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Head-Direct EF1 Headphone Amplifier

Frederik S

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#1
Head-Direct EF1 is the name of a brand new headphone amplifier made by the guys behind Head-Direct. The amplifier is a hybrid design which means that it mixes the best from both tube based amplification and solid state amplification.

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#3
You're definitely not gonna find this in my shopping cart anytime soon. Hopefully, though, we will keep getting innovations on sound equipment, because it seems that everyone is pushing sound into the background as the visual market grows.
 

Frederik S

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#4
The sale of high end audio equipment has never been higher. The surge in demand for quality AV equipment in general has caused a lot of new products to surface, both when it comes to quality TVs and audio equipment. Even a great movie is worthless if you are using $5 wallmart speakers. Headphone amps is a niche market because its use is limited to those who are willing to sacrifice some practicality and sound stage in order to gain a better sound quality. A great sounding headphone rig will most likely be way less expensive then a high end speaker based setup that is why many people on a budget with sound quality as their primary focus go the headphone route, that and the fact it does not take up as much space nor drives the neighbors insane :)
 
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#5
I'm glad to see that tubes are becoming more and more commonplace in audio applications. High-end audio applications, at least. I love me tubes.
 

Random Murderer

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#6
psssh, for less than half of the price of this, you can get a xiang sheng 708b, which is a full tube setup(no solid state). i guarantee it'll sound better, and the tubes can be easily changed from the crappy chinese ones it comes with. my 708b has a 6x4 rectifier, a GE JAN 5670w for gain, and a 6DJ8 for each channel.
and what's this about tubes "wearing down?" i agree that there is a burn-in period, sure, but wearing down? sounds like poppycock to me, especially since i'm using a tube from 1947 and it sounds excellent.
 
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#7
psssh, for less than half of the price of this, you can get a xiang sheng 708b, which is a full tube setup(no solid state). i guarantee it'll sound better, and the tubes can be easily changed from the crappy chinese ones it comes with. my 708b has a 6x4 rectifier, a GE JAN 5670w for gain, and a 6DJ8 for each channel.
and what's this about tubes "wearing down?" i agree that there is a burn-in period, sure, but wearing down? sounds like poppycock to me, especially since i'm using a tube from 1947 and it sounds excellent.
I have to agree. When you ordered that 1947 tube I was like wtf? But when it was changed out I did actually hear a difference. Made a believer outta me......:D
 

Frederik S

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#8
There is absolutely nothing wrong with old NOS tubes. And Random has the tube been in use since 1947 or was it manufactured in 1947? Most tubes sold now are "new old stock" which means that the tube has never been in use.

The only thing I was commenting on in the review is that tubes have a limited lifespan when in use, and usually after a period of time they begin to sound odd and produce artifacts.
 

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#9

Random Murderer

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#11
There is absolutely nothing wrong with old NOS tubes. And Random has the tube been in use since 1947 or was it manufactured in 1947? Most tubes sold now are "new old stock" which means that the tube has never been in use.

The only thing I was commenting on in the review is that tubes have a limited lifespan when in use, and usually after a period of time they begin to sound odd and produce artifacts.
it's a used/vintage tube, not NOS.
 

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#13
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#14
Tubes don't last forever.

In a guitar amp a 6L6 lasts about 1-2 years with normal use and gigging volumes. Preamp 12AX7s last about 5 years.
 

Random Murderer

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#15
Tubes don't last forever.

In a guitar amp a 6L6 lasts about 1-2 years with normal use and gigging volumes. Preamp 12AX7s last about 5 years.
i figured as much, but my 6x4 is from '47 and it's used... still sounds incredible and it gets about 5 hours of use a day...
 
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#17

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#18
Frederick, you have the best reviews around! Your writing is second to none and are very in-depth and comprehensive.:toast: I love vaccum tubes too!:)