Yet another review for Little Dot MK V + DT880
Aug 2, 2008 at 12:41 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 13

btbluesky

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- Long story short
For the impatient, this is a great sounding, very revealing setup thats perfect for large amount of material (especially rock, techno/trance, even classical), but not all.

- Prologue
As a noob for headphone, I got my MK V two weeks ago along with a pair of new DT880. The communication, packaging and price to me are top notch from David. I have not used a highend headphone before (grado S60, senn PX100, I don't count them as such), and for sure I'm no golden ear, so I'm not sure some of these attributes I encountered are because of the amp or the DT880, so I can only say these are my experience with this combination. I'm a neutral kinda guy as far as SS vs Tube, for reference my home setup is:

Linux Flac -> MHDT Paradisea+ w/Tube buffer DAC -> Jolida Tube/SS integrate -> Ascendant Audio Sierra.

At work I used Window Flac (ASIO) -> Trends Audio UD10.1 NOS DAC/transport -> ultimate ear studio 3 (114db)

Materials are female vocal, jazz, classical, soundtrack, techno and lounge. Also 20+ of the reference samplers I've collected. Using both linux and windows, UD10.1 and Paradisea+.

- First Impression
After 30-40 hours of pink noise for both the amp and 880, I connect the Paradisea+ to it and fire up some female vocal. Everything I expected are there plus some more. The highs are all there with all the detail. Extremely fast transient, great separation, everything is so lively. In fact I can even distinguish the 320 mp3 and flac version of the same song, and the source's weakness all comes out.

One thing need to mention. Just like another reviewer posted, the MK V unit I got also produce a very very slight hiss sound even without music (and only noticeable without music, pass 10 o'clock mark). This could be just due to the fact that it's a class AB amp, not true class A. But overall, I do not feel like it interference with my enjoyment w/ the unit. Also there'd be nothing in this review about soundstage, as I personally feel like headphone soundstage is just not comparable to regular 2-ch setup, and this is not a pair of AKG electrostatic cans.

- Vocal
e.g. Lara Fabian - En Toute Intimite (live recording), not a normal reference, but one of my favorite CD, tested across 4 version: CD, 320MP3, CD rip flac AND downloaded flac. The last song Bambina is a guitar unplug song. Anyone has this CD knows around 41 sec there's a hiccup. With MK V, not only is this sound way more visible, but it reveal other jitter-like imperfection in other places of the song as well.

Its both exciting and depressing for me, as I before I wasn't able to tell those, and now its like Brat Pitt just burned my apartment and wanted to start a club with me.

- Classical/jazz/samplers
Next couple days I learned my lesson and tried out only the good source, Joshua Bell violins, Gheorghiu casta diva, Rachmaninov piano concerto No. 2. They all came alive beautifully. Impactful, great instruments separation, high dynamics. With the samplers, some of them are SACD/XRCD/HDCD rip, the detail are just impressive. Piano/guitar notes flies out realistically across w/ dynamic force. The jazz and opera vocal however, I have a different feeling toward it, everything is there no question, but I just feels like something is missing comparing to a tube preamp home setup, very hard to put into words, feels like its the emotions. Maybe that's what tube user refer to as the tubey sweetness of it, maybe it's just some even order distortion, or maybe its just me. In any case, this is where it hit me that I will need to get the MK IV just to complete this part of my test
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- Techno / Lounge / pop
Matrix soundtrack and Yoko Kanno Ghost in the shell OST never sounds so good. This is where this setup shine best, it can really move your body without you noticing it. The source imperfection w/ these genre are pretty much cover itself, so even with complete SS upstream and/or mp3, I think it gets the job done very well.

- Conclusion
It's been a great run. For the price, I think it deliver a truly great sounding product that many cannot touch. I absolutely would recommend this to anyone who likes the materials mentioned that suite this setup. And its obvious to me now there is no one tool perfect for all the jobs. Maybe I'm asking too much, maybe 8 hours non-stop vocal session without ANY fatigue plus emotion to die for, as well as faster-than-bullet transient, all in 16bits of zeros and ones are just too far a goal. I'll need to get a hold of the MK IV or darkvoice to really find out. Rock on...
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Bryan
 
Aug 13, 2008 at 9:19 AM Post #4 of 13

btbluesky

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After further burn-in and listening. I changed my setup and hook up the MK V to my Jolida integrate Preamp out. NICE! That 2 12ax7 does smooth out the sound alot, and the mid are where I want it. Bass are tight, and the highs are detail and sweet.

The MK V is definitely a keeper. For this price, there are nothing out there to match this.

I'm contemplating getting a full tube SET amp to see if I'd like it even more, but at this stage, I'm already very happy w/ my setup.
 
Aug 13, 2008 at 3:55 PM Post #5 of 13

Golden Monkey

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Nice review, thx. I tried some 250 ohm DT880's with mine, and although it was very capable and resolving, I found myself not a fan of the DT880. It was excellent with the types of music you mention, but I'm more of a Senn guy I guess.
 
Sep 13, 2008 at 3:32 AM Post #7 of 13

justadollar66

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Have you tried putting together these two units. I've just picked them up seperately and when they're apart I have no complaints, but when I put them together..... yuck. There is a heck of a lot of hum / hiss that makes it impossible to listen to my Denon DH2000's.

However, run another source through the Litle Dot and ...... nice and quiet.
Run my Paradisea+ through my Rotel set up...... nice and quiet.

I don't know if it's jsut my equipment of if this is a regular problem. Anyone have any similar issues matching either or these components?
 
Sep 13, 2008 at 2:06 PM Post #8 of 13

justadollar66

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There turns out to be a grounding issue when I go from the Paradisea+ to the Little Dot MKV. A little electrical tape over the ground on the Little Dot is a temporary fix and the set up runs quiet.

Now when I listen to Dogs on Pink Floyd's Animal all I get is the canines howling in the distance, not the snakes hissing in the foreground! Yay.

I'll dig around for grounding issues with mixing some of this gear and see how common it is and what the consensus for a solution might be.

Cheers,
 
Sep 16, 2008 at 3:07 AM Post #10 of 13

btbluesky

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Man my wife is not gonna be happy. I have ordered the trafomatic Head. As well as an Antique Sound Labs MG HEAD OTL/TC amp from another headfier. The Traformatic head is coming soon, and it's got the prettiest face and spec, but we'll see if we get the pretty sound as well.

I also gotten another MHDT Havana, it's still burning in I feel, but man it's very nice.

Will post some comparison soon.
 
Feb 17, 2009 at 1:05 AM Post #11 of 13

chinesekiwi

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Time to bump this, as from today, I have this same exact combo.
smily_headphones1.gif


Loving the super detail the MKV brings out in the DT880.
Even in complex passages where a lot of amps would cloud it, I can hear every detail.

What is noticeable is the improvement of impact.
 
Feb 17, 2009 at 4:51 AM Post #13 of 13

les_garten

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Quote:

Originally Posted by btbluesky /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Man my wife is not gonna be happy. I have ordered the trafomatic Head. As well as an Antique Sound Labs MG HEAD OTL/TC amp from another headfier. The Traformatic head is coming soon, and it's got the prettiest face and spec, but we'll see if we get the pretty sound as well.

I also gotten another MHDT Havana, it's still burning in I feel, but man it's very nice.

Will post some comparison soon.



On your Beyers, if you crank it as loud as you can stand it, where does the Vol control point to? What impedance are your Beyers?

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