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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. atubbs
    Just bad phone pics, but here you go:
  2. adamaley
    That's hot!
  3. adamaley
    Looks like you have some lovely equipment in the background. I spy a Kef LS50. What are you driving those with?
  4. atubbs
    Those are currently wired to a Bryston 4BSST2. Upstream is a HeadAmp GS-X as pre and basically the equipment mentioned in my IHA-1 review, only in balanced mode (the unbalanced chain feeds into the IHA-1).
  5. adamaley
    Nice system composition. How does the GS-X fare as a pre?
  6. atubbs
    I've been pretty happy with it, though admittedly have not done any real A/B comparisons with the LS50 or the Bryston to this point. In general I prefer simple and there's enough line voltage, short enough runs, and enough gain on the amp that I would probably just run a passive attenuator if I didn't also want a headamp in the chain (really like Goldpoint's stepped balanced attenuators/switches). But, since the loudspeaker system is second priority to the cans, it's certainly met my needs.
  7. BlakeT
    So, I swapped in my NOS brown base Brimar U52 rectifier tube (also sometimes labeled as GEC, Osram, Marconi, etc.) in place of the stock rectifier that comes with the Dragon IHA-1.  
    In combination with the NOS Sylvania 6BX7's I am getting absolutely magical sound.   Never say never, but I don't see myself doing any further tube rolling with this amp.
    Now I am free to focus solely on musical enjoyment.
  8. BlakeT
    Man, that Sophia sure is a beauty..
  9. atubbs

    That's the emission labs tube :p Sophia in my review pics.
  10. BlakeT
  11. Bellasperson
    I have an extra Sophia if anyone with a U52 would like to trade.
  12. Bellasperson
    Noticed that most of you are using the Sylvania 6SX7.  I switched to the Tung Sol and found them an interesting change of pace.  They have a slightly different physical structure. Plate hole pattern and rod clips. I like their vocal presentation.  Their sound reminds me of the Tung Sol 6SN7.  Has anyone seen a Ken Rad 6BX7?
  13. adamaley
    Very interested in reading reviews from the other guys. BlakeT, especially.
  14. BlakeT

    I will definitely be posting a review in the future.  My first task before doing the review was to finalize my tube selection.  Mission accomplished on that front.
    The only remaining item is I am debating whether to hold off on my review until I receive my Geek Pulse Xfi (I already received the Geek LPS, and the Pulse should arrive in December-fingers crossed, I should be among the first of the units shipped).  That way, I can compare the IHA-1 against the Pulse and against my Crack+Speedball (even though all 3 are divergent technologies).  
  15. pedalhead Contributor
    Hi Blake...we meet again :).  I'd be very interested in your views on the Crack (+Speedball) and how it compares to the IHA-1.  As you already know, I'm interested in the latter, but actually also keen to have a go at DIY and the Crack is top of my list at the moment.  Cheers!
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