Wells Audio Experience (Milo, Enigma, Headtrip)

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by ufospls2, Jul 19, 2017.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    If you wanted to scratch what it felt like to own TOTL gear, you didn't. Not trying to rub it in, but just wanted to be clear.
     
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  2. ufospls2

    ufospls2 Friend

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    Yeah, I get that. Live and learn I suppose.
     
  3. Luckbad

    Luckbad Traded in a unicorn for a Corolla

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    @ufospls2 Happens to all of us.

    I really enjoyed my Audio-GD Master-11. Far more than most people did. But it was my first real foray into the proper high end, so my perspective was by no means as experienced as some people. I discovered my love for tubes and grabbed a tube amp I enjoyed more than the amp section of the Master-11, at which point the value perspective on the Audio-GD made no sense, so I sold it.
     
  4. gbeast

    gbeast Mighty Moral Power Ranger

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    Comparing the Milo (all the upgrades) to the Pro iCan right now.
    Ill have a full write up later on but this is what I hear so far.

    Milo wins @: Layering and Soundstage, Bass rumble and sustain and just a bit of extension in the bass, Middle midrange fullness, Timbre, tonal density, Imaging, Sounding less solid state (in terms of bloom, dynamic range, and decay)
    Pro iCan [email protected]: Micro dynamics,Plankton, Resolution, Speed, Clarity, Transient response, Control, Overall balance because the Milo sounds just a little dark to me at times in comparison and dull.

    So I like the Milo a lot actually but more as in I like it's flavor more so than its quality. I don't think it is bad quality and initially I was smiling ear to ear listening with the HE-6 because it had decent body, excellent layering, natural tone and good dynamic range. However, after I spent some more time I feel the Milo needs better resolution, details, and especially Micro-dynamics. Some songs it sounds a little stuffy in the treble and definition range where it smooths over the bite and crunch of some instruments. The Pro iCan is consistently more clear, while both are almost a tie for transparency(don't mean the same thing). I think the Milo needs to sound a little more airy in the treble, just a hair and more snappy/crisp with its transients and the Pro iCan can stand to sound more natural in it's balance. The Pro iCan can sound more natural with the tubes engaged but then it's attacks sound a bit smoothed over in tube + mode.


    Also not sure how much product variation there is out there but I do not recall the Pro iCan sounding this strident in solid state mode. I heard it first when I lived in solid state land and have become much more accustomed to the fully tubed sound. The Milo sounds much less strident but actually a bit dull as well.

    To my surprise, the Pro iCan is the amp of higher fidelity and the Milo is the more soulful sounding amp that plays better with poor recordings.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
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  5. Hifi59

    Hifi59 Rando

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    As an owner of the Headtrip, I had an opportunity to compare it to an EC Studio with std and upgraded tubes using Dave Dac and Cambridge 851N dac. Although I did not compare side by side, only one day had passed since listening to the Headtrip and then listening to EC Studio. My impression was “where’s the midrange”with the EC. The Headtrip had a more full bodied, pronounced midrange that sounded more correct to my ear.After all, it was the EC Studio that I previously heard at a meet that prompted me to gamble on trying the Headtrip as I heard great things about it and had a short listen to it at an acquaintance home. Both had slam and a big sound that I’ve never previously heard from a headphone amp. They are both a cut above the rest ime. That includes having listened to the Audio GD Master 9,EC ZanaDeux and ECP Torpedo III. I enjoyed the Milo that I once owned a bit more than these 3 but they are also fine amps. Headphones included the LCD-3,4 and Hifiman HE-1K V2 and HE -560 and Tidal Hifi as music source, I also owned the Mjolnir 2 with some great tubes. The Headtrip beats it hands down in every way. My Burson Conductor V2 bested it with a comfortable margin. It lack the excitement of the Burson with its leading edge attacks. I was bored listening to the MJ2 but it was smooth. I sold the Mjolnir after a month and put the Burson back into play. Smiles returned. Bottom line for me is and always has been, which amp keeps me involved in the music and my toes tapping even after many hours of listening . Many amps are very good in some of these area but the Headtrip has been the best up to this point in my 40 years of listening to music. I can’t see myself ever selling it other than a desperate need for $$. My 2 cents.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
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  6. Benny-x

    Benny-x Rando

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    So, let's hope the offer still stands at getting advice on Wells Audio gear for this thread~

    I've got a LAu and I've got a chance at a fully upgraded Milo (not the Reference one, I don't think). I've read good and bad about the Milo, but read almost only good about my LAu. And, I like the LAu. But that doesn't mean I should fend off chances to hear other gear, it's just there's money on the line here, so I'm asking.

    The seller is telling me he owned a LAu before and the Milo, and the LAu hit the chopping block first. I don't mean that the seller is bullshitting me, but he obviously does have a vested interest in spurring my curiosity.

    So, any thoughts or experience on these 2 amps and how they fare compared to each other?

    FYI:
    Headphones-
    - HEKv1, HE-6, Pionner SE Master-1, McIntosh MHP1000

    DAC-
    T+A DAC 8 DSD (fed DSD512 upsampled via HQPlayer on a dedicated computer)

    Music-
    Electronica, rock, hip-hop, classics, classical/symphony

    Attributes-
    Vivid, dynamic, large soundstage, emotional, sweet vocals, palpable bass
     
  7. Thenewerguy009

    Thenewerguy009 Friend

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    I haven't heard either, but the resale of the Liquid Gold is excellent, while all Well's Audio amplifiers have a very poor resale value.
     
  8. ufospls2

    ufospls2 Friend

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    Honestly, I'd keep your Liquid Gold (which I haven't heard,) but thats not because I don't like the Milo. When they say it has all the upgrades they probably mean the Khozmo Attenuator and Vishay Resistors, definitely not the reference version. The reference version is like $5.5k and I doubt he'd be trading that. The Liquid Gold isn't being made anymore, and is by all accounts (apart from over at HC) a great amp.

    The Milo might do better with your HE6 with its higher gain and power output than the Liquid Gold, but that is just a guess on my part.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinions, and the more experienced members here don't like Wells amps which is totally cool. However, I have to say I still miss my Headtrip (and Milo) and enjoyed them thoroughly while I owned them. I ended up moving on from the Headtrip as I wanted to downsize my amp price wise, but I do miss it.

    I have an Audio GD Master 9 (with some upgrades and +3db gain) and it drives my headphones well, and is sorta neutral. In a way I wish I could have afforded to keep the Headtrip as it has a particular sound that I happen to really like, and it would make a nice change from my Audio GD amp.

    Different strokes for different folks and all that.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2018
  9. Benny-x

    Benny-x Rando

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    Thanks for the feedback on that.

    I decided I've got too much $$ in my gear right now and can't move on the Milo. And yes, he was talking about the one with better pot, not the $5.5k Ref.

    Maybe I'll get to have a listen sometime, but it'll be a while before I've got more room for something else, or the time to move some gear out before I buy something new.
     
  10. ufospls2

    ufospls2 Friend

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    I just thought I'd chime back in with some recent photos of the internals of the Headtrip 2. It looks much cleaner and tidy in terms of internals. I loved how my original Headtrip sounded, so I'd love to hear it now.

    Original

    [​IMG]

    Headtrip 2

    [​IMG]

    The chassis has also been improved, I assume for better ventilation and what not. Also looks cool.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. m17xr2b

    m17xr2b Friend

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    That 0.5$ generic power switch is disappointing.
     
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  12. Zhanming057

    Zhanming057 Friend

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    I'm seeing Neutrik connectors, a generic power switch, and some questionable choices of materials.

    Now, I do not think that the Headtrip is a bad amp, but it's a severely overpriced one. If you're in the market for a super-high-power headphone amp in roughly this price range, why would you choose the Headtrip instead of this:

    [​IMG]

    Or this:

    [​IMG]

    Both are literally in the same (street) price range as the Headtrip. And while Nagra is a bit over the top in terms of internal presentation and the components aren't necessarily entirely better than the Headtrip, I know which company has more R&D and parts costs in their amps and it isn't Wells.
     
  13. MrRanX

    MrRanX Rando

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    I hear you, I fee you, and I am with you. Could you please do a comparison between Ifi dsd black label with wells audio milo? I own MJ2 with tube rolling and cable upgrade, which could dramatically enhance the macro and micro details at the cost of losing air and getting bright. But these upgrade could win ifi BL. I also owned pro I can, the SS is just dry, sterile and unpleasant, while the tube mode is best I have heard for tube amp at that price range. I also used to own platinum liquid tube amp, which is super sweet, and unfatiquing, but at the cost of sound stage and macro details ( the soundstage is toooooooo small with original tubes). I had not tried rolling tubes on that amp though. All in all, I haven’t found an amp that is better than the portable BL, it works well with my Tia fourte ( which is better mated with cheaper dsd to my taste mating with copper cable), Susvara ( which seems a bit congested as the only down sight), IE800 ( perfect no criticism), Sony DMR Z1r ( which sounds sweeter, and more pleasant on mojo interestingly at the cost of soundstage and micro details of course). I have the same doubt about these much more expensive amp, I feel like it needs to go beyond 2 to 3K for noticeable and pleasant upgrade from IFI BL.

    Anyway, I am struggling with buying milo or enigma, please do a comprehensive comparison between Ifi BL with wells audio. I will be beyond grateful!!!! Please !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  14. MrRanX

    MrRanX Rando

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    Correction Rolling tubes and upgrading power cable of Schiit MJ2 could Not win Ifi BL in my opinion
     

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