Moretto HAP-03 - any info?
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Hirsch

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If you search, I'm sure I said something sometime. In any event, with stock tubes this amp has a fantastic midrange, but is missing detail. Still gorgeous to listen to. With a tube upgrade, you can restore a lot of the missing detail. I use an RCA cleartop 12AU7 and a pair of Phillips Miniwatt SQ E88CC's. Great midrange, fantastic bass and very nice highs. Excellent value at the price, and competitive with some much more expensive amps. Caveat: this amp can only be used with headphones with an impedance of 150 ohms or more (It will work with the Senn 580 but not the Grado). Try using it with low impedance headphones, and you'll become very familiar with distortion. This can be corrected with the HAP-04 impedance matcher. I don't know if Moretto (audiodept) carries this, but it can be bought from Radii Audio in China, the actual designer of the amp (www.radaudio.com), if you're patient (ordering this from China can be slow).

IIRC Daycart1 posted a comparison of the Moretto with the MG Head.
 
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CFC

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supposedely the HAP-03 is a step up from the highly acclaimed MGHead OTL, as far as i know anyway. did you get a chance to do some A/B comparison?
 
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arnett

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I recently bought acidtripwow's Moretto HAP-03. I didn’t know whether to review it or not because my impressions are generally the same as those who have reviewed it before me. But what the hell. Keep in mind that I’ve only had the amp for 48 hours or so. So this might all be ‘new toy hype.’

The problem with reviewing any tube amp is that people will roll-in their own NOS tubes. Unless you have the same exact NOS tube combo as the reviewer, the amp will sound slightly different. I have found that NOS tubes make a considerable difference in the HAP-03. I have rolled-in a Mullard 12AU7/ECC82 (input tube) and a pair of Amperex 6DJ8/ECC88s (output tubes).

As reported by the other reviewers, the Moretto HAP-03 sounds very ‘evenhanded.’ The Mullard 12AU7 is actually very extended in the high and low frequencies. Another input tube might make the sound warmer by cutting off the extremes. In my rig, I would not call the Moretto extremely warm or lush; instead, I’d call it rather neutral. ‘Neutral’ is not a choice of words I normally use with tube gear so perhaps ‘evenhanded’ is better. The Moretto seems to place as much emphasis on the bass and treble as on the midrange. Don’t get me wrong – the Moretto is warm, but the MG Head is significantly warmer (note: I’m going on memory as to what my old MG Head DT sounded like). Of course, the MG Head DT could not produce bass like the Moretto.

Speaking of bass, the Moretto reproduces it surprisingly well. From what I’ve heard with my own ears and from what I’ve read on this board, tube amps can either produce too much bass (resulting is a sloppy and ill-defined low end) or practically no bass at all (read: MG Head DT). The Moretto gets the bass just right: it’s deep and punchy yet tight and well defined.

With the Mullard/Amperex combo, treble seems quite extended. Actually, I could go for a bit more high frequency roll-off. But that’s just me. Although it’s not quite as detailed as some of the better amps I’ve heard, the Moretto still produced ‘never heard before’ details on some of my favorite CDs. Of course, some of this could be due to my new Stefan Audioart Equinox replacement cable.

Please keep in mind that I’ve owned the amp for only a few days and my NOS tubes are not completely broken-in. I have 24 hours on my tubes so far. So my opinion could change over time (although I doubt it). I have yet to hear any major flaws with the Moretto HAP-03. Maybe that’s just because I haven’t had the amp long enough to discover them or perhaps the amp simply doesn’t have any.

Overall, the Moretto HAP-03 is one hell of an amp. As of now, I give it my highest recommendation. I can’t imagine anyone being disappointed with this amp.

Check my sig for set-up.

 
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post-181310
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daycart1

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qwerty870

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I got a moretto on ebay a couple months back for about $260 for use with my HD600s (it sounds terrible with my grados SR80s since it is OTL and not meant for the grado's 32 ohm load)

I must say that I agree with what most people have said about the amp. However, it deffinitely suffers from the stereotypical colourations most people associate with tubes, that while not accurate are so pleasant sounding. I must mention, however, that I am still using the stock tubes and I am sure it is much better with NOS tubes. Still I enjoy this amplifier very much.
 
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