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Audio GD SA-31 head amp/ preamp . A powerfull Head Amp with Diamond Difference design . - Page 22

post #316 of 402

Anyone here hear the C-2 SA? I'm hoping for that sound signature, as I always thought it would suit the Senns nicely. Great soundstage for ss, very musical, engaging, and perhaps a bit 'dark', but not warm. It was an incredible pairing with the T1s-got rid of their annoying treble for the most part, and brought out their somewhat lush mids. The AD2000 was also phenomenal on that amp-gave them a very smooth character I hadn't heard from them on other ss amps, extremely nice bass impact and tightness, and an incredibly black background. It's been a few years since I owned that amp, and it's one of only a couple that I really miss. And to think it never really sold at all before Kingwa pulled it-and it was only like $365 shipped iirc. One of the very first hp amps that could provide enough power for planars back then too.

 

-Daniel

post #317 of 402
I think people are just too used to labeling anything Audio-GD as warm. I don't find the SA-31 to be much warmer than neutral, really. SLIGHTLY warm. I've heard warmer SS amps like Audio-GD's own NFB-5.

The Compass 2 (with the Sabre ES9018) is about as neutral as I've heard, so I think people need to start getting away from thinking Audio-GD is a warm focused company.
post #318 of 402
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

I think people are just too used to labeling anything Audio-GD as warm. I don't find the SA-31 to be much warmer than neutral, really. SLIGHTLY warm. I've heard warmer SS amps like Audio-GD's own NFB-5.

The Compass 2 (with the Sabre ES9018) is about as neutral as I've heard, so I think people need to start getting away from thinking Audio-GD is a warm focused company.


Agreed, even with the so-called "warm setting", the sound is only not that agressive but isn't warm at all. At least not the common concept what we think 'warm' in audiophile.
post #319 of 402

Looks like my SA-31SE is arriving today. I'll have some comments this weekend sometime after some good burn in. Will be using my Eximus and HD800s and T1 for comparisons...

 

-Daniel

post #320 of 402
Any opinions on the amp yet Daniel?
post #321 of 402

I like it-and it's for sale lol. Need $$ pronto to as my Leviathan deposit is finally due in the next week or two.

 

I really like this amp with the HD800s. Very smooth, dark not warm, musical-all traits that seem to mesh well with the HD800s at this pricepoint. Seems to match pretty darn well with the T1 as well-but I still much prefer the Senn overall-even on my current mid-fi set up. Currently running the above from an SBT/EDO-->DP-1. Great soundstaging for an ss amp-which I expected as AGD's Diamond Differential series are well known for this. Probably better than even the P1-u which is also well regarded for it's ss abilities. Some other mid-fi amps I prefer this to, wrt the HD800 are: Auditor, Concerto, m-Stage (some regards, not others), pretty much every amp in my profile less than a grand. For the ss amps I've owned, I still prefer the Bryston and Luxman over this-which should be expected considering their cost. But I would argue this amp is more well rounded than either of those. It has more transparency than the P1-u, and definitely easier on the ears than the sometimes annoying highs of the BHA-1. Easy recommendation for an SS amp for the HD800s that won't annoy the ears like a LOT of cheaper ss amps seem to with the Senns. Hope that helps...

 

-Daniel

post #322 of 402
Quote:
Originally Posted by BournePerfect View Post
 

I like it-and it's for sale lol. Need $$ pronto to as my Leviathan deposit is finally due in the next week or two.

 

I really like this amp with the HD800s. Very smooth, dark not warm, musical-all traits that seem to mesh well with the HD800s at this pricepoint. Seems to match pretty darn well with the T1 as well-but I still much prefer the Senn overall-even on my current mid-fi set up. Currently running the above from an SBT/EDO-->DP-1. Great soundstaging for an ss amp-which I expected as AGD's Diamond Differential series are well known for this. Probably better than even the P1-u which is also well regarded for it's ss abilities. Some other mid-fi amps I prefer this to, wrt the HD800 are: Auditor, Concerto, m-Stage (some regards, not others), pretty much every amp in my profile less than a grand. For the ss amps I've owned, I still prefer the Bryston and Luxman over this-which should be expected considering their cost. But I would argue this amp is more well rounded than either of those. It has more transparency than the P1-u, and definitely easier on the ears than the sometimes annoying highs of the BHA-1. Easy recommendation for an SS amp for the HD800s that won't annoy the ears like a LOT of cheaper ss amps seem to with the Senns. Hope that helps...

 

-Daniel

Heh, I saw your ad and assumed you hated it. Good little write up and my thoughts exactly. I have heard better, but it is darn good for its price tier.

post #323 of 402

Yes-if my budget was more limited, this would definitely be the amp I'd use for the Senns. Actually I'd probably still have an m-Stage too for it's somewhat lusher presentation at times. There is actually very little gear in my profile that I 'hated' (trust me-there's a few :P), but saying this is the best HD800 amp I've heard under a grand is saying a lot-I've heard a ton of combos and it's pretty hard to find something that synergizes well with the HD800, without also masking some of it's strengths (m-Stage, I'm looking at you here). I feel that the SA-31SE balances that fine line of making the HD800 somewhat musical, but not at the expense of transparency, soundstage, details etc. I do feel the Auditor was more transparent and spacious-but it's presentation had a way of making the HD800 sound wonky at times across the frequency band-distractingly so at times that it outweighed my enjoyment of it otherwise, which is why I got rid of it-despite it's strengths.

 

-Daniel

post #324 of 402

Hi,

 

I have the Schiit Lyr & recently purchased the Beyer T90's. I find the T90 treble a bit sharp with the Lyr & was considering buying a warmer amp which smooths the T90 treble but keeps the level of detail. Has anyone heard both ( the Lyr & SA31) & is the SA31 warmer / smoother sounding than the Lyr ?

 

If you has not heard the SA31 & Lyr but has heard SA31 &  the Schiit Vanhalla / Asgard , can you please give your impressions. As the Lyr is supposed to be the brightest of the three Schiit amps. So if the SA31 is warmer / smoother than Vanhalla / Asgard then it will be definitely smoother than Lyr.

 

Thanks


Edited by punit - 11/6/13 at 10:53pm
post #325 of 402

SA31 is only a warm amp in relation to other AGD gear, it's actually pretty neutral IMO. It will not dumb down treble.

post #326 of 402

I have an Etymotic ER4s (100 ohm resistance, 90db sensitivity)

I am listening to music at fairly low volumes.

 

Do you think that this kind of mW will destroy those IEMs ?

or, are they safe ?

post #327 of 402
Nope, I've used mine to drive IEMS quite often. Just remember to start at low gain and work your way up.
post #328 of 402
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

Absolutely. The AKGs should sing off the SA-31. The AKGs were brilliant off the NFB5, and the SA-31 is much more powerful, so I expect even better performance.

 

How is the SA-31SE with the HD650? I have the HD650 single ended, trying to decide between an NFB-6 and SA31. Appreciate your feedback :)

post #329 of 402
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vandal View Post
 

 

How is the SA-31SE with the HD650? I have the HD650 single ended, trying to decide between an NFB-6 and SA31. Appreciate your feedback :)

 

Do you have any plans on going balanced with these?

If yes -> NFB-6: less warm, should work better with the dark 650s.

If no -> SA-31: works better single ended, no question.

 

Note: I own the SA-31 and used to own the NFB-27 whose headphone amp section is of the NFB series (somewhere between the NFB-6 and Master-5/6/8).

I consistently favored the SA-31 with all my headphones. This includes the Mad Dogs 3.0 single ended, which is the closest (in sound signature) to the HD-650. Even though it should have worked better with the brighter NFB-27, it wasn't the case. The SA-31 is that good.

 

Edit: forgot to say that all my headphones = Hifiman HE-500, HE-4, HE-5LE, Fostex TH-600, AKG Q-701. They all are on the bright(ish) side of the force.


Edited by Clemmaster - 4/24/14 at 10:07am
post #330 of 402
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vandal View Post

How is the SA-31SE with the HD650? I have the HD650 single ended, trying to decide between an NFB-6 and SA31. Appreciate your feedback smily_headphones1.gif

I use my SA-31 to drive both the HD650 and T1 very well. No worry about it.
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