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Shahrose

Dynahi vs...

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Always wondered what the differences were between the Beta and Dynahi and only knew one other person who truly articulated them. Just decided to get them both and find out for myself. I'll also throw in Justin's version of the Dynalo to make it more relevant.

HeadAmp GS-1 w/ DACT

Dynahi built by Fallenangel, w/ Gilmore PSU

3-channel Beta22 + Sigma22 dual chassis, built by SolderWorksAudio (fishski13)

Rockhopper M^3 + Sigma11 (and another with STEPS)

Headphones used: HD800, HE6, SRH1840, SRH940, HD650 and the recently sold K1000 and T1 (all but the Shures recabled)

Source: JKSPDIF MK3 feeding a modded Eastern Electric Minimax DAC

Cables (for anyone who cares): all aftermarket

To keep it short, the Dynahi is still the King of SS IMO. Too bad it's so hard to come by (and build). These days, most settle with (often overpriced) mediocre amps from Schitt, Violectric, Rudistor, Cavalli, Ray Samuels among others...

Compared to the Dynahi: The Beta22 has a larger soundstage and smoother lower treble, but it blurs images by stretching them, softens the sound a bit by rolling off edges (dulling attack) and kind of imbues its own character onto every recording.

Transparency is definitely the Gilmore's strong suit. It offers better fidelity to the source, whereas the 22's sound is more homogenous with varying DACs, transports, recordings etc. The Dynahi is faster, more accurate in tone, imaging and recreating the recording’s acoustic space. Another consistent difference is that the Hi produces a more upfront presentation.

There's a density and weight behind its sound images that the Beta lacks...the latter sounds thin in comparison and I don't mean tonally. It has to do with the Beta stretching images and blurring/pulling apart the sound that I described earlier.

I also find the Dynahi fares better with current-hungry headphones like the HE6.

Compared to the GS-1: The Beta has way more power, a larger soundstage, smoother lower treble/upper mids, is more forgiving and has a bit more bass quantity and extension. The GS-1 is more transparent, linear/accurate, has better imaging, and a blacker background. Much of this is similar to what I heard in comparison to the Dynahi. Makes sense since the Hi and Lo share the same signature, with the Hi being more refined, extended and powerful.

The GS-1, though, can be a bit hard around the edges, a quality which is absent on both the Beta and Dynahi. This makes the Beta sound a bit more refined than Justin's Dynalo. Detail level is the same on both, though the Beta makes it somewhat easier to discern because it separates and pulls apart the soundstage more than both the GS-1 and Dynahi. Overall though, I'm not sure which I'd pick between the GS-1 and Beta22.

One advantage of the Beta is that it's pretty forgiving compared to the Dynahi and GS-1. It makes a lot of crappy recordings (and sources) palatable, at the expense of transparency ofcourse. It accomplishes this by:

1) rounding/dulling leading edges and slightly lengthening decay, similar to what the M^3 and typical tube amps often do…and

2) overlaying its inherent signature over everything...that is, a slightly warm, dark, diffuse, expansively layered sound.

It sounds like I’m ripping on the Beta, but I enjoy its sound, especially with brighter cans like the HD800 and SRH1840. It’s more a testament to how good the Gilmore amps are than the Beta underperforming. I could give a lot more detail about the Beta’s sound, but this should probably suffice.

All of these are high-quality amps, but I'd rank them as: Dynahi > Beta22 > GS-1 > M^3

…M^3 popped up out of nowhere there. How does that sound? Like a slightly lower quality version of the Beta IMO. Close enough that I’d consider it to be the best value among quality SS amps. It’s also way smaller, and easier to build/troubleshoot.

EDIT: April 29th 2012

Some people have been bugging me for more details on the Beta vs Dynahi comparison, especially in terms of what the former does well. So here it is:

In comparison to the DynaHi and Lo, the B22 projects larger images and pushes them farther away. Despite this, the layering of the sound is excellent. To me, it feels like it’s just as good as the Dynahi in this regard. Some may argue it’s better because it fills up a larger space with its layering. Yes, the Beta may stretch and blur images somewhat, but in terms of depth presentation, it’s world-class.

As I’ve already mentioned, AMB’s amps are just more forgiving. They have a characteristic smooth, rounded, expansive sound that manages not to obscure detail or muddy the sound. The bass also holds weight and authority, but doesn’t quite punch like the Dynahi because it’s a bit slower and more drawn out. This can be a good thing at times when you want a more rhythmic/liquid low-end foundation.

Another thing the Beta does well is how it creates and decays sounds. It’s tough to explain but subtle sounds appear out of nowhere and disappear into a black background. This, combined with its large soundstage, makes for a surrounding, involving listen.

Dynamics on both amps are startling. Tough to decide which, between the two, is better. Both amps can range from delicate-sounding and nuanced, to absolutely head-rattling and explosive.

If I could sum up the sound of both amps in a few words? The Dynahi would be fast, up-front, impactful, transparent. The Beta would be laid-back, rounded, liquid, enveloping. Clearly, the two differ in their presentation of sound. The Dynahi shows differences from upstream gear more readily whereas the Beta seems to colour the sound with its own character, but in a pleasant way. For this reason, I find the B22 to sound good from a wider range of sources. For the very same reason, I believe the Dynahi can scale up higher…

Edited by Shahrose

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I love my GSX (balanced dynalo right?) and couldn't come to any preference between it and a balanced Beta22 when listening blind (admittedly only doing that 4/5 times) and with non-blind comparison. Of course YMMV.

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I love my GSX (balanced dynalo right?) and couldn't come to any preference between it and a balanced Beta22 when listening blind (admittedly only doing that 4/5 times) and with non-blind comparison. Of course YMMV.

Yep. The GSX is the headphone amp I have had the longest, by a wide margin. I have also never entertained the thought of selling it.

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You are really going to like the new supersymmetry balanced dynahi, and the multiamp (multiple feedback option balanced dynalo)

Both stuffable with currently available parts.

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while the Veda builds may not have been the best my Dynahi (still better than trevor) is still one of two amps that I regret selling.

The B22 is an amp that I have never taken a shine to, for whatever reason my foot never taps to the music where the Veda had me grooving

Edited by jp11801

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I preferred my tooleaudio m3 to the Veda dynahi I had, but honestly my rig was completely different so I couldn't say it was the amp.

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You are really going to like the new supersymmetry balanced dynahi, and the multiamp (multiple feedback option balanced dynalo)

Both stuffable with currently available parts.

Is this the lil'knight GB board, or a new one?

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Yup, that's the GB board.

I agree that the M3 is a nice amp and very simple to build but it is very much lacking compared to the Dynalo with the LCD-2's. Large part of the problem are the parts used and the compromises needed to make it so simple to build. Still better than 99% of the commercial crap out there...

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Is this the lil'knight GB board, or a new one?

Last group buy board. Labeled as dynahi version 1.0 copyright 2004,2011

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Thats a lil-knight thing.

I do like the bipolar thatcorp 340 as the input device instead of the jfets

so maybe i'll do a version of the board for that. Its definitely sweet on

the multiamp.

Until linear systems pulls their fucking heads out of their fucking asses.

Edited by kevin gilmore

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I'm not interested in going balanced right now, but might be later. How's this supersymmetry Dynahi different from the old Dynamite? Main thing I want to find out is if there's a potential for SQ improvement. Same goes for the new Dynahi rev. vs old.

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The new dynahi is balanced only. Its the only way to do supersymmetry.

You can actually use one side to ground, but that is not the point.

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The new dynahi is balanced only. Its the only way to do supersymmetry.

You can actually use one side to ground, but that is not the point.

Thanks KG. Now someone needs to start building this bad boy. I don't hear much from Rockhopper, MisterX or the usuals these days.

Know what? Supersym Dynahi, premium parts, with HeadAmp's build quality and finish = endgame amp.

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What parts can be upgraded to premium parts anyway? A nicer transformer and maybe switching to vishay-dale resistors?

Of course there's always the premium knob smile.png

Edited by Nebby

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Thanks KG. Now someone needs to start building this bad boy. I don't hear much from Rockhopper, MisterX or the usuals these days.

Know what? Supersym Dynahi, premium parts, with HeadAmp's build quality and finish = endgame amp.

It would be really expensive as a commercial amp since it is a 2 box design with external heatsinks on the amp and power supplies.

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Your added observations could just point to one key difference between the Beta22 and the Dynahi/lo... FET vs. BJT output stages.

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Your added observations could just point to one key difference between the Beta22 and the Dynahi/lo... FET vs. BJT output stages.

So would the Dynafet and Beta22 sound more similar?

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