SS amp with big 3d soundstage
Jul 22, 2022 at 6:30 AM Post #31 of 52

Whazzzup

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 26, 2014
Posts
9,556
Likes
11,600
Location
Toronto, Canada
Well I don’t know what tubes sound like and I’m terrified of them. I’m a transparency guy. for me it’s easy, I’m not trying to sound like something, nor adding something, nor eq ing something to sound like something. I’m a bit older so transparency actually doesn’t bother me at all. But I guess I’ll just through this out for the wallet, the source, roon/hqp based music server makes everything better, my TT is a little old school and with less taps less pulse arrays it’s has a dark edge and slam, so gsx mk2 picks that up with amazing accuracy through audio quest fire balanced xlr. Oh I find balanced ss amps from end to end to my liking. Any way good luck. I’m in a suburb in Toronto, and also a little lazy, never heard any equipment in my chain before purchasing. So keep asking, and at some point it’s a leap of fate
 
Jul 22, 2022 at 9:36 AM Post #32 of 52

nagi8404

Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 25, 2021
Posts
86
Likes
220
Location
Japan
Luxman P-750u.
The amp that made me done with every other amp.
If only it has enough power for susvaras
 
Jul 22, 2022 at 9:43 AM Post #33 of 52

Rayon

Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 27, 2017
Posts
84
Likes
127
Luxman P-750u.
The amp that made me done with every other amp.
If only it has enough power for susvaras
Have you heard HPA-1 btw and how would you compare those? Also what exactly made p-750u your choice?
 
Jul 22, 2022 at 10:22 AM Post #34 of 52

helljudgement

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Posts
698
Likes
651
I wouldn't classify tube amps as the bee's knees but I do enjoy the sound they make with dynamic driver headphones like your Utopia. Their seemingly nebulous sound staging and euphonic nature are some of the more appealing aspect I enjoy with tube amps. But I hate tube rolling so I just use my tube amps as though they were solid state meaning I don't roll tubes unless absolutely necessary. This rids of all the nervosa surrounding tubes for me. Tube are generally very durable often lasting years before needing to switch out and I often saw hobbyist changing their amps way before their first pair of tubes burn out. A set of tubes and a pair of RCA cables are all I need to enjoy the tube setup.

The only thing I like in tubes is the sound they produce. I've also always put my wife test different setups I've had and she has always liked the things she has heard, but I've never seen her reacting the way she reacted after she tried Hugo 2 -> Feliks Euforia AE -> Sony MDR-Z1R. She has always liked what she heard but this time her face was completely different and her reaction was like she had been on an LSD trip. I had the same reaction. The sound is completely different Hugo 2 -> MDR-Z1R directly or through Phonitor, Topping A90 etc. Also TA-ZH1ES pales in comparison even though that should be THE dac/amp to use with MDR-Z1R, so I'm 100% sure that there is something in Euforia that changes the sound into a direction that I personally like.
You might want to consider just using it as is and ignore the whole tube culture aspect like I did. Understanding that tube roll is akin to buying new gears like headphones or amplifier and ignoring that aspect of it completely changes my perspective of using tube amps. You already like what you're hearing so why stressed getting a completely new amp just to emulate what is essentially your preferred sound that you already own. Chances are you'll be blind buying and worst case may even end up not liking the new amp. Ignore tube rolling and you'll be in a much better place both in mind and wallet.
 
Jul 22, 2022 at 10:23 AM Post #35 of 52

nagi8404

Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 25, 2021
Posts
86
Likes
220
Location
Japan
Have you heard HPA-1 btw and how would you compare those? Also what exactly made p-750u your choice?
Unfortunately haven't tried the HPA-1.
You can read Steve Guttenberg's review of the Luxman. He compared it against the HPA-1 and gave the edge to Luxman.

I ended up with the Luxman amp since I live in Japan, it's easy to find one. Plus I was able to find a P-750u Ltd version, of which only 100 were made.
They released a Mk2 version but only for the Japan market, and they have discontinued the P-750u Mk1 overseas.

In terms of sonic performance, it fits the bill for my requirement.
Have something that's resolving but not glarey, and something that can convey 3 dimensional space well for that extra realism.
I listen almost exclusively jazz and classical on the HD800S, and as you might know it's one really picky headphone.

I went from SMSL SP-200 > RME-ADI2 Direct > Cayin iHA-6 > ifi Pro iCAN > DNA Stratus > Luxman P-750uL
 
Jul 22, 2022 at 2:46 PM Post #36 of 52

buke9

Headphoneus Supremus
Help and Recommendation Contributor
Joined
Feb 21, 2015
Posts
9,443
Likes
2,169
Location
Kentucky
There all good equipment and comes down to preferences. I have not tried utopia but hd800S, there’s lots of propoganda about tubes on that thread and it’s superior to ss. There’s lots of propaganda about gsx too, being sibilant. Untrue at all, it’s just fast, transparent, so if your source goes low with a wide stage, guess what, that’s what you get…. Maybe propaganda is a harsh word, how about cognitive dissonance through preferences. Some folks like oversampled warm sounds, some folks pay dearly for susvara and it’s harmonious presentation, some prefer hd800S for its soundstage and speed some want even faster hits like utopia. So have fun just realize the amp can drive stuff, but the scenery is in the source and projects through the dac, ymmv and imo
I agree with you on tubes and 800S(800 in my case). I have a Bottlehead Crack,Amps and Sound Kenzie and Monoprice Cavalli Liquid Platinum and while they do sound good on them I have to say my Audio GD Master 9 is my favorite with my HD-800’s.
 
Jul 22, 2022 at 4:33 PM Post #37 of 52

Rayon

Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 27, 2017
Posts
84
Likes
127
I wouldn't classify tube amps as the bee's knees but I do enjoy the sound they make with dynamic driver headphones like your Utopia. Their seemingly nebulous sound staging and euphonic nature are some of the more appealing aspect I enjoy with tube amps. But I hate tube rolling so I just use my tube amps as though they were solid state meaning I don't roll tubes unless absolutely necessary. This rids of all the nervosa surrounding tubes for me. Tube are generally very durable often lasting years before needing to switch out and I often saw hobbyist changing their amps way before their first pair of tubes burn out. A set of tubes and a pair of RCA cables are all I need to enjoy the tube setup.


You might want to consider just using it as is and ignore the whole tube culture aspect like I did. Understanding that tube roll is akin to buying new gears like headphones or amplifier and ignoring that aspect of it completely changes my perspective of using tube amps. You already like what you're hearing so why stressed getting a completely new amp just to emulate what is essentially your preferred sound that you already own. Chances are you'll be blind buying and worst case may even end up not liking the new amp. Ignore tube rolling and you'll be in a much better place both in mind and wallet.
There are some aspects to Euforias sound that I like, but it feels like it's not the end game for me. Tubes feel wrong, but they do some things better than ss, for now.

Wise words though, you gave me food for thought.
 
Jul 22, 2022 at 4:37 PM Post #38 of 52

Rayon

Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 27, 2017
Posts
84
Likes
127
Unfortunately haven't tried the HPA-1.
You can read Steve Guttenberg's review of the Luxman. He compared it against the HPA-1 and gave the edge to Luxman.

I ended up with the Luxman amp since I live in Japan, it's easy to find one. Plus I was able to find a P-750u Ltd version, of which only 100 were made.
They released a Mk2 version but only for the Japan market, and they have discontinued the P-750u Mk1 overseas.

In terms of sonic performance, it fits the bill for my requirement.
Have something that's resolving but not glarey, and something that can convey 3 dimensional space well for that extra realism.
I listen almost exclusively jazz and classical on the HD800S, and as you might know it's one really picky headphone.

I went from SMSL SP-200 > RME-ADI2 Direct > Cayin iHA-6 > ifi Pro iCAN > DNA Stratus > Luxman P-750uL
Thanks, very helpful. How would you compare Stratus and Luxman btw? Do you miss something in Stratus when using Luxman and if yes, what? Does Luxman sound lean or bones without the meat in comparison? Is Stratus more emotional or cinematic?
 
Last edited:
Jul 22, 2022 at 8:33 PM Post #39 of 52

buke9

Headphoneus Supremus
Help and Recommendation Contributor
Joined
Feb 21, 2015
Posts
9,443
Likes
2,169
Location
Kentucky
There are some aspects to Euforias sound that I like, but it feels like it's not the end game for me. Tubes feel wrong, but they do some things better than ss, for now.

Wise words though, you gave me food for thought.
Well haven’t heard the Euphoria but have heard the Amps and Sound Red October and the Woo WA-23. These are Endgame tube amps . The Red October is getting it but have to hear the WA-23 again .
 
Jul 22, 2022 at 11:44 PM Post #40 of 52

Rayon

Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 27, 2017
Posts
84
Likes
127
Well haven’t heard the Euphoria but have heard the Amps and Sound Red October and the Woo WA-23. These are Endgame tube amps . The Red October is getting it but have to hear the WA-23 again .
I mean, as a tube amp, it is to me. But to me it's not an end game because it's a tube. Just wanted to live with it for a while.
 
Jul 23, 2022 at 6:58 AM Post #41 of 52

nagi8404

Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 25, 2021
Posts
86
Likes
220
Location
Japan
Thanks, very helpful. How would you compare Stratus and Luxman btw? Do you miss something in Stratus when using Luxman and if yes, what? Does Luxman sound lean or bones without the meat in comparison? Is Stratus more emotional or cinematic?
Hey man, I'll also reply to your PM here.

Sony has long far departed from the hi-fi market so they don't make good products anymore. I've had SCD-1, the world's first SACD player.
It sounded great but was super slow at reading the TOC and failed to read some of my SACDs even with laser replacement.

If you're looking at Japanese brands, the major ones are Esoteric > TAD> Accuphase > SoulNote > Luxman > TEAC/Marantz/Denon/Yamaha/Technics.
In order of average pricing.

Stratus was meatier, but it didn't really strike to me as the stereotypical "tubey" sound. I've heard HA-300 Mk1 on a friend's house and it was much smoother and warmer.
But even so I didn't quite find the Stratus to be revealing enough. Something that I attribute to cheap tubes, but if I'm going to spend on EML and NOS tubes I can buy a new amplifier with it.

P-750u is not sterile or lean like what most THX amps do. It leans slightly warm.
You can watch Currawong's review.



If you're looking for an all in one DAC/Pre/HPA/Streamer, look for TEAC UD-701N or Esoteric N-05XD.
 
Jul 23, 2022 at 12:09 PM Post #42 of 52

helljudgement

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Posts
698
Likes
651
There are some aspects to Euforias sound that I like, but it feels like it's not the end game for me. Tubes feel wrong, but they do some things better than ss, for now.
Perhaps I misunderstood your initial goal of getting a solid state amp. I was under the impression that you like what you're hearing but dislike the idea of tube maintenance and culture surrounding it and much prefer the hassle free no nonsense trait of ss amps. Apart from talks about absence of distortion in ss and your preference towards tubes when it comes to sound, there's been no mention of ss vs tubes sound up till this point.
I'm personally definitely a tube guy sound wise, but ss guy in that I love simplicity. I hate dealing with tubes and everything that come with them (neurosis about tube rolling and that I can't afford "the best tubes", warm up time, being afraid about exploding my ears etc). The only thing I like in tubes is the sound they produce.
But now you're saying tube feels wrong and not end game for you?? Don't take this the wrong way but it is really confusing and quite oxymoronic.

Would you mind expanding a bit more on what you feel is wrong with tubes in terms of sonics and what aspect of sound you look for when it comes to end game since you've mentioned the Euforia doesn't 'feel' end game. What is lacking in Euforia when compared to the ss you've own and heard? That way we can better understand your train of thought and what you're looking for and can point you towards gear more suited for your needs and preference. Frankly speaking, if you're just looking for a Euforia sound in ss form you won't find it. I've also yet to experience a ss that does soundstage better than the tubes specifically DHT tubes.
 
Jul 23, 2022 at 12:49 PM Post #43 of 52

Rayon

Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 27, 2017
Posts
84
Likes
127
Perhaps I misunderstood your initial goal of getting a solid state amp. I was under the impression that you like what you're hearing but dislike the idea of tube maintenance and culture surrounding it and much prefer the hassle free no nonsense trait of ss amps. Apart from talks about absence of distortion in ss and your preference towards tubes when it comes to sound, there's been no mention of ss vs tubes sound up till this point.

But now you're saying tube feels wrong and not end game for you?? Don't take this the wrong way but it is really confusing and quite oxymoronic.

Would you mind expanding a bit more on what you feel is wrong with tubes in terms of sonics and what aspect of sound you look for when it comes to end game since you've mentioned the Euforia doesn't 'feel' end game. What is lacking in Euforia when compared to the ss you've own and heard? That way we can better understand your train of thought and what you're looking for and can point you towards gear more suited for your needs and preference. Frankly speaking, if you're just looking for a Euforia sound in ss form you won't find it. I've also yet to experience a ss that does soundstage better than the tubes specifically DHT tubes.
"But now you're saying tube feels wrong and not end game for you?? Don't take this the wrong way but it is really confusing and quite oxymoronic."

"I was under the impression that you like what you're hearing but dislike the idea of tube maintenance and culture surrounding it and much prefer the hassle free no nonsense trait of ss amps."

This pretty much, but I just think it other way around. I like the transparency and hassle freeness of ss amps. I just would like to take soundstage and 2nd order harmonics as a trait and put them into an ss amp. I don't want everything (in sound) that come with tubes. There is some things in sound that attract me so much that I end up listening to it, but I miss the clarity that comes with ss.

I may seem confusing as I'm cutting corners when trying to express my self. It's just that I've heard the thing that I like before with Graham Slee Solo ULDE. It was SS, but it added just enough harmonics so that it became captivating. Thus that I know that the thing exists, but I don't have proper words for that magic.

However technically Solo was still mid-fi. I'd like to find TOTL version of that. I'm not looking for Euforia's sound as such. Euforia is too much coloration for me. I just used Euforia as a reference point for the soundstage and because it was magical due to harmonics. SS amp with big soundstage and some harmonics would be the sweet spot.
 
Jul 23, 2022 at 2:49 PM Post #44 of 52

helljudgement

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Posts
698
Likes
651
I just would like to take soundstage and 2nd order harmonics as a trait and put them into an ss amp. I don't want everything (in sound) that come with tubes. There is some things in sound that attract me so much that I end up listening to it, but I miss the clarity that comes with ss.
Unfortunately I've very little experience with current high end ss amps and none of them fits that description. I don't normally look for sound stage in headphones and the only amp that even made me notice an increase in stage width is a DHT amp from Eddie Current. Only one amp has made me think amps have a noticeable impact on stage width. Might be a tough search made especially tough with blind buying but here's hoping you do find one.
 
Jul 23, 2022 at 3:07 PM Post #45 of 52

Rayon

Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 27, 2017
Posts
84
Likes
127
Unfortunately I've very little experience with current high end ss amps and none of them fits that description. I don't normally look for sound stage in headphones and the only amp that even made me notice an increase in stage width is a DHT amp from Eddie Current. Only one amp has made me think amps have a noticeable impact on stage width. Might be a tough search made especially tough with blind buying but here's hoping you do find one.
I know it's a tough search, but it's my unicorn and I'm enjoying the journey. To me this hobby is these days about experiencing different things and learning about technology, my self and my preferences. It's also better if I don't ever "arrive" there perfectly as approaching my goal but never arriving keeps this hobby exciting.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top