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HE-500, LCD2, D5000, DT770, SR80, on a speaker amp (Emotiva mini-X A-100) Project - Page 182

post #2716 of 3790
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonido View Post

Well for added warmth. You could try tube DAC as well. All I can say is I'm hearing the combo and it's a definite improvement over Emotiva alone. Less harsh for sure and maybe that's what people are looking for. While the volume control on Emotiva is fine, having a preamp really helps in how fine you can control the volume. And for $100 I can't believe people are arguing over price when they're willing to spend much more on cables. I'm sorry, but this preamp is going to affect the sound much more than cables.

The D2 is $250 as well. And for those with a $1000+ DAC which is technically superior than the D2 as far as what a DAC is supposed to do, it doesn't make sense to downgrade to the D2.

I know it's a foreign idea to most of you, this preamp thing. But we are using a speaker amp, so it opens the doors. When in Rome... This article explains the concept: http://www.ebay.com/gds/Amplifiers-tube-amp-or-solid-state-/10000000002874327/g.html

 

Its one of the reasons I got the RL Concero with the Mini-X as it has a lower output voltage at 1.2Vrms and gives more flexibility with the volume control. In addition I have the B&W MM-1 desktop speakers with the line-in connected to the RCA bypass outputs on the Mini-X. The line-in on the MM-1s appear to have been designed for portable devices with output limited to 1Vrms. Using DACs that output 2Vrms on the RCAs seem to overload the line in causing distortion. The lower output from the Concero does help with this as well.

 

The preamp section of the Mini-X is probably its weakest link adding a bit of bass and brightness in the treble. It would be interesting if we could bypass the preamp on the Mini-X and use it exclusively as a power amp with something like a tube pre-amp. All I know is that my AVR and power amp is significantly quieter than the Mini-X when hooked up to my HE-500s.


Edited by daerron - 12/15/13 at 1:03pm
post #2717 of 3790
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post
 

 

:blink: Of course.  That's a no brainer .  If your using a mini-X chances are your not using a $1000 DAC with it.  So the suggested DAC is suggested because it's cost effective.  I'm saying I wouldn't add a pre amp.  That's like adding a pre amp to an integrated amp?  Why get the integrated amp in the first place.  

 

One of the main reasons the mini-X is so popular is because of the integrated volume control.  This allows you to concentrate more on your DAC choice.

Honestly, IMO I think the mini-X is so popular because it's dirt cheap and people like to think their HE-500s require a speaker amp. That's what I'm mostly seeing the combo owners say anyway. I still have the HE-500 and I can say with confidence that it doesn't need what the mini-x offers and there are better choices out there, especially when throwing in a preamp into the mix. I'm not doubting Sonido that it sounds good, but I get the feeling that he has not heard much more optimized systems with his HE-500. No offense Sonido and correct me if i am wrong. We have all been there.

 

EDIT: If  one of you Mini-X owners are capable and already have a preamp, I recommend bypassing/shunting the Emo's pot and run straight from the preamp. There's no doubt in my mind a veil will be lifted, maybe dramatically so.


Edited by brunk - 12/15/13 at 1:57pm
post #2718 of 3790
Back at the LA meet no one touched or even asked about the mini x that I brought.

I wonder how many I'll see at the upcoming meet now that it has a larger following.
post #2719 of 3790
Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post
 

Honestly, IMO I think the mini-X is so popular because it's dirt cheap and people like to think their HE-500s require a speaker amp. That's what I'm mostly seeing the combo owners say anyway. I still have the HE-500 and I can say with confidence that it doesn't need what the mini-x offers and there are better choices out there, especially when throwing in a preamp into the mix. I'm not doubting Sonido that it sounds good, but I get the feeling that he has not heard much more optimized systems with his HE-500. No offense Sonido and correct me if i am wrong. We have all been there.

 

EDIT: If  one of you Mini-X owners are capable and already have a preamp, I recommend bypassing/shunting the Emo's pot and run straight from the preamp. There's no doubt in my mind a veil will be lifted, maybe dramatically so.


Well one of the reasons the Mini-x is loved so much is because of how well it synergizes with the HE-500's FR. It has a unique sound that no other amp really can compare to. While being $169 and offering a sufficient amount of watts to power the HE-500  as well as the potential to power any speakers you may have, it's a sweet deal. Sure, there may be other amps triple its price that sound better, but not only is it 3x the price, it also probably wont synergize as well as the Mini-x either.

post #2720 of 3790
Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post
 

Honestly, IMO I think the mini-X is so popular because it's dirt cheap and people like to think their HE-500s require a speaker amp. That's what I'm mostly seeing the combo owners say anyway. I still have the HE-500 and I can say with confidence that it doesn't need what the mini-x offers and there are better choices out there, especially when throwing in a preamp into the mix. I'm not doubting Sonido that it sounds good, but I get the feeling that he has not heard much more optimized systems with his HE-500. No offense Sonido and correct me if i am wrong. We have all been there.

 

EDIT: If  one of you Mini-X owners are capable and already have a preamp, I recommend bypassing/shunting the Emo's pot and run straight from the preamp. There's no doubt in my mind a veil will be lifted, maybe dramatically so.

 

 

Brunk - I did say "one" of the reasons.  Of corse the price is really good.  When the min-X dropped I was one of the first adopters on Head fi along with elwappo, he was the first one.  At the time there was many other low cost amps out there as well but almost none with the volume pot.  Again that was "one" of the main reasons for the initial interest.  

 

OK, but I understand it's time to take it a step further.  A pre amp here will not eft a veil.  The amp has no veil.  The pre amp may add some warmth, just hope it does not round either end of the spectrum.

post #2721 of 3790
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post
 

 

 

Brunk - I did say "one" of the reasons.  Of corse the price is really good.  When the min-X dropped I was one of the first adopters on Head fi along with elwappo, he was the first one.  At the time there was many other low cost amps out there as well but almost none with the volume pot.  Again that was "one" of the main reasons for the initial interest.  

 

OK, but I understand it's time to take it a step further.  A pre amp here will not eft a veil.  The amp has no veil.  The pre amp may add some warmth, just hope it does not round either end of the spectrum.

OK I stand corrected then, thanks for the historical info. However, I have heard more than a few people say the amp has hiss very early on, and that is an issue. I'm always on the lookout for fellow Head-Fi'ers, but I guess it's hard to knock the Mini-X for it's price/performance here. It's too bad the Mini-X doesn't have a gain switch, I'd bet that would really improve things for several people.

post #2722 of 3790
Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post
 

OK I stand corrected then, thanks for the historical info. However, I have heard more than a few people say the amp has hiss very early on, and that is an issue. I'm always on the lookout for fellow Head-Fi'ers, but I guess it's hard to knock the Mini-X for it's price/performance here. It's too bad the Mini-X doesn't have a gain switch, I'd bet that would really improve things for several people.

 

Another bit of history.  The mini-X was born in the HE-6 thread here on head fi.:biggrin:

post #2723 of 3790
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post
 

 

Another bit of history.  The mini-X was born in the HE-6 thread here on head fi.:biggrin:

Hah, very cool! :)

post #2724 of 3790
Quote:

Originally Posted by john57 View Post

 

Another good bargain at Emotiva is the XDA-2 USB DAC/Digital Preamp that can handle 6 inputs with display and also have balanced outs at $249.00.  The remote is not a flimsy not even plastic, thing. Try to find the closest DAC with the same feature set of the  XDA-2  at that price.

Agreed, I was looking for something like the XDA-2, and I couldn't find anything that matched its feature set for even 2-3x the price. It's pretty surprising since the needs I had are needs I would expect to be pretty common (multi-source DAC with volume control and remote for a 2 channel stereo).

 

Also the remote should legally be considered a weapon, it's practically solid metal.

post #2725 of 3790
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taowolf51 View Post
 

Agreed, I was looking for something like the XDA-2, and I couldn't find anything that matched its feature set for even 2-3x the price. It's pretty surprising since the needs I had are needs I would expect to be pretty common (multi-source DAC with volume control and remote for a 2 channel stereo).

 

Also the remote should legally be considered a weapon, it's practically solid metal.

Lol, yeah you should see the remote I have for the UMC-1. Huge chunk of metal. I picked it up for about $175 too...no better value than that. Throw REW into the mix and there's really no need for a fancy Audyssey XT32 prepro or whatever.

post #2726 of 3790
Consider me a part of the club now smily_headphones1.gif
post #2727 of 3790
Yeah I don't doubt that an amp that has no preamp/volume control stage would be better suited with a preamp. Still I have to say at less than $300, the Quickie+Emotiva is a great bang for the buck, and it gives you warmth for those who want it. I find the Emotiva signature was one that made the soundstage very tall. With speakers that are farther away from the ears it's not a problem, but this can give headphones a sense of two dimensionally due to the ratio of height/width to depth. Besides warmth I found the Quickie to add to soundstage depth, which makes the overall soundstage a more even shaped and more coherent.
post #2728 of 3790
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nimzerz View Post

Consider me a part of the club now smily_headphones1.gif

I am so proud of you.  :D and welcome to the Mini-X believer club.

post #2729 of 3790
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonido View Post

Yeah I don't doubt that an amp that has no preamp/volume control stage would be better suited with a preamp. Still I have to say at less than $300, the Quickie+Emotiva is a great bang for the buck, and it gives you warmth for those who want it. I find the Emotiva signature was one that made the soundstage very tall. With speakers that are farther away from the ears it's not a problem, but this can give headphones a sense of two dimensionally due to the ratio of height/width to depth. Besides warmth I found the Quickie to add to soundstage depth, which makes the overall soundstage a more even shaped and more coherent.

The soundstage issue you mention is most likely a crosstalk issue of the amp itself since it shares grounds and PSU. I can imagine the Quickie is an excellent preamp. I have had some tube preamps before and they do air things out and provide a pleasing euphony. I still stand firm that if someone is looking to get into a tube sound, putting them directly in the signal path like Quickie vs. a tube amp is the best way to go. That is 90% of it right there.

post #2730 of 3790
Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post
 

The soundstage issue you mention is most likely a crosstalk issue of the amp itself since it shares grounds and PSU. I can imagine the Quickie is an excellent preamp. I have had some tube preamps before and they do air things out and provide a pleasing euphony. I still stand firm that if someone is looking to get into a tube sound, putting them directly in the signal path like Quickie vs. a tube amp is the best way to go. That is 90% of it right there.


Yup just like the guy mentioned in the link I posted earlier. I have a tube speaker amp as well in the Baby Sophia, and I prefer the Emotiva+Quickie over it for the HE-500, as I actually like the tall soundstage and its grand sound, with the Quickie fixing any depth issues. For speakers though, due to that tall soundstage doing weird things with the room acoustics like reverberations and such, I prefer the smaller sound of the Sophia.

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