Originally Posted by Kamakahah
I was thinking of picking up a Horizon kit for my first DIY tube amp. It would be paired with my Mad Dogs. Has anyone tried this pairing before? How did it sound? I'm currently using a magni/modi stack.
Side question: what are your thoughts on the upcoming starlight/ember?
I've been thinking about getting a pair of Paradox headphones, plus I've been getting the urge to build another Garage1217 amp but of course I can't try before i buy. I'll probably just play it safe and use the money (when I have it) on Beyer T1's for my Horizon. The T50RP's/Mad Dogs/Paradox are 50 ohm headphones so the Project Sunrise II would be a better fit. The Sunrise II amp is recommended for 32-300ohm, the Horizon is recommended for 150-600ohm. I did use my AKG K702's (62 ohms) with the Horizon and they sounded the best that I've heard them. Not sure if they would sound better with the Sunrise II but the K702's over all sound isn't really for me anyway.
I emailed Garage1217 regarding powering Fostex T50RP based headphones a few weeks ago asking if there upcoming headphone amps would be a better match for the Fostex based 'phones. Their response is below:
Glad you are enjoying your Horizon! Ember will have more power than both Horizon and Sunrise II. For example around 50ohm, she will put out more than 4w. It will be quite a beast and cover 16-600ohm. Sunrise and Horizon will still be the choice for many audiophiles as they are class A designs so it comes down to what topology one prefers. And just to note, Sunrise II puts out PLENTY of power at low impedance. My T50's are out for mod right now at a buddys, prior to shipping them out, Sunrise was a flawless match for them.
So it sounds like the Sunrise II might be worth considering for you Mad Dogs. If you do, please let us know how you like it.
I would like to build the Starlight someday as a gift for someone (Ok, so maybe I'd try it out for a while before wrapping it up). It sounds like it's a cheaper option to the other amps but still very good I'm sure.
The Ember evidently doesn't run in class A mode like the Horizon and Sunrise but I'm not sure how that's going to affect the sound. I would guess it might easily run power hungry headphones like Hifiman's HE-6 and other planar headphones that soak up whatever juice they are given.
I just remembered Garage1217 sent out a newsletter last week. For those who didn't get it, below is a copy that includes some more info on there upcoming amps:
Project Starlight, the new budget legend is almost ready for release! Starlight is a low cost, Tube - Opamp hybrid which allows you to roll both 6V and 12V tubes as well as roll opamps. Starlight has variable output resistance and manual bias adjustment all in a compact chassis. Excellent quality components are used throughout such as Vishay / Dale resistors, Panasonic FC capacitors, Bourns Pro Audio potentiometers and all gold plated rca sockets, tube socket and headphone jack.. The PCB retains a beautiful gloss black mask just like our other designs. Project Starlight is designed to blow your socks off at a super affordable price! Now accepting pre-orders. Only $149.99 + shipping for a kit or $189.99 + shipping for a fully built and tested amplifier. Shipments of built amplifiers and kits expected to ship March 1st.
Project Ember is almost finished. Ember will be our most advanced amplifier to date. Featuring auto bias, auto voltage selection (your tubes are now plug and play) 6v and 12V tube rolling, 3 output resistance settings, Pre-amp outputs, input gain selection and a powerful OPA output stage that can power the most demanding headphones. Overall very original to the market, nothing quite like it, just like our other designs!…
Hope that helps some.