Tubes versus Solid State for Electronica
Oct 26, 2008 at 8:01 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 20

Catharsis

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Hi there,

I recently purchased some DT880s as they were commonly recommended for electronic listening music (Aphex Twin, Autechre, Boards of Canada, Squarepusher etc.)

Obviously, with electronic music, detail, soundstage, bass extension, speed and overall clarity are very important. I was always under the impression that SS amplification did this type of thing better.

However, all this talk about how the DT880s pair up so well with Little Dot MKIII has got me second guessing myself. Many people insist that the DT880's should be paired with tubes to kill the crazy high-treble. I was contemplating Corda Arietta and Mini3 too, but I'm not sure.

The MKIII does seem like a great deal for $200 smackers.

Thanks for your advice people.
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 2:16 PM Post #2 of 20

Catharsis

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Anyone? Tight Bass, defined treble with tubes? How bout Little Dot MKIII
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 3:34 PM Post #6 of 20

Spareribs

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IMO, electronic music sounds better with tubes especially. If possible get both SS and tubes. I have both and usually prefer my tube amp brotha.
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 3:57 PM Post #7 of 20

Catharsis

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I WOULD RATHER purchase the Little Dot MKIII quite frankly because it is almost $100 cheaper than the Corda Arietta (my second choice).

I've been researching this issue for days, and everyone seems to be happy with the tube amps. My major concern is my preferred genre of music. I originally made the mistake of purchasing the Grado SR225s because of all the praise, only to find out later that they weren't well suited to my type of music. I don't want to make this mistake by purchasing the Little Dot MKIII only to have everyone tell me that it's bad with electronica.

That being said, I have to exercise a certain degree of caution with all of my audio purchases to prevent any further mess-ups. I'm feeling good about these tubes though.
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 7:04 PM Post #8 of 20

viscosity

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hmm. well I listen to allot of electronica aswell (all those you listed are pretty topp). I have the AKG K701s and im awaiting my Darkvoice 336i..

in the same boat, but im fairly confident that it will sound great with tubes.. what's your source btw? mines through my computer paired with the Zero DAC
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 8:13 PM Post #9 of 20

Catharsis

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Quote:

Originally Posted by viscosity /img/forum/go_quote.gif
hmm. well I listen to allot of electronica aswell (all those you listed are pretty topp). I have the AKG K701s and im awaiting my Darkvoice 336i..

in the same boat, but im fairly confident that it will sound great with tubes.. what's your source btw? mines through my computer paired with the Zero DAC




My confidence about tubes is buidling as well. I've heard the AKG 701's are a great electronica match too. (nice soundstage).

Currently I'm running CD's in Foobar through the ASIO drivers of my EMU 0404 USB. I've heard this is a great clean source, and I've noticed a tremendous difference even from my older Creative Soundblaster USB device.
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 8:27 PM Post #10 of 20

HeatFan12

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Quote:

My confidence about tubes is buidling as well.


DT880 + Tubes + Electronica=
icon10.gif
biggrin.gif
 
Oct 28, 2008 at 9:59 PM Post #11 of 20

Catharsis

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Well, I decided to pick up the Little Dot MKIII after many a glowing review. Thank you very much for the advice! I suppose to further my question now:

I have been hearing great things about the Mullard tubes with the DT880s for a stronger bottom end that anchors electronica really well. Anyone care to recommend some specific tube sets for this genre?
 
Jan 10, 2009 at 10:10 AM Post #12 of 20

Rarach

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So how do you like your DT880 with Little Dot MKIII and electronica?
 
Jan 10, 2009 at 10:37 AM Post #13 of 20

scootermafia

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Ooh, ooh, pick me.

M3 solid state + electronica = win. It has even more detail and aggression than my 336se ever could have. The midrange power might get to you, but the definition really is there, the soundstage is laser cut. The tubes give a reasonable, laid back presentation of it and at times it is more musical. I don't really know or care which is better, I like both in their own way, so i have an M3+sigma and a 336se.
 
Jan 10, 2009 at 11:57 AM Post #14 of 20

apatN

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I did some testing vs. my old Akai speaker amp with the Little Dot as a pre-amp. AFAIK the Akai has no tube in it whatsoever.
I think SS will work better. There is more slam to the music and every instrument and voice seems more solid. Better fixed in one place while the Little Dot seems airier.
Basically using the Akai with the LD seems to stuff up all the dry areas in the LD, giving it some more slam.
 
Apr 19, 2009 at 9:06 PM Post #15 of 20

Catharsis

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Rarach /img/forum/go_quote.gif
So how do you like your DT880 with Little Dot MKIII and electronica?


Well I've spent alot of time with the DT880s paired up to the LDMKIII and I've fiddled around with SS amplification in that same period.

Personally, any criticisms I've heard regarding tubes (slow, rolled-off, boomy etc) do not apply....at least in the case of the Little Dot MK III.

Personally, the BIGGEST sound difference I have encountered in the hardware chain is the CD itself. I know its hard to believe, but some albums are recorded with sibilance, others with a "soft treble", others are sharp and staccato, while other albums are rich and full.

Sometimes I think my tubes are wearing out when I listen to a warm / bassy album, but then I throw on some digital microsound (e.g. Autechre) and suddenly I'm in treble heaven.
 

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