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post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

So i have decided that i would like to start piecing together a pretty decent but affordable setup. my cans right now really dont need an amp as they are shure 840s, that will change soon hopefully. I have seen the ssmh ofcourse, the bottlehead crack and so on. i was not really sure if i should go tube or ss. i dont know the difference of the two. I will be using my gaming pc as the source, i dont know if that actually matters. this will be for home use only and not moving around. it will sit on my desk thats it. i love the way the tube amp looks but if it is just a novelty then its not something i want. i am not really going to give  a budget as i am open to spending some actual cash, IF it is justified. i dont need tol equpment, but i dont ant to buy ****ty stuff that will just make me want to upgrqade in a month ya know.





ps: i am open to diy

post #2 of 2

Typically a good sounding tube amp will take up more room, heat up more, and require maintenance over the solid state option.  As far as I know there is no tube amp that can technically outperform a solid state amp in the same class.  Tube amps almost always have higher distortion making them sometimes sound more fun, but technically coloring the sound.


I try to think of it somewhat like using a great CRT TV vs a modern LCD TV.  The technical benefits of the LCD TV are well known and the tubes wear out.


Some of the most fun sounding amps I have heard have tube output stages like the WA6-SE and BHSE ( Solid State with Output Tube ).


I have heard a few of both and still prefer the small footprint and lack of heat and maintenance of a tube amp.


As long is either is designed and built well you really should get the one you like because chances are you will not hear a big difference especially if you have no idea what to listen for.


A great-looking option would be the Schiit Magni and Modi combo.  It is limited on what quality music you can listen to ( 48kHz ) and only has a USB input, but the combo looks nice and many report it also sounds nice.


A small footprint option is to go for the JDS Labs O2+ODAC which I suggest researching.  It runs $285 shipped and has both a DAC and amp built in.  It is designed to sound and measure better than just about anything out there and have an extremely small footprint.  I have heard the O2+ODAC and can say it sounds as good as my Grace Design m903 which costs 5 times as much.


If you do a ton of PC listening like I do then a good external DAC is more of a must than a good amp.  Even more important is having well recorded and mastered music.  If the music you listen to is not recorded well then there is no way any setup will magically make it better.  You can dig around here and find user reference tracks which will help gauge your current setup.


I hope you find what you are looking for and discover new music and gear along the way.

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