My new $99 Full Balanced headphone amp toy Loxjie P20

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by bilboda, Dec 16, 2018.

  1. antdroid

    antdroid Rando

    Joined:
    May 19, 2018
    Likes Received:
    6
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Seattle
    Home Page:
    Yea I was the one who started and sold my MCTH on the headphone.com forum. Great little unit. I havent used it a whole lot since i moved it to another room but I found it paired well with my Elex and HE560, though power for the HE560 could have been a little better. I did not like it at all with the HD58X, as it made it sound very boomy and muddy.
     
    Baten likes this.
  2. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    43,406
    Dislikes Received:
    70
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Antarctica
    The cheapo Russian tubes sound good with the Loxjie. Warmth and punchy, slightly dark. Knowing how the WE396A sound in relation to the Russian tubes, I would expect the WE396A to be too warm for my tastes. Overall very good and agreeable tone after the tubes warm up.

    ---

    Feeding from the OG Gungnir DS, The Loxjie sounds better from balanced than SE. This could be because the balanced outputs from the DAC sound better. Note that comparisons with other amps will be using the SE outputs of the DAC, which probably gives them a bit of a disadvantage and the Loxjie a head start.

    The Verum sounds like shit from the Loxjie. The Verum impedance is probably too low / Loxjie output impedance too high / current capability too low.

    HD660S is a bit uncontrolled / one-note in the bass from the Loxjie, especially the low and loud bass drops.

    Overall resolution seems mediocre, there is a slight bit of veil, however, microdynamics are decent, it does well with what it can resolve. It's more engaging than I expected.

    However, the Fulla 2 (used as an amp), sounds better than the Loxjie. On the HD660S, more pop, more resolving, better bass control (still not great), more lively. I don't even see it was tube thing since the 5670 tubes are not tubey in the first place.

    The differences were similar, but more stark with the more capable ZMF Aeolus (the HD660S kind of sucks). In fact, little things start to add up and get annoying: the veil starts to rear its ugly head (things like spoken voice on Giogio by Moroder), poor transients and articulation with the bass lines (same track).

    + agreeable warm tone
    + volume control with 60 discrete steps
    + does well with what it can resolve, decent enough dynamics, macro and micro
    + not too much tube bloom

    - phono jack sucks - I would fear that the phono plug may be left in the position that shorts the outputs - the last few mm or insertion require an extra push.
    - depending upon headphone, bass is muddy, inarticulate, uncontrolled
    - bothersome veil especially in the lows
    - poor resolving capability
    - does not scale with better headphones
    - high output impedance
    - more evident when tubes are cold, but slight spittiness in the highs - may be an issue with certain headphones
    - no power switch. WTF
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
    Raicorl, Baten, Dzerh and 2 others like this.
  3. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    43,406
    Dislikes Received:
    70
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Antarctica
    Oh, and pictures or it didn't happen.

    IMG_20190413_213114.jpg

    P.S.

    The more I listen with more capable headphones like Elex, Aeolus, the more I dislike the Loxjie. That muddy bass and veil pisses me off.

    I mean, it did pass the test where I continued to listen to it, but with every minute that passed, I figured I'd rather not.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
    Jinxy245, Baten, Elnrik and 1 other person like this.
  4. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

    Staff Member Friend JK47
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,603
    Dislikes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    CO
    this ^^ rules. because of cable madness.
    and pencil holders.
     
    Jinxy245 and Biodegraded like this.
  5. Jinxy245

    Jinxy245 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Likes Received:
    2,090
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Montgomery, New York
    It sounds like the lox would be better served by the Soekris or something even drier, though from what you're saying I doubt it would help much.

    Is that the 'self help' Human Design book in the photo? I've heard of it but don't know shit about it.
     
  6. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    43,406
    Dislikes Received:
    70
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Antarctica
    It's my wife's book. Some weirdo horror-scope personality assessment based on birthday and time or other factors from some white dude who went on a vision quest to India or whatever.

    I don't think the Loxjie can be helped. It's deleterious effects are imposed by itself, not the source. I will test and report back though.
     
    Jinxy245 likes this.
  7. bilboda

    bilboda Almost "Made"

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Likes Received:
    186
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Miama
    Considering your gear, I guess not. The loxjie is a nice alternative to the THX789 and the mcth with MB Gungnir A2, Clear and HD650k.

    Until the LP came and aggravated me. Aggravated me because it added so much to the listening experience. I feel ripped off by previous amps. It literally blows away my previous budget gear.
    If soundstage is a sphere, the LP takes my previous soccer ball size to beach ball. Notes have much more room to play in. Aggravated because the improvements are so obvious that I can't help but wonder what better, more expensive amps sound like.

    The loxjie will stay around. I did like the Verum from this amp and even bought a balanced cable as I wait for my repaired driver to return.
     
    Baten likes this.
  8. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    43,406
    Dislikes Received:
    70
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Antarctica
    Loxjie vs THX789 would be a tough one for me. I know all the measurement boobs love THX789, but it's a bit too sterile and lacks any kind of balls. It would be like warm+veiled+dynamic vs. resolving+open+limpdick.

    MCTH's strength is a very vivid and lively presentation, but I don't find the highs to gel with the lows, and I'm not going to stick in a WE396A on an adapter to make the MTCH work for me. My reactions to the MCTH were lukewarm, but no one seemed to notice. TBH, I prefer the Fulla 2 (again as an amp) to everything mentioned here. The fact that it's super transportable (I have it in my bag) is icing on the cake.

    IMG_20190414_123824.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
  9. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

    Friend BWC MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    8,566
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    On planet
    In my listening experiences the SE output was markedly inferior to the balanced output using HD6x0 and HD800-Jmod. Low impedance cans were non-starters for me. Probably 47R output impedance contributed to that. GE 5670 took care of the spittiness heard with Russian 6n3 and were a general improvement overall.

    Big PSA reminder: this amp is not worthy of WE 396a tubes. Just don't. GE 5670, yes, WE 396a NO.

    *edited for typos - 386 on the brain*
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
    Baten, Jinxy245 and Luckbad like this.
  10. Luckbad

    Luckbad Traded in a unicorn for a Corolla

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,601
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Laguna Hills, CA
    Home Page:
    @purr1n Must be a defective unit!
     
  11. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    43,406
    Dislikes Received:
    70
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Antarctica
    LOL.

    Now I had to get up to try balanced.

    On the Aeolus, balanced output is horrible - too much bass and too uncontrolled bass. Big showstopper - I just unplugged it after a few seconds. Similar effect with HD660S, but to less extent than Aeolus. However, I'm not hearing any less veil or more low-level information. In fact, the balanced output (matching volumes) sounds a bit flatter and boring. With these two headphones, I prefer the SE output.

    I'll hook up a more resolving DAC like the Modi 3 next. (I'm using the ancient OG Gungnir DS)
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
  12. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    43,406
    Dislikes Received:
    70
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Antarctica
    OK just switched to using the Modi 3 as a source. The Modi 3 is a significantly more resolving DAC than the Gungnir DS. The Gungnir DS is like brute force dynamics. Has it's charm, but its definitely aged over the years.

    The Loxjie P20 is garbage:
    1. I didn't ask for a bass boost for my dynamic headphones. The bass boost normally wouldn't be that bad except that...
    2. The bass becomes uncontrolled to varying extent depending upon the headphone. I assume the Aeolus impedance peak in the bass and nominal 150-ohms of the HD660S are not playing well with it. HD650 and HD800 may have less of an issue. I didn't try these latter headphones because @brencho has them on loan.
    3. Veil, especially present in the low end.
    4. Good tone, but horribly unresolving, especially when paired with today's new DACs, even the cheap ones. It doesn't sound bad at first, but what happens within minutes is that the brain starts to strain to hear the plankton that isn't there. This causes immense discomfort.
    5. No power switch? On a tube amp? Seriously? I am missing something?
    6. Why does this thing even have tubes? For the glow? Seem pointless. Gimmick.
    IMO, something cheapo like the Fulla 2 is a superior headamp in all respects. However, if you like this kind of presentation, spend a bit more to get the G1217 Project Sunrise or Horizon with any cheapo tube. (Do not get the Ember. The Horizon and Sunrise have a single MOSFET after the tube. The Ember uses this horrible sounding and implemented opamp.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
    restrav3 and jexby like this.
  13. Baten

    Baten Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2018
    Likes Received:
    126
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Savannah
    Thank you for echoing my thoughts and more. (I'm not crazy after all)
     
  14. bilboda

    bilboda Almost "Made"

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Likes Received:
    186
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Miama
    I just don't hear what you hear with HD650K.
    Playing Voodoo Reprise from Cassandra Wilson has a prominent bass line that sounds....lovely. Tone, timbre, definition, nothing unpleasant at all.
    I did secure the foam on the back of the driver with gorilla tape to allow more precise pressure of the folded over foam covering the driver hole. This allowed a much more open sounding HD650 across the frequency range,lifting the veil somewhat.
    Maybe try a different balanced dac?
    Or not, There are better amps that will take you further but trash is not how I would describe it.
     
    restrav3 likes this.
  15. antdroid

    antdroid Rando

    Joined:
    May 19, 2018
    Likes Received:
    6
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Seattle
    Home Page:

    Isn’t the power switch the volume button held for a second? Sorry, not at the device to try it at this moment.

    I didn’t like it with sennheiser hd58X at all. It was uncontrolled bass as you mention. I enjoyed it with brighter headphones like the Elex.
     
  16. Pharmaboy

    Pharmaboy Wow, I made it this far without being a friend?

    Joined:
    May 3, 2018
    Likes Received:
    287
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Goshen, NY
    Based on advice from a post in another forum, I didn't plug in a headphone during setup of the P20. That turned out to be good advice. The microprocessor-controls are non-intuitive, though you figure it out after a minute or two:
    • Yes, you turn it on by pressing/holding the volume button briefly
    • Then you briefly press the button again to bring up menus for selecting input & output by rotating the knob clockwise or counterclockwise (for me selections are in2 & ou1, representing SE input & balanced out)
    • A final button press brings you back to volume, also selected by clockwise or counterclockwise rotation of the button
    • IMS a decent/starting/moderate volume, depending on impedance & sensitivity of a given headphone, is anywhere from -34 to -45. If you start out at zero you'll blow your ears off

    Still burning this in now & then. Have done a little listening, but for my hearing has been compromised for 2-3 months (medical issues), so can't trust anything I've heard.
     
  17. ShaneD

    ShaneD Rando

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2019
    Likes Received:
    3
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Halifax, NS
    What do you think so far?
    Are you waiting on a balanced source cable? I am.

    I am up and down on the sound so far, depending on the artist. I am trying to wait until I am fully balanced to have a firm opinion.

    One of my favourite artists is Florence and the Machine. I love her, but I find her kind of shouty/sharp sometimes. The P20 smoothed her right out today. Yesterday with a long run on Stone Temple Pilots, I didn't care for it.

    Shane D
     
  18. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    43,406
    Dislikes Received:
    70
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Antarctica
    I hope that this kind of human interface stupidity doesn't extend to the cockpit controls of Chinese stealth fighter jets.

    And shame on Boeing for making auto anti-stall dependent upon one sensor - and having the two sensor redundancy / error check an option.
     

Share This Page