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Little Dot MIV VS Crack for HD650

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi Guys,

 

I'm relatively new to the audiophile community. Started off looking for what I thought were some fairly decent portable headphones, looked at the beats and bose etc, I had a look online and realised how much a mistake I would of made purchasing them.

 

I then purchased some M80s thanks to this site, absolutely love them. Then a month later bought the HD650 to use at home and Fiio E7 and E09k combo and was absolutely amazed, and I'm in love with the way they sound.

 

I've had the Fiio E7 and E9 for a week but I'm wanting MORE, this is addictive and bloody expensive :)

 

My next upgrade would be a tube amp to compliment my HD650s, I don't want to spend a stupid amount of money.

 

I've looked at the Crack OTL and Little Dot MK IV but obviously haven't had a chance audition them.

 

Which would you think would compliment the HD650 the best? Any other amps that you could recommend in a similar price bracket?

 

Also I don't want to invest in another DAC at the moment, would the E7 sound ok connected to a tube amp?

 

Many thanks!

post #2 of 7

I have never auditioned the Little Dot, but I have a pair of HD 600 and a Crack, and I can tell you it sounds awesome, much better than E9! Soundstage is really wide, and the bass goes deep and punchy (thanks to speedball I guess). It really makes you feel that you are 'there' on the stage. On certain tracks (e.g. Arne Domnerus - High Live) you can almost 'see' where the percussion, drums, and other instruments are on the stage.

 

Do note that Crack has high output impedance, so not all headphones will pair well. I have tried ATH M50 on it, and I didn't get anywhere close the improvement I got with high impedance cans. Yes, they got louder and the highs are a tad clearer, but soundstage and imaging didn't really improve and the bass wasn't quite tight and punch. HD 600 (and HD 650, I presume) do shine with Crack smily_headphones1.gif

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply. This amp is just for my HD650 I have no desire to amp the M80s as I get plenty of power from my iPhone and even with the E7 as a portable amp it doesn't improve it that much.

 

Was the crack fairly easy to assemble? I'm not that great with DIY but can follow some instructions and do some basic soldering.

 

If I do purchase the Crack I won't be getting the speedball initially as I need to watch my funds. But that's a good point, I could upgrade the crack further down the line if I wanted something extra.

post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by j123my View Post

I have never auditioned the Little Dot, but I have a pair of HD 600 and a Crack, and I can tell you it sounds awesome, much better than E9! Soundstage is really wide, and the bass goes deep and punchy (thanks to speedball I guess). It really makes you feel that you are 'there' on the stage. On certain tracks (e.g. Arne Domnerus - High Live) you can almost 'see' where the percussion, drums, and other instruments are on the stage.

 

Do note that Crack has high output impedance, so not all headphones will pair well. I have tried ATH M50 on it, and I didn't get anywhere close the improvement I got with high impedance cans. Yes, they got louder and the highs are a tad clearer, but soundstage and imaging didn't really improve and the bass wasn't quite tight and punch. HD 600 (and HD 650, I presume) do shine with Crack smily_headphones1.gif

BTW, in case you have seen it and wonder, I am putting my crack on sale in the FS forum NOT because I don't like it. I honestly enjoy the sound with HD600. Suffice to say that I will definitely own another crack when I have the cash.

post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mestys View Post

Thanks for the reply. This amp is just for my HD650 I have no desire to amp the M80s as I get plenty of power from my iPhone and even with the E7 as a portable amp it doesn't improve it that much.

 

Was the crack fairly easy to assemble? I'm not that great with DIY but can follow some instructions and do some basic soldering.

 

If I do purchase the Crack I won't be getting the speedball initially as I need to watch my funds. But that's a good point, I could upgrade the crack further down the line if I wanted something extra.


I also purchased the Crack alone, and upgraded it with Speedball about a year later.  It was a fun experience because I got accustomed to the Crack sound for 12 months, installed speedball, and then was able to realize the sound difference.  I would also suggest picking up an extra set of tubes for two reasons:  (1) Different tube models can sound different, and (2) it doesn't hurt to have a spare set around.

post #6 of 7

Crack with Speedball. That'll be my next upgrade in a few years or so.

post #7 of 7

Yes, the crack is fairly easy to construct - the instruction manual is just great! However, it can be a pretty long process depending on how meticulous and perfectionist you are biggrin.gif. I have build 3 Cracks so far. The first time I build a crack for a friend, it took me about 14-18 hours (no kidding) over 4 days. Basically I was just following the instruction, being careful to double (and triple!) check that I get every thing right. Here's what I got http://www.head-fi.org/t/476650/crack-bottlehead-otl/1380#post_9011077. Being very careful did pay-off though, as I was really satisfied when the amp fire up and run properly on the first try. (Naturally, subsequent builds were faster and better)

 

As long as you are familiar with soldering and stripping wires, and have the patient/time, you should be fine. Knowledge of basic electronic really helps, though, as that reduces the probability you'll install capacitors, diodes, & LEDs backwards (most common mistake), accidentally shorting things, etc. Some people tend to rush the building process, and got frustrated troubleshooting why their amp didn't work properly. For me, I think it is better to do it slowly but correctly - troubleshooting is always more difficult than constructing itself!

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