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Old 3rd December 2014, 03:04 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Holland, MI
Default Which Class-A Build?

I am curious if anyone here has experimented with the various Class-A builds on the forums?

Doing some digging, I found the following:
  • Alpeh Mini
  • Zen/DOZ Headphone Variation
  • RJM J-Mo MkII
  • Richard Marsh

I'll be driving Grados, so I don't need a lot of power and it is an easy load to drive. A PCB would be nice and I have found them for the J-Mo and Marsh designs.

I currently run all tube gear and am using an RH84SE rev2 as my primary amp into some Crites Cornwall II's. I will be wrapping up a DCB1 & Aleph J build here in a month or so, so I am still not familiar with the "Aleph" sound but I hear very good things which has me leaning towards the Alpeh Mini. The description that sold me on building the Aleph J was that it sounded like a "perfect tube amplifier". I was considering building a MAD Ear+ as I hear they are magic with Grados, but if I end up keeping the Pass gear as my primary system, I will stick with a solid-state headphone amp also (and cost is much easier on the wallet!)

Just curious if anyone has auditioned some or all and what your thoughts were. Bonus points if you listened on Grado cans.
P2, DL-103R, C521BEE, D100 Mk2, Seduction, ForePlay, RH84SE, Alpair 12P Pensils, Cornwalls - WIP: Pearl, Mezmerize, Aleph J
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Old 16th December 2014, 10:29 PM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Western CT
For Grado's the MAD Ear+ is pretty hard to beat. You can find the schematic around if you look hard for it. Or you can find a used one over at Head-Fi, typically one or two a month. The Pass Aleph is very linear, and there does not appear to be much synergy with the Grado's (at least not with my RS1i cans). The Aleph is magic with Mad Dogs tho.

Good luck with your build.
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