Showing 1 of 22 conversations about:
andrewpable
4
Jan 28, 2021
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How does this compare to other options, like little dot, dark voice, xduoo ta-05?
Jan 28, 2021
Fayne
2318
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Jan 28, 2021
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Probably a lot more compatible than the DV, though less overall power. No risk of burning yourself on the chassis though. Probably a lot cleaner output than the Dot1+, but without the ability to roll the opamp. Uses cheaper components than the TA-05, especially so the power supply. But has more power on tap than the TA-05.
Jan 28, 2021
andrewpable
4
Jan 28, 2021
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@Fayne Thanks! They heard I forgot to ask about this one but I've also seen the cavalli tube hybrid used in this price range, how does that compare?
Jan 28, 2021
Fayne
2318
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Jan 28, 2021
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I'm not entirely sure, but I've got a feeling that the Cavalli hybrid will be better sounding with mid to high impedance cans than this, dude is a freaking master designer. That said, the CTH (or at least my CTH) is very unhappy with sensitive low Ω gear, and prone to noise. I've rolled the tube in mine many times trying to make it work with my ultra sensitive cans, but there is always more background noise than I like. I've been very happy with the two xDuoo amps I own (TA-20 and TA-03s), so if I was personally in the market for another 6J1 hybrid tube amp, I'd probably have jumped on this myself.
Jan 28, 2021
hypnoticdcime
159
Jan 29, 2021
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Its not a REAL tube amp. It has a tube pre-amp and solid state audio out. The Dark Voice and Little Dot MKII are actually real tube amps without the SS. So it doesnt compare at all.
Jan 29, 2021
Fayne
2318
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Jan 29, 2021
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Except the DV is a flaming pile of shit if you don't modify the hell out of it, and wildly inefficient even if you do. Good luck using lowZ cans. If you're going to suggest an OTL, at least suggest something that was designed properly, and not assembled in a trash heap.
Jan 29, 2021
hypnoticdcime
159
Jan 29, 2021
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It's a reply for a general, Drop audience. Not a reader of Stereophile. And bashing what is available at a low price point does nobody any good.
(Edited)
Jan 29, 2021
Fayne
2318
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Jan 29, 2021
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Stereowhat? My comments are based on my own ownership of a DV, and my own investigations into the circuit after I found it a noisy over-hyped pos. It is a very bad entry into the OTL game for new people. Something like a Schiit Valhalla 2 or an xDuoo TA-03S is going to be much easier for a neophyte to handle. Assuming they understand that using anything lower than the 150Ω of a HD58x on most OTL is pretty horribad.
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That said, I do agree that pure tube is better than hybrid tube. Find yourself something like the transformer coupled output of a Gemtune PA1502A APPJ and bask in the divine goodness of 6V6 (or 6P1P if you've got the adapters) mids, or the full range of warm awesomeness of one of the 6L6 variants. Easily rock most cans down to 32Ω without problem, maybe even use IEMs which is pretty unusual in most cheap tube amps without the Schiit brand.
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(Edited)
Jan 29, 2021
hypnoticdcime
159
Jan 29, 2021
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You seem so damned angry. I don't know why and don't want to. Just move on.
Jan 29, 2021
Fayne
2318
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Jan 29, 2021
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I'll happily move on when you stop spewing disinformation. :)
Jan 29, 2021
andrewpable
4
Jan 29, 2021
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Wow this got a tad bit aggressive. I have definitely heard some pretty distasteful reviews of the DV unless you get really good tubes for it. So I've got some planars (a pair of hifiman he560s, tin p1 iems, and gl2000s on the way) and some dynamics (akg k550 mkii and dt770 250ohm) for headphones and I have a thx 789, a yulong da8 dac/amp, and a classic technics power amp(se-9060) that I use with either ohm walsh or jbl530 speakers, I would love to try out a tube sound without splurging for like a woo audio amp at the moment, what are your thoughts on a good mid tier amp to test the waters? I really like these hybrid amps price point(although i don't mind tube rolling within reason or pushing the budget some) but I do want to really hear the tube sound and don't mind running the tube amp into a SS amp to deal with output impedence issues especially with planars.
Jan 29, 2021
Fayne
2318
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Jan 29, 2021
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Even with good tubes in the DV, the circuit has design defects and the power levels sent to the heating elements tends to be (or can be, depending on the batch and what they used during the build) somewhat higher than the ~6volt it should be. This will kill those expensive tubes off much quicker then it should. Plus they're extremely prone to noise coming from the AC used at the heaters. I've rolled through at least $500 of tubes (not counting the factory box of Svetlana 6H13C/6AS7G I own), and just couldn't take it. Set that bugger on a shelf until I build up the ambition to rip its guts out and rebuild it using DC heaters and a proper bypass for the pre-out when using headphones. For anyone considering one, I say check out the xDuoo TA-03S. You get very similar bass extension, great sound, and the 6C19P driver tubes it eats can be had for $2.50-$5.00 in lots of 50, like $15-30 in pairs on ebay, and $50-60 in pairs from reputable vendors. Just don't bother using the built in DAC. Picture with the last set of tubes I tried on my DV:
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If all you want is a taste of the tube, score a pure tube buffer. A simple cathode follower like used in the Yaqin SD-CD1, SD-CD2, and SD-CD3 will do the trick. Those can be had for $100-300 new and used. They'll drop the gain a very very small bit, but inject the tube harmonics leaving your primary amp to do all the real amplification. The main difference between the three is the tube type used. CD1 is a single 6922/6DJ8/6N11 dual triode, CD2 is a pair of 6AK5/5654/6ZH1P/6J1/WE403B sharp cutoff pentodes, and the CD3 is 6SN7/6N8P triodes. All three use insanely simple circuits which are very easy to repair and modify. A lot of tube lovers right froth over the sound of 6SN7, and you can easily find NOS and current production of them. I'm kinda fond of the 6AK5, while incredibly easy to find and super cheap NOS, none of them are current production. Example of the CD3:
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CD2:
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You can also get one of the cheap preamps from companies like Nobsound or FX Audio, but they're just as hybrid as this xDuoo amp, and likely with more questionable build quality. As pure tube amps go on the cheap side, the GenTune APPJ PA1502A I mentioned is almost a giant killer. Can be had for $200-300. By default it uses a 12AU7 at the input, and 6V6 at the output. The power supply in it allows one to roll the 6V6 to a 6L6, which is one of the most popular and widely used power tubes available. All the tubes in it are easily found in both NOS and current production. Plus from my standpoint, it works well with every set of headphones I've tried on it, and a fair number of IEM. It does have few questionable design decisions with regards to the coupling capacitor capacity (0.1u vs 0.22u and 0.47u), so higher Ω cans get a bit less bass extension than they could. Easily fixed if you're handy with an iron, but not offensive enough to make one rage quit the amp if you use it default. ;) Anything from Schiit is going to be a good choice, they build to last but design to NOT have the major tube sound, typically aiming more for a neutral thing. You'll get some taste, but a lot less than found elsewhere. You'll also likely end up being able to use most all cans and IEMs with their gear. Edit: You may also want to consider one of the LOXJIE P20 amps (like has been mentioned many times today). They're dirt cheap hybrid at $99, and have a balanced output. They eat the not current production yet easily found 6N3/5670 tubes, but have a sound signature that is closer to the cold analytical solid state than tube. Also don't play very nicely with low Ω cans, causing some minor frequency shifting on anything lower than ~45Ω.
(Edited)
Jan 29, 2021
rutwikkiller
2
Feb 2, 2021
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I read while of your explanation and it cleared a lot of my doubts 👍 but it's there no way to use hifiman sundara with a tube amp ? I have got both hd6xx and sundara so I am looking for something ( tube amp) that can work with both hps and success I have never tried tubey flavors , I wanna have a go at it for cheap before I invest fully !! Please help , thanks
Feb 2, 2021
Fayne
2318
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Feb 2, 2021
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The Sundara isn't too difficult to drive, especially if you're looking at hybrid amplifiers. This MT-602 should be able to do such even. Plus the MT-602 works as a tube-preamp, so you can get the taste of the tube with your regular solid state amp. Pretty much any of the xDuoo hybrid amps should be able to drive Sundara. The CTH also shouldn't have any problems pushing the Sundara hard enough to melt your eardrums. If you're looking for pure tube amps for use with planar, you're generally going to need something with a transformer at the output, and that will push the price closer to $300USD new (audio transformers are expensive). The Gemtune PA1502A APPJ for example has no problems driving planar above 32Ω, and has a gain switch for pushing those cans that need the extra nut. The Monoprice Monolith 29511 is another amp that can drive pretty much any impedance headphone. Turn the dial to select the Ω range and off you go. Just don't use the built-in DAC with sensitive cans, it can cause interference.
Feb 2, 2021
rutwikkiller
2
Feb 2, 2021
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Thanks a lot, for now I will go with an hybrid tube amp before heading out for more expensive OTL and transformer tube amps , just wanted to check if my 6xx will become any better or now 😅 , I have my eyes on this xduoo mt602 or little dot mk2!! Thank you 👍
Feb 2, 2021
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