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ampsandsound (aka Amps & Sound)

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by luckbad, Mar 21, 2016.
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  1. mithrandir38
    The manufacturer isn't on the tubes.  I think Justin said they were RCA, but I could be mistaken.  Anyway, they are the "stock" JAN 1626s.  The input tube is the RCA 12sn7 that shipped with it.
     
  2. joespride
    After you get a feeling for the amp as is let me know if you are interested in rolling in something different, I have a few options I would send your way just cover shipping and agree to return them packed as you recieve them if you feel they are not for you.  In my experience there is not a ton of difference in rolling with the Kenzie.  The hytron 1626 improved bass a tad and the 2c52 brightened up the top end with better detail. Neither of which were night and day differences (certainly discernable, Just not jaw dropping) 
     
  3. mithrandir38
    Thanks for the offer, man!  Much appreciated!  When I roll tubes I'm just looking for slight differences (especially when an amp already sounds as good as the kenzie does, as there's really not much room for improvement, tbh).
     
  4. Luckbad
    Quick update: Justin updated the Amps & Sound website with more information on both the Kenzie and Mogwai. I updated the original post as well. It gives more info on the specs and compatible headphones and tubes.
     
  5. joespride
    Just took a look at the new additions to the web site and saw this:
     
    "Sennheiser HD800 (though reduced volume)"
     
    Must say I dont understand this. I had the HD800 paired with Kenzie and you could literally go deaf if you were of a mind to. I suffered absolutely no loss of fidelity  that I heard
     
    Justin could you elaborate why you or ?? feels there was a loss. What I found was the HD800 was simply sublime on Kenzie at low volume and as high as ones ears could stand it.
     
  6. mithrandir38
    I thought the same thing, but didn't comment on it as I don't have the HD 800s
     
  7. ampsandsound
    It was feedback I was given by some users at the Jam. When I listened, it was a solid performer... brought real warmth to the 800s. But I didn't want other to accuse me misrepresentation.So Joe should I change the posting?
     
    I treated myself to the Audeze LCD-XC... love the combo. 
     
  8. Luckbad
     
    I can't imagine why it would be low in volume. The HD800 isn't especially demanding of amps to get loud.
     
  9. joespride
    I would change it.  I also can not imagine how anyone would feel the HD800 suffers any loss on the Kenzie.  I felt like it was basically a match made in heaven.  If money were never an issue it would still be my setup
     
    I have heard good things about the LCD XC.  Which amp do you use with them Of course you are not really limited being the builder [​IMG]
     
    Luckbad likes this.
  10. Luckbad
    Ah, tube rolling the Mogwai.
     
    I've now tried these power tubes:
     
    1. Svetlana 8550
    2. JJ KT88 (New)
    3. Electro-Harmonix KT88 (New)
    4. Mullard KT88 (New)
    5. JJ 6CA7 (New)
    6. Tung-Sol 5881 (New)
     
    The JJ KT88 are my favorites.

     
    I've also tried the GE 6SL7(? Not actually sure which this one is), Sylvania 6SL7, Russian 6H9C/69NS Melz, Tung-Sol 6SU7, and Tung-Sol 6SL7 (New).
     
    I think the GE is my favorite. Frankly, I can't tell as much of a difference between the 6SL7 as I can the power tubes. The Russian tubes are the brightest of the bunch, which sucks because I think they look the coolest. I was prepared for those to be my preferred tubes, but I can't handle much treble before my ears cry. Maybe with burn-in they'll smooth out a little.
     
    I'm waiting on the 7F7 adapter I got from China to try one of those out.
     
    At this point, I have two more power tube types on the way, but I'm guessing the JJ will come out top. One is a 6P3S-E from Ukraine/Russia, and another is a Preferred Series KT88 (new production triple mica made by Shuguang that is supposed to be very good).
     
  11. joespride
    Thats a lot of tubes to roll through in a short time.  You must be listening full time [​IMG]  I am setting here basically disabled from a work injury for almost 4 years now and can not listen that much. Perhaps it is the Mogwai sounds to good to shut off [​IMG]
     
  12. mithrandir38
    Getting back from a work trip, looking forward to trying out my new 2C52 that I bought from Justin. He says it's a transformative tube... I'll find out!
     
  13. Luckbad
     
    To be honest, I use a couple of fairly objective tests at the start that can taint my impression of a tube. If I tap lightly on the amp and can hear microphonics, the tube better blow me away or I eliminate it from contention. That nuked the 6550s from orbit immediately (super microphonic) as well as the Mullard KT88 and to a lesser extent the Electro-Harmonix KT88.
     
    The 6550s are too bright in the upper mids. I investigated and that seems to be common among 6550 tubes. So I just bailed on that tube type entirely.
     
    EL34 from reading sounds like they lose out on bass (and treble), which meant I didn't bother trying any of those. Except I kinda did below.
     
    6CA7 is similarly soft sounding, so that got eliminated fairly quickly (though I'm keeping those tubes as a backup because they're solid). Pretty warm and romantic, but not very engaging.
     
    The Mullard KT88 sounding kinda boring to me. I let them warm up for 30 minutes before listening (same with all the tubes). Their bass wasn't as powerful as reputed and they sounded pretty meh overall.
     
    The Electro-Harmonix KT88 sounded good but were a bit microphonic. Nice extension on both ends, overall a very good sound.
     
    The JJ KT88 sound quite good with fairly powerful bass. They sound nearly the same to me as the Electro-Harmonix with the added bonus that they are not microphonic at all. I can drum on the table and not pick anything up.
     
    I have some tracks that have relatively harsh upper midrange that also lets me see if I cringe. If I do, the tube is gone. That happened when I rolled in the Russian input tube, which made me sad because they look so badass and are built like tanks. I'll eventually try burning one of those in to see if it smooths out.
     
    I haven't done much listening to the various input tubes yet. I decided to try to focus on the power tubes first. The input tubes I do have all seem fairly similar in their impact on sound apart from the Russian tube.

     
  14. joespride
    He is correct,  I turned him onto that one.  if you want a backup let me know I have a dozen [​IMG]
     
  15. mithrandir38
    here's my review of the Kenzie: http://www.head-fi.org/products/ampsandsound-kenzie-headphone
     
    Luckbad and ampsandsound like this.
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