Picking up a Dynalo amp..what cans to get? (Focal Elear)

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Freo-1








Just obtained this headphone amp from Birgir.  Been looking to get a high quality dynamic headphone amp that would provide good value, and I know Birgir does excellent work.


Now, the question is, what set of cans would folks recommend to go with this amp?   I've a pair of Sony MDR Z7, which are pretty good overall, a bit on the dark side, but excellent clarity. 


Haven't auditioned very many dynamic cans, so don't have much background to draw from.   


« Last Edit: 19 Sep 2019, 05:46 pm by Freo-1 »

adydula

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Re: Picking up a Dynalo amp..what cans to get?
« Reply #1 on: 3 Aug 2019, 03:01 pm »
What are the specs on the amp?

Class A, impedances supported etc??

The only thing I have read is it doesnt like lower that 50 Ohm impedance??

Alex

Freo-1

Re: Picking up a Dynalo amp..what cans to get?
« Reply #2 on: 3 Aug 2019, 03:24 pm »

It is a high quality Class A amp designed to work from 32 to 600 ohms.  It was originally designed by Kevin Gilmore to drive Grado headphones, with lower impedances.


Here is a link to a similar build:


http://www.pavouk.org/hw/dynalo/en_index.html


This was Birgir's personal amp, and it has the latest version of the circuit. 

Tyson

Re: Picking up a Dynalo amp..what cans to get?
« Reply #3 on: 3 Aug 2019, 03:38 pm »
Beyer T1s.  Might as well just go for the best.  Or, the best until you get to Meze Empyrean level.  IME, of course.   :lol:

adydula

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Re: Picking up a Dynalo amp..what cans to get?
« Reply #4 on: 3 Aug 2019, 08:03 pm »
Well if its truly a CLASS A amp, I can highly recommend the Senn 800 or 600's and the Beyer T1's...based
on several of my Class A amps in house presently.

The Senn's are uncanny good with a Class A amp, I would say IMO with my ears "nicer" musically clear than the T1's with a good Class A SS amp.
The T1's shine so much nicer to me (IMO) with a tube amp like the Schitt Vahalla 2 ot BH Crack or Mainline.

Dont know what it is, but the Senns with a Class A amp ..the veil goes away and its really nice. I can listen to music for hours and never get
tired or over how well it sounds.

Sure there are many more hp's that would work well too.....
The Senns are less than $300...(for the 600's) and some even compare the 600's to the 800's ...what a price difference!

Let us know what you decide and how it works out!

Alex

Freo-1

Re: Picking up a Dynalo amp..what cans to get?
« Reply #5 on: 3 Aug 2019, 08:55 pm »
1
Well if its truly a CLASS A amp, I can highly recommend the Senn 800 or 600's and the Beyer T1's...based
on several of my Class A amps in house presently.

The Senn's are uncanny good with a Class A amp, I would say IMO with my ears "nicer" musically clear than the T1's with a good Class A SS amp.
The T1's shine so much nicer to me (IMO) with a tube amp like the Schitt Vahalla 2 ot BH Crack or Mainline.

Dont know what it is, but the Senns with a Class A amp ..the veil goes away and its really nice. I can listen to music for hours and never get
tired or over how well it sounds.

Sure there are many more hp's that would work well too.....
The Senns are less than $300...(for the 600's) and some even compare the 600's to the 800's ...what a price difference!

Let us know what you decide and how it works out!

Alex



Thanks for the feedback.  The Senn 660 was one of the ones I was looking at.  I know the 600 has a lot of supporters.


The amp is definitely Class A.   It's also discrete components, and Mjolnir audio makes some of the best headphone amps available. 


It's going to be a couple of weeks before I can audition the setup.  I'm thinking the Sony Z7 will also sound better with this as well.  Once I get the amp in house, expect to get a set of cans for this. 


Based on the feedback to date, leaning towards a Senn model.

adydula

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Re: Picking up a Dynalo amp..what cans to get?
« Reply #6 on: 3 Aug 2019, 11:45 pm »
The Senn HD600 when I first got mine seemed at first to be rather "inexpensive", and they are indeed made out of plastic. After much research and sseing how these
have been around for so many years, I wanted to hear what the Senn sound was all about.

They absolutley totally amaze me. I put them down and listen to my T1's and they sound so different, nice but different, more body, warm, but back to the Senns and its like the veil is removed and its all there. Piano, vocals, drums etc...

I am so tempted to buy a set of 800's but the $$$$$ have always been hard to justify and many people compare the 600 vs the 800 and its amazing on how many folks lie the 600s more than the 800's...the soundstage on the 800's has to be larger ie "better" but the honest musical sound that I hear from the 600's are just sublime.

Good luck on your choice, the 600's on Amazon are $264 +/- , what a deal!

Alex

Freo-1

Re: Picking up a Dynalo amp..what cans to get?
« Reply #7 on: 4 Aug 2019, 12:02 am »
Appreciate your feedback.  Will report on the amp, along with whatever phones I get in a couple of weeks.

adydula

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Re: Picking up a Dynalo amp..what cans to get?
« Reply #8 on: 4 Aug 2019, 05:35 pm »
The 660's should work very well also.....150 ohm.

The 650's have been reported as warmer than the 600's....

Either one will be great IMO..

Alex

Freo-1

Re: Picking up a Dynalo amp..what cans to get?
« Reply #9 on: 4 Aug 2019, 09:57 pm »

One other can I'm considering is the Beyer DT 1990 Pro.  It gets good reviews, and seems to be preferred to the T1.  The measurements look pretty good, and seems to be well built.

Freo-1

Re: Picking up a Dynalo amp..what cans to get?
« Reply #10 on: 13 Sep 2019, 08:13 pm »

Well, it took a long time to get this (got hung up in customs).  It finally has arrived, and initial impressions are most positive indeed.  The amp sounds very clean, detailed, quiet, with excellent dynamic contrast.  Birgir makes some great headphone amps, no question.


This amp has convinced me regarding the merits of a high quality dedicated (dynamic) headphone amp.  The Sony MDR Z7's sound like a completely different (better) headphone with this amp. 


Now, just need to work out what cans to get to compliment the Z7's. 

Freo-1

Re: Picking up a Dynalo amp..what cans to get?
« Reply #11 on: 15 Sep 2019, 02:16 am »

Well,  after doing a lot of research, I'm looking at getting a pair of Focal Elear cans.  They look to be at the right level for the amp quality, and they can be had for a good price. 




Freo-1

Re: Picking up a Dynalo amp..what cans to get?
« Reply #12 on: 15 Sep 2019, 01:15 pm »
Decided to get the Focal Elears.  I found them for a very good price. 


Will post impressions once I get some time with them using the Dynalo amp.  Looking for impressions from folks who have owned or listened to them.

Freo-1

Re: Picking up a Dynalo amp..what cans to get?
« Reply #13 on: 17 Sep 2019, 09:24 pm »
Here is a link to the Inner Fidelity review on the Elears:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lw0wJpjAHyk


Looks like these are an excellent choice to hit the "sweet spot" regarding the price/performance ratio for headphones. 

Freo-1

Re: Picking up a Dynalo amp..what cans to get?
« Reply #14 on: 19 Sep 2019, 05:45 pm »
The Elear phones showed up, and so far, they sound simply great.  The Dynalo amp seems to be a near perfect match to drive them. 


The sense of dynamics, presence, and sound stage are all first rate.  The dynamics and clarity are very noticeable.  It's almost like like listening to speakers vice headphones.  They are comfortable for extended listening sessions as well.


Will post more detailed observations after some extended listening, but so far, so good.  I do feel as if the phones hit the sweet spot regarding price vs. performance.

adydula

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Re: Picking up a Dynalo amp..what cans to get? (Focal Elear)
« Reply #15 on: 19 Sep 2019, 07:26 pm »
Good to hear!

With you having the these and me getting the Clears we have a good base of knowledge for sure..

I have an hour listening and first impressions that Focal has done a pretty darn good job getting into this part of the
audio industry...

Alex

Freo-1

Re: Picking up a Dynalo amp..what cans to get? (Focal Elear)
« Reply #16 on: 19 Sep 2019, 08:08 pm »
Would heartily agree. 


The Elears should have a similar sonic signature to the Clears.  Also noticed that the Elears are ruthlessly revealing, in that if the recording is not good, that will come across in spades.  For poor recordings, the Sony MDR Z7 is more laid back and forgiving. However, with a good recording, the Elears really shine, and provide more overall over the Z7.  The Elears also have more punch and contrast than the Z7.


One thing I did notice is that the Dynalo volume control needs to go just a bit higher compared to the Sony Z7 to get the same volume level.  Having said that, the Dynalo amp has a lot of clean power to drive pretty much any headphone.  Compared to the Z7, the Elears seem a bit more forward, with more treble sparkle.  The Dynalo is all discrete circuitry (no opamps), with a large current drive capacity.  It does an great job driving dynamic headphones.


Will need to spend some time with these to get a better handle on the Elears strength and shortfalls.   However, so far, it's very impressive.  I had a set of Beyer T-1 a couple of years ago, and the Elears are strongly preferred to the T-1 (IMHO). 

adydula

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Re: Picking up a Dynalo amp..what cans to get? (Focal Elear)
« Reply #17 on: 19 Sep 2019, 08:16 pm »
Agree ruthlessly revealing....i just mentioned this in the other thread...

I have never heard piano so good as well.....using the Burson Fun amp, and took out the Sparkos SS3601's and tried the Vivids, too bright...tried the classics....perfect.

Listening to Jamie Cullum's Twenty Something, "Those would be the days",,,opening piano is stellar. Ivory keys!

Its like Christmas early!!

Alex

Freo-1

Re: Picking up a Dynalo amp..what cans to get? (Focal Elear)
« Reply #18 on: 20 Sep 2019, 02:53 am »
After some more listening, believe these are keepers.  Here is a review from sonarworks:


https://www.sonarworks.com/blog/reviews/focal-elear-studio-headphone-review/#pros


They actually rate this headphone as more accurate than the Clear headphone.  Makes one wonder about the sample to sample consistency of headphones, but Focal supposedly checks them all out prior to release for sale. 


Been listening to Jazz and Classical with the phones, and they are excellent with both.  Saxophone and piano sound almost live.  Vocals also sound clear and provide the illusion of accuracy. 


I got these for 511.00 dollars new shipped from an authorized dealer.  I would say that they are among the best buy available in the 500 to 600 dollar price range. 


Forgot to mention:  The Dynalo amp is sourced from an Oppo UDP 105.
« Last Edit: 20 Sep 2019, 04:09 am by Freo-1 »

adydula

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Re: Picking up a Dynalo amp..what cans to get? (Focal Elear)
« Reply #19 on: 20 Sep 2019, 01:15 pm »
$511 is a really great deal!!

I dont agree with their "con" that these are hardly affordbale??

Its also interesting that your using a cd player (a really nice one)...into your Dynalo amp...

No PC or ripped files?

Bob Moffat over at Schitt is a strong proponent of using a good transport etc...

Whats the dac chip in the Oppo?

Alex