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Where does the Headamp GS-1 Stand now?

post #1 of 74
Thread Starter 

Hi guys,

 

So I've gone through the huge journey of upgraditis a couple years ago and went from something as basic as a Pico DAC/AMP -> Grado SR60 up to the Woo Audio GES -> Stax O2s.

 

The amp that I've had for the last year now though has been the Headamp GS-1 and I personally love it. I think it's clean and powerful, and quite a beauty to look at.

 

However, I've been out of the game with regards to A/Bing everything, etc. and am curious where people think the GS-1 stands as a dedicated headphone amp against all the big guns out there (Phonitor, Apache, etc.). I mean for goodness sake, the GS-1 has been around for years. Decade? Not sure.

 

Anyone heard the GS-1 against alot of high end amps recently?

 

post #2 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by epocs View Post

...am curious where people think the GS-1 stands as a dedicated headphone amp against all the big guns out there (Phonitor, Apache, etc.). I mean for goodness sake, the GS-1 has been around for years. Decade? Not sure.

 

Anyone heard the GS-1 against alot of high end amps recently?

 



 

Its misleading to try to compare the GS1 to "the big guns" whatever amps might actually fit into that description. The GS1 is a high quality mid-priced amplifier with a neutral sound signature. I can only think of one other amp that might compare in that category, and that would be the Auditor. Even then the two haven't been compared, and its still unknown if the Auditor maintains a neutrality as does the GS1.

 

In a higher price and sound quality bracket, sit the GSX, B22, Millet Peak and Arete. 

 

 

 

post #3 of 74

Need to compare the GS1 to the Phonitor, and the V-200.

post #4 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acix View Post

Need to compare the GS1 to the Phonitor, and the V-200.



 

...and the Auditor ;).

 

Those would be relevant and helpful comparisons, especially due to the slow but steady stream of listeners searching H-Fi classified for the now discontinued GS1. I don't think it would be inaccurate to call the GS1 a reference neutral HPA within its price range.

 

 

post #5 of 74

One thing to note about the HeadAmp GS-1 and SPL Auditor/Phonitor is that they're designed to drive different headphone loads - the GS-1 outputs up to 1W @ 32 Ohms while the Auditor/Phonitor outputs up to 1.7W @ 600 Ohms (and 360 mW @ 30 Ohms) instead. The GS-1 is a high-current amp for low-impedance headphones; the Auditor/Phonitor is a high-voltage amp for high-impedance headphones.

 

The GS-1 was released in 2005 btw. I owned one from 2006-07. I still own a form of it with the GS-X, which has proven to be able to drive most dynamic headphones reasonably well. High-impedance and orthodynamic headphones excepted, of course. Though it does best with low-impedance, efficient headphones, it can also effectively drive other types of headphone loads, like the AKG K70x and Senn HD6xx/HD800, as well as IEMs.

 

I wouldn't worry about upgraditis with the HeadAmp GS-1 or GS-X. Against all of the dynamic amps I was able to compare against my GS-X, I didn't think there were any that were "better" per se. To my ears it's the most sonically transparent & clear amp I've heard, not to mention its functional versatility.

 

IMO the only reason to spend more money than the GS-1's cost is to either get a much higher-output power amp for hard-to-drive headphones (like a B22) or the glow of vacuum tubes.


Edited by Asr - 3/6/12 at 1:06pm
post #6 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post

One thing to note about the HeadAmp GS-1 and SPL Auditor/Phonitor is that they're designed to drive different headphone loads - the GS-1 outputs up to 1W @ 32 Ohms while the Auditor/Phonitor outputs up to 1.7W @ 600 Ohms (and 360 mW @ 30 Ohms) instead. The GS-1 is a high-current amp for low-impedance headphones; the Auditor/Phonitor is a high-voltage amp for high-impedance headphones.

 

The Phonitor have a -20db dimm that is advantage over the Auditor for low-impedance headphones.  

post #7 of 74

Yes but neither can drive low impedance loads effectively. The sound does become muddy on Grado's and IEM's, though not as bad as a tube amp. The Auditor drives everything over 100Ohms really well, and anything under that is wasted. I briefly had the Q701 and tried it from the Auditor and got some mediocre results. The sounds was muddy, slow, and hazzy. The Q701 sounded better on the Auditor than it did from my ROC, but the X-CANV8P drives it much better than both of those amps. The V200 even drives it better.

 

That being said, I have not heard the GS-1 at all, but since it's high current (1W @ 32Ohms) I suspect it could drive anything short of 100Ohms really well. I'm not entirely sure though. From what I've read, it seems this amp still holds it's own nowadays. Still plenty powerful and one of the most neutral amps around.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acix View Post

 

The Phonitor have a -20db dimm that is advantage over the Auditor for low-impedance headphones.  

 

post #8 of 74


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombie_X View Post

Yes but neither can drive low impedance loads effectively. The sound does become muddy on Grado's and IEM's, though not as bad as a tube amp. The Auditor drives everything over 100Ohms really well, and anything under that is wasted. I briefly had the Q701 and tried it from the Auditor and got some mediocre results. The sounds was muddy, slow, and hazzy. The Q701 sounded better on the Auditor than it did from my ROC, but the X-CANV8P drives it much better than both of those amps. The V200 even drives it better.

 

That being said, I have not heard the GS-1 at all, but since it's high current (1W @ 32Ohms) I suspect it could drive anything short of 100Ohms really well. I'm not entirely sure though. From what I've read, it seems this amp still holds it's own nowadays. Still plenty powerful and one of the most neutral amps around.
 

 


 

Yes, but you didn't had the Q701 out of the Phonitor with the -20 db dimm switch off. wink.gif

post #9 of 74

And for example what do you think guys about amps from Eddie Current against GS1, I read that they are very clear and transparent with right tubes but is it on the same level as solid states like GS1? And what is the main change betwen GS1 and higher priced tube or hybrid amps like (Super 7, BA, Fire, Peak/Volcano etc.) holographic soundstage, clear window, tonal balance...? Of course depends also on overal system synergy but it is on another thread.


Edited by knopi - 3/7/12 at 3:25am
post #10 of 74

Still can't drive it any different than the Auditor though. Dim just lowers the volume, and I am using the SPL 2Control right now as a demo and I've used the Dim switch before. I really like the SPL 2Control a lot and it does a good job as a XLR splitter for my needs. I may send it back though, I am quite broke right now...

 

Now the Auditor and Phonitor can't drive them all that well IMO, certainly it can drive them better than my ROC and X-CANV8P it seems, but still not well. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acix View Post

Yes, but you didn't had the Q701 out of the Phonitor with the -20 db dimm switch off. wink.gif

 

post #11 of 74
Quote:

Originally Posted by Asr View Post

<snip>

 

IMO the only reason to spend more money than the GS-1's cost is to either get a much higher-output power amp for hard-to-drive headphones (like a B22) or the glow of vacuum tubes.


 

+1   beerchug.gif

post #12 of 74

Is the gs-1 the equivalent of a dynalo or dynahi?

post #13 of 74
post #14 of 74

^ There were no commercial versions of the Dynahi. The GS-X is a balanced dynalo.

post #15 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post

The GS-1 is a Dynalo: http://www.djgardner.com/headphone/gilmore/



But not all dynalo's are the equivalent of a GS-1. wink_face.gif

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