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A warm-ish SS amp below $500?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I'm currently driving my Ultrasone Pro 900 directly from my Yulong D100. It's an awesome DAC with a totally decent built-in headamp, but it's VERY transparent, bordering on cold. I like my DAC as transparent as possible, but for the Pro 900's I'd love a slightly warmer presentation. I'm not really a fan of tubes as they're usually too colored for my tastes, so I'd love a few opinions on which solid state amps below $500 I should be looking at. I'm currently eyeing the Matrix M-Stages as it seems to be pretty much the reigning king of budget amps at the moment, but I've also been considering the Matrix Quattro as well as the LD mk VII+, both are balanced SS amps. Since the Yulong D100 is a fully balanced DAC, a balanced amp could be interesting... 

 

And just for kicks: The amp is primarily for my 40ohm Pro 900's but it must be able to drive DT880/600 and the K701 as well. And below $500, 'cause I'm cheap biggrin.gif

post #2 of 14

I always recommend the M³ in this budget range, hard to beat it for the price.
I think there's one for sale in the forums right now, too.

 

There are some competitors such as the Gilmore amps, but I haven't heard them myself.

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk3 View Post

I always recommend the M³ in this budget range, hard to beat it for the price.I think there's one for sale in the forums right now, too.

 

There are some competitors such as the Gilmore amps, but I haven't heard them myself.


For a number of reasons, some of which are mentioned in the OP, the M³ is not really an option smile.gif

Any other suggestions for a slightly warm, yet detailed solid state desktop amp?

post #4 of 14

Funny, Sorensiim, I wondered if you could live long enough with the D100. The D100 is very good, but as you say a bit too much on the bright side.

 

My piece of advice would be to check out the Violectric line-up. You even got a dealer in Denmark.

 

I had the D100 and now own a Violectric. A total different beast...


Edited by Loevhagen - 10/7/11 at 5:20pm
post #5 of 14

Asgard is slightly warm and half your budget.

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loevhagen View Post

Funny, Sorensiim, I wondered if you could live long enough with the D100. The D100 is very good, but as you say a bit too much on the bright side.

 

My piece of advice would be to check out the Violectric line-up. You even got a dealer in Denmark.

 

I had the D100 and now own a Violectric. A total different beast...


Great suggestion, just sell me your Violectric for the stated budget of $500 and that should do it biggrin.gif

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by dyl1dyl View Post

Asgard is slightly warm and half your budget.


Yeah I've been looking at the Asgard as well, but the price will be a bit higher here in Denmark. Do all new Asgards have the turn-off fix applied now?

 

Thanks for your suggestions, guys, keep 'em coming!

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorensiim View Post

Yeah I've been looking at the Asgard as well, but the price will be a bit higher here in Denmark. Do all new Asgards have the turn-off fix applied now?


Yup, I should think so. You can just pop off an email to them to confirm it. Might have to wait awhile though since they are currently real busy completing their Bifrost orders.

 

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

Bumpety-bump - Anybody tried the Matrix Quattro with Ultrasone Headphones?

post #9 of 14

I haven't heard the quattro yet but that looks like it would fit your needs perfectly. I have heard the m-stage which I would recommend but with a $500 budget and a balanced DAC (I've owned a D100 and loved it) I think you'd be mad not to go for the balanced option.

post #10 of 14

If you are still looking for a warm ss amp, then keep an eye out for this below, out of stock at the mo but there should be more soon.  Sounds ideal for you. I use it with my Grados and it has great bass extension and soundstage.

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/high-spec-Mosfet-headphone-amplifier-V2-1/140620807383?ssPageName=WDVW&rd=1&ih=004&category=122650&cmd=ViewItem

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

post #11 of 14

Take a look at the PS Audio GCHA

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LugBug1 View Post

If you are still looking for a warm ss amp, then keep an eye out for this below, out of stock at the mo but there should be more soon.  Sounds ideal for you. I use it with my Grados and it has great bass extension and soundstage.

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/high-spec-Mosfet-headphone-amplifier-V2-1/140620807383?ssPageName=WDVW&rd=1&ih=004&category=122650&cmd=ViewItem

 

I actually tried that one recently, a friend of mine has it. It's incredibly good! Especially the soundstage is nothing short of amazing!

 

I have since bought the Just Audio µHA-120 for my portable rig and I'm thinking of switching that to the AHA-120. Portable class A with plenty of juice and it would do great on my desktop as well... But I'm still eyeing that Neco, it's one badass amp!

post #13 of 14

Why not use player software that uses your computer's DSP chip to emulate valve harmonics??? This will cost a lot less than $500 because it will be free...

 

http://freemusicsoftware.org/category/free-vst-effects-2/tube-simulation


Edited by scuttle - 2/25/12 at 6:34am
post #14 of 14

X2.  I have the Asgard, and I find it to be very smooth with a hint of warmness.  It is a truly excellent amp no matter what the price is.  I have a tube amp that easily costs 4-5x more than the Asgard, but the Asgard is easily 90% the amp it is.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dyl1dyl View Post

Asgard is slightly warm and half your budget.



 

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