SuperBAF Cheap Tube Amp Guide ~$1200 or less

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by purr1n, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. deniall83

    deniall83 Acquaintance

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    I'm in the market for a tube amp in this price range but I'm really having trouble finding something (in Australia) apart from Schiit. I had a DNA Sonett which I loved and would like something a step up. Does anyone have any suggestions?
     
  2. zeissiez

    zeissiez Turn that Schiit down - acquaintance

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    A step up from Sonett must be a step from this price level too :p
     
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  3. Mystic

    Mystic Mystique's Spiritual Advisor

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    Yep, there is really only two amps in this price range that I would consider a step up from the Sonett and both are OOP and incredibly rare.

    DNA Sonett 2
    EC Super 7
     
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  4. knackedupdude

    knackedupdude Rando

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    Is there a solid-state version of this list here in the forums?
     
  5. omegaorgun

    omegaorgun Acquaintance

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    xDuoo TA-10 pretty amazing amplifier to my ears especially for $240-sh on massdrop, normal price is about $290-300+. The imaging is holographic and the velvety sound is top notch. Pairs well with ZMF or TH Fostex variants. Bass isn't overly impactful so a normally bassy headphones like a Fostex ends up sounding well balanced.

    I could listen to it all day long with no fatigue or issues.
    Tubes certainly add a different dimension and the NOS tubes I have used are RCA, Sylvania, Mullard, Mazda and a new Electro Harmonix which all sound great.
     
  6. Griffon

    Griffon 2nd biggest asshole on SBAF

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    @omegaorgun if you are a MOT report yourself as a vendor first. Otherwise you totally look like a xDuoo shill.
     
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  7. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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  8. Senorx12562

    Senorx12562 Case of the mondays

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    He is also trying to sell one on headfi. Maybe he is just trying to shill for himself. Curious.
     
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  9. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    No one gives a crap about the xDuooxDuoo T&A1000. Most likely, the experienced ears here are going to say it sounds like a piece of shit, or just get a MCTH or Schiit Vali 2 for much less. You've already started a thread on this piece of gear, without any comparisons to known references, and have been disliked by @JK47 and many others many times. Let's just say you are not a good fit.

    GAME OVER.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
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  10. jowls

    jowls Never shitposts (please) - Friend

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    Thank fuck. That was like mshenay reincarnated.
     
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  11. Darren G

    Darren G Friend

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    @omegaorgun - The xDooDoo is so wonderful blah blah shill posts are just a red-flag for me. Bullshit. I suspect if the listeners whose reviews I trust heard it, they'd call it out for what it more likely is. Just another piece of mediocre gear at best.
     
  12. ohshitgorillas

    ohshitgorillas Almost "Made"

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    Pardon my overcaffeinated rant... I'm still hopelessly stalking this thread and related forums hoping for a magical TOTL solution to driving both the HD800 and Atticus to the peak of their performance while only costing $50. Don't these guys designing $2k amps (as well as the guys custom designing and hand-winding in/output transformers) understand that I'm poor right now? This hobby is so brutal sometimes, particularly as I'm losing hope of finding a single tube amp that does justice to both Atticus and HD800 without needing to save up for two years. I am SO happy with these two headphones (plus the SDAC+MCTH > ZMF Classics at the office) and feel zero need to try anything new out or expand my collection*, however, it also feels more and more like each headphone needs its own amplifier.

    I have a tricked out Crack that I'm in the process of rebuilding still; my idea to rework/rewire only select parts of the amp caused more trouble than it was worth, so this last weekend I just tore almost everything out and am working on starting from scratch, currently waiting on some parts to arrive to complete it (I break the leads off of those LEDs every time I fucking look at one). That said, I'm perfectly satisfied with the pimped out Crack as an endgame to the HD800. Is it squeezing every last bit of detail out of the music that the 800 are capable of revealing? No, but it sounds fucking amazing and it makes me very happy to listen to, so I'm going to call it good enough for me. The high output impedance of the Crack doesn't seem to affect the Sennheisers, be it HD6x0 or HD800. On the other hand, it is plainly audible with the Atticus as a sort of looseness, a lack of control over some notes. The combination is wonderful, don't get me wrong, but that looseness means that the Crack is not my end-game Atticus amp.

    I have been eyeballing various candidates, like a used Torpedo III, Mainline, Elekit TU-8500, etc. No final decisions yet, although the Mainline is the front-runner since I'm familiar with the Bottlehead style. Not a huge fan of the dual six-step attenuator design, but I'm sure it sounds fine and gives plenty of room for adjustment. That said, I'm broke as hell and all this googling and reading is just pure masochism and self-loathing.



    * Ok, if it was the right place and time for me financially, I'd totally snag an OG pre-fazor LCD2.

    post-script: how the fuck is it that I've managed to get two glorious pairs of approx $1k headphones yet I'm just sitting here wishing I had another $2k so that I could enjoy them properly (make that $3k for a proper DAC)? what is this hobby even? is this what marriage feels like?
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
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  13. Walderstorn

    Walderstorn Friend

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    Personally? I prefer much more the Crack with the hd600 than with the h800 but that's just me (actually not). I understand being tight on money so what i do is just save, save, save. "Fortunately" for me the amps that i really wanted are unicorns (specially in 230V) so it took years just to get a Crimson, and to be honest i never thought i would have the opportunity. Now came the Sonett 2 and next is a new DAC but i don't like to spend more than 1000 on a piece, so the Crimson was the one and only exception because it's the best amp i've heard (aka the favorite to my hears).

    I usually save for years before i buy something that i know i really want (i have other priorities in life) and it has saved me from buying dozens of "this is not exactly what i want" amps.
     
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  14. ohshitgorillas

    ohshitgorillas Almost "Made"

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    I really just need to hit up a local meet and hear things for myself. Making big gear decisions based on sparse reviews just leads to madness.
     
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  15. LVF1

    LVF1 Rando

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    Any tube amp recommendations for 64 audio a12t used with a PC at home? I'm trying to stick with iems due to a really messed up neck
     

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