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Get a new amp or no???


KenW
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Okay, I've been debating streamlining a bit if not downright downsizing. I find that I don't use "multiple" amps and sources nearly enough to justify having them sitting around so I'm thinking about a move to get a single amp that can handle various needs. Right now, I'm using nothing but headphones but likely will be adding speakers somewhere down the road plus I'd like to try the K1000 sometime. With that in mind, should I part with my MPX3 slam and GCHA and just pick up something that's a bit more flexible? Say the SLI-80 Signature F-1? It seems to fit the bill and from what I've read it's a solid performer with no real weaknesses.

So the question.....go for it or stand pat and buy more music and/or headphones instead?

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i say go with a preamp that doubles as your headphone amp, and send that to a power amp that can push both your speakers and a K1000. i have a poor man version of this with my Melos preamp/headphone amp and the cheapo marantz receiver, but it does the trick.

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Some thoughts to be sure. Kinda like the loop out on my slam. Not sure I want to sell the GCHA as it makes the office a bit more enjoyable with that usb.

Hmmm...more cans and music. Maybe Alex will part with one of those L3000's?? >:D More music wouldn't hurt either but I've added 20 CD's in the last two weeks and the missus is getting a bit peeved! Guess the itch doesn't need scratching but man, it does itch! Might just have to break out the old Luxman preamp and Hafler 500 amp to run the speakers and save the dough for something else. Thanks for the suggestions. That Cary sure seems like a good idea though!

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I went through the whole downgrade process myself...ended up selling everything I had before even making a decision on what amp to buy and such. Ended up getting a Hornet for my birthday so I've basically stuck with that. I need to get out to some meets so that I can try some other amps to know which one to finally settle with in the future.

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if you really want to do speakers i would sell the GCHA, get a power amp, and get preamp outputs added to the MPX3 Slam. otherwise, i would just buy more music and headphones :)

It sounds like a sweet choice IF I'm certain to add the speakers. OTOH, I can see the benefits of going the route you suggest. Spoke with Kevin this am and he's given me the lowdown on this one. Really tempted but at the price point, I need to be certain as it won't be easy to move something that expensive. Man, I'm torn! Tough decision and unfortunately, the clock is ticking! :-[

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Hey....long time no speak. The MPX3 is doing fine. Just thinking about "streamlining" things a bit. Somewhat a pipe dream to find a single amp that can do both headphones and speakers justice but I thought I'd look into it. Somewhat of a moot point as the missus isn't real wild about speakers and the aesthetics of 'em. Guess the MPX3 stays. Just decided to trim some gear and explore some other cans. I've had the itch to give the L3000 a listen along with the K1000. Of course, that means....yup....another amp! Vicious cycle isn't it??

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Okay, I've been debating streamlining a bit if not downright downsizing. I find that I don't use "multiple" amps and sources nearly enough to justify having them sitting around so I'm thinking about a move to get a single amp that can handle various needs. Right now, I'm using nothing but headphones but likely will be adding speakers somewhere down the road plus I'd like to try the K1000 sometime. With that in mind, should I part with my MPX3 slam and GCHA and just pick up something that's a bit more flexible? Say the SLI-80 Signature F-1? It seems to fit the bill and from what I've read it's a solid performer with no real weaknesses.

So the question.....go for it or stand pat and buy more music and/or headphones instead?

your looking for us to enable your indecisiveness? If your desire is a fresh new gear smell more so then having a good amp, go ahead... if you enjoy your sound, keep what you got. I never got your type that has to have something new in rotation all the time. Stop looking at what other people have and just enjoy what you got man. (I.E don't rely on head-fi for your purchasing neeeds, just forget that new things come out and enjoy your stuff)

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Didn't you have the Moth Si2A3? I believe that was an integrated stereo amp in addition to having a headphone out. That seems to be a pretty good all-inclusive option for the few users out there. I may end up having Craig build me one so I can use that as the center of my rig, to drive my headphones and a set of cicadas I plan on getting.

Other than that, the Cary is probably your best bet.

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Hey....long time no speak. The MPX3 is doing fine. Just thinking about "streamlining" things a bit. Somewhat a pipe dream to find a single amp that can do both headphones and speakers justice but I thought I'd look into it. Somewhat of a moot point as the missus isn't real wild about speakers and the aesthetics of 'em. Guess the MPX3 stays. Just decided to trim some gear and explore some other cans. I've had the itch to give the L3000 a listen along with the K1000. Of course, that means....yup....another amp! Vicious cycle isn't it??

Can you ask Mikhail to turn it into a pre-amp? So that way it could be part of a 2 channel front end if you like the sound it gives you? I am sure something could be discussed between you.

It would be good to hear how you got on with the L3k's and K1k's. I have never heard a set of K1k's.

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Didn't you have the Moth Si2A3? I believe that was an integrated stereo amp in addition to having a headphone out. That seems to be a pretty good all-inclusive option for the few users out there. I may end up having Craig build me one so I can use that as the center of my rig, to drive my headphones and a set of cicadas I plan on getting.

Other than that, the Cary is probably your best bet.

Yes, I owned that amp but "issues" led to her departure.

your looking for us to enable your indecisiveness? If your desire is a fresh new gear smell more so then having a good amp, go ahead... if you enjoy your sound, keep what you got. I never got your type that has to have something new in rotation all the time. Stop looking at what other people have and just enjoy what you got man. (I.E don't rely on head-fi for your purchasing neeeds, just forget that new things come out and enjoy your stuff)

Uh...since when is seeking feedback from more experience members who've had the opportunity to sample far more gear than I have "indecisive"??? Seems I'm simply seeking some advice/guidance. I do like trying new things but of late it seems like I'm spread thin. Just too much unused gear which I have been selling off of late i.e....streamlining/downsizing. Just figured I could take it one step further and perhaps not have a separate amp for headphones and speakers. If I could find one that would to both justice, it seemed a logical move on my part. I haven't had speakers since getting married so I haven't been keeping up with them and the associated hardware. Figured there would be other headphone fans who've been down a similar road who might have valuable information so I asked. Don't see the problem with asking for some help/advice. FWIW, I do enjoy what I have but at one point in time, I had speakers and while headphones are nice, they aren't at that level...for me anyway. Hey, thanks for you contribution....such as it is.

i forgot to ask, why do you need an amp that does both?

Like I said, I enjoy headphones but miss speakers but don't really want to invest in two separate rigs if I can get one that does both reasonably well. Clear?

KenW, there is a Cary selling for $1900... >:D

Actually, there are a few Cary's and I had a long talk with Kevin at Upscale but upon further review, I decided that it wasn't for me in spite of his generous pricing.

Can you ask Mikhail to turn it into a pre-amp? So that way it could be part of a 2 channel front end if you like the sound it gives you? I am sure something could be discussed between you.

It would be good to hear how you got on with the L3k's and K1k's. I have never heard a set of K1k's.

Yep, he could and likely would do that for me. That was an option we discussed early on but I enjoyed the loop out on the GS-1 I had in for a brief time so much that I chose that route instead. As for the L3000's and K1000's, I've not been able to snag either for a listen yet. Have doubts that I'd be totally taken with the K1000 presentation. As you know, I'm a bit of a basshead so these likely wouldn't last long with me but I'd sure like to give them a listen with the right amp. The L3000 is pretty much the same deal. Just can't lay my hands on a pair. They sound like a fantastic headphone and someday I'll get some quality time with them.

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There seems to a lack of amp which can do headphones and speakers all in solution one with equal aplomb. I have owned one or two of them and I find they may excel in one area but end be deficient in the other.

THe problem probably lies in the fact that even though they both produce music it's in the way it is produced with is different which in end giving amp manufacturers a hard time producing a amp which excels in both areas.

I myself like you have decided to go the one amp route. I have chosen the melos for this purpose. It will have to drive my headphones and drive speakers as well.

It may not be the final word for this purpose but I quite like the headphone section and it preamp abilities is not to shabby either. The cary does intrigue me but I think it might not be a good choice to partner it to one of my fave headphones.

The moth is an interesting prospect like the cary. Would you care to go into more detail why it did not work out for you? I am open to both the pluses and negatives of the amp. If you rather do this via PM you know where I am.

Good luck in your search Ken.

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There seems to a lack of amp which can do headphones and speakers all in solution one with equal aplomb. I have owned one or two of them and I find they may excel in one area but end be deficient in the other.

THe problem probably lies in the fact that even though they both produce music it's in the way it is produced with is different which in end giving amp manufacturers a hard time producing a amp which excels in both areas.

I myself like you have decided to go the one amp route. I have chosen the melos for this purpose. It will have to drive my headphones and drive speakers as well.

It may not be the final word for this purpose but I quite like the headphone section and it preamp abilities is not to shabby either. The cary does intrigue me but I think it might not be a good choice to partner it to one of my fave headphones.

The moth is an interesting prospect like the cary. Would you care to go into more detail why it did not work out for you? I am open to both the pluses and negatives of the amp. If you rather do this via PM you know where I am.

Good luck in your search Ken.

Thanks GRW. I think you might be right in that expecting one amp to do it all to the level of expectation/hope is asking too much. Granted, it's all from reading opinions of others but that seems to be the consensus. I had hoped the Cary might be the answer but far too many comments about the headphone performance. For now, that would be of primary importance as the wife is still giving me problems about adding speakers to the entertainment room. Guess I could put my foot down but that won't make for a harmonious coexistance. Hmmm....speakers or the wife.....guess giving in on the speakers is the cheaper alternative, no?

As to the 2A3, I found it did the HD650 extremely well but the Grados did not fare well at all. I got some feedback/hum with all my Grados. The solution was far too expensive and only added to the growing cost of this amp. I had a few functional issues which necessitated a return to Craig for repairs. At 75lbs, it's certainly not inexpensive to ship it across the country! I guess I got frustrated with the piece and really lost my shirt by selling it. In hindsight, I probably made a mistake in moving that one. After all, Craig had virtually rebuilt the thing so it likely will give the new owner nothing but consistent, beautiful performance. Simply put, I'd just had enough and was ready to move on to something else.

So the Melos works for you? Can you tell me more about it? I'm assuming you're referring to the sha-1? i'd briefly considered that one but came across some reports of reliability and got scared off by those comments. Maybe I need to reconsider?

OTOH, I'm pretty well satisfied with the MPX3 slam. It's performing quite well with my Sony and GS-1000's so I'm content.....for the time being. Of course, my "type" is never truly satisfied. Just love the smell of new gear I suppose. So give me the skinny on the Melos. Email or PM is fine. Heck, lay it on me here. I don't mind.

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Well maybe Mikahail could work his magic for you.

Well the melos I chose because I already had it. Also seeming I was fairly happy with the core sound I didn;t feel comfy spending stupid amounts of money on the 2 channel $$$$ pre-amps. Also I still enjoy headphone listening so I need that versatility.

I had considered the pre amp likes of the conrad johnsons, burmester, jeff rowlands etc. But none offer a headphone output. And to be honest I don;t even really need a pre-amp as my cdp will drive a power amp direct.

But to be honest I am not that keen on the sound direct to power amp using my source. So then I decided to try the melos in pre amp duties.

I am sorry the moth did not work out for you. I can imagine it sounded good with the senns. Wait a minute I have noticed you don;t have senns anymore.

I have been thinking of getting a SP. But I am undecided. Having met Mikhail I would have no problems dealing with him for an amp eventually. The Question I ask myself is what would I get, Could I get a pre-amp function built in, how long would it take to build and obviously cost of the whole thing.

I would like to try the Es-1. But I imagine the pre-amp built in feature would be costly to implement. I have heard an Es-1. But I would need to take a trip to the US again and get a longer audition or at least meet with mikhail to hammer out something which would be ideal for soundwise as I know he can build amps to personal taste's. Something like a 50/50 split between dynamic and refinement.

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Nope....no Senns anymore. After spending a good amount of time with the 701, the 650 and then the GS-1000, I decided that the GS1K fit me best. I found myself listening to those cans almost exclusively. Much better/clearer top end with the Grados than the Senns plus the bass was pretty darned nice as well. Not the impact the Senns had but close. Mids were fine and these were so doggone comfortable that the Senns just couldn't hang. While the GS1K might not be the ultimate headphone....well they aren't...and they might have some issues/flaws....well the bass could be tighter and more controlled....they certainly give me the best all round performance to date. I'm just "satisfied" with these. As i said...they suit me fine. Hence, the 701 and 650 have departed and I miss them not!

As for the SP, Mikhail could surely work the pre-amp function for you. He did a loop out for me. At the time, it just suited my needs to do the loop out. The ES1 would probably be at the top of my list if I were going that route. Actually, I'm very tempted to do so. OTOH, a balance source is also something I think I want to try/explore. Question is do I go with a stand alone CD player or do the transport/dac? Frankly, I think I'm going the latter as it offers me more flexibility as I also want to toy with a computer based setup. My type are that way you know!

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Like I said, I enjoy headphones but miss speakers but don't really want to invest in two separate rigs if I can get one that does both reasonably well. Clear?

Oh, for those halcyon days ;) I've got a two bedroom plus den condo. In it, I've one 7.1 channel HT rig, three two-channel speaker rigs (four if you count the T-Amp + Optimus speaker rig in the bathroom), and four main headphone rigs. (I'm not counting the computer rigs with speakers). Then there's the stuff that's not in a system right now, and the transportable rigs... :P

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We played the prototype GS1K through my Melos SHA-Gold at the Nat. Meet. good times. I don't think you'd be unhappy with it. Like Redwings, I use the Melos as my headphone amp, and when it's time to crank the speakers, the Melos sends a nice passive line out signal (meaning, it bypasses the tube output stage) to my Marantz receiver (you could just use a simple power amp of course). The active line out (tubed) sends a beefy signal to my Stax amp, which helps mellow the etchiness. All in all, the Melos is the heart of my rig, and can handle it all.

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