PS Audio GCHA mini-review; some initial impressions
Mar 8, 2009 at 7:22 PM Post #16 of 22

vberch

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Lorne, how do you like the GCHA built-in DAC? How does it compare to the other DAC's you have?
 
Jul 15, 2009 at 4:21 AM Post #17 of 22

dukja

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I was really interested but also hesitated to get GCHA at the same time. Initial reading suggested that GCHA is a transparent, neutral, and detailed AMP with large soundstage, which is exactly what I was looking for. But the somewhat negative 6moons review made me wonder. But finally I got it due to a nice headfier's good deal.

Before GCHA, I just got Stelloo DA100. While DA100 works well for KICAS Caliente, I only felt good but not dramatic stepping up from my other DACs. But the moment I hooked up GCHA and DA100 with K702, I knew it was different from what I have heard. The details, clarity, and soundstage were improved with good measure. Unfortunately, GCHA did not provide enough bass power to help K702's low end. Also, the sound was a little thin with this combo.

Then, I switched to DT880 and HD600. Both have very good synergy with GCHA. GCHA tamed DT880's high and provided suitable weigth to the mid. Its polite but controlled low end matches with a little bloated DT880's bass well. The details and soundstage of DT880 was further enhanced by GCHA. When I listened to Joan Baze's "Diamond and Rust in the Bullring", I experienced the feeling of being emerged in the live concert the first time . The headphones really can disappear in this combo. I was pretty thrilled by such experience.

Later, I switched to HD600 with the same album. The soundstage/details of high freq is not up to DT880's level, but the positioning of mid-freq sound sources were better defined than DT880. HD600 pushed the singer and the audience farther away but the quality of mid is quite different than DT880. GCHA's clarity made HD600 much enjoyable to me.

This is my first amp that makes me appreciate the unique strength of each headphones respectively and like both equally well. None of my past amps powered HD600 to my liking yet, especially in the soundstage category.

I will say that GCHA is definitely a transparent amp, which really makes good sources such as DA100 shine. It has less reputation here, but it is the one really make me appreciate the sound of high quality AMP and DAC.
k701smile.gif
 
Jul 17, 2009 at 4:04 AM Post #18 of 22

dukja

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After some more time with this combination, I finally starts to enjoy HD600. The 3D soundstage, clarity, and detail are just great with vocal. Some of Mary Black's recordings just sound like I have never really enjoyed it before. Again, GCHA and DA100 easily make me feel the realistic presence of singer and forget about the headphone with good quality recording.

I have been searching the right amp for my phones at the price range < $500 but have never been happy with any when mated with both HD600 and DT880 (forget about K702 for the moment) and even highly regarded M3 seemed not working for me (alibi that I don't have DA100 at that time.) This GCHA really shows what a good SS amp can do for me. I wonder how GS-1 or Lehmann BCL will sound like. Certainly Dr. Meier's StageDAC will to be a good source for them.
k701smile.gif
 
Sep 15, 2010 at 12:17 AM Post #19 of 22

RockinCannoisseur

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Quote:
After some more time with this combination, I finally starts to enjoy HD600. The 3D soundstage, clarity, and detail are just great with vocal. Some of Mary Black's recordings just sound like I have never really enjoyed it before. Again, GCHA and DA100 easily make me feel the realistic presence of singer and forget about the headphone with good quality recording.

I have been searching the right amp for my phones at the price range < $500 but have never been happy with any when mated with both HD600 and DT880 (forget about K702 for the moment) and even highly regarded M3 seemed not working for me (alibi that I don't have DA100 at that time.) This GCHA really shows what a good SS amp can do for me. I wonder how GS-1 or Lehmann BCL will sound like. Certainly Dr. Meier's StageDAC will to be a good source for them.
k701smile.gif

bump
how does gcha compare to m^3? did u prefer gcha to m^3  why?
and anyone know how gcha compares to bcL or gs1?
thanks
 
 
Sep 15, 2010 at 8:45 AM Post #20 of 22

Frank I

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Nice impressions. Would you describe the sound of the PS Audio as warm or neutral. Also how is the power it seems to have spec on their website as putting out 1.7W. Interesting amp that really never got no love here IMO.
 
Dec 12, 2010 at 3:15 PM Post #21 of 22

amandela77

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I agree with much of what has been said above. I think the original 1K price, while not outrageous, didn't make a lot of sense for those with cans that only cost 250-400 bucks. New GCHAs are now available for about 400 bucks from outlets like Music Direct, but supplies are limited.
 
The unit I own sounds a tad laid-back, with lovely bass tonality, a very clean midrange, and sweet, slighty rolled-off highs. The amp resolves inner detail suprisingly well. A great deal at 400 or less. I got mine as a demo for 350 with free 2nd day air shipping from MD.
 
Do not pay more than 400 for used units......    
 
Aug 23, 2020 at 12:27 AM Post #22 of 22

arjuna93

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Anyone compared it to Chord Toucan?
 

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