Suggetion's for 500$ amp upgrade

I’m looking to upgrade my el amp II and I wanted to ask if the upgrade is even worth
Looking for something in the 500$ range so far im looking at the Rupert Neve RNHP, HeadAmp Gilmore Lite Mk2, or maybe the topping a90 with the d90 mqa because there is going to be
an 11.11 sale on the combo
I currently have the ndh20,fh7 and im looking to get aeon 2 closed in the future
Also my current dac is topping d10 might upgrade in the future but I dont mind it because I think
an amp is more important for headphones

What type of sound are you looking for here? What do you like about your el amp, and what would you change?

I would say that going for a dac upgrade would be worthwhile for sure after the amp

The rnhp works very well with the ndh20, but not so much with the aeon 2 closed imo. The gilmore lite personally isn’t something I prefer with either cans unless you are after a brighter and more analytical signature. Generally I really like the monolith liquid platinum with the aeon 2 closed, but it’s lackluster with the ndh20 because the single ended output isn’t all that great. I would say a lake people g111 is a good match if you are after something neutral clean ish but still good emotion and it drives both headphones fairly well imo (although the aeon 2 might still want a bit more drive since the g111 is a bit current limited)

I love my ndh20 more than my fh7 but sometimes it is a bit boring to listen to music
for a long time, I want something that will maybe change that a little but mainly help the aeon 2 closed
because I will prob replace the ndh with them,The g111 sounds interesting

If you plan to replace the ndh20, then the liquid platinum + aeon 2 closed (or really most of the other fun planars in the range) is a really engaging combo for sure, pair that with a dac like a bifrost 2 or ares ii and you have a very fun setup there. I will say though that iems of the liquid platinum are not a good idea because you have very little volume control due to no gain switch.

The g111 is a nice option but if you are looking for something a bit more engaging, the 111 is nice but is no nonsense and isn’t the most fun sounding amp out there, a bit dry for some

I dont know anything about tube amps but can I assume its basically the same as a normal amp?
Altho in reality I dont think it matters because in the end of the day I care about the what it sounds like
also thanks for the quick replies

The liquid platinum is a hybrid amp, so it’s basically half solid state half tube amp, it sends the input signal through preamp tubes and then uses a solid state amp to actually drive the headphones, this allows you to use harder to drive planar with great control and power, while also getting a bit of extra spaciousness and richness in the sound, good balance. Generally most true tube amps in the budget to midrange section do very poorly with planar, so a hybrid works well if you want a taste of both worlds. The main note about the plat is that you would want to grab balanced cables for anything you run off of it, as it preforms much better on the balanced output. Another precaution would be to just make sure to not leave it on all the time, just turn it off when you aren’t using it to preserve tube life. You can get away with a d10 for the time being but later on upgrading to a higher end dac would be advisable (and would give you good sound quality bumps as well)

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Another question hope its not annoying, Does it come with the tubes thenself?
Also looking at the back of it i dont understand how it really works, do i just plug my rca cables
with the out settings? thanks again


You just plug your rca into the input labeled I

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Wanted to ask this now but assuming I order from danclark store should I get the 2.5mm vivo cable?
seems safest option considering I have an adapter to 4pin xlr,Also is there a place to get a cable that will just work becasue some shops seem to just sell the a2c with the 3.5mm cable like amazon

You could

You could get an aftermarket like a corpse gravedigger cable for like 200 or so if you wanted to if I’m understanding you correctly

ye but tbh if im looking at an aftermarket cable i’d like to get something that is prob cheaper because im not sure a “high quality” cable or w.e will make a difference in sound

small update : I gotta say after reading their whole bio or w.e im quite impressed that they offer
lifetime warranty on a cable, I assume the price tag for their cables is not only what its made out of

They use good quality wires and it’s solidly built, it’s what I use on my aeon 2 as well, to me it was worthwhile, slight sonic improvement but I wouldn’t buy it purely for the sound. You can always get their basic cable (not the gravedigger, uses mogami instead of cardas) which is a very fair price for the quality imo

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Ended up getting the a90 because of a good deal, haven’t given up on the liquid plat yet and im planning on getting it in the future, Is there any dac upgrade i should look for now? (I’d rather it be a better pairing with the liquid plat even tho i dont have it now), thanks in advance

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I’m actually selling a liquid Plat lol if ur interested just let me know

Great choice I pulled the trigger on A90 couple of months ago haven’t looked back.Getting a DV tube amp for fun.Next piece is a R2R ladder Dac and i’m done for awhile.