New Amp from HeadAmp - GS-X Mini
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Hi Rez

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I've had the mini for a few months now, but this is the first chance I've had to put it in my main system, replacing the GS-X mk2. So far only using it as a preamp with speakers.
 

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Arniesb

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I've had the mini for a few months now, but this is the first chance I've had to put it in my main system, replacing the GS-X mk2. So far only using it as a preamp with speakers.
Any comparison?
 
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Any comparison?
Still trying to get my head wrapped around things. Certain songs sound glorious with the mini, others maybe a bit too much so, others less so. I didn't notice that variability with the mk2, music just sounded like music. But since it is a pita to switch between the mini and the mk2, I haven't been doing so. Planning to switch to headphones later, then switch back to the mk2. Maybe I'll have a better handle on the differences after that.
 
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Some more thoughts about the GS-X mini vs. GS-X mk2.

I listened with the mini in the system for about 8 hours, mostly with speakers, but with the last hour through headphones (LCD-3). Then I switched back to the mk2. Headphone and speaker impressions were similar. DAC was the Ayre QB-9 Twenty - the Twenty version a recently offered upgrade by Ayre. Source was a DC modified Mac mini with tricked out USB chain. Amps were Classe CT-M600s, speakers were the KEF Reference 201/2.

My first thoughts after putting the mini into my system was “Wow, this sounds really good! Is the mini really better than the mk2?” The first music I listened to sounded glorious through the mini.

It took some time listening with a variety of music before I could start to note differences. On one song (Sierra Hull - The In-Between) I thought: “Where did the bass go?” With Sierra Hull’s - I’ll Be Fine, the mandolin strings didn’t seem as sharply plucked. Sometime later, I started to notice that voices didn’t seem to quite have the clarity with the mini as with the mk2. As I listened more, I noticed that voices didn’t seem to have the emotional attachment they usually gave. There was another song where the finger “squeaks” on strings (guitar and mandolin) grated on me more than I remembered with the mk2.

I had hoped the mini would match the mk2 performance, but it didn’t quite achieve that in my system. The differences were subtle, but there was a clarity with voices with the mk2 that the mini couldn’t match. Bass was also more prominent with the mk2 - I don’t think there actually was more bass, but the bass with the mk2 just had more jump / impact to it. A lot of what I played through the mini sounded glorious. Alternatively, the mk2 consistently gave more details and dynamics, and seemed more natural. With the mk2 back in, these differences were relatively easy to confirm.

The GS-X mk2 has always had the reputation of being a very transparent amp (wire with gain), and in the years I’ve owned it, it has never seemed to be the weak link in my system. IMO, the GS-X mini comes close, but doesn’t quite achieve that same level of transparency. I also doubt the differences would have been as apparent if I had been using the older DSD version of my QB-9 - source matters. I’m guessing, but on a lot of systems, these differences could be pretty challenging to discern.

IMO both are great amps. Hard to go wrong with either one.

The GS-X mini is going back into my second system (Chord Qutest), and I expect to be happily listening to it there for years to come. Especially with Vérité C’s incoming within the next few weeks….
 
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I had some extra isoacoustics oreas and figured.. Why not? I do like how components look on nice feet!

20200312_080856-01.jpeg
 
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Arniesb

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I had some extra isoacoustics oreas and figured.. Why not? I do like how components look on nice feet!

20200312_080856-01.jpeg
Never seen dac that look better than Matrix... Absolutely stuning! Headamp looks killer too, but im just bored of black color at this point.
 
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Mini in Satin red with three taller feet.on my TEAC NT-505.
DSC_0175.JPG
 
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...the satin blue king of the rack!
Audio.Rack.2020.jpg
 
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Nice rack! Where do you get it? Thanks!
The rack is 3d printed (both sides) by myself with 4mm aluminium sheets. Could not find any premade affordable racks of this size.
 
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The rack is 3d printed (both sides) by myself with 4mm aluminium sheets. Could not find any premade affordable racks of this size.
This is impressive. I've been looking for a suitable desktop rack forever without success. Well done.
 
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Does the mini not come with a power cable?
I asked Justin a month ago and he told me that they "do include a generic 115V power cord."
 
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Some more thoughts about the GS-X mini vs. GS-X mk2.

I listened with the mini in the system for about 8 hours, mostly with speakers, but with the last hour through headphones (LCD-3). Then I switched back to the mk2. Headphone and speaker impressions were similar. DAC was the Ayre QB-9 Twenty - the Twenty version a recently offered upgrade by Ayre. Source was a DC modified Mac mini with tricked out USB chain. Amps were Classe CT-M600s, speakers were the KEF Reference 201/2.

My first thoughts after putting the mini into my system was “Wow, this sounds really good! Is the mini really better than the mk2?” The first music I listened to sounded glorious through the mini.

It took some time listening with a variety of music before I could start to note differences. On one song (Sierra Hull - The In-Between) I thought: “Where did the bass go?” With Sierra Hull’s - I’ll Be Fine, the mandolin strings didn’t seem as sharply plucked. Sometime later, I started to notice that voices didn’t seem to quite have the clarity with the mini as with the mk2. As I listened more, I noticed that voices didn’t seem to have the emotional attachment they usually gave. There was another song where the finger “squeaks” on strings (guitar and mandolin) grated on me more than I remembered with the mk2.

I had hoped the mini would match the mk2 performance, but it didn’t quite achieve that in my system. The differences were subtle, but there was a clarity with voices with the mk2 that the mini couldn’t match. Bass was also more prominent with the mk2 - I don’t think there actually was more bass, but the bass with the mk2 just had more jump / impact to it. A lot of what I played through the mini sounded glorious. Alternatively, the mk2 consistently gave more details and dynamics, and seemed more natural. With the mk2 back in, these differences were relatively easy to confirm.

The GS-X mk2 has always had the reputation of being a very transparent amp (wire with gain), and in the years I’ve owned it, it has never seemed to be the weak link in my system. IMO, the GS-X mini comes close, but doesn’t quite achieve that same level of transparency. I also doubt the differences would have been as apparent if I had been using the older DSD version of my QB-9 - source matters. I’m guessing, but on a lot of systems, these differences could be pretty challenging to discern.

IMO both are great amps. Hard to go wrong with either one.

The GS-X mini is going back into my second system (Chord Qutest), and I expect to be happily listening to it there for years to come. Especially with Vérité C’s incoming within the next few weeks….
Thanks for your thoughts on this. I am in the same boat and contemplating ordering a mini to match up with a Denafrips Ares II.
 
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