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post #3161 of 37823
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dai_Shan View Post
a Starving Student (i'm thinking of building this one too) should cost around $30, not including Tubes, case, and shipping cost.
Which could add another $50...

I'd shoot for around $100, and consider a cost under that a bonus..
post #3162 of 37823
Anybody heard this amp? Any comments? I'm considering one of these (as well as a couple others) ...

Option1: Stello HP100
.................................................

    
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post #3163 of 37823
Quote:
Originally Posted by s1rrah View Post
Anybody heard this amp? Any comments? I'm considering one of these (as well as a couple others) ...

Option1: Stello HP100
.................................................

I briefly considered it before deciding to go with a certain DIY amp of epic solid-state proportions.


There's one up in the Head-Fi FS section, I believe, for a pretty good price.
post #3164 of 37823
From my previous research, I know that Stello is damn good with Grado - good enough to be one of the absolute best solid state options for your RS1's.

I still recommend checking out the Eddie Current S/S. It has a rather flawless record.
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post #3165 of 37823
So, what are the differences in sound characteristics between Solid State and Tube amps? Are tube amps always better? Also, anyone have any recommendations for a nice, cheap DAC with Optical Input?
    
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post #3166 of 37823
This thread needs to be stickied.
    
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post #3167 of 37823
Quote:
Originally Posted by pow3rtr1p View Post
So, what are the differences in sound characteristics between Solid State and Tube amps? Are tube amps always better? Also, anyone have any recommendations for a nice, cheap DAC with Optical Input?
The largest difference comes down to cold vs. warm.

Solid State:

- Cold. This means that the inherit "energy" or "life" of the music is either less noticeable or not entirely present within the music. While this would seem to be a highly-negative characteristic, some listeners enjoy having a cold signature. In my experience it is beneficial for jazz music, where my cold-sounding DAC makes my SR225 sing with Diana Krall. Cold leads to...

- Analytical. Not to be confused with more detail or transparency, though some of the highest-regarded SS amps are pure detail kings. I consider analytical listening to be hearing complete separation and distinctiveness of the different instruments, vocals, etc. If you wish to listen critically for a particular instrument, solid state can be most helpful.

Tubes:

- Warm. You can feel the energy and life of the music as you listen. It is hard for me to describe, but one of the most memorable experiences I have is listening to Dave Matthews on a Darkvoice 337. It was so involving, so engaging that I was hard pressed to stop listening. Warmth is often considered to be more enjoyable and fun as opposed to the coldness of SS, but again, some prefer it the other way around.

Honestly, your choice entirely depends on the rest of the selections in your rig. This is why I feel the amp should be the very last piece purchased for an audio setup (succeeded only by cables/interconnects). An amp can only work with what it is given, whereas the source and the headphone impact the setup in a much more vital manner. I will say that tubes must be experienced firsthand to be understood. I greatly underestimated the cold vs. warm factor, but for me it is very real and makes quite a difference.
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post #3168 of 37823
Quote:
Originally Posted by pow3rtr1p View Post
How expensive, and complicated, would a Mighty Midget or Starving Student amp be? I may look into building one, with the help of my roommate, once I get some new cans.
parts cost around $25-30 sans tubes/enclosure.

While this is a 'cheap' build it is not exactly a beginners project as it is all point to point wiring. If you haven't built anything before or struggle reading a schematic this amp is not for you. A good beginners amp would be a cmoy built on a perfboard or a PIMETA, which will cost more but I found easier to build than a cmoy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Namrac View Post
I briefly considered it before deciding to go with a certain DIY amp of epic solid-state proportions.

There's one up in the Head-Fi FS section, I believe, for a pretty good price.
Actually, Joel, if you and Nam can get together and agree on a BOM doubling up on everything wouldn't be much more work and you might get a better deal as parts tend to be cheaper in quantity. Many parts have discounts when you order 10 or more, which isn't far fetched when building a couple amps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pow3rtr1p View Post
So, what are the differences in sound characteristics between Solid State and Tube amps? Are tube amps always better? Also, anyone have any recommendations for a nice, cheap DAC with Optical Input?

tube amps are never always better, neither are ss amps. What it really comes down to is the circuit implementation and the parts used. There are well designed amps and badly designed amps. There are amps that measure well, but don't sound that great.

In my experience a well designed tube amp is better able to bring everything into focus. You can get loads of detail with a good SS design, but you often end up with just that, loads of detail and the ability to easily distinguish the different parts of the piece of music. Tubes on the other hand when implemented well (and good tubes of course) have the ability to give loads of detail and to being all the pieces together into a cohesive whole.

I love tubes though
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post #3169 of 37823
Add this to my list:
Beyer DT770 Pro 80 ohms
post #3170 of 37823
Quote:
Originally Posted by Namrac View Post
I briefly considered it before deciding to go with a certain DIY amp of epic solid-state proportions.


There's one up in the Head-Fi FS section, I believe, for a pretty good price.
There's a couple FS there.

I'm waiting to hear back from a guy who lives here in Houston.
    
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