ASL MG Head...a suitable upgrade over X-Cans V1?
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Beagle

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I have done a search and found some very useful and detailed info from Nick Dangerous, which gives good props to this unit.

However, I am not quite able to ascertain whether or not this would be a big step up from X-Cans V1, for what I am looking for in terms of improvement.

I use the HD600 w/Cardas cable upgrade, and Grado SR225 and SR325. I also use the Grado RA-1 amp.

The X-Cans has wonderful midrange and clean highs but I am looking for a bit more extention at the frequency extremes. I find the X-Cans lacks the solid bottom octave, even with the JJ tube upgrade. A bit more transparency in the lower mids would be nice too. The RA-1 beats the X-Cans in terms of neutrality and transparency.

I can pick up the MG Head (current upgraded version) for $499 Canadian but if it's not a large upgrade over the X-Cans, I won't bother. I'd be better off putting the money towards the RS-1.

I realize the should (and can) demo the unit at the store, but I would appreciate any feedback from people with experience with both amps over the long term, where difference/preferences sometimes become more apparent.
 
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grinch

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it'd be a nice upgrade, but keep in mind that the mg head completely sucks with everyone of your headphones save for the hd600. it shines like crazy for tha headphone though.

personally, i'd give it a try. you already have the ra-1 which is quite awesome for your grados (and most headphones) and the mg head with the hd600/cardas sounds quite lovely with the right tubes.
 
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Beagle

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Quote:

Originally posted by grinch
keep in mind that the mg head completely sucks with everyone of your headphones save for the hd600


Interesting, because when I demo'd a pair of SR225 (which I bought) in February, it was through the MG Head. I found the clarity and soundstaging to be phenomenal. I bought the phones without asking which amp I was listening to!
 
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Nick Dangerous

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If you liked the sound of Grado headphones through the MG Head, you'll be blown away with the Senns.

I upgraded from the X-Cans to the MG Head OTL and found it to be a significant improvement with the HD-580/HD-600.

The MG Head OTL is a monster of price/performance. No other tubed headphone amp (except possibly the Radii/Moretto which I have not heard) can match it for the money... so long as you stick with headphones it likes (i.e. no Grados).

After three different Head-Fi meetings and a buttload of swapped gear, it has stood up to the competition. Tough little dude!
 
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Beagle

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Thanks Nick. I really appreciate your help, along with all the information, guidelines and suggestions you have provided to this board.

I spoke to the store owner and he told me to just call ahead, he will give the MG Head a nice warm up and I can bring my phones down and give it a listen.
 
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Snufkin

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I just recently did the X-Cans to MG Head upgrade and I'm very happy


Tube rolling coming soon.
 
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Dusty Chalk

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You might want to consider upgrading the power supply (either with a used X-PSU, or with a power supply > 500mA), and possibly tweaking the op-amps. I've heard Hirsch's tweaked out X-CANs, and it was quite nice in the bass department, especially on the Sony CD3000's.
 
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