Price Reduced -- FS: Icon Audio HP8 Mk2 Tube Headphone Amplifier - Like New - Upgraded - Many nice tubes included
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Type
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USD
Price
750.00
May 15, 2015 at 11:08 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 4

Xcalibur255

Headphoneus Supremus
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Offered for sale is a 1 year old, like new Icon HP8 Mk2.  This is the second generation HP8 using the 12AX7 driver stage and 6SN7 output stage, but it does not have the copper top plate or passive loop out jacks that models being sold currently have.  Those features were being added right around the time I bought this unit.  I purchased the amp new from Music Direct, which is the only authorized Icon Audio retailer in the USA.  See below after the sale terms for more details about upgrades I have done to the amp and what is being offered with it.  Please feel free to PM me with any additional questions.
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Asking price - $1,000 >>>>> Price is now reduced to $750.  I've dropped it 5 times now, this is 1/2 the original value.  I will cover both the PayPal transaction fee and the shipping cost which represents a cost of approx. $75.  The amp will ship in its original manufacturer packaging and box and will require signature confirmation upon delivery.
 
Due to multiple issues with customs and international shipping in the past I am only offering to ship the amp within the lower 48 states of the US. 
 
Due to the value of the amp and the high rate of fraud in paypal sales these days, I will only be considering offers from members who have an established participation history on Head-Fi (not just the mandatory 15 posts) and already have positive feedback in the trader forums.  Thank you for your understanding.
 
Sale will be considered final.  Please only make an offer if you truly wish to own this amp.
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Some details on the upgrade I performed on the amp and the tubes which are included:
 
In the USA the HP8 is only sold with stock interstage coupling capacitors and is not available with the upgraded Jensen PIO caps which can be had in Europe.  I found the stock Solen MKP caps to greatly hold back the potential of the amp and took the liberty of upgrading the amp with my personal favorite coupling capacitor:  the NOS Russian K40Y9 paper-in-oil type.  This greatly improved the amps resolution, tonality, and bass presence.  The K40Y9 has a very liquid and organic presentation that offers up great low level detail in an unforced presentation that poly capacitors cannot match.  See photos for a comparison, I laid one of the stock Solens on the edge of the chassis to show the difference in sheer size between them and the K40Y9s.
 
I also tossed out the terrible sounding stock tubes that came with the amp (Chinese Shuguang all around) and am offering all of the tubes shown in the photo below with the amp.  These include the Genelex new production 12AX7, which is a fantastic tube that beats any NOS 12AX7 I have heard.  This tube sells for $60 on its own.  I also have a very nice Sylvania triple mica black plate 5751 if you care to try a NOS tube in the driver position.  The 5751 is the military version of the 12AX7, directly substitutable.  This is generally considered one of the best old stock 12AX7 type tubes.  For 6SN7s there is a pair of Tung Sol 6SN7GT grey t-plates.  Very balanced with great resolution and drive.  I also have a pair of Sylvania 6SN7GT "chrome domes" and a pair of National Union 6SN7GT black glass.  The Tung Sol and Sylvania are some of the nicest NOS tubes out there.  In the interest of full disclosure the National Unions are kind of an odd duck pair.  They have two different glass envelope heights and mica styles, and one tube has a bit of loose glass inside.  The tubes function perfectly and this has no impact on their sound, they are just not a "pristine" NOS pair and I wanted to disclose that.
 
The amp came with a European power cord, so you will have to provide your own IEC style power cord for the amp.  I will also include the Solen caps I took out of the amp for the heck of it.  I assure you, you do not want to put them back in, but they belong with the amp so I will include them.
 
Thank you for looking/reading.  If there are any questions I failed to address here feel free to message me.
 
May 28, 2015 at 12:05 AM Post #2 of 4

Triodemode

100+ Head-Fier
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Sep 5, 2014
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  Offered for sale is a 1 year old, like new Icon HP8 Mk2.  This is the second generation HP8 using the 12AX7 driver stage and 6SN7 output stage, but it does not have the copper top plate or passive loop out jacks that models being sold currently have.  Those features were being added right around the time I bought this unit.  I purchased the amp new from Music Direct, which is the only authorized Icon Audio retailer in the USA.  See below after the sale terms for more details about upgrades I have done to the amp and what is being offered with it.  Please feel free to PM me with any additional questions.
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Asking price - $1,000.  I will cover both the PayPal transaction fee and the shipping cost which represents a cost of approx. $75.  The amp will ship in its original manufacturer packaging and box and will require signature confirmation upon delivery.
 
Due to multiple issues with customs and international shipping in the past I am only offering to ship the amp within the lower 48 states of the US. 
 
Due to the value of the amp and the high rate of fraud in paypal sales these days, I will only be considering offers from members who have an established participation history on Head-Fi (not just the mandatory 15 posts) and already have positive feedback in the trader forums.  Thank you for your understanding.
 
Sale will be considered final.  Please only make an offer if you truly wish to own this amp.
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Some details on the upgrade I performed on the amp and the tubes which are included:
 
In the USA the HP8 is only sold with stock interstage coupling capacitors and is not available with the upgraded Jensen PIO caps which can be had in Europe.  I found the stock Solen MKP caps to greatly hold back the potential of the amp and took the liberty of upgrading the amp with my personal favorite coupling capacitor:  the NOS Russian K40Y9 paper-in-oil type.  This greatly improved the amps resolution, tonality, and bass presence.  The K40Y9 has a very liquid and organic presentation that offers up great low level detail in an unforced presentation that poly capacitors cannot match.  See photos for a comparison, I laid one of the stock Solens on the edge of the chassis to show the difference in sheer size between them and the K40Y9s.
 
I also tossed out the terrible sounding stock tubes that came with the amp (Chinese Shuguang all around) and am offering all of the tubes shown in the photo below with the amp.  These include the Genelex new production 12AX7, which is a fantastic tube that beats any NOS 12AX7 I have heard.  This tube sells for $60 on its own.  I also have a very nice Sylvania triple mica black plate 5751 if you care to try a NOS tube in the driver position.  The 5751 is the military version of the 12AX7, directly substitutable.  This is generally considered one of the best old stock 12AX7 type tubes.  For 6SN7s there is a pair of Tung Sol 6SN7GT grey t-plates.  Very balanced with great resolution and drive.  I also have a pair of Sylvania 6SN7GT "chrome domes" and a pair of National Union 6SN7GT black glass.  The Tung Sol and Sylvania are some of the nicest NOS tubes out there.  In the interest of full disclosure the National Unions are kind of an odd duck pair.  They have two different glass envelope heights and mica styles, and one tube has a bit of loose glass inside.  The tubes function perfectly and this has no impact on their sound, they are just not a "pristine" NOS pair and I wanted to disclose that.
 
The amp came with a European power cord, so you will have to provide your own IEC style power cord for the amp.  I will also include the Solen caps I took out of the amp for the heck of it.  I assure you, you do not want to put them back in, but they belong with the amp so I will include them.
 
Thank you for looking/reading.  If there are any questions I failed to address here feel free to message me.


Sorry I missed the opportunity to buy this amplifier from you as my unit arrived from Music Direct before your post.  May I ask why you are selling it?   Have you found something better or just part of the hobby in trying different equipment.
 
Thank you for providing the capacitor info...  I will be changing out these caps in my unit also and am just waiting on those Russian PIO caps to arrive from Romania.  How much difference did you notice between that new Genelex and the Black plate 12ax7?  Also have you by chance any experience comparing the Shuguang 50years CV181Z with NOS 6sn7 tubes?
 
May 28, 2015 at 10:54 AM Post #3 of 4

Xcalibur255

Headphoneus Supremus
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No problem Triodemode. 
 
I don't dislike the HP8, it punches just fine within its weight class with the proper tweaks.  I have a custom amp that performs better than anything else I've owned or heard, so my other amps are just not getting much play time these days and I don't like to own stuff that just sits around.
 
Primary difference in the Genalex was balance of tone, it is very even.  The NOS tubes seem to spotlight certain frequency ranges and sound less linear.  The Genalex also retrieves low level detail better.
 
I haven't dabbled in new production 6SN7s much so I can't offer you advice there.  I have stuck to NOS for 6SN7 in all of my tube rolling.  I can say the stock tubes that come with the HP8 are pretty awful.  Any NOS 6SN7, even the cheapest GTB, would be a nice step up.
 
May 28, 2015 at 7:35 PM Post #4 of 4

Triodemode

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Posts
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  No problem Triodemode. 
 
I don't dislike the HP8, it punches just fine within its weight class with the proper tweaks.  I have a custom amp that performs better than anything else I've owned or heard, so my other amps are just not getting much play time these days and I don't like to own stuff that just sits around.
 
Primary difference in the Genalex was balance of tone, it is very even.  The NOS tubes seem to spotlight certain frequency ranges and sound less linear.  The Genalex also retrieves low level detail better.
 
I haven't dabbled in new production 6SN7s much so I can't offer you advice there.  I have stuck to NOS for 6SN7 in all of my tube rolling.  I can say the stock tubes that come with the HP8 are pretty awful.  Any NOS 6SN7, even the cheapest GTB, would be a nice step up.

 
  No problem Triodemode. 
 
I don't dislike the HP8, it punches just fine within its weight class with the proper tweaks.  I have a custom amp that performs better than anything else I've owned or heard, so my other amps are just not getting much play time these days and I don't like to own stuff that just sits around.
 
Primary difference in the Genalex was balance of tone, it is very even.  The NOS tubes seem to spotlight certain frequency ranges and sound less linear.  The Genalex also retrieves low level detail better.
 
I haven't dabbled in new production 6SN7s much so I can't offer you advice there.  I have stuck to NOS for 6SN7 in all of my tube rolling.  I can say the stock tubes that come with the HP8 are pretty awful.  Any NOS 6SN7, even the cheapest GTB, would be a nice step up.


Thanks for the response Xcalibur255.  I will order that Genelex 12ax7 and a pair of NOS 6SN7.
 
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