Best Tube amp for Denon D5000's?
Jan 3, 2009 at 10:08 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8

Tyson

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Hi all,
I'm searching for an upgrade to my current setup, and I've got about a $1200 budget. I use Denon D5000s, which I love, and I've got a couple of good amps already - Radii Audio HAP-05 with upgraded capacitors RCA connectors, and headphone jack. Nice ECC99 output tubes, good sound. I also have a highly modded (beyond "Pinkie" level) X-Cans V2 with XPSU power supply. Again, very good sound, but it's a hybrid and I'd rather have a tube amp.

What I love is the tube sound of the Radii, I just wish it had more punch and drive, a greater sense of authority. Maybe the low impedance of the Denon's is causing it to sound a little softer than it might with a higher impedance can.

Anyway, I've been looking pretty hard at the WooAudio amps, and the DarkVoice stuff too. But I'm pretty much open to anything, as long as it has tube magic sound with lots of control and authority.
 
Jan 4, 2009 at 2:19 AM Post #2 of 8

Skylab

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The best tube amp I have personally heard with the D5000 is the SinglePower Extreme, but the low-impedance Denons really scream for a transformer-coupled amp. So maybe a WooAudio 6SE would be the thing to look at in your price range.
 
Jan 4, 2009 at 2:32 AM Post #3 of 8

Tyson

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Yeah, leaning very heavily to the 6SE at the moment, just want to make sure there's nothing else out there that is better for the same price. I've heard the singlepower amps several times, and I like them but never really grew to love them.

I want this amp purchase to be my very last one for a long, long time. I'm going to sell all my extra amps and extra headphones to fund this, so I'm thinking if I go w/the 6SE, I might stretch the budget a bit to get the upgrades to it as well.
 
Jan 4, 2009 at 2:53 PM Post #4 of 8

sacd lover

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I would agree the SP Extreme is my best overall tube amp for low impedance headphones. You really need to own one and experiment with tuberolling to appreciate how good the Extreme really is. That said, if you are looking for something else I have some suggestions. I had a Woo 6 and I just plain didnt like the sound. I would take the Mapletree Ear+ over the Woo if you are set on a transformer coupled tube amp.

What I would recommend is trying one of the hybrid amps with the Denon. You get a nice degree of the tube sound combined with serious current drive for low impedances. What is also nice about the hybrids is you can often pick one up very inexpensively.

For choices you have the current generation X-Can V8 commercial product, there is a comercial version of the Millet Starving Student amp .... and there are always nice DIY builds available in the for sale forum. I have a DIY SOHA/ JISBOS that is near perfect to my tastes with low impedance headphones. The Millet Starving Student amps are also amazingly good with low impedance headphones given their low, low cost. I like the hybrids so well I have a custom hybrid amp in progress called the Stacker II. I paid around $100 for the Millets and $250 for the SOHA/ JISBOS. All but one of these DIY amps even came with stepped attenuators.

Regarding the SOHA/ JISBOS the amps former owner posted this and I agree ....

This amp is absolutely wonderful, nice highs, silky smooth in the mids, warm bass and very low noise floor which makes it perfect for sensitive headphones like Denon D5000 and Grado RS-1. It can easily drive anything I threw at it.

SOHA/ JISBOS

http://img78.imageshack.us/img78/6255/img2369nx1.jpg

Commercial Millet SS ....

Mini Millet DIY Tube Amplifier

DIY Millet Starving Student amps are great sounding amps with low impedance headphones ....

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ssmh1backas4.jpg


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mssh1.jpg
 
Jan 4, 2009 at 7:59 PM Post #5 of 8

Tyson

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Interesting info on the WA6 and the Extreme. I've never heard the Extreme (I have heard the PPX and MPX) but I do live in Denver, maybe I'll look up SP and see if I can demo one of them.

Hybrids are out for me, I already have the X-Cans V2 and have heard a few others. Just not enough tube magic for me. What I really want is a tube amp that can drive the Denon's well, and it sounds like the Extreme might be the best choice. Seems like you can roll a lot of different tubes in there as well (always a plus, IMO).
 
Jan 4, 2009 at 8:28 PM Post #6 of 8

Taikero

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For the record, everything I've heard about the Denon D2000-D7000 line is that they are best run through a solid state amp. There are tube amps that work for the Denons, apparently, but a good solid state amp is just going to sound better overall.

Take this with a grain of salt since I haven't personally heard any of those three phones (yet, planning a D2000 purchase), but I thought it bore mentioning since every time a question of amping has come up, the near unanimous response has been in favor of solid state amping for the low impedance Denons.

Good luck, whatever you choose.
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Jan 4, 2009 at 8:53 PM Post #7 of 8

atbglenn

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I ordered a D2000's to work with my Woo 6. Hopefully they sound good... that's if buy.com ever ships them
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Jan 4, 2009 at 10:26 PM Post #8 of 8

mrarroyo

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My D5000 sounded really good out of a Singlepower MPX3 and an X-Can V2. They should be back from getting modded by MarkL and I will try them out of a Rudistor, Graham Slee, and a Jaycar SS amps.
 

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