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Audio-gd Master-5/6/8/9 balanced head amp/ preamp - Page 15

post #211 of 868

Thanks for your input Zenpunk.

 

It is difficult to choose an amp without auditioning it and feedback from comparisons is all I can go by. Hopefully I can pick an amp that matches my  listening and musical preferences.I am looking for an amp that is dynamic but also has that "blackness" during quiet passages. I am also looking for an amp that sounds clear and uncompressed,  Unfortunately it also has to do with the rest of the pieces of the puzzle; phones, Dac, tube selection, recording... I have been biased towards SS and the Audio Gd Phoenix and Master 5/6 series have been on my shortlist, but the more I hear about some tube amps the more I would like to listen to them.  Thanks to all on this thread for the input and hopefully I can return the favor in the future.

post #212 of 868
Thread Starter 

The real test will be with a speaker rig IMO. The air and 3D effect of my speaker rig makes the Master-5's qualities more apparent. I use the D7000 as well and while it sounds wonderful with the Master-5, my speaker rig has that much more realism and awe effect. My guess is that the added power filtering and supply of the Master-5 would be most evident in a quality speaker rig. With that, my speakers are not considered bright (like Thiel for instance), and as such, the neutrality (or lack of color) of the Master-5 is welcome.


Edited by tim3320070 - 3/10/12 at 4:16pm
post #213 of 868

Tim,

 

That would be something for me to consider. Thus far my speaker rig doubles as my Home theater setup and I dont have a dedicated stereo setup

 

It seems like you have or have had several Audio Gd products

 

What is your experience with purchasing from Audio Gd? Lead time? customer service if you have problems? They seem to offer excellent value products... As mentioned before, Phoenix was a product that I was interested in and from what I have heard the Master series outperforms it in every way.

 

Thus far the unknown of the ordering process has kept me from pulling the trigger on some of the items they have to offer.

post #214 of 868

Skylab put up a ranking of 22 solid amps a couple of years ago, and phoenix is on top of the list.  I bought one from audio-gd a while ago.  I have never had any problem with it, still have it.  It is excellent for HD650, HD800 and HE5, but only marginal for HE6.  I moved to a WA22 last year, and found myself prefer it for my HD800.  For HD650, however, it is a toss up between phoenix and WA22.  I have never heard a master 5 or 6, but I have confidence in audio-gd products based on my experience with phoenix.  I also find phoenix to be an excellent pre-amp (later I found that the designer of the phoenix commented that phoenix is better as a pre-amp). 

 

By the way I have a brand new HE 5LE just received from head-direct as an replacement of my HE5, which cracked several weeks ago.  I am planning to sell the HE 5LE, because I have an HE6 now.  If anybody is intrested in a HE 5LE, please PM me.  Little dot VI+ seems to be an interesting amp, but whether it has enough power to drive HE6 is uncertain based on mixed impressions from different users.    

post #215 of 868


 

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 lead times according to other posts here on headfi, but recently purchased a Lyr to keep me entertained if wait is the only negative

 



Audio-gd have been surprisingly good to deal with. Emails get answered quickly by Sai or Kingwa himself, never had a problem with a product. For example I forgot to ask for the OCC wire in my Master 5 and I emailed them the day they were shipping it out and asked if it was too late. They said no problem, re-wired it and re burned it in for the same $30 cost.

I first bought a NFB-10SE (now that is an insane unit for the $500 promo)

then bought the ref 7.1, then M5 all with in 3 months, so yes I was impressed by the service and of course their products. One small thing, the units all were a touch dirty when unwrapped. A bit disappointing, they couldn't wipe it first but no bother, just wiped it off my self.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonlereux View Post

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!! 


Your welcome Jonlerux. I understand it is hard when you can't audition something first. It makes it a very expensive hobby! 

For example, I wanted to try out a balanced DNA sonet which has a fabulous reputation, so I though I'd 'upgrade' from the LD mk6+. So a bought a near new one with $200 upgraded tubes. Tried it out and there was just no comparison. The LD outclassed it in every way. I really wanted the Sonet to win but it was clear on the first listen. The LD's image was far more coherent, compose, 3D and stable. It had a blacker background, tighter deeper bass, better decay and more detail. Basically a overall sense of clarity, fidelity and authority. As a result I packed it up and put it up for sale all within a week. Normally I wouldn't sell an amp so quickly without spending a good amount of time with it but there was no point - it wasn't going to improve the amount it needed to stay. That was an expensive test.

 Don't get me wrong, the Sonet was a beautiful amp and it's reputation is deserved, however the LD is a couple of clear steps above it. 

 

I'm sure you will be very happy with the Oppo 95/Master 5 combo. If you need a good preamp, I would go with the Master5/6. In that department it is clearly better than the LD (& u get a remote!). Also the M5 sounds good with a single ended input whereas the LD is not impressive with RCA at all. It is a balanced Headphone amp - that's where it's strengths lie for sure. The M5 has far more versatility. As I said before, depends what your needs are. 

 

post #216 of 868
Quote:
Originally Posted by cacatalysis View Post

Skylab put up a ranking of 22 solid amps a couple of years ago, and phoenix is on top of the list.  I bought one from audio-gd a while ago.  I have never had any problem with it, still have it.  It is excellent for HD650, HD800 and HE5, but only marginal for HE6.  I moved to a WA22 last year, and found myself prefer it for my HD800.  For HD650, however, it is a toss up between phoenix and WA22.  I have never heard a master 5 or 6, but I have confidence in audio-gd products based on my experience with phoenix.  I also find phoenix to be an excellent pre-amp (later I found that the designer of the phoenix commented that phoenix is better as a pre-amp). 

 

By the way I have a brand new HE 5LE just received from head-direct as an replacement of my HE5, which cracked several weeks ago.  I am planning to sell the HE 5LE, because I have an HE6 now.  If anybody is intrested in a HE 5LE, please PM me.  Little dot VI+ seems to be an interesting amp, but whether it has enough power to drive HE6 is uncertain based on mixed impressions from different users.    



The LD actually has a gain switch and on high it is definitely powerful enough for the HE6, I have read several impressions. I don't know the exact power but it apparently has as much if not more power than the Master 6 on high gain. Power is one thing it has a lot of. Conversely on low gain, it handles my sensitive JH16's with no hiss - balanced.

If anyone needs the exact figures, you could find out with a quick email to LD & AGD. Unless someone has them??

post #217 of 868

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zenpunk View Post

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



They are expensive and rare but they can be found for less than that in like new condition as I did. I paid $300 for my 4x 5998's.

But yes you can pay up to and above $500 for 4.

post #218 of 868

My wallet saw this thread and is hiding somewhere.  Good quick review on the two amps CNuts.  Have you tried other dac with both of them?  Which one you think is more easier with lesser recordings?  Let say you have a wide range of phones from high to low inpedance and low to high sensitive phones, which amp would be better overall? 

post #219 of 868

Hi guys, one day I planning on getting Pre- Mono Master2 power amps, Which would be better? C1 Master or 5? . I know the Master 5 is balanced HP amp also and I would not mind using with my custom Miracle, but will there be any noticible differences in quality going with speaker rig?

post #220 of 868


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neogeo333 View Post

My wallet saw this thread and is hiding somewhere.  Good quick review on the two amps CNuts.  Have you tried other dac with both of them?  Which one you think is more easier with lesser recordings?  Let say you have a wide range of phones from high to low inpedance and low to high sensitive phones, which amp would be better overall? 



Sure, happy to help. Being in Aussie land it sucks having to buy something just to hear it so I'm more than happy to answer any questions while I have them both side by side. 

I briefly had my Antelope Zodiac+ & Ref 7.1 together and tested both before it was sold. The Ref 7.1 replaced it - It was far superior. The zodiac+ had amazing digital/clocking section and more features, however it fell short big time (in comparison) in the power supply and analogue sections. The Ref 7.1 is right up there in that regard.

The differences between the M5 & LD where still fundamentally the same, but with a less black background and less authority/weight. (There were more smaller differences but it's all of memory now.) The Zodiac+ btw is supposed to improve alot with a good psu.

 

As far as using a wide range of headphones, I would have to say the LD would be slightly more versatile due to the gain switch. I have used HD650, D2000, D7000, JH16, HD800 & it handled them all great. Ortho's wouldn't be a prob on high gain. 

The M5 has no gain switch and does all those cans no probs also. You would need the M6 for hard to drive orthos though. A M6 owner could answer if it drives sensitive customs without hiss, if it does then I would probable get the M6 over the M5.

 

Both amps are high fidelity and are very transparent, but if you were to feed them compressed MP3's the LD would be a little less ruthless. I have plenty of 320kps mp3's that get a listen on both amps no probs, but lossless is that much better.

 

Also I had the Yulong D100 (Awesome DAC for the money) but only with the LD. It sounded quite similar to the Zodiac+. LD mk6+ & D100 is a killer system for the money.

post #221 of 868


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maguire View Post

Hi guys, one day I planning on getting Pre- Mono Master2 power amps, Which would be better? C1 Master or 5? . I know the Master 5 is balanced HP amp also and I would not mind using with my custom Miracle, but will there be any noticible differences in quality going with speaker rig?



I think King-wa would be the best to answer that as I would be surprised if anyone had both the Master pre-amp & Master 5 as they are both pre/amps. Logic would tell me that if you wanted the best pre-amp performance then get the pure pre-amp, but if you ever wanted to use headphones, get the M5.

When u email Audio-gd, just put in the subject "For King-wa".

post #222 of 868
Quote:

Originally Posted by customNuts View Post

 

A M6 owner could answer if it drives sensitive customs without hiss, if it does then I would probable get the M6 over the M5.


Kingwa says on the Master-5/-6 page, that the Master-6 can't handle headphone loads lower than 20 Ohms.

If there is interest, I can try with my SM3 since it is very sensitive, but to me this has never been an issue, so I have never even thought of trying with iem's.

 

post #223 of 868
Quote:
Originally Posted by zenpunk View Post

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


so why i don't consider tube amp, hardware maybe not so expensive, but after you add up some good tubes , your cost will

be increased instantly, then why not make it simple, get a ss amp. 

 

post #224 of 868

Sounds like an email to Audio gd is in order. They have quite a few product that I have been intersted in, the Master 5/6 just being one of them. As for wallets, I think my wife hid mine bigsmile_face.gif

Thanks for all of the feedback customNuts,

This newbie appreciates all of the advice he can get!!

 

 

post #225 of 868

Yes please try it Lars

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