Audio-GD Master-10 impressions

Discussion in 'Power Amps' started by Alex Defender, Jul 21, 2020.

  1. Alex Defender

    Alex Defender Rando

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  2. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

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    Dislike for not reading the required threads when signing up today (they were part of the registration process). Make an intro post here.

    If you lurk around and actually search for anything Audio-GD here in the Search feature, you will find that most of us more/less don't like anything Audio-GD, period. This is due to the previous experiences many of us had with them (I had tons of bad experiences with Audio-GD with a few good ones).

    Honestly after my last Audio-GD purchase, I'll never get anything from Kingwa again.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 21, 2020
  3. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    The distortion plots (and kudos to A-GD for providing them) look like shit even for the 10W into 8-ohms. If I am reading things right, we are seeing 0.09% THD, that's -60db SINAD.

    Now I'm no measurement fascist, but that's bad. Like worse than average to bad tube amp bad. This from a solid-state amp.

    Also, the sales pitch says the distortion roll-off above 5kHz is awesome. I'm not too sure of that result because the bandwidth of the AP is set to 22kHz. If the distortion has a lot of higher harmonics, then this is the type of behavior that would be seen on this plot. These measurements should also have been taken at a higher bandwidth.

    Personally, the distortion seems too egregious for a solid-state amp and maybe even for a tube amp for me to consider. I get the minimize no feedback thing, but this is going too far for a circuit that wants feedback.

    I've heard a few A-GD headamps and mega preamps, and this power amp could follow that same super murky sloggy sound. Some people like kind of sound this though. It's all personal preferences and no one here can say what you like.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2020
  4. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    There are more fundamental issues of credibility and repeatability.

    I can't give any measurement credit to Kingwa. See this: http://www.audio-gd.com/Master/Singularity19/Singularity 19EN_Specs.htm
     
  5. Alex Defender

    Alex Defender Rando

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    I have made an intro post.
    Can I know why you don't like Audio-gd products?
     
  6. Alex Defender

    Alex Defender Rando

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    Sorry I'm not very expert, what does it mean what you wrote?
    What are its tonal sound traits?
    thanks
     
  7. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

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    Last DAC I got from them was not working after getting it from Kingwa. I sent it back to Kingwa in China and he claimed it was working just fine and stated the problem was on me. However, he gave me back my money. I had another AIO (all in one) from Kingwa that half way died on me after having it for two years.

    Not dealing with Kingwa's engrish emails anymore and the last purchase was a terrible experience. Other people who had heard Kingwa's stuff were not impressed. If you actually listen to my advice and search the forum, you will find this wonderful thread.

    Before you say that I hate Audio-GD because they are Chi-Fi, I had two of their products before that I liked. My favorite one was the Compass Fun2 with the Dual-WM8741 DACs. Kingwa also made this giant ass CD Transport that was pretty good. I heard it on a great system and it was something else.
     
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  8. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    It means the Master 10 is an excellent piece of gear and thar you must buy it immediately and report back to us how great it sounds.
     
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  9. Alex Defender

    Alex Defender Rando

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    Yeah, I'll buy it immediately and I'll tell you how great it sounds, since you're interested, tell me where you live and we'll try it at home together.
     
  10. Wilson

    Wilson Socially Anxious Volleyball

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    Go away
     
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  11. Greg121986

    Greg121986 Facebook Friend

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    I don't mean to reinforce bad habits among the new person who didn't follow protocol, but I owned a 2012 model year Master 10 for awhile so I want to briefly share my thoughts. It was just OK, but I would not buy one again. If I needed to scratch the itch for some Chi-Fi, I would entertain Kinki Audio or maybe one of the power/preamps from Denafrips. However, I had a used Kinki headphone amp that just straight up died as soon as I opened the box where it would constantly blow fuses. So I'm weary of Kinki as well.

    The Master 10 I had was without the additional R-Core power supplies that today's model has. The overall sound signature was generally really boring. The bass did not go very deep and lacked suitable power to make my Focal Electra 1028 Be reach as low as they do now with proper amplification. The treble was sometimes harsh and the midrange was fine, but not anything to be in love with. I always thought I had bad DAC pairings but I realize now that I desperately needed proper amplification for my Focals. I have that now.

    I sold the Master 10 ultimately because I was concerned for its long term reliability. I had issues with the power button where I ended up buying a new one from Audio-GD and replacing it, but it turns out the power button had not failed, it was just so poorly affixed to the amp that over time it became misaligned and I had to constantly open up the top and try to realign the plunger button to properly fit through the hole in the chassis. When the plunger became misaligned, the power button would get stuck. I loved looking at the circuit, but this became too much of a burden. So, I felt it best to unload this piece of equipment as soon as I could so I didn't encounter any failure in the future that could have become catastrophic, and unfixable due to the burden of shipping this outrageously heavy box back to China.

    Alternatively, if you can find a used Sony TA-A1ES for under $1K US, this was one of the best affordable integrated amps I've ever heard and it was built like a tank. It was not reference sound, but I really liked it a lot.
     
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  12. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    Look, it's obvious you have your mind set and are here looking for confirmation. As you said, Master 10 has had some excellent reviews on the Internets. As such, you should buy this and report back.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 22, 2020
  13. Aklegal

    Aklegal Almost "Made"

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    @Alex Defender
    I owned the first gen Audio GD Master 1 / Master 3 combo for about 2 years before upgrading the Master 3 to the newer version with the R-core transformers. I ended up selling that Master 3 and keeping the Master 1 to drive a pair of DAC Cherry Maraschino Monos. The Cherries were more to my preference - larger and deeper soundstage, clearer midrange, more dynamic and detailed. The Master 3 was darker, more laid back with a rolled off top end. The Master 3 could sometimes sound grand and involving with some recordings but it imposed its sound on everything. Thats fine if you like it. and I did like it on a number of recordings.

    The Master 1 shared none of the qualities of the Master 3. IIRC a comparison between the Master 1 and the Yggdrasil A1 directly driving the Cherries yeilded very little difference to my ears. The Master 1 trades that last tiny little bit of plankton retrieval to expand the soundstage. I prefer this but not everyone does.

    If you like the darker, more laid back sound that I described the Master 3 as having save another grand and find a used Hegel H360 for about $3K or a Hegel H200 for even less. The H360 is not as dark as I am guessing the Master 10 will be but it is polite with better dynamics and all around detail retrieval and resolution. It is much much more true to the source and you will sometimes have a hard time nailing down the Hegel's sound signature. The Hegel H200 is a little brighter than the H360 with a lightly wider but less deep soundstage.

    If you have just got to go with Audio GD AND you have higher efficiency speakers AND you don't mind DIY, get a Master 1 and build one of these amps. https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/gro...7293-pvi-powered-frontend-60-120w-8-4ohm.html
    Seriously. I got into DIY amp building about 6 months ago and recently finished building one. The Master 9 / Folsom combo walks over the Hegel and 3 other amps I have heard in my system over the past year and a half (you can search my posts I wrote a little about each of them). Save even more and susbtitute the Master 1 with a Freya. I haven't heard the Freya but the Folsom amp directly driven by the Yggdrasil A2 >> Hegel H360.

    Dont want to do DIY? The Master 9 with a single Aegir was amazing. Again, high effciency speakers only here.

    I've owned a bunch of Audio GD stuff. About 3 dacs, 2 amps, and 3 or four headphone amps. The only issue I ever had with them was the aformentioned power button issue on my first gen Master 3 which I got repaired locally (my switch actually burned out). That being said at this point the only thing I would buy from Audio GD is the current gen Master 1 or a used last gen Master 9. Their TOTL "HE" series scares me with its don't leave on for more than 9 hours at a time warning.
     
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  14. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    Master 10 looks to be the same as the Master 3, but more inputs (RCA X2, XLR X2, ACSS X1) vs. Master 2 (XLR / ACSS). I didn't notice before, but all the specs and the rest of the text and published measurements are the same.
     
  15. Alex Defender

    Alex Defender Rando

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    Nothing obvious, you are saying I'm here for confirmation. I'm here just to get some impressions...
    Don't get smart with me, you know you can't always trust reviews.
     
  16. Alex Defender

    Alex Defender Rando

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    Thank you. You've been very kind. However, my evoke 50 speakers are low efficiency, 87db and 4ohm and eat a lot of ampere.
    My Dac is a Denafrips Ares II in NOS.
    I'm looking for a rich, full-bodied sound with tight heavy bass, lots of detail and texture but slightly warm.
    I don't like too much brightness or edgyness in the treble, I prefer natural sounding.
    I look for this sound because my dynaudio evoke 50's have very neutral and transparent timbre, wide open and detailed.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2020
  17. Aklegal

    Aklegal Almost "Made"

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    Get the H360. There is one on USAudioMart for $3000 right now. It is right up your alley I think.
     
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  18. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    The amp you described is the Dartzeel NHB-108. It’s very hard to get all those qualities in an amp, and not screw something up.
     
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  19. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    @Alex Defender, do what @Aklegal suggests and get a Hegel - they have exactly what you are describing you want for sound, and they are rock solid and reliable and should be easy to get support if you need. Also resale is very high. I would get a used Hegel from a reputable seller if I were in your shoes.
     
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  20. Alex Defender

    Alex Defender Rando

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    Sure it's an amazing amp but it's out of my budget which is max 2000€...
    Furthermore the H360 has an onboard DAC but I already own the ares II and I really like it.
    How do you compare the sound of H360 with the sound of Master 10?
    thanks
     

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