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So excited to try my Beats on this amp
thanks! I needed that..stressful day and u made me laugh
Do it,do it,do it ,lol.
I got two new pairs of headphones to try with my 339; a pair of Philips Fidelio X2HR and a pair of of HiFiMAN HE-400s. So far both sound great out of the 339. Though I think the HE-400s are a little bit better; they are just a bit more clear. The X2s have some nice bass and sound great out of my phone and DAP.
My HE-500s still sound best! So glad I bought them.
HE500 is hard to beat(more so on La Figaro which from my understanding is one of the top choices for them).I owned 2 pairs and sold them both because of the weight but somehow i regret that i don't tried to put them on the HE350/560 body.
Got my LF a month ago, and the last couple of weeks I've been taking notes on what I like and dislike about my tubes so far:
Stock tubes: Shuguang 6N5P-J (power tubes), OTK Soviet (driver tubes)
Mullard 6080 (rebranded Phillips)
6SJ7WGT Sylvania USA
Not used yet as I don’t have the adapter: Telefunken EF80
How I prefer the sound + the battle between HD650 and HD800
I mostly listen to acoustic, vocal music that is well-recorded + DSD. I can't stand bad recordings. To me music is an aesthetic experience, like enjoying a beautiful landscape. Sometimes it’s breathtaking, everything is just in perfect balance, the structures, a wholeness, and you can’t tell exactly why. It has ‘the quality without a name’ as Christopher Alexander terms it in a wonderful book called ‘The timeless way of building’.
As many in here, I like a warm airy sound where mids are clear with details and the highs are sweet and behaving nicely. I like bass but it has to complement the music, not overflow and dominate it.
That could be the reason why I am a big fan of HD800. I’ve been using the HD800 for the last year. Before that I only used my HD650; for almost 10 years (with cardas cable). It was perfect with the Woo Audio WA6 I had a couple of years ago, and also on the Naim Uniti I once had. It’s also magical with the LF. But let me be honest here. I am not using the HD650 anymore. I’ve thought a lot about the shift from HD650 and HD800. The HD800 was not love at first sight. Sure, I was attracted by the resolution and the soundstage but the sound was not as dark and warm as on the HD650. It took me a couple of weeks to get used to the HD800. Don’t take this as an attack on the HD650, but the shift from HD650 to HD800 was like coming from a dark and cosy cave with candlelights, and stepping out into the light, looking at a wide, beautiful landscape. It makes sense. Think about it: If you have been used to - almost mentally ‘imprinted’ - the sound of the HD650 for 10 years, it for sure takes time to get used to another/different sound. Though it’s the same family . When I got the Chord Hugo and paired this truly clear and very detailed DAC, plus having a more analogue sound, with the HD800 I was completely sure I wanted to build my rig with this headphone, and I ordered the LF to get some extra power, air, warmth etc.
Rolling the tubes for the first time
Mullard 6080 + 6SJ7WGT Sylvania: For some reason I have to adjust the volume a bit compared to the stock tubes. They are not as loud. The position is 10. Don’t know why. The bass is more deep and with a bit more punch to it. Not much though. But I can tell. The mids and the sound in general is very harmonic and well-balanced but I also sense that it’s not presenting the music as forward as the stock tubes. It surprises me that the sound is not as compelling or ‘fun’ as the stock tubes. Even the highs are a bit itchy at times, and I don’t get the crispy mids that I am used to. I’ve been listening to a dozen of tracks since I got the LF so I know the sound of this album very well by now . (That is probably the weakness of getting overwhelmed by the landscape - one has to remember to not coming back to the same place over and over again (pizza number 3 please, again)). Does it make sense that the tubes need to ‘burn in’?!
Shuguang 6N5P-J + 6SJ7WGT Sylvania: Did not work for me. It was clear from the very beginning. The sound is more vague and lacking, well, everything. Come out sound! But it didn’t. The same happened with the Mullard and the Sylvania. More bass though.
I think I’ll return my Mullard and instead get a matched pair of Tung Sol/Chatham 5998, maybe some RCA black plate to pair with the 6SJ7WGT Sylvania. Many have these as a truly great combination, latest @Josh76. And I need that adapter so I can get my telefunken E86 in play. Any suggestions on what would be a clever move next?
I also didnt like the Mullard 6080's, finally tried them recently. I do like the Tung Sol / Chantham 6080 tubes, just don't pair them with the Sylvania drivers, too much bass. More and more I like the Tung Sol 5998's over the RCA 6AS7's with black plates.
Thanks Josh for the input. Which drivers do you use with Tung Sol 5998? Do you also listen to vocals and instruments?
One page back is a possible group buy of EF 80 and EF 86 adapters from La Figaro. They are very nice looking with the La Figaro branding on them.
Add me on as well (EF86, EF80 - one pairs each)
I think the matching between power-driver-headphones it is important,so maybe you need more tubes(driver and power) to try to find a nice combo for your liking.Mullard 6080(which many people seems to like ) probably need another drivers to work nice with HD800,so maybe keep them until you find something else for good matching.
Just some toughts,i have not yet experienced it since i'm still waiting for him..
My favorite drivers with the 5998's are the Sylvania/Philips 6SJ7WGT. I also enjoy strong vocals (Christina Aguilera, Adele, Queen, etc) and instrumental music such as jazz and classical. For classical, the Tung Sol 7236's paired with the RCA 5693's are still my favorite.
You make a good point. So far, I can usually tell that I will like a tube even if I don't have it well-paired. I could immediately tell there was something special about the Tung Sol 5998's and even the 7236's stood out to me even though they weren't my favorite for non-classical. Same thing happened when I tried Philips 6SJ7WGT. One exception is the RCA 5693's, I thought they were way overrated until I tried them with the Tung Sol 7236's. Considering how expensive they are, the Mullard/Philips 6080's needed to show me some good qualities even before I found a good pairing. They didn't so I'm returning them.
I understand your point but hey the Mullard's are not so expensive i paid for mine 60 pounds,i think that 5998 are really expensive.
Tung Sol/Chatham 5998 has received many good comments, trying out EF86 is also worthwhile.