Hagerman Tuba thoughts?

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by deniall83, Feb 20, 2020.

  1. deniall83

    deniall83 Acquaintance

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  2. ShaneD

    ShaneD Acquaintance

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    I share your curiosity. This was pointed out to me recently as a low impedance tube amp. Most of my headphones are low impedance so I am exploring this market. I found some reviews and actually spoke to the guy by email. Still hemming hawing though.
     
  3. Polygonhell

    Polygonhell Acquaintance

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    I’ve had one for 2 or 3 weeks, I like it better than my ZDT Jr.
    It’s pretty dry sounding, better staging that the ZDT, less noise, and less power.
    Drives my Aeolus and Eikon to good volume levels at about 1 o’clock on the low impedance output, which I prefer to the high impedance output. Haven’t tried it with my 6XX, but I’ll get around to it.

    Give me a bit more time with it and I’ll give real impressions.
     
  4. deniall83

    deniall83 Acquaintance

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    Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately I'm moving to an apartment and will need to give up on my vinyl rig for a while. I'm hoping headphones will fill the void for a while. I'd love a Starlett but can't make the investment at the moment. Hoping the Tuba will be adequate.

    Does yours have the crossfeed option?
     
  5. Polygonhell

    Polygonhell Acquaintance

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    No they used to all have it, but now it's request only I believe.
     
  6. ShaneD

    ShaneD Acquaintance

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    Are you using any low impedance headphones with it?
     
  7. Polygonhell

    Polygonhell Acquaintance

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    I haven't tried them, I have a pair of Elex here I can and will try at some point, I've never really liked the way Focal's sound on the pure tube amps I've tried them on, but the Low impedance output on the Tuba is I think 5 Ohms so it might not be terrible.

    I think Hybrids are a better fit in most cases for Low impedance headphones, I really like the Elex on the Liquid Platinum.
     
  8. ShaneD

    ShaneD Acquaintance

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    I don't think of the Elex as being particularly low impedance. I suppose it is compared to the Senn HD6 line.

    My lowest are 25, 32 and 32 Ohm. He claims, quite proudly, that they work great with Grado's. That is the only reason that I am considering this amp.
     
  9. ShaneD

    ShaneD Acquaintance

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    I have not had much luck with hybrids. I have had three so far. (1) I thought the Loxjie P20 was junk. (2) The Vali 2 is a nice amp, but in no way "tubey", to me. (3) XDuoo TA-20 is nice and the balanced option is handy. It is not as clear as the Vali 2 and I guess some might call that tube-like.

    I have considered a new Lyr 3 and a used Mjolnir, but I am disappointed with the whole hybrid thing.
     
  10. AllanMarcus

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  11. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

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    Why does he even bother testing with hard to drive planars like HE6SE? Like, he proved he understands the circuitry and limitations. Why does he waste time explain this and instead test with actual headphones one might pair it with? Anyway…

    I does seem a bit low powered, even for dynamics. Although, the performance would be better for sure.
     
  12. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

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    Ok…I just got this in and wanted to share some quick impressions since I may not have time for a proper review for a couple of weeks. (I am in COVID quarantine, hince the limited equipment tested with. I’m lock in my bedroom…hep!)

    Sources: FiiO X5 II and Bifrost (modded)
    Headphones: HD650 and 7Hz Timeless

    9071D6D8-AF2C-42A3-9376-54A2CB7F792C.jpeg

    Quick Notes
    • Not a lush or super wet amp
    • Warm-ish (but more neutral than anything)
    • Super wide and deep
    • Leading edge (like Vali 1)
    • More micro than macro-dynamic
    • Not for planars
    • IEM’s are decent.
    Parafeed EL84’s through Hammond transformers. It has a very lightweight feel to the sound. Rather nimble and fast. I am picking up here at details and sounds appearing out of blackness. Bass is there, but not bloomy. It cut through the Senn veil on the HD650’s very well.

    The two things most impressive is the with and again the non-congestion. Even if it is a parafeed, like the ECP Torpedo 1, this Tuba is not quite as smooth in the mids - not as lush, yet has some microdynamics and congestion free sound in return. This has a more “leading edge” sound, almost like a Vali 1, although might be just a bit warmer than a Vali 1. But I would put is closer to the ECP Black Diamond with the microdynamics presentation than the T1. It is almost right in between those two amps. The T1 was maybe a bit more powerful. Only a few amps I can crank the volume ALL the way…and in order of loudness, I’d say, the Bachelor, the Tuba, and the T1. All none of them powerhouses and will give you just enough with dynamics.

    I think with the 650’s most of my listening was between 11 and 2 on the clock dial on the volume with HD650’s. The LO output is pretty low and with Timeless there was no hum or hiss whatsoever and sounded great actually.

    I think the biggest drawback of this amp is the SMPS 15V wall wart. Which might can me mitigated with a LPS or the Noise Nuke (15V at 1.35A, so we’ll within the 48V 2A limit of the Nuke). Yes, it does have some inductor filters in the power path and a plate choke, so it may not make much difference at all. I just hear some mid-grain and on super complicated passages gets just a tad flat. My only real complaint so far.

    I DO find it interesting that Hagerman publishes his schematic and basically has nothing to hide.

    Last 2 pages of the manual - http://www.hagtech.com/pdf/tuba.pdf

    Now to also find some EL84’s. Although there is not much wrong with these new production Russian Mullard’s.
     
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