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At Axpona 2019, the GS-X Mini was connected to a Chord Qutest. The Liquid Glass at MrSpeaker's table was connected to a Chord TT2+MScaler, so yeah, it wasn't exactly an apples to apples comparison. We were showing it with the Qutest, as it's about the same cost as the GS-X mini, and relatively small, which makes it a logical paring, and it shows the Mini's ability to drive difficult headphones in balanced mode from a single-ended input.
Thank you for the clarification. I thought I saw a Brooklyn+ at your table, but I listened to so much (was there 2 days) that it all blended together. It is also worth mentioning that the Liquid Glass was a far more expensive amp than the GS-X Mini, so it definitely wasn't an "apples to apples" comparison. Again, my hope for the GS-X Mini is that it gives me a solid state alternative to my Liquid Platinum. The Liquid Platinum has been a great amp, but it has some annoyances - the biggest of them for me is the lack of a gain switch (which the GS-X Mini has). As I said in my original comment, I look forward to hearing the GS-X in a more optimal listening environment once it's in production.
We'll be at all the CanJam shows, and try to get out to a number of smaller headphone meets too. At Axpona, the Brooklyn Bridge was the source for the Blue Hawaii, so you're right, we definitely had one there. The GS-X mini is a great amp, personally, I think it's the best combination of performance, size, features, and price, of anything Justin has ever made. He's working hard to get them in everybody's hands ASAP.
True -but- if a person already has a fairly good quality dac (Hugo 2 for example) that is also single ended only, then the Mini-X becomes a really viable alternative to GSX Mk2. Because the Hugo 2 is such a good quality dac, I really am not ready to replace it just yet, but if/when that time comes, prolly a Holo Spring dac will be the choice. SO, wait it out and get the TOTL dac and GSX Mk2 at the same time, which I will then still have to get balanced cables made, or just get a GSX mini and balanced cables sooner. And on top of all that, the Gilmore Lite Mk2 I already have just works completely awesome driving the LCDi4 and LCD4z even single ended, and all that stuff is already paid for.
So the real deal becomes that dac choice. I consider the dac to be the heart of the system, but within a synergistic overview of what is the end goal. Well what will most likely happen is wait to read some reviews of the GSX mini amp, and see how everything plays out but in the meantime, what I have works so well that frankly the motivation to spend several thousands more dollars to upgrade dac, amp, and cables is not extreme. Basically building up a complete new system as it were.
That explains why I remember a Mytek at your table. I heard the Blue Hawaii / Voce combo both last year and this year at Axpona... Probably the best amp / headphone combo I have ever heard at any price. I was so close to buying the Voce at the show, but went Ether 2 instead because I didn't want something as single-purpose as an electrostatic setup. I look forward to hearing the GS-X Mini in its final form.
@HeadAmpTeam do you have an update on shipping for those of us who pre-ordered? Thanks.
I brought my Utopia/Axios to CanJam NY and spent a nice amount of time with the Brooklyn Bridge/GSX Mini. Quite a cracking and fun system to listen to.
I am going to hope the GSX Mini remains as transparent as possible, the proverbial "wire with gain" as is often said, and as such will scale right up with some of the Uber DAC/sources that are in the market today. Ultimately that is what you want - for the amp to get out of the way and let the source come all the way through.
Early opinions I take with a grain of salt as I think people need to realize that, if the GSX is a wire with gain, then what they are really hearing is the source and not the amp. The amp is then doing its job. The person who did not like the combination with the Chord Qutest - well what you are hearing is the Qutest - put a better DAC in the chain and I think you may then walk away with a different opinion.
I was able to spend a good bit of time with the mini today at the Atlanta meet. My concerns about the gain being set too low were dispelled. The gain is exactly where I'd want it to be. Low gain was fine with ETHER 2, Focal headphones, hd6xx. I was operating between 10-1 with the 1:00 position being as loud as I'd ever listen to. Plugged in the Susvara, flipped the switch to high gain and boom...it was being driven perfectly.
The mini in it's current production state, sounds better than I had even hoped for. It's very dynamic and quick, which is what you hope for with a high end solid state amp. The tone is just down right gorgeous. Essentially, it's a very uncolored response from the mini and just gets out of the way and let's the rest of the chain do it's thing. There is an effortless quality to the way it powers headphones. At the end of the day, the mini is my favorite amp and works equally well with planar magnetic and dynamic driver headphones. Well done Justin!
I heard the CanJam NYC version and was equally impressed.
Hopefully the Atlanta meet version is the final production one........and our pre orders are starting to roll off the chain?
When you guys who pre-ordered get them, PLEASE post up some reviews OK?
Just curious do you know which volume control the unit had?
DAC-T. I have the unit on loan from Justin right now and I can say that Headamp has a winner on hand. The GSX-Mini is extremely versatile amplifier able to power anything from the Sony MDR-Z7 M2, Focal Stellia, Meze Empyrean, Senn HD800, and Hifiman Susvara exceptionally well. I thought it would struggle with the Susvara but I encounter no issues with it. Just like @MattTCG, I have no problems with the gain settings. For majority, you will only utilize a low gain while only switching to a high-gain for those extremely power hungry plannars. I sure wish that I have the AKG K1000 to try with the Mini.
I see the Mytek Brooklyn Bridge in the background in that photo. When I heard the GSX Mini/Brooklyn at the HeadAmp booth at CanJam NY running my Utopia/Axios which I brought with me I thought it was a cracking combo