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Looking for some source recommendations

  1. ls13coco
    Hi all, just got back into the hobby (the research/buying aspect) recently.
    At the top of my list is the THX AAA 789, Monoprice Liquid Platinum, El Stack, and Jot with Modi.
    Darkvoice is a consideration too, but in last.
    Would be great to hear some feedback from anyone who's used multiple of these devices.

    My goal is to have a new SS amp, Dac and tube amp at the end of the day.
    I don't know if a OTL tube amp would be worthwhile over a hybrid for my HPs but I'm no expert

    I currently own;
    1) Hifiman HE400i
    2) Fostex TH-X00 PH
    3) AKG K712 Pro
    4) Fidelio X2
    5) Sennheiser 6xx
    6) Audeze LCD-2c
    - with intention of buying the DT-1990 Pro and either a Sundara or Ananda.

    So, I am not unhappy with my Amp/Dac setup whatsoever, aside from the Mullards not handling any low EQ all that well, but with all this into headphones I do not want to be limited.
    I'm currently using a Creative X7 (seemed to review quite well) with 2 single and 2 dual Sparkos op-amps, and a LD1+ with a Burson V5i op-amp and Mullard m8100 tubes through the X7 Dac.

    Thanks for any information and happy holidays!
     
  2. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    OTL tube amps have output tht is biased for 300ohms and even their 600ohm output is higher than their output at 32ohms. And while the Valhalla2 has a low output impedance for an OTL amp, that's only because that's in comparison to OTL amps.

    Now the reason why a more conventional SS amp (or some transformer-coupled tube amps) like the Asgard won't have any problem driving a K7xx and HD6xx despite the power trailing off as the impedance rises is that the HD6xx series have markedly higher sensitivity than the K7xx series. It's like a German midsize sport sedan chassis like the Audi A/S/R6 (K7xx) vs a small low slung coupe/roadster chassis like the Corvette's or Boxster (HD6xx) getting the same V8; with the OTL it's like trying to have a high revving 3.6L Ferrari V8 that doesn't even have the cam profile of the Maserati version of the same engine (and no twin turbos as on the latest Ferrari FF V8 version either) to power both and the A6 with that engine even with the same suspension as the R6 just wouldn't have the same torque steer to correct cornering much less acceleration.
     
  3. ls13coco
    I like how you put that, being a lifelong car enthusiast and all!
    I find it strange that some people are running everything out of a Darkvoice (Audeze lcd-x, 712 pro etc) next to their SS amp when a hybrid tube amp would be a better much for those HP's, right?
     
  4. buke9
    Most OTL amps don’t work well with low impedance headphones some do but most cheaper ones don’t. Hybrids and solid states don’t have that problem.
     
  5. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    Objectively, no, because they produce less power and in the case of dynamic headphones more than with planars, lower damping factor (which means more driver distortion).

    Subjectively, some people prefer it that way. Kind of like putting 22in spinnerz on a Lambo. It can't go around a track anymore but hey, everyone in da club gon look at yo whip, know what I'm sayin'.
     
  6. ls13coco
    For that reason I have a fair amount of interest in the Liquid Platinum, but QC issues are concerning me. Similar issue to why the DarkVoice hasn't been purchased, actually lol.

    Kind of like adding too much low end EQ, ruining the dynamics and clarity but some people prefer to have -40 degrees of negative camber as opposed to optimal traction.
     

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