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Doing a side by side comparison, my source seems to be warmer and clearer that the sound coming out of the O2 amp. The sound coming from the O2 amp seems a little more echo-y, tinny, and "compressed" in comparison. Desktop source was Spotify downloaded songs. Phone source was Pixel w/ Spotify songs downloaded at "extreme" quality. Headphones are ATH-M50's (which I know I don't need an amp for, the amp is for my Fostex T-X0 on order...). Any thoughts?
I can tell you that the O2 isn't a warm sounding amp in any way... more neutral than anything, and amplifiers don't really add WARMTH to music particularly, although some have it that the specific op-amps used in the build can emphasize different parts of the range,(think V sig vs Flat), which can give an impression of warmth...but typically warmth and such-like flavours to sound are at the headphone end of things. That being said....a tube amp DOES colour sound, but that's a WHOLE different ball of wax.... I wonder if what you are hearing is just an amplification of source flaws that may not be so audble when the O2 is not in play. This is always the risk when one adds an amp to the mix; if your source isn't clean, is lossy, or having any NUMBER of other potential flaws, amplification makes them more apparent and uncomfortable to deal with.
I don't use Spotify, but I suspect it's not the cleanest, least lossy format out there.
Not dissin'......just hoping this is helpful in your appreciation of what you may be hearing.
BTW; Those Fostex will sound NIIIICE on this amp, try using something lossless as your source.