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Well, if you can... Please hold out on a purchase until you can hear a 600i.
Agree. But maybe simorag needs a different signature, a bit more coloured? The 600i is super smooth, slightly warm and fast / wide.
IMO a good SET is the way to go for top sound quality if you want to go the tube route. You don't need mega watts here, so a parallel 300B at 18W into 8 ohms, or a big bottle SET with 211 or 845 tubes and 20-25W.
Push Pull amps are great for big multiway speakers with lowish efficiency. i.e. you have to get more power from your tubes, but there are trade off IMO. Also PP amps need closely match pairs or quads. I would keep looking for a top SET that has the control and is quiet as well. SETs are simpler circuits, a purer signal path and thus have a more realistic tonality and the famous micro detail and immediacy / realism to the music.
LOL...this is turning into 'How to use a Speaker Amp' forum...
Perhaps a new Forum...?
Only this month, next month it will calm down... LOL.
TBH a good amp is a good amp, and I am saying there are some great HP amps around, the Formula S and Powerman for example.
But there are many that struggle with the Susvara and Abyss if you want the absolute top level performance. On Focal Utopia or other high efficient cans, maybe not?
So my WA33 headphone amp came today. Holy f**king s**t. The TCs never sounded so good. The pairing is crazy
@simorag My guess is that something broke in the power supply if it's humming in both channels. I would give Airtight another chance - they have EL84 amps priced below the ATM300R, and maybe you'll run into another ATM300 that won't have a noise problem. I was extremely impressed by the old ATM300 when I demo'd it back in 2017 on the newly release 1266 Phi.
The LM-845 is also a great choice - you can very rarely go wrong with a 845/Abyss pairing. KT150 is more often thought of as a big speaker tube and there's some truth to that, I find that 845 is a good middle ground between the softer and gentler 300b and the slightly unrefined aggression of KT88/150.
Good advice there. I would say (sorry industry affiliate) that the Genus SET with 25W from big bottle 813 power tubes is the best headphone amp I have heard to date, and indeed one of the very best speaker amps as well, competing with many tube amps 3 times the price. Granted 15K euros for a HP amp is quite insane, but the Wells Audio is 15K, and the Primavera more expensive. The Viva Solista is circa 13K. But the Genus runs less hot, and has a true headphone output of the OPT as well as speaker taps at 4 or 8 ohms. It also weighs 73 kilos.
I would stay away from PP amps if you want purity of tone and realism. A well designed SET can do magical things not matched by any other type of amplifier. Those that have experienced it will know....
Pardon the mess in the back (I'm moving things around). But, here's a video of my setup currently
I've completely changed my mind on the TCs bass. It turns out the TCs were under powered going through my TT2/M-Scaler. The bass is substantially greater through the WA33. I thought you all were crazy trying to run the TCs off speaker amps, but now I see why you all were doing that. The TCs love power.
They're even beating my th900mk2 now, in terms of bass :wow:
Try them off TT2’s XLR. Nice step up.
How does the WA33 compare to the WA5le? The 5 is my current tube amp. Just wondering about comparisons tone wise as well as dynamics. Anyone with experience on both would be greatly appreciated.
I was not so enamoured with the WA33 + Abyss combo. It was good, but had some blurring in the treble and upper mids IMO. I can see the logic in a balanced design if the source is TRUE balanced. Many sources however are not. My preference is on single ended as I run tube DACs that are SE. A source that is not true balanced would go through a phase splitter in the WA33, so seems no point. When I heard the WA33 with the Abyss, it was at Can-Jam London, and the source was a portable DAC, so possibly not balanced and this could have held it back? I also question the logic with tube costs and getting perfectly matched quads unless you have a true balanced source.
IMO a simpler purer SE circuit with less complexity should in theory ay dividends, but it depends as always on the design integrity on either topologies.
Okay - was the balanced, SE or whatever a factor with WA33 compare to the WA5le in you experience? I get it, I really do, your 72 kg Genus SET is great but wavering things like blurring in the treble and upper mids after hearing it solely from a no-name portable DAC doesn’t help anyone IMO.
Why not let Ciggavelli be happy and rest on the marketing on your Aries Cerat for a day or two?
I am running balanced out of a Schiit Yggdrasil. Pretty happy with my Wa5 and my LCD4. Have been using my TC’s with a HeadAmp gsx mk2. Depending on music and mood I mix and match the aforementioned headphones and amps. Curious if the WA33 could replace both.