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MalHead

CDP + head amp matching MS2

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Hi all

 

For all of you currently using MS2, may I know what CDP and amp do you use to synergize the SQ? I'm currently using my MS2 directly out from an old Sony DVD player. Time to upgrade so I like to have opinions and suggestions on a good match. My budget is less than SGD1000 for CDP + amp combined.

 

On the amp, will tube or solid state amp work better with MS2? I like the sound to be as original as possible with details and clarity.

 

Thanks in advance.

Malcolm

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Hi Malcolm..

 

There are opinions that tube amps work best with the MS2, or more precisely.. grados in general.

 

However, if you fancy clarify and details.. that's generally the forte of a SS amp.

 

Therefore, you might consider building your system around one that offers you details. Brands like Marantz are generally considered as warm sounding while the Cambridge Audio is quite clinical.

 

Are you looking towards buying a dedicated headphone amp or do you want an integrated amp for speakers? This is because the headphones out from integrated amps or even some CDPs that are pretty reasonable.

 

For myself, I am planning to pair the MS2i with a CA 640Cv2 and a Mapletree Audio Ear+ headphone amp.

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Hi warsurferX

 

Thanks, I may be more inclined to SS amp as I believe it is more hassle-free, easy maintenance, last longer and not as fragile. With tube amp, I guess there's a need to replace blown tubes. Any idea which SS amp matches well with MS2?

 

Whether dedicated headamp or integrated amp for speakers, my choice boils down to cost. I believe a good integrated amp naturally cost much more than a headamp since the formal is meant to drive speakers rather than headphones. Or is there a headamp capable of driving, say bookshelf speakers as well?

 

As for CDP, the CD5001 cost around S$300 while the CA 640Cv2 cost around double, right? What is the lowest price for the 640Cv2 now? So far, is there any feedback on the build quality of this 640 made-in-China CDP? Reviews from Head-Fi on 640 do not look that good, but sound quality is very good.

 

With MS2+CA640Cv2+ Mapletree Ear+, this will cost in total around S$1800+, which can easily get a complete home theatre system. Maybe this is not a good comparison.

 

Any other inputs?

 

Thanks again to all.

 

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Whether dedicated headamp or integrated amp for speakers, my choice boils down to cost. I believe a good integrated amp naturally cost much more than a headamp since the formal is meant to drive speakers rather than headphones. Or is there a headamp capable of driving, say bookshelf speakers as well?

I'm not too sure about that. I think the Yamamoto does. but it costs almost US$1000 already.

 

I feel that these two systems are pretty difficult to compare - sound-wise and cost-wise. A speaker system can be enjoyed by many and it gives you THE 'feel' while a headphones system is exclusively for the headphone user (2 max) although it gives you lots of details. So you'll have to weight the cost-benefit of each system.

 

As for CDP, the CD5001 cost around S$300 while the CA 640Cv2 cost around double, right? What is the lowest price for the 640Cv2 now? So far, is there any feedback on the build quality of this 640 made-in-China CDP? Reviews from Head-Fi on 640 do not look that good, but sound quality is very good.

You're right. The price of the is slightly more that double the CD5001. I thought that the build is really solid, no problems so far. Sound-wise. Diff people says differently - some say it's TOO clinical, but not to me :blush:

 

With MS2+CA640Cv2+ Mapletree Ear+, this will cost in total around S$1800+, which can easily get a complete home theatre system. Maybe this is not a good comparison.

Although the set-up above is already S$1.8K, it gives you a completely different sound from a home theatre system. I ever listened to a same set-up using a stereo amp and a HT amp of the same price range and the difference is pretty apparent. So once again, I guess you'll have to decide what you're using your system for.

 

 

 

Actually, tubes system doesnt require A LOT of maintenance. Tubes last almost forever (can't remember how many hours but I believe casual listening will last a couple of years) and spare tubes for my Mapletree cost <S$50.

 

Seems like you've been reading up at Head-fi. What are the SS amps that have caught your eye? There's someone in the classfieds selling his Gilmore Lite. Perhaps you can get an audition and negotiate the price a little. ;)

Edited by warsurferX

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I would get a Dugood CDP from Ah Fart Audio and the Grado RA-1 (Music By Design) (total cost would be around S$1K). Alternatively get one of the lower end CEC CD Players from Music By Design and combine it with the Grado RA-1.

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Someone came over to my place and tried out my G&W T2.1a amp. It's a tube amp moded with Hovland Musicaps and silver wiring. He was using the MS2.

 

The music that came from that pairing was one of the best I've heard. The G&W T2.1A is now his. :-)

 

Suggest getting a tube amp to drive the MS2. The music with the pairing was beautiful. I was very tempted not to sell my G&W T2.1a but to purchase an MS2 instead....

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Hi all

 

Thanks for the inputs. Will check out Dugood and CEC.

 

Rameish, how would you compare the sound from Dugood compared to Cambridge Audio 640Cv2 or NAD C542? Which one sounds more neutral, detail, clear with least color?

 

For the setup/upgrade, it's more for personal enjoyment. Question, in future, in case I want to hook to speakers (like bookshelf due to small room space), can I still use the same setup, probably with something else... extra amp... what's is it? Can someone enlighten/advise?

 

In terms of amp, at the moment, I'm looking at Meier Corda Arietta, Eddie Current SS amp, Mapletree Ear+ HD2, Grado RA-1 and Gilmore Lite. And of course our own Diva, but so far I only read about it on sgheadphones, little mentioned in head-fi. So I need some opinions on these amps' synergy with MS2.

 

As for source, I'm exploring Marantz CD5001, Cambridge Audio 640Cv2, NADC542, and now CEC and Dugood (again Dugood little mention in Head-fi and also Sgheadphones).

 

Btw, which one should I get first, amp or CDP? On one hand, I agree that CDP is the source for the signal/frequencies so it is of utmost importance. On the other hand, how far can the amp bring out the best of this source.

 

Need more inputs and suggestions, thanks.

Malcolm

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Hi Rameish

 

Do you know where I can audition the RA-1 with my MS2?

 

Referring to my earlier post, I'm actually referring to Meier Corda Aria or Cantate. Do you have any experience with these amps or Corda amp? What's your opinion?

 

Thanks.

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