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Audio-GD Master 9 - Page 15

post #211 of 477
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post
 

 

+1 at the bold..

 

IMO "no" headphone amp is when using the HE-6.  But just concentrating on the HE-6 is not a really good idea for headphone amp makers.  The headphone amp should as flexible as possible to work with a wide range on headphones - which I'm sure the Master 9 is.

That's an interesting statement.  I didn't realise you tried them all and hence came to this amazing and imo utterly unfounded conclusion.  I drive my HE-6 from a headphone amp that delivers 2750 mW into 50 Ohm and it sounds great.  Not only that, I also drive it from a dual mono OTL tube amp (which was designed to drive the K-1000) and it also sounds great.  I'm not disputing that speaker amps also work if you consider raw power but for completeness' sake, add the following bit which come straight from the HE-6 manual booklet:

 

- HifiMan recommends an amp that can deliver 2 W

- They say that a HE-6 can also be driven from a speaker amp but specifically mention that it should not deliver more than 70 W into 8 Ohm AND they remark that the HE-6 doesn't play nice (due to load mismatch or whatever) with all speaker amps, which I've personally witnessed to be true (hum, hiss, distortion).  

 

I have nothing against speaker amps but please.....

post #212 of 477
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greed View Post
 

 

Correct. I found the M9/AMR/LCD-X to be slightly lacking in the overall slam/tightness. I would attribute most of this to my upstream setup. My DAC is slight soft in the bass, so the M9 is just showing that flaw. 

 

Edit: In terms of bass, one of the best I've heard is the PWD MK II. If that is at all possible, you will not be disappointed. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post
 

A used PWD mk2 would be the best out of all those for slam and dynamics.  IMO

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by the8o88y View Post
 

 

Based on everything I've read, I think I'm ready to commit to the M9 to pair with my LCD-X. My only question now is about with which source to complete the chain.

 

 

 

I was able to get a great deal on a used PWD mk2, and it will arrive in a few days. Now I'm wondering if the M9 would be the ideal match with it and my LCD-X, since I happened to get the MK2 first. From what I've read, it would seem that the MK2 would even out some of the laid-back, warm sound sig. that has been referred to and deliver the right balance of euphonic, full, engaging sound. Before I pull the trigger on the M9, are there any other suggestions I should consider for a balanced ss amp?

post #213 of 477
Quote:
Originally Posted by the8o88y View Post
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was able to get a great deal on a used PWD mk2, and it will arrive in a few days. Now I'm wondering if the M9 would be the ideal match with it and my LCD-X, since I happened to get the MK2 first. From what I've read, it would seem that the MK2 would even out some of the laid-back, warm sound sig. that has been referred to and deliver the right balance of euphonic, full, engaging sound. Before I pull the trigger on the M9, are there any other suggestions I should consider for a balanced ss amp?

 

In this price range it will be very hard to find something as feature packed and sonically superior. Even compared to the GS-X mk2, I ultimately feel the M9 is a more pleasing, well rounded sound. Albeit with their own minor flaws applied. Other than past Master series amps, there isn't much else out there as good. For SS options: GS-X mk2, Conductor, Taurus, RSA Darkstar/Apache, and the LAu. I'm sure I'm missing a few but those off the top of my head should be considered. 

 

I've heard most of them and while I would take the LAu over all, the price isn't justified. The M9 gets you very close from what I remember.

post #214 of 477
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenophon View Post
 

That's an interesting statement.  I didn't realise you tried them all and hence came to this amazing and imo utterly unfounded conclusion.  I drive my HE-6 from a headphone amp that delivers 2750 mW into 50 Ohm and it sounds great.  Not only that, I also drive it from a dual mono OTL tube amp (which was designed to drive the K-1000) and it also sounds great.  I'm not disputing that speaker amps also work if you consider raw power but for completeness' sake, add the following bit which come straight from the HE-6 manual booklet:

 

- HifiMan recommends an amp that can deliver 2 W

- They say that a HE-6 can also be driven from a speaker amp but specifically mention that it should not deliver more than 70 W into 8 Ohm AND they remark that the HE-6 doesn't play nice (due to load mismatch or whatever) with all speaker amps, which I've personally witnessed to be true (hum, hiss, distortion).  

 

I have nothing against speaker amps but please.....

Ha - did you miss by chance that big ass IMO?  I guess you did, so I'll explain further.  In "my" experience I have not heard a "headphone amp" that sounds any where near as good as my F1J with the HE-6, but I've heard other speaker amps that does.

 

I've tried all the so call amps for the HE-6 excluding the LAu at this point and - Here we go again "IMO" none of them comes close - YMMV.  I've also my pair of HE-6s around to different audio shops testing them on many different high end amps and the conclusion still remains. IMO - NO HEADPHONE AMP that I've heard can drive the HE-6 better than a high quality speaker amps.  

 

My amp only puts out 10watts per 8 ohms - so it's not a power thing at all.  However, the transformer in my amp is bigger than the majority of all headphone amps in their entirety - so yeas that's what speaker amps brings to the table - big transformers that's able to store the current that's needed in it's reserve - this is where "most" headphone amps fail. 

 

Out of all the speaker amps I"ve tried my HE-6 on - I never got any hums, hiss, or distortion - and that's a hell of a lot of amps.

 

I'm sure your headphone amps does sound good.  lots of them do.  That's not what I'm saying at all.  I'm talking about compared to..  :cool:

post #215 of 477
Quote:
Originally Posted by the8o88y View Post
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was able to get a great deal on a used PWD mk2, and it will arrive in a few days. Now I'm wondering if the M9 would be the ideal match with it and my LCD-X, since I happened to get the MK2 first. From what I've read, it would seem that the MK2 would even out some of the laid-back, warm sound sig. that has been referred to and deliver the right balance of euphonic, full, engaging sound. Before I pull the trigger on the M9, are there any other suggestions I should consider for a balanced ss amp?

 

IMHO the Master 9 isn’t laid-back. Ok maybe there exist other amps that are (slightly) more forward. The question is, is that always better or more correct? I have had the Soloist, that’s a laid-back amp (at least with LCD3).

 

Regarding slam/tightness and deep bass the 9 is IMO very good, clearly superior to the Soloist.

post #216 of 477
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greed View Post
 

 

In this price range it will be very hard to find something as feature packed and sonically superior. Even compared to the GS-X mk2, I ultimately feel the M9 is a more pleasing, well rounded sound. Albeit with their own minor flaws applied. Other than past Master series amps, there isn't much else out there as good. For SS options: GS-X mk2, Conductor, Taurus, RSA Darkstar/Apache, and the LAu. I'm sure I'm missing a few but those off the top of my head should be considered. 

 

I've heard most of them and while I would take the LAu over all, the price isn't justified. The M9 gets you very close from what I remember.

Have you heard the Taurus Mk.II? I would be most interested in how you compare this and the M9.

post #217 of 477
Quote:
Originally Posted by rydenfan View Post

Have you heard the Taurus Mk.II? I would be most interested in how you compare this and the M9.

Unfortunately it is the only one I haven't heard. Sorry
post #218 of 477
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

Ha - did you miss by chance that big ass IMO?  I guess you did, so I'll explain further.  In "my" experience I have not heard a "headphone amp" that sounds any where near as good as my F1J with the HE-6, but I've heard other speaker amps that does.

I've tried all the so call amps for the HE-6 excluding the LAu at this point and - Here we go again "IMO" none of them comes close - YMMV.  I've also my pair of HE-6s around to different audio shops testing them on many different high end amps and the conclusion still remains. IMO - NO HEADPHONE AMP that I've heard can drive the HE-6 better than a high quality speaker amps.  

My amp only puts out 10watts per 8 ohms - so it's not a power thing at all.  However, the transformer in my amp is bigger than the majority of all headphone amps in their entirety - so yeas that's what speaker amps brings to the table - big transformers that's able to store the current that's needed in it's reserve - this is where "most" headphone amps fail. 

Out of all the speaker amps I"ve tried my HE-6 on - I never got any hums, hiss, or distortion - and that's a hell of a lot of amps.

I'm sure your headphone amps does sound good.  lots of them do.  That's not what I'm saying at all.  I'm talking about compared to..  cool.gif

Have you tried the HE6 with the M9? I owned the HE6 for about 2 years. I tried quite a few headphone amps with the HE6 and none of them were pleasing enough for me to keep them so they were sold. I was skeptical about the M9 being able to drive the HE6 but curious all the same. So I asked my friend, Jose (Musicman59), to bring his HE6 and HD800 over to my place. Jose has quite a lot of experience with the Pass amps driving the HE6 and he currently uses a Threshold T-50 (Nelson Pass design) that puts out 50 wpc Class A at 4 ohms. I think the T-50 amp has a power supply that is atleast as capable as your F1J. When Jose and I heard the HE6 driven balanced out of my M9, we were both surprised. What we heard was the HE6 putting out deep and well defined bass, very liquid midrange, well defined highs but not a hint of brightness. The HE6 had very powerful bass. The soundstage was wide and deep and instruments were well defined.

I called Jose yesterday to confirm what he heard and he told me he thought the HE6 sounded great driven by the M9. So much so that he was considering selling his T-50 and replacing it with the M9. He also told me that at RMAF, he tried his HE6 with the GSX mk 2 and he didn't like it because it sounded lean and bright. The Threshold T-50 is a quality speaker amp designed by Nelson Pass and the the M9 matched it in every way driving the HE6.

Regarding power supplies, take a look at the spec sheet for the M9. Amps with excellent power supplies double down. If your familiiar with speaker amps and power supplies you will know what I mean. Starting from 600 ohms, the M9 pretty much doubles down its power all the way down to 40 ohms Not many headphone amps can make that claim. Why, because they don't have a power supply like the M9. The M9 has plenty of iron, it weighs in at 35lbs. Not your typical headphone amp in any way. BTW, I have a bit of experience with powerful speaker amps and beefy power supplies. I own a McIntosh MC452 in my speaker based system that outputs 450 wpc into 8 ohms and it has a dynamic headroom spec of 1.8 dB. In the past, I've owned a Classe CA400 (400wpc), Counterpoint SA220, Aragon 4004 mk2, Mark Levinson No.383, and B&K M200 monoblocks. Pretty much all of those amps double their power rating from 8 ohms to 4 ohms.
post #219 of 477

I trust Jose.  He has lots of experience.  About two years ago he gave me some really good advice.  

 

I have not heard the M9.

 

The M9 sure sounds like a good headphone amp for the HE-6.  However, being a headphone amp - it has to be flexible enough to drive a wide range of other headphones as well.  This is where the GS-X mk2 excels.  

 

Yes Audio-GD is known for it's power supply implementation.  However, I'm tackling about transformers.  Even in the M9 and other Audio-GD headphone amps they still use small R-core or C-core transformers.  Now in there Master series speaker amps they use really, really large over sized toroidal transformers.  

 

I listened to the HE-6 on the Master 3 - and I must say this was a very, very good match.  If I didn't have my F1J with the HE-6 the Master 3 would be my next choice.  It sure would be very interesting to hear the M8 next to the M3 with the HE-6.  My bet is on the Master 3. 


Edited by preproman - 2/4/14 at 11:49am
post #220 of 477
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

I trust Jose.  He has lots of experience.  About two years ago he gave me some really good advice.

The M9 sure sounds like a good headphone amp for the HE-6.  However, being a headphone amp - it has to be flexible enough to drive a wide range of other headphones as well.  This is where the GS-X mk2 excels.  

Yes Audio-GD is known for it's power supply implementation.  However, I'm tackling about transformers.  Even in the M9 and other Audio-GD headphone amps they still use small R-core or C-core transformers.  Now in there Master series speaker amps they use really, really large over sized toroidal transformers.  

I listen to the HE-6 on the Master 3 - and I must say this was a very, very good match.  If I didn't have my F1J with the HE-6 the Master 3 would be my next choice.  It sure would be very interesting to hear the M8 next to the M3 with the HE-6.  My bet is on the Master 3. 


The first headphone that I tried on my M9 was my heavily modded Headphile AKG K340. This headphone is a beast to drive well. By well I mean more than just volume level. Jose has heard my K340s in the past. I connected the K340 to the balanced output of the M9 just as we did with the HE6. Jose was cranking the volume on the M9 into the mid 70s on the M9's display. The K340 actually took more power to drive than the HE6 to the same volume levels.
I'll bet money that the GSX mk2 can't drive my K340 as well as the M9. If you don't believe me, PM Jose. I tried high sensitivity low impedance Lawton Audio LA7000 with the M9 and it sounded great and not a hint of noise or hiss. One thing we agree on is that Jose is a great guy. He's been to my house many times and has listened to my headphone systems and my speaker systems. I encourage you to PM Jose and ask him about me and my speaker system and my SR-009 system.
post #221 of 477

Ha ha - Steve, I'm not doubting for 1 minute the M9 is a good amp.  Not for a second.  However, from my experience I'm pretty sure - If I only had the HE-6 as my only headphone, the M9 "would not" be my amp.  Hell a speaker amp from the same company may be a better choice.

 

I'll be my dime to your donuts the GS-X mk2 can drive that headphone:biggrin:   If the M9 is as versatile with a wide range of headphones as the GS-X mk2 is, then for sure it's a great amp.  There's not many out there as flexible as the GS-X mk2.  The new Schiit amp coming out is said to be even more flexible.


Edited by preproman - 2/5/14 at 2:34am
post #222 of 477
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

Ha ha - Steve, I'm not doubting for 1 minute the M9 is not a good amp.  Not for a second.  However, from my experience I'm pretty sure - If I only had the HE-6 as my only headphone, the M9 "would not" be my amp.  Hell a speaker amp from the same company may be a better choice.

I'll be my dime to your donuts the GS-X mk2 can drive that headphone:D    If the M9 is as versatile with a wide range of headphones as the GS-X mk2 is, then for sure it's a great amp.  There's not many out there as flexible as the GS-X mk2.  The new Schiit amp coming out is said to be even more flexible.

Your on. Bring that GS-X mk2 up to MI when you get it next year (HA HA). We'll hook it up to my K340 and see... your amp will be going home with its tail between its legs. All kidding aside, Jose and I live only a mile apart. Come on up, I promise you it will be fun. I'll play some vinyl for you. Ask Jose what he thinks about my analog rig.
post #223 of 477

OK - this will be my second GS-X mk2.  No telling when it'll be ready though.  I would love to come up there with you and my man Jose.  Bring a pair of IEMs as well to see just how flexible that beast is..:wink_face: 

post #224 of 477
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

OK - this will be my second GS-X mk2.  No telling when it'll be ready though.  I would love to come up there with you and my man Jose.  Bring a pair of IEMs as well to see just how flexible that beast is..wink_face.gif  

I'm sure Jose would be up for it. Maybe in the spring or summer if your amp is done by then. Team Michigan meets Team Ohio.
post #225 of 477
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post
 

Ha ha - Steve, I'm not doubting for 1 minute the M9 is not a good amp.  

 

LOL - those "double negatives" will kill you every time.  You just stated that you have no doubt that the M9 is not a good amp.  :)

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