QUICK help: First tube amp purchase
Nov 27, 2009 at 8:49 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 13

stang

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Well since the Black Friday deals are on right now at Head-Direct.com I was wondering about purhcasing a tube amp for the first time If I can spare the cash
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I am thinking about some RE0 for portability unamped, Westone UM3X with my P-51 Mustang amp, which leaves my ATH-AD700 for gaming and my unused (but dearly loved) Grado SR-225 with no fun to be had
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So which would be a good starting tube amp from Head-Direct.com or the Little Dot MKIII for around $200aud from ebay. From Head-Direct I am looking at the Qinpu A3 for $139 and the HifiMan EF 2, the Darkvoice 336 classic would b nice but would mean I couldn't get the RE0's, which I really need. So should I get the Qinpu A3, HifiMan EF2 or Little Dot MKIII with Grado SR-225 and listening to Rock and Metal and prefer to have more treble and not as much bass, hence I am not enjoying my UM3X as much as i expected
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Quick reponses will be greatly appreciated. Sorry if this has already been discussed, the deals are only on for two days I heard and limited quanitity is available. Thanks
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Nov 27, 2009 at 10:04 AM Post #2 of 13

estreeter

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The EF2 is often recommended as a good starter amp for those new to tubes - see HPAs thread for recommendations re the best tubes for this amp.
 
Nov 27, 2009 at 10:29 AM Post #3 of 13

stang

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Thanks for the reply
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I have decided I will be using the tube amp with my computer, so yeah, the EF2 will most likely better because i understand it has a DAC. Would buying something like the Little Dot MKIII and a seperate DAC be a better idea? Or would the EF2 cut it? I don't think I will be getting some 2.1 speakers any time soon, may change though. My budget is about $300aud right now but I am trying to sell me Logitech G51 on ebay.com.au to get some extra cash, which might push my budget up to $450 or so.
 
Nov 27, 2009 at 3:01 PM Post #4 of 13

Skylab

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EF2 is a better choice for your Grado's than the LD or DV amps would be. Start there, and you can always upgrade the DAC later if you feel it's needed. The EF2 is a nice little amp.
 
Nov 27, 2009 at 4:02 PM Post #5 of 13

bass_nut

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Little Dot mk ll (mine is modified, added 1/8' output jack)
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plus external dac
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these combination sound great with my Grados/Alessandros (MS1, MS2i, sr325iS, HF-2) and my friends' headphones (sr225, denon ah-d2000)

most of the time i listen to rock/pop, nam, new wave, disco... lossless files ripped from CDs

YMMV

cost: approximately USD260.00 (LD mk ll + SuperPro Dac)
 
Nov 27, 2009 at 11:17 PM Post #6 of 13

stang

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Skylab /img/forum/go_quote.gif
EF2 is a better choice for your Grado's than the LD or DV amps would be. Start there, and you can always upgrade the DAC later if you feel it's needed. The EF2 is a nice little amp.


Thanks Skylab
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I think I may get the EF2 because it is a tube amp, I have never seen one in real person yet alone heard one :p The Little Dot MKIII on ebay is just over $200usd (easily under $250us) and the EF2 from Head-Direct is $189 but also has a DAC which will be very useful. Without the DAC (I might upgrade to a better DAC down the road), which is a more powerful and richer, more detailed amp? I don't plan on tube rolling, but I may for fun
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Nov 27, 2009 at 11:22 PM Post #7 of 13

stang

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Wow bass nut, that DAC looks fantastic! I love all the inputs and outputs! I have never owned a DAC, but I am guessing I only need to plug in a USB cable from computer to the DAC? No need to plug in Coax or Optical at the SAME time?
 
Nov 28, 2009 at 12:06 PM Post #8 of 13

Mr C

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Unless you have the cash to go straight to little dot III+ and a DAC I'd recommend getting the ef2
Then whe you have some spare cash get a good DAC, and some time later sell the EF2 and get a little dot 3+ or a dark voice.
 
Nov 28, 2009 at 12:09 PM Post #9 of 13

stang

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Hehe just purchased the Qinpu A3, $139usd. On sale from $239! Now I am looking at a Zero DAC, nothing too fancy. There are too many Zero DAC's lol. Some have no USB included, some have the OPA627 and others have the OPA2604. From my understanding, the Zero DAC with USB and OPA627 is the best out of those.
 
Nov 28, 2009 at 3:46 PM Post #10 of 13

mrarroyo

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Skylab /img/forum/go_quote.gif
EF2 is a better choice for your Grado's than the LD or DV amps would be. Start there, and you can always upgrade the DAC later if you feel it's needed. The EF2 is a nice little amp.


I also agree, the EF2 is a very nice sounding amp. I would, when you have time try to buy a pair of NOS Sylvania or similar tubes. However use the stock tubes to burn in the EF2, it should bring many happy smiles to your face.
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Nov 28, 2009 at 3:53 PM Post #11 of 13

stang

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Thanks for all your help
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I have chosen the Qinpu A3 and Zero DAC with OPA627 and USB. I think I will go via: Computer(Optical)>Zero DAC(RCA)>Qinpu A3>Grado SR-225.
I think I will have my Zero on the right side of my desk, because my computer is on the right side, allowing for a 1 metre optical cable to be used and the Qinpu A3 on the left side, allowing for 1.5M RCA cables to be used. I think I will be buying a Brightvision Pro Audio 1.0m TOSLINK Optical Digital Cable - BA-118 and Brightvision Pro Audio 2 RCA plug to 2 RCA plug - BA 5409. I can get like $70 RCA cables that look VERY nice but are only 1 metre, I will need 1.5m and have a little bit of slack, 1M will be VERY close.
 
Nov 28, 2009 at 4:19 PM Post #12 of 13

Mr C

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You know that the zero dac is actually a DAC/AMP, its a good DAC but not as good as dedicated dacs at the same price.
 
Nov 28, 2009 at 4:21 PM Post #13 of 13

stang

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Well at around $150aud I figured it'd b a great starting DAC. This is a home rig, So i want a relatively large DAC, not something like a small Pico DAC lol. Well better go to bed, 3:21AM :S
 

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