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Q701 impressions thread - Page 460

post #6886 of 9490

The Modi is not a cold dac at all, in fact I might say it's a pretty warm dac. It became certain to me after I got the DM100 that the Modi leans more towards the dark side. The Magni on the other hand, I can't recommend for the Q701. Tried it, regretted it.

post #6887 of 9490

I'm in need of a new inexpensive amp for my Q701. I will be using the JDS Labs ODAC as my DAC. I was thinking either the Vali or Magni. Which should I get for the Q701?

post #6888 of 9490
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonb View Post
 

I'm in need of a new inexpensive amp for my Q701. I will be using the JDS Labs ODAC as my DAC. I was thinking either the Vali or Magni. Which should I get for the Q701?

 

Take this with a grain of salt as I haven't heard either of these, but from reading this thread for awhile, I'd suggest either the Vali or the Little Dot 1+ as a cheap amp for the Q701's.  If you want tubes.

 

If SS, maybe look for a cheap, used M-Stage?  I have an M-Stage right now with my Q's and it works great.  Plus you can roll opamps to slightly change the sound.  And, this is a huge selling point for me, it has 2 analog inputs and a preamp output.  And switchable gain.  Very very versatile unit.

 

But, personally, if I wanted to buy a new, cheap amp for the Q's and wanted to go with tubes, I would go for the Little Dot 1+.  I like the ability to swap the tubes if I want/need.  The Vali is supposedly a nice little unit, but when the tubes die, you have to ship it back to them.  Being in Canada, that isn't worth it to me.  Granted, they are rated for thousands of hours...

post #6889 of 9490
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaemonSire View Post
 

 

Take this with a grain of salt as I haven't heard either of these, but from reading this thread for awhile, I'd suggest either the Vali or the Little Dot 1+ as a cheap amp for the Q701's.  If you want tubes.

 

If SS, maybe look for a cheap, used M-Stage?  I have an M-Stage right now with my Q's and it works great.  Plus you can roll opamps to slightly change the sound.  And, this is a huge selling point for me, it has 2 analog inputs and a preamp output.  And switchable gain.  Very very versatile unit.

 

But, personally, if I wanted to buy a new, cheap amp for the Q's and wanted to go with tubes, I would go for the Little Dot 1+.  I like the ability to swap the tubes if I want/need.  The Vali is supposedly a nice little unit, but when the tubes die, you have to ship it back to them.  Being in Canada, that isn't worth it to me.  Granted, they are rated for thousands of hours...

The M-stage seems to be the best option, but finding one cheap may be an issue.

 

I didn't know that you couldn't change tubes in the Vali, That makes it a bit pointless. I'll have a look into the little dot. 

post #6890 of 9490
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonb View Post
 

The M-stage seems to be the best option, but finding one cheap may be an issue.

 

I didn't know that you couldn't change tubes in the Vali, That makes it a bit pointless. I'll have a look into the little dot. 

 

They do pop up from time to time on the F/S forum.  They recently released a new version, the HPA-2.  From what I've read, the amp section is essentially the same.  But if you go with the version with the built-in DAC, supposedly it is much better than the older HPA-1.  Keep in mind, if you go with the built-in DAC, you lose one of the analog inputs.  Since you already have a DAC, I wouldn't recommend it.  Other than that, it is aesthetically better looking.  The HPA-1 would probably go around $150-180 used (sorry, I'm not really sure on the current range).

 

The Vali's tubes are rated for 10,000 to 20,000 hours, so likely won't need replacing anytime soon.  But if you do, you gotta send it to them.  To me, if you aren't in the US, it kind of makes it a disposable unit for the $120 cost.  It would probably cost me $20-30 to ship, plus the $20 charge to replace them.  I'm not sure if they would cover the return shipping...but since I'm international, I'm guessing not.  So basically if they ever die on me, I'm into half the cost of getting new ones put in.

 

 

From their FAQ:

 

 
So what's the catch?
Compared to Magni? Several. One, Vali's ultimate power output is lower, so it's less suitable to orthodynamics and other hard-to-drive headphones. Two, many tubes, including the ones in Vali, are microphonic. When you plug in headphones on Vali, you'll hear a little "tiiinnnnggg...." noise that takes quite a while to go away. If you rap the chassis, it will do the same thing. If you work on, say, a paint shaker table, Vali's not going to be the best amp for you. Three, tubes also have a lifespan, though Vali's tubes are expected to last 10,000-20,000 hours--which is 7-14 years of listening 4 hours a day, every day.
 
What happens when the tubes croak? 
You'd send it back to us and we'll replace them for $20. If they ever do go bad, that is. We're betting they won't.
post #6891 of 9490

Alrighty, I'll do my research. I'm in no rush to buy anything. I've been listening to my near field speaker rig almost exclusively for the past 6 months anyway, so I'm in no rush to buy a new headphone amp. I'm honestly not sure how much I'd even use it after I bought it.

 

I may even just end up powering my Q701 from the speaker taps on my Emotiva Min-X. I may build or buy an adapter to go from speaker taps to a 1/4" socket and add an L-pad if needed. 


Edited by jasonb - 6/5/14 at 7:27am
post #6892 of 9490

Sounds good.  I saw in your sig that you have an Emotiva Mini-X.  My current set up is my DAC -> M-Stage (preamp output) -> Emotiva.

 

If you pick up an M-Stage, you could control the volume for your Emotiva via the M-Stage and still use it with headphones whenever you want.  No swapping cables around.

post #6893 of 9490
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaemonSire View Post
 

Sounds good.  I saw in your sig that you have an Emotiva Mini-X.  My current set up is my DAC -> M-Stage (preamp output) -> Emotiva.

 

If you pick up an M-Stage, you could control the volume for your Emotiva via the M-Stage and still use it with headphones whenever you want.  No swapping cables around.

The Mini-X also has a line out so I could go from the dac to the Mini-X and then line out to the M-stage or whatever I decide to get. 

post #6894 of 9490

That's a good point too.  In my case, I'm using my Emotiva to drive my HE-500, so I needed the additional volume control.

post #6895 of 9490
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaemonSire View Post
 

That's a good point too.  In my case, I'm using my Emotiva to drive my HE-500, so I needed the additional volume control.

So, just to confirm, the Mini-X uses a common ground? I could use it to power a pair of unbalanced headphones? I've seen people use the Mini-X for headphones, but I've never seen anybody mention the Mini-X being a common ground amp. I guess it has to be, right?

post #6896 of 9490

Yes it is a common ground and you can use it to drive unbalanced headphones.

 

The simplest way to try it out: pick up a cheap headphone extension cable (3.5mm female to 3.5mm male), chop off the male end and use the bare wires on the speaker taps.  You'll need a multimeter to test which is the left and right.  If you wanted a bit fancier, get some banana plugs from monoprice and you have a nice, cheap cable.  No soldering required :)

post #6897 of 9490

However, a caveat.  The Emotiva has a lot of power and can very easily damage your headphones if you aren't careful.  Plus, it does have some noise so it won't be as quiet as a dedicated headphone amp.

 

You could put some resistors inline on your adapter cable to bring the noise and volume control down.  I haven't done that yet but may at some point.

post #6898 of 9490
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaemonSire View Post
 

Yes it is a common ground and you can use it to drive unbalanced headphones.

 

The simplest way to try it out: pick up a cheap headphone extension cable (3.5mm female to 3.5mm male), chop off the male end and use the bare wires on the speaker taps.  You'll need a multimeter to test which is the left and right.  If you wanted a bit fancier, get some banana plugs from monoprice and you have a nice, cheap cable.  No soldering required :)

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaemonSire View Post
 

However, a caveat.  The Emotiva has a lot of power and can very easily damage your headphones if you aren't careful.  Plus, it does have some noise so it won't be as quiet as a dedicated headphone amp.

 

You could put some resistors inline on your adapter cable to bring the noise and volume control down.  I haven't done that yet but may at some point.

Thanks. I didn't think it was that easy. I guess I could just take an extension cable and cut it and use some banana plugs too. I could also just cut up the 20ft cable that came with my Q701's since I never use it. It's waaaay to long to serve any other purpose. 

 

How do I use a multi-meter to find which wires are left and right? 

 

Also, do I need to connect the ground at each ground terminal on the amp? Or just use either one of the two ground terminals on the amp? 

 

I may cut up my long Q701 cable and try this today.

post #6899 of 9490
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonb View Post
 

 

 

Thanks. I didn't think it was that easy. I guess I could just take an extension cable and cut it and use some banana plugs too. I could also just cut up the 20ft cable that came with my Q701's since I never use it. It's waaaay to long to serve any other purpose. 

 

How do I use a multi-meter to find which wires are left and right? 

 

Also, do I need to connect the ground at each ground terminal on the amp? Or just use either one of the two ground terminals on the amp? 

 

I may cut up my long Q701 cable and try this today.

 

See pic below (copied from Wikipedia).  This is for a 6.3mm end but the same concept applies for a 3.5mm end, just smaller :)  This is TRS - Tip, Ring, Sleeve.

 

#1 - Sleeve (Ground)

#2 - Ring (Right)

#3 - Tip (Left)

 

I'm not sure the pin layout of the 3-pin Q701 cable, so you'll want to check this before you cut off the end.  You need to match up what each of the pins are and take note.

 

Take your multimeter and set it to continuity.  Put one of the leads on one of the pins that connect to the headphone.  Then on the 3.5mm end, touch each of the 3 areas (#1, #2 and #3).  The multimeter should beep when it is on the right one.  Make a note what that is.  Continue that for the other two.

 

So now you should know what each of the 3pins on the Q701 cable are.  Chop off the end and strip some of the jacket off of the wires.  You should have 3 wires (or maybe 4 if there are two grounds?).  Now take your multimeter again and match up each of the wires to the 3pins.  So you should now know what each of the bare wires are (which is left channel, which is right and which is ground).

 

Since it is a common ground, you only need to connect the ground to one of the black terminals.  If you have two wires for ground, connect them both.  Then take the left wire and screw it into the Red left post.  Right wire into Right Red post.

 

 

  1. Sleeve: usually ground
  2. Ring: Right-hand channel for stereo signals, negative polarity for balanced mono signals, power supply for power-using mono signal sources
  3. Tip: Left-hand channel for stereo signals, positive polarity for balanced mono signals, signal line for unbalanced mono signals
  4. Insulating rings
post #6900 of 9490
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonb View Post

I'm in need of a new inexpensive amp for my Q701. I will be using the JDS Labs ODAC as my DAC. I was thinking either the Vali or Magni. Which should I get for the Q701?

What about an O2? You already have the ODAC.
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