Amps to pair with Grados
Jul 11, 2008 at 6:40 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 48

moogoob

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Posts
2,023
Likes
12
Hi all, first post here in the amp section. I'm looking for a nice amp to pair with my Grado 325is. Here is what I'm looking for:

-Lots of current, as from what I gather Grados love this.
-Not too shabby for other phones. I plan on getting some AKGs, Denons or Senn 600/650s at some time in the future. Not sure which, but Grados will still be my number one "go-to" for listening.
-No tubes. I love the idea of fiddling with tubes, but the idea of new-old stock is kinda disheartening. Plus, I like the highs on my SR325is.
-Not too expensive new! I don't buy used, I'd rather save up a bit more and get a warranty.
-Preferably it should either have a DAC built-in, or I'll use Headroom's Mini DAC (or Bithead till I can afford the mini). I'm mostly a Computer-as-source kinda guy, but I can use my DVD player's optical-out as a CD/DVD-audio player and I've recently inherited a late-70s Technics phonograph and some late-70s records.
biggrin.gif


Any opinions? I'm looking at Headroom's Desktop or Mini firstly as I know their build quality and service are top-notch.
 
Jul 12, 2008 at 12:18 AM Post #2 of 48

mrarroyo

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Posts
19,073
Likes
29
One of the best amps for Grados is made in Canada by Dr. Lloyd of Mapletree. Unfortunetly for you he loves tubes and point to point wiring.

A pity you do not want tubes because IMO and that of many others as well the amps that Dr. Lloyd makes are fantastic.
 
Jul 12, 2008 at 12:57 AM Post #3 of 48

JimSmiley

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 12, 2008
Posts
122
Likes
0
I know you specified "no tubes", but tubes are the best thing that ever happened to my Grados. I'm just sayin'..try one if you get a chance.
 
Jul 12, 2008 at 1:16 AM Post #4 of 48

Uncle Erik

Uncle Exotic
Joined
Mar 18, 2006
Posts
22,597
Likes
501
No tubes?

Sounds like you've fallen for a couple of the tube myths floating around. First, many tubes are still in production over in China and Eastern Europe. There is audiophile demand for them, so they're not going away any time soon. Some of the new ones sound excellent, too. You don't need NOS tubes.

Second, you don't lose any highs with a tube amp. Bass can sometimes get flabby, but that depends on the circuit. Mids and highs are no problem.

Tubes will last for years of regular listening, are safe to operate, are fun, look cool, and sound great. Tube gear makes an instant conversation starter when people come over. Everyone will want a listen.

Before you rule out tubes, give them a listen. Should be enough to convince you.
 
Jul 12, 2008 at 2:02 AM Post #5 of 48

Drag0n

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 11, 2004
Posts
3,706
Likes
13
I like tube amps with point to point wiring better, because i can work on it easier if it ever breaks down. A circuit board can only take so much soldering and heat before the traces lift and it turns to crap.
Also i cant see tiny circuits well to solder them.
 
Jul 12, 2008 at 2:08 AM Post #6 of 48

bowraboy

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 12, 2006
Posts
412
Likes
0
I have a MAD EAR+ HD and a Talisman T-3H that I have been using with the Alessandro MS-Pro. They both sound good but I prefer the Talisman to the MAD.

The Talisman is a great amp with lots of power, drives my K701 beautifully. I find the problem with tube amps is that I end up spending heaps on tubes where with the Talisman it just sounds great out of the box and works well with any headphones I have used.

It may be a bit expensive but you won't need to buy another amp or tubes.
 
Jul 12, 2008 at 4:05 PM Post #7 of 48

moogoob

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Posts
2,023
Likes
12
Thanks for the responses.
smily_headphones1.gif


I haven't completely given up on tubes (I like fiddling with things), it's just that I'd like a solid-state amp as my primary. Maybe I'll get a tube amp in the future, I'll have to listen to them.

I'll keep an eye out for any head-fi meets in Toronto in the future, though.
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Jul 14, 2008 at 12:31 AM Post #9 of 48

moogoob

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Posts
2,023
Likes
12
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dash /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Eddie Current EC/SS

It was made for Grados.

Craig will also release an upgrade that makes it all discrete as option.



Discrete? (sorry, I'm a bit of a newb to amps)
 
Jul 14, 2008 at 1:36 AM Post #10 of 48

Dash

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Posts
1,421
Likes
113
The current topology is opamp based but an upgrade later could make it all discrete (no opamps). Its a great amp. Its a great value in the SS market and sometimes largely overlooked.
 
Jul 14, 2008 at 2:19 AM Post #12 of 48

Asr

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Apr 12, 2004
Posts
8,216
Likes
779
I previously owned the EC/SS, SR325i, and SR80 (caveat: not all at the same time) and would guesstimate that the amp would pair great with those headphones.
 
Jul 18, 2008 at 1:32 PM Post #13 of 48

The Pieman

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 3, 2006
Posts
798
Likes
10
EC/SS works well with GS1000s which are fairly picky when it comes to amps.

cheers
Simon
 
Jul 18, 2008 at 1:52 PM Post #14 of 48

MaZa

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 7, 2006
Posts
6,162
Likes
14
Im a fan of Grados plus SS amplification, something with very good current output which bring out the technical prowess Grado headphones are capable of. Headamp amplifiers have been popular for Grados for this reason. My CIAudio VHP2 also drives Grados nicely.
 
Jul 18, 2008 at 1:58 PM Post #15 of 48

wae5

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 11, 2006
Posts
837
Likes
12
I have the LD MKV SS amp: Viewing a thread - Little Dot MK V Dual-Mono Headphone Amplifier! and it sounds wonderful with my SR325i. It has plenty of well controlled power (listen at 8:30), the bass is tight and impactful with lots of slam and the treble sparkles. It has dual internal power supplies so there's none of that nonsense of upgrading the external power supply to get the very best sound. For $340 shipped with a 30 day auitioning period it's a steal. I also have the LD MKIV SE tube amp, and to comfirm what Uncle Erik said, you're missing out if you refuse to use tubes with your Grados.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top