Particularly the Little Dot mkiii with the HiFiMan HE-400. I am aware that many have used this combination with success but I don't want to run into major problems after spending $650.
Output Transformer-Less Amps Bad for Orthodynamics?
Maybe it is the naiveté in me but something tells me that if an amp is designed like a piece of crap it will be bad for anything you plug into it. If it's put together right there should not be any risk outside of not sounding good as a bad combo...
Not sure why you'd be worried really, it's not like sticking a fork into an electrical socket!
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Sigh... remember when new head-fi members named themselves after their favorite bands or philosophers?
Kids these days.
On topic, one of the best amps I've heard with orthos is an OTL, but it happens to be a speaker amp.
I had this exact combination for a while, and then I sold the little dot. IMO, the little dot is a decent match, but it falls a little short on power. On a few songs, listening very loud, and on the low gain setting, there was some clipping in the bass. Aside from that, they pair well.
If you are looking for an amp and haven't bought one yet, I'd suggest something with more power. Tubes, solid state, that's just preference. OTL itself doesn't matter, it's just that the little dot mk3 only has 100mw into 32 ohms. That's not quite enough. Look at the little dot 1+ instead for tubes. It has more power. Or the Magni or o2 for solid state.
I am currently using the Emotiva mini x a100 for amping the HE-400. It is an SS speaker amp with 50w per channel into 8 ohms. This is total overkill; I just got it because I was looking for something different and got a good deal used. Anything with at least 200-300 mw into 32 ohms should be fine. The Magni has over 1 watt for example.
Purely IMO, the HE-400 is well suited for SS. Brings out the speed and tightness in the bass. The little dot mk3 sounded a bit slow and bloated in comparison. But that's just a matter of personal taste. One man's slow and bloated is another man's thick and rich.
Edited by manbear - 11/20/13 at 6:11pm
I haven't actually heard the 1+ so I don't really know, but I'm saying this because it's specs are more appropriate for your application. There's no reason to think that higher model number / more expensive automatically means better. It's just a matter of differences -- different uses, different purposes, etc. You can find plenty of people using the 1+ with high-end headphones.
EDIT: I'm not sure what "no tube withdraws going ss" means but I could try to answer if you elaborate.
Edited by manbear - 11/21/13 at 2:47pm