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Audio Note HE-6 Amp

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

i've long been curious about Audio Note gear, especially the kits.

while perusing their site in search of a DIY project, i came upon a headphone amp kit for the HE-6.

 

http://www.audionotekits.com/he6headamp.html

 

$2450 for the 'extreme configuration.'

they also list a soon-to-be-released smaller "L1" version for $1375.

 

 

 

 

this has been a public service announcement.

post #2 of 18

Could be a good, all-round headphone amp. I tried the Luxman EL-34-based Neo Classic amp with LCD-2s and it was quite good.  Talk about a huge chassis though. 

post #3 of 18

Was never a huge fan of the kits, they are all out of spec parts that Audio Note has sold to this third part company at a cheaper price.  Don't sound bad by any means, but not nearly of the same quality as the "real" audio note.  That being said, they still retain the same sonic signature of the real stuff, seems like this has the same circuit as the Otto if you're familiar.  Really hard to tell with the three pictures they have on the site but class A, EL84 tubes in parallel single ended configuration really sounds like the Otto if you ask me.  Both put out about 9-10 watts.  The Otto is a very nice integrated amp, so I've high hopes for this kit.  Still, everything comes down to those output transformers, it could be the best design the world has to offer but if those output transformers aren't any good the entire amp falls flat.  Guess we'll see if someone decides to test it out.  

post #4 of 18

Why couldn't they use a bigger pot for such a huge box.

post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by colinharding View Post

Was never a huge fan of the kits, they are all out of spec parts that Audio Note has sold to this third part company at a cheaper price.  Don't sound bad by any means, but not nearly of the same quality as the "real" audio note.  

 

Perhaps not, but we are talking price differences of 10-15 times the kit prices, accepting that the kits dont correlate directly to the commercial AN lineup. People who have actually BUILT the kits, particularly the DACs and the speakers, rave about the VFM equation. I am keen on the base speaker kit, but I dont expect the end result to be on par with a pair of speakers that AN are charging 20K USD for .....

post #6 of 18

Every time Audio Note kits are mentioned Mr. Harding feels the need to trash them. Perhaps he could enlighten us with specific evidence of his allegations?

 

I built and own an Audio Note DAC 2.1b. I am very happy with it. I've had several other more expensive DACs in my system. The kit 2.1b trounced them all. 

 

Customer service and support during the construction process was excellent.

post #7 of 18

My allegations were really based on the inception of the kit company, where the parts were all over the place ranging in quality and specs.  They had a very tough few years out of the gate with a good bit of criticism, as it seemed like they were selling Audio Note rejects instead of passable quality parts. But it seems now that it has developed enough of a following and customer base that their level of quality and service has greatly outpaced what it once was.  It was until I had given them a call and gone back to listen to a few pieces of gear that I'd realized this, my opinions were obviously a tab predated and for that I apologize.  

 

 

They do sound very nice but within the context of the "real deal" I believe that their price difference really starts to show its head.  For example, I built myself the DAC 4 kit a while back with top of the line audio note parts.  It sounded absolutely wonderful, until I heard the actual DAC 4, and it didn't come so close.  So, in and of themselves (and most everything else), they are giant killers. Great equipment, great prices, with finely crafted components.  As you said Frank, they will trash more expensive DACs as they (Audio Note at large, kit or prebuilt) represents such a baseline of quality and craftsmanship that it is extremely hard to beat them.  That being said, the components that aren't used in their prebuilt units are sent to the kits.  They may be a gnat's hair out of spec, but are still very good parts.  I had talked to Peter about this HE-6 headphone amp recently and Andy Grove himself developed those output transformers for the HP amp.  That's quite a great start.  But hey, if you can afford it, go for the real deal biggrin.gif

post #8 of 18

If I could afford AN's commercial offerings, I wouldnt be messing around with soldering irons OR internet forums.  wink.gif

post #9 of 18
Hahaha touché
post #10 of 18

I don't usually do this, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

If I could afford AN's commercial offerings, I wouldnt be messing around with soldering irons OR internet forums.  wink.gif

 

Quoted for Truth.

 

beerchug.gif

post #11 of 18

Kind of agree...Though I'm looking into some of their speakers...

 

Although they have a sexy looking 300B kit out there...

 

EDIT: And I just looked at their AN-E speaker kits...something feels awry. 3650 for cabinets and all for (what I can tell) is essentially an AN-E HE feels ways off...Hmm...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

I don't usually do this, but...

 

Quoted for Truth.

 

beerchug.gif


Edited by MorbidToaster - 12/4/12 at 4:18pm
post #12 of 18
Quote:
And I just looked at their AN-E speaker kits...something feels awry. 3650 for cabinets and all for (what I can tell) is essentially an AN-E HE feels ways off...Hmm...

They use better sounding wood for the cabinets.... No knots to upset the pressure waves.

post #13 of 18

They do come with cabinet plans...I suppose you could do different woods and pick the favorite.

 

I just worry about getting it dampened properly. I feel that'd be the biggest deciding factor.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wink View Post

They use better sounding wood for the cabinets.... No knots to upset the pressure waves.

post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post

They do come with cabinet plans...I suppose you could do different woods and pick the favorite.

 

I just worry about getting it dampened properly. I feel that'd be the biggest deciding factor.

 

 

Cabinetry grade plywood and about an inch of insulation all the way around on the inside is that is required, I used to rebuild their commercial ones for friends that bought different tweeters, new internal wiring etc.  Not that exciting inside.  I personally used marine grade plywood, voidless and very dense, for my own speakers.  You can just use regular old fiberglass insulation, or they have "special" audio insulation, all sounds the same to me though.  However, above or below an inch seems to have ill effects for whatever reason.  Get the internal silver wiring if you can afford it, SOGON is absolutely amazing and really makes quite a difference.

post #15 of 18
I've had a 3.1 Sig as my choice when funds are available. I also saw this amp and I have a question I suppose I could ask Brian but since I'm here and have some experienced AN players. Does one need to match the same output transformers for the best results if you went with a combo DAC/amp? That's $2k for the 3C. I"m not going to ask if it's worth the difference as the whole point of building a kit is to get the best possible performance for the price. If one component were to be sacrificed to standard transformers, which should it be?
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