So I have a bit of a conundrum- I’m ready to upgrade my amp. Right now I have an SP200, BassX and Zen DAC for SS. Headphones- 880 600 Ohms, Sundaras, Grado Hemps, T60 Argons, and a few others that are of lesser note. Of all these, the Hemps are my favourite and will probably get the most listening time. The G111 appeals to me so I can power the 880s well, while the Singxer would power the T60s balanced well. Ideally, this would allow me to get rid of the BassX which I use to power the T60s and 880s, but isn’t a necessary requirement. Considering I already have an SP200, I already sort of have neutral covered even though it is the inferior amp to the G111, but wouldn’t want that to be a reason to not get it, either. Downside of the Singxer is it’s $50USD more, and I’d have to start investing in balanced cables. No interest in modding my 880s for a balanced either. I mean I do, but realistically, I’ll never do it or pay someone to do it. I also assume warranty is as good or better with the G111 and would be more hassle free. Don’t know for sure, though
So personally, I think the g111 might make the most sense given the headphones you have and your budget. Overall the g111 and singxer end up being on a similar tier, and I don’t think you can make a bad choice by going with either of them. I do prefer the g111 when it comes to lower level detail, spatial recreation, dynamics, and timbre, but I think the sa-1 does offer more impact for harder to drive, and a bit more of a fun signature that’s a bit more smooth. The g111 as you say will allow you to not have to rewire your grados or 880, and imo would offer a bit better experience with most of your headphones (although the argons may favor the sa-1)
Thanks! Now you mentioned the rewiring of the Grados… the 880s, sure, they’re power hungry, but are you implying that the SE output of the Singxer is a write-off? Or at least an even more glaring difference of SE Singxer compared to the G111?
So I didn’t find the single ended to be as good as balanced, I wouldn’t buy a sa-1 unless the headphones you cared to use it for would be balanced most of the time. If you are using single ended the g111 will absolutely be higher preforming imo
I haven’t done much critical listening and I’ve only had the SA-1 for a few days, but I’m comparing it against a BasX using 880’s right now and having a tough time telling them apart. DAC for both is a Modi Multibit, I’m waiting on a Bifrost 2 before committing.
The SA-1 is driving them easily on high gain and Hi-Z, without any fatigue headaches, so it can probably replace the BasX but isn’t obviously superior to it with the 880’s.
The SA-1 unbalanced output is fine in general, very quiet, but I don’t know for sure if it replaces the Magni 3+ that I use for anything lower impedance. In my ears, the headphone outs are tied. It’s frustrating.