Originally Posted by UntilThen
An evening with NAD d1050, Elise, FDD21 / ECC30 and Tung Sol 5998 and HE560.
This setup is worthy of an evening spend listening to a whole genre of songs.
The capabilities of HE560 is simply amazing. It's so natural sounding and smooth, treble is clear and extends well, midrange is forward and musical, bass is tight and controlled, extends deep and low.
Elise with this compliment of tubes has complete control of the HE560, adding warm and lushness, at the same time keeping precision and timing with the fast and articulate HE560. Attack, sustain and decay is spot on here. It's hard to imagine a tube amp with such an excellent transient response and yet at the same time providing the lovely tube amp sound. It is just so enjoyable with music and never fatiguing on the ears. Bass is excellent and first class. This is high fidelity bass, tight, controlled and with impact. They will slam you when the music calls for it.
It is unconceivable that an OTL tube amp would pair so well with a low inefficient (90db 32ohm) planar magnetic such as the HE560.
This is an excellent review of HE560, with comparison to LCD-X and HD800.
A picture of those 3 headphones from the review.
This is the setup I'm listening to now. Leonard Cohen voice is rugged and lovely.
Hi UT...I second everything you have said here,...unbelievable qualities in an OTL at this price - or much more even. lol!
And I can feel your enjoyment here on the other side of the world.....probably helped by what is entering my ears at this very moment - ie a return to 2031 after a session with 2x FDD20s!
My first impression of the 2x 20s was WOW!...smoothed out C3g with a bit more bass - VERY impressive, and can understand JV's love of this sound. I cannot imagine any other tubes matching this performance at anywhere near the price...unless mordy's 6BL7s manage a miracle!
There's detail to die for, along with great bass and exquisite treble...so why do I prefer the 20/31 combo?...
First, I must give the usual caveat - ie. this finding is based on my ESS Sabre DAC, Beyer T1s and GEC CV2523 (6AS7G) power tubes...and my ears!!
As I have mentioned before, it comes down mostly to the combination of the slight differences between these two drivers - after at least 50 hrs' burn-in.
The FDD20 has a slightly wider soundstage and more forward presentation, plus - as you mentioned recently - more upper mids/lower treble.
However, this is therefore at the cost of a certain amount of soundstage depth and height. The result is a more 'intimate', immediate sound...which of course many prefer.
But the ECC31's greater s/stage depth & height brings a tad more 3D 'holographic' element to the table, along with a shade more bass extension : it's these qualities that give the type of sound I personally prefer...nay, have become addicted to, lol!!
Once again, this is what my own system delivers - and ONLY after the absolutely vital long burn-in needed to merge the two tubes' differences so as not to be distracting...
From my previous statements, hopefully it's then possible to tailor the best combination according to the rest of one's gear/ears/preferences....CHEERS!