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Okay looks like I'm in the minority on this one.
I will not ask many questions and I actually have not read all of posts on this thread so if this question already asked & answered, please accept my apology.
I am about to purchase HD600 and would like to pair with tube amp. I was told that Crack+Speedball combo is the best one to go with. However, it is very hard to find it local where I live and I do not have time & skill to build it my own (Yeah.. I am terrible with soldering and last one that i did was over 20 years ago when I was in school).
My shortlist is Schiit amps (Vali2 or Valhalla 2), Garage project (Starlight, Sunrise, Horizon, Ember).
What confuse me the most is those 4 different tube amps from Garage project. Why there are 4 different ones that looks more or less same to me is beyond me. I guess that Ember is the flagship so it is the best one to go for. Correct me if I am wrong.
1. Has anyone have Schiit tube amps as well as Garage Project tube amps and pairing with HD600 and can share their experience a bit?
I have SS amp for other headphones and this tube amp will mainly be used for HD600.
2. If I understood correctly, HD600 matches the best with OTL tube amps such as Crack due to high impedence and low noise from OTL.
Is Garage Project also OTL? And does it matter to be OTL?
3. What would be ideal tube type for HD600? Is Philips PCC88 is better than stock tubes that Schiit & GarageProject provides for HD600?
I guess that above questions come down to which one would be better for HD600 between Schiit and GarageProject.
Thank you very much for reading my post and love to hearing from you.
I know what you mean but I don't actually notice much difference to be honest. The open structure helps a lot in that respect, I think. My Mac, on the other hand, is running very hot these days. Worryingly so actually
If you come onto DIYAH, the guy who designed them is there and will answer all of your questions on the Garage amps. His name is Solderdude and there is a big thread there on them. He goes into great detail concerning the design differences when asked. There is a difference in output power between them.
My favourite of the tube ones is the Ember, but I found the Sunrise and Horizon extremely good as well. Nowadays, I use the Polaris more.
Thank you for your response.... Hmmm. I feel dumb to ask.... What is DIYAH? Is it the designer of Garage amp's name who happen to be a member of headfi?
And if I understood you correctly, your fav is Ember but you use Polaris more because it is more convenient and easier to match with other headphones. Correct?
No worries. I found DIYAH by googling it. It is DIY Audio Heaven Forum, right?
DIYAH has 139 pages of thread...... Not sure If I can go through them.
What other alternatives do we have?
I'd personally recommend the Project Sunrise, but if you're getting your first tube amp, the Ember is a better choice because it's plug 'n' play.
I've owned Ember, Horizon, Sunrise, and Polaris. I still have and use the Horizon and Sunrise.
Yes, that's it. I'm 'Rabbit' on there. Yes, there are a lot of pages since it was started when the amps came out. Solderdude was discussing design aspects etc with us while designing.
I use the Polaris because it's better with low impedance headphones than the Ember. Lower noise floor and more options to reduce power. I also like it's sound which is slightly less 'tubey' than the Ember.
Thank you very much. After receiving your recommendation, I dig Project website and this is what I found.
Starlight - Opamps
Sunrise - OTL, Class A amp. (Yeah...It is OTL amp.. Where where you hiding when I search for OTL..). but this is only for 32~300ohm headphones. HD600 is 300 ohm so might be stretching?
Horizon - OTL, Class A amp. Sister amp to Sunrise but this is gear towards high impedence headphone between 120~600ohm
Ember - Not sure if this is OTL. Doesn't say. But it says, "Auto bias. Simply plug in a tube from a long list of 6 & 12V dual triodes and it will bias itself" God knows what this mean... It says that it is quite groundbreaking and it is flagship so it must be good.
Polaris - Solid State amp with lot of features and tweaks. Oh....i am tempted with all those options to play with. But I was told HD600 is better with tube amps so not now, Polaris...
It looks like either Sunrise or Horizon would be it. Is Sunrise powerful enough for HD600?
Thank you... I will try to read the site whenever I can... I just ordered Grace M9xx so not looking for another SS amp. If I do not like M9xx, I will seriously consider Polaris.
Have you tried 6SNT tubes? I find the sound is very clean, less tubey than the Noval tube type.
May I know your comment about the difference sound signature between them?
Russian 6n6p. Ill look at the package when I get home. But my favorite tune of all and the one I almost always use is a 6sn7 with adapter, also sourced via dealers pick from Jeremy. I have a Polaris too and I just do not think you can beat it fur the $. But I prefer the sound of tubes just slightly, the difference is subtle.
Email Garage1217. I do slightly prefer the Horizon with my HD650, but the Sunrise does power them nicely as well.
I have both so I can cover a wider range of headphones.