First tube amp

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by Exidrion, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. Exidrion

    Exidrion Rando

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    Hello! I just stumbled across this site and it seems great so far. Wonderful forum software.

    I'm looking into purchasing my tube amp.

    My current set-up is a Schiit Yggdrasil / Ragnarok duo powering LCD3's. It's great but I'm really curious as to what kind of differences tube sound makes. My first thought was an Eddie Current 2A3 MK IV but I didn't see it listed on the front page of the EC website and instead had to Google it. I assume this is because it's soon being replaced?

    My budget is 4500~. Thanks for any advice.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2015
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  2. CEE TEE

    CEE TEE Free Agent

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    Hmmm, I'm not an Audeze owner (have borrowed them) so I couldn't really recommend a specific pairing.

    For better luck with recommendations from the crew, might you be able to describe some things that you would like from a tube amp?

    Examples might be related to: headstage presentation differences (size, separation or connection between instruments, distance from voices), ability to subtly change tonality with tubes, decay/speed characteristics, slam, weight of sound, transparency, linearity, extension...
     
  3. Exidrion

    Exidrion Rando

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    Hmm, that's actually a difficult thing for me to articulate/describe. It's funny but I've never really thought about what kind of sound I want when buying gear, apart from knowing that I like bass and a "warmer" sound rather than an extremely detailed one like what I gather the HD800's sound like.

    I can say that I'd like something that makes voices sound closer, with a wide soundstage and good bass response. The main thing that I'm told is that vocals sound more realistic and closer with tubes and that's what I'm curious about.

    I kinda sympathise with reviews now and understand why they use so many weird adjectives. It's really hard to describe sound characteristics other than "This sounds good" or "This sounds bad." LOL.
     
  4. joch

    joch Friend

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    It's also not just about the quality of the amp, but the tubes will obviously play a major part on the sound that you will get.

    Unless you're set on getting an uber-amp (e.g., EC, Cavalli) for a fraction of what you are willing to spend you might try a hybrid to see if you like tube rolling and get a sense of what tubes tick your taste boxes.

    For balance, you can try a Schiit Mjolnir (mk 2); single-ended, maybe a Project Ember.

    If you don't like tubes, then these also make fine pre-amps.

    A bit of warning: tube rolling is a slippery slope.
     
  5. Mikoss

    Mikoss Friend

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    @Exidrion have you had a chance to try out any tube amps with your LCD-3's? I find them fairly warm myself, so I would probably stick with the Rag for the LCD's... whereas even with the warm response of the HD-650's, I find they sound amazing with the Zana Deux. I have the original ZD, so can't really use the LCD's with it. I would love the hear if the ZDS could allow the LCD's to sound more detailed to my ears.

    I can say I've tried the WA7 with the LCD's, and while they had a lot of impact, they didn't sound particularly detailed or resolving. In my opinion, Woo amps generally tend to sound overly warm and impart more bloom, whereas the Eddie Current amps I've heard sound much more resolving. Woo amps tended to have me searching for many different types of tubes; I was constantly rolling in different combos and hearing the sound change quite a bit. It became expensive.

    Just my thoughts and limited experience with the LCD-3F's. Fill us in if you get a chance to audition something you enjoy.
     
  6. Judeus

    Judeus Almost "Made"

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    Id recommend a better headphone first

    He1k moded hd800 come to mind
     

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