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The HeadAmp GS-X and GS-X MK2 Thread

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by macedonianhero, Oct 22, 2012.
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  1. Dubstep Girl

    Its actually the opposite! The WA5 has more than enough power and dynamics to let the HE-6 have it! There’s 8-10 (roughly) watts out of the 300b tubes and the synergy is perfect with the HE-6! As good as Wa2/T1 combo, was a huge upgrade when I got and decided to call it my endgame, I’m too happy. I use the setup for speakers now but still have the He-6 as my ref headphones, organic with bass and clarity that nothing else has really come close to sounding for me.

    The GSX mk2 is good for He-6 too but seems a lil underpowered esp in the bass and sometimes the highs, not just volume cos thats alright, but it clips soon and cos its an ortho can, clips different than underpowered dynamics do, which just dont get loud. it works alright for fun but can be a hot mess at louder volumes, and the treble is more biting as the he-6 need warmth in the audio chain to work best.

    I love using the GSX as a preamplifier, more power coming out of the wa5 and boosts the dynamics up as it takes the power load off the 300b tubes somewhat when driving speakers. my speaker setup (using Omega RS8’s and sub) has never sounded better, I get the full 300b tube experience and the effortless liquidity and transparency of the gsx, they pair amazingly together!

    funny how this is all headphone gear, but ended up being used with high efficiency speakers, with amazing results! The gsx is the perfect under 3k preamp and the wa5 the perfect 300b SET class A amp under 6k!

    currently upgrading my dac (new mytek brooklyn dac+) , upgrading the sub, and adding a gyrodec turntable soon for analog source as well, then my setup will be complete!

    as for your question, both have great tone, the GSX just reveals everything so the tone matches your gear, the WA5 warm sweet and expansive, they work very well together, though few own both. I am considering buying a WA33 with preamp and speaker outs for that purpose, with headphones secondary, and I could use a 2A3 amp, but too happy with my WA5 its what I’ve always wanted and it won’t ever be sold! Waiting on the WE300B reissues as well!
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
    llamaluv likes this.
  2. astrostar59
    Great post there, thanks for that. Yes, I know the lure of 300B SET, I used to run 2 x Audio Note 300B Monoblocks which had 18 watts per channel. But they still need an efficient speaker at 97dB or more, and 2 way preferably to keep it an easy load.

    Very interested in you using the GSX as a pre-amp! I have just bought the Violectric V281 which is similar output to the GSX. It can be used as a pre-amp as well, and I would power my Plinius SS power amp with it. I am currently using a passive pre I built as the moment with a nice 48 step Elma Takman series pot. It has great transparency, lots of bass and dynamics, so I 'think' it is good, none of the common problems with a passive such as dynamic compression or FR / Phase shift due to the impedance altering.

    I will hook it up and see if the V281 sounds better. On the V281 I can set the pre-gain so I can control the level out to my power amp, keep the pot adjustment in range etc.

    My DAC has tubes and is R-2R so I have some smoothness and tube goodness in my setup. I prefer at last one component in the chain with tubes, it brings it back to realism to my ears.

    I concur with your ideal on the HE-6. I have the LCD4 and love it's warmth and solid foundation, enough detail to keep it real, creamy midrange and totally no sibilance or harshness.
  3. Clive101
    Hello All,
    I have a Chord Dave dac and it drives my LCD4 very well....
    My question is will I gain much by using a GSX Mk2 with the Dave ?
  4. Rhamnetin
    I've seen people here with the exact same setup, and they have said the GS-X Mk2 certainly helps. Hopefully they respond. Try asking in the LCD-4 thread as well.
  5. auded33
    I have Chord Dave, GS-X MkII and Focal Utopia. I use my GS-X MkII for driving phones as it's better than using Dave direct, not that the Dave is bad at all - it's still excellent. The GS-X MkII is such a versatile amp. I use it as a preamp also connected to my power amp and also to feed a dedicated powered subwoofer.
    Rhamnetin likes this.
  6. Clive101
    If I am not mistaken the Focal Utopia are quite easy to drive so I would perhaps gain even more as the LCD4 are harder to drive...?

    Any idea what I would gain in regards to SQ with more powerful amplification at the same volume level in the headphone.?
  7. Whazzzup
    brain cramp
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
  8. biosailor
    Just freed my GSX-Mk2 for headphone listening. I was using its pre-amp to feed my power amp. I replaced my audio chain with a Devialet 120 'pizza box'. So back to headphone listening with the GSX-Mk2.

    Whazzzup likes this.
  9. auded33
    Using your GS-X Mk II as a preamp doesn't negate using it as a headphone amp. Presumably you don't listen to speakers and headphones at the same time?
  10. biosailor
    Of course, you're right! The Devialet combines DAC/amplifier in a pizza box, so I'm no longer in need of a dedicated DAC/pre-amp/power amp. That frees my previous DAC and the GSX-Mk2 as a headphone listening station for my office.
  11. auded33
    Oh, I understand.
  12. astrostar59
    Having just come from a smaller less powerful Headphone amp (Metrum Aurix), I can say a more powerful amp is mandatory for the LCD4. And wired as Balanced is another step again. I heard the DAVE direct on the LCD4 but out of the Violectric V281, oh my, well ahead in all areas. The Dynamics are off the scale good.
    Clive101 likes this.
  13. commtrd
    IMHO external amplification does indeed help Chord dacs sound their best. In my little system, the GLMk2 uses the SE lineouts from H2 and the result is DEFINITELY noticeably improved.

    Looking forward to the day when I can go to a full balanced dac (Yggy most likely) and a full balanced amp (most likely GSX Mk2 or Wells Audio Milo etc.) as that will yield the best drive for any headphone.
  14. Clive101
    Thank you for the help, looking over on the LCD4z thread it seems they are easier to drive and sound similar. So perhaps change of headphones or would you stay with the LCD4 and GS-X Mk2...?
  15. TSAVJason
    Using a Dave as a DAC only with a GSXmkll is amazing on any headphone. Lots of headroom and enough power to drive any off the shelf non-electrostatic Headphone ......it’s definitely something to look into further.

    We sell Violectric as well but while I think the product is great, the GSXmkll and the SPL Phonitor definitely kick the audio up quite a few notches.
    The Source AV TSAVJason Stay updated on The Source AV at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    https://www.facebook.com./pages/The-Source-AV-Design-Group/153623164648713 http://www.twitter.com/TheSourceAV http://www.instagram.com/Thesourceavdesign http://thesourceav.com/ Products@TheSourceAV.com
    Rhamnetin likes this.
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