Guys, just as an update, my GS-X did arrive. I’m selling it purely due to financial reasons, but I’ve used it on and off for a week or so and have some quick impressions.
I followed the approach of living with the amp for a bit rather than immediately A/B testing it against my existing amp (789). I’d say that right off the bat it seemed to deliver more power than the 789, especially over the balanced output. Bass felt fractionally fuller, and there was a slight warmth to the lows and mids, but also a slight harshness to the highs. I’d actually say that at first it seemed to present a slightly V-shaped sound signature, but over the week this became less apparent, and the overall impression became more neutral.
I wrote in another thread about my experience of A/B testing the Modius against the Bifrost 2, and finding that I couldn’t really differentiate between them. I won’t go into quite so much detail here, and as an update to that, I’d say that the warmth and more natural feel of the Bifrost - despite being very very subtle - is something that I’ve come to appreciate. When I finally got around to A/B testing the GS-X Mini against my THX AAA 789, I did not have the same experience - it took literally one song for me to hear an undeniable difference between the two. The GS-X breathed life into each test song, making everything sound more dynamic and exciting but matching the 789 for detail and sharpness. The 789 by comparison felt suddenly flatter, and somehow more artificial - vocals and instruments didn’t sound as lifelike, and there was a dynamism and fullness that I missed. Everything on the Mini sounded more natural and lifelike, but also more immersive. As mentioned, it’s very powerful. Through the XLR output, I had no need to go beyond 12 o’clock on low gain with the Arya - this thing is like a nuclear reactor.
In more ways than one - it’s worth mentioning how hot it gets. If left on for more than 30 minutes or so, I actually find the Mini to be get so hot that I can’t physically hold my hand against it for more than a few seconds. I thought the Bifrost 2 was warm, but I could cook an egg on the Mini.
So yes, the Mini is great. If I didn’t need the money I’d keep it. Pairs beautifully with the Bifrost.