pixelandsoda

Help needed! Which headphone amp to keep?

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Posted (edited)

Hi guys, 

I need you guys to help me deciding which headphone amp I should keep.

I have two amps Graham Slee Novo and modified Musical Fidelity X-Can V2 (fitted with ‘Rock Grotto’ upgrades - pls see the pictures)

I like them both sonically, but in my opinion Graham's Slee sound is more defined and has more precise timing , whereas X-Can has better sound stage and more clear instrument separation.
As we all know everything is subjective and It's really hard to judge and make a decision since they're pretty close to each other.

Thanks!

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Edited by pixelandsoda
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Super Wammer

Depends on the cans you will be using and your preferences. Which do you prefer? As you have them it’s easy to evaluate or am I missing something?

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Super Wammer

Sounds like you have a dilemma - you like aspects of each but not the total package of either.  You are faced with three logical choices 

1.  Keep both and swap depending on mood or wants

2. Toss a coin for which one to sell (and always be disappointed you cannot experience the aspects of the one you sold)

3. FInd one that gives you everything you want and sell both

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Without knowing which headphones you are using its impossible to choose, perhaps neither suits, especially when neither does everything as you like it. 

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19 minutes ago, paulf-2007 said:

Without knowing which headphones you are using its impossible to choose, perhaps neither suits, especially when neither does everything as you like it. 

I'm using AKG k702 headphones.

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Not one I'm familiar with but someone either here or on headfi would know whether what you have is compatible. I have grado 325 with walnut cans and had them many years. Only last year I found a little dot 1+ with different op amps and tube made them sing. Since then I bought a project ds2 digital for its Dac and phono stage and they sound possibly better. I also bought a Bakoon 11R amp not for its headphone out, although it's raved about on headfi, it didn't do it for me with the grado, but that's not a problem, but shows that matching is critical. I don't know the price point of your phones so may be  a limiting factor, not meaning that they are not good because as I said I'm not familiar with them. 

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Sell both try something new you can always pick them up again both are old designs and will only get less expensive to buy used in the future. 

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There's a mod you can make to the 702's if you feel a little brave...

it in involves removing the end caps then gently removing the gimbal to get behind the headband, there is a little  plastic disk covering a port. Then removal makes a welcome addition of bass and even the excellent soundstage is boosted.

Don't do it if you think you'll bust them! 

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Funnily enough I was looking at headphone amps today for something to do and as a possible purchase of course. Some really interesting options out there. Ones that looked of interest to me were;

Icon Audio HP 8 Valve headphone amp

Lehmann Audio Linear Headphone Amplifier

The Violectric ones look very nice....

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/VIOLECTRIC-HPA-V200-headphone-amplifier/193284486054?hash=item2d00a733a6:g:h60AAOSwfiNeDzhY

Or this one that looks amazing;

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Violectric-V281-headphone-amplifier/313023203494?hash=item48e1a308a6:g:a2EAAOSwMS5eZpRQ

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