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Inspire IHA-1 tube headphone amp

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by burn1, Oct 18, 2014.
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  1. jelt2359 Contributor
    Was it the Sowter then??
  2. drubrew Contributor
    Where is this review. The Utopia is  fantastic match for the Dragon Inspire. The Focal Utopia headphone product developer - Nicholas, absolutely loved the combo at the London CanJam. I use it all the time with the Dragon Inspire and the Pass Labs HPA-1. 
    Moon Audio Stay updated on Moon Audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
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  3. sdwong

    I am sorry. The review I am referring to is The Absolute Sound review.
    I am using the WA8 now and is thinking of getting the Rockna DAC and for amp choosing between the IHA-1 or the Modwright Tryst. Seeking some advice as the amps are not available for an audition at my location.
  4. comzee
    I think I'm done buying tubes for now -_- 
  5. dpump
    I think I'm done buying tubes for now -_- 
    Ok, I know about the 6F8G's with adaptor to substitute for the 6SN7 as I've done that in my MicroZOTL2. But what the heck is that rectifier tube?
  6. comzee
    You're correct about the 6F8G, the rectifier is a 596 tube.
    Basically the only reason to buy 6F8G is because you can find great deals.
    For example, I have a second set of 6F8G not pictured, Marconi 1945 round plates.
    Only $40, don't think the seller knows what he has.
  7. Xcalibur255
    Those are 6C8G, which is equivalent to a 6SL7.  That makes this a substitution for a substitution which a bread trail not too many people follow.  :) 
    The 6SL7 is not electrically equivalent either, did you happen to ask Dennis about compatibility to be on the safe side?
    The important things (plate voltage, heater voltage and heater current) are safe so you aren't going to hurt the amp, but the tube will operate differently from a 6SN7 in the circuit.  The plate resistance in particular is of interest.
  8. comzee
    Wow, I didn't catch that. While my Marconi are 6C8G, the tung-sol pictured are 6F8G.
    I also have a pair of Sophia Electric 6sl7, they seem to work fine as well. Although the sound is meh, Sophia tubes I've found in general are meh.
    While I haven't directly asked Dennis about it for the iha-1, he's told me they work fine in the fire-bottle, so I'll just assume the same for the iha-1.
    I'm really liking both the 6C8G and 6F8G, maybe a slight initial preference going to the 6C8G.
    I don't want to give specifics until I've had a few days to listen.
  9. jelt2359 Contributor
    On the Moon Audio page this is written:
    The output tubes can be of course, 6SN7, 6BL7 and Dennis's favorite with less gain are the 6BX7 which are plenty loud for Drew's taste as well.

  10. Rossliew
    Jason, when are you getting back your dragon with the new tranny fitted?
  11. Xcalibur255
    And just a quick note about this:  any owner who hasn't tried the 6BX7 in their amp is missing out.  These things are dirt cheap and sound really good.  They give up very little to my BGRP Tung-Sol in most aspects and have a lovely, sweet tone.  They also enable the bizarre listening method I've mentioned here in the past in that you can just turn the volume to maximum and therefore take it out of the circuit for a nice little boost in transparency.  Odd as it sounds I look upon the low gain as a feature, as long as some quietly recorded classical piece doesn't come along.  Then we have issues......
  12. comzee
    I noticed this too. The last notch seems to bypass the resistor ladder for straight thru (like a power amp).
    @drubrew can you confirm this?
    Also, here's an album of the IHA-1 internals if anybodies curious. 
  13. jelt2359 Contributor
    You can do this with any amp. Not just this amp. That allows for minimal loss of resolution via the volume control. Just need to be careful that your preamp is turned down.
  14. Xcalibur255
    The volume pot is a DACT CT2.  The final step should have no resistance value (no attenuation).  This is a very interesting lesson in how critical the design work for an amplifier is.  Removing that single resistor has a clearly audible impact on the resolution.  The name of the game is to use as few parts as possible to achieve the function the designer wants if they want a high performance amp.  This is why those fancy hifi receivers honestly don't sound that good even though they can cost thousands of dollars.  The circuits are complex and have a ton of parts.
  15. jelt2359 Contributor
    In general the lesser the parts, the better I like the amp. I like the IHA-1 a lot, and what really hammered this home for me was the GEL3N amp I owned- it had a switch to toggle between single and dual stage, and in the former it sounded much purer, more delicate, and more detailed.
    This is what has me interested now in an amp like the First Watt F7 as well. 4 resistors, 4 transistors- as simple as it gets.
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