It's like a magical spell casted on my bedroom music system which literally brought soul to vocals with added instrument saperation and more airy presentation. Stock tubes are good but matched pair GE jan 5654w are better. My setup is echo flex connected fiio btr5 connected through Bluetooth and using mt-602 as preamp to feed anolog signals to 2.1 Channel Tpa3116d2 amp powering yamaha 6 inch bookshelfs and 12 inch Rockford sealed subwoofer. One note thought, use high quality interconnect cables...
Thank you for your review, Sir. Love to know that you are happy with your purchase.
Enough power to drive almost any headphone. It makes Sennheiser HD560s sing. Very good control over the dynamics. It removes any shrillness due to treble peaks(very common in many headphones and IEMs). Add a subtle amount of warmth and body as well. This effect is more noticeable and highly useful for DACs that are too detailed and neutral (ESS type).
Initially, I was skeptical about IEMs but it gives a lot of authority to planar IEM like Tri i3 which is extremely power-hungry. People have compared the sound quality to much expensive headphone amps. I now see why so many people recommend this amp.
>> Future use case
I have not used it as a pre-amp but may soon try it out as a phono pre-amp and update about the experience. Later if I purchase a more sophisticated headphone amp this will not go waste as I can use it for two purposes: as a phono amp for turntable & as a 'mellow machine' for some thinly recorded/mastered music. You can simply put this between your DAC and power amp to remove shrillness and add body to the vocals and very gently make the sound warmer.
>> Design Flaw:
There is a pop sound when the electricity goes out suddenly. Also when you switch off while the headphone is connected. This happens regardless of the volume of inputs. Once you get the habit of removing headphones every time before switching off, then it is okay; otherwise, there is that pop sound. Also, removal-reinsertion of the headphone jack will eventually cause unnecessary wear and tear on the socket.
Special thanks to the Hifinage team, they answered my pre-sales queries very well and gave me professional and to-the-point communication.
Thank you for such a wonderful review. :)
The below is after about 12hrs of testing, including a/b testing with DACs:
There's a subtle but consistent improvement in bass quality (bass feels "fuller") and quantity (even at lower volumes, ie, within the bounds of the apple dongle and tempotec, bass seems to be much better present) with the amp over using just the apple dongle or sonata hd pro when volume-matched. Plus, there is tangibly more "instrument separation" I suppose, though idk if that is the correct term for it. Maybe soundstage is the correct term, but overall I can distinguish various layers and sounds even better than through just the dongles (although the space in which I can distinguish them seems to be largely unchanged).
Anyway, volume matching is fine and all but it shines when I actually make use of it, and boy does it shine bright. My source volume (Windows 10 WASAPI shared with custom eq via Equalizer APO through Peace with a -9.5dB preamp, or ALSA via Manjaro Linux without any eq) stays at 100%, tempotec is at 3 levels below max volume, and with these 2 set up in this manner, I don't need anything more than 1 o'clock on the physical volume dial (which itself fricking joy to use; it's so damn smooth and velvety!), and usually stays at between 9 and 11 o'clock. Anything over 12:30 is too loud to listen to for more than 20 seconds or so.
Adding everything up, I won't say the sounds feels coloured in any way at all. All the above are quite subtle improvements, and it took me a good 3-4 hours of back to back listening to even be sure of them. Shouldn't matter to most people; if anything, it's overall better in all places. Albums used were Hollywood's Bleeding, Barfi, Rockstar, Manchild and Songs of Her's, along with various other tracks, to a Hifiman HE400i ver. 2020.
Overall I'd recommend the xDuoo MT-602 without doubt to anyone looking for a non-portable amp under 10k, although do keep in mind my experience of dedicated amps is limited to just this one lol. Make of that what you will
Now that's what we call a review. Thank you!
Works perfectly with Sennheiser 598SE and not much with Hifiman, Tube and Planar, not a good combination to hear.
The shipping wait is longer than expected, the packaging and the product are really good and the customer service is awesome as always, one of the best I can think of in that regard.
Has a tube sound and perfect for the dynamic driver headphones especially Sennheiser 500 series
Thank you for your review. :)
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