Balanced Amp recommendations
Aug 6, 2010 at 3:35 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

Priyajeet

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Been reading here and there and few names come up often
 
- GSX
- WA22
- Apache
 
Right now I haven't locked down on a budget for this, just exploring my options. Reading reviews, threads etc.
Most threads or talk about those above are from relatively older threads as these have been out for a while, so was wondering if there are any newer recommendations.
 
How do these compare amongst each other if someone has had an opportunity to try them out.
Apache is the most expensive from among them, while the WA22 is the cheapest.
 
I will be using the amp for my T1
 
PC/Mac (toslink/USB) ---> PS Audio DL3 (XLR) ---> Amp ---> Beyer T1 balanced
 
Aug 6, 2010 at 3:40 AM Post #2 of 14

Uncle Erik

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Keep in mind that almost all of the DIY amps can be built balanced if you want to commission one.  A balanced Beta22 is a fairly popular option.
 
Aug 6, 2010 at 5:53 PM Post #3 of 14

twsmith

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There are a few other balanced amps around -- Rudistor, Headroom, just to name a few.  A search will probably give you a few more.   The Headamp GS-X and RSA Apache may be "older" models but technically are still considered superb amps if you want to go commercial.   I'm currently waiting for a Headamp GS-X and had no qualms about ordering one despite the rather long turnaround time.  It has an very fine track record in terms of its engineering and SQ, and the amp itself is incredibly well made.  Some people consider it nearly the sonic equivalent of (or even equal to) a Beta 22. I once had a Headamp GS-1, which was a fantastic amp -- was sorry that I had to sell it at the time, but the GS-X should be even better.  
 
I recently tried the newest Headroom Balanced amp (BUDA) but thought it sounded too "hi-fi"-like and sold it.   I can't speak for the others but you have to be aware that they may likewise have a house-sound that may or may not be to your liking.  The beta 22 and GS-X are usually considered the most transparent ("straight wire with gain") of the balanced amps.  
 
Ideally you should try to hear at least some of these amps at a meet, although I realize that this isn't always possible.   In my case, the decision to go with the GS-X was solely based on my very positive experience with the GS-1, although I was initially very hesitant to go this route because of the long wait times.  But in the end I felt it would be worth it.
 
Aug 6, 2010 at 6:28 PM Post #4 of 14

KingStyles

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Eddie Current Balancing Act
 
Aug 6, 2010 at 10:11 PM Post #5 of 14

Priyajeet

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I was reading about the beta22. I had electronics experience while during high school, but don't think I am confident enough right now to get a DIY amp, unless there are places that build it for you?
edit: Hrm, their website do list a couple of builders.
edit: even if i were to build one myself, which is rather tempting, the chassis/enclosure and everything non electronic is something really beyond the scope of my skill.
 
Aug 7, 2010 at 2:44 AM Post #11 of 14

Uncle Erik

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Don't worry too much about the casing. You can buy cases from a variety of companies - I like Par-Metal. You can also order pre-cut panels from Front Panel Express. If you did that, you'd only need to drill holes to hold the boards. This all isn't free, but it would still cost less than a commissioned or commercial amp.

If you've already taken electronics, you probably have the basics down. A little practice with a CMoy would be good and there's plenty of help in the DIY Forum. If you're up for a challenge and a little labor, DIY will save a lot of money and give you a terrific amp.
 
Aug 7, 2010 at 4:25 AM Post #12 of 14

fhuang

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i've been searching for a balanced amp myself but the more i read the more i get confused.  gs-x, the long wait time.  rpx300, not coming in one piece or something break easy before getting it(actually it was other models that i read).  beta22, two things you need to find a builder you can trust and you need to know what exactly you want to order one.  apache and wa22 maybe the best bet? i actually want a ss amp first.  i have a tube amp but sometimes pick the right tube a really a pain.  plus after getting a balanced amp, i'll be thinking/worrying recable some of my headphones.       
 
Aug 8, 2010 at 12:58 AM Post #13 of 14

budx3385

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It may not be on your budget, because the price is about the same as a commissioned balanced beta-22 with top components, but I haven't heard anything better than the Rudistor RP010B.
 
 

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