$150 Millett Hybrid vs. $150 Pimeta vs. $150 Dynalo
Mar 4, 2006 at 2:19 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 22

Whitewind

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I am pretty new to Head-fi and I have just recently purchased a pair of HD580s recabled with starquad.

Right now I am trying to prepare for my first amp build but im having a hard time deciding which amp to build based on my $150 budget.

I would like to build one best matched to my HD580s.

The $150 are only for the main components to get the amp up and running, so it doesn't include the enclosure, knobs, nice switches...etc.

The candidates:

Millet Hybrid (w/ Diamond Buffers later)
Pimeta (w/ Diamond Buffers later)
Dynalo (I really have to reduce parts cost for this one.)
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Based on your opinion which would sound the best with my HD580s
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Thanks for the help
 
Mar 4, 2006 at 2:32 AM Post #2 of 22

Twombly

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Pouring $150 into a PIMETA for parts alone is testing the law of diminishing returns. You can build a damned fine PIMETA for $100 if it's just parts.

So I'd do that (or the Millet, if you like tubes and don't mind obnoxious glowing things on your desk in the middle of the night); from what I can tell the Dynalo doesn't take to that much cost-cutting.
 
Mar 4, 2006 at 11:42 AM Post #3 of 22

00940

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it's very easy to fit a dynalo inside a 150$ budget without casing if you use a simpler LM317/337 regulated supply rather than the original supply (or even the elpac dual supply used for the gilmore lite by headamp). It sounds better to me than a pimeta, by quite a serious margin.
 
Mar 4, 2006 at 12:03 PM Post #4 of 22

NeilR

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I built a Pimeta and a Millet. Haven't built a Dynalo.

I think they both sound very good. The Pimeta is very tweakable. The Millet is a fun amp if you are interested in playing with tubes and rolling different ones. My Pimeta was designed to be portable, in a Serpac H67 case.

It is actually very easy to spend $150 on a Pimeta, although that will include at least some case parts, if you use expensive opamps, since it is a 3 channel design. Three OPA627's (or 2x 637 and 1x 627) alone will run $54, AD8620/AD8610 about $35. We had a discussion about this recently and I think a bare minimum Pimeta in a Serpac would run about $60, but that was spec'd with inexpensive OPA2134/OPA134 and without an AC supply or factoring in battery costs, or freight, tax, tags or title
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Mar 4, 2006 at 5:21 PM Post #5 of 22

Polaris111688

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I spent about 110 bucks on my PIMETA. About 40-50 bucks came from Digikey (3x BUF634, generic 1% resistors, 2x 0.22uF caps that I never used, 5x DIP-8 sockets). Another 30 bucks came from tangent (4x ELNA Cerafine 470uF, 2x Wima MKS-2 6.8uF, JFET Cascode Set, PIMETA board, ALPS 097 pot). Another 30 bucks came from Brown Dog, with their premounted AD8620AR and AD8610AR. I think it sounds good, but I don't have anything to compare it to.
 
Mar 4, 2006 at 6:00 PM Post #6 of 22

americandreaming

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i built a pimeta a few months back and recently finished a millett. the pimeta was originally intended as an amp for my senn 580s but i didn't like the sound at all. in fact i much preferred the amp with my grados, even the sr60s. however, this may be due to the opa627 opamps i have installed where 8620s might suit the senns better.

i then built a millett specifically for the grados, and to my dismay i didn't like it much. that changed after i threw in some 12fk6 tubes. what surprised me most was that i really like the way the senn 580s sound with this amp. this is the first time since i bought them about 2 years ago that they have gotten significant playing time.

both the pimeta and millett are pretty much "stock" and both use the same external tread power supply (though not at the same time). you might think of building one of each (
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), in which case you could combine your orders and save quite a bit on shipping. for example, get a pimeta board, both pots, buffers, elna caps, and a tread kit from tangent and then place a big order with mouser or digikey for the rest (resistors, caps, sockets, rca jacks, etc.). you will still need tubes and tube sockets but these aren't too expensive. use a cheap case or even no case until you decide which you like better.
 
Mar 5, 2006 at 2:21 AM Post #7 of 22

sbelyo

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I have built and used all three, as well as owning a pair of 580's. The Pimeta could be done for well under $150 but it was my least favorite. The millet can be done very nicely with a moderate case for the price. The millet is way easy to build and troubleshoot and can run on a simple power supply. I've rolled all available tubes through it and once you find the set that you like it's pretty tough to beat. It will like the 580's because of the high Ohm cans. That was my favorite until I built a dynalo. There isn't much to complain about with the dynalo, it's awesome for the money. For $150.00 it would be a stretch. You'd have to use a cigar box for a case and hope to find an elpac dual supply. My cost was right around $200 with a dual TREAD setup and no case.
 
Mar 5, 2006 at 6:09 AM Post #8 of 22

Xakepa

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I build a "tottaly tweakable" PIMETA for 580s, and it took me quite a lot of tweaking, time and money to make it work with the Senns. If you go with PIMETA, here are my takes

-Discard all TI chips, if you don't have bright or very analytical source (like EMU0404); they sound flat to me, with recessed mids;
-So far, the best sounding chip is AD8620; AD843 is also good, but a bit more warm/boomy for my liking
-You don't have to bias 843s, but 8620 seems to be getting more transparent with the casscode
-8620 is generally cosnidered bright, so stacking buffers helps to tighten bass response. It worked for me.

I'm listening to Sting right now, and for a first time I can say that I'm happy with the sound. Sting's sound is spectacular: from 20Hz electric bass to 16+KHz fuses and his voice in the middle - it's a pure pleasure.

8620/10 combo+5 buffers+quality pot and connectors+24V linear PSU will put you exacly where you want to be, $120+
 
Mar 5, 2006 at 8:14 AM Post #10 of 22

robzy

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Pimeta - Law of diminishing returns. Putting $150 into it just isnt worth it.
Millet - Not a bad amp, but to me it feels like the "cmoy" of tube amps
Dynalo - A serious amp.

Of course - if you wanted tubes < $150 then go for the millet, but otherwise i know id choose the dynalo. (Bare in mind i havent heard the millet, and still want to build one ever though i have a dynalo)

Rob.
 
Mar 5, 2006 at 8:26 AM Post #11 of 22

Twombly

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Xakepa
I build a "tottaly tweakable" PIMETA for 580s, and it took me quite a lot of tweaking, time and money to make it work with the Senns. If you go with PIMETA, here are my takes

-Discard all TI chips, if you don't have bright or very analytical source (like EMU0404); they sound flat to me, with recessed mids;
-So far, the best sounding chip is AD8620; AD843 is also good, but a bit more warm/boomy for my liking
-You don't have to bias 843s, but 8620 seems to be getting more transparent with the casscode
-8620 is generally cosnidered bright, so stacking buffers helps to tighten bass response. It worked for me.

I'm listening to Sting right now, and for a first time I can say that I'm happy with the sound. Sting's sound is spectacular: from 20Hz electric bass to 16+KHz fuses and his voice in the middle - it's a pure pleasure.



Couldn't his preferences differ from yours? I know you qualified your statements with "[according] to me", but still...
 
Mar 5, 2006 at 8:33 AM Post #12 of 22

fewtch

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Xakepa
8620/10 combo+5 buffers+quality pot and connectors+24V linear PSU will put you exacly where you want to be, $120+


Nice config indeed... good sound, very tweakable (i.e. switch to DT880s or something and drop in OPA627/637 for better synergy), inexpensive
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. Few enough parts and a short enough signal path that it doesn't have too much of a "solid-statey" sound (isn't the Dynalo similar to a Gilmore Lite? Many have remarked that it sounds "transistory" but I don't think the Pimeta does).
 
Mar 5, 2006 at 5:16 PM Post #13 of 22

The Monkey

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I completely agree with Twombly. I found the OPA2227 in my Pimeta with 2-1-2 buffers, Class A, to be lifeless and thumpy. Switching to the 8620 made an enormous difference. I was concerned about the possibility of brightness, but I have been very pleasantly suprised.
 
Mar 5, 2006 at 6:44 PM Post #14 of 22

kdaq

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I love both my Dynalo and PIMETA, and I consider the Dynalo the superior amp. Regardless, I don't think it's the right choice for HD-580s! Stock, it's very starkly neutral, which mates wonderfully with Grados in general. Whether or not it works for Senns depends on your source, and your own tastes.

One of the coolest part of building your own amp is that you can tweak it to your liking. In the PIMETA you can swap op-amps and buffer configurations, and in the Millett you can swap tubes and buffers. In contrast, the Dynalo doesn't have anything that can be swapped for an appreciable difference in signature and presentation, save perhaps, the power supply you use (of course, there's always the source).

Just my $0.02
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Mar 5, 2006 at 7:49 PM Post #15 of 22

Xakepa

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Quote:

Originally Posted by The Monkey
I completely agree with Twombly. I found the OPA2227 in my Pimeta with 2-1-2 buffers, Class A, to be lifeless and thumpy. Switching to the 8620 made an enormous difference. I was concerned about the possibility of brightness, but I have been very pleasantly suprised.


Monkey, which cans you're talikng about? Isn't 8620 too bright with Grados?...what kind of music?
I tried SR-60 with 2107, and it was still bright and...thin...like 2132 with Senn...but pleasing for Dream Theater or AOR

Have you tried 843 with Senn 595?

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