Tube or Millet Hybrid Amp to Replace SS Headfive for Grado SR225i?
Nov 21, 2009 at 6:03 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 23

swmtnbiker

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I've been away from Head-Fi for quite a while, just having come back into the fold a few weeks ago. All of that time I've been very happy with my current home rig - CIAudio VDA-1 DAC + Meier-Audio Corda Headfive SS amp + Senn HD650s. Go figure. Then, like an IDIOT, I started lurking here again because I'd lost my ER-4Ps and was researching replacement options. I bought the HF5 for portable use but of course couldn't leave well enough alone with my desktop rig. I ended up scoring a used pair of SR225i's this week and now here I am, falling in love with the Grado sound all over again...

DAMN YOU HEAD-FI!!!!
eek.gif


So now I'm thinking about shaking things up even more and getting a new amp for the Grados. I'm mostly interested in exploring the possibility of going Millet hybrid but have ZERO DIY skills, so I'm looking for a commercially available Millet that might give me more joy than the Headfive with the SR225i. Here's the kicker - I'd like to keep my budget at $200 or less. Advice? Recommendations? Horror stories? Psychological analysis? All are welcomed. Lay it on me and I'll buy you a virtual beer.
beerchug.gif
 
Nov 22, 2009 at 1:08 AM Post #4 of 23

the_equalizer

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Quote:

Originally Posted by dpippel /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I've been away from Head-Fi for quite a while, just having come back into the fold a few weeks ago. All of that time I've been very happy with my current home rig - CIAudio VDA-1 DAC + Meier-Audio Corda Headfive SS amp + Senn HD650s. Go figure. Then, like an IDIOT, I started lurking here again because I'd lost my ER-4Ps and was researching replacement options. I bought the HF5 for portable use but of course couldn't leave well enough alone with my desktop rig. I ended up scoring a used pair of SR225i's this week and now here I am, falling in love with the Grado sound all over again...

DAMN YOU HEAD-FI!!!!
eek.gif


So now I'm thinking about shaking things up even more and getting a new amp for the Grados. I'm mostly interested in exploring the possibility of going Millet hybrid but have ZERO DIY skills, so I'm looking for a commercially available Millet that might give me more joy than the Headfive with the SR225i. Here's the kicker - I'd like to keep my budget at $200 or less. Advice? Recommendations? Horror stories? Psychological analysis? All are welcomed. Lay it on me and I'll buy you a virtual beer.
beerchug.gif



Yeah, I was so happy with just my iPod + earbuds... here I am, some six months later with a much thinner wallet...

My SR-225 sound fantastic out of my Millet "Starving Student" Hybrid. The Whiplash audio link provided above is for a commercial version of that amp.

Though I haven't listened to it, people say good things of the Little Dot I+.

(BTW are you really in the Sonora Desert?)

cheers !
 
Nov 22, 2009 at 1:23 AM Post #5 of 23

swmtnbiker

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Thanks for the feedback guys. I've actually been considering the Starving Student Whiplash Audio Millet build but want to look at other options in the same price range. The LD I+ is certainly a possibility as well.
 
Nov 22, 2009 at 1:25 AM Post #6 of 23

swmtnbiker

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Quote:

Originally Posted by the_equalizer /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Yeah, I was so happy with just my iPod + earbuds... here I am, some six months later with a much thinner wallet...

My SR-225 sound fantastic out of my Millet "Starving Student" Hybrid. The Whiplash audio link provided above is for a commercial version of that amp.

Though I haven't listened to it, people say good things of the Little Dot I+.

(BTW are you really in the Sonora Desert?)

cheers !



I've been around Head-Fi long enough to know all about the wallet syndrome but I walked right back in through the front door anyway. Oh well!
wink.gif


And yes, I really am in the Sonoran Desert. Phoenix. Looks like I'm north of the border from you.
 
Nov 22, 2009 at 3:03 PM Post #8 of 23

punkaroo

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Once you go Millet, you can never go back
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Nov 22, 2009 at 9:21 PM Post #9 of 23

swmtnbiker

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Thanks again all. I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on something but have one last amp up for consideration - the Little Dot I+. It seems to get a lot of love here and is also a hybird, although from what I understand a different design than the Millet.

Let me put it to you this way - if you had to choose between these three amps which one would get your hard-eaned money:

* Used DIY'd MiniMAX
* New Whiplash Audio-built Starving Student Millet
* New Little Dot I+

I'm deciding on one out of this list. Thanks again for your opinions and input!
 
Nov 22, 2009 at 9:33 PM Post #10 of 23

drewfus420

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Little Dot MKII is well within your budget, you could even probably come up with some nicer drive tubes without going much over budget.
I love my 'sandro's through this amp, and it is also a nice pre amp.
My current rig is set up like this:
rca out on Xonar Essence STX (with C-Moon opamps)
Little Dot MKII (soviet mil spec power tubes/Mullard 8100 drive tubes)
MS1000i/Audio Engine A5

Both the speakers and headphones sound markedly better through the Little Dot, best $185 I have spent on sound gear.
 
Nov 22, 2009 at 11:55 PM Post #12 of 23

swmtnbiker

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Quote:

Originally Posted by drewfus420 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Little Dot MKII is well within your budget, you could even probably come up with some nicer drive tubes without going much over budget.


Thanks for the suggestion. The MKII seems like a very nice tube amp, but after all of the accolades I've read about Grado + Millet hybrid/hybrid synergy I'm going to stay focused on that road for now.
 
Nov 22, 2009 at 11:56 PM Post #13 of 23

swmtnbiker

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MrSlim /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I think you should have a look at the CTH also if you want to try a very interesting DIY amp. I brought mine to a meet in Montreal back in the spring and a Grado fan who took part thought his HP-1's (I think) sounded very nice with it. You can get a kit from Spruce Canyon Lab for ~ 150 US.


CTH thread: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f6/ver...id-amp-398839/



Since I have zero DIY skills and no tools I'll need to stay away from anything that needs to be speced and built at this point in my career.
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Nov 23, 2009 at 2:25 AM Post #14 of 23

LingLing1337

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When I had my... I mean, your SR225, I demoed them with the MiniMax hybrid, and if you can get one at a price you think is reasonable, I'd take it right away. The sound was awesome
smily_headphones1.gif
However, since that is going to be more than $200, I'd look into the Starving Student- I haven't heard it personally, but it's a Millett hybrid, and it gets great reviews with Grados, so I certainly wouldn't need any more convincing
smily_headphones1.gif
I'd take that over an I+ or even III every time.

EDIT: But, I also really liked Grados via the HeadFive, so obviously YMMV.
 
Nov 23, 2009 at 2:32 AM Post #15 of 23

swmtnbiker

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Thanks for the input Miles. I like the 225i with the Headfive too, however I can't help but think that there's more. The Starving Student is attractive but for one thing - you can't roll tubes with it. A limitation not shared by the I+ and the MiniMAX. Decisions are NEVER straightforward, are they?
wink.gif


REALLY enjoying the Grados BTW. I'll probably end up selling my HD650. I think that my "Senn Phase" is over for now.
 

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