using the 5751 in the amp even though it isn't "officially" approved by Icon.  The only point of concern I had was a slightly higher heater current draw vs. the 12AX7 and David assured me it wouldn't be a problem.  So owners wanting to try out the 5751 should be able to do so without concern.

 

I'm looking forward to getting the amp.

post #150 of 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xcalibur255 View Post

I officially have an HP8 on order with Music Direct.  Hopefully some more people will follow soon.

 

I have something else in the wings amp-wise that's coming soon as well, but I wanted to make use of my 6SN7 collection and this seemed like a great way to do it.  All of my other new/existing amps don't use this tube now.

 

I pinged Icon with a few fairly technical questions and ended up having them forwarded to David Shaw himself to answer.  On a Sunday no less.  :)  Great guy all around.  He told me he sees no problem using the 5751 in the amp even though it isn't "officially" approved by Icon.  The only point of concern I had was a slightly higher heater current draw vs. the 12AX7 and David assured me it wouldn't be a problem.  So owners wanting to try out the 5751 should be able to do so without concern.

 

I'm looking forward to getting the amp.

Weird, I usually get a salesman who advised against anything but the stock 6SN7 + Ecc83. That said I've been using 5751 in the Icon for a while now without prior approval. I heard from someone in Spain that you can actually use 12AU7/ECC82 too.

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