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DNA Sonett, WA6 SE or MAD Ear+HD for Grado?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

I'm considering buying one of these amps for the Grado PS1000. Has anyone heard or compared them with the PS1000, GS1000 or HF2? Does any one of these amps sound more "tubey" with Grado's than the other? I mention this because an overly "warm", "lush", "thick", "syrupy", "tubey" sound from a tube amp is not really what I'm looking for.  

 

For the more technically minded of you, the DNA Sonett produces a maximum of 62mW into 32 ohms, the WA6 SE produces a maximum of 2000mW and the MAD Ear+HD produces a maximum of 100mW into the same load. Is this an important factor to consider when comparing these three amps, given that Grado's are such sensitive and efficient headphones?

 

Finally, which of these three gives the most bang for your buck? The DNA Sonett costs $1200 USD, the WA6 SE $1050 USD and the MAD Ear+HD costs $700 USD ($1070 USD with upgrades).

 

Any help with my decision would be greatly appreciated and yes, I have already searched the forum threads. smile.gif

 

Thanks.


Edited by bumblingbooby - 4/18/11 at 7:40am
post #2 of 13

There's an in-depth review of the PS1000 with the MAD amp here:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/538081/grado-ps-1000-mapletree-audio-ear-hd-centrance-dacport-xonar-st-impressions

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks and yes I'm aware of that favourable review. I'm also aware of the MAD Ear+HD's reputation for having synergy with Grado's in general and the RS1 in particular. I've read-up on these three amps in the forum threads but I suppose I'm trying to find some comparative impressions from people who have heard more than one and ideally with the PS1000, but I'd settle for impressions involving the GS1000 and HF2. 

 

The other query I have is how well the DNA Sonett compares to the other two amps from a price/performance perspective. Does it improve upon the performance of the MAD Ear+HD and is it worth a few hundred dollars more? Or would the WA6 SE be better value for money if I was prepared to pay over a grand? 

 

 


Edited by bumblingbooby - 4/19/11 at 6:14am
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

Bump with new and improved thread title and OP.

post #5 of 13
Bar none...the absolute best amp with Grados (especially the RS1/RS1i) is the MAD Ear+HD that I've ever heard. biggrin.gif
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Now that's what I call a ringing endorsement! smile.gif Have you heard the other amps with Grado's as well?

post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblingbooby View Post

Now that's what I call a ringing endorsement! smile.gif Have you heard the other amps with Grado's as well?


LoL...I've heard more than a dozen....from the PA2V2 up to a 3 channel B22. Nothing came back as impressive.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

Having taken a peek at your profile, I don't doubt you for a minute. wink.gif What do you prefer about the MAD Ear+HD compared to the other amps that you've tried with Grado's? 

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblingbooby View Post

Having taken a peek at your profile, I don't doubt you for a minute. wink.gif What do you prefer about the MAD Ear+HD compared to the other amps that you've tried with Grado's? 


I found that the MAD Ear+HD is a very tubey tube amp (nice and warm with good and full body to the sound). As the RS1s (like all Grados I guess) can come off a bit bright and sizzly, I found this pairing ideal with the RS1s. As well, they just came alive with great bass/mid energy and treble that wasn't screechy in anyway. Very musical combination that I was unable to reproduce fully with any other amp that I tried.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

Ah, I was wondering about that. The synergy of the MAD Ear+HD with the RS1 is legendary but the PS1000 is a different sounding Grado. I find the PS1000 smoother and more refined than the RS1, with a flatter midrange and more bass presence. I wonder whether the PS1000 would synergise as well with the MAD Ear+HD? 

 

I really enjoy the extended, sparkling highs of the PS1000 and don't find them at all harsh or peaky. It might not benefit from a "tubey" treatment as its sound signature is smooth and warm enough to my ears as is. Have you heard the PS1000 with the MAD Ear+HD by any chance?

 

  

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblingbooby View Post

Ah, I was wondering about that. The synergy of the MAD Ear+HD with the RS1 is legendary but the PS1000 is a different sounding Grado. I find the PS1000 smoother and more refined than the RS1, with a flatter midrange and more bass presence. I wonder whether the PS1000 would synergise as well with the MAD Ear+HD? 

 

I really enjoy the extended, sparkling highs of the PS1000 and don't find them at all harsh or peaky. It might not benefit from a "tubey" treatment as its sound signature is smooth and warm enough to my ears as is. Have you heard the PS1000 with the MAD Ear+HD by any chance?

 

  


I have heard the PS1000 on several occasions, but unfortunately not on the MAD Ear+HD. Funny enough, I did hear the PS1000 this afternoon on a Peachtree Nova. I'm still not impressed with these headphones. $1700 for a "U" shaped presentation with no sub-bass to speak of? IMO, the best Grados in production are the RS1i and HF-2. Just my 2 cents...YMMV of course.

I do however, like the PS1000 more than the GS1000 FWIW.
Edited by MacedonianHero - 4/21/11 at 5:21pm
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

Well we all hear differently as they say. I like the RS1 but I hear it as having forward mids with the highs being more jagged than the PS1000. I also like the HF2 but its highs are rolled-off and it suffers from bass bloat. The PS1000 is an obvious improvement over both of those phones to my ears in refinement, clarity and soundstage. But as they also say, to each his own. smile.gif  

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblingbooby View Post

But as they also say, to each his own. smile.gif  


Exactly. smile.gif
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