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HeadAmp Gilmore Lite mk2 Headphone Amp


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We'll have a prototype of the new GS-X mini at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest next month!

doesn’t suck.

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I thought that I'd post some impressions to this thread now that the gs-x mini is in the wild. I have serial #3. This is a fantastic headphone amp. Here is a few pros and cons, off the cuff:

 

Likes:

1. Outstanding parts and build quality. Fit and finish are exceptional. Aesthetics are often a matter of personal preference, but I have to admit i find the look of the Mini to be dead sexy. 

2. Functionally this amp is very versatile. The built in pre-amp feature works well. Conversion of SE sources to balanced output is quite handy. And then it powers just about any headphone on the market (dynamic and planar) equally well. I love the volume tracking on this amp. It's very tight and precise and gets louder gradually...never in a harsh way or overbearing. 

3. Tone of the amp hits the sweet spot for me. Instruments (particularly the ones that I play personally) sound convincingly real. Vocals are authentic and have a layered presentation to them. I can hear the low raspiness of  Patricia Barbara when she belts out a tune in The Cole Porter Mix. Fine detail is a hallmark of this amp. I supposed it's function of the quality of the PSU among other factors. 

Dislikes:

1. Honestly, I have a hard time poking any holes in the gs-x mini. I guess if you must have a tube amp, you have to look elsewhere. There are some very fine imperfections in the top plate in the powder coating. But that's about it. 

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So, I just got a Gilmore Lite Mk2 and it is fantastic (especially with my Clears). Many people around here have recommended finding a HeadRoom DPS to make the Lite sound even better, but I just found a HeadRoom Base Station for sale and I was wondering if that would work, as well? Apologies if this is obvious—I ended up spending all of my time doing chemistry research (would not recommend) and not headphone-related DIY.

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^ Probably. All you are looking for is a +/-15Vdc power supply. Not sure on connecting it. It looks like the Lite uses a 5-pin DIN power input, which I think is what headroom used as well. You would need to verify the pin out on both ends.


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Thanks Pars. Using the Wayback Machine, I visited the 2005 version of HeadRoom's website (throwback!) and found the user manual for the Supreme amp, which states that the Base Station outputs +/-15V DC, so that's good. The problem now is the cable. Justin sent me a picture for the required input into the GL2, but I can't find info for the Base Station. It looks like both connections are 5pin DIN (240 degree version), but I can't verify the pin out on both ends. Since I don't know how to make DIY cables, I'll probably pass on this. If anyone else is interested here is the listing for the Base Station: https://www.ebay.com/itm/HeadRoom-Base-Station-Four-Linear-Power-Supply-AS-IS-Power-Function-Only/323940874293?hash=item4b6c617835:g:00gAAOSw7t9dm4Sl

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3 hours ago, Pars said:

^ Probably. All you are looking for is a +/-15Vdc power supply. Not sure on connecting it. It looks like the Lite uses a 5-pin DIN power input, which I think is what headroom used as well. You would need to verify the pin out on both ends.


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May also want to check the current rating of the PSU to make sure it can support the current draw of the GL2 amp. 

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Someone here could probably make the cable for you. PM Justin (headamp). He may even have some if it is the same as the DPS (probably is, but need to check to make sure).

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16 hours ago, mwl168 said:

May also want to check the current rating of the PSU to make sure it can support the current draw of the GL2 amp. 

That's a good point. I haven't been able to find detailed technical specifications on the Base Station, so I'm not sure about this.

 

10 hours ago, Pars said:

Someone here could probably make the cable for you. PM Justin (headamp). He may even have some if it is the same as the DPS (probably is, but need to check to make sure).

I suppose I could buy the Base Station, determine the pin-out with my multimeter, and then see if anyone would be willing to build a cable? I'm such a cheapskate that I'm afraid of wasting the money if it doesn't work and I don't want to create extra work for anyone. Plus, the Gilmore sounds quite excellent as it is :D! I'll probably just enjoy it for now and wait for Justin to come out with a dedicated power supply and then snap that up.

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You can use the multimeter to identify the pinout of your amp first and go on the net and either try finding the information of the base station or ask for help from existing owners of the device.

l have no knowledge of the Headroom product but if the DPS and the Base Station are different models that serve the same basic functions, it seems logical the pinout should be consistent between the two. Just a guess!

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5 hours ago, mwl168 said:

You can use the multimeter to identify the pinout of your amp first and go on the net and either try finding the information of the base station or ask for help from existing owners of the device.

l have no knowledge of the Headroom product but if the DPS and the Base Station are different models that serve the same basic functions, it seems logical the pinout should be consistent between the two. Just a guess!

I got curious and I dug around on HF for a while and found these posts that imply that the Base Station can be used interchangeably with the Desktop Power Supply, so it looks like your guess was correct!

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Engineers / designers like to be lazy when they can. No need to reinvent something that works just fine, unless you see a need to prevent something from working with someone else’s gear.


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17 hours ago, catscratch said:

Is there any word on a linear power supply straight from Headamp? I heard rumors that there might be one in the works after the GS-X Mini release.

My first post on Head-Case ...

I'm an avid user of the GL2 and any add-on improvements would be welcome. ... Justin did post a photo of an initial design circuit board of the new power-supply on another forum, so I think things are moving along.

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I put a few thousand hours on my GL Mk2. Fine amp for the price. I bot a GSX Mini and needless to say that is also a fine amp. Still have the GL Mk2, not using it now but may set up in office in future. 

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11 hours ago, ilikebananafudge said:

Your headphone cable looks familiar! Did you get it from Blue Jeans? I've gotten MSA-1 headphone cables from them for all of my Focals.

yep it’s a BJC. they’re the bestest. 

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