Apex Peak/Volcano Review
Feb 4, 2013 at 11:24 AM Post #376 of 415
Apr 28, 2007
Has anyone an opinion on the apex peak vs spl phonitor/auditor. Of course one is hybrid, and others are SS, but besides this...would the apex be a noticable 
upgrade (with a good tube) for use with HD800? 

I'm speaking only from having done a lot of reading about the HD800, the SPL Phonitor/Auditor and the Apex Peak/Volcano, so please understand this does not come from first-hand experience, but my understanding is that the SPL amps work best with high impedance headphones - so you're OK using the HD800 with an SPL amp, but the HD800 is known for being bright and perhaps even a bit harsh, or at least, unforgiving with less than perfect recordings.  This is where a good tube amp can "fix" the weaknesses of the HD800, but unlike most tube amps, the Apex Peak/Volcano does not "smooth" away the details - it's known for its high resolution, and thus, if it were me, buying without hearing first, I would prefer the Peak over either of the SPL amps.
Feb 5, 2013 at 4:43 AM Post #379 of 415


500+ Head-Fier
Jan 7, 2009
Thanks guys. I saw after I bought the SPL that Jude regards the amps as v good with HD800s. But if I spend 1k sterling on 
them, i dont want them to be my occasional analytical headphones .. so yeah, the SPLs are good but slightly too fatiguing 
for my ears. 
+2 for tube rolling! 
May 4, 2013 at 2:04 AM Post #382 of 415


New Head-Fier
Nov 2, 2012
I bought the Peak/Volcano along with a pair of LCD-3's from TTVJ. As it happens, I am in process of selling much of my megabuck main system and buying more compact gear, as my wife and I sold our home and downsizing includes stereo. So when I sold my Mark Levinson No. 32 Reference preamp, I plugged in the Volcano to use until my integrated amp arrives.

For a modestly-priced unit (compared to the No. 32 at $17K), it acquits itself remarkably well. I'll ignore the marked differences in features and build quality, and just speak to sound. To my ears, the Peak/Volcano has a definite bump in the midbass (which some people might appreciate, but I like neutral). It's not quite as detailed as its far more expensive big brother, and not as clear or precise in locating individual instruments or vocalists, but it captures a surprising amount of he music. My new integrated amp is under construction--I'll provide an update when it has arrived & I've had time to burn it in.
May 4, 2013 at 3:07 AM Post #383 of 415


Member of the Trade: NITSCH
Mar 4, 2010
San Francisco Bay Area
Hi guys,
I am currently considering the Apex P/V as an upgrade to the WA6SE.
Being a hybrid amp, does the P/V creates a holographic soundstage like a tube amp?

I found that the P/V headstage definitely got "bigger" in size with a 7N7 adapter and a 7N7.  Also warmed things up with the HD800 (did roll a little from the upper mids to treble).
Was a loss of some resolution but I found it fun to see how much difference the tube can make.  Put in a Shugang for the opposite experience.
I had the P/V, Arete, and Butte for a couple weeks as I offered to show them for Todd at the Bay Area Meet a couple of years ago so I could spend some extra time with them.

Jul 15, 2013 at 4:58 PM Post #384 of 415


Reviewer at Headphone.Guru
Jan 25, 2010
Birmingham, Alabama
...So when I sold my Mark Levinson No. 32 Reference preamp, I plugged in the Volcano to use until my integrated amp arrives....

This is very interesting.
When we speak, Todd continues to impress upon me that the Peak does well as a preamp.
I have a Parasound JC-2 preamp, and keep thinking that i should give the Peak a listen in that capacity to see what it sounds like...
Jan 22, 2014 at 8:46 PM Post #387 of 415


New Head-Fier
Oct 17, 2009
I took delivery of a Peak/Volcano a week or so ago, not entirely sure as time has pretty much been measured by how many albums I can cram into a day.
I haven't owned or heard very many highish end amps so I can't really go on and on with comparisons of other similar amps, so I guess take my opinions with a grain of salt. What I will say is that this amp just sounds "right."
I see some people calling this amp a little bright and I just don't get that, maybe its my choice in transducers.
Before this amp I would throw my DX1000s on only here and there for a quick moment of basshead bliss. I always found them to be a little lacking in clarity. I can't believe how much the Peak/Volcano has helped. The separation and clarity of individual musical elements is just awesome and I had no idea a closed headphone could throw such a big soundstage. My HD650s, which I have always loved, just sound that much better.
The stock tube is just a tiny bit edgy but its not terrible in my opinion. Even so, I have been mostly using either a NOS Sylvania Bad Boy or RCA 6SN7GTB. I can echo what others have said about the Bad Boy it is a very good all-rounder, sounds very even handed to me with no glaring weaknesses. The RCA sounds a little bit warmer and more mid range focused but still awesome if your in that sort of mood.
As a side note I love the utilitarian feel of this amp. I don't feel like its a product where half of the budget was spent on a fancy chassis. It feels like the money has gone where it matters in this amp. The service from Todd was awesome as pretty much everyone says. Sent him an email about some of his products and got a reply about 10 minutes later. Just seemed like a generally pleasant person to deal with.
Now I need to try it as a preamp sometime. Seems people are getting good results in this role as well.
Maybe its just the honeymoon period making me spew happy words out of my mouth but I can't see myself wanting for a different headphone amp for quite some time.
Feb 5, 2014 at 4:30 PM Post #389 of 415


1000+ Head-Fier
Jun 20, 2006
Because we are all too busy listening to our Apex Peak 

  Why is this dead?

  Not many people own one, I guess.  


Users who are viewing this thread