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Fiio 17 and/or Little Dot 1+ first amp for new Grado 225 advice

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

 

I’m new to Head Fi. I’ve been doing some reading and have auditioned headphones. I've ordered a Grado i225.

 

I've narrowed my amp choices between the Fiio 17 and a Little Dot 1 . So, I'm trying to decide if I want to start out with a desk amp, a portable or both . But, I’m definitely open to other ideas.

 

I listen to a range of music, but mostly heavy rock. My music preferences in order:

  • 80-90% Metal, punk/hardcore, prog, psychedelic, and hard rock
  • Some alternative/indie rock, singer songwriters (I.e., Joe Henry, Black Keys, Fiona Apple, etc.)
  • Classic rock
  • Blues, accoustic, jazz (Pat Metheny, Miles Davis, Diana Krall, etc), a little new age (Secret Garden, Lerena McKennett), easy listening (Sinatra, etc.)
  • A sprinkling of symphonic music, soundtracks etc.

 

I’m interested in investing in a rig that will give me good sound on my Ipod and do some listening in a designated computer room from a CD player/stereo system and computer. But, probably 70% of the time on an Ipod.

 

 I’ve ordered a pair of Gradoi225

 

So, now for some amp choices ? I don't think it makes a lot of sense to throw big money into my first amp.

 

After a lot of reading here-the Fiio E17 and Little Dot look like winners:

  1. E17 for the portability and versitility/DAC, and/or a Little Dot +1 (or other Little Dot model) as a desk amp (which I see have garnered favorable review among Grado owners) OR
  2. E17 paired with E9 Or
  3. E17 only, the next month or two commit to a $300ish desk amp (Schiit, Belarri 540, Hifiman, etc.) Or lastly,
  4. Keep it simple-go with one (E17 or LD) and put extra $ into a second pair of cans later on with a different set of sound values (maybe larger soundstage, more all-rounder) to provide an alternative and complement my 225-HE 400/500, AKG, Ultrasone, etc.

 

I’m soliciting advice from some of the sages here on my first amp set up. I very much appreicate the wealth of information you all provide. I'm learning a lot!

 

Much thanks,

Mark

post #2 of 18

I'd go little dot and then different set of cans later. The little dot has a bunch of tube rolling options and the tube treble roll off will calm down the grados so they aren't as harsh. I'm also driving AKG K702s with the little dot so it can definitely take some demanding headphones

post #3 of 18

I had the little dot i+ and grado sr225 way back in the day. A really great combination. After selling the little dot, I couldn't listen to the grados with much else. 

post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by elwappo99 View Post

I had the little dot i+ and grado sr225 way back in the day. A really great combination. After selling the little dot, I couldn't listen to the grados with much else. 

Wow, that's a pretty strong recommendation particularly since you had the same cans. the pa2v2 looks good too.

 

Much Apprec

post #5 of 18

Indeed.  LD I+ and SR225s are a great match.

 

Cheers!

 

post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 

I don't know anything about tube rolling. The LD webiste offers to:

 

  • Replace standard tubes with EF92 - additional $20 USD
  • Replace standard tubes with WE408A - additional $50 USD

 

Do you think that's a good call? Or, would you recommend just going w/ the stock tubes for a while?

 

BTW, on a purely aesthetic level-the photo of your rig look pretty cool!

 

Much Thanks,

 

-M


Edited by markm1 - 1/19/13 at 10:37am
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by markm1 View Post

I don't know anything about tube rolling. The LD webiste offers to:

 

  • Replace standard tubes with EF92 - additional $20 USD
  • Replace standard tubes with WE408A - additional $50 USD

 

Do you think that's a good call? Or, would you recommend just going w/ the stock tubes for a while?

 

BTW, on a purely aesthetic level-the photo of your rig look pretty cool!

 

Much Thanks,

 

-M

 

If you want to try tube rolling I think the EF92 is a pretty good price. You could probably get them for $15 later, but getting tubes that matched is pretty hard. 

post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by markm1 View Post

I don't know anything about tube rolling. The LD webiste offers to:

 

  • Replace standard tubes with EF92 - additional $20 USD
  • Replace standard tubes with WE408A - additional $50 USD

 

Do you think that's a good call? Or, would you recommend just going w/ the stock tubes for a while?

 

BTW, on a purely aesthetic level-the photo of your rig look pretty cool!

 

Much Thanks,

 

-M

 

Thanks Mark,

 

I would get the stock tubes and purchase others on your own.  Lots of tubes for this amp are priced nicely.  You have three families of tubes you can use (EF95, EF91 (6AM6) & 92 (CV4015) & 408A (6028) and all drop in variants.  For the EF95 family alone, you can roll EF95, 6AK5, CV850, 5654, 6096, 403A, M8100, 6J1P-EV, 6ZH1P-EV.  Lots of tubes to choose from.

 

Have fun!!! 

post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by markm1 View Post

I don't know anything about tube rolling. The LD webiste offers to:

 

  • Replace standard tubes with EF92 - additional $20 USD
  • Replace standard tubes with WE408A - additional $50 USD

 

Do you think that's a good call? Or, would you recommend just going w/ the stock tubes for a while?

 

BTW, on a purely aesthetic level-the photo of your rig look pretty cool!

 

Much Thanks,

 

-M

Hi Mark,

Since I don't wanted to get off topic in the Schiit Magni thread I thought I'll give you a little more of my thoughts on the LD I+ here.

 

I don't know much about the Schiit Asgard but my LD definately feels more solid than the Magni. MUCH heavier and really "built as a brick". 

 

I had no knowledge at all about tubes or op amps (even less about rolling them) when I bought my LD. I have not made many changes or tried a lot of combinations but that's because I pretty fast found a combination that I liked. However now I have a lot of more headphones than I had a couple of years ago when I bought my LD so now I feel like trying out more combinations and the possibilities are almost limitless. I think that's quiet unike and fun (especially considering the relative low price on the LD).

 

It is really VERY easy to change both the op amp and the tubes, You can absolutly start with standard stock tubes and take it from there. If you're happy the way it sound this way just enoy it. When you want to change tubes you have a foundation in what you like and dislike in the stock tubes and that will make it easier for you to choose you're next pair of tubes, I actually think this is a better idea than just paying more to start with and still not get to choose the tubes that match you're preferences best.

I highly recommend the LD I+ with Grado headphonesbeerchug.gif

 

Peter

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks Peter. That's quite helpful. Sounds like you've had a really good exerpience with LD.

post #11 of 18

Yes I have. I have an equal good experience with the Magni and my FA-011,

 

Both LD and Schiit are known for delivering good value for money on all their products so I'm quiet shure you won't go wrong with any of them.

post #12 of 18

Funny thing: I hooked up my udac2 to the Magni today and put on my SR325is just to see what happened. What a shock, very liquid sound completley free from harshness reached my ears. I'm really surpised of how nice this combination sounds. I really need to do some serious tuberolling on my main dac and see if I can make it and the Magni play well with the Grado's.

 

Now I'm even more convinced that you will not go wrong with the LD I+ or the Asgard (or even the Magni!).

post #13 of 18

Hey guys, where do you buy these Amps?  The only place I found so far is from ebay seller davidzhezhe.  I am very tempted with that one

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

W/ LD and Schiit I think you pretty much have to go to their webistes or try Ebay or FS on a site like this. Of course, some of these products are pretty new-so I think you would need to purchase directly from them. From what Ican tell, neither one has dealers. One correction-you might try Amazon and try used from one of their venders. You might get lucky.

post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by floydstyle View Post

Hey guys, where do you buy these Amps?  The only place I found so far is from ebay seller davidzhezhe.  I am very tempted with that one

DavidZheZhe is the owner and maker of Little Dot. You can either puchase from him on ebay or from their website ( http://www.littledot.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1473&sid=caa8ea7070b0a8debae2dad4a7b2ef3a ), 

 

At the time that I did my purchase I did not know this so I bought from another ebay seller and  got a very noise example that did not work good until I shifted the op amp. 

 

I highly recommend buying from David instead as I understnad he's great on support for his customers.


Edited by peter123 - 1/22/13 at 6:53am
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