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MAD Ear+ Purist HD thread.

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by lmilhan, May 22, 2007.
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  1. joseph69
    whirlwind, that is an extremely nice offer of you!!!
    I greatly appreciate the offer, but my tube is intermittently acting up, and for the most part its been good today. I can deal with it until the new one arrives. I believe Lloyd is air mailing me the new one, so it will be here shortly. Thanks again for the kind gesture and trying to help me out.
    BTW, you were one of the main head-fiers who directed me towards this combo! Good ear!!!  
  2. whirlwind
    Sure, anytime...if you need it just pm me.
    Enough people have helped me here on this great forum...so just trying to pay it forward to a fellow Grado head-fier.
    I am eagerly awaiting a pic of your amp.  [​IMG]
  3. joseph69
    I agree with you saying pay it forward!
    Over the summer I gave a fellow Head-Fier an old Fischer CA-880 that I found from back in the day that needed some TLC, and it made me feel good that he has it and enjoys it.
     Your offer today felt like good karma to me. Thanks again.
    I'll post a pic shortly in the Grado Fan Club thread.
  4. whirlwind
    Joseph, care to comment on how you are liking your amp, after listening to it for awhile now ?
    also, did you receive your new tube yet ?
  5. joseph69
    No, I'm still waiting for the tube to arrive.
    Haven't really had the time to listen lately, but the last time that I did the tube was really acting up, lots of crackling through the left driver. It's hard to give any impressions as of now, but I can say one thing is for sure, I listened to the MAD/RS1/Meridian dac, with optical out and MBP, and I had no crackling what so ever, it was dead silent, so I really hope that the tube is the issue. This issue seems to occur when I'm using the Modi/USB port. but did also occur without it plugged into the MAD. Another thing that I definitely noticed when I listened through the Adcom GFP-710/Meridian/MBP, is that the Adcom was dead silent with a much faster, tighter, impactful bass, and a very black background, where as the MAD is definitely less punchy (as far as now), but is musically warmer with a more of a 3-D effect and wider sound-stage. They both sound very different, but I really don't have many hrs on the MAD, but I am hoping that the bass does get tighter than it is, but right now I must first eliminate the problem I am having with the MAD. It does sound beautiful from what I've heard when there is no trouble with it, but I must say at this point I'm not exactly thrilled with this issue. I'm starting to think it may be the Modi with the USB giving me the issue. I was thinking of selling the Magni/Modi, so I can purchase the Bitfrost because of the optical out. My Meridian is next to my couch, and it is not part of my desktop setup, so I don't want to transfer it back and forth. 
    Does anybody use the MAD with a MBP/PC and dac with a USB and find that they get interference with this setup? Only asking because like I said, I had no trouble at all with the optical out from the Meridian, so I'm a bit confused with what is going on. Also don't forget, I had this distortion/crackling with no source to the input of the MAD, so I don't know where the issue is. I feel like I'm all over the place with this, but need to start with the new tube, so I'm waiting for it to arrive. Also remember when I first powered up the MAD there was no gain on the volume with either headphone out, I had to turn the volume up all the way to get a mid level volume out of it, but an hour later when I powered it up again it worked fine in that respect, so I really don't know whats going on, but like I said, I'm not too thrilled right now.
    Thanks for asking whirlwind, I appreciate your concern, and your wanting to hear my impressions, but this is all I can say as of now, (which isn't much, but complaining), but when I can give a true impression when everything is good, I'll let you know.
    I also never mentioned that the left tube socket on the MAD is very loose from day one, so I don't know if this is a problem.
  6. joseph69
    I also posted this in the Grado Fan Club as well, because Grado's, and which amps for Grado's are usually discussed on this thread also.
     Just figured I would give an update on the Ear+. I decided to send the unit back to Lloyd to be checked out. I did receive the new 12AX7 tube, but unfortunately while I was taking the old tube out, I went to wipe the amp down with an alcohol pad and removed the paint along the front edge of the amp, a lot of it just came right off, (I never installed the new tube to see if it solved my crackling/popping issue because I was so disgusted). I was going to repaint it myself but I am legally blind and I wasn't going to attempt to unsolder anything to remove the chassis, plus I wanted it to be original from the factory, and now it can also be checked by Lloyd for the issues I first encountered when I received it.
    Prior to this, I tried to connect my Adcom pre-amp (with remote volume control) to the Ear+, so I could set the volume on the Ear+ and use the remote volume from the Adcom, but it seems I couldn't do this, which really confused the hell out of me being the Ear+ has 2 inputs. One input I had my dac's L/R output going to) and then I tried the source outputs from the Adcom to the other input on the Ear+, but I couldn't get any volume from either the Adcom the Ear+, which I found very strange being the Adcom is a pre-amp and Ear+ is amp. So before I order the Alps remote volume control does anyone have any thoughts/suggestions on how to do this, or why I couldn't do this, so I don't have to go for the extra expense for the Alps? BTW, the Ear+ is not designed to be used with the main outputs from a pre-amp, I read/tried this and had a very low/distorted volume level, like the directions said it would.
  7. DeadEars
    On my MAD amp there were two sets of input RCA jacks, but they were wired in parallel so that two sources could be used, but not at the same time.  One has to be OFF for the other to work.  
    I mounted a DPDT toggle switch between the jacks to allow switching the inputs.  It was a bit twiddly, since there is very little room in there, so I used a micro-toggle from Parts Express.  Very easy mod, and now I have input switching!  I'm sure if Lloyd has your amp in for service he could do something similar for you.
  8. whirlwind
    Can anybody tell me if the Grado PS500 has any of the magic that this amp produces with the RS1.
    I know it will sound nice, just wondering if it has like 75% of the synergy that the rS1 does.
    Thanks for anyone's help that has heard this.
  9. jaywillin

    just pull the trigger !! you know you want to
  10. whirlwind

    I have been so close to pulling the trigger on these headphones for over a year now  [​IMG] 
    Hopefully, someone will have heard them with the MAD EAR.
  11. DrMaestro
    Hello all,
    I've recently bought a Mad Ear + HD to use with my Grado RS1i.I use it with my computer. I'd like to ask a few questions:
    1) After using it for a few hours, I start hearing some cracks or distortions in one ear, which changes sides if I swap the tubes. Dr. Peppard told me that it certainly is a problem with one of the tubes and is sending me a replacement. My question is, which socket is controlling which tube? Do I have to change the left one when facing the unit if I hear distortions on my left ear?
    2 ) I am connecting the Mad Ear to my Yulong D100 DAC. As you might know, it has its own headphone amp, and I was wondering if I'd feel any sonical difference between them (I am a little bir cynical on paying a lot of money for high end equipment which don't always make percievable changes and think that there is a placebo effect). But I can say that there is a lot of difference between them, and I really prefer the tube sound. What are your ideas on this?  
    3) I've also bought some additional tubes for tube rolling. I now possess a Sylvania 5751 tmbp,  and a GE 5751 tmbp. I sense that the GE has more tighter bass but I cannot really make other differences. I know that some people prefer a very neutral sound when listening to the music and they want their equipment to be transparent. I prefer warmer, more colorful sound. Which tube provides the warmest, most colorful sound on Mad Ear?   
    4) And finally a silly question but you all know is inevitable when you are infected with this hi-fi disease: What's next? What can I upgrade on my system? Or am I at the limits of reasonable expenses?
  12. joseph69
    Congratulations on your Ear+.
    I had purchased the same amp (NEW) about 3 months ago, and unfortunately when I recived the amp there was a issue with the volume/gain control with either impedance output I used. I had to turn the volume up almost all of the way up to hear it at a moderate level. I contacted Lloyd, (nice guy) and he said there's something definitely wrong and wanted the amp back to check it. An hour later I turned it back on and the issue was gone, so I didn't send it to him, I now had the correct volume/gain according to the volume dial. A few day later I had an issue with distortion/crackling through one of the channels ( I don't recall which one). BTW, facing the amp, the left power tube is the left channel, and right is right. So I swapped the tubes and had the same issue out of the other channel…It was then I noticed that all of my tube sockets were loose, so I wasn't into returning the amp (even though I should have), so I took the bottom plate off and tightened them myself, and still had the issue. I contacted Lloyd and he sent me 2 NEW tubes. But while I was waiting for the tube to arrive, I was cleaning the amp with alcohol pads, as I do all of my equipment, and the paint immediately came off of the edge of the front face on the amp!!! I was disgusted, so I sent the amp back to Lloyd and asked if he could re-paint the amp for me and check it, and also offered to pay him to do the re-paint, and was also going to purchase the matching chassis Alps remote volume control from him, because I couldn't seem to use my Adcom GFP-710 pre-amp's remote volume with the Ear+??? Anyway when Lloyd recieved the amp, he said it was too much work to re-paint the chassis, and preferred to give me a refund (which is not what I wanted), so I told him this, and he still preferred to give me the refund! So to avoid further issues I got my money back. So my experience was unfortunately not a good one. BTW, when he received the amp, he said he checked it and it was fine??? It is most probably a tube issue... hopefully! Good luck, and I don't mean this in a sarcastic way.
    BTW, I wound up purchasing a Woo WA6, because while doing research prior to my purchase of the Ear+, as far as I read they where both excellent choices, and I couldn't ask for more from the WA6. So I guess some thing are just meant to be.
  13. DrMaestro
    Thank you joseph69,
    You had a series of unfortunate events and that's sad. I hope you are happy with Woo WA6. In the end, as I stated in my original post, I believe that the differences between similar high-end equipments are not always perceptible, or are subjective, so there is no absolute right choice. I'll wait for the tube, change the left one,  and see if it resolves my problem. Sending back the unit would be out of question, as I've paid 150 USD just for shipping! 
  14. jaywillin
    it does sound like a tube issue to me, if the sound follows the tube, it wouldn't be the socket
    i bought my amp used, from the original owner, neither of us had a problem at all, but i have had tubes to not be good before, it happens
    it does seem joseph's experience is not typical in any way, and he raves about the woo so much it makes me want to try one ! lol
    as for upgrading from here ? if its for use with grado's, i'm not sure there is a good answer, this or the woo seems to be two of the top choices !
    welcome aboard !
  15. joseph69
    I also paid $70.00U.S. through USPS to ship to Canada, but Lloyd did refund my shipping, enjoy!
    BTW, Lloyd also had my amp for a week before contacting me, and I wasn't thrilled that he knew there were issues and didn't look at it as soon as he received it…I thought he should have looked at it first thing being it was brand new.
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