New Amp from HeadAmp - GS-X Mini
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Cho Worsh

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I picked up a GSX Mini a few months ago and probably have about 250 hours on it. For reference, my chain is primarily Metrum Ambre > Metrum Adagio > GSX Mini > ZMF Verité Closed but I've also spent some time recently with the HD-800S.

So far, to say I'm impressed with the GSX Mini would be an understatement. I was kind of on the fence about the purchase because I love my other amp (ZMF Pendant) but it has far exceeded my expectations across the board. First, it has a stone cold dead silent background to work with. The dynamics are outstanding and when called for, the amp can startle you. There is a really easy, clean, well defined quality to the sound that appeals to me. I'm hearing a ton of detail but there is a rock solid weight to the sound with a little warmth that keeps it from being fatiguing. I'm finding the Mini to be a perfect match with the VC but I could see it working well with all types of headphones. It's really a great amp.
Do you still listen to the Pendant or are you using the Mini exclusively now? Any comparisons would be helpful.
 
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johnnypaddock

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Do you still listen to the Pendant or are you using the Mini exclusively now? Any comparisons would be helpful.
I've been listening to both amps frequently. I'm finding that the Pendant and the Mini are more similar than you might think. For a tube amp the Pendant is fast, pretty neutral, has an excellent 3D soundstage and great frequency extension. Its character is definitely not on the "romantic" tube side. I'm using a mix of 50's/60's tubes including Telefunken, Amperex, Mullard and Siemens that I rotate every now and then if I want to tweak the sound.

For me, the GSX-Mini is everything I'd want in a solid state amp. There is a ton of detail without being fatiguing. It's extremely dynamic and matches up perfectly with my DAC. Music stops on a dime with a completely black background. It has more than sufficient bass quantity and quality, probably slightly warmer than straight neutral.

I still listen to the Mini 95% of the time with my Verité Closed. It's been a perfect match that I don't even think about, although a big factor is the bottomless noise floor on the Mini. On the other hand I've been preferring the Pendant when using HD-800S or the original Verité. The Pendant has slightly more weight, with really full bass and lower mids, and that matches up with those cans a little better. It also has a spooky realism, kind of a 3D effect that you can get with great tube amps.

Just my experience so far... Hope it helps.
 
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mixman

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I've been listening to both amps frequently. I'm finding that the Pendant and the Mini are more similar than you might think. For a tube amp the Pendant is fast, pretty neutral, has an excellent 3D soundstage and great frequency extension. Its character is definitely not on the "romantic" tube side. I'm using a mix of 50's/60's tubes including Telefunken, Amperex, Mullard and Siemens that I rotate every now and then if I want to tweak the sound.

For me, the GSX-Mini is everything I'd want in a solid state amp. There is a ton of detail without being fatiguing. It's extremely dynamic and matches up perfectly with my DAC. Music stops on a dime with a completely black background. It has more than sufficient bass quantity and quality, probably slightly warmer than straight neutral.

I still listen to the Mini 95% of the time with my Verité Closed. It's been a perfect match that I don't even think about, although a big factor is the bottomless noise floor on the Mini. On the other hand I've been preferring the Pendant when using HD-800S or the original Verité. The Pendant has slightly more weight, with really full bass and lower mids, and that matches up with those cans a little better. It also has a spooky realism, kind of a 3D effect that you can get with great tube amps.

Just my experience so far... Hope it helps.
I haven’t heard the Mini against the Pendant, I have heard the Mini and I love the sound. I agree the Pendant is not a romantic tube amp, for that you many more so want the GOTL. I found the Pendant to almost sound very solid state. As a matter of fact I thought if I closed my eyes I wouldn’t know that I was listening to a tube amp. I would think the use case for the Pendant would be if you want a solid state sound with a bit of tube sound thrown in.

This is giving me more encouragement to looking at the Mini as my next amp.
 
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TheHighlander

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is there an optimal imput voltage for gsx mini? Om rme adi 2 dac I use +7db from balanced ( I think on balanced sum +6 so is +13db). On chord qutest I use 3V RMS (blue color).
 
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Roasty

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Have been doing some a/b listening using the gsx mini + holo spring 2 wild edition and matrix MQA X-Sabre Pro.

Output is Roon > HQPlayer (sinc-M, LNS15, pcm 384kHz) > Singxer SU-6 > iis > dacs > moon audio Black Dragon + utopia. Interconnects are triode wire labs spirit ii xlr.

Much prefer gsx mini + matrix dac; lots of weight to the mid bass and mids, sweet vocals, nice non harsh highs but still very very clear and quick. Overall not bright, but not neutral either; feels just slightly warm sounding. A very pleasant overall sound which I can listen to for hours. However, compared to my WA22 plus nice tubes, the mini feels just a bit less airy and less "sparkly" up top.

gsx mini + holo dac (NOS mode) sounds a bit flat and dull to me. Lows are a bit muddy and not as tight or impactful. Most affected are the highs which sound rolled off too much. I get bored with this combo very fast as music feels not as engaging.
 
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Baten

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gsx mini + holo dac (NOS mode) sounds a bit flat and dull to me. Lows are a bit muddy and not as tight or impactful. Most affected are the highs which sound rolled off too much. I get bored with this combo very fast as music feels not as engaging.
Sad to hear. spring 2 wildism was my favorite DAC ever! Taste and all that, I guess :) I appreciate the softer sound.
Thanks for sharing
 
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Roasty

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Sad to hear. spring 2 wildism was my favorite DAC ever! Taste and all that, I guess :) I appreciate the softer sound.
Thanks for sharing
Ah, but the Holo Spring 2 Wildism + woo audio 22 sounds amazing to me..! I love this combo with the abyss 1266. I also use the spring 2 RCA outs to my home theatre setup for speaker listening as well. I think just the synergy/pairing of holo + mini was not right for me..
 
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