I picked up one of these on sale from Amazon at $615+tax.
I REALLY like this amp.
Gungnir A2 Mutibit -> Liquid Platinum -> Elex
When it arrived, I thought, I’ll plug it in and listen to a couple of tracks, but I couldn’t stop listening to different tracks on it, 3 hours later I had to make dinner.
The overall sound is pretty neutral, I wouldn’t have guessed hybrid from the sound on initial listening, the valve sound is there, but it’s pretty subtle, I’m using the stock tubes with are Electro Harmonix 6922’s, I haven’t tried rolling (don’t have any 6922’s lying around), but I suspect the overall effect will be subtle.
The initial wow factor was as is often with higher end gear was in it’s spatial presentation, it just sounds really open and yet still full. There is great separation between the layers of sound.
Bass is full and well controlled
Midrange sounds particularly good, vocals and string instruments sound fantastic.
Trebble has good extension, but it’s not harsh except when it supposed to be (edgyness in guitar distortion and feedback).
I’ve only tried driving it through the balanced input with the Gungnir, and I need to test it with the unbalanced input. And I have to wonder how much of the quality I’m hearing is the amps ability to expose the Gungnir’s great spatial representation, when I get a chance I’ll try it from a more reasonably priced DAC.
One thing to note is that the unbalanced output sounds noticeably worse that the balanced output, it’s not just volume, it loses a lot of it’s soundstage magic, to the point I wouldn’t bother with this amp for unbalanced headphones. It’s still a good amp at that point, but your losing a lot of what makes it special.
I also own a Massdrop CTH, which I like, but it’s not on the same level.
I tried it on my Ether CX’s with much the same overall impression, I don’t have a balanced cable for the HD6XX so it was underwhelming as noted.
Interesing seeing how it sounds on the ZMF’s I have on order and how it compares to the Liquid Gold X which is released next month.