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Tube Amps with D7000 - No go?

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 

Hi, after lurking the forums i found it to be the general consensus that Tube amps and Denon D7000 won't go together...Why? I just tried out the gorgeous Argon HA 2 (The only tube amp my local retailer had) with them, and it sounded pretty darn amazing to me...

It was my first experience with a tube amp by the way, but to the more pressing matters: 

I'm asking because until now I've only been into portable amps but now I want to get myself a desktop amp for my home listening, and i find the tube amps quite entriguing, partially because they often look the best - something steampunk-ish/futuristic about it i guess, and also because my one petty experience with one was very good, because so far I've found SS amps to be pretty...Boring sounding, too cold and clinical to my tastes. Any thoughts about which amp i should get - i know this is silly but it has to look decent too please, not too "cheap" :)

I intend to spend ~600$ max. on my entry amp...

 

For reference my headphone inventory is:

 

Denon AH-D7000 (Ebony Cups)

Grado HF2 (Fully woodied)

Thunderpants

1964-Q custom IEMs

 

 

Thank you for your answers, comments, replies and help :P

post #2 of 42

My advice is that once you heard any amp that sounds amazing it should be on your short list regardless of price and size. I do not have much information on the Argon HA 2 but it could be a Hybrid amp allowing good power transfer to your Denon headphone and other on the list. I have a custom made OTL all tube amp that will drive my Denon D2000 just fine. It sound like that there should a few choices that will fit within your budget.

post #3 of 42
Thread Starter 

All of the headphones above are very easy to drive - you can run them out of an ipod, so that wont be the problem at least...

 

As for the HA2 it uses the tube as a buffer, its connected to the signal line i as far as i remember (im not an amp-builder s I'm rather clueless on that). I don't know how normal tube amps functions but yea, the HA2 has a built in dac (Burr-brown PCM2702) should be decent, but i have a better one, as for the amp itself it only tells that the tube (Called 6N2) is used as a buffer, the transistors are from MOS-FET. It seems well made - costs ca. 350$ here.

ARGHA2BK_1.jpg

post #4 of 42

I had a bit of trouble finding the right Argon HA 2 amp information on the web since there was a few. Thanks for the picture and it it indeed a hybrid tube amp meaning that the tube drive the output MOS-FET stage which in turn drives the headphones. The tube itself does not drive the headphones directly like in some tube amps design. Tubes like voltage which generally prefers high impedance headphones which most of your headphones are lower impedance. The amp  MOS-FET stage helps to drive your  lower impedance headphones better than the one tube in that amp. The 6N2 is exactly the same tube as 12ax7 which means that there is plenty of supply for the tube.

 

P.S. It is nice that you were able to demo a tube amp in the first place and find it amazing.


Edited by john57 - 9/29/11 at 3:58pm
post #5 of 42
Thread Starter 

I've been looking at a bit more pricy options like the DarkVoice 337 and the Woo Audio WA6, and Schiit Audio amps - all are close to my price-range and have quite a reputation. But is there a technical reason why such amps wouldn't work with my cans (in which case a hybrid might be a good solution?), or is it just a preference in sound? And would the sound of one of those "real" tube amps differ greatly from a hybrid like the Argon? 

Lots of questions... rolleyes.gif

post #6 of 42


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VictorHalgaard View Post

I've been looking at a bit more pricy options like the DarkVoice 337 and the Woo Audio WA6, and Schiit Audio amps - all are close to my price-range and have quite a reputation. But is there a technical reason why such amps wouldn't work with my cans (in which case a hybrid might be a good solution?), or is it just a preference in sound? And would the sound of one of those "real" tube amps differ greatly from a hybrid like the Argon? 

Lots of questions... rolleyes.gif


I use the CSP2 and Taboo Decware combo to drive my D7000 and its is now my main amps for use with the D7000. The Woo WA6 works well as I have heard that combo also. I prefer tubes with my D7000. The Schiit has damaged a pair of D7000 on this forum a member blew the drivers. My Taboo put over 2 watts into the D7000 and I like the way they sound but I am also careful to not blast them as I do not want to damage the headphone. My CSP2 also drives them well.

 

post #7 of 42

You most likely want to avoid OTL (output transforner-less) amps since you intend to use low-impedance headphones. Something like the Elekit TU-882R would do, as has low-impedance headphone outputs. It's a kit amp though, so, depending on which kit you get, requires a little or a lot of assembly.

post #8 of 42
Thread Starter 

Is there any way i can know if has an output transformer? :P

 

I am very tempted by getting one of the following setups, anyone who knows something about some of it, please try putting in the order of what would be the bets compatible with low impedance cans without turning them into aural TNT or something and sound nice - All the items have links so you can see them and their specs:

 

a. Shciit Audio Valhalla + Bifrost DAC  OR   Just the Schiit Audio Lyr and use my Cambride DacMagic.

 

b. Little Dot Mk III + Little Dot CD_P (I currently have no cd player)   OR   Little Dot Mk IV and my DacMagic

 

c. DarkVoice 337 A big and heavy fella...

 

d. Meixing MC84-C07 Knockin' some wood...

 

e. Argon HA2 (As seen above). Its built extremely well, but its a hybrid, and i kind of want to try "real" tube sound.

post #9 of 42


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VictorHalgaard View Post

Is there any way i can know if has an output transformer? :P

 

I am very tempted by getting one of the following setups, anyone who knows something about some of it, please try putting in the order of what would be the bets compatible with low impedance cans without turning them into aural TNT or something and sound nice - All the items have links so you can see them and their specs:

 

a. Shciit Audio Valhalla + Bifrost DAC  OR   Just the Schiit Audio Lyr and use my Cambride DacMagic.

 

b. Little Dot Mk III + Little Dot CD_P (I currently have no cd player)   OR   Little Dot Mk IV and my DacMagic

 

c. DarkVoice 337 A big and heavy fella...

 

d. Meixing MC84-C07 Knockin' some wood...

 

e. Argon HA2 (As seen above). Its built extremely well, but its a hybrid, and i kind of want to try "real" tube sound.


tHE mc84 IS A TRANSFORMER AMP. tHE lITTLE dOTS AND vALLAHA ARE otl AND NOR RECOMMENDED NOT SURE ABOUT THE dARKVOICE

 

post #10 of 42
Darkvoice 337 is a OTL but it is a strong unit as long you do not use headphones that are rated below 32 ohms. I am using a 6SN7/6AS7 OTL amp that has plenty of juice that can drive 32 to 600 headphones and even my Fostex Orthos and has more power than the Little Dot MkIII.

 

post #11 of 42

There are some big fans of the WA6 and WA6SE combo over in the Woo Owners thread.  I've always been quite pleased with the D7000 and the 6SE, with the right tubes...

 

post #12 of 42

Yes I should have stated that the Woo amps are nice you will find allot of information on many amps here with search. Nothing wrong with your first choice as Hybrid amps go. good luck!

 

Could you tell me how your Thunderpants compares to your Denons's?


Edited by john57 - 9/30/11 at 4:28pm
post #13 of 42
The Denons are 25 Ohms, so that suggests the Darkvoice won't be a good match. On the info page for an amp it will state if it is OTL, transformer coupled or a hybrid.

The only other potential issue might be the amount of gain with IEMs. You want it quite low so you have enough volume range.
post #14 of 42

Quite right! It's a hybrid amp and is quite powerful. I would have to say that if you want tube sound then go for a hybrid amp. I has a solid state output (lowers output impedance and also adds more current) but all the sound goes through the tube prior.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

You most likely want to avoid OTL (output transforner-less) amps since you intend to use low-impedance headphones. Something like the Elekit TU-882R would do, as has low-impedance headphone outputs. It's a kit amp though, so, depending on which kit you get, requires a little or a lot of assembly.

 

post #15 of 42
I would not use a 25 Ohm headphone on an OTL. All of them (save for the Zana Deux) have output impedances higher than the headphpne impedance. Look up "damping factor" for a better explanation.

You will want an amp with output transformers to get a nice, low output impedance.

I'd consider the Bottlehead Smack. About $500 and Bottlehead is terrific. Some assembly required, but get an iron and tellmyourself that you can do this. It comes with all the parts, instructions, and Bottlehead has a forum where you can get help. You can do it.

Bonus: you'll learn how to build and will be able to make anything you want on the cheap.
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