"Shortest Way" SW51 Amp Impressions (Simple SET Amp)

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by Hands, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. Mordy

    Mordy Acquaintance

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    It takes time to ferret out a winner, but ultimately it crystallizes out and becomes clear to you. Whatever factors are involved, equipment burn-in, tube burn-in, brain burn-in (getting used to the new equipment), after a while it all comes together and you will have no problem picking the winner.
    Peronally, I don't think that this is a three minute process, and I tend to dismiss people that roll though a bunch of new stuff in a short session and pronounce what's best.
     
  2. denny_dow

    denny_dow Acquaintance

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    well, I have the Echo for a year now, was listening to it quite regularly too, and the SW51+ for about a month, listening pretty much every other day, burned it in with podcasts for something like 20 hours over the course of 4 days, and have at least 20 hours, perhaps even slightly more of clean listening time, so it's not been a 'three minute process' as you say. it's just that I wanted an honest A/B, and it's a shame the SOLUPEAK box failed me. we'll see what the sellers says, I might just be unlucky as there seems to be quite a few happy customers out there.
     
  3. bilboda

    bilboda Florida boomer

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    I see the failure as an opportunity. Now you have a box, swap out for some quality rca's, a good Elma switch and and occ or other wires from vhaudio for example and you'll have a switch that you like, will sound better and will last...
     
  4. denny_dow

    denny_dow Acquaintance

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    I just might, I just might... if I decide to get into the DIY game this might be just the right project to start... I am still on the fence about the whole thing though.
     
  5. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    I already have my SW51+ from one of the early runs, so I have no horse in this race.

    Just curious if the sanctions will affect Zampotech imports to the US.
     
  6. Mordy

    Mordy Acquaintance

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    Went through my mind as well...
     
  7. Grattle

    Grattle Friend

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    First thought was, well damn. 2nd thought, selfish bastard there are lives and futures at stake here. Hoping for peace, screw the amp, its nothing in the big picture.

    Praying for peace.

    edit: I’m waiting for mine, was calling me the bastard not you Gixxer.
     
  8. Darkstar1

    Darkstar1 Facebook Friend

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    Received mine. Very happy with the amp at first listen. The good clarity, tonality dynamic speed. Great match with 6xx as advertised.

    bad.. maybe not a huge sound stage. Really does not matter to me that much when the pro are there.

    Totally great value as advertised.
     
  9. Mordy

    Mordy Acquaintance

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    It is true that the SW51+ has a more narrow sound stage, but my impression is that the Telefunken EF805S made it appear wider. Is there anybody else that can confirm this?
     
  10. Ksaurav402

    Ksaurav402 Friend

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    The soundstage is not very wide for sure but the separation is great along with depth and layering and you won’t have an issue with imaging.
    PS- Have used the default tube and haven’t tried the one you suggested
     
  11. ColdsnapBry

    ColdsnapBry Almost "Made"

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    Ok, I wish this was easier that just try Equilizer APO and boost the bass (I find Equilizer APO makes my headphones dead sounding in micro and macro dynamics).

    BUT, to me the SW51+ has near perfect mids and highs and even punch in the bass. What is missing is a bit of bass bloom that aligns a bit more with my preference.

    Anyone have a Schiit Loki +? I'm thinking SW51+ and Loki + with the bass/midbass dial turned up a bit could actually be amazing and have that hard to obtain audio nirvana of detailled/smooth mids and highs with a bit of bass bloom. Has anyone tried this?

    This is all with a HD650, go to headphone for the SW51+.
     
  12. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    I know this isn't the answer you're looking for, but for me, I got to where I think you're trying to get by grabbing a pair of Focal/Drop Elex. I've fiddled with a Loki on SW51+HD600 and it felt kind of heavy handed due to the frequencies of boost/dip. I also fiddled with EQ through Roon and it's a bit more satisfying, but in the end Elex ended up being my preference for a bass-heavier Senn HD6xx sound. Shortcut: adding more bass through EQ isn't the simplest way to make things rumble a little more while keeping everything else even. Too often adding just a touch of 20hz at even just like maybe +3db makes things seem unbalanced due to the broad-ish Q of the Loki. But even narrower Q thru Roon seems to make a mess of resonance and harmonic distortion especially where the HD series seems most sensitive to dicking around.
     
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  13. Grattle

    Grattle Friend

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    These are wise words that have made my gears spin up.
     
  14. ColdsnapBry

    ColdsnapBry Almost "Made"

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    Yep, makes total sense! No shortcuts to audio nirvana :p
     
  15. ZampotechNA

    ZampotechNA MOT: Zampotech NA Distributor

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    Dear Friends:

    We have received some inquiries regarding the current status of the SW51+ amplifiers given current global events.

    First and foremost, we hope that a peaceful resolution will bring an end to the current madness very soon. We feel very badly for both the people of Ukraine who are suffering directly as a result of this unjustifiable chaos as well as the ordinary people of Russia who will inevitably bear the brunt of the consequences laid upon their country for an invasion they do not support. We started this project to share the joy of @Zampotech 's products with more people than previously possible and hope that this can still come to fruition despite all of the above. As shown on this forum, despite all of our vast differences, the joy of music ultimately brings us together here.

    Given this, we plan on moving ahead with the distribution of amplifiers. As far as both Zampotech and myself are aware, audio amplifiers such as these will not be impacted by the sanctions. However, as many of you may already know, many methods for direct shipment out of Russia are currently impacted and this will inevitably delay the delivery of amplifiers. Our shipping vendor is currently exploring shipping solutions.

    Lastly, we will do our best to answer any other questions related to distribution, but please bear in mind that the nature of the situation is going to be inherently unpredictable and it may be difficult for us to provide a good answer at times.

    Thank you all.
     
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  16. insidious meme

    insidious meme Ambivalent Kumquat

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    I had posted this as a profile post earlier but thought it fitting to add to your own hopeful message:

    "To Ukrainian and Russian SBAF members, I hope that you find a modicum of peace in our shared interest in music (gear)."
     
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  17. Zampotech

    Zampotech Friend

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    Thank you very much
    I did not have and do not have any complaints against Ukrainians. There is not a single act of mine that would offend Ukrainian. I lived in Kiev for 5 years, these were the best years of my life. I have come to Kiev many times and these trips have always been a joy for me.
    Despite the terrible events, I have not lost any of my Ukrainian friends.
    My fault and my participation in these events was not, is not and will not be.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 2, 2022
  18. Lyander

    Lyander Official SBAF Equitable Empathizer

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    It seems the only people who want conflict, any conflict, are those who are impoverished in a way that no luxury can mend. I'm biased because you've been extremely kind and helpful in the past @Zampotech but anyone who hates anyone based solely on where they live or what name they identify by is a grand old idiot. Take care of yourselves.
     
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  19. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    I too am greatly saddened by the horrible acts of mad despots and their collective supporters, which usually do not include the greater portion of populations who would like to be left the hell alone to pursue peaceful life experiences. My hope is one day we will again be able to put most of our focus on enjoying music through equipment such as @Zampotech amps. Please take care of yourself and those around you.
     
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  20. ColdsnapBry

    ColdsnapBry Almost "Made"

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    If anyone's following what stays in my golden left corner of my desk you'll know that the SW51+ has faced some competition in the year or so I've owned it. I posted in the Jotunheim 2 thread the face off between the J2, Hagerman Tuba and SW51+. So far the SW51+ and Jotunheim 2 remains, with the SW51+ being the best of the bunch.

    Enter the Feliks Audio Echo MK1, kindly loaned to me by a Headfi member. All listening is done through the Sennheiser 6XX / black silk 650. I have other headphones, but my ZMF's just stomp all over my chain and I find the 6X0 to be the best way to test. And honestly, my 6XX/bs650 is what I reach for 95% of the time now adays. The SW51+ has Tungsram rolled in them. My DAC is a Bifrost 2. I've had the Echo for a month now, none of this listening for 4 hours and writing impressions, I've listened to both of these amps for an extended time.

    I notice right off the bat the MK1 sounds fuller and richer. However, it stops there. It doesn't get any deeper or more emotional as you sink into the music. The stage is a tad congested with little to no depth. While on the SW51+ if you give a minute or two to sink into what you're hearing it can shock you, it's one of the reasons I keep coming back to this amp. It's got this stage depth and can project the sound of the recording room like the big boy amps do.

    Bass on the MK1 sounds a bit fuller at first. In a bad way though, it bleeds into the mids, doesn't offer much dynamics and can't slam like the SW51+ does. I find the SW51+ doesn't dig super deep into the bass, but what is there is fast slammy and with enough bloom to allow a chance for goosebumps. HD6X0 driver actually sounds fast on this amp, which I'm still wrapping my head around.

    Mids, again SW51+ stomps the MK1. Mids are crips clear and lifelike on the SW51+. What I hear on the MK1 is everything bleeding into the mids and something is off with the timbre, it's just a bit less organic than what I hear in the SW51+.

    The MK1 rolls off pretty fast in the highs, however it can still remain a bit fatiguing. SW51+ offers up that perfect combination of detailed highs but without the fatigue. This really shows in how snares hit on the SW51+ versus the MK1, you get this speed and snap of snares that just don't exist on the MK1.

    One additional thing, the SW51+ brings this level of freaky micro-dynamics that is not there on the MK1. It's not something that happens all the time on the SW51+, which still makes it really relaxing to listen to. But often during a song you'll hear something that just tickles your eardrum a bit, there's actual texture here that I haven't heard on anything else.

    It sounds like I don't think very much of the Feliks Echo MK1.. I actually was a bit impressed with it, it's an OTL that has a decent tuning to it. Feliks didn't just make an OTL and called it a day, they've tuned the thing to be a bit more neutral than I expected and has a great noisefloor. But SW51+ and 6XX combo stomps all over it. Things change when I bring the Verite Open into the picture, the offensive things on the MK1 sort of wake up the Verite a bit to my ears. However, I think the SW51+ scales the 6X0 beyond the Verite Open on my gear, so both the Verite Open and MK1 are off my desk for now.

    [​IMG]
     
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