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  #21  
Old 12-08-2011, 09:39 PM
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If I said to avoid a tube amp(I may have... damn drunken posting) then I just meant to say that they cost alot of money, they use alot of power compared to a solid state amp, and I've never had one so can't speak for the advantages. Mostly if you can afford one then get one for sure, I've never heard of anything doing the 650's as well as a tubeamp will do.
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  #22  
Old 12-08-2011, 11:14 PM
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I think WG meant Satellite_6 heh. But at least I know your reason as well now

But heeeey just noticed:
Quote:
Originally Posted by WalkGood View Post
If you end up going solid state, you could always get a tube sound by picking the right VST plugins for your player. For example on foobar2000 you can look here and there's plenty for winamp too, I ran BBE on it.
That's very interesting! So foobar (which I've never used) emulates tube sounds? I wonder how well that would play through the laptop>DAC > amp.
That's definitely something to think about.

And so the looking and reading and more thinking for amps continues while I sort dollars for the DAC out.

Edit: I've got my eyes fixed on the o2 now

Last edited by Moyt; 12-09-2011 at 12:05 AM.
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  #23  
Old 12-09-2011, 05:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moyt View Post
I thought it was Satellite6 not being big on the tubes ...
I looked back and you're right ... but he's entitled to his opinion some like and others might not, maybe he's never listened to a good one I prefer my tube amp to my solid state amp because it sounds warmer, sounds richer and has an appealing glow but that doesn’t mean that I don’t like my solid state amp as they both perform very well …

Quote:
Originally Posted by Syndrome View Post
If I said to avoid a tube amp(I may have... damn drunken posting) ...
My apologies I confused your sane responses with Satellite6
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  #24  
Old 12-09-2011, 07:30 AM
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I've only have a cheap a hybrid one - actually sounds very good - my SS amp just sounds a bit better. After learning more about it I won't be bothering with a full on tube amp. . . ever (dfkt, NwAvGuy, random internet reading, Science of Sound class).

The HD 650's sound great out of anything with enough power so far. They already sound smooth and musical so I don't see the point of a tube amp - a solid state mp will help you get the most detail possible out of them, and better bass control I think.

Please don't assume a tube amp will be best b/c that's what the audiophiles use. . .
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  #25  
Old 12-09-2011, 08:07 AM
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I forgot to mention that I like a bit of nostalgia as well, this read should shed more light on the subject but IMHO either one is fine as today’s solid state amps are great and as said before the HD650s are very forgiving. BTW Satellite_6 I don't hear any loss of detail on the HD650s when I amp mine from SS or the WA6.
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  #26  
Old 12-09-2011, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syndrome View Post
If I said to avoid a tube amp(I may have... damn drunken posting) then I just meant to say that they cost alot of money, they use alot of power compared to a solid state amp, and I've never had one so can't speak for the advantages. Mostly if you can afford one then get one for sure, I've never heard of anything doing the 650's as well as a tubeamp will do.
I think I can fill you out on that one.
While I truly can appreciate the charm associated with tube amplifiers, that is in fact all that extra money will give you: a warm, somewhat fuzzy feeling in your belly. As regarding gains toward sound quality, there are none, as I see it.
And I'll have to second WalkGoods numerous comments on the HD650 buing a tough challenge for an amplifier; it really isn't!
It's a moderately high Z, high sensitivity dynamic headphone, and as such it's like butter for any decent amplifier.

Now the SM3, there you have a challange.
While the stated nominal impedance might be moderately high, it's almost definitely varying quite a bit with frequency, as most balanced armatures do, and the xovers don't make things easier either. Any high output amplifier (which the WA6 is, despite its output transformer coupled nature) is destined to mess with the frequenzy range, and throw imaging right off the mark. And then there's the noise.
No, running IEMs from a tube amplifier is just stupid.
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  #27  
Old 12-09-2011, 09:39 PM
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Opinions, objectives again from everyone always welcome for me

Quote:
Originally Posted by Limp View Post
running IEMs from a tube amplifier is just stupid.
A strong view you have there Limp, I wasn't expecting that one
If you don't mind me asking, do you have any good amps in mind for me? I know your saying 650's work well with any decent amp also, but I'd like to know your choices if you don't mind me asking thanks

On another note if I were to rule out tubes completely the whole foobar tube emulation again still sounds very interesting to me if I went SS.
But then as general saying on emulation, nothing is really emulated %100 perfect.

Quick updates...
650’s - arrived and surprisingly work well with the m18x laptop, but nothing spectacular....yet! (plus I've been too dependent on the SM3's heh)
Bravely used them with the J3's......... ooooooooooooops
Next I might use them on a 15 year old portable cassette player powered on 2AA batteries.

DAC - I've got my shipping quote on the XDA-1: transcendent, from the US. So I'm going ahead in buying them. Again a great buy for the price and not too shabby IMO.

Amp - o2 I've had a reply from Epiphany Acoustics, who are based in the UK. It won't be available till end of Jan 2012, and that's not guaranteed.
I could try my luck with GW's suggestion here, again not readily available (30th Dec+ shipping time to the uk).
I really could do with something now.... Put it this way I don't mind buying the o2 AS WELL when it's available. And it will be interesting to try out and compare with whatever amp I decide on now.
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  #28  
Old 12-10-2011, 02:25 AM
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If you want something tried and tested that will bring out the most of both your SM3 and HD650, I'd go for the already mentioned O2.
If you want something for just your HD650, got the money, the desk space, and don't care too much about transparency, I'd get a nice tube amp, and my choice would fall on ether a Mapletree Ear+ or Bottlehead Crack, but that's mainly just my aesthetic sense shining through

If you're too impatiant for the O2, I don't really know. DFKT said many nice things about the E11, the Centrance DACport looks nice too, just a pity with that output impedance. Then again it should probably work well enough in most cases if you're not too picky.
Just remember it's not about the money, there are plenty of expencive things out there that are just polished turds. Even a lot of the expensive things that are well designed and work without giving you all manners of grief, aren't really worth it either.
If I come across as a little bitter about this, I'm sorry, but I might just be a little bitter about this.

Last edited by Limp; 12-10-2011 at 04:23 AM.
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  #29  
Old 12-10-2011, 07:30 PM
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On a laptop with bad output the problem is probably not driving the headphones, but just having a clean output signal. A lot of laptop have poor isolation between the digital and analog parts of the board. If thats the case, I wouldn't be looking at amps so much as I would be looking for a good external DAC that also has a halfway decent headphone amp.

But just sticking a super expensive amp on a mediocre laptop output isn't going to help.

Based on dfkt's testing, I would lean towards the E10. Its more the adequate for your needs. And from his testing you know its going to work, whereas if you pick a well regarded (but not necessarily well tested) amp, you're running somewhat more of a risk. A lot of stuff is well regarded because its expensive and well marketed, not because its well made.
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  #30  
Old 12-10-2011, 08:45 PM
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Thanks for your very informative feedback once again people, it helped me a lot.

I cancelled my xda-1 dac order, and finally closed the curtain with the NuForce Icon HDP.

This I hope will be more than efficient, with no objections

Purchase made, done and dusted... Finally!

And I still look forward to purchasing the o2 or even more so the ODA.
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  #31  
Old 12-10-2011, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moyt View Post
I cancelled my xda-1 dac order, and finally closed the curtain with the NuForce Icon HDP.
That's a ridiculous amount of money to pay for a USB sound card.
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  #32  
Old 12-10-2011, 09:00 PM
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Although I really like how nice the Nuforce looks. I couldn't get myself to spend that much on it. And it doesn't have balanced out's. Not many people will use balanced outs for listening but I will sometimes.
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  #33  
Old 12-10-2011, 09:04 PM
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A tad bit more than a usb soundcard for me
But hey I would have spent a lot more should I have almost paid for that xda-1 and then choosing an amp to go along with it.
Is spending $449 too much to ask for a 'half decent' budget Amp, DAC and Preamp? Convince me quickly, I still have a chance to cancel on Amazon!
Kidding, I've decided to stick with this now. Don't you all dare come jumping in and making me change me mind
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  #34  
Old 12-10-2011, 09:27 PM
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The Echo will do everything that card will, and you can get the echo for 130
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  #35  
Old 12-10-2011, 09:36 PM
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*tries hard not to cancel purchase... again*
Damn you Syndrome damn youuuuuuuuuuuuuuu, but greatful for looking out for my randomness none the less
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  #36  
Old 12-10-2011, 09:39 PM
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I'd pass, BTW did you read http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/02/...c-2-drama.html I know is the cheaper one, but certainly makes you think twice.
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  #37  
Old 12-10-2011, 09:58 PM
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No didn't read that before, but doesn't sound too good with a quick skim through.
I did have a positive reaction from him on the xda-1 though else where.... which I ended up not going through with

Awww come on though, there's a lot of very good feedback on the NuForce Icon HDP across various places. Maybe I should ask nwavguy for his views on the Icon HDP as well.

The important lesson here is *drums roll*...
"Bang for buck or it's the naughty corner for you!!" Lesson not learnt

Will I be forgived when I get my hands on an o2 / ODA?
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  #38  
Old 12-10-2011, 10:04 PM
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I've read a lot of that audiophile hype about the Nuforce too but I'd trust nwavguy's tests and it's possible that Nuforce uses the same DAC chip in both. At this point I'd back Syndrome's recommendation again.
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  #39  
Old 12-10-2011, 10:08 PM
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Okay I've left a post on nwavguy blog when he approves it.
Syndrome is ready to use that smoking gun on his avatar lol
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  #40  
Old 12-10-2011, 10:32 PM
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And I don't miss.
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