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Audio-gd Master-5/6/8/9 balanced head amp/ preamp - Page 14

post #196 of 868

 

Initial impression: 
 
i had owned phoenix for 1 week and there is comparsion.
outlook - both design are ugly. if you like art deco, high tech design, need to stay away from audio-gd.
body weight : both are very very heavy.
temp: for 4 hours burn in , master 6 has only a nearly cool hand feel , phoenix temp is like a heater .
hard to bear in summer time without air-con.
 
in this thread , what worried me at the beginning is it is too powerful to drive dt880(250 ohm) and es10. 
but the fact is master 6 
can drive  those can at 17/70 for 880, 08/90 for es10 , let my pair of ear on easy. 
 
now i only have single end and this beast only had 200 hrs burn-in ( i pushed too hard to kingwa to deliever it
to me for my annual leave entertainment, so kingwa asked me to keep burning in at home).
so initial impression is not accurated. but comparing with phoenix 1 week burn in, 
more neutral, more more black background, very transparent, and very detailed, and very pushing power. 
 
yes, not smooth enough, i think after 300 - 500 hours, let's see how it will be. will give more 
impression after few weeks time. 
 
i am planning to get IBASSO DX100 as transport and analog line-out directly to 6. because this new toy 
has es9018 dac.
or keep waiting for cd7 
please give some ideas.  thank you.
post #197 of 868

Would love to hear more comparisons of the Ref 5 with your Little Dot MK VI once the Ref 5 has had its burn in. Audio Gd gear tend to need at least 500 hours of burn-in before the sound really stabilizes imo.

post #198 of 868

I am also interested in the comparison between the reference 5 and Little dot MKVI. Also, what was your experience ordering from Audio Gd? I have been hesitant ordering from them due to the long leadtimes according to other posts here on headfi, but recently purchased a Lyr to keep me entertained if wait is the only negative

 

post #199 of 868


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarknightDK View Post

Would love to hear more comparisons of the Ref 5 with your Little Dot MK VI once the Ref 5 has had its burn in. Audio Gd gear tend to need at least 500 hours of burn-in before the sound really stabilizes imo.



 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonlereux View Post

I am also interested in the comparison between the reference 5 and Little dot MKVI. Also, what was your experience ordering from Audio Gd? I have been hesitant ordering from them due to the long leadtimes according to other posts here on headfi, but recently purchased a Lyr to keep me entertained if wait is the only negative

 


 

 

Do you guys mean Master 5?? As a few people have asked me already, I'll post a quick comparison between my Master 5 (M5) and my Little dot Mk6+ (LD).

First a bit of background on the setup:

I used the Ref 7.1 (8xPCM1704U-K) as the source for both.

The M5 used the Acss connection & the LD had my silver/cotton xlr IC's so I could use both amps at once and switch between them quickly. (When I switched between stock acss cables & my silver xlr's whilst using the M5/Ref7.1 combo, there was almost no difference between them.)

Also the LD has some of the best tubes you can get in it. Tungsol 5998 power tubes and Sylvania Bad Boy's.

Both using balanced modded D7000. (awesome synergy btw)

LD is fully burnt in, M5 has about 150hrs, Ref 7.1 has about 300hrs. Also my M5 & Ref7.1 are re-cabled with DHC occ copper ($30 upgrade each)

 

Ok... There is not a huge difference, but it's there. The LD as expected has a tube presentation. So it's smoother, a touch warmer. There is also a little less definition/smearing in the bass. The bass is also a bit bigger in the LD.

The M5 is more holographic/3D more air, more extended at both ends, more bass detail and a tiny bit more detail overall. More neutral over all. Both have awesome deep tight bass). 

The M5 is however more grainy/less smooth.

 

Now with the M5 not being burned in completely yet, (neither is the ref7.1 but thats irrelevant for this comparison) so that should smooth out a touch. Also I have to say these differences are TINY and resulted from dissecting the sounds as much as I could over lengthy A B comparisons (just switching the headphone from one to the other) and the liquidity and tube warmth of the LD is great & probably preferable to some. So at the moment, if I had to put a figure on it, the LD is 95% at the level of the M5 performance. With custom ACCS cables and complete burn-in, The M5 should pull ahead a little more. 

 

Also the M5 has WAY more functions with an awesome preamp and LOADS of inputs/outputs.

The LD can't be used with a single ended DAC as it sounds terrible with out a balanced signal. So it depends on what you prefer, your needs and what u want to spend.

 

The LD is by far the better value imo at about $700 cheaper or $400-$500 if you factor in excellent tubes. In saying that, both are awesome buys for the money. I'm trying to decide on which to sell - I guess it will be the LD as the M5 is slightly the better performer but I just can't bring my self too.

 

Both are simply world class balanced amps IMHO.  I hope that helps.

 


Edited by customNuts - 4/5/12 at 1:54am
post #200 of 868

Thanks for the comparison customNuts. I wish more members gave A/B comparisons between amps to give a reference point of performance. I would like to use the Master 5 as a preamp and headphone amp.  My source will be an Oppo 95 Balanced out into the Master 5 balanced input.

It is also interesting to see the value of the Little Dot as a headphone amp as well. I was interested in several tube amps; Woo audio, Decware, Rays Samuels Raptor, and never considered the Little Dot tube amps. 

I may be interested if you sell it ....

Again, thanks for the great comparison!! 

post #201 of 868
Quote:
Originally Posted by colour97 View Post

 

Initial impression: 
 
i had owned phoenix for 1 week and there is comparsion.
outlook - both design are ugly. if you like art deco, high tech design, need to stay away from audio-gd.
body weight : both are very very heavy.
temp: for 4 hours burn in , master 6 has only a nearly cool hand feel , phoenix temp is like a heater .
hard to bear in summer time without air-con.
 
in this thread , what worried me at the beginning is it is too powerful to drive dt880(250 ohm) and es10. 
but the fact is master 6 
can drive  those can at 17/70 for 880, 08/90 for es10 , let my pair of ear on easy. 
 
now i only have single end and this beast only had 200 hrs burn-in ( i pushed too hard to kingwa to deliever it
to me for my annual leave entertainment, so kingwa asked me to keep burning in at home).
so initial impression is not accurated. but comparing with phoenix 1 week burn in, 
more neutral, more more black background, very transparent, and very detailed, and very pushing power. 
 
yes, not smooth enough, i think after 300 - 500 hours, let's see how it will be. will give more 
impression after few weeks time. 
 
i am planning to get IBASSO DX100 as transport and analog line-out directly to 6. because this new toy 
has es9018 dac.
or keep waiting for cd7 
please give some ideas.  thank you.

I am using an Oppo BDP95 as a source and could not be happier. USB inputs allow the use of an external harddrive, flash drive or you can also stream via network. currently listening to 24/192K Flac files via thumb drive and performance is amazing. Plays SACD, DVD audio, and pretty much any format you can input.

 

I purchased it after a disappointing audition of a Cambridge Audio Dac magic plus. I ended up sending the CA Dac magic back due to several issues and couldnt be happier I did.

 

 

post #202 of 868

Thanks for your impressions customNuts. It was helpful. I'm actually quite surprised that the Little Dot Mk VI+ is almost as good at the Master 5 at this point. The MkVI+ is quite a steal at that price and represents great value. I suppose the gap may widen after another 300+ hours of burn-in with the Master 5, as with all Audio GD gear, they require a lot of burn-in before the sound really stabilizes. 

post #203 of 868

Considering that the few people on this forum who had the chance to compare the LD MKV+ directly to the Woo Audio WA22, WA5 and BA in most case preferred the LD I am surprised the Audio GD performed that well. Of course the  headphones and the rest of the equipment used will  affect the final sound ( and that without taking into account people's different tastes)

post #204 of 868
Quote:
Originally Posted by zenpunk View Post

Considering that the few people on this forum who had the chance to compare the LD MKV+ directly to the Woo Audio WA22, WA5 and BA in most case preferred the LD I am surprised the Audio GD performed that well. Of course the  headphones and the rest of the equipment used will  affect the final sound ( and that without taking into account people's different tastes)



I don't know why you are surprised. The Phoenix is still regarded as one of the best SS amps you can get and the Master-5/6 is better than the Phoenix.

I have the Master-6 for about 10 days now and it is superb with T1's, LCD-2's and the HE-6.

post #205 of 868
Quote:
Originally Posted by zenpunk View Post

Considering that the few people on this forum who had the chance to compare the LD MKV+ directly to the Woo Audio WA22, WA5 and BA in most case preferred the LD I am surprised the Audio GD performed that well. Of course the  headphones and the rest of the equipment used will  affect the final sound ( and that without taking into account people's different tastes)



My inital thoughts were I would prefer a solid state amp as I shopped around. I had never considered a LD MK VI. what are your experiences with the LD compared to some of your SS amps for instance? I am using HD 650's but my thoughts are leaning towards Planars of some sort...

 

post #206 of 868

To be honest the HD650 (balanced) is the only headphone I didn't like through the LD MKVI+ but if going planar (I only owned HE-500 and HE-6) the LD is a great match. The problem with tube is you will likely spend quite a bit more on tube upgrade and it is not  very green/efficient. I only briefly listened to ref7 and Phoenix at meets and it sounded good but nothing special.

I am not one of those who believe amps or DACs (if properly designed) make a massive difference, improvements are usually very subtle. I previously owned a Meier Concerto and was surprised by how much better the LD MKVI+ was.

If looking for a excellent ss amp I would probably consider something like the Apex Arete rather than any of the Audio GD stuff.

post #207 of 868
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarknightDK View Post

Thanks for your impressions customNuts. It was helpful. I'm actually quite surprised that the Little Dot Mk VI+ is almost as good at the Master 5 at this point. The MkVI+ is quite a steal at that price and represents great value. I suppose the gap may widen after another 300+ hours of burn-in with the Master 5, as with all Audio GD gear, they require a lot of burn-in before the sound really stabilizes. 

Agree that this is a little surprising, but this is or course with upgraded tubes in the LD Mk6+ he says.
 

 

post #208 of 868

Those Tung-Sol 5998 have become extremely hard to find those days and two matched pairs will cost up to $500. frown.gif

post #209 of 868
Quote:
Originally Posted by zenpunk View Post

To be honest the HD650 (balanced) is the only headphone I didn't like through the LD MKVI+ but if going planar (I only owned HE-500 and HE-6) the LD is a great match. The problem with tube is you will likely spend quite a bit more on tube upgrade and it is not  very green/efficient. I only briefly listened to ref7 and Phoenix at meets and it sounded good but nothing special.

I am not one of those who believe amps or DACs (if properly designed) make a massive difference, improvements are usually very subtle. I previously owned a Meier Concerto and was surprised by how much better the LD MKVI+ was.

If looking for a excellent ss amp I would probably consider something like the Apex Arete rather than any of the Audio GD stuff.

Thanks for the response.I am looking at the HE5LE headphones for my next pair and have heard they are hard to drive. I initially thought about purchasing a Darkvoice 337 instead of the Lyr ,but my thoughts were that the Lyr would drive the HE5Le's better. The Master 5 and 6 looked like a good match for them as well however comparisons with the higher end Audio Gd products are hard to come by. I prefer to see comparisons between two amps because of the subtle differences between two amps can be very small. Its interesting to hear that the LD easily outperforms the Meier.

 

post #210 of 868

I always tried to avoid tubes amps but after listening the a Darkvoice 337SE I was hooked biggrin.gif. Many people seem happy with Lyr +HE-6 so you should have no problem with it but I doubt it will be as transparent and resolving as the Master5/6 or LD MKV+. I don't believe balanced amp are inherently superior to SE but the LD seem to offer the best SQ for the money and happened to be balanced. It drives the HE-6 easily on high gain so should sound great with the HE5-LE. I am sure the Master 6 will also sound great and you avoid the risk of tube upgraditiswink.gif


Edited by zenpunk - 3/10/12 at 1:04pm
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