Back to listening today with the new super clean tube. Decided to go back to the Focal Elex’s to see how they sounded. After one spin through my test list, I changed back to my stock tube.
I bought this amp because I thought/hoped it would be thick and bassy. And it is. Then I got tubes that made it sound like my other amps. At first I thought, “That’s cool”. But it’s really not. I have a wonderful iFi Pro iCAN and a pretty good Violectric V220 for clarity, accuracy and smooth sound.
This amp was bought for fun. There was a reason that I didn’t buy another hybrid. I wanted thick/gooey.
I think this amp will be like my Cascades: Not something I want to use 7 days a week, but for a few days at a time, it will make me giggle or at least smile.
Have you already gone through a DV?
Nope. I actually tried to buy one through Drop and they cancelled at the last minute. And they were reported to be pretty noisy and need some soldering (Fitz mod?)
I just decided to go a little higher end. And I did like LD MKIII just fine. Didn’t blow me away, but had a nice sound.
Most people don’t actually do the Fitz mod lol I haven’t gotten around to doing it on mine yet
I am back to stock tubes today and plugged in my CFA Cascades. I thought it might be too much bass, but it is a wonderful combo! Started off with lots of Dave Matthews and am now into my Donald Byrd 4-pack.
I ask out of curiosity as I couldn’t remember if you had tried it. Just thinking it has that ooey-gooey sound for cheap. I always run any new pre-amp tube in it for like three days sans power-tube and I don’t have any noise issues.
Someday I’d like to do BHC+SB. That’s about as deep into the tube worm-hole as I wish to go, likewise I’m happy to use tubes for a cartoony “euphonic” vibe with highish-impedance cans rather than plunge into the wormhole of ultra-premium t00bz.
Can relate to the tube problems you had got the same Thompson 6080wa in my crack and they are the shits with my aeolus, give them that 3d soundstage and a bit better treble but for my T1.2 i prefer my stock tube for that sweet mids bass tubey goodness XD
At this point, the stock power tubes are fine. In my second day using the stock driver tube, they don’t seem especially thick or bassy today. Maybe the tube is breaking in? Maybe I am adjusting to it? Maybe it’s all in my mind?
I think I will just continue my headphone exploration with the stock tubes. I am finding that with the Cascades I am dialing up the volume. Today, I am hitting 1:00-2:00 with the older/softer music. Previously I have only gone there with the Elex’s.
Man, does it sound good to me!
Still going with my MK9 testing. Liked all of my DD headphones on it (Grado GH2’s, Focal Elex’s, Focal Elegia’s, CFA Cascades and LSA HP-2’s).
Started today by changing the amp to high gain and plugging in my T60 Argons. I am getting great volume at 1:00 (60 on the dial), but have to go to 2:00 (70 on the dial for older/softer music. To be specific, my ideal volume maxes in the low 70’s, decible wise.
I thought I might be missing some punch, so I turned the Schiit Loki on. Of course I have to reduce the amp volume by 10 points to keep it comfortable.
Not sure about the Loki. I decided to go back to my test list and run through it twice, without and without the Loki engaged. Maybe even a third time with the stock drive tube? That is getting excessive, but…
Just realized that I have not updated this thread in 12 days. Mostly focused on the Head-Fi thread, I guess.
Anyway, I do love this amp. It made all my DD’s sing beautifully. I thought it was also very capable with my T60 Argons’s. I could bass them up more by turning on the Loki, but I just found high gain was enough for a few days.
The only failure this amp had was in dealing with the HiFiman HE6se V2’s and that was expected.
I have had this amp for about 35 days and have been listening to it for almost every one of them. I diverted to my iFi a couple of times and TBH, it made this amp sound primitive.
On the other hand, it has been very competitive against the Violectric V220. The V220 beats it on clarity by a noticeable margin. But if you are measuring fun sound and enjoyment, it is really close. After switching to the V220, I tend to go back to the MK9 half an hour to an hour later.
I am not an audiophile, nor do I have golden ears. I like the thick or bassy sound very much, although it can get to be too much on some music (veiled or even muffled). Then I just flip over to a cleaner sound to change it up for a while.
After the novelty wears off, I will still be using this amp pretty regularly. And tube rolling really does make a large difference, more than with any other amp I have ever owned.
Beware the tubes! The 6080’s get Really hot. And if you’re after clarity or accuracy, this is NOT your amp. But if you have smooth, accurate amps already and want something very different from most SS/hybrid amps, this could be the one. And the price is relatively affordable.
Also, I just got in a pair used hemps and they also sound great on this amp. Hanging about 11:00.