Review: Glow Audio Amp One w/ Denon Lawton D2000, K701, HD650, ER-4S, Audio Tech AD2000, DT880/600
Aug 26, 2010 at 9:51 PM Post #31 of 54

AustinHorn

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1st, let me say excellent review.
 
2. I had a Woo 6 amp & got second degree burns from it. I guess it was as somebody said, "warm". But I admit it was all my fault & I was stupid for it to have happened.
 
3. The number of posts on this forum doesn't necessarily equate to audio expertise/experience. Some of us work/worked for a living & posting 10,000 times isn't/wasn't as important as feeding our families. I was working with speakers, amps, receivers, headphones, before most of the guys on this site were born, but that doesn't mean much either. I've learned a lot on this site from guys with 10 posts & from others that had thousands, & everything in between. I've also seen that how smart/stupid someone is has nothing to do with post count.
 
4. I have a 2008v of the Glow Amp One. I didn't buy it for a headphone amp. It is, as the company says, a really outstanding speaker amp, that just happens to have a semi-usable headphone jack. I listen to it on my Omega XRS hemps, my Klipsch Kliphorns, & especially on my Hornshoppe Horns. If it was just a headphone amp, I'd sell it, & get something else cause that headphone jack drives me nuts. But as a speaker amp, it make heavenly sounds.  It sounds great too with my HE-5LEs, when I can get it to work!
 
5.I have heard the new version of the Glow using several headphones. I'd recommend it to anyone who wanted a nice headphone amp & who also wanted to drive some efficient speakers like the Hornshoppe Horns or Omegas, or any Klipsch speaker. Besides being a quality sounding amp, it has a very, very high WAF.
 
6. As strictly a headphone amp, would I buy it over the Woo 3, YES. Over the Woo 6 or beyond NO WAY!!!!! But me, I'd probably buy a DACport &/or A Elekit TU882 instead & save a few bucks for better cables.
 
7. Regarding heat, the Glow gets no hotter than most of my other amps. Try picking up a Schiit Asgard (wonderful ss amp buy the way) sometime after it has been on an hour or so. I've run my Glow 24/7 on several occasions w/o worry during initial burn-in. Now watch it burn my house down tonight! You just never know with electronics.
 
The above is MHO & is worth only what it cost you! All the best to everyone, regardless of your post count. Again, I enjoyed your review, Kouzelna, a lot! Nice Job!
 
Aug 27, 2010 at 12:10 AM Post #33 of 54

AustinHorn

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Well, I'm old & all the specifics elude me, but the Woo 6 (which I got when it was 1st released, had a huge soundstage & that warm tube sound that was very non-fatiguing (I could listen all night & sometimes did). It was tube friendly, & didn't have the tube rolling restrictions one has now with the Glow.  Also, and this isn't a small thing, there was zero frustration with trying to get any particular headphone plug to work with it.  I don't have both amps now but I do have 3 really good tube amps now & I have a better headphone/cable combo now than I ever had with the Woo, so I can say when I get my HE-5LE to work right with the Glow, it does sound as good as any amp I think I've owned. But o-ring fix doesn't seem to work 100% with it so any positive comments I can make about the euphoric sound, is very colored by the frustration of losing one channel or the other at some critical point in a song.  That never happened with the Woo nor with my current Doge 6210, my new, just built, Elekit TU882AS, or my old Bada hybrid or any solid state amp I now own or ever owned. So again for my current 2008 Glow, headphone frustration colors my overall view of what it does or can do. When it works right, and it does with several of my headphones, it sounds glorious. But most of the time I just use my other headphone amps when I have WAF noise issues & listen to the Glow pushing my speakers when I don't. Best of both worlds.
 
Now if your headphones all work well with your Glow, you're good to go & my guess is you wouldn't hear much difference in sound between your amp & anything under $1500/$2000, but some of that has to do with the source, your music, & you're own biases & preferences. What I can tell you, as a speaker amp, that little Glow is as good as I've ever heard with the right speakers. That was why it was created & what it does best. When you can, buy yourself some nice single driver speakers like I mentioned above or some Klipsch speakers, & you'll be shocked at how good music can sound, & for so little money. You can get Hornshoppe Horns on AudiogoN for less than $500, in most cases, & with the Glow & some good cables, you will have sound that will rival $20,000+ setups. I used to have McIntosh amp separates/Wilson Watt Puppy speaker setup back in the day & I can tell you I prefer what I listen to now through my little yellow Glow amp feeding any set of my horns. It just doesn't get any better than that IMHO.
 
So bottom line, the Glow loses out headphone-wise, mostly due to the stated technical problem & also, & more importantly, because of it's tube rolling restrictions. The Woo can be made to please almost any musical taste because of it's flexibility & that really isn't true of the little Glow. Still, I love it for what it is & what it can do with all the speakers I restore, mostly Klipsch. It has been my testing amp for almost 3 years & I have lots of other choices.
 
I'm not sure I answered your question, I tend to ramble, but I tried. Besides, you obviously like what you are hearing, you don't seem to have my plug-in problems, so you're good to go. Buy yourself some good tubes & enjoy. But down the line get yourself some nice horns & go to the next level with the Glow & let it do what it does best - drive speakers to produce heavenly sound! 
 
I'm a headphone guy, but I am also a speaker guy too, & the best sounds I've ever heard came from an amp driving a speaker. So far, no headphone I've heard can quite duplicate it. The T1, HD800s, come close, as does my favorite, the HE-5LE & maybe the new HE-6 will get even closer, but it is still a work-in-progress. If any headphone could equal the sound of the top speakers, no one would spend $100,000+ on speakers & amps, but a lot of people do. So we're just not there yet. Close, but no cigar!
 
Aug 27, 2010 at 12:20 AM Post #34 of 54

Kouzelna

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Both the tube rolling problem, and the headphone jack issue, on the '08 amps are repairable/modifiable by a professional repair center in Culver City (LA), for a very low cost.  They are authorized to work on all Glow units, for both warranty and other repair work.  Just FYI.
 
Yes, I'd love to get some hot speakers and hear that Glow roar!  But I live in a tiny apartment, with neighbors on both sides.  So that's not going to happen.
 
And again, I listen to headphones for far different reasons than I listen to speakers.  I don't consider them comparable experiences, but take each on its own merit.
 
Some day, when I have that castle on the island... I'll have some pretty hot speakers!  But gone are the days I had a set of Polk SRS 1.2 with an Adcom GFA-555 SS amp in my dorm room!  (That's the 1.2 in the back/center)
 

 
Aug 27, 2010 at 11:14 PM Post #35 of 54

AustinHorn

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Man those look like some serious commercial speakers! I don't have a room that could handle them & knowing Polks as I do no small 5-10 watt set amp is gonna light them up either. Maybe some high end Krell or Mcintosh ss amp/preamplifier combos. My guess something in the 250w range would be ideal is my guess!

Regarding having speakers in your app. Unless the walls are wall paper thin, you could get a set of Omegas or Hornshoppe horns & use them to play music in the background or at normal levels. These aren't bass heavy w/o a sub so you could enjoy it & not disturb anyone. Ofcouse if you are a heavy metal guy, no set amp will satisfy your itch. They excel at Jazz,Classical, & certain kinds of electronic music using single driver speakers.
I guess it would be possible to disturb your neighbors of course, but it would have to be intentional. With the Glow you hear everything in the recording w/o having to crank it up tear splitting levels. It isn't like some big box store mid price receiver. Try it, you'll like it &youwomt get run out of your appartment.
 
Aug 28, 2010 at 12:20 AM Post #36 of 54

AustinHorn

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Say, I might be interested in the plug-in upgrade. Could you send me the contact info: Name, address, phone #, & if important, the right contact person at the shop.  Don't know if I'd be interested in the tube rolling work 'cause I'm really happy with the sound I get from my speakers with the amp as it is now. Would worry the fix/upgrade might change the synergy that exists now between the source, amp, cables, speakers. Maybe unfounded, but when you stumble into something you really love, you don't want to mess with it.
 
Sep 4, 2010 at 2:08 PM Post #37 of 54

Kouzelna

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Len at HRS Records in Culver City does the work, and he's a really nice guy too.  Very helpful by phone, and the price is right.  Good luck!  And I know what you mean about the Glow, I've thought of other things but I love the sound so much, and the synergy with my AKG K701 is so perfect, that I wouldn't dare changing anything.
 
Oct 2, 2010 at 1:47 AM Post #38 of 54

Kouzelna

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I don't know if I mentioned this or not, but in case I didn't, I got a 230-ohm resistance cable from a fellow Head-Fier, which bumped my AKG K701 to (I think) 295 Ohms.  The hum problem completely and totally went away, at any volume level. Awesome!
 
 
Oct 2, 2010 at 6:16 PM Post #39 of 54

Armaegis

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I found the cable to slightly alter the tonal characteristics as well. Generally a slightly tighter low end and light attenuation in the highs, which was useful for taking the sharp bite out of some cans.
 
Nov 13, 2010 at 5:08 PM Post #40 of 54

falis

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I like the amp ('08 version).  But, the headphone jack issue really pisses me off.  I sent it back to AudioMagus where I bought it and they supposedly fixed it, but it wasn't fixed.  I tried all the O-ring games both before and after the supposed repair.  Then AudioMagus changed ownership.  So I asked Patrick whether he could do something about it, and he basically blew me off and said I could send it to that place near LA to get it fixed for a price.  I'm on the east coast, so the shipping is heavy along with whatever the repair price may be, to correct something that has never worked as advertised. I'm not happy about that at all since I already went through one episode of shipping the thing out to the west coast to supposedly fix it.
 
- Ed
 
Nov 13, 2010 at 8:26 PM Post #41 of 54

Kouzelna

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Falis,

 

I'm really sorry your headphone jack issue is more complicated than mine, the .5 rubber O-ring solved it fully with all the headphones I've used that have the problem.  Some don't, some do.  Don't want to make you mad, but can you try different sized O-rings?  My headphones work perfectly without issue with the right one (.5 for mine, on several different cans).  I've had no issues since then, and there is no problem with the jack seating poorly or the plugs getting loose, even with the O-rings attached.

 

As Patrick I guess told you, these guys have tons of experience with the Amp One and it's where Glow sends their warranty work:

 

 

[size=medium]hrsrecords.com[/size][size=medium][size=large] [/size][/size][size=medium][size=large]-[/size][/size][size=medium][size=large] History of Recorded Sound[/size][/size]
[size=medium]8517 Washington Blvd., Culver City, California 90232 U.S.A.[/size]
[size=medium][size=small]Phone/Fax[/size][/size][size=medium] (310) 204[/size][size=medium]-[/size][size=medium]4911[/size]


 

 

I've been dealing with Len over there, (len@hrsrecords.com) and he's been awesome.  But yes, it costs money, which is why I did not send it in.  Again, I solved my problem with the headphone jack using the simple O-ring for all my headphones that didn't fit right (some do), and it made no sense to spend money to fix what essentially worked fine with a cheap fix.  Sorry yours seems more complicated than that.

 

 

I've never personally had any issues with Glow getting back to me via email, or Patrick being uninterested in any way, though it can take several days for him to get back as he is a full-time working professional who travels back and forth to China doing quality control, and thus is not always available to answer immediately.  But he always gets back to me, and takes a lot of time to write very comprehensive emails openly explaining their problems and solutions in full, and providing lots of helpful info and advice.  I bought my amp direct from Glow for that reason, and they've never let me down.

 

The reason I went with Glow instead of Woo, which was my original first choice, is because whenever I wrote Woo I got a short email response if any - many times I got none at all.  I may be mistaken, but I got the impression that it was a kind of elite company that has enough business that it doesn't have to worry about its small customers.  That may or may not be true, but what I do know is that I wanted a company that would be willing to work with me personally, and help me get the most out of what, for me, was a pretty large investment.  It turned out well, as I feel that I know Patrick and he's always available to help me get the most out of my Glow and is always looking out for my best interests with the product. 

 

Also, for other thread posters, by attaching a homemade cable from another Head-Fier that bumps my 65-ohm K701 to 295-ohm (155 as previously listed), I have zero hum whatsoever at all volumes.  Glow does specify 300-ohm minimum for best results.

 

As for the DAC, I never use it, but that info you posted on your other thread, Falis, is good to know.

 

Hope that helps, d.

 
Feb 17, 2012 at 2:46 AM Post #43 of 54

Kouzelna

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Just a thread resurrection here.
 
Wondering if anyone else has used/enjoyed the Glow and would like to post.  To me, it appears to be a really unappreciated amp.  I myself have never heard another amp that sounded as good with my headphones, and most especially considering the great price.  
 
If you've used / owned the amp and would like to post your thoughts, please do!  It'd be great to chat about it.
 
Also, I'm really interested in any comparisons someone who's owned both would like to make with the Woo WA3 or WA6.  The WA6 will be my new amp, once I get settled this summer after I move.  I'll be using it with either a K702 or Q701.
 
Looking forward to hearing from some of you!  (Hopefully...)
 
Apr 13, 2012 at 9:41 PM Post #44 of 54

AustinHorn

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Hey it still looks like there are just a few of us here on this particular site that have had the pleasure. Most reviews hipe it primarily as an amp to drive highly efficient speakers, often desktop speakers. As we previously discussed, the headphone jack issues with the early models like mine, didn't help with it's lack of headphone popularity, I find that I still use mine to drive speakers & due to its location, rarely use it with my headphones.

Since we last talked about the Glow, I've really gone nuts & have gone through dacs, amps, & headphones like a man possessed. I still love tube sound over ss in general but do love my Phoenix balanced amp a lot. I have & still like my maxed out modded Woo WA6 a lot but to be honest even with over $1000+ invested in improvements & high end tubes that collectively cost more than the amp, I don' think it is a lot better when pleaded from a laptop or iPhone than my old Glow. So if I had one, I now don't think I'd buy the other. You'd have to go to the maxed SE model I think to hear a meaningful improvement. Even then, from just the USB link, the bennifits would be sorta small for your investment dollar. The fact is that the Glow One, in my humble opinion ! Is one heck of an amp.

Hope all is well with you these days. I stay too busy to post a lot & most of the postings I do make are on sites more devoted to speakers & speaker related gear. My headphone craze has more to do with the fact that my wife is home a lot more now so I've been driven over to headphones as my fall back position. I'm sure I'm not the only music lover that that has happened to. Plus with all the recent advances in dap & mobile technology, it is now possible to have near desktop music quality with you when you are on the go! I love that.
 
Apr 14, 2012 at 3:26 AM Post #45 of 54

Kouzelna

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Funny, when I was married what got me into my beloved ER-4 was that my wife, who could sleep through  a Martian invasion in our living room, couldn't sleep through my HD650. 
 
But anyway... that's a really cool post, and I'll keep that in mind when I rebuy my gear after I move.  Perhaps I'll just pass on the Woo and stick with the Glow, since I love it anyway.  Considering that I'll be using a Nano as my source, what the heck?
 
Thanks for the post.  Sad though that more people haven't heard the amp.  I felt it was the cleanest, best sounding amp I'd ever heard to this day.  
 

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