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HD800 + $1,000-$2,500 Amp = Sonic Bliss? - Page 5

post #61 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by iim7V7IM7 View Post


Thank you for the comparison.
In terms of Beta 22 clarity and speed compared to the GS-X that is very helpful. The softening and some euphonic "warmth" for a lack of a better word; how does the Sigma/Beta 22 compare to one of the more neutral/transparent timbred tube amps like a Zana Deux SE?
My understanding among the tube amps that I am considering that in terms of timbre from neutral/transparent to warm and lush they are arranged in this order: EC ZD > DNA Stratus > WA22.
I am trying to understand the extent of the AMB's euphony?

 

(Bolded): you nailed it.

 

As for the second part, I have no experience with the ZD, Stratus or WA22. Sorry.

post #62 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post

Yes I have. I haven't had it in my home for an extended listen, but that said it wasn't my cup o' tea sonically. 

Gotcha. Glad you clarified that you have heard it. 

post #63 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post

 

(Bolded): you nailed it.

 

As for the second part, I have no experience with the ZD, Stratus or WA22. Sorry.

 

I can say definitely the WA22 is not the most "transparent" amp there is. What it is a wonderfully euphonic tube amp with great dynamics and a very enticing colouration. But if its neutrality and transparency you're after, then I'd look elsewhere.

post #64 of 172
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post

I can say definitely the WA22 is not the most "transparent" amp there is. What it is a wonderfully euphonic tube amp with great dynamics and a very enticing colouration. But if its neutrality and transparency you're after, then I'd look elsewhere.

While you owned it and it sounds like you really enjoyed it, you moved on and sold it. I am guessing that the Cavalli Liquid Fire was the driver of that. I am curious to hear from you (with The HD800s, I know that you also have LCD-3s), what your replacement amp does that the WA22 does not?
post #65 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by iim7V7IM7 View Post


While you owned it and it sounds like you really enjoyed it, you moved on and sold it. I am guessing that the Cavalli Liquid Fire was the driver of that. I am curious to hear from you (with The HD800s, I know that you also have LCD-3s), what your replacement amp does that the WA22 does not?

 

You are correct sir, the WA22 was sold to make room for my Liquid Fire.

 

First off its got twice the power, so its more dynamic and forceful with the LCD-3s. The LF is a tighter, cleaner more dynamic amp. It's very transparent and lets the music through, whereas the WA22 puts a tubey spin on the sound. I really enjoyed my year with the WA22, but after my GS-1 arrived this past January I realized just how much it was colouring my source material. Thus the move up to the LF and subsequent move up of my GS-1 to my GS-X.

post #66 of 172
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post

You are correct sir, the WA22 was sold to make room for my Liquid Fire.

First off its got twice the power, so its more dynamic and forceful with the LCD-3s. The LF is a tighter, cleaner more dynamic amp. It's very transparent and lets the music through, whereas the WA22 puts a tubey spin on the sound. I really enjoyed my year with the WA22, but after my GS-1 arrived this past January I realized just how much it was colouring my source material. Thus the move up to the LF and subsequent move up of my GS-1 to my GS-X.

Too much coloring is not what I am after...

I am looking for macro dynamics when listening to symphonies and micro dynamics to hear subtleties within the music.

I am looking for a solid, impactful, detailed bass from deep piano notes, organ, the kick of a drum, a bass line or environment interactions within the room that it is being recorded in.

I want to large, deep, yet precise 3-D placement of the instruments.

I love hearing micro details...

For example, one of my favorite jazz recordings starts with a solo tenor sax in a fairly small recording studio environment. I can hear the piano frame/strings sympathetically resonating to the sax. I don't want an amp that will lose information like that. So whether it is a tube amp, solid state amp, SE or balanced amp, that it what I am seeking.

Any musicality, or euphonic coloration should be subtle and not overt. In retrospect you might describe it as musical....
post #67 of 172

That really sounds like an LF, to me.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iim7V7IM7 View Post


Too much coloring is not what I am after...
I am looking for macro dynamics when listening to symphonies and micro dynamics to hear subtleties within the music.
I am looking for a solid, impactful, detailed bass from deep piano notes, organ, the kick of a drum, a bass line or environment interactions within the room that it is being recorded in.
I want to large, deep, yet precise 3-D placement of the instruments.
I love hearing micro details...
For example, one of my favorite jazz recordings starts with a solo tenor sax in a fairly small recording studio environment. I can hear the piano frame/strings sympathetically resonating to the sax. I don't want an amp that will lose information like that. So whether it is a tube amp, solid state amp, SE or balanced amp, that it what I am seeking.
Any musicality, or euphonic coloration should be subtle and not overt. In retrospect you might describe it as musical....

 

- I think the LF does well with Macro and Micro dynamics. 

- Bass is absolutely fantastic. Easily the best I've heard from a dynamic amp. It was the reason I bought mine. Plugged in the LCD 2 and went WOW.

- While slightly less precise than the sharper SS amps it still places things very well. Large and deep absolutely. Wider than those same SS amps.

- Extremely detailed. Probably the most 'warm' amp I've heard without a lack of detail somewhere. Again, not quite as detailed as SS amps that I find too sharp.

- Just a note. SE vs Balanced shouldn't make a difference when one or the other is well implemented. 

- The LF's tube sound is fairly subtle compared to a full tube. Reminds me of a B22 in that regard (I realize it's not a tube amp).

 

Here's some direct impressions vs the Bryston BHA-1.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/611514/dallas-tx-beat-the-heat-mini-meet-sunday-june-24th/60#post_8490873


Edited by MorbidToaster - 9/30/12 at 7:15pm
post #68 of 172
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post

That really sounds like an LF, to me.
duly noted...

Why do I suspect that my description sounds like a liquid fire, balancing act or WA5...:-)
Edited by iim7V7IM7 - 9/30/12 at 6:42pm
post #69 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by iim7V7IM7 View Post

 
duly noted...
Why do I suspect that my description sounds like a liquid fire, balancing act or WA5...:-)

 

 

Or a GS-X beerchug.gif

post #70 of 172

Updated that post with more precise impressions.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iim7V7IM7 View Post

 
duly noted...
Why do I suspect that my description sounds like a liquid fire, balancing act or WA5...:-)
post #71 of 172
Thread Starter 
Hi,

So I am down to three amps from my larger list. I wanted to share my thoughts and ask a few questions.

Tube:
- DNA Stratus 2A3

Solid State:
- HeadAmp GS-X
- YBM -AMB Audio Sigma/Beta 22

All of these are similarly priced, are made by respected builders and all would generally be considered a step up from what I currently use. The question comes down to personal preference, how well they meet my sonic goals?

1) Which one of these is the most detailed?
2) Which is the most dynamic and can deal with transients?
3) Which creates the most precise portrayal of recorded space?
4) Which is the most musical and natural sounding?
5) Which reproduces bass is a solid, textured, impactful way?

I have read a number of Beta22 vs. GS-X (not new design Justin will be building) comparisons, where the GS-X is described as being more neutral. I also wonder about variability in Beta22 build quality due to its DIY nature. There is probably enough ears out there that have experienced both with HD800s.

My impression (please correct me if my impressions seem off) is that between the Beta 22 and the GS-X they would score this way:

Sigma/Beta22 - #3, #4
GS-X - #1, #2

Both seem to excel at #5.

Now with the DNA Stratus, it is fairly new and has only been heard at a few meets and owners. So getting actual comparative listening impressions is tough. What attracts me to it is that it's sound timbre falls been the EC and Woo sounds from what I can read. It is a SET with a simple circuit design, variable output impedances, balanced outputs and it uses 2A3 power tubes which are very well regarded as audio tubes. The other thing about tubes is it does allow me to tweak the timbre from more transparent to more lush.

Tough Decision,

Help me between the two solid state choices get down to a single SS vs. the tube amp?

Bob
Edited by iim7V7IM7 - 10/1/12 at 6:24pm
post #72 of 172

It is a tough decision indeed between the GS-X vs. Beta22.  I really believe that the sound quality b/w the two are just a side step from one another.  The newer GS-X is said to have more power which should make it even better.  Another thing to consider is that the GS-X is highly sought after and has a great resale value.  Justin's case work is also very elegant looking and his build quality is second to none.  The Beta22 on the other hand is more customized in term of features, but the chassis works are usually not up to Justin's standards.

post #73 of 172

I have the GS-X on order and although I've never heard it, I placed an order for it because I have the BHSE which not only is the SQ from it unbelievable, but it's build quality is on par with my source,  so I've no doubt the GS-X will be the same. I've gone for a Silver faceplate and matt black enclosure. 

post #74 of 172
Thread Starter 
So more polished aesthetics and higher resale value based on exclusivity favor a GS-X over a Beta 22. That does not surprise me. These are important.

What about their sonic differences with the HD800s?

They are both considered top of the heap in terms of balanced solid state amps. I am trying through your experiences to understand the sonic differences between a Professionally built AMB Sigma/Beta 22 and a HeadAmp GS-X (Gilmore Dynamid).

Can someone comment on the 5 questions that I made a few posts back when contrasting the two?

Thanks
post #75 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by iim7V7IM7 View Post

So more polished aesthetics and higher resale value based on exclusivity favor a GS-X over a Beta 22. That does not surprise me. These are important.
What about their sonic differences with the HD800s?
They are both considered top of the heap in terms of balanced solid state amps. I am trying through your experiences to understand the sonic differences between a Professionally built AMB Sigma/Beta 22 and a HeadAmp GS-X (Gilmore Dynamid).
Can someone comment on the 5 questions that I made a few posts back when contrasting the two?
Thanks

 

 

These are two different amps.  The GS-X is going to give you the utmost in transparency.  While the βeta-22 will add just a little of it's own color.  Now going off my old GS-1.  I had it and the βeta-22 at the same time.  For me.  The βeta-22 beat the GS-1 in the bass department.  

 

Mind you my βeta-22 is a 4 channel fully balanced design.  The GS-1 beat the βeta-22 in just about everything else "technically"  The βeta-22 beat the GS-1 "IMHO" in enjoyment or should I say it was more fun to listen to.  This is with the HD800s.  

 

With the LCD-2.2s I enjoyed these with the GS-1 the most.  That's because that headphone is already colored and the GS-1 just brought it to life.  It sounded good on the βeta-22 as well, but just a little to bassy for me.  The two amps compliment each other to the fullest.  I will have both.


Edited by preproman - 10/2/12 at 5:45pm
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