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Good tube amp to run both Grado sr325 and HiFiman HE 300? Recommendations? - Page 2

post #16 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radioking59 View Post

From the Valhalla FAQ on the Schiit Website:

"Are Valhallas “rollable?”
Earlier Valhallas (August 2010-April 2012) are not designed for tube rolling. All Valhallas shipped since May 2012 are rollable to accommodate E88CC, 6DJ8, 6922, 6N23P, etc on the input stage (that is, the shorter tubes.)"

Oh awesome, I guess everything I was reading from this site was before those dates. Apparently the stock Valhalla amps are a bit solid-statey and analytical, but the 6n23p tubes warm it up.

 

Thanks! 

post #17 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Y View Post
 

I'm not a hundred percent sure but the schiit amps are now tube rollable. I think I read that in headfonia or something or was it innerfidelity? not sure but I heard some good things about some russian tubes or something, but don't trust me on this because I'm not a tube guy. I even don't like woo audio amps. It's just that the "tubey" sound doesn't fit me. Solid state (the good ones) seems like to me that they have a stronger impact with bass or so on but this is just for people who don't perfectly like tube amps. I like the idea of things lasting forever(well, not really but you get the point) instead of having to change things. The grados you got there should do better than just fine with some solid-state but I'm gonna stop talking about that because I feel like I'm getting off topic. So, Little dot amps, I had a thought over this and well, for the budget I ended up concluding 'why not'

ps you should find out about tube rolling with the schiit valhalla

I have tried the Grados with solid state and prefer the tube effect on them. Thanks for the input though!

post #18 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank18944 View Post
 

buy a little dot mark 3 for $200 + shipping on  ebay and don't look back. I've had one for several years and it drives all of my Grado and SONY MDR 7506 low impedance phones with no problem. It also drives my high impedance AKG 600's and Sennheiser HD580's with plenty of volume headroom. I've also used it for a line stage. I've taken it apart and it's well built with quality  audiophile grade parts. I've tested it on the bench and it is stable as a rock driving high capacitance loads like long interconnects and headphone extension cords.

 

As for sound it has a midrange that's breath taking and amazing depth of field and imaging. I've designed and built a number of high end solid state head hone amps and the Little Dot in comparison just sounds sweet, sweet, sweet. I can't image anyone that's been used to solid state being unhappy with the Little Dot.

 

If you like to tweak and tube roll there's plenty of that on the internet some with no mods to the amp required. It has a large following in the high end and is well regarded. 

 

Good luck.

 

Frank

W3MEE

Thank you! Before joining the forums here, google brought me to so many posts similar to yours, and I searched for more negative reviews but didn't really see any.

 

I guess the LD3 might be the one. I really love the look of the Valhalla though haha.

Does the LD3 come with decent stock tubes? Does it have a solid-state-like sound or is it more tubey?

post #19 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by dshlapak View Post

 

Looking at a Little Dot for my HE-400s. Good match? If yes, what DAC would pair well with the LD, in the same-ish price range?


I used my HE-400 with the Little Dot MK3 for a while. You get the Little Dot sound, which is warm and smooth, but the amp does not have enough power for the HE-400s. It will distort and clip on moderately high volumes. At "ear-splitting" volumes, the bass will be distorted to crap. I know this from having it heard it myself, which is why I sold my MK3. I agree with Frank that the Little Dot is a solid amp in general, but it's not suitable for the HE-400 unless you always listen at moderate volumes. I'd suggest the 1+ instead. I have not heard it, but judging from the specs it has more than enough power. 

Just use the DAC in your Audio GD. I don't think buying a DAC in the $200-300 price range will beat the one you already have. 

@Frank18944

Have you actually used the HE-400 with the Little Dot MK3?


Edited by manbear - 1/5/14 at 9:37am
post #20 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by zackk View Post
 

Thank you! Before joining the forums here, google brought me to so many posts similar to yours, and I searched for more negative reviews but didn't really see any.

 

I guess the LD3 might be the one. I really love the look of the Valhalla though haha.

Does the LD3 come with decent stock tubes? Does it have a solid-state-like sound or is it more tubey?


The stock tubes are decent enough, but aftermarket tubes are pretty cheap. If you are patient with Ebay, you can find a whole lot of tubes for $10-20 a pair. Check out the Little Dot tube rolling thread. 

It's a fairly tubey sound, very smooth and a little thick in the bass. You would not mistake it for a solid state amp.

post #21 of 58

you just can not beat the LD MK3 for the price. To me with very revealing phones like the AKG 600 and SONY MDR7506 it sounds different than solid state, not hard or sterile. It has a warm life like mid-range and voices will take your breath away. The bass is solid and life like, not "thick" as others have said. I just don't hear a "thick" bass quality. I think it really depends on the phones you use, the better the phones, the more you will understand what I'm saying and the more you'll appreciate just how good this simple amp really is.

 

The stock tubes are excellent.

 

Frank

W3MEE

post #22 of 58

I listed some of the phones I used. Listening plus the lab testing I did when I bought the LD MK3 maybe 4 or 5 years ago make me confident in saying that the LD will drive (and sound good) with the HE-400. I checked the specs on he HD-400 before I replied. I'm not sure of your intent in asking your question, discredit my comments or you just didn't read all of my posts?

 

Frank

W3MEE

post #23 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank18944 View Post
 

I listed some of the phones I used. Listening plus the lab testing I did when I bought the LD MK3 maybe 4 or 5 years ago make me confident in saying that the LD will drive (and sound good) with the HE-400. I checked the specs on he HD-400 before I replied. I'm not sure of your intent in asking your question, discredit my comments or you just didn't read all of my posts?

 

Frank

W3MEE


I read your posts. You did not mention using the HE-400. No offense, but you can be "confident" and still wrong. The only way to check is to do an experiment by actually using the HE-400. It seems you haven't done that. The Little Dot MKIII will clip when powering the HE-400 at high volumes. That is just a fact. I have witnessed it personally. If you're going to get in a huff about discrediting people, then I must ask if you think I'm lying or if you think I don't know what clipping sounds like....

I asked a member here who knows his stuff, xnor (check out his thread on how much power is necessary for various headphones http://www.head-fi.org/t/668238/headphones-sensitivity-impedance-required-v-i-p-amplifier-gain), about why this is and this was his response: 

"It's quite easy to see that you will get clipping with the LD:

100 mW into 32 ohm => 1.8 Vrms

 

Smallest gain is 3x.

1.8 / 3 = 0.6 Vrms on the amp's input. If you go higher than that you should get clipping when you turn up the volume, maybe already a bit before that."

There is no need to take it personally. Surely you will agree that you don't really know unless you have heard the combination yourself? If you think it's a purely theoretical question that can be resolved without direct experience, then explain what is wrong with xnor's reasoning. 


Edited by manbear - 1/5/14 at 5:43pm
post #24 of 58

I disagree with so much of what you say that it's pointless to start a debate with you because it will never go anywhere positive. My intent was to help someone make a decision, because he asked for help. I didn't push advice on anyone. Your motivation is to discredit anyone who doesn't agree with you. My motivation was to help someone who asked for it. Your motivation is to discredit me because I disagree with you.

 

These are facts:

LD is spec'ed at 100 mW into 32 Ohms

HD-400 sensitivity is spec'ed at 93 dB at 1 mW, with rated Z = 35 Ohms

 

For sake of this approximate calculation the Z difference is within 10%

 

It doesn't make any difference what the voltage is at the input (within reason) because the volume pot is before any amplification. 100 mW out will drive the HD-400 to 103 dB SPL before clipping which I define as 10% THD. To me that's ear splitting volume but I do understand that others may need or want more.

 

I never stated that I tested the HD-400 with the LD MK3 so of course I can't be 100% sure if it will get loud enough for the end user. This was implicit in my comment. All I can say which I did is that it should be more than loud enough (103 dB SPL). Again, this is my educated OPINION based on my ears, my own experience with phones I listed and the specs of the LD and HD400. I think most readers of the posts (except it seems you), would understand.

 

I just want to make sure readers of this thread (which I hope ends here) are not mislead by your negative and (in my OPINION) misled comments.

post #25 of 58

A correction to my previous post -

 

the HD-400 will produce 93 dB SPL at 1 mW, 103 dB SPL at 10 mW and 113 dB SPL at 100 mW. So by the specifications, the HD-400 will produce 113 dB SPL at the Little Dot MK3's rated maximum 32 Ohm output of 100 mW. (Actually a bit more due to the HD-400's rated Z of 35 Ohms). 

post #26 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank18944 View Post
 

I disagree with so much of what you say that it's pointless to start a debate with you because it will never go anywhere positive. My intent was to help someone make a decision, because he asked for help. I didn't push advice on anyone. Your motivation is to discredit anyone who doesn't agree with you. My motivation was to help someone who asked for it. Your motivation is to discredit me because I disagree with you.

 

These are facts:

LD is spec'ed at 100 mW into 32 Ohms

HD-400 sensitivity is spec'ed at 93 dB at 1 mW, with rated Z = 35 Ohms

 

For sake of this approximate calculation the Z difference is within 10%

 

It doesn't make any difference what the voltage is at the input (within reason) because the volume pot is before any amplification. 100 mW out will drive the HD-400 to 103 dB SPL before clipping which I define as 10% THD. To me that's ear splitting volume but I do understand that others may need or want more.

 

I never stated that I tested the HD-400 with the LD MK3 so of course I can't be 100% sure if it will get loud enough for the end user. This was implicit in my comment. All I can say which I did is that it should be more than loud enough (103 dB SPL). Again, this is my educated OPINION based on my ears, my own experience with phones I listed and the specs of the LD and HD400. I think most readers of the posts (except it seems you), would understand.

 

I just want to make sure readers of this thread (which I hope ends here) are not mislead by your negative and (in my OPINION) misled comments.


Like you, I am also trying to help someone make a decision. I'm trying to help someone avoid buying an amp that will clip when driving the HE-400 at loud volumes. Unlike you, I actually have experience with this combination and am not merely getting defensive about a personal opinion. Your repeated talk of discrediting is a clear give-away that you are taking yourself much too seriously and feel attacked simply because someone disagrees with you. I'm not misled by any means; I simply don't think you gave good advice to a fellow HE-400 owner.  It's amazing that you would call my motivations into question, as if only a jerk would dare to place more value on direct experience than on your armchair opining about a headphone whose name you don't even spell correctly.

Anyway, I will be charitable here. The root of the problem is that you wrote "the LD will have no problem driving them to ear splitting volume." To some, ear-splitting volume is well beyond 113 dB. 113 dB is below the threshold of pain, and someone who likes to listen to music loud can easily listen above that level for moderate amounts of time. It's unfortunate that I no longer own my MKIII. If I did, I could measure the sound pressure level where clipping begins. Suffice it to say, I like to listen at loud volumes at times, and the MKIII did not have enough power for my needs. It doesn't have enough power to meet everyone's needs. It has real, obvious problems driving the HE-400 to volumes that sane people with healthy hearing might enjoy now and again. Like listening to metal after a few beers :beerchug:

EDIT: I'm just accepting your 113 dB figure for the sake of argument. I do not necessarily believe that the Little Dot's published specs are accurate. In any case, it doesn't matter. It clips into the HE-400 at volumes that I occasionally found pleasant, and my normal listening volume is around 80 dB (I'm neither deaf nor insane when it comes to volume). 

I don't really see the point of this back and forth unless you are going to tell me that my LD didn't in fact clip going into my HE-400. 
 


Edited by manbear - 1/5/14 at 10:11pm
post #27 of 58
Thread Starter 

...and my thread was hijacked.

 

Doesn't the LD3 have a dipswitch for different outputs?

 

Making it good for efficient or inefficient cans?

 

All I care is... will it work well with Grado sr325... and when I buy the HE300, will that also work?

post #28 of 58

The MKIII has adjustable gain switches. In general, you would use the lower gain settings for more efficient headphones and the higher gain settings for less efficient or high impedance headphones. The different gain settings also have somewhat different sounds. The amp gets more "tubey" with higher gain. So you might like a certain gain setting more regardless of the headphone. I can't say from experience for those two headphones, but the amp had plenty of power for my DT-990 250 ohm and for my Q701. The HE-300 has almost the same power specs as the HE-400 (~93 dB sensitivity and 50 ohms nominal impedance -- the listed spec for the HE-400 says 35 ohms but independent measurements put it at 50). The HE-400 was fine for the most part, but like I said, it clipped at really high volumes. So the HE-300 might be the same story. Then again the listed specs for the HE-300 might inaccurate... I can't really say as I haven't heard the combination. 

post #29 of 58
Thread Starter 

Thank you.

 

Now I know with speakers.. the lower the Ohm #, the "lower" the impedence/more dificult load/less efficient/less sensitive.

 

So how come 300-600 ohm headphones seem to require more power than lets say... 32 ohm grados?

Shouldn't the higher ohm headphones need less power?

post #30 of 58

boring and tedious.

 

Read my last post - the HD-400 will go to  113 dB with the LD MK3 and that by anyone's standard is loud.

 

Have a nice life dude.

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