Emmeline XP-7 vs. HeadAmp GS-1
Mar 8, 2006 at 1:14 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 66

mazersteven

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OK Amp Guru's. I'm very new to this whole headphone thing. I've started out with Sennheiser HD600's, & have a set of AKG K 701's coming. My first sets of "Cans".
With all the reading I've done, I think I'd like to get one of these two Amps. I've read good things about both. But I've never read about which one you'd choose, and why. Please help, and post your thoughts. These will be used with my HT system while watching movies, and listening to music.
eggosmile.gif


Emmeline XP-7 Headphone Amp (with power supply)
Vs.
HeadAmp GS-1 Headphone Amp/Pre-Amp
 
Mar 8, 2006 at 2:53 AM Post #2 of 66

sacd lover

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GS-1 ... why?

First, the GS-1 sounds awesome with the 701 and the 600/ cardas that you use. The 701 and 600 are my two favorite headphones. So I am very familiar with these and I have not heard a solid state amp that sounds better with these two headphones. Second, while I have never listened to the XP-7, I have compared the more expensive HR-2 with the GS-1 .... and I like the GS-1 better. IMO, the GS-1 had a bigger soundstage, better dynamics and a more refined treble.

Third, the GS-1 is like a small control center with all its features. You get two inputs with a front panel selector switch, a two position high/low gain switch, two headphone outputs, a preamp output and finally a loop output. The GS-1 is an excellent preamp in addition to being a first class headamp.

So, you get an excellent headamp that has a special synergy with your chosen headphones .... especially with the 701, extra inputs and outputs, a gain switch and an excellent preamp all in one attractive and equally well built product. The GS-1 is a one of the best values available.
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Mar 8, 2006 at 5:32 AM Post #5 of 66

sacd lover

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Quote:

Originally Posted by raisin
"Mikhail is a great guy and even allows you to upgrade or trade up to a better amp should you want to..."


Mikhail/ Singlepower doesnt sell GS-1's .... Headamp does.
confused.gif
 
Mar 8, 2006 at 2:27 PM Post #7 of 66

mazersteven

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sacd lover
GS-1 ... why?

First, the GS-1 sounds awesome with the 701 and the 600/ cardas that you use. The 701 and 600 are my two favorite headphones. So I am very familiar with these and I have not heard a solid state amp that sounds better with these two headphones. Second, while I have never listened to the XP-7, I have compared the more expensive HR-2 with the GS-1 .... and I like the GS-1 better. IMO, the GS-1 had a bigger soundstage, better dynamics and a more refined treble.

Third, the GS-1 is like a small control center with all its features. You get two inputs with a front panel selector switch, a two position high/low gain switch, two headphone outputs, a preamp output and finally a loop output. The GS-1 is an excellent preamp in addition to being a first class headamp.

So, you get an excellent headamp that has a special synergy with your chosen headphones .... especially with the 701, extra inputs and outputs, a gain switch and an excellent preamp all in one attractive and equally well built product. The GS-1 is a one of the best values available.
smily_headphones1.gif



I'd like to Thank "Sacd Lover" for taking his time to help me out. You've made it a lot clearer for me.
eggosmile.gif
eggosmile.gif
eggosmile.gif


After a long discussion about my needs it seems this "Loop Out" feature is something I need. Since this Amp is going to be used within my Home Theater system, and my Denon Receiver.

The Headamp products, the Gilmore Lite w/ Dedicated Power Supply. Or a GS-1 would suit my needs, and pair well with my Senn 600 & AKG 701's.



Just out of Curiosity. Is there any other Amps, someone can think of that would be a better choice?
eggosmile.gif
basshead.gif
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Mar 8, 2006 at 3:23 PM Post #9 of 66

bhd812

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My reply is being broken into 7 separate sections, they are the following...

1.Fan Boy VS Truth
This Section I am going to give you MY background. This section you will know strait where I come from, my previous experience with these separate amps and/or amps from the same manufacture.

2. GS-1 vs XP-7
In this section I will lay out the specs of each amp,time lines when each was released, and other uses other then headphones each might have.

3. SACD vs op amp
In this section I will tell you SACD lovers public opinion of an op amp design, And my thoughts on his conclusin.

4. Ray vs Justin
This section talks about the two separate people making these separate products, I guess its little back ground of them..

5. New vs used
this section talks about the value of buying used or new.

6. Apples vs oranges
This is self spoken..needs no introduction.

7. your ears vs others ears.
A conclusion to this reply, and Why I took the time to write this reply to you.


1.Fan Boy VS Truth

As you can read from My signature I have very close products from the same manufacture you asked about. My Headamp GS-X is a Balanced version of the Headamp GS-1 (also should be noted the GS-X has a beefier power supply and a few other "tweaks" over the
GS-1.). I have been using the GS-X mostly unbalanced since I took delivery earlier this week. The actual listening time I have had with the GS-1 was very little from an recent headphone meet. The GS-X un balanced sound I get should be pretty close in terms of what a GS-1 will be like. The Ray Samuel's Audio hr-2 you see in my signature also is mostly an XP-7 without the option of Transportable use (no batteries, only a/c from wall). Some people will swear the sound of an XP-7 is dead on with the HR-2, but The HR-2 is an higher up the RSA (Ray Samuel's audio) food chain in terms of price, sound quality, and performance. I have had an XP-& on loan for a few days from RSA awhile back, The difference in sonic's I heard were there but still close enough for me to get an idea. If you want to know any other gear I use you can simply read my signature below.

2. GS-1 vs XP-7

There is one main important part of this match you need to know AND understand from the get go! that is the GS-1 is discrete and the XP-7 is op amp based.learn more what other people think about opamp VS discrete here
and here
and some more info on opamps
Now that you read through the pages you know where each amp starts and ends. The GS-1 is discrete and has "interchangeable" modules, this is nice cause any Time Headamp releases a new module then you can just easily swap the old out with the new and have a completely different sound then before. the XP-7 using the op amps is even easier to change or alter the sound of the amp. open the top of the amp itself up and switch the op amps then your done. Op amps can be bought from a few places and are pretty cheap. Of course can the sound of the op amp change as much as the module in the GS-1 remains to be seen (in other words I am just not sure..)More about the opamps for the XP-7 can be found here
The XP-7 Has the battery option as you already know but the GS-1 does not. The add on power supply for the XP-7 VS the battery use in terms of sound is said to be un heard. The only reason why one would buy the power supply for the XP-7 is if they are wanting to save on the batteries and not using the amp in a portable application. On can easily save money at first by using the XP-7 on batteries at first and waiting for maybe a used power supply to come up on the boards (rarely happens) to save a few bucks. Both power supplies on both amps are Well built, in fact Ray and Justin's strong point is the power supply's.
The dates each amp came to the market play a pivotal roll in there design/uses also. the XP-7 came out sometime in 2003 and the GS-1 came out in 2005, and trust me two simple years on Head-fi can definitely be a big two years. when the XP-7 started out people did not have pocket sized portable amps we do today, they did not have the use of gain switch's as much as they do today, to be honest the only reason why the XP-7 came to the market place is because people wanted an HR-2 on Batteries. The GS-1 being the newer amp of the two came out when people almost required Gain switch's, pre amp outputs, and loop outs also. These days people on Head-fi have more then one headphone amp then before, they don't wanna pay more for another pre amp, and of course since a lot of people have different types of headphones (iem's,low impedance,high impedance) the need for a gain switch is becoming a must.

3. SACD vs op amp

Publicly SACD lover (His Name is Earl) has said he just don't like opamp based amps. is not wrong for this at all, some people don't like opamp and some don't like discrete.
the bigger soundstage, better dynamics, and more refined Treble is where I DO DISAGREE WITH HIM!
Off of what I am getting from the two amps I have is this...
The GS-X places the instruments at different distances from you more over then the XP-7. the XP-7 has more of an even distance, as in each instrument is basicly evenly spaced from you. this can be good and bad. good for the GS-1 cause it can bring out different locations of instruments easier, but bad cause it can easily over cloud other instruments spaced farther from you. now in terms of the soundstage definition here he would be correct..
but if you think of soundstage in terms echo's in the recording,room size (I.E. sound like it was recorded in a hall or a studio?)then the XP-7 takes the cake. The Grado RS-1 sound signature reminds me a lot like the GS-x as how it will place the instruments but I also noticed the negative effects like placing instruments of sonic passages that you know are in the recording rite out the window and down the block. the XP-7 keeps everything in the room with you. the Dynamics of the two amps are not even to be thought of different. the XP-7 being an op amp design will turn the power up as you turn the knob (like pressing the pedal on a car) but the GS-1 gives all its power from the get go and the only thing stopping it is the volume knob (pedal pressed all the way to the floor on a car, but the brakes are stopping you from movement). so in other words my GS-X seems likes its not as powerful enough as my HR-2..mostly cause the GS-x gave it from the get go and the HR-2 Gave it as I wanted/needed it. The treble comparison from Earl is off it is again just another difference of op amp VS discrete. The treble on the GS-x is definitely little more life like in its presence but at what cost does this come to the mid's and bass? The bass on the GS-X does not hit you instead it hits and stays on the walls (like a ill setup speaker rig) but the XP-7 bass hits you strait on and asks questions later. the XP-7 body in terms of mids or warmth are enough to make people look back and say "what? GS...what?" the XP-7 being the offspring of the HR-2 is warm, read how many people say its a tube like solid state, where is the GS is more empty..its hollow compared to the XP-7 mid's. now again neither is rite or wrong as in amps go but neither is above or below also...
Also I should note the discrete sound of the GS will show the Hiss in the recording and does not have anything near the black back ground as the XP-7. this is the XP-7's strong point over easily.

4. Ray vs Justin

Ray I believe is 52 where Justin is 22, this says a lot of both people in terms on Build quality. they simply are on pare evenly, you can open up an GS or an XP-7 and just admire for many of minutes the lay out of the parts inside, the Solder used and how well implemented, are resistors are evenly at the same height, the use of wires are kept to a minimum, just to name a few. Ray is a little more anal then Justin is (I.E. Ray only uses separate power supply's) But that can be a good or bad thing..lol
Ray Is of course older and will talk your ear off more then Justin which plays the laid back roll. Both are Great people to deal with and buy products from. both have great customer service actually un questionable customer service. The weird part is these two men are so close from the products they make but I don't see them as competitors.

New vs used

You can once in awhile find an XP-7 used For much cheaper the new price. that's not saying the XP-7 loses value quickly or anything but remember the amp has been out two years more then the GS-1. you'll also find random GS-1's for sale used also, not much of a price difference. I have Seen XP-7 with power supply for $500..which is a hell of a deal!

Apples vs oranges
these amps like I said before are different from the get go..different releases dates, different uses...that is not to say one is better or worse.

7. your ears vs others ears.
if you pull the trigger on one amp only cause someone here said they like it then you are completely cheating yourself and more importantly your ears! In fact you would be stupid not to give each amp the try/listen it deserves and they both do (this coming from someone with amps almost dead on to each!).
Justin has a 14 day return policy and Todd the Vinyl Junky (he sells RSA amps) has a 30 day return policy and use it! seriously take advantage of this!
Your Ears are the only ones that will tell you what is and what is not..respect them...listen to THEM...not someone on the World wide web who you don't know from a hole in the ground..
I would not of taken the time to write this if it was not important..really..use the ears luke..lol
 
Mar 8, 2006 at 5:03 PM Post #11 of 66

bhd812

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mazersteven as I said in the p.m. you should post your questions here...

to answer your question in public about the loop outs being a need for you depend on exactly how you plan on hooking the amp up

these
can be put on your output's of your dvd/cd player and then you can hook up your amp and your receiver both.

I do this on my G08 with my HR2 and My raptor.


or.....

you can use the tape/cdr outputs on the back of your denon and hook up your amp this way easily. and no you wont loose any signal..esp off the Denon 4806.

so the GS-1 loopouts can be useful but I would rather hook the $3500.00 Receiver first in line either way..and then on the back of the Denon use the tape/cdr outputs to go into the amp.

what source/dvd/cd player are you using? also are you going into the Receiver in digital or analog?
if your using digital then the only option is to go from the tape/cdr output to the headphone amp since niether of them have a dac to decode the digital signals...

again sorry about the p.m. but I would always rather keep things into the open...I feel like I am hiding something if I do p.m.'s
 
Mar 8, 2006 at 5:04 PM Post #12 of 66

mazersteven

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My PM

Hello,

Thanks very much for taking your time to write that post.

A little back ground on myself, and my system.

I'm a newbie to Home Theater, Headphones, Amps, everything. I just purchased, and installed my HT system in November. I purchased a Denon 4806 receiver, and have been using the receiver headphone out with my new Senn 600's and AKG 701's. (my first set of can's). The receiver has a feature called Dolby Headphone. With all the talk about headphone amps I was trying to find out if my Denon had a good amp inside since it was a $3500 receiver, vs. a few hundred dollar amp. I never really found out the answer, but figured I'd get an amp, and if no improvement I would sell it.
I will be using this Amp with my HT system only. No IPod's, Computers. I watch Movies, and listen to Music with my system.

Sacd Lover was a great help. Multiple PM's.

Said with my system that "Loop Out" was a feature that would suit my needs for connection issues to use with my HT system. The GS-1 might be over kill for what I need, and talked about the Gilmore Lite being maybe a little better choice.

I didn't even look at Opamp vs. Dedicated. I looked at price point. Another lesson learned

So all this being said what Amp would fit my needs in your Opinion. And Yes, I get that my ears need to hear the difference. But I need a place to start.
 
Mar 8, 2006 at 5:06 PM Post #13 of 66

Teerawit

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sacd lover
Mikhail/ Singlepower doesnt sell GS-1's .... Headamp does.
confused.gif



I think you missed his subtle point.
 
Mar 8, 2006 at 5:23 PM Post #15 of 66

sacd lover

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Quote:

Originally Posted by bhd812
mazersteven as I said in the p.m. you should post your questions here...

to answer your question in public about the loop outs being a need for you depend on exactly how you plan on hooking the amp up

these
can be put on your output's of your dvd/cd player and then you can hook up your amp and your receiver both.

I do this on my G08 with my HR2 and My raptor.


or.....

you can use the tape/cdr outputs on the back of your denon and hook up your amp this way easily. and no you wont loose any signal..esp off the Denon 4806.

so the GS-1 loopouts can be useful but I would rather hook the $3500.00 Receiver first in line either way..and then on the back of the Denon use the tape/cdr outputs to go into the amp.

what source/dvd/cd player are you using? also are you going into the Receiver in digital or analog?
if your using digital then the only option is to go from the tape/cdr output to the headphone amp since niether of them have a dac to decode the digital signals...

again sorry about the p.m. but I would always rather keep things into the open...I feel like I am hiding something if I do p.m.'s




Splitters are ok but I find they are very hard on the RCA jacks. The denon may be $3500 but if it has buffered tape outs, likely a given, then you will be putting the signal through another active stage. I always hear deterioration when I hook up a headamp through active tape outs. If he has a processor loop ... thats essentially another name for a loop out .... that would work.
 

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