Amp for edition xs

Hello everyone

Am new here and also in the audioworld.

I wanted to get new headphones to do everything with (listen to music, watch movies, play games, tv, etc).

immersion is the goal, soundstage, holograficity, as much 3d as possible

I have long read in forums and watched many youtube videos and now already got some things, I am only missing the amplifier and so I have now created an account here to hear your advice.

During my research I read many posts from pokrog, because of his posts and the feedback that followed his advice, I already got myself the following components, this is my current chain:

Smsl su1
Nobsound ns05p
AMP still to be defined
Edition xs

The edition xs seem to need more power than average to get the best out of these headphones, so i bought the passive preamp ns05p to turn the amp up full and control the volume via the passive preamp ns05p.

I live in switzerland and the market is therefore limited.
Recently I had seen via hifishark a monolith liquid platinum for about 380 usd and the lake people g111 mkii (which is highly praised by wavetheory) I can buy here via for 550usd.

Unfortunately i couldn’t find anywhere a comparison between the newest G111 mkii and the Liquid platinum and which of the two gets more out of the edition xs.

I would now be interested in your opinion on the mentioned amplifier in combination with the edition XS. Which one can give me more immersion, soundstage, holograficity, 3d?

Other amplifiers I have looked at would be the cayin iha-6.

If i have to i can spend the 550usd, but i would prefer to stay in the 350 usd range, but if the benefits outweigh…

Do you guys have any other recommendations?

Best thanks in advance

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i’d go for the Topping A90/A90D, in general the Xs loves power, it loves it even more when its clean, and the A90D has plenty of clean power

Within the Topping product line you can also take a look at the L70 on the lower end of your budget, and the A70 pro at the higher end of your budget. I own the L70 and it is good for the price, but I mostly use it as a preamp/switch for two of my other amps. I have tried my Arya Stealth on the L70 and it does an okay job. The A70 pro has way more power than either the A90d or the L70 though. That doesn’t make it “better” by default, but if you are looking for something with more power on tap then it is at a reasonable price point.
Good luck in your search, and welcome to the Hobby!

I haven’t heard the G111 or the A90D, but I have the XS and the Liquid Platinum, and I can tell you that the LP drives the XS beautifully. Great sound and more than enough headroom.

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thank you all for your quick responses

hm, the a90/d doesn’t quite convince me based on this video from wavethory (in the video, the a90d is the least loved…):

the L70 and A70 pro i have to have a look at

hehe from you I have also read some posts, if I’m not mistaken you have also implemented some advice from pokrog right?
do you also do it that way, that you turn up the amplifier fully (max gain etc.) and adjust the volume via a passive preamp or via your dac?
what about immersion / holograficity / 3d / soundstage ( width height depth) with MLP + EDXS? can you tell me more about that?

@Pokrog and @WaveTheory
may i involve you directly on this? as far as i know you pokrog have never tried the g111 mkii, but you wavetheory have experience with both, MLP and g111 mk2. I would be very interested in your opinion, what do you think with which amplifier can you get more out of the Edition XS (as already mentioned, the setting would be that the amplifier is fully turned up on max gain and the volume is controlled via the passive preamp ns05p).
is there another amplifier in the price range that would perform even better than the 2 mentioned (mlp / g111mk2)?

thanks again for your time and help

Fair enough but keep in mind that one person opinion you can look a wide arry of reviewers that love the A90/D (and im not talking just about Zeos).

At the end of the day its a matter of taste, i own both the Xs and the A90D (i previously had the A50s,), and IMO i think its an excellent pairing - at the end of the day its a matter of preference but i found that Hifiman planars sound better with cleaner amps

I have in fact tried some things that @Pokrog has shared and it has worked well. I have enjoyed @WaveTheory and his work also. These gentlemen know their stuff, so it’s good info to work off of. It’s amazing how different components interact with each other, be it good or bad. And sometimes, as many pages of research and forum conversations and reviews we go through, you just have to put things together and see what happens! You learn by doing, and for me, I have had a good bit of fun doing.

In my present use case, the speaker setup is the only thing that gets pre-amped. In this scenario, I set the speaker amp to a “max gain” setting and use the pre to control volume. The headamps are direct feed from the DAC. I even change inputs to the DAC for a given use case or genre of music. Every little thing counts.

As for the Liquid Platinum, I love this amp. It has worked out better than I ever could have hoped. I love the aesthetics of it, for one. It fits right into the skyline of my layout. Technically, this amp is very, very good. First and foremost, this amp makes an insane amount of power. Some say it’s too much power, and it’s hard to argue the point. But I like it. And so does the EDXS. And so does the Sundara! This amp woke those right up. Not quite to XS level, but better than I had ever heard them. The LP is definitely a great match for planars.

Because of the tremendous power, I have read about the gain surge issue as you pass through the 10 O’clock position on the control, but I am not experiencing that per se’. There are spots on the dial, the 10 O’Clock position being one of them where you sense rapid gain, but I am not finding it to be excessive. I am not ham-fisted with the knob anyway and find that I can make very precise gain adjustments.

And the sound? I happen to think this a beautiful sounding amp. Very sweet, deep and engaging and yet extremely clean and resolving. The imaging and the way it presents the stage is really nice. Height, width, depth - all really nice spatial qualities. These Gold Lion tubes are in fact making their presence felt. Vocals seem like they are not as forward as other amps I have heard, but how it places instruments and brings things like the percussion and other effects to light more than make up for it. Beautiful bass, strong, clear mids, nice treble response - it’s a great listening experience and a phenomenal value proposition. And now that I have the HE1000 V2 Stealth, it’s crazy good. Talk about synergy. The XS is great on the LP - The HEK is next level. You just want to keep listening to it. And that is what matters.

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Intimidating isn’t it? Getting into this big world with big $$$ signs and not really knowing what to do…it’s scary and you’re trying to decide what’s worth it and what’s gonna be the least likely to create big regret. Been there.

My first piece of advice to you and to any potential future Ales out there is…

take a deep breath and relax.

Based on what you’ve written above, I gather this will be your first audiophile-grade setup. Regardless of whether you choose MLP, G111, or A90D you’re very likely to have your mind blown and those EdXS glued to your head for the better part of the next month. All 3 of those amps will have more than enough power to drive the XS properly. They will all sound a little bit different. I don’t like the A90D’s presentation compared to the other 2 but it’s gonna be WAY better than antything you’ve likely listened to for any length of time to this point.

Drilling down, I’d say the MLP at $380 is a really good value and you’ll get more performance/dollar than either of the other two. You can also roll tubes on it and fine tune the sound a bit. That’s a money trap, but also lots of fun.

But seriously, as far as amps go you really can’t make a BAD decision here; just slightly varying levels of good. So try not to overdo the whole paralysis by analysis thing :slightly_smiling_face:

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XS and MLP is a good pairing. I really liked it with E88CC Gold Lions, but really just any tubes, the amp is just awesome and as others have said, great for planars in general at the prices they go for on sale. If you can find a Cayin IHA-6 for like under $400, that was also a pretty good combo.

What current gear do you have and what is your hard budget for everything all in?

Hello, unfortunately I’m still without an amp…

current gear:

  • PO100pro
  • Smsl su1/ ZenDac v2
  • Nobsound ns05p
  • AMP still to be defined
  • Edition xs

immersion, soundstage, holograficity, as much 3d as possible, for everything (music, gaming and movies)

currently there are 2 secondhand offers that would interest me:

  • Liquid Platinum incl. Gold Lions / 325.- USD
  • Cayin IHA-6 / 280.- USD

which of these two amps fits better with and which gets more out of the EDxs?

500.- USD would be my hardbudget but I would really prefer to spend around 300.-.

I have had my EdXSs for about 2 weeks and I have tried them on everything from Schiit Magni 3+ to HeadAmpGS+X Mini to Ferrum Oor/Hypsos and so far my favorite combo is my Schiit Lyr 2 with some 1974 Reflektor 6n23ps or some Mid 70’s Amperex ECC88s. They just really open up and get dynamic with that amp. Major synergy for sure.

Edit: Tried them with the Liquid Platimum and an XDuoo TA20 just to see if it was a tube hybrid in general thing, but I didn’t get the same effect as with the Lyr. Not even close.

also, consider the Violectric HPA 222
its more than capable to drive any headphone