Grado RS-1 with Earmax Valve Amp
Mar 18, 2006 at 11:40 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 27

bobbyk

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Until recently I have been using a full audiophile system: Naim CD2 player, Quatum Minstrel Amp, Ruark Equinox Speakers.

I am now in a position where I can no longer accomodate these speakers and will have to go down the headphone only route.

I already own an ORIGINAL Earmax Valve Headphone Amp (Flinstone Model), which has seen virtually no use since new. When I have used it it has been with the Naim CD2 and a pair of Beyer DT531's.

This has never been a primary method of listening for me and as such the quality had only to be reasonable, not excellent (hence the DT531's).

Quality is now going to be paramount and as such I am interested in knowing whether the original Earmax amp will work well with Grado RS-1's.

Does anyone have any experience of this combination, or the technical knowledge to advise if this will be a good pairing?

Senn 650's don't do it for me.
 
Mar 18, 2006 at 11:56 AM Post #2 of 27

stewtheking

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If the Sennheiser 650's don't do it for you, then the RS-1 just might. I love mine, and it just does something special with the music. If you're spending that much money, then a trip to a store where you can demo them would probably be in order. I bought mine in Dorchester, which is a bit of a trek from durham, but they carry the RS-1 and the earmax amplifiers, and nearly persuaded me into buying one of those little tubes beauties.

The only problem with the RS-1 could be comfort. Some find the stock bowls scratchy etc. and can't get on with them, but if you're coming from the position of selling a quality speaker rig, then a pair of Larry's c-pads would be a nice comfort mod.

Ah, the joys of hunting for a new system.

Welcome to head-fi, sorry about your wallet!
 
Mar 18, 2006 at 1:05 PM Post #3 of 27

sacd lover

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Quote:

Originally Posted by bobbyk

Quality is now going to be paramount and as such I am interested in knowing whether the original Earmax amp will work well with Grado RS-1's.

Does anyone have any experience of this combination, or the technical knowledge to advise if this will be a good pairing?

Senn 650's don't do it for me.



The original ear max has very little current output and would have a tough time driving the RS-1's. You should atleast look at the ear max pro if you want to drive grados.

There are some other good tube amps for the RS-1's you should investigate like the Mapletree ear+, Singlepower PPX3 ..... or especially the SLAM PPX3. All of these amps are under $800. The SLAM versions are not on the Singlepower website. The SLAM's are beefed up versions of the regular models that use the powerful 5687 tube for the output stage.

If you are wiling to look at solid state the Headamp GS-1 is a great value at the under $800 price point. If you can afford to spend more the Singlepower SLAM MPX3 is an absolutely first class amp.

www.singlepoweraudio.com

www.mapletreeaudio.com

www.headamp.com
 
Mar 18, 2006 at 2:04 PM Post #4 of 27

bobbyk

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I never realised that there was so much choice and quality out there for headphone systems.

This could get very interesting and expensive!!!
 
Mar 18, 2006 at 2:06 PM Post #5 of 27

agile_one

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sacd lover
The original ear max has very little current output and would have a tough time driving the RS-1's. You should atleast look at the ear max pro if you want to drive grados.

... snip



sacd lover is absolutely correct. The original EarMax is not a good match for the RS-1 or other low impedance headphones. The EarMAx Pro, or EarMAx Anniversary or new Silver Edition, however, would be excellent.

I second his other recommendations as well, particularly the SinglePower models, assuming you want a tube amp.
 
Mar 18, 2006 at 3:41 PM Post #6 of 27

Nomad

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Seconded. The original Earmax is good with high impedance headphones but with RS-1 you will need the Pro or Silver. I'd suggest Silver if it sounds as my EMP AE (it seems like it should).

I'd dig a bit more. As you can see there is plenty of excellent choices these days. I'd start for the already suggested ones.

Good luck
 
Mar 18, 2006 at 4:05 PM Post #7 of 27

Rob N

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You would certainly need a Pro or SE version.

Do you like the Earmax sound? IMO there's no other amp out there that has the same tubey sound.

BTW that 'Flinstone Model' must be a bit of a collectors item by now.Got any pics?
 
Mar 18, 2006 at 4:16 PM Post #8 of 27

bobbyk

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Rob N

When I get a spare minute I'll post some pics of it.

It truely is in mint condition. I even still have the original card board boxes and packaging it came with. No fancy packaging on the originals! These too are in mint condition. Strange, I was just looking at my original sales invoice yesterday and it cost £412-00.

Shame it won't be suitable for the RS-1's, it may have to go to fund a replacement. Any ideas what I could expect for it as a collectors item?
 
Mar 18, 2006 at 4:28 PM Post #9 of 27

Rob N

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I don't really know what you might expect to sell it for.

Did you get it from the Audiophile Club?
 
Mar 18, 2006 at 4:52 PM Post #10 of 27

bobbyk

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Yes it was purchased from the Audiophile Club through Lintone Audio at Gateshead.

I have just been trying to work out how to post an image for you to see but without any success.

I never was very good with computers.
confused.gif
 
Mar 18, 2006 at 4:57 PM Post #11 of 27

bobbyk

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If you wish to e-mail me with your e-mail address I can forward pics that way. I do understand however if you wish to stay within the security of the site set up.

My e-mail is kevinkitson1@aol.com

Hope the moderators don't mind me posting this. If I'm out of order I appologise
 
Mar 18, 2006 at 5:35 PM Post #12 of 27

Nomad

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Quote:

Originally Posted by bobbyk
If you wish to e-mail me with your e-mail address I can forward pics that way. I do understand however if you wish to stay within the security of the site set up.

My e-mail is kevinkitson1@aol.com

Hope the moderators don't mind me posting this. If I'm out of order I appologise



That shouldn't be a problem at all. But I'd suggest to edit your post and use AT of any other character instead of the @. There are some spam generators over there that have engines looking for strings with the @ character. They will get your email address and they might spam you adverts and stuff.

BTW, welcome to headphones. You will see there are some fine, nice options to enjoy the music this way too.

Cheers
 
Mar 18, 2006 at 6:53 PM Post #13 of 27

Nik

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For what I remember, the combo EarMax AE/RS-1 was a "little" dream setup...

Best!
Nicola
 
Mar 18, 2006 at 7:13 PM Post #14 of 27

Rob N

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Quote:

Originally Posted by bobbyk
If you wish to e-mail me with your e-mail address I can forward pics that way. I do understand however if you wish to stay within the security of the site set up.

My e-mail is kevinkitson1@aol.com

Hope the moderators don't mind me posting this. If I'm out of order I appologise



This e-mail address doesn't work
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 3:14 AM Post #15 of 27

GoRedwings19

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I use to have a flintstone model. I should of never sold it but it clipped at lowish volumes with headphones like Grado's.

So then I got a used EMP. One of the main problems of this amp was it was slow pacewise compared to other headphone amps in its price range and lower. But I used this combo for mainly live acoustic material and I found the midrange very warm.

this may/may not to be your liking.

Also the amp doesn;t have the treble extension that other amps have, so if you like your highs then this maybe worth passing on it.

But for me it was one of the reasons I liked it. I don't like Grado's with SS amps besides the hp-series and ps-1's. I find them to edgy. But with the EMP rolling off the highs a bit it was far more listenable.

RobN>So how come you got another EMP a.e. Was the he90 too evil fuzzy for you?
rs1smile.gif
 

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