MrSpeakers Alpha PRIME: Impressions and Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by matttcg, Oct 7, 2014.
  1. Vicca Tito
    Yes, I'm using the balanced cable.
    It's a bit better than SE but still not as good as my C5 is.
    I use couple of DACs: Chord Hugo, Holo Spring level 1 and Oppo ha2.
  2. Vicca Tito
    Sorry if I was not clear enough.
    Simply put, I'm struggling to find a decent solution for a desktop amp for Alpha Primes.
    Liquid Carbon is not (surprisingly) exactly a good match and this is a bit strange, regarding the authority by which it drives most of my headphones.
  3. Serge Bernamej
    Oh ok I see.
    Very strange as there a few comments to the effects that it is a good match. Also even a Liquid Carbon review on Youtube mentions that it's a good amp specifically witht the Alpha Prime.
  4. swspiers
    I love the combination, and have for about 2 years now. I bought the first gen LC when it first came out, and think it's perfect!

    Well, the C5 is highly regarded. And geeze, you have some REALLY good gear!!!

    Ever think about trying a tube amp?
    Serge Bernamej likes this.
  5. Paladin79
    I have used the Primes with the Liquid Carbon and love it in balanced mode. That being said I like tube amps over solid state amps and have yet to find a perfect match for the Primes, my Valhalla 2 is good but not incredible. Luckily I have built enough amps that I will try very hard to gear something toward the Primes and hopefully get it done before Christmas this year.
    swspiers likes this.
  6. swspiers
    Ohhh...? :)
  7. Paladin79
    The biggest issue is getting an OTL amp to work with low impedance headphones. I have most everything else worked out.
  8. Vicca Tito
    That said, I'm on the way to get Lyr 2. I used to have Lyr 1 but sold it. It worked very well with Audeze, unfortunately not so good with my other favorite from these times - T1. Tried even Bottlehead Crack (speedball+) with no joy.
    I wonder if Valhalla 2 is a better match...
  9. swspiers
    My gut is telling to to suggest gear more in-line with the quality of your sources. Maybe the Mjolnir instead of the more entry-level Schiit stuff?

    Still, I'm curious...what is the LC not doing for you that you want? And have you changed the tuning of the Primes at all?
  10. Paladin79
    Odd you did not like the Bottlehead Crack with speedball but each to their own. (Mine tend to be modified and I am about to build a third that will have extreme mods.) I run a couple cracks with some modified Beyer headphones and have received nothing but compliments on the sound. I most often demo Binaural plus so that may have a lot to do with it.

    The Valhalla 2 sounds a lot like a solid state amp, it is accurate but tube rolling does not change the sound a lot IMHO.

    I was just given an Aune T1SE amp/dac and it sounds decent with the Primes. I may try tube rolling a bit but for now it makes for a good office setup with my Primes.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017
  11. Vicca Tito
    Up till now, I have shortlisted three amps, that I seriously consider:
    Lyr 2
    Mjolnir (1 st iteration)
    Burson Soloist (not SL)

    I'm eager to hear lively energetic sound which was one one of the reasons that LC wasn't as good as I have expected. It has all that one might suggest for a good match (neutral, good bass extension, moderately good soundstage...) but still missing the kick part that Cayin C5 had. AP's were basically the first cans that didn't sound awesome with LC.
  12. Nick-s-f
    Just spent the weekend and some of the week going back and forth between the Prime and Ori, I can definitely say another major difference in sound between them (besides signature differences) is presentation. I noticed everything sounds much closer to your ear with the Ori than it does on the Prime. I will attempt an analogy to better compare the two headphones.

    Imagine this: You are standing right in-between two large floor standing speakers that are inches away from you, and they are directly to your left and right. When music is playing you feel every bit of music and especially the bass. Impact and presence are apparent. >>> That sort of describes the Ori.

    Now imagine the same situation, but in an acoustically treated room and with the speakers several feet away and slightly in front of you. Neutrality, Imaging and accuracy can flourish. >>> That's the Prime.

    I may have to re-evaluate my view on the Ori, during these tests I was continuously surprised at how well it kept up with presenting little details. I have been feeding lots of music through both of them that I have not heard in a long time, it calls for lots of ooh and ahh moments.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017
    Serge Bernamej likes this.
  13. swspiers
    I've had the Soloist (not SL) for a few years, and there is no conceivable way it is more 'lively' than the LC, with pretty much anything. Unless your concept is different is mine. But in the areas of micro-dynamics and detail, the LC is about 3 notches above the Burson. Bass presence, slam, and detail is no match.

    Ditto for treble detail. I really heard this while listening to Opeth's "Pale Communion", focusing on the cymbal work throughout the whole album. My Benchmark/LC combo was startling in the difference vs. the Soloist.
  14. Paladin79
    Now try the same test using Binaural music, you can get free samplers from HDTracks (but I own a lot of it as well). It is the spacing I appreciate with the Primes. A soloist behind you and the depth of instruments that come from left and right. Some closer some farther away. There are times when you can even tell if an artist is standing or sitting. That is the type of spacing that comes through to me with the primes.
    Nick-s-f and Serge Bernamej like this.
  15. Serge Bernamej
    Comparative impressions are always the best !!! Thanks !

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