Sugden Headmaster with HD600???
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RGA

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What are your thoughts? I'm considering making a two-fold upgrade here. The Sugden is considered an excellent preamp and I would use it to upgrade the pream section of my Arcam Delta 290 integrated(the weak part of the Arcam is the pre amp section).

I currently have the MG head DT. What would I gain and lose here? My main integrated amp is a Sugden A48b and it is a push pull ss amp that sounds quite tubey anyway(but also has SS slam).

Does the headmaster have this kind of sound or is it the usual irritating SS sound? I do not have the OTL version of the Head so naturally I'm interested in the bass response. I'm not a real bass hound anyway as I'm happy with the bass performance from the Head(could be a bit deeper).

Have any of you had experience with both? Also be interested in your thoughts of the Head as a preamp.

Thanks.
 
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AC1

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Actually, it kind of depends on the tubes you are using for the MG Head... Having a Rayth 5751 or a Tung Sol 5751; comparing them to the Headmaster, the Rayth has a tonality very close to the Headmaster while the Tung Sol is quite different.
 
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RGA

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Unfortunately I'm limited to tubes sold at this site.
http://store.yahoo.com/thetubestore/nostreasures.html

If I roder from the US I get killed on shipping and Duty.

Right now I have the Stock Tesla, EI Yugo and a Russian Sovtek LPS.

I'm also still running the Stock Russian Sovtek EL84s.
 
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SumB

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You'll gain a whole lot of transparency and speed at the expense of listenability with less than perfect recordings. The Sugden throws a much broader soundstage, with better articulation of the frequency extremes. Timbre can be better or worse than the MG Head depending on tube compliment. You'll gain a bit deeper bass but it won't be as full or round as the MG Head with good tubes. Ambient detail retreival is excellent and the Headmaster is grainless. You might miss a more midrange rich sound. The Sugden can be perceived as slightly cool.
 
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grinch

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what sumb said.

i use the hd600/cardas with my sugden all the time and love it. in fact, i cursed my mg head to office-duty when i go it. the sugden is extremely neutral and crisp, so a lot of its sound depends on your source. it is not nearly as warm as the mg head, but still is very musical (in my opinion).
 
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AC1

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Quote:

Originally posted by RGA
Unfortunately I'm limited to tubes sold at this site.
http://store.yahoo.com/thetubestore/nostreasures.html

If I roder from the US I get killed on shipping and Duty.

Right now I have the Stock Tesla, EI Yugo and a Russian Sovtek LPS.

I'm also still running the Stock Russian Sovtek EL84s.


Hm, with the right power cord and the Rayth 5751 you can get a tonality very close to the Headmaster, maybe not quite as solid or extended in the highs but it can come pretty close with a fuller (looser) bass with slightly less extension.
In general the MG head has a "bigger", fuller, more body with a very smooth sound. The headmaster has more detail, deeper soundstage (maybe not quite as wide compared to some tubes), quicker, with a solid, more extended highs. And the midrange won't be as dominant with the headmaster.
With the tubes you have, and using the 600s the mid to low mid is a bit too full and loose (especially with sovtek el84s)...You will also gain a good deal of transparency and separation.
I think the headmaster is quite a bit more difficult to get it to sound good, especially since I can't stand the smaller, thinner sound. I have since been able to help that out with a power cord change to the Ensemble which are known to be a smooth power cord (without making things dull, or lossing extension and detail). It made the headmaster quite smooth and helped with the fullness, also did some source and power related changes to get it to sound good.
The headmaster is transparent and can be picky about source/cables; it can reflect the sound of components higher up in the stream. I see you have Tara Lab cables which usually give a fuller, warmer sound (one of these days I would like to try The 2 ics) which I like.
 
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kelly

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Where did you hear that the Headmaster is an excellent preamp?

I'm not saying it isn't--I've not gotten to hear the Headmaster as a preamp but I've never heard it described as an excellent preamp.

I like the Headmaster/HD600 a lot, but still sold the Headmaster.
 
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RGA

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Kelly. The Headmaster received five stars from What-Hifi as a preamplifier. And ohh yeah it's also a good headphone amp.

I may hold off and just look to upgrade the tubes in the MG head. The Headmaster is a bit pricey as a preamp and I might go the tube amp route. From your description the Headmaster does not sound tubey like my Sugden A48B.

My Sugden runs in Class A Push Pull and has no capacitors(Hence DC). It has the full sound of Tubes but still has some welly in the bottom end. The highs are not quite as extended(which is good).

I used my Head with some success as a preamp and might continue to do so...it's an upgrade over the Arcam's preamp.
 
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