xp7 first impressions
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boodi

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I read many writings about this amp paired with the ad979 op amp , being very musical , so i decided to try it over other semi portables amp . I was sure from readings that i would have received a portable amp with a non-compressed sound feeling , which was what i felt when i tried porta corda 2 , total airhead 2004 and others diy mini amps - and was what i wanted to avoid .

These my first impressions .
What i have to say first , to me this amp is a very strange beast
I can imagine it's a love or hate thing .
What it's for sure to me , it is a bass head + it is not neutral and not trying to give a real life feel .
I think who constructed it wanted it to sound the particular way it sounds .

After a little time to get used to the quite prominent midrange the ad979 give to her , my first thought is this amp + ad797 op. amp. ( by most regarded as the best match for her ) is not musical , it is poetical .
It makes music sound like it tries to filter prose to poetry... or at least ,it brings you music on a velvet carpet .
A fine-grain heavy and quite dark velvet carpet .

While the gilmore lite was trying to make you understand the deepness of the instant cut of sounds , this amp goes opposite way , it has a very lush smooth sound , let you ear the bass ( and the quite rolled off highs ) and see the rest that's following , but in the meantime is bringing you a musical message, she doesn't want to make you analize the instant but she wants your big attention for the whole
if the colors of the gilmore were white / cold blue / brown / gray and black , quite separeted and well defining the lines in the picture , the colors of the emmeline xp7 are orange , yellow , red , pink , green ,cyan ..and others , melted togheter in a refined way . And are the picture , less trying to define one .

The gilmore is easy an impressionist painter , or i 'd say also an architect ,who try to give you a good image of reality , or try to do a good construction ( I'm watching it and admiring it , but it's not the reality ) .
On the other side the emmeline is lightly expressionist , but in a very subtle way .. she unconsciously gives you the reality somewhat filtered through her particular subtle way of seeing it ( i feel somewhat more moving in it vs admiring it , but it's not the reality ).

I feel both amp are refined both are not the real life thing both deserve a detailed presentation , yet they are very different and are not easy to compare .

I read somewhere on the forum that this amp make you ear most the end of the sound while others ( ex. the LaRocco PR ) are more grabbing on the first part of the sound , and to me this is true .

I felt pushed to write down soon my opinion because i feel it is going to change in the next hours
Forgive my english it is bad .
 
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ooheadsoo

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Very interesting comparison. Thanks for letting us know.
 
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ampgalore

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I just did a comparison between the XP7 and my new Grace 901. Compared to the Grace, XP7 is on the darker, more mellow side. Considering XP7 runs on batteries, I am amazed how well it stands up against the Grace.
 
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ooheadsoo

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Aren't batteries supposed to be "cleaner" than power supplies?
 
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boodi

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ooheadsoo
Aren't batteries supposed to be "cleaner" than power supplies?


Generally speaking for portables , batteries underpower the unit if the unit is power hungry
 
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ooheadsoo

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But for amps designed to be powered by batteries, like the xp7, it should be ideal. Doesn't it have the designed rechargeable battery pack, or am I thinking of another amp?
 
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boodi

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ooheadsoo
But for amps designed to be powered by batteries, like the xp7, it should be ideal. Doesn't it have the designed rechargeable battery pack, or am I thinking of another amp?


You probably refer to the Larocco Pocket ref.
 
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ampgalore

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I think the gain setting on the xp7 is probably turned up a bit more compared to the pocket reference.

Regardless, I like the transportability of the xp7. Even though I enjoy the Grace 901 more now (not sure if it is largely psychological, as I really need to justify Grace's purchase price), I like the fact that I can take my xp7 from one room to the other without having to plug/unplug a whole bunch of cords.
 
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gsferrari

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The Grace is a solid performer. The Built in DAC is just stunning. It is dead silent except on power on/off which can be cured using a power conditioner with a delay switch.

The DAC is better than the DAC you will find in several sources...much more rich sounding and encompassing in 3D...beautiful...
 
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Mikey01

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Thanks for the refreshing review. Sometimes reviewers get lost in the "high end" of the English language. This sometimes leaves a person scratching there head wondering what they ment. Your straight forward approach was well taken, and I got a lot of information out of it. THANKS; Mike
 
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boodi

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thanks mikey
Today I'll pass some time in company of the emmeline xp7 + the ad 8610 op amp .It's sounding COMPLETELY different to me from pairing it with ad797 .
It seems another amp .
 
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hottyson

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I have had the Emmeline XP-7 headphone amplifier for almost four months now. I have had the AD797 opamps sitting in the drawer unused for a few months. I am trying to give the stock opamps proper burn in and also to get accustomed to the stock sound. I will still be giving it another month or two before giving the AD797's a trial. Even after I install the new opamps I will certainly give them a couple of hundred hours before coming to any conclusions.

How much burn in does your AD797 opamps have? Perhaps you might need some burn in time before coming to a final verdict.
 
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ampgalore

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I have the AD797 opamp in my XP7. I also have the stock opamp on the side. Has anyone tried other opamps beside these 2? Any other opamps that will the XP7 a bit more detailed?
 
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boodi

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Quote:

Originally Posted by hottyson
I have had the Emmeline XP-7 headphone amplifier for almost four months now. I have had the AD797 opamps sitting in the drawer unused for a few months. I am trying to give the stock opamps proper burn in and also to get accustomed to the stock sound. I will still be giving it another month or two before giving the AD797's a trial. Even after I install the new opamps I will certainly give them a couple of hundred hours before coming to any conclusions.

How much burn in does your AD797 opamps have? Perhaps you might need some burn in time before coming to a final verdict.



I'm sure this is true
but i think it's also an ear adapting thing over an opa burning thing ..and this amp has both a particular bass to midrange richness and fullness which is not so easy to analyze ...it's more easy for me to listen
there's a beautiful thread on the lounge with posts from both Jan Meier and Tyll from headroom ( and me
) starting from speaking of the sense of a crossfeed circuit in amps and finishing speaking of ears adapting capacity ..

anyway I'll say the ad8610 sound is more balanced - frq. more balnced in the whole rapresentation -the sound is less dark , bass is more controlled and sure it's also deeper and not boomy at all . Highs are more forward and extended ..and maybe a bit ringing but this is only a very subtle feeling ..

Again i can notice a midrange omph somewhere between , anyway this time it doesn't make sound seductive as it did with ad797 .. it may be some feelings are lost in favor of a more balanced spectrum

for now it's all i can say
 
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boodi

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ampgalore :ad8610 makes surely deatail easier to carve out to me
 
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