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Little Dot 1+ Burn In / Sounding Harsh...

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hello and thanks in advance for any replies... its all about harsh sounds...

 

I bought a Little Dot and so far have 16hours on it. I am listening through the following kit.

 

MackBookPro > Echo Audiofire2 24/96 using Audirvana > Mackie Big Nob > Little Dot 1+> Grado 325is (all 320kb MP3s, FLAC files, etc as well as some audiophile recordings, so no choice of good source material.

 

 

Got the amp yesterday, with stock 6JI tubes. I have bought  a few others and today a set of Mullard 8100 arrived.  One of the 'stock' valves have an issue with a low frequency humming so luckily I had the Mullards to try which went striaght in after a pin clean. 

 

I tried the 24/96 soundcard over the last week just using the headphone outs before the amp arrived, and its been extremely musical without any amp, listening to all manner of music form assorted drum and bass, to Elbow to Amon Tobin and beyond.

 

After the LD1+ was brought into the equation I tried it sat directly after the sound card outs. It was attenuated to -10db on the soundcard mixer, as the leads I use are a balanced outs into an unbalanced input on the 1+ amp. It sounded very harsh as I threw different music at it, so I disconnected it and then sent the soundcard into the Mackie Big Nob, tweeking the attenuation back to +4db (balanced) and then hit a selector switch on the Mackie to drop it to -10db to match the  the 1+ unbalanced inputs. What in improvement...

 

BUT still things are harsh some 16hours on, am I being a bit premature here, should I expect a much longer 'burn in' period? The valves seem to sound wonderfully snappy bottom end when there is a limited amount of treble, but it can get easily aggressive and too shrill which has me reaching for the volume.

 

There is great sound staging with the Grado's so I can see the potential... is it perhaps valve choice? I have a set of RCA 5645s and a mate sold me some Amperex 5654s which are coming next week, so I am off to a good start tube rolling Christmas!

 

I have done a lot of reading but I need some opinions I can. Listening to Elbow - The Birds is not a pleasurable experience right now, verging on distorted highs.... I dont know...

 

David

 

 

 

post #2 of 11
Thread Starter 

Please, anybody have any advice to offer?

post #3 of 11

Thats quite rare, i found that my LD+ was warm and dynamic with body. Burn in could help because I forgot how long i burned the unit in for. 16 hours is still quite early for any critical listening. Maybe another 30-50 hours might do it. If it still sounds harsh to you, then its either the unit or you're just not liking the amp.

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
It's the sibilance and highs that seem to stick out. I was listening to Flying Lotus's 'Cosmagramma' yesterday and I had to turn it off it was so screechy.

I am half thinking it's the audio card. Although I was listening to it through a fairly decent music system tonight and it sounded great through speakers, but in headphones it was a harsh listen...

With the Grado 325Is I it's leaning very hard into the highs, and the Little Dot 1+ is amplifying this.

What with tube rolling, its starting to get confusing....
post #5 of 11

how many hours are on the Sr325is, I've used the sr325i goldies myself and they sounded great but it had around 400-500 hours on it at least. the LD+ was smoothing out the sound so it was impossible for me to hear any harshness. Try the OPA2107 opamp and the Mullard M8083, very warm and thick sound to it.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Clapp View Post

It's the sibilance and highs that seem to stick out. I was listening to Flying Lotus's 'Cosmagramma' yesterday and I had to turn it off it was so screechy.
I am half thinking it's the audio card. Although I was listening to it through a fairly decent music system tonight and it sounded great through speakers, but in headphones it was a harsh listen...
With the Grado 325Is I it's leaning very hard into the highs, and the Little Dot 1+ is amplifying this.
What with tube rolling, its starting to get confusing....


 

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies.

 

I am sat here listening to the set up again, using the set of Mullard M8100s and its not an unenjoyable listen by any means. I hear what you are saying about the Grados. The 325is was terrible in the first few days. After getting the Audiofire soundcard things improved immensely, but I am still left with this irritating sibilance issue. I will hope things get better over time, so I am just being optimistic enjoying music more than criticising everything.

 

I tried using a tone generator to see where I was irritated the most and its around 4-5k, which is higher first thought.

 

Thanks for the valve recommendation. I will have a try.

What does the change in Op-amp do to the sound?

post #7 of 11

The LD1+ was one of the best amps i have used with my SR325is's.I did find that changing the op amp made more difference than valve rolling to my ears.

I ended up with an A2107 op and mullard valves.mind you i was using a rather laid back CDP as source.I wish i had kept it now.

post #8 of 11

for me the opamp give me more body, larger soundstage, and more warmth to the sound. Giving it a very thick yet clear sound that I really enjoyed. But yeah give the combo i suggested a try, I did a lot of tube and opamp rolling before settling for those 2.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Clapp View Post

Thanks for the replies.

 

I am sat here listening to the set up again, using the set of Mullard M8100s and its not an unenjoyable listen by any means. I hear what you are saying about the Grados. The 325is was terrible in the first few days. After getting the Audiofire soundcard things improved immensely, but I am still left with this irritating sibilance issue. I will hope things get better over time, so I am just being optimistic enjoying music more than criticising everything.

 

I tried using a tone generator to see where I was irritated the most and its around 4-5k, which is higher first thought.

 

Thanks for the valve recommendation. I will have a try.

What does the change in Op-amp do to the sound?



 

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

QUESTION - will changing the opamp smooth out / tame treble?

 

I have received a set of RCA 5654's in the post today and although only a few hours on them whilst working I can hear notable difference over the Mullard 8100's. Far better bass definition and depth, more vivid bass if you like, not necessarily more bassy if you get my meaning.

 

Will changing the Opamp tame the treble problem I am having? Although the RCAs are a marked improvement, I am still getting a very forward treble that I would like to control.

 

I am still yet to receive a set of Amperex 6AK5Ws which I hope will create an even greater bass, which I do enjoy.

 

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Clapp View Post

QUESTION - will changing the opamp smooth out / tame treble?

 

I have received a set of RCA 5654's in the post today and although only a few hours on them whilst working I can hear notable difference over the Mullard 8100's. Far better bass definition and depth, more vivid bass if you like, not necessarily more bassy if you get my meaning.

 

Will changing the Opamp tame the treble problem I am having? Although the RCAs are a marked improvement, I am still getting a very forward treble that I would like to control.

 

I am still yet to receive a set of Amperex 6AK5Ws which I hope will create an even greater bass, which I do enjoy.

 


I've heard people reporting a more rolled-off treble with different OP-amps, I bought the OPA2107 which is on its way, I could compare it to the stock one and then come back to you!

EDIT: Just found this in the tube rolling thread

"I got the new OPA2107, but it still feels like the treble is real harsh, especially compared to what it had been when i first got the amp. I cant decide if it's just my memory is off or what. "

 


Edited by Napkin - 1/7/12 at 10:54am
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

Oh dear that doesn't sound promising... Well let me know what happens. The RCA 5654s have made a substantial difference over the Mullard 8100s that sounded quite thin overall.

 

I have also found that turning the amp up from 10 - 12 o'clock seems to make the treble louder but the bass almost stays the same volume. By backing off the volume I can control the aggressive treble to a certain degree.

 

Please let me know what your findings are. I am getting the Amperex valves the week so if they have big bass like I am expecting then maybe the balance will be better again.... I'll report back too.

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