I own a whole selection of headphones, noticeably Arya stealth, sendy aiva, argon’s 2, Beyer t5 and a couple more. The one thing they all have in common is low impedance and most are planars.
I currently drive them with my lovely questyle cma 600i, and I also have a loxje hybrid but I never use it. Now I’m looking for a nice way to add some tube flavor, or generally some warmth. I live in Europe so American options are interesting but way more expensive for me. I would love to get a tor balanced, I even wrote with its creator, but currently sending 1k to Ukraine with a 3-4 month wait time is honestly a bit to risky for me currently, since I’m not that well of. My budget would also be up to 1k, if something really special is a bit more I could stretch it a bit but I’m also very happy with cheaper options. Thanks for all suggestions.
For me the answer was Little Dot MK9. It sounds good with all my DD headphones and also my T60 Argons. It takes to tube rolling (just the drive tube - 6SL7) very well. You can adjust the sound to whatever you want. The stock tube is very bassy. It is the first tube amp that I have been very impressed with.
As a LD mk3 owner, I’ve been eyeing the mk9 for many years, since the mk3 is pretty poor for low impedance. What other planars have you tried with the mk9?
I only own two sets and that amp (or Most tube amps) are not going to run the HE6se V2’s.
I found that the Argons, in high gain, sounded really good.
I liked my MKIII very much, but I didn’t love it. I think I love the MK9 and don’t see any need to move it. It is a “tubey” tube amp and tube-rolling can really change the sound.
And I Loved my Grado’s on the MKIII.
Good to know it does well for low impedance. MKiii is great but it is very conditional. No low
Impedance as a general rule for OTL. And it really depends on what high impedance cans you own. It’s also very tube dependent, the stock tubes are garbage imo. I could see Grados sounding great on it. My own DT 990 250 ohm sounds great on it with the right tubes, same for 300 ohm sennheisers. But again you’ll be tube swapping to get the best sound depending on cans.
I’ll add it to my list.
I’ll definitely check out the lid mk 9 but I also found the white bird amplifiers (wba), they are about the same price and made in Poland, has anyone heard one of them? I read a review where the reviewer loved them with hifimann and Beyers, but complained about them being picky with sources.
I’d recommend looking into the Ember 2.1 by Garage1217. I currently use one with my Argon Mk3 regularly, and really love it’s versatility and customizability.
Specifically, I like it for the following reasons:
- Small form factor makes it easy to stack with most DACs
- Almost endless ability for tube-swapping easily due to automatic biasing.
- Can run everything from IEMs to planars to high impedance headphones
- Great customer service and communication
- Unique design that makes it standout amongst my other gear
- Adjustable and easily changeable settings allow you to really hone-in on your preferences.
The only potential downside is that you may end-up down a rabbit hole tube-swapping because there are endless possibilities. Personally, I like this feature as it ensures I won’t get bored with the amp over time.