Musical Fidelity X-Can V2 vs other tube amps
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gurnisht

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Hi. I recently got in a trade a Musical Fidelity X-Can V2 amp (traded for E9). I use it with HD600 and Beyer dt880/600 cans.
The amp sounds ok, but not significantly better than the inbuilt amp of my external sound card.
I am trying to decide between selling it and buying Darkvoice 336i or Little Dot III instead, or keep it and make the Rock-Grotto mods on it.
Which do you recommend?
Thanks.
 
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Gradofan2

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Talk with Mrarroyo... he has the v2 with PF mods.  He seems to report that it is a great amp with the mods.
 
As far as the DV336i, it is an OTL amp, if I recall correctly.  OTL amps are great with high impedance phones... but... often not great with low impedance phones.  So... it will sound great with Senns, maybe not with Grados.  I had the DV332, also an OTL amp - it was superb with Senns and not so great with Grados. 
 
The v2 is a SS/Tube hybrid amp and is more likely to sound great with both. 
 
Personally, because the PF modified v2 gets uniformly high marks... that would be my choice.  I modified my v3 with the PF mods, and it was superb.  They're pretty easy to complete.  And the outcome is great.  But... you may want to factor in getting the "Little Pinkie" PSU.  I had the v3 PSU.
 
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gurnisht

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Thanks for your reply :)
The "Little Pinkei" PSU is seems like an overkill. it costs more than the amp itself...
Which one did you like more with the Senns, the DV332 or the V3+PF mods?
Thanks
 
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blacknile

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I have the Beyerdynamic DT880 600ohm and I just sold my Little Dot MK III because it wasn't significantly better, to my ears, than the jack of my integrated amp.
 
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mrarroyo

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I love the sound of the X-Can V2 and more so with the Pinkfloyd Mods, I have owned mine since May 2006 and a lot of amps have come and gone since. Many of these amps were far more expensive, yet the X-Can V2 remains.
 
As far as the Little Pinkie PSU it is expensive and well worth it. However I can understand the reservation on buying it, I will propose a much cheaper alternative ... Jameco sells a 1.5 amp 12 VAC (notice I wrote AC) for under $15. It is better than the 500 mA 12 VAC wallwart that is included by Musical Fidelity.
 
For a while Sennheiser (EU) demoed their cans (HD580/600/650) with amps by Musical Fidelity which should indicate what they thought of the amp. I do not know what sound card nor the quality of the files you are currently using. I say thus because the amp can only reproduce what is being fed. As an analogy: using top of the line tires designed for a high performance car on an econobox will not allow you to fully experience the abilities of the tire.
 
I would implement the PinkFloyd mods in the X-Can V2 you have and I would get the Jameco power supply and see what you hear. BTW, the valves in the can may be pass their prime, a pair of matched GE or Sylvania 6922 or Russian 6H23-EB will further improve the sound.
 
Otherwise shoot me a PM if you want to sell the X-Can V2.
 
Good luck.
 
Miguel
 
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Gradofan2

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Quote:
Thanks for your reply :)
 
The "Little Pinkei" PSU is seems like an overkill. it costs more than the amp itself...
Which one did you like more with the Senns, the DV332 or the V3+PF mods?
 
Thanks

Well... as I recall the Little Pinky costs about $150+, which seems' like a reasonable price to drive a PF modified X-CAN.  But... if not... Mrarroyo's suggestion makes sense. 
 
The PF v3 is superb.  It has a more resolved, airy, holographic sound than the DV332, which has a bit more of a powerful sound, and is also great with the Senns.  It's been a couple of years, or so, since I've heard either.  It's a tough call, but I think I might prefer the PF v3.  I certainly do with low impedance phones (e.g. Grados, etc.).
 
I've also never heard the PF v2, but several report it's one of the better amps they've heard.     
 
 
 
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FauDrei

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+1 for moding V2... the difference between stock and fully modded is substantial.
 
This also can be great introduction to DIY if you tackle it on your own - great fun and learning experience. I could only suggest modding it step by step and listen for changes after each step - it makes you appreciate completely modded product even more.
 
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Miguel
 
What exactly does the Little Pinkie PSU do to the modded V2 in terms of sound?  I mean, if you heard the V2 first with the walwart, and then with the Pinkie, what do you notice and how blatant is this? 
 
Btw - thank you for your recommendation to get the Rock Grotto V2 - it's great value for money and blends really well with other amps and DACs. 
 
Quote:
I love the sound of the X-Can V2 and more so with the Pinkfloyd Mods, I have owned mine since May 2006 and a lot of amps have come and gone since. Many of these amps were far more expensive, yet the X-Can V2 remains.
 
As far as the Little Pinkie PSU it is expensive and well worth it. However I can understand the reservation on buying it, I will propose a much cheaper alternative ... Jameco sells a 1.5 amp 12 VAC (notice I wrote AC) for under $15. It is better than the 500 mA 12 VAC wallwart that is included by Musical Fidelity.
 
Good luck.  
Miguel


 
 
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mrarroyo

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^ the Little Pinkie provides the "cojones" that the stock wallwart at times cannot. The stock wallwart provides 500 mA of 12VAC while the LIttle Pinkie provides up to 2,500 mA of 12 VAC. Furthermore the Little Pinkie is a linear and regulated PSU.
 
I found the stock wallwart runs out of steam on certain passages of highly demanding music. You could start buy buying a 1,500 mA 12 VAC from Jameco that retails for under $15, not as good as the Little Pinkie but better than the stock wallwart.
 
http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10001&catalogId=10001&productId=167151
 
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gurnisht

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Thanks for all the replies. if anyone has anything else to add, you are most welcome...
 
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