Ampsandsound Kenzie/Mogwai Impressions
post-14128534
Post #136 of 231

exdmd

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 27, 2017
Messages
525
Reaction score
450
Location
USA
Joined
Sep 27, 2017
Location
USA
Posts
525
Likes
450
Thanks. I'll certainly consider it. I haven't really thought much about tube rolling on the Kenzie Encore yet. I used to own the Elear, but it was too uncomfortable for me. I imagine that input tube could be pretty good for the HD650, HD800/800S, and probably ZMF headphones as well. Will certainly consider it, but I'd like to at least wait until I've spent some time with the Auteur first.
Justin recommended the ECC801S on another forum. Problem is there are damn good and just average ECC801S tubes. The 1980's Siemens are to be avoided. You really want the Telefunken "Diamond Bottom" ECC801S from early 1960's if you decide to buy one. You also need highly resolving headphones that scale with the best tubes. No experience here with the Auteur but I imagine Justin has.
 
     Share This Post       
post-14128731
Post #137 of 231

omniweltall

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 13, 2016
Messages
1,390
Reaction score
785
Joined
Nov 13, 2016
Posts
1,390
Likes
785
I definitely prefer the 8 ohm speaker out from my mogwai for all my cans. 32ohm seems to lose bass tightness.
 
     Share This Post       
post-14128806
Post #138 of 231

ZenErik

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 28, 2008
Messages
1,336
Reaction score
278
Joined
Dec 28, 2008
Posts
1,336
Likes
278
Justin recommended the ECC801S on another forum. Problem is there are damn good and just average ECC801S tubes. The 1980's Siemens are to be avoided. You really want the Telefunken "Diamond Bottom" ECC801S from early 1960's if you decide to buy one. You also need highly resolving headphones that scale with the best tubes. No experience here with the Auteur but I imagine Justin has.
noted. The cheapest one I saw on eBay was $250. Not really what I want to spend on a tube currently. But it could get to that eventually.

I definitely prefer the 8 ohm speaker out from my mogwai for all my cans. 32ohm seems to lose bass tightness.
And which headphones are those? It’s not a particularly useful anecdote without any knowledge of what headphones you use.
 
     Share This Post       
post-14129118
Post #139 of 231

omniweltall

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 13, 2016
Messages
1,390
Reaction score
785
Joined
Nov 13, 2016
Posts
1,390
Likes
785
noted. The cheapest one I saw on eBay was $250. Not really what I want to spend on a tube currently. But it could get to that eventually.


And which headphones are those? It’s not a particularly useful anecdote without any knowledge of what headphones you use.
Apologize was at work just now. I tried it with HD650, HD800, and HEKv1. All of them favor the 8ohm jack for my ears.
 
     Share This Post       
post-14130752
Post #140 of 231

llamaluv

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 23, 2017
Messages
986
Reaction score
1,069
Location
New York City
Joined
Nov 23, 2017
Location
New York City
Posts
986
Likes
1,069
I thought I should share my initial thoughts on how my current headphones pair with the Kenzie Encore deluxe model, which I've had for just a few days now (always using the 32 ohm tap, with stock tubes). Note how all of the three headphones are pretty low-impedance... My point of comparison is what has been my primary amp up til now, the (solid-state) HeadAmp GS-X mk2.

Utopia:

- There's a slight bump in the bass by a couple dB compared to the GS-X (and I assume compared to most any solid state amp?). This could be either a welcome change or a fatigue-inducing one depending on preference. Anyway it's minor enough that a little EQ would do fine if desired.
- Frequency response is otherwise similar.
- Overall presentation is actually very similar and comparably transparent to the GS-X, which is saying something.
- Despite being not-that-high impedance, I'm finding the Utopia to be completely viable off the 32 ohm tap.
- Wish I had more to say on the Utopia. Mostly, I need to start listening to them again more frequently.

LCD-MX4:

- These are really sensitive planars and I can't turn the volume pot past 8AM (!) without crying uncle.
- Frequency response sounds accurate to me, and comparable to the GS-X.
- The Kenzie lends just the slightest warmth in the midrange and bass.
- Bass extension though is not quite as deep nor as tight as the GS-X. That's a slightly unfair comparison, as the GS-X mk2 is a different type of amp and it does bass really really well, but still worth mentioning. I guess alternative tubes might be worth exploring on this count.
- Soundstage is slightly expanded while imaging towards the center loses some solidity, which feels like a net loss.
- I'm reluctant to admit it but I prefer my solid state amp compared to the Kenzie Encore @ 32 ohms. The GS-X just drives the MX4 with an "authority" that would be hard to match. These are my favorite headphones at the moment so.

Ether C Flow:

This one was a pleasant surprise.
- Soundstage opens up noticeably, offsetting the closed nature of these headphones to a large extent, and a really important improvement overall. Imaging is also solid.
- The sound is a shade thicker and more "substantial" than the solid state amp in a way that sounds right to me. I'm especially liking the boost in euphonics I hear with electronic stuff and synth-like instrumentation at the moment.
- Frequency response is just as even across the board, save bass extension which again doesn't run quite as deep.
- They're also sounding very good for watching anime, which may sound strange but that's one of my favorite tests.

So it's been a fun listen so far. The Ether C Flow is something of a revelation. One or two higher-impedance dynamic drivers are undoubtedly on my horizon, I can tell. And tube shenanigans.
 
Last edited:
     Share This Post       
post-14130772
Post #141 of 231

ZenErik

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 28, 2008
Messages
1,336
Reaction score
278
Joined
Dec 28, 2008
Posts
1,336
Likes
278
I thought I should share my initial thoughts on how my current headphones pair with the Kenzie Encore deluxe model, which I've had for just a few days now (always using the 32 ohm tap, with stock tubes). Note how all of the three headphones are pretty low-impedance... My point of comparison is what has been my primary amp up til now, the (solid-state) HeadAmp GS-X mk2.

Utopia:

- There's a slight bump in the bass by a couple dB compared to the GS-X (and I assume compared to most any solid state amp?). This could be either a welcome change or a fatigue-inducing one depending on preference. Anyway it's minor enough that a little EQ would do fine if desired.
- Frequency response is otherwise similar.
- Overall presentation is actually very similar and comparably transparent to the GS-X, which is saying something.
- Despite being not-that-high impedance, I'm finding the Utopia to be completely viable off the 32 ohm tap.
- Wish I had more to say on the Utopia. Mostly, I need to start listening to them again more frequently.

LCD-MX4:

- These are really sensitive planars and I can't turn the volume pot past 8AM (!) without crying uncle.
- Frequency response sounds accurate to me, and comparable to the GS-X.
- The Kenzie lends just the slightest warmth in the midrange and bass.
- Bass extension though is not quite as deep nor as tight as the GS-X. That's a slightly unfair comparison, as the GS-X mk2 is a different type of amp and it does bass really really well, but still worth mentioning. I guess alternative tubes might be worth exploring on this count.
- Soundstage is slightly expanded while imaging towards the center loses some solidity, which feels like a net loss.
- I'm reluctant to admit it but I prefer my solid state amp compared to the Kenzie Encore @ 32 ohms. The GS-X just drives the MX4 with an "authority" that would be hard to match. These are my favorite headphones at the moment so.

Ether C Flow:

This one was a pleasant surprise.
- Soundstage opens up noticeably, offsetting the closed nature of these headphones to a large extent, and a really important improvement overall. Imaging is also solid.
- The sound is a shade thicker and more "substantial" than the solid state amp in a way that sounds right to me. I'm especially liking the boost in euphonics I hear with electronic stuff and synth-like instrumentation at the moment.
- Frequency response is just as even across the board, save bass extension which again doesn't run quite as deep.
- They're also sounding very good for watching anime, which may sound strange but that's one of my favorite tests.

So it's been a fun listen so far. The Ether C Flow is something of a revelation. One or two higher-impedance dynamic drivers are undoubtedly on my horizon, I can tell. And tube shenanigans.
Which taps do you have? 32/300? Given your current headphones it seems like 16/32 would have been better options if that isn't what you got.
 
     Share This Post       
post-14130822
Post #142 of 231

llamaluv

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 23, 2017
Messages
986
Reaction score
1,069
Location
New York City
Joined
Nov 23, 2017
Location
New York City
Posts
986
Likes
1,069
Which taps do you have? 32/300? Given your current headphones it seems like 16/32 would have been better options if that isn't what you got.
I got a good deal on a used 32/600 which I didn't want to pass up on. Otherwise, particularly knowing what I do now, I agree that a new 16/32 would probably have been a better option with my current headphones. I haven't heard any impressions from anyone on how the 16 or 8 ohm taps fare. Probably because they're so new.
 
Last edited:
     Share This Post       
post-14132034
Post #143 of 231

ZenErik

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 28, 2008
Messages
1,336
Reaction score
278
Joined
Dec 28, 2008
Posts
1,336
Likes
278
I got a good deal on a used 32/600 which I didn't want to pass up on. Otherwise, particularly knowing what I do now, I agree that a new 16/32 would probably have been a better option with my current headphones. I haven't heard any impressions from anyone on how the 16 or 8 ohm taps fare. Probably because they're so new.
I wonder how useful the 600ohm tap is outside of certain Beyers. I suppose the Mogwai SE is probably the way to go for the most versatility. You get the 8 ohm speaker taps and then you could get 32/300 on top of that. Seems rather convenient to have 8/32/300. Probably covers all options quite well.

If someday I end up wanting lower impedance headphones I might find myself wishing I had 8 or 16 ohm taps available instead of my 32/300 config. Thankfully that probably won't happen any time soon as my interest is with Sennheiser and ZMF. The A-T ADX5000 somewhat interests me too as a I used A-T for a number of years in the past.

In other news my A&S XLR to RCA transformer box will be in next Monday. Pretty excited to try it out and finally use the balanced outputs from my Onyx.
 
     Share This Post       
post-14132336
Post #144 of 231

exdmd

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 27, 2017
Messages
525
Reaction score
450
Location
USA
Joined
Sep 27, 2017
Location
USA
Posts
525
Likes
450
Don't forget Mogwai SE does not have pre-amp outs. You have to go with the Kenzie Encore for pre-amp outs if needed.
 
     Share This Post       
post-14133178
Post #145 of 231

bearwarrior

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
478
Reaction score
101
Location
HiFi Heaven
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Location
HiFi Heaven
Posts
478
Likes
101
Does anyone know the lifetime of the NOS 1626 tubes?
 
     Share This Post       
post-14133252
Post #146 of 231

exdmd

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 27, 2017
Messages
525
Reaction score
450
Location
USA
Joined
Sep 27, 2017
Location
USA
Posts
525
Likes
450
Probably a year or two max if you don't leave your amp on more than 20 hours a week. Buy a matched pair or two and put away for the future.
 
     Share This Post       
post-14133379
Post #147 of 231

ampsandsound

Member of the Trade: ampasandsound
Joined
Dec 15, 2015
Messages
121
Reaction score
105
Joined
Dec 15, 2015
Posts
121
Likes
105
They have a longer than average lifetime. Ive clocked more than 1200 hours and they still test in the 120 range... meaning still new.
 
     Share This Post       
post-14133389
Post #148 of 231

bearwarrior

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
478
Reaction score
101
Location
HiFi Heaven
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Location
HiFi Heaven
Posts
478
Likes
101
They have a longer than average lifetime. Ive clocked more than 1200 hours and they still test in the 120 range... meaning still new.
That is similar to what I thought. Thanks for the clarification, Justin. Looking forward to your tube rolling impressions.
 
     Share This Post       
post-14133405
Post #149 of 231

ZenErik

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 28, 2008
Messages
1,336
Reaction score
278
Joined
Dec 28, 2008
Posts
1,336
Likes
278
Sounds like they could last several years if you're only putting in 20 hours a week. Probably a bit less for me since I use my headphones while gaming fairly often in addition to music.
 
     Share This Post       
post-14133471
Post #150 of 231

exdmd

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 27, 2017
Messages
525
Reaction score
450
Location
USA
Joined
Sep 27, 2017
Location
USA
Posts
525
Likes
450
There is no shortage of WWII RCA 1626s that's for sure. Great choice for an heirloom amp.
 
     Share This Post       

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top