People with XP-7's that previously owned nicely configured META's... thoughts?
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pikawel

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Hello all,

I haven't been in abundance on this forum for months since I got my META from fiddler about seven or eight months ago but you all know how this habit is


So I'm kind of in the market for a new amp for work (AC not an option) and it seems like a toss-up between the Pocket Reference and the XP-7. Well, the Pocket Reference seems like virgin territory right now so the XP-7 is the topic of discussion here.

I'd love to read anything from anyone who previously owned a higher-end META and purchased the XP-7. Be as brief or as in-depth as you'd like.

My source is a Nomad Jukebox 3 which is loaded with high quality VBR MP3's ripped through CDex (LAME) on the highest setting. My IC will be upgraded but currently, it's a beaten and bruised JMT creation. My phones are DT250-250's which I don't plan on upgrading in the foreseeable future.

Alright... at a loss for things to say - I sincerely appreciate any responses
 
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hottyson

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I previously owned a high-end META and purchased the Emmeline XP-7. The Emmeline XP-7 is gorgeous and built like a tank. For portability three important factors to me are sound, value, and ergonomics.

Sound:
The jump in performance is enormous. As price difference would suggest, they are of completely different leagues.
WINNER - Emmeline XP-7

Value:
In terms of bang for buck the META is the best amp value. I think that anything over $250 is excessive for a headphone amplifier. I lack self-control so I will probably continue to pay excessive dollar amounts for headphone amplifiers.
WINNER - META

Ergonomics:
Since the power switch is on the back of the XP-7 it is not easily accessible when in a small bag. Ninety-degree angle RCA plugs or very small ones would be useful in such a bag. The META of course can be customized with the power switch on the front and 3.5 mini input jack for use with ninety-degree mini interconnects for ultimate portability.
WINNER - META

Two other portable amplifiers that you may want to consider are the PPA with battery board and the Xin SuperDual.
 
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Duncan

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I've heard the XP7 with RS1s, and whilst it has the potential to sound cleaner than the META that I have, it let itself down by having a noisy (hissy) outpuit...

I was told by the owner of the amp that this could be resolved by op-amp rolling... but, this being a first impression, it wasn't a complete thumbs up.
 
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gsferrari

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This may sound strange but..

list of amps I heard along with the XP-7 :-
------------------------------------------------------

1] HR-2
2] JMT Portable Meta 42
3] CMOY (basic)
4] Headroom Max
5] Corda Prehead

*The XP-7 was indistinguishable from the HR-2

*Portability of the XP-7 is a big plus IMO

*The JMT Portable amplifier was just as good as the XP-7 and cost around $150.00

*The Headroom Max was easily the best of the lot

*I tried out the hard to drive AKG-K1000 with the XP-7 and it worked just fine


If you are on a budget - get one of the newer portables in the DIY scene for a lot less.

Or get a PPA with a battery board...

Or just get the XP-7

I was happy listening to both...cant remember the exact sonic differences but neither left me wanting
 
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hottyson

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Oh btw, I have AD797 op-amps to roll for my Emmeline XP-7 but haven't tried them yet. I probably wont try them for a couple more months.

I forgot to mention that battery life is quite amazing for the Emmeline XP-7. My original first set of 9v batteries still has juice after two months of use. I bought them two for a dollar at the local dollar store. I just bought some rechargeable batteries so maybe I will put the dollar store batteries in my fire alarms since they still have power left in them.
 
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pikawel

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Hotty, thanks for the informative response. No doubt the META is / was hands down the best bang for the buck. I had a Total Airhead and, well, kind of thought it was a turd.

These new amps by LaRocoo and Ray Samuels are really great stuff but they do, of course, lack that unlimited customization that the DIY amps have. For instance, if I want to listen with a friend, I'm going to have to buy a splitter. I asked Larry Mulligan from LaRocco about adding another output and it simply just won't fit. I haven't asked Ray about that yet, though, but if his faceplates are mass-machined then I'm SOL.

Duncan, understood. That would be the ultimate let-down hearing hiss right out of the UPS box.

Hotty, what op-amp do you have in it currently?

"*The JMT Portable amplifier was just as good as the XP-7 and cost around $150.00" - damn, that's bold! When you said that neither left you wanting... did you mean (1) for another amp or (2) for that amp :p

I really appreciate the responses!
 
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Canman

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Quote:

Originally posted by hottyson
I forgot to mention that battery life is quite amazing for the Emmeline XP-7. My original first set of 9v batteries still has juice after two months of use.


With Plainview rechargeables and the 797 op amps the battery life was about 8 hours, pretty good I think. I wasn't a big fan of the performance of the amp though-lack of dynamics and bass extension. On the plus side, it has a nice liquid midrange.
 
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hottyson

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Quote:

Originally posted by pikawel
Hotty, what op-amp do you have in it currently?


They are the stock op-amps that came with it. Ray said that they are AD825. It sounds great with this op-amp and battery life is super.
 
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gsferrari

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the DIY JMT Portable in the blue serpac case vs the XP-7 - too close to call and I didnt feel let down by either amp in comparison to the other


Or does that :confuse: you even more
tee hee
 
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bobjew

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I had a Maxed Out META made by Tangent, bought an XP-7, and recently heard a Diamond buffered PPA and Pocket Reference.

I thought the PPA sounded more like the XP-7 in terms of the size of sound, layering and soundstage, etc.

The new SuperDual which I just received (a prototype) sounds much like the Maxed out META and Pocket Reference except it isn't as transparent as I remember the META to be.

Needless to say, I'm duly and pleasantly surprised by the SDII.

Technology marches on!
 
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tortie

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I had a maxed-out meta42 and an XP-7 before. The XP-7 is a lot better than the meta42 IMO.
 
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Quote:

Originally posted by Canman
With Plainview rechargeables and the 797 op amps the battery life was about 8 hours, pretty good I think. I wasn't a big fan of the performance of the amp though-lack of dynamics and bass extension. On the plus side, it has a nice liquid midrange.


Throw the 8610's in there and that wouldn't necessarily be a problem.


I wouldn't necessarily rule out the new TAH's. I have one and it's fabulous. Not quite the performer of the XP-7 for me (not THAT far off though), but given your source to me that difference is almost negligable.

I also have a serpec Meta, and I greatly prefer the new TAH.
 
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cmascatello

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The AD825 op amps do have a tendency to hiss on the XP-7 with more sensitive and low-impedance cans. I swapped in some AD797s when the hiss with my E5s became too much to bear -- the amp was absolutely black silent with the new op amps.
 
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