woo3 vs LD MKV
Oct 23, 2008 at 4:51 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 12

spartan777

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I've had my DT 880's for a while now (350ohm i think). I still haven't gotten an amp, but was waiting to save up for the perfect one. I think i've settled down to either the Woo3/Woo3+ and the LD MKV.

I've read some rave reviews about how the Woo3 adds so much color, with its amazing tubes and that. That sounds great for musics, but I also listen to a lot of movies and play games with my headphones. From 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Matrix to World Of Warcraft, FEAR, and UT3. I'm wondering if the coloration (is that the word?) the Woo3 has would distort the gaming/movie experience. It would seem to me that in a lot of gaming situations, the clean, antiseptic sounds is preferred, but I'm not too sure, this is my first proper HP amp.

the other thing is that the LD MKV is cheaper, but if the Woo3 is really worth it, i'd get it.

Any gamers/moviegeeks have suggestions?
 
Oct 23, 2008 at 6:14 AM Post #2 of 12

Golden Monkey

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I've had both the MKV and the Woo 3+, and listened to the 880s (250 ohm, btw, unless you ordered the 600 ohm version direct from Beyer) on the LD, so I suppose I can help. I've never bothered listening to anything other than music though.

The 880s are a weird phone...sort of right in between needing either a solid state or tube amp. I suppose it comes down to personal preference. The warmth and pleasant distortion of tubes really work wonders with the HD650, but when I compared them side by side with the 880s on the MKV, I felt neither really won out too much over the other. The Senns had better midrange and presentation, and the Beyers seemed a little lifeless and boring (sterile, I guess, but nowhere near as sterile and cold as an AKG K701). I liked the 650s best over all, but they sound a million times better on the Woo, so my guess is the Beyers would sound fantastic as well. The MKV is great for a lower impedance phone like the Denon D2000, but people are having issues with hiss, although I didn't at all, so everyone's situation is different.

I wouldn't make too much fuss over "will this sound good with movies and gaming" questions...if you're happy with the 880s as an "all-rounder" multipurpose headphone, the type of amp isn't going to fundamentally change the experience. True, tube amps are in general "warmer" and color the sound in comparison to a good transparent and detailed amp like the MKV, but in the end it's going to come down to synergy - how well the phones and amp you choose work with each other and if the result pleases you.

The strengths of the MKV are speed, detail, transparency, soundstage, and precise imaging. The Woo's are warmth, impact, presence, soundstage (yes, they both do this well), liveliness, musicality, and vividness (in regards to the sense of "omg, I'm there"). The MKV is mercilessly revealing of poor source material (some might consider this a strength OR a weakness), and with the HD650 ran out of steam in some more dynamic moments, and also had a more solid state/digital feel to me (not bad, just...its hard to explain). If you are mainly listening to lower bitrate mp3s or compressed video formats, I'd avoid this amp.

I guess if I'm spending your money, given these two choices, I'd take the Woo, which is exactly what I did in the end :). Hope that helps.
 
Oct 23, 2008 at 6:17 AM Post #3 of 12

olblueyez

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Both good amps. In the long run I think you will want to have the woo around and you will avoid any buyers remorse. Its American made with Point To Point wiring and can be modified and repaired at the drop of a hat. Because it is a tube amp you can experiment with tubes to reach the absolute perfect sound you are looking for no matter what headphones you are looking for, within reason. The LD Mk V is solid state and the sound you get is the sound you get. With the Woo, if you change headphones 3 years from now then you can buy some new tubes if you feel like you need to do so. I think you have the wrong impression of "Coloring The Sound", it is meant in a good way. Lets say you have some Grado headphones and there is so much treble that you get headaches and have to stop listening after an hour or so, or it just sounds like crap, or it doesnt have enough bass and so on. You can read up on tube rolling on the Woo amp and see what tubes peope are using to get a warmer (more bass and smoother) sound and buy those tubes and put them in and presto, your system sounds fantastic. Then when you get a headphone and tube combo (it may sound great with the stock tubes you never know) then you can start messing with sources and or cables. I beleive your headphones are 250 ohm and can be driven by both the 3+ and the standard 3 but the 3+ has some more power and will drive low impedance headphones better ( If you buy some ATs or AKG 701s etc). If you have any plans on using your amp as a preamp with some powered speakers or an external amp or receiver etc. then the standard 3 has an output for that. Headphones only? Go for the 3+!

Your DT880s are known for having a nice over all sound but being a bit too bright in the highs. A tube amp will benefit this headphone for 2 reasons. 1.) You can smooth out the highs if the stock tubes dont already. 2.) Your headphones are considered high impedance headphones. Tube amps in general drive high impedance headphones better than Solid State. The reverse is true as well Solid State drives low impedance headphones better. Of course there are exceptions like the 3+, it has been modified to drive both high and low well. Ask Jack if you order, he is a great guy. I hope this has been some help.

If you happen to get one they come in Red, that is Badass! A 3+ in Light blue would be killer too, all these guys kill me getting silver, at the very least get black!
 
Oct 23, 2008 at 6:12 PM Post #4 of 12

Golden Monkey

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AUGH! Dammit...lost posts...
 
Oct 24, 2008 at 3:02 AM Post #5 of 12

spartan777

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wow, that's some excellent advice. it hurts a little, but I think I've settled on the Woo3+. My main fear was that they would color the sound too much, and cause fatigue or sound awkward in special cases. However, if I can just change the tubes, i really don't have to worry about that.

My Beyer's are of the 250 Ohm variety.

Bah, I was eyeing the silver. Champagne sounds sexy though.

Is there something I ought to ask Jack when I order?
 
Oct 24, 2008 at 4:03 AM Post #6 of 12
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You can, incidentally, change the opamps in the MKV, but it's not so easy as just taking off the top cover, as it doesn't have a top cover! I'd describe the MKV as being a very neutral amp. I only wish of it that it was discrete rather than opamp based or it was easier to access the opamps.
 
Oct 24, 2008 at 5:00 AM Post #7 of 12

olblueyez

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Quote:

Originally Posted by spartan777 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
wow, that's some excellent advice. it hurts a little, but I think I've settled on the Woo3+. My main fear was that they would color the sound too much, and cause fatigue or sound awkward in special cases. However, if I can just change the tubes, i really don't have to worry about that.

My Beyer's are of the 250 Ohm variety.

Bah, I was eyeing the silver. Champagne sounds sexy though.

Is there something I ought to ask Jack when I order?



Ask him anything you want. Only question I would have is this. The 3+ is modded for low impedance headphones so I would ask "Does it still drive high impedance headphones as well as the 3"? Also you can mention you have the 880s and if you need any gain adjustments on the 3+ since it was designed for low impedance grunt.
 
Oct 24, 2008 at 3:25 PM Post #9 of 12

Golden Monkey

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Kimber makes quality stuff...they are on the pricey side in general, but well built and with sound science behind them. Let us know what you think of the Woo when you get it...I'm sure you'll love it. I'm in the process of breaking in a bunch of different tubes, and I'll be posting a tuberolling thread soon, so you can get some ideas of different flavors.
 
Oct 25, 2008 at 1:41 AM Post #11 of 12

spartan777

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excellent excellent excellent

I wasn't totally sure about interconnects, but I've heard of Kimber, checked them out, and it seemed pretty legit. Lots of great sound-jargon, but not too much (that's the only way I can gauge). Thought I needed to spend something on cables after 500 for the amp. I'm looking forward to the tuberolling thread.

Unfortunately, they didn't have any colors besides black or silver, so I went silver. Ah well. Jack also said that the 3+ is not inferior for high-impedance hp's in any way, so it suits the 880 dt's fine out of the box.
 
Oct 25, 2008 at 2:45 AM Post #12 of 12

Golden Monkey

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