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The HeadAmp GS-X and GS-X MK2 Thread - Page 235

post #3511 of 3744
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post
 

I'm guessing the 0 impedance amps sounds thin, and people are probably getting that undamped bass from the distortion from the warm amps.  It's preference.  I suspect the HD800 sound bright with GSX like with any SS amps.  800 is bright and thin, and if you don't like that, cook it up with some tubezzz.  

 

Newbie:  Oh no, the HD800 is bright!  

 

HD800 user:  Try the BH crack.  :D 

If you've noticed, I also owned the WA2 and WA22 tube amps...the WA2 is an OTL and the WA22 allows the user to select a higher output impedance. I subsequently sold the WA22 to Solude and we both agree that the GS-X Mk2 was the better match. It's actually on this thread if you search for it. The Burson Soloist does quite a good job with the HD800s for those on a budget (relatively speaking of course). 

post #3512 of 3744
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post
 

If you've noticed, I also owned the WA2 and WA22 tube amps...the WA2 is an OTL and the WA22 allows the user to select a higher output impedance. I subsequently sold the WA22 to Solude and we both agree that the GS-X Mk2 was the better match. It's actually on this thread if you search for it. The Burson Soloist does quite a good job with the HD800s for those on a budget (relatively speaking of course). 

My point is that GSX sounding thin is not surprising.  It's a SS amp with 0 output impedance(0 output impedance is proper, no wrong there).  800 sould sound like how it should.  It is probably bright and thin sounding(but wide stage still, by thin people probably mean not as much bass as they prefer), which I thought was it's characteristic properly amped.  The reason why people have diagreements in thin vs not thin is that people have amps that output loose or distorted bass from high ouput impedance amps such as the vintage or the tube amp.  BH crack being one of them.  People like it, but it is the distortion that people are enjoying.  I'm thinking people see more contrast if they come from these amps to GSX.


Edited by SilverEars - 8/7/14 at 7:07pm
post #3513 of 3744
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post
 

My point is that GSX sounding thin is not surprising.  It's a SS amp with 0 output impedance.  800 sould sound like how it should.  It is probably bright and thin sounding(but wide stage still, by thin people probably mean not as much bass as they prefer), which I thought was it's characteristic properly amped.  The reason why people have diagreements in thin vs not thin is that people have amps that output loose or distorted bass from high ouput impedance amps such as the vintage or the tube amp.  BH crack being one of them.  People like it, but it is the distortion that people are enjoying.

But you haven't heard it yet right? I'd recommend you hear it first, then please feel free to state that...but generalizations made by some and repeated don't really hold up. Remember, one person's full is another person's muddy. The WA22 was the fullest sounding amp with the HD800s that I owned, but the GS-X Mk2 still sounds better to my ears overall. The WA22 was a bit slower and overly bloomy. So pick your poison.

post #3514 of 3744
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post
 

But you haven't heard it yet right? I'd recommend you hear it first, then please feel free to state that...but generalizations made by some and repeated don't really hold up. Remember, one person's full is another person's muddy. The WA22 was the fullest sounding amp with the HD800s that I owned, but the GS-X Mk2 still sounds better to my ears overall. The WA22 was a bit slower and overly bloomy. So pick your poison.

Yes, I want to hear it, probably at a nearby meet if Jusin shows up, but HD800 is predictable with 0 output impedance SS amps, if it's properly made. 

post #3515 of 3744
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post
 

Yes, I want to hear it, probably at a nearby meet if Jusin shows up, but HD800 is predictable with 0 output impedance SS amps, if it's properly made. 

If you're referring to the O2, they're not similar, but getting out to meets is a great way to audition stuff to whittle down your list of options. 

post #3516 of 3744
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post
 

but HD800 is predictable with 0 output impedance SS amps, if it's properly made. 

 

You'd think but the GS-X mk2 is the amp that got the HD800 moving the most for me.  Maybe not the dB boost that high impedance gives but more force behind it.  Hard to explain but with other amps the HD800 is just dynamically flat.  The GS-X mk2 injects some drive to its bottom end that my other amps just couldn't and its butter smooth top end made the treble shelf more or less a non issue.  Not my cup of tea but not the complete waste of time it was on my other amps.


Edited by Solude - 8/7/14 at 7:16pm
post #3517 of 3744
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post
 

If you're referring to the O2, they're not similar, but getting out to meets is a great way to audition stuff to whittle down your list of options. 

No, I've tried other "high-end" stuff. Meaning more expensive stuff to better know about the HD800.  I will hear it when it comes my way, but it's predictable.


Edited by SilverEars - 8/7/14 at 7:17pm
post #3518 of 3744
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solude View Post
 

 

You'd think but the GS-X mk2 is the amp that got the HD800 moving the most for me.  Maybe not the dB boost that high impedance gives but more force behind it.  Hard to explain but with other amps the HD800 is just dynamically flat.  The GS-X mk2 injects some drive to its bottom end that my other amps just couldn't and its butter smooth top end made the treble shelf more or less a non issue.  Not my cup of tea but not the complete waste of time it was on my other amps.

 

"...other amps"...that was quite the legendary list of amps you went through in short order. :smile:

post #3519 of 3744
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post

 

"...other amps"...that was quite the legendary list of amps you went through in short order. :smile:

 

Really should have taken a photo of them all together when I could have.  Might have been used against me in court though if my wife decided to walk ;)

post #3520 of 3744
I've just setup the amp. No listening impressions as yet. But I did notice that when I turned the amp off with the volume at 2pm mark a very loud blip noise came through the headphones. Lucky I had them off at the time.

Is that normal? Should I be turning volume on amp to zero before I turn it off?

I had the source paused at the time I turned it off btw.

Thanks.

Edit: oh and the gain was on low, luckily? And balanced in and out.
Edited by aive - 8/8/14 at 1:56am
post #3521 of 3744
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solude View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post
 

but HD800 is predictable with 0 output impedance SS amps, if it's properly made. 

 

You'd think but the GS-X mk2 is the amp that got the HD800 moving the most for me.  Maybe not the dB boost that high impedance gives but more force behind it.  Hard to explain but with other amps the HD800 is just dynamically flat.  The GS-X mk2 injects some drive to its bottom end that my other amps just couldn't and its butter smooth top end made the treble shelf more or less a non issue.  Not my cup of tea but not the complete waste of time it was on my other amps.

 

I have had both good and not so good results with Sennheiser HD 800 and headphone amplifiers with output impedance <= 2 ohms, mostly solid state, but also a couple of/few tube amplifiers. See my self quote at the end.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solude View Post

Hard to explain but with other amps the HD800 is just dynamically flat.  The GS-X mk2 injects some drive to its bottom end

 

This may very well be related to what I observe as "engaging with toe-tapping factor [(]and [...] goosebumps factor[)]" vs. "less engaging (maybe dull or boring)".

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CDWMcInSpots View Post

[...]

 

I like my Sennheiser HD 800 with my:

  • Lynx Hilo (DAC + amplifier)
  • EAR Yoshino HP4
  • AudioQuest DragonFly (DAC + amplifier)

 

The combinations are engaging with toe-tapping factor and at least for Hilo and HP4 goosebumps factor as well.

 

Yes, the amplifier in AudioQuest DragonFly doesn't drive HD 800 to its full potential, but the combination is engaging nonetheless.

 

Unfortunately I don't like it with my Grace Design m903 because I find the combination less engaging (maybe dull or boring). A brief test with Benchmark DAC1 PRE or HDR next to m903 and Hilo gave a similar impression. Hence I bought the Hilo that day. Others do like the m903 or Benchmark with HD 800.

 

I have heard the Musical Surroundings Fosgate Signature Tube Headphone Amplifier in a shop and found it engaging with good toe-tapping factor for several headphones - possibly goosebumps factor as well, but that's more difficult to catch during a shop evaluation. I believe Sennheiser HD 800 was one of them.

 

I have over time found that it's important for me that an equipment combination is engaging with toe-tapping and goosebumps factor. For example dull but beautiful just doesn't work.

 

My signature states "I listen at (very) moderate loudness levels.". Listening at higher loudness levels may yield different results.

 

Edit:

 

Most sources only state that the Musical Surroundings Fosgate Signature Tube Headphone Amplifier has a "low output impedance". So far I've only found this source that actually gives an impedance number:

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by songmic View Post
[...] the Fosgate Signature Headphone Amplifier's output impedance is only 4.7 ohms. [...]


Edited by CDWMcInSpots - 8/8/14 at 5:41am
post #3522 of 3744
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDWMcInSpots View Post
 

 

I have had both good and not so good results with Sennheiser HD 800 and headphone amplifiers with output impedance <= 2 ohms, mostly solid state, but also a couple of/few tube amplifiers. See my self quote at the end.

 

 

 

 

Sorry, but this is were generalizations aren't very useful IMO. Can some solid state amps with low output impedance sound "thinner" with the HD800s? Sure, but with all? Certainly not in my experiences; the Burson Soloist, V200 and GS-X/GS-X Mk2 all sound very good with the HD800s. Without first hand experiences, these generalizations don't really help. If I had a nickel every time someone posted that tube amps are warm sounding and more so than solid state amps, I'd be a rich man by now. I've heard solid state amps that are very warm and even mushy and I've heard tube amps that are more "solid state sounding" (whatever that means) than most solid state amps.

 

As I mentioned last night, I owned both the WA2 (OTL) and WA22 (w/ an output transformer, but with a "high output impedance setting") and the HD800s just worked better out of the GS-X Mk2 (for the reasons given by Solude above).


Edited by MacedonianHero - 8/8/14 at 12:26pm
post #3523 of 3744

So I've spent about ~10 hours listening now, thought it might be beneficial to others if I posted my initial thoughts/notes. Thankfully the loud noise issue seems to have gone - only happened once.

 

What I've got: lossy/lossless > iTunes > MacBook Air > (via USB32) Audio-GD M7 > GS-X mk2 (balanced in & out) > LCD-3.

Where I've been: Woo Audio WA2 with upgraded tubes.

 

Thoughts:

- So where I've been is important. My previous amp is considerably cheaper, single-ended, not optimal for orthos, etc, etc. Also, I haven't personally heard any higher-end rigs than what I've got (attribute this to the lack of local high end headphone stores and my anti-social tendencies). So please consider these 2 facts when reading my opinions - I'm not going to claim what I've heard is the best ever, 'wire with gain', etc, cus I don't know what "better" is quantitatively.- 

 

Bass is extended, clear and powerful.

Power: You can really feel a tangible thump in some tracks (e.g. Tool - The Pot, Taylor Swift - Fearless, Gorillaz - Stylo, Kanye West - Clique, Lorde - Buzzcut Season, insert your favourite bass track). I am enjoying the quantity of bass in my setup - it feels just right, but I haven't played around with EQing yet.

 

Clarity: The tracks mentioned above also help demonstrate clarity performance. Another bass test track I use is Daft Punk - Giorgio by Moroder: In comparison to the WA2, the bass in the early portions of the track are clearer, you can discern individual bass notes better - but I still think it can be improved further. There still seems to be some muddiness and I think it's due to the DAC and the use of USB32 in particular (based on feedback from others). The next step for me is to implement an I2S reclocker/transport before the DAC and see if that resolves things.

 

Extension: E.g. Radiohead - All I Need, Massive Attack - Protection, Lorde - Buzzcut Season. You can really feel the bass reach dooooooowwwwwwwwwwwn loooooow and pull you down with it. Coupled with the power and clarity qualities, the GS-X really does deliver good bass.

 

Mids/Highs Clarity

Amp is very resolving.  I wanted to see what high end SS was like and I'm liking the sound. Coming from tubes, I was hoping for the lower noise floor and more 'clinical?' sound - which I think is achieved. Again, caveat, I haven't heard what high-end tube amps sound like - e.g. EC amps - which seem very popular. 

- It seems like a very clear amp. I'm noticing additional detail on tracks such as artists breath/movement during recordings, nuances of audio tracks - e.g. Coldplay tracks with Chris Martin. More detail extraction with Radiohead tracks - but with detail, sometimes I just notice more detail when I'm listening to new gear, if I go back and listen carefully with old gear sometimes I can hear the same detail.

- Massive Attack - Inertia Creeps, can hear the nuances of the drums, the reverb.

- Taylor Swift tracks, lots of small details in the guitar strumming and backing instruments.

- Quite a few tracks where I'm noticing chimes where I didn't before. Can't think of an example track off the top of my head - this is why I should take notes during listening sessions...

 

Spacious

Songs do sound more open. I think the clarity and resolution qualities of the amp contribute to this. Can more easily hear echoes, details in the recording studio, etc.

 

Think that's all the major points for now....

 

Was it worth the wait? Don't know - don't know what else is out there that is able to deliver the same performance without the wait. Liquid Gold, EC amps, Auralic Taurus mk2? But I am very happy with the amp's performance and am really enjoying the tangible improvements - stayed up till 2 am last night just relistening to my library. Was awesome. I'm sort of scared of how much better things can be from this point - but the journey continues...

post #3524 of 3744
Quote:
Originally Posted by aive View Post
 

So I've spent about ~10 hours listening now, thought it might be beneficial to others if I posted my initial thoughts/notes. Thankfully the loud noise issue seems to have gone - only happened once.

 

What I've got: lossy/lossless > iTunes > MacBook Air > (via USB32) Audio-GD M7 > GS-X mk2 (balanced in & out) > LCD-3.

Where I've been: Woo Audio WA2 with upgraded tubes.

 

Thoughts:

- So where I've been is important. My previous amp is considerably cheaper, single-ended, not optimal for orthos, etc, etc. Also, I haven't personally heard any higher-end rigs than what I've got (attribute this to the lack of local high end headphone stores and my anti-social tendencies). So please consider these 2 facts when reading my opinions - I'm not going to claim what I've heard is the best ever, 'wire with gain', etc, cus I don't know what "better" is quantitatively.- 

 

Bass is extended, clear and powerful.

Power: You can really feel a tangible thump in some tracks (e.g. Tool - The Pot, Taylor Swift - Fearless, Gorillaz - Stylo, Kanye West - Clique, Lorde - Buzzcut Season, insert your favourite bass track). I am enjoying the quantity of bass in my setup - it feels just right, but I haven't played around with EQing yet.

 

Clarity: The tracks mentioned above also help demonstrate clarity performance. Another bass test track I use is Daft Punk - Giorgio by Moroder: In comparison to the WA2, the bass in the early portions of the track are clearer, you can discern individual bass notes better - but I still think it can be improved further. There still seems to be some muddiness and I think it's due to the DAC and the use of USB32 in particular (based on feedback from others). The next step for me is to implement an I2S reclocker/transport before the DAC and see if that resolves things.

 

Extension: E.g. Radiohead - All I Need, Massive Attack - Protection, Lorde - Buzzcut Season. You can really feel the bass reach dooooooowwwwwwwwwwwn loooooow and pull you down with it. Coupled with the power and clarity qualities, the GS-X really does deliver good bass.

 

Mids/Highs Clarity

Amp is very resolving.  I wanted to see what high end SS was like and I'm liking the sound. Coming from tubes, I was hoping for the lower noise floor and more 'clinical?' sound - which I think is achieved. Again, caveat, I haven't heard what high-end tube amps sound like - e.g. EC amps - which seem very popular. 

- It seems like a very clear amp. I'm noticing additional detail on tracks such as artists breath/movement during recordings, nuances of audio tracks - e.g. Coldplay tracks with Chris Martin. More detail extraction with Radiohead tracks - but with detail, sometimes I just notice more detail when I'm listening to new gear, if I go back and listen carefully with old gear sometimes I can hear the same detail.

- Massive Attack - Inertia Creeps, can hear the nuances of the drums, the reverb.

- Taylor Swift tracks, lots of small details in the guitar strumming and backing instruments.

- Quite a few tracks where I'm noticing chimes where I didn't before. Can't think of an example track off the top of my head - this is why I should take notes during listening sessions...

 

Spacious

Songs do sound more open. I think the clarity and resolution qualities of the amp contribute to this. Can more easily hear echoes, details in the recording studio, etc.

 

Think that's all the major points for now....

 

Was it worth the wait? Don't know - don't know what else is out there that is able to deliver the same performance without the wait. Liquid Gold, EC amps, Auralic Taurus mk2? But I am very happy with the amp's performance and am really enjoying the tangible improvements - stayed up till 2 am last night just relistening to my library. Was awesome. I'm sort of scared of how much better things can be from this point - but the journey continues...


Great initial thoughts... And some good points on comparing to other equipment. I think what I have sounds great but then never heard any other amps or dacs to compare to it so its a case of not knowing what I don't know. For instance some say the schiit M/G sound "forward" or "aggressive" and I think it just sounds neutral but then what do I know? Again a perfect example of not having the experience with other stuff to be able to tell the difference which makes reviews even more subjective. Then how much of sound quality is attributed to the dac and how much to the amp? Personally leaning towards the Auralic Taurus/Vega as a step up but not any time soon. Or maybe a MSB dac/GS-X MkII?

post #3525 of 3744
Quote:
Originally Posted by commtrd View Post
 

 For instance some say the schiit M/G sound "forward" or "aggressive" and I think it just sounds neutral but then what do I know?

 

The Mjolnir is those things.  The Gungnir balances it back out.  Together they are very natural.

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