Little Dot MK V + W5000 impressions
Jul 28, 2008 at 5:23 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 40

P_1

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First thing I would like to say is that I am going to give a fair review even though I disliked how they handled their customer service.

Everyone already knows how good this thing looks from Penchum's review, so I will skip discussing the aesthetics of the product.

My setup is as follows:
Foobar + Asio + SSRC(44.1khz) -> Digital PC Link(usb to optical spdif) -> Zero DAC(OPA 627's) -> Little Dot MK V -> ATH-W5000

I'll start with the good things I noticed. Upon playing my music I noticed the increased quantity/quality (tighter) of the bass over the Zero's built in amp with the lme49720's.

Upon closer inspection I noticed is that the music was much "smoother" the highs weren't as harsh, everything was just liquid. The details were all there but they didn't force my ears to pick it all up as my Zero's Amp with the lme49720's did.

Due to the facts above, the vocals of any song were noticeably more pleasant/lush.

Now onto the negatives; the very first thing I noticed with the MK V is that it is not fully quiet with nothing playing; there is a slight hiss in the background. This isn't noticeable with music playing but it is noticeable if you have nothing playing, while the Zero's Amp is completely silent.

Also when I switch over to input 2 or turn the volume all the way down, I can still hear music out of the left driver, but this isn't that big of a deal.

Another thing is that I am not completely sure that the highs are not just rolled off or if it truely is just smoother.

One thing I was really seeking an improvement on was the sound stage of the Zero's amp and the MK V did not deliver on that. The sound stage of it is at the most a little bit wider than the Zero's Amp and at the least on par with the Zero's Amp.

I am not sure if this is a testament to how good the Zero's built in amp is or if MK V's sound stage is really lacking.

Overall the MK V helps me enjoy my music more, by allowing me to listen for longer periods of time without fatigue, giving more bass, and having an equal volume distribution between the left and right channels as opposed to the Zero's stock volume pot on the Amp.

Another thing to keep in mind is that these are non burned in impressions, I have only ran the MK V for less than 30 hours. I will update my impressions as it gets burned in.

Also as a side note, I do not believe I have heard the synergy from neither the Zero’s Amp nor the MK V yet. But both adequately power the ATH-W5000's. But one might ask, how could you know if you have not heard the synergy yet if you have never heard it in the first place? From what I have read, when the "synergy" occurs, the sound stage will widen up a lot, the sound stage is still at the level of the AD700's. It also feels like there is more punch left in the W5000's, the sound it is producing sounds like it's not trying at all. Maybe some other W5000 users can chime in here as to how the synergy should sound.
 
Jul 28, 2008 at 2:41 PM Post #3 of 40

Pricklely Peete

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It will change considerably once you get 100 hours or so on it.....helps to mention the fact that you only have 30 hours on it up front at the start..
other than that good job on the initial impression.....that sound stage will widen considerably......keep feeding it a high quality signal...the higher the quality the better it gets
smily_headphones1.gif
.

Peete.
 
Jul 28, 2008 at 3:07 PM Post #4 of 40

P_1

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Should I be feeding it pink noise or high quality music?
 
Jul 28, 2008 at 3:56 PM Post #5 of 40

Dash

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Quote:

Originally Posted by P_1 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Should I be feeding it pink noise or high quality music?



I do not think it really matters. It serves the same purpose. I have heard some people mention that pink noise accelerates the process, but I have seen no difference between the two methods.

I noticed, with my W1000, that they seem to relax a bit with some play time. They lost "some" of the treble focus and the bass gained extension. It never seemed to gain any more impact, but I think that is the AT "W" sound. I will also admit that I used the Predator to feed the W1000, def not the best idea for a current hungry can.
 
Jul 28, 2008 at 3:59 PM Post #6 of 40

Pricklely Peete

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I just use music (lossless high bit-rate FLAC) at a lowish volume setting.....about 1/4 on the volume pots travel is pretty loud on the HD650's...

Peete.
 
Jul 28, 2008 at 4:07 PM Post #7 of 40

Golden Monkey

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X2 on the improvements over 100-150 hours. There's a nice opening up of soundstage, and extension at both top and bottom ends. As for what to use during burn in, I was breaking in headphones at the same time, so I just put together a CD (or a playlist of files if you're PC based) of pink, white, and freq sweeps, played them loud (HD650 was ususally around 30 at first, then I moved it up to 40 after fifty hours or so) 24/7 (with a ten minute "silence" file every 75 mins or so), but mostly just played a lot of bass heavy music as well. There's no "right or wrong" way, I don't think, as long as you give it time to happen.
 
Jul 28, 2008 at 4:16 PM Post #8 of 40

P_1

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Pricklely Peete /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I just use music (lossless high bit-rate FLAC) at a lowish volume setting.....about 1/4 on the volume pots travel is pretty loud on the HD650's...

Peete.




Well I am already doing that. I'm using the volume pot at a little less than 9 o'clock with my w5000's
 
Jul 28, 2008 at 4:39 PM Post #9 of 40

Pricklely Peete

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Cool...I think you'll be very impressed with it (as GM says around the 100-150 hour mark). Nice cans you have (the headphones LOL)..
smily_headphones1.gif


Peete.
 
Jul 28, 2008 at 7:55 PM Post #10 of 40

jamato8

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I used to use pink noise but prefer music with the ebb and flow of current demand from lows to peaks.

Are you sure the hiss isn't from the source? Is there hiss with nothing plugged into the amp?
 
Jul 28, 2008 at 9:29 PM Post #11 of 40

P_1

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jamato8 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I used to use pink noise but prefer music with the ebb and flow of current demand from lows to peaks.

Are you sure the hiss isn't from the source? Is there hiss with nothing plugged into the amp?



Yes its from the amp I made sure. You won't notice it easily but if you hit the standby button on and off u'll hear theres hiss when the standby is on.
 
Jul 29, 2008 at 4:14 AM Post #12 of 40

Golden Monkey

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What the impedance of the phones are you using? Some folks have reported this with low impedance phones (although the D2000's I have exhibit none of the hiss, and they are pretty low...), but have fixed it by using an impedance adaptor...
 
Jul 29, 2008 at 4:48 AM Post #13 of 40

TheMarchingMule

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Yes, but arguably, adding impedance may change the sound in an unfavorable way, depending on how much added impedance you...add...between the amp and the 'phone.
 
Jul 29, 2008 at 7:41 AM Post #14 of 40

P_1

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Golden Monkey /img/forum/go_quote.gif
What the impedance of the phones are you using? Some folks have reported this with low impedance phones (although the D2000's I have exhibit none of the hiss, and they are pretty low...), but have fixed it by using an impedance adaptor...


Obviously they are low impedance cans. They are Audio Technicas... But to answer your question its 40 ohms...
 
Jul 29, 2008 at 9:55 AM Post #15 of 40
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I've found that the MKV only has a tiny bit of hiss when the volume is maxxed with my Denon D5000's.

What was said about a slightly better soundstage from the MKV as opposed to the Zero is true. There's a little better separation as well. Try upgrading your power cord, even to a hand-made one of greater guage that what it comes with. Makes for a noticable improvement.
 

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