Arya Amp Pairing

So I’m looking for something as a goal for me to save towards again and I’m aiming to upgrade/sidegrade me source chain for my Aryas. Currently I have a Soncoz SGD-1 and a Topping A90 (a replacement for a faulty H16).

My preferences for sound is that I greatly value soundstage width and depth and would prefer something leaning towards the warm side. A lot have recommended me the Liquid Plat which I understand pairs very well with the Arya, especially for my preferences. Being located in NZ however, the shipping fees and the import duty will make me pay way too much for the LP (about $200 over MSRP) and because of my location, used options are also not really an option unless they are local.

Combinations I have considered are: Jot2/BF2, Ares 2/A90, Burson Conductor 3XP.

I also certainly care about aesthetics as well, something like the Soekris DACs or the Ares 2 aren’t favourable to me but sound will probably come first, especially if they synergise better.

Violectric V281 have it all :grimacing:
If you want warm i think Jot2/BF2 will suit you best. A90 is a bright amp :slight_smile:

1 Like

The V281 is very expensive for my taste, I may get there one day but not yet lol. I am indeed leaning towards the Schiit systems at the moment, I might even throw a Valhalla 2 in there for some tubeyness (would be my first experience with tubes)

i cant find anyone near me use valhalla2, no one talk about it, so i think valhalla2 isn’t good :confused: Jot2 will be the safer choice :smiley: Or go for Lyr3/Mjolnir2 instead if you want tube

I love my TA - 30 Hybrid. I’d recommend Hybrids for all planars. Makes them way more fun than Solid state. If you get the liquid platinum please do yourself a favour and change the tubes.

I’ve actually found 3 amps used that have caught my attention, all going for about 1300usd here. There is a iFi Pro iCan, Vioelectric V280 and a Bryston BHA-1.

I’ve demoed the BHA-1 with the Arya before and it sounded fantastic, but it is a bit of a brute in its size for a desktop amp and I found it had very little volume control. I’ve never tried the other 2 before

Imo. All of these are solid solid options. Something to watch out with the BHA-1 though is all the crazy silent revisions (they are audeze level with that). Personaly though, my preference for arya are clean tubes. Also, I would avoid burson as there have been some issues with them destroying HPs

That are some nice amps! I have a V220 and would Love to try a V280/V281. I would call Violectric’s warm and they offer a very full sound.

I have never heard the BHA-1, but have heard that it is pretty neutral, in line with audiophile tastes.

I recently got the iFi Pro iCAN (used), and it is very different. The bass boost is awesome and some headphones really benefit from it. The 3D sound effect is Amazing with certain headphones, but definitely not all.
And it has TONS of power.

Happy hunting!

1 Like

Singxer SA-1 + Ares 2 = :fire::fire::fire::fire::fire:

What are your thoughts on the iCan along with the arya specifically? Do they make for a good combo

I do not have the Arya’s nor have I ever heard them, but would like to.
At this point my HiFiman experience has been HE4XX’s, Sundara’s and now Edition XX’s.


What are your thoughts on it with the Edition XX and the iCan (if you still have them together, I used to have the Edition XX before the Aryas so I’m familiar with its sound)

Since the Edition XX’s, to me, already have pretty good width, I don’t get much out of 3D. However, the bass boost is great with these. I find the bass pretty good on these to begin with, and the bass boost just cranks it up. I haven’t used this combo in a few weeks, but it made me smile.

I am constantly cycling through four amps and ten different headphones looking for combo’s that make you go “Oh yeah!” :grin:

But I have not yet made the leap to high end headphones ($1,500 and up in Canada).

Good to hear that you are enjoying the Edition XX. As one who jumped from the Edition XX to the Arya, it is definitely a considerable step up. Right now I’m on the verge of pulling the trigger on a used iCan to pair with my Arya but am holding back on certain things like mixed opinions whether the iCan is warm or neutral and it potentially not having a particularly large stage. The Burson Soloist/Conductor 3XP is really making my decision tough!

The Edition XX is a headphone I like, but don’t love. I can see me selling it down the road.

IMO, the Pro iCAN is a very neutral amp. However, you can change that with the bass boost, sound signature (SS/Tube/Tube+) and even the 3D sound effect. It is an IDEAL amp for someone with several sets of headphones.

I would never buy another Burson product, but my single bad experience is no reason for anyone else to avoid them.

For a long time my 1-2 punch was my Violectric V220 and Monoprice Liquid Platinum. Between them they could get the best out of almost any headphone.

I will be curious to hear what you end up with matching to the Arya’s. :+1:

ATM the iFi has the best shot at me pairing it with the Arya, the MLP is a little inaccessible unless someone sells one used here. What happened with your Burson if I may ask?

Suffice to say, bad product, bad dealer, bad company. This was with a Burson Fun. Maybe it was just the luck of the draw, but it left a very sour taste in my mouth.

Monoprice has sales on the LP. I paid $599.00. My landed cost in Canada was a little over $1,000.00 (Canadian dollars). Worth every penny and I can’t see me ever selling it.

Do you have access to the Violectric/Lake People family of products, new or used? Or would they be too warm?

Good to know about the Burson.

I do not have access to the Vioelectric/Lake People amps here but there is one V280 used, in fact its the same seller as the Pro iCan. The only thing is I’m not certain on which I would prefer, both are going the same price used (USD1250)

The MLP would end up costing me about 1K USD which is a little steep for a MLP no?

Really the main thing attracting me to the iCan at the moment is I am able to tube roll the iCan to improve its tube modes and I can have a powerful SS and a decent tube in one unit.

I see in some of your posts that you had a SP200, how would you rate the SS sound from the iCan and something like the SP200? Does the SS mode have the usual Class A type of smoother sound or is it basically just a super-powered ultra linear amp like the 789s/A90s of the world?

Is there any chance at all that you could test the V280/Pro iCAN? There is no substitute for actually hearing something in person. I would drive a few hours in both directions if the seller was willing to let me test on his sheltered porch for an hour or two. :grin:

$1,000 landed for an LP is list price. I think the regular price is $779.00, plus tax and shipping. Of course, most people in the US land it for $500.00 to $700.00 and many have gotten crazy sale prices.
They also have open box specials. I bought a Liquid Spark for a great price.

As far as the iCAN goes, there are not a lot of tube rolling options. The big one is WE396A’s. Hard to get and pricey. But I will be trying them. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

I tried the SS mode and liked it. However I always keep it in tube mode. The difference is very small, but I think it softens it just a bit. Tube+ is a little messy, but fun now and then.

I have never tried the 789, but read/heard that it was similar to the SP200. I am not a huge fan of neutral, transparent gear, but am determined to try everything. (I have and like the HD660’s, but I can’t wear them for more than day or two.)
Anyway I bought the SP200 and combined it with the SMSL SU-8 DAC. Within a couple of months I could take no more. It was an unbearable system for Beyer or Grado headphones. Anything brightish became sharp very quickly. Didn’t work at all for me.

The SS mode in the Pro iCAN is Nothing like that. I wouldn’t call it warm, but it is nice and smooth.

IMO, the Pro iCAN is in a whole different league from anything under $1K. Of course it was priced accordingly.

To sum up:

  1. Pro iCAN. Jack of all trades (master of none?). VERY expensive. The most adjustable tool I have ever seen for music. Love it! It does some very special things with about three of my headphones.

  2. LP. I love the sound of this amp and you can Really tube roll with this puppy. Like deep into the rabbit hole. However very high gain and subpar SE output mean it is not great with low impedance headphones. I LOVE it with Focal Elexes, Senn HD660’s, HiFiman Sundara’s, etc.

  3. Violectric anything. I love the house sound for this series. But I do like warm amps and warm headphones. Another amp that will likely never move.
    Great with Grado’s, really fills them out. Also love them with Cascades and most/all low impedance 1/4" headphones (V220 is only SE). Would loved to have a V280/V281 for the balanced option.

Well, that is probably way more info than you wanted, but that is my thoughts on those items. :laughing:

Happy hunting! :+1:

The info is great! Unfortunately there really is no way for me to try out the Vioelectric line without taking a flight somewhere (im down under in NZ). I actually just pulled the trigger on the iCan used at USD1250.

I would like some warmth but smoothness and soundstage come first in priorities for me. The funny things is the iCan is known to be like the swiss army knife of amps but I only have the Arya as my sole headphone (and i intend to keep it that way). The only thing I see myself upgrading is to the higher end hifimans (I’ve tried a multitide of headphones and keep coming back to the egg shape hifimans) and the iCan should be good for me even up to the susvara I think (when I get there).