Hi, just bought a new ms2i:) thinking of getting a desktop amp for it, do u guys reckon a tube amp or a solid state amp? I'm thinking of getting the burson ha-160 or little dot mkiii
Tubes work just fine with the Grados. In fact, the best sound I have heard with my MS2i or my woodied MS1s are tube amps. The need for current for grados is hugely overstated because they have a 32 ohm impedance. People seem to forget they are also very sensitive and require very little power to get loud. The Singlepower Extreme or PPX3, in particular, are awesome with grados. Despite being tube OTL designs, a supposed no no with low impedances, they deliver more than enough output power and sound quality well beyond any of the SS I owned.
The Singlepower Extreme, MPX3, PPX3 SLAM .... Mapleshade Ear+, Eddie Current Zana Deux, Sound Quest SQ-84 Integrated, Chinese amps like the old EL84 based Doge 6210 with a few mods etc... are highly preferable to any SS headamps I have owned or tried when using grados. Some of the hybrid amps are quite good too but in the end they dont have the full sound quality of an all tube amp. I experimented with almost every DIY hybrid around a couple years ago and while I really like most of them and they are great values ..... the pure tube amps are a level above them.
Tubes or hybrids worked best with Grados in my opinion ... then again I've totally turned my back on the Grado sound
But I distinctly remember tubes being more fun. I did try it on an ALO RX amp and it blew my mine, but that was like 500 bucks and it was made to be portable.
Find yourself a nice desktop amp.
The RS-1 has a sloppy, overblown bass in comparison to the MS2i and to much bass period for my taste. The lack of damping factor with an amp like the OTL PPX3 is not much of an issue with a headphone like the MS2i that has a tight controlled bass. The vintage of the PPX3 you had would make a difference too. The PPX3 SLAM version using 5687 output tubes that I referenced has fast, explosive bass with grados.
Interestingly, with my heavily modded Doge 6210 that is transformer coupled my main complaint is the 6210 has a dry, almost to contolled bass with the MS2i. The Ear + was nice with any of the grados I like. Sometimes complimentary balance is everything.
Tubes works best with grados. Try the little dot I+ best bang for the buck to push your grado to full potential.
Wise words. A solid state amp would be an interesting choice.
Haha, not trying to start a war here, I respect your preference, just in my experience that I've found that ss amps are generally better than tubes in the same price range for grados.
Yeah, just purely personal preference but im open to whatever is good. But I want to try Solid States for a change, which amp would you recommend for any grado? I've been looking at the Matrix M-stage, not sure if its good with the grados.