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Looking for an afordable amp, please help - Page 2

post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by loganirado View Post

I'm keeping contact with Gary, been asking some questions about this amp and stuff. I really might get one of those, but for you guys who own the PA2V2, do you have any idea how does it compare to Bravo amps, such as Valve Class A?


Let me just preface my comments by stating that I have not heard the Bravo, and my PA2V2 has yet to arrive. As a Beyer user (DT 880), I have spent a fair number of months trying to read up on the relative pros and cons of using tube amps instead of SS.

 

I'm also a gamer, so my 880 sees regular use with games, music, and the occasional movie.

 

Based on what I've read, tube amps sound pleasant due to "even order harmonic distortion". I have no clue what that means from first-hand experience, and I can't define it, but I have also heard it said that such harmonic distortion isn't so great for games. This seems to make sense: positional audio is key (even in a single player game), and any distortion may mess that kind of stuff up. I also think that explosions will sound odd through tubes, and uh...that's not what I'd want in a game. For that reason, I intend to continue going SS with my DT 880, at least as far as games are concerned.

post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 

Thanks Eric, I appreciate your comments. Sorry but what does SS means? In the end, what amp are you considering to purchase, to match yours DT880s for gaming?

post #18 of 28

loganirado: SS means "Solid State". The simplest/cheapest SS amps I can think of would be Gary's PA2V2, the famous CMoy (and all its variants, like the CMoyBB), and AMD Labs' Mini^3.

 

At the moment, I use a Maverick D1, it's a DAC/Amp that allows me to plug in my computer, CD player, Xbox 360 and iPod all at the same time. It retails for US$199, but I'm sure you can pick up a 2nd-hand unit for much less--I bought mine 2nd-hand for SG$ 220 (about US$167).

You'll find the official site here: http://www.mav-audio.com/

and a lengthy FAQ and Info thread right here http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/470639/maverick-audio-tubemagic-d1-dac-amp-condensed-faq-and-info-thread (maintained by _Spanky_)

 

The D1 has a USB input, TOSlink optical input, Coaxial optical input, RCA input, and a 1/4" input (on the front). On top of that, the device can act as a preamp, allowing you to send a Line Out signal via Tube Out or just regular Line Out.

 

It's *kind of* a SS amp. For headphones output and regular Line Out, all the circuitry used is SS. If you use the D1 as a preamp via the Tube Out, then it acts as a tube amp...but it's just 1 tube, and opinions on how "tubey" this config sounds are very varied.

 

The bottom-line regarding the D1 is that it's a great, value-for-money all-in-one. It won't be the last word in DAC technology or in amplification, but it's good enough for now, and it's definitely good enough for gaming, because as long as the sound isn't distorted and it doesn't distract me from the game, I'm usually more than engaged with the game itself.

 

By the way, what do you intend to game with? A console, or a PC, or a Mac?

post #19 of 28
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the explanation. I believe it took some of your time, I really appreciate it.

 

Mainly I use a console for gaming (PS3), sometimes I use the PC, but I'd say only 5% of the time.

 

So, let me see if I get this straight: SS amps (like like the one you have, the D1, "kinda" and the Cmoy or PA2V2) sounds better with games, while tube amps, like the Bravo doesn't, mainly due to the tubes thenselves?

 

This Maverick looks very pretty, by the way.

post #20 of 28

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by loganirado View Post

So, let me see if I get this straight: SS amps (like like the one you have, the D1, "kinda" and the Cmoy or PA2V2) sounds better with games, while tube amps, like the Bravo doesn't, mainly due to the tubes thenselves?

 


Basically, yeah. That's the advice I see given consistently, anyway. SS = multi-purpose, Tubes = music only.

 

Btw: for consoles such as PS3 and Xbox 360, you can output audio in analogue (i.e.: RCA cables) or digital/optical format (i.e.: TOSlink). While some DACs and DAC/Amps, like the Maverick D1, have Optical Inputs, these won't be usable with consoles. The reason for this is consoles tend to output 5.1, 7.1, etc surround sound via optical, but regular DACs don't handle that very well. As a result you'd want to either:

  1. Let the console decode/downmix/convert the audio into stereo RCA and use RCA cables with an amp
  2. Get the JVC SU-DH1 or Astro (which are the only 2 options I know of), which are designed to perform DAC functions for surround sound
post #21 of 28
Thread Starter 

Eric, so, if I purchase a mixamp, I should connect my PS3 to it using RCA cables instead of the optical cable? You know, in the PS3, you can choose whatever sound "quality" you want to send over the HDMI or optical audio exit, meaning you can choose 5.1, 7.1, DTS, 2.0, with lots of different frequencies (Hz),

 

I have a mixamp in my plans, so would I be OK using only that for gaming and purchasing a Bravo amp for music, or should I purchase a PA2V2 amp to enchance gaming further (connecting it together with the mixamp?), having in mind that my music listening experience wouldn't be the greatest one?

post #22 of 28
Sorry, I don't think I made myself clear on the Mixamp and SU-DH1. Those are the only 2 small, "gaming" amps I know of that decode surround sound from a PS3. For the Mixamp, just plug the optical in and configure the PS3 as necessary. This is based on what I've read, but if you search Head-Fi for either amp you'll find the relevant discussion threads.

Some forum members have also reported pairing the Mixamp and Audio Technica headphones you listed with success (for gaming). As the Audio Technica cans are low impedance, this is one of their advantages--they're easier to drive.

As for music, I'm afraid I really don't know how the Astro, JVC or Bravo perform from first hand experience. I also, unfortunately, don't know how the 2 gaming amps perform when daisy-chained with other amps. Sorry man.
post #23 of 28
Thread Starter 

Oh, you don't have to be sorry for that Eric, you've been really helpfull. Lets wait to see if someone else can help us with this question. I'll try to find more information on which amps go well with mixamp, for both music and gaming/movies.

post #24 of 28

You really should add the new released XU-3 tube amp/dac to your wishlist.

it's popular on fleabay. the sound it delivers is warm and transparent.

btw, only 120USD including shipping to US.

post #25 of 28
Thread Starter 


Hanks for your recommendation justin. I'll look into this amp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin520520 View Post

You really should add the new released XU-3 tube amp/dac to your wishlist.

it's popular on fleabay. the sound it delivers is warm and transparent.

btw, only 120USD including shipping to US.

post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by justin520520 View Post

You really should add the new released XU-3 tube amp/dac to your wishlist.

it's popular on fleabay. the sound it delivers is warm and transparent.

btw, only 120USD including shipping to US.


Justin, do you have the XU-3? Or the XU-7? I see you recommending both on a few threads recently.

post #27 of 28

Yes, I have both of them.if you have any question?


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric_C View Post




Justin, do you have the XU-3? Or the XU-7? I see you recommending both on a few threads recently.

post #28 of 28

XU-3 is typical tube amp, its sound is warm and juicy.

XU-7 is transistor amp, it deliers a sound with high definition and quick responsed.

hope my reply will be helpful.

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