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Newbie Amp Decision

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone! Been reading all through this forum and there is a ton of great info here! So I have a question. I am looking to expand my equipment range with a tube amp. Looking to stay around the $200 mark give or take. Lets see, Music preference would mainly be Trance and Electronic music, but not limited to just that, also Rock from classic to modern, light to heavy, Jazz, Big Band and Classical. So all over the place there. Equipment I have, Cans: Grado SR80i's and (Don't Laugh) Razer Orcas. Also have a Fiio D7 I use. Source: PC using mainly 320 MP3 or Zune for on the go.


So why tube amp? As long as I have enjoyed music I have always wanted one, I want to hear that "tube sound"


So in my reading I decided to start with a cheaper hybrid amp. Options I am considering are:



Item picture

Fournier HTA-1 Tube Headphone Amplifier


Item picture

Little Dot I+ Hybrid Tube Transistor Amp Amplifier!


Product Details

Hi-Fi Man - EF2A - Tube USB DAC /Headphone Amp


I also plan in the future to invest in some nicer cans (around the $300 or less mark - AKG 701's?)


Thanks everyone for giving this a read!  k701smile.gif

post #2 of 5

When I first got into this hobby, like you I also wanted a Tube amp. So after much research I went with the Little Dot MKIII. The reason I chose that amp was that I had high impedance Beyerdynamic DT990's and they greatly benefit from a OTL Tube amp. Now, with that being said, I would not recommend you getting a MKIII, not at least at this point because it does not perform well with the low impedance Grados. Out of the 3 amps you have posted, I have heard the 1+ and can say for a fact that it has great synergy with the Grados. The problem is that if and when you upgrade your cans, if they are fairly high impedance cans, the 1+ is not necessarily going to be your best choice since as I mentioned before, it works best with low impedance/high current cans. Hopefully I havent confused you too much!

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Nope, I understand exactly what you are saying. I am glad to hear the 1+ preforms well with the Grados. Correct me if I am wrong on this, I was leaning more to the hybrid amps because I understand it to provide a grater bass response at a lower price point. I am a car audio guy first and thus a bass head of sorts too biggrin.gif. So I don't want to loose any bass as that is important to my musical taste. The MKIII is tube only correct? But I am rambling now. lol. If i were to upgrade my cans I would likely stick with a low impedance set (something possible from the AKG line) I read project86's Review of the HTA-1 and I like what I read. I need to track down a few reviews for the Dot 1+ as it is second place so far.


Thanks for the reply!

post #4 of 5

If you are using fiio e7 as a source, you'll need(well maybe not need but want) the fiio l7 to bypass the internal amp on the e7, but It's not quite out yet


most people go with the fiio e9 to get more out of their e7 now rather than waiting

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
I did consider the E9 as the amp I just really want a tube amp. When I got the E7 I was planing on using it more mobile at work, but don't really use it that much on the go anymore and want more at home. So I don't really need to use the E7 at all. I jave a friend that wants to buy it from me. I was actually thinking of the HTA-1 with the dac but its a bit over the $200 mark or the hifiman has a onbord dac to.
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