CEC HD53R or Headamp GS-1
Mar 6, 2006 at 4:30 PM Post #16 of 35

Rob80b

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 29, 2003
Posts
2,149
Likes
920
Location
Toronto, Ontario
Quote:

Originally Posted by cosmopragma
The newest CEC HD 53 R V8 is a very good amp IMO.
Finally.
The older HD 53s and HD 51s had some design flaws (no adjustable gain, crappy pot etc.) and should be avoided, but the latest incarnation is one of the best amps I ever had the opportunity to listen to.
In the end it's a question of personal preference.I've compared the amps you mentioned directly.For $500 I would purchase the CEC (if it's at least a HD 53 R, I doubt it's the slightly better V8).Unfortunately the CECs are far more expensive in Germany.



I have a sneaking suspicion the units are the HD53's and not HD53R's.
I read that V8 is slightly better, problem is that, until I hear at least the HD53 I will not know what better is.
http://translate.google.com/translat...lr%3D%26sa%3DG
What is of interest with the CEC is that I’ll be able to run the Teac VRDS-20 directly from the balanced output that has a lower load and higher output.
The GS-1 still looks good though but it's got to be kind to the SR325i's.
 
Mar 6, 2006 at 4:39 PM Post #17 of 35

Rob80b

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 29, 2003
Posts
2,149
Likes
920
Location
Toronto, Ontario
Oh yay, and both better be an improvement over the Creek OBH-11se Rev B which, contrary to popular opinion, sounds pretty damn good with the Grado's but runs out of steam with the AKG K501's at high volume, but then alot of amps do.
 
Mar 6, 2006 at 6:17 PM Post #18 of 35

Mikey01

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 17, 2004
Posts
1,602
Likes
10
I am not a solid state person. I prefere the warmth of women....er tube amps. However, I would have to agree, that the GS 1 is the best sounding solid state, I have heard in a long time.
tongue.gif
 
Mar 6, 2006 at 7:11 PM Post #19 of 35

wakked1

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 3, 2005
Posts
300
Likes
1
Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeek
It does. Totally anemic bass, and cold to the point of sterility. A terrible match.

A GS1 and an overly warm and bassy headphone a la HD650 would be a superb match.



I disagree. The strength of the HP-2 is its neutrality. I have a Gilmore Lite, which by all accounts is basically a GS-1 minus PSU. I think its a decent combination, its major weakness is just not enough current. Its a better match than an overtly warm amp, but I don't like my sound syrupy (and personally dislike the L3000 for exactly that reason). I actually like the bass response, its tight and accurate without bloating.. a bass actually sounds like the bass instrument, rather than a subwoofer. The best SS amp I heard with the HP-2 line (my HP3000 in particular) was the Dynahi SA..

What I wouldn't recommend with them are already bright headphones, like the SR325* and the like... because they'll stay bright. I think the Dynalo's are pretty neutral amps, so the tonal balance reflects that of the headphones.
 
Mar 6, 2006 at 10:03 PM Post #20 of 35

panda

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 9, 2006
Posts
1,368
Likes
11
seeing as you think that an 'overly warm' sounding fone would be a good thing tells me that neutral sounds cold to you. hp1 actually had more bass than i care for, but it was the tightest out of all other fones.
 
Mar 6, 2006 at 11:30 PM Post #21 of 35

Squeek

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 9, 2005
Posts
1,545
Likes
11
Quote:

Originally Posted by panda
seeing as you think that an 'overly warm' sounding fone would be a good thing tells me that neutral sounds cold to you. hp1 actually had more bass than i care for, but it was the tightest out of all other fones.


If the HP1 and Gilmore lite give you more bass than you care for, than our tastes are very different.

My reference to an overly warm headphones, was a suggestion for which type of sound the dynalo would mate well with. Being that a sterile bass shy amp would compensate for an overly warm and bassy headphones, hopefully finding middle ground.
 
Mar 7, 2006 at 1:33 AM Post #23 of 35

Squeek

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 9, 2005
Posts
1,545
Likes
11
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rob80b
So help me out here guys, is the GS-1 neutral or not?


It is neutral. Or maybe a little on the cooler side of it.

Which is exactly why you need to know the qualities of the cans you are mating it with.

If your cans are neutral as well, it may be too cold and sterile as was my impression.

If your cans are warm and bassy, it will even them out a bit.

My advice is to choose a headphone whose character you know and love. Use amplification to compliment the characteristics you like and iron out the kinks.

If you love the 701 but find it a little too warm in the mids and a touch too bassy, the GS1 will fit perfectly.

If you wish it were warmer and had a bit more bass, choose another amplifier.

Many people think they like neutrality until they actually hear it. You may be one, and you may not.
 
Mar 7, 2006 at 2:23 AM Post #24 of 35

sacd lover

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 31, 2002
Posts
8,190
Likes
33
Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeek
It is neutral. Or maybe a little on the cooler side of it.

Which is exactly why you need to know the qualities of the cans you are mating it with.

If your cans are neutral as well, it may be too cold and sterile as was my impression.

If your cans are warm and bassy, it will even them out a bit.

My advice is to choose a headphone whose character you know and love. Use amplification to compliment the characteristics you like and iron out the kinks.

If you love the 701 but find it a little too warm in the mids and a touch too bassy, the GS1 will fit perfectly.

If you wish it were warmer and had a bit more bass, choose another amplifier.

Many people think they like neutrality until they actually hear it. You may be one, and you may not.




Interesting comments squeek. I use the same E5 you do or the sacdmods 555es with the GS-1. I find the sound to be neutral to slightly warm .... and this compared with 7 other tube amps. Plus, I use a gold alloy IC with the GS-1 that is very transparent and not nearly as warm as my magnet wire IC's. I have no doubts the K701 is my favorite headphone with this amp. I like the senn 600/ cardas a lot too .... but the senns seem a little to rich at times. The 701's clarity and openess are awesome with this amp .... atleast to me.
 
Mar 7, 2006 at 6:59 AM Post #25 of 35

wakked1

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 3, 2005
Posts
300
Likes
1
There's a few good reviews of the GS-1 in the dedicated reviews section. The consensus seems to be they are on the slightly warm side of neutral. One thing I don't find them to be lacking is in bass.

Apparently the older Gilmore amps are significantly cooler. Maybe you listened to an older Gilmore?
 
Mar 7, 2006 at 9:04 AM Post #26 of 35

Glod

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 7, 2005
Posts
1,352
Likes
10
Location
The Netherlands
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rob80b
So help me out here guys, is the GS-1 neutral or not?


There that word again, neutral. I am sure it is an exhaustive and clear adjective to many, but for me it is mostly confusing.

In absolute terms, I don't find the GS-1 extremely neutral. Mind you, it is a very good amp nevertheless, but in comparison to e.g. the Lehmann BC Linear it is less "neutral".

The Meier CORDA HA-2 MKII SE is a similar amp, sound wise, to the GS-1 IMO. They both have very good frequency responses, essentially neutral but also with a darkish and bit sweet tone. The HA-2 MKII SE is darker than the GS-1 and has better resolution, but the GS-1 renders more life to singers. I should add I have only listened to this CORDA once and then via the loop-out of my GS-1. The source was also one with a sweet and resolving treble.
 
Mar 7, 2006 at 3:01 PM Post #27 of 35

Rob80b

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 29, 2003
Posts
2,149
Likes
920
Location
Toronto, Ontario
I started this tread trying to ascertain which amp is the most neutral.
For me the amp should not alter the signal in any way (wish-full thinking), except for gain.
Using multiple sources, cd, phono, tuner and sometimes running a feed from my studio I need a reference.
Using multiple phones from Sennheiser, AKG and Grado, I’ll let the recording dictate if the sound is warm, cool, strident or smooth and use the headphone that will make the recording more palatable if that is what is required.
So what I’m reading is the GS-1 is neutral, not neutral, cool, warm, going through the forums one almost finds similar comments about every amp spoken of.
What I’m certain of is that there are amps that are more compatible with certain phones because of different voltage and current requirements, but I do not want four amps laying around.
So which amp is the best compromise in Headphone compatibility and neutrality? (the million dollar question which drives this hobby).
 
Mar 7, 2006 at 3:37 PM Post #28 of 35

elnero

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jul 24, 2002
Posts
6,135
Likes
571
Location
Prince Edward Island, Canada
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rob80b
I started this tread trying to ascertain which amp is the most neutral.
For me the amp should not alter the signal in any way (wish-full thinking), except for gain.
Using multiple sources, cd, phono, tuner and sometimes running a feed from my studio I need a reference.
Using multiple phones from Sennheiser, AKG and Grado, I’ll let the recording dictate if the sound is warm, cool, strident or smooth and use the headphone that will make the recording more palatable if that is what is required.
So what I’m reading is the GS-1 is neutral, not neutral, cool, warm, going through the forums one almost finds similar comments about every amp spoken of.
What I’m certain of is that there are amps that are more compatible with certain phones because of different voltage and current requirements, but I do not want four amps laying around.
So which amp is the best compromise in Headphone compatibility and neutrality? (the million dollar question which drives this hobby).



I think you'll have a hard time coming up with a definitive answer because it really comes down to system synergy as indicated by the HP-1000 comments and ones personal preferences and definitions of "neutrality", what might be neutral for one might not be for another.
 
Mar 7, 2006 at 4:02 PM Post #29 of 35

sacd lover

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 31, 2002
Posts
8,190
Likes
33
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rob80b
I started this tread trying to ascertain which amp is the most neutral.
For me the amp should not alter the signal in any way (wish-full thinking), except for gain.
Using multiple sources, cd, phono, tuner and sometimes running a feed from my studio I need a reference.
Using multiple phones from Sennheiser, AKG and Grado, I’ll let the recording dictate if the sound is warm, cool, strident or smooth and use the headphone that will make the recording more palatable if that is what is required.
So what I’m reading is the GS-1 is neutral, not neutral, cool, warm, going through the forums one almost finds similar comments about every amp spoken of.
What I’m certain of is that there are amps that are more compatible with certain phones because of different voltage and current requirements, but I do not want four amps laying around.
So which amp is the best compromise in Headphone compatibility and neutrality? (the million dollar question which drives this hobby).



Neutral is such a vague a term I dont know how you decipher what this would mean to you ... I am not even sure what it means to me.

I can say having listened to many many headamps the GS-1 sounds better to me than any of the other SS amps I have tried. I focus more on what something sounds like in relation to what I hear live. I look for natural not neutral, although neutrality is certainly part of what determines natural ..... and the GS-1 does this the best of the SS amps I have used.

I listen to voices, cymbals and acoustic guitars live; in particular. Comparing equipment thats inherently less than perfect connected to a wide range of less than perfect sources and cables tells you what you like. But as to which one is the referance for natural sound you need live music to make that determination in my mind. I dont know how you seperate neutral from natural. To summarize, bottom line, the GS-1 is more successful mimicking live music compared to the other SS amps I have heard.
 
Mar 7, 2006 at 4:08 PM Post #30 of 35

elnero

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jul 24, 2002
Posts
6,135
Likes
571
Location
Prince Edward Island, Canada
Quote:

Originally Posted by sacd lover
Neutral is such a vague a term I dont know how you decipher what this would mean to you ... I am not even sure what it means to me.

I can say having listened to many many headamps the GS-1 sounds better to me than any of the other SS amps I have tried. I focus more on what something sounds like in relation to what I hear live. I look for natural not neutral, although neutrality is certainly part of what determines natural ..... and the GS-1 does this the best of the SS amps I have used.

I listen to voices, cymbals and acoustic guitars live; in particular. Comparing equipment thats inherently less than perfect connected to a wide range of less than perfect sources and cables tells you what you like. But as to which one is the referance for natural sound you need live music to make that determination in my mind. I dont know how you seperate neutral from natural. To summarize, bottom line, the GS-1 is more successful mimicking live music compared to the other SS amps I have heard.



Great post Earl!!!
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top