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Amp Upgrade Suggestions?

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Hello, this marks my first post outside of the classifieds, lol.


As the topic suggests, I am seeking advice and/or suggestions with regards to choosing a desktop amp to pair with my Grado GS-1000i.


My current setup is as thus:


Source: MHDT Labs Havana DAC .// Raytheon 5670 Windmill Getter


Interconnect: Van Den Hul "The Second"


Amplifier: Darkvoice 3322 .// Ulyanovsk 6S19P-B, Mullard EF9


Phones: ATH-5, GS-1000


Due to a Darkvoice having come my way conveniently when i first went about looking for an amp, I simply bought that and went on with it. It's been about a year now, and sadly, I am bored of my setup.


Although I thought I could re-cable my GS 1k at Moon-audio, my immediate concern was the Darkvoice, which seems to be the only limiting piece in the entire set.


It was good while it lasted, but I find myself wanting more detail and more of everything in general, something audio enthusiasts suffer from, regrettably.


As such, I have been wondering what to upgrade to. Although I have gone through various reviews and done quite a bit of reading, I have unfortunately only managed to test the Yamamoto HA-02, and honestly speaking I was not really blown away, although I did notice the detail increase, and better staging.


However, my budget as of now is rather limited, so extravagant amps like the Zana Deux line is out.


My ultimate aim is to reproduce, or at least come close to, the Grado PS-1's signature. I've tried the PS-1000 and really didn't like it, and in my audio travels I have not found anything close to it. It's the very "Liquid" feel of the PS-1's bass that I cannot forget, and I suppose as such I have been trying to come as close to it as possible in my setups.


It would be very much appreciated if any feedback can be given with regards to possible amps that can be matched well with the GS1k in general, or if anyone has any recommendations to make.


I look forward to your advice and suggestions.


Thank you for your time.

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This is really tough, because GS1000 is very picky about the amp used. I sold it 3 years ago and could not be happier. :P I had owned Grado PS-1 for two years, and in my limited experiences, I feel that the Stax Omega 2 MKI with SRM-007t has a very similar liquid feel and effortless sound...


If you could increase your budget a bit more, I would suggest Cary Xciter Amp. The designer used GS1000 as his main reference of choice to tune the circuit. A friend, who is also a fan of PS-1 after hearing mine, bought the PS-1000 to use with Cary Xciter Amp and is very happy about it. I've read pink fish media, some people also like their GS1000 with Naim Headline 2 with upgraded power supply (HiCap).


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I found my GS compatible with most things, maybe because I haven't gone far in terms of the amp department, having chosen to max out the Source and phones first.


To me stax are more of headspeakers though, and they're quite specialized, so I never really did explore them very much...


After some consideration I've come to the conclusion that I might just go and get the Zanadeux if i can sell my Darkvoice. And isn't the Xciter even more expensive than a Zana SE? I have heard of it before, but it's way out of my range...

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