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Which tube amp to get?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Current Setup

DAC - JDS Labs ODAC

Amp - JDS Labs O2

Headphones - Denon D2K (modded), AKG K701, AKG K550, and Sennheiser HD650

Notes: I will be selling my K701's soon and intend to eventually purchase a HiFiMAN HE400 eventually.

 

Music - I listen to anything that is not country (except for Cash), but recently I have been listening to a lot more vocals, piano, orchestral, soul, and old school rock. I find the that I like my bass more tight and controlled and I enjoy mids and trebles a lot more as I grow older.

 

My budget is under $500 before tax and I am currently considering the following amps after ruling out the Bottlehead Crack amp:

- Woo Audio WA3

- Schiit Vahalla

- Schiit Lyr

- Little Dot MK IV

 

I would like to know which amp you guys recommend with consideration of my eventual purchase of an HE400 as well as which tubes. I will readily admit I know nothing about tubes except that I loved how my HD650 sounded with my friend's WA6. Given that the WA6 is not currently financially justifiable for me, please help me make an educated purchasing decision out of those 4 amps!

post #2 of 17
Thread Starter 

bump for response

post #3 of 17
Interested too. I would like to know what tube amp for my HE-400...
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 

Is there anyone else out there? Feeling like I am on an island here. confused.gif

post #5 of 17

I currently have the Little dot MK II + some nice tubes which i really enjoy with the HE-400 and highly recommend! Can't really say about the others, but i hear Lyr is a great amp with lots of power...

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zage View Post

I currently have the Little dot MK II + some nice tubes which i really enjoy with the HE-400 and highly recommend! Can't really say about the others, but i hear Lyr is a great amp with lots of power...

 

I was literally 1 click away from getting the Lyr. What concerns me about the Lyr is that I hear there is some humming noise when silent and I fear that may greatly annoy me. What would be the difference between the MK II and the MK IV?

post #7 of 17
My Lyr is dead quiet and I haven't heard of this as a problem unless you're getting ground loop interference or using bad or poorly-matched tubes.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry S View Post

My Lyr is dead quiet and I haven't heard of this as a problem unless you're getting ground loop interference or using bad or poorly-matched tubes.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/566585/problems-with-schiit-lyr/15

 

I recall reading about this in a few other threads and websites as well. Is the newer relay versions designed to address this issue?

post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by amoeba1126 View Post

http://www.head-fi.org/t/566585/problems-with-schiit-lyr/15

I recall reading about this in a few other threads and websites as well. Is the newer relay versions designed to address this issue?

Yep, sounds like a few people on that thread had tube or ground loop issues--generally simple to fix by changing tubes, outlets or using a cheater plug. The other issue of voltage spikes when turning the unit on has been addressed by the addition of a relay.
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by amoeba1126 View Post

Current Setup

DAC - JDS Labs ODAC

Amp - JDS Labs O2

Headphones - Denon D2K (modded), AKG K701, AKG K550, and Sennheiser HD650

Notes: I will be selling my K701's soon and intend to eventually purchase a HiFiMAN HE400 eventually.

 

Music - I listen to anything that is not country (except for Cash), but recently I have been listening to a lot more vocals, piano, orchestral, soul, and old school rock. I find the that I like my bass more tight and controlled and I enjoy mids and trebles a lot more as I grow older.

 

My budget is under $500 before tax and I am currently considering the following amps after ruling out the Bottlehead Crack amp:

- Woo Audio WA3

- Schiit Vahalla

- Schiit Lyr

- Little Dot MK IV

 

I would like to know which amp you guys recommend with consideration of my eventual purchase of an HE400 as well as which tubes. I will readily admit I know nothing about tubes except that I loved how my HD650 sounded with my friend's WA6. Given that the WA6 is not currently financially justifiable for me, please help me make an educated purchasing decision out of those 4 amps!

 

Heya,

 

The HE400 is low impedance and efficient. I would not pair it with a high output impedance OTL tube amp (so oust the LD MKII, III & IV; Valhalla; WA3). I would suggest you get a hybrid (like the Lyr) or a solid state. Or consider a tube-dac instead if you want to introduce tubes to the circuit for a low impedance headphone. Otherwise, there are some other tube hybrids, but they're hybrids and not all that tubey. For a tube dac, look at the Maverick Audio TubeMagic D2. For a hybrid tube, look at the Lyr or the Little Dot I+.

 

Very best,

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry S View Post


Yep, sounds like a few people on that thread had tube or ground loop issues--generally simple to fix by changing tubes, outlets or using a cheater plug. The other issue of voltage spikes when turning the unit on has been addressed by the addition of a relay.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

 

Heya,

 

The HE400 is low impedance and efficient. I would not pair it with a high output impedance OTL tube amp (so oust the LD MKII, III & IV; Valhalla; WA3). I would suggest you get a hybrid (like the Lyr) or a solid state. Or consider a tube-dac instead if you want to introduce tubes to the circuit for a low impedance headphone. Otherwise, there are some other tube hybrids, but they're hybrids and not all that tubey. For a tube dac, look at the Maverick Audio TubeMagic D2. For a hybrid tube, look at the Lyr or the Little Dot I+.

 

Very best,

 

Thanks for the great input. So do you guys think I would be better off getting the Lyr then? If so, what tubes do you recommend I get for it? Also, would it be worthwhile to sell my ODAC/O2 combo and get the Woo Audio WA7 amp/dac combo instead or is that also a high output impedance setup?

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by amoeba1126 View Post

 

 

Thanks for the great input. So do you guys think I would be better off getting the Lyr then? If so, what tubes do you recommend I get for it? Also, would it be worthwhile to sell my ODAC/O2 combo and get the Woo Audio WA7 amp/dac combo instead or is that also a high output impedance setup?


The Lyr is very popular with HD650/HE400 owners, so I think it's a good choice.  I think it sounds terrific with the HD650 and almost everything I've tried sounds good (except the HD800's).  Start with the stock GE tubes and then you can think about tube rolling. The Amperex orange globe A-frame tubes have a very smooth signature with the HD650s and cost about $50/pair. I'm not a big believer in spending insane amounts of money on "magic bullet" tubes.  You could even *gasp* stick with the GE tubes.

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

Is it safe to buy a used Schiit Lyr?

 

EDIT: Sorry about the messed up font.


Edited by amoeba1126 - 1/26/13 at 3:09pm
post #14 of 17
I bought a used Lyr--no problems. As long as you find a trustworthy seller--why not?
post #15 of 17
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