Audio-gd Master 9 – Review
I’ve been wanting to write this review for a while now, but I wanted to gather all it was needed to do a proper job. First, I waited for the break in period, and now it has more than 220 hours. Then, I wanted to have all my headphones wired with good balanced wires, and I did manage do achieve that.
Master 9 was on my review list for a while now. I didn’t know anybody near me who had one and I was really curious about it’s capabilities. After reading a few reviews, I decided I am going to buy one, and I must say that I am really glad that I did.
Looks, build quality and technical specs
The Master 9 is a fully balanced headphone amplifier and and pre-amplifier.
When I first saw the pictures with M9 on the audio-gd website , I thought of it to be quite dull looking and lacking some finish. When I received the package and saw the real deal in front of me, I was very surprised to see a very nice looking amplifier.
The finishes are very good, better than I’ve seen in much more expensive products. It was quite heavy for a headphone amplifier(~16 kg), but that is the price to pay for full class A. The chassis is made from a real sturdy heavyweight aluminium alloy and it feels like a tank.
When I said fully class A, I wasn’t joking. This is no marketing scam that others use, saying that their amplifiers are class A, but forgetting to mention for example that only the first Watt is in class A and beyond that it goes in AB.
No, the M9 delivers 9W @ 40 ohm in pure Class A.
You can find all the specs you need on the audio-gd website.
I will mention some details that I found to be very important.
The core of the technology is explained well on the audio-gd website:
Master 9 is a true balanced design applying the newest ACSS design which can improve the XLR connection to sound as good as the ACSS connection. They seem complex , but in fact they are the most simple design the world has ever had , their a lot components to process the power supply. The simplest and shortest signal journey brings out the most neutral and least colored sound.
Master 9 applies ultra-low distortion single stage ACSS amplifier and soldered directly on the motherboard. It is a fully class A preamp / headphone amp and applies class A power supplies.
The ACSS is a non-feedback technology made with discrete amplifiers. Most people know the global feedback design can offer better specs in test measurements, and non-feedback can’t do well in test measurements but can offer better sound for the human’s ears. Here is a conflict of the classic circuits. But the ACSS opens a new field, it can offer a least coloration sound which is more neutral with very low distortion and high linearity. So it can retain the dynamics, detail and neutral sound but not sound bright or harsh. All signal gain is in current, all transistors work in pure class A mode.
The Master 9 output buffers had applied 4 pair power transistors ( 150W / 15A ) working on pure class A state, the output impedance is only 1 ohms , it can drive most headphones and amps as well .
Master 9 has all components of four channels exactly matched before installation.
Other important aspects:
- Fully balanced pure class A design built by discrete analog stages without any OPA or coupling caps in the signal channels.
- Total applied 12 pcs exact matching 150W transistors ( In total 1800W ) as the output stages and PSU stages for implement large class A output power .
- Uses three R-core transformers (In total 135W ) separate power supplies for the digital control components, right and left channels.
- More than 55,000uf audio grade NOVER capacitors are used to ensure ample and smooth power delivery.
- A total of 9 groups of PSU’s for dedicated DC supply.
- Uses most Hi-end grade parts and exactly matched transistors, OCC wires.
- Four-channel 100 steps digitally controlled relay-based volume control avoids channel imbalance and improves sound quality .
- Supper Exponential Volume Characteristic, easy match the volume with very high headphone / speaker without change the gain mode.
- The Master 9 output buffers had applied 4 pair power transistors ( 150W / 15A ) working on pure class A state, the output impedance is only 1 ohms , it can drive most headphones and amps as well .
- Uses all audiophile grade components, including DALE resistors, WIMA caps, custom order NOVER (UK brand) caps, all audiophile grade input & output sockets (Neutrik ) and gold IEC socket. Master 9 all parts of four channels had exact match before install.
Besides these, the M9 has some other very interesting spec values :
- S/N Ratio >130DB (Input short, XLR mode)
- THD <0.002 %
- Channels cross > 130DB
- Output Impedance 1 ohm
Those are some very good values, values that I’ve seen in very few amps. Actually, I’ve seen some of these values only in Auralic Taurus MK2, an amplifier that is close to the price of Master 9. I haven’t had the pleasure of listening to it yet, but I most probably will find a test unit for a comparison in the future.
Edit: I had the chance to briefly listen to Auralic Taurus mk2 on different occasions and I wasn’t impressed at all. The level of clarity is not in master 9’s league.
You can find more about the technology here.
The power output on the balanced outputs:
40 ohm: 9000MW
100 ohm: 3800MW
300 ohm: 1250MW
600 ohm: 630MW
And on single ended output:
40 ohm: 2500MW
100 ohm: 1050MW
300 ohm: 350MW
600 ohm: 175MW
Let’s take a look inside:
I’ve seen some discussions on some forums with people that were afraid that the build quality wouldn’t be so good because it is Chinese. This product is proof that they are 1000% wrong. The design inside is incredibly clean and organized. Everything was done with attention and I am sure it took a lot of meticulous work.
The first things that grabbed my eyes were the 3 huge transformers:
As I said, everything is very clean and organized:
Some of the advertised occ copper cables:
As you can see we have a variety of inputs: 2 single ended RCA , 2 balanced xlr, one ACSS Input.
It also has 2 balanced xlr outputs and one single ended rca output .
The package also includes a very sturdy aluminium remote:
These being said, this amplifier has incredible build quality, both inside and outside, and it can be set as example for a lot the western companies.
So, if you think that all products made in China have poor quality, think again!
Listening Impressions and Tests
The tests have been done with Audio-Gd Master 9, MSB Analog Dac, AG500 Power Regenerator, Sennheiser HD800, Audeze LCD-3C, Audeze LCD-X, Focal Spirit Classic, Focal Spirit One, NAD HP50, AKG K550, AKG K545, Focal Spirit One S .
I tried to plug Master 9 in the power regenerator. Even if the sound became a little cleaner, the sound lost dynamics, energy and attack. This shows that the amplifier already has a very good power stage inside and it doesn’t need any power regenerator / conditioning.
I’ve also tested it against my two amps at the moment : Decware Taboo MK3, Burson Conductor.
- Stock usb cable for MSB Analog Dac
- Kimber Kable Silver Streak interconnect between M9 and Analog Dac
- Norne Draug Series for Sennheiser HD800
- Toxic Silver Widow for Audeze LCD-3 and LCD-X
I was really impressed by Master 9 from the first few minutes of listening. The transparency and details on it are just amazing. I’ve never heard such clean sound before. Bakoon HPA-21 had a clean sound too, maybe the cleanest after M9, but I don’t recall being so impressed by it’s transparency as with M9. One other important aspect is that Bakoon had a flatter sound that took away from the musicality and engagement. This doesn’t happen with the M9, as the sound is still natural and engaging when it needs to.
I’ve also tested M9 on both single ended and balanced outputs. There is a notable difference between these outputs. I used the same cable in the comparison. On the single ended output, the sound is a little sweeter with longer decays and slightly deeper bass, while the balanced outputs are more energetic with quite better details, faster sound in general, more punch in the bass, bigger soundstage and imaging. These being said, even if the balanced outputs win, the single ended output is very interesting and very good as well.
I’ve tested a lot of portable headphones as well, sensitive headphones that don’t need that much power. All of them sounded excellent on M9 with no hum or other noise as it happens with the Taboo Mk3.
Actually I loved all headphones with it. Even if Sennheiser HD800 scaled the most, both Audeze LCD-3 and LCD-X opened up with it too, giving them better speed, soundstage, transparency, details, impact, etc.
One of these days, my father visited me and I’ve let him listen to both Taboo and Master 9. After a few minutes of intense listening (taping and feeling the music), my father said something very interesting about the difference between Taboo and M9. His words explained the comparison much better than I would have at that moment.
He said that with M9 the sound/music seems to have a full body that makes you actually see the sounds, while with Taboo the body of the sounds were not complete, comparing them to a hallow shell.
Practically, he said that while the sounds with Taboo were just like a hallow shell ,while with M9 the sounds had the full body, not just the shell.
I find his words to be very accurate as the M9 has incredible transparency that leads to a very detailed presentation and actually more sound to be heard. The sounds are very clear and you easy to distinguish their extension from when they appear till they fade out.
Don’t forget that M9 needs a warm-up time before it sounds it’s best.
Let’s go through some songs and see how it stands.
My mind was blown. I had to wait a little to pick up my jaw from the floor. I only have superlatives in my mind right now. Yes, this is that kind of audio gear, so please excuse me if you’ll get a lot of “amazing”, “incredible”, “awesome” from now. I cannot help myself, as I mean every word I say and I cannot tell a lie. The guitars on Master 9 were absolutely amazing. The plucks had an incredible attack followed by a very detailed extension. All of this is happening with an amazing pace and rhythm showing the speed, attack and transparency Master 9 is capable of.
Pink Floyd – Another Brick in the Wall ( Part 2 )
Everything is just right. The drums are very punchy with very strong impact and control. The guitars have excellent extension and feel. The voices are incredibly clean and detailed. The kids quire reveal a very big and well layered soundstage.
It was like I was listening to this song from a completely different perspective. I’ve never heard it like this till M9. Those guitars sound absolutely amazing on it. The attack on the plucks, the extension, the fluency and transparency of the sound are breath taking.
I am rocking with HD800. Yes, you heard me. HD800 sound great even on rock with Master 9. ( Analog Dac has a saying here too ). M9 gave a very fast and engaging sound, with excellent PRAT that made me enjoy this song very much.
Hugh Laurie – Battle of Jericho
The transparency of this amplifier never seizes to amaze me. Everything is so clear and reveals all kind of details you never heard before. All the instruments are incredibly detailed and have amazing extension and natural sound. It’s like being there. The voices are very clean and fluent themselves.
Vivaldi – Autumn – Allegro (La Caccia)
I have never heard this song to sound better than this. The difference between taboo,conductor and Master 9 was quite big. On M9 the sound opened up, showing a much larger soundstage. The clarity and details of the instruments, the attack of the pluck, the natural decay weren’t second to anything I’ve heard till now.
The dynamics are incredible. Every instrument has it’s own impact, no matter how further away in the scene it is. Again, the soundstage is huge and presented in a very natural way. I felt like I was in the concert hall.
M9 strikes again. My jaw was on the floor. It was like I had the guitars right next to me. I closed my eyes and saw them near me. The extension, detail and attack of the plucks were out of this world.
Leonard’s voice is reproduced with amazing texture. It was so detailed and visceral that I felt it was getting out of my own throat. The female voices were amazing as well as they were incredibly clean and extended.
The bass on Master 9 is very detailed, controlled, punchy and very fast. It’s also as deep as it is told to be. It’s not going overboard nor the other way around. It’s just as it should be. I absolutely love it. It hits with incredible attack/punch and the control makes it the most detailed / accurate bass I’ve ever heard.
The mids are incredibly detailed and rich. Well, everything about this amp is great. All the instruments and voices have an incredibly detailed extension.
I’ve never felt that the amp is bright or sibilant. The treble was very clean, well extended and natural sounding.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present you the most transparent amplifier I have ever heard. It has the cleanest sound I have experienced until now, and the difference between it and the other amplifiers is not small. After Master 9, all the other amplifiers sounded dirty.
The transparency makes way for a lot of details you never knew were there. Don’t get me wrong, this is not an analytically amplifier, as it has the typical relaxed presentation of a class A amplifier.
The voices are amazing on M9. They are the cleanest voices I’ve ever heard. Adding the full and detailed extension and texture, they become regular goose bump producers.
Soundstage, Layering and Imaging
This is another area where M9 is just amazing. The sound just opens up with it. It’s like being in the concert hall. The layering and imaging are also superb, second to nothing I’ve heard till now.
While I’ve heard people saying that M9 is warm and others to disagree, I reached the conclusion that Master 9 is very neutral. Because of this, it will sound as the rest of your sound system will tell it to. So depending on the cables you use and the rest of your gear, you can make it sound bright-ish or warm-ish.
Relaxed and Natural
I feel that even if the sound is fast and engaging, it is also relaxed in a good way, giving a very natural sound presentation.
Compared to Burson Conductor
The bass on conductor seemed deeper, but Master 9 sounds more natural with a lot more faster, punchier and controlled bass. When I said that Conductor seemed to have deeper bass, it was just the first impression that came because of a smaller soundstage and less controlled bass. What I am trying to say is that Master 9 has the royal flush in the bass department as well, including the deepness and extension section. Actually, this is the best bass I’ve ever heard from a headphone amplifier until now.
Burson Conductor sounds closed in and dirty compared to Master 9.
So practically M9 has better bass, details, transparency, soundstage, imaging, instrument separation, etc. So, if you assumed that Master 9 is in a different league, you were completely right.
Compared to Taboo Mk3
Mk3 was my favorite amplifier, but now it has been dethroned by Master 9. Taboo has a “stronger” bass but slower and not so detailed. The sound is also fuller with a warmer tonality which could be more fun for some. However M9 is still in another league as it is clearly more transparent, detailed and faster.
Considering all of the above, it is safe to say that this is the best headphone amplifier I have ever heard and tested. It has some areas where it is a few classes over what I’ve heard until now. I consider this amplifier to be truly end game.
If you have a really good DAC, it would be a shame to use an amplifier that is not transparent enough, as it won’t let it shine to it’s maximum capabilities. Master 9 managed to make my MSB Analog Dac impress me one more time, as it reached another level with this amplifier.
I am sorry if I used too many superlatives, but this is one of those products that mark your listening experience throughout your journey in this hobby. I’ve meant and felt every word I said.
Audio-Gd has done a great job with it and I hope they keep it up. From what I have read, this amplifier compares with Headamp GSX – Mk2 and other very expensive amplifiers. Let’s not forget that Mk2 has a waiting list of more than 6 months or even more than a year. I would love to hear them side by side, but I have the feeling that M9 is one of the best headphone amplifiers in the world at this moment.
Besides this, when I bought it, Kingwa was very easy to talk to and everything went according to plan and quite fast. I had the amplifier on my table in less than 2 weeks.
Considering the performance of this amplifier and it’s price, it goes in the top of my recommendation list. Even Kevin Gilmore said that the design and components used in it are very good and if he had made it in USA, he wouldn’t even get the components with the money audio-gd is asking for the full product.
I must end this review thanking Kingwa and Audio-gd for this wonderful product and I really hope they will keep up the good work to amaze us with other products as well.
- Incredible transparency (best I’ve heard)
- Very good, spacious & holographic soundstage
- Details…details everywhere
- Incredible bass: very fast, controlled, deep, detailed and engaging. The most accurate bass I’ve ever heard
- Very rich mids with incredibly extended and textured voices & instruments
- Very extended and sparkly treble without sign of harshness
- Incredible instrument separation, layering and imaging
- Relaxed and natural sound presentation
- Neutral sound
- Lots of power and all of that in Class A. Basically, it can handle any headphone out there.
- Very good match with all headphones I have tested it with
- Good pre-amplifier
- Very good price for this performance
- Excellent build quality ( both inside and outside )
- Very sturdy aluminium remote control included in the package
- The feet are made of metal, so you cannot stack the M9 directly on other gear made of metal. If the feet contained some rubber like Burson has, it would have been perfect
- Even if I consider neutrality to be a pro, some may see the lack of coloration as a con
Excellent review, I loved reading it as I have the Master-6 and can concur with everything you said. The Master-6/8/9 are stunning amps.
I also have heard the Conductor and agree with your assessment of the two, but I also find the bass deeper on the M6. You do mention the Conductor has deeper bass but the M9 has more extension, are depth & extension the not the?
Thank you for the kind words and input. I wanted to say that it seemed deeper at the first listen, but it was just an impression.
I clarified and modified that part:
“When I said that Conductor seemed to have deeper bass, it was just the first impression that came because of a smaller soundstage and less controlled bass. What I am trying to say is that Master 9 has the royal flush in the bass department as well, including the deepness and extension section.”
I very much enjoyed your review and this component is now near the top of the list for an cans-only system I am putting together. My only concern with the Master 9 is the amount of heat generated by nine watts of Class A. This is one detail I found missing in the review. Did you find the heat sinks up to the task? While the inside looks very much like high-end German and Italian workmanship the aspect of long-term reliability would a major factor in my decision.
Thank you Lewis. Well, the case does produce heat, but that is normal, and I if you don’t stack anything over it(as they advise on their website), everything should be ok. Anyway, I didn’t find it to be very annoying on my side, but maybe it is for people living in very hot areas and have the unit right near them.
I think you shouldn’t worry about long term reliability. Audio-Gd and Kingwa are very confindent in their product and that shows in the warranty period, which is 10 years. Besides that, I don’t recall people complaining in this department. I think the failure rate in Stax-SR009 (made in Japan) for example is much higher.
l enjoyed reading this review. As a happy owner of a Reference 10.32, l absolutely believe your words. Just one thing to help you improve it: please, correct the typos. E.g. (very last sentence of your review): “it may be to be too neutral for someone”.
You were using a 596 rectifier. I think if you used a better rectifier you would have had better results from your Taboo. The Taboo scales up with the right tubes.
I considered the 596 to be a huge upgrade from stock. HUGE! The friend that had taboo before me, tested some other rectifiers with it and said that 596 gets you very close to considerably more expensive ones. Will ask him what he tested it with.
About output, there is not 2 XLR output but an XLR 3 pin and an ACSS 4 pin in order to link the Master 9 with a master 3 power amplifier.
With this feature, the ACSS technology is used from the source to the final amplifier.
I own hugo.. will this amp improve sound of hugo ( detail,soundstage X,Y,Z,imaging, warm sound,clarity in LCD 3 cause it”s not very clear ,veiled )?
I’m using LCd 3,T1,fostex TH900 , but I’m not satisfied yet ..I Really want to end game in amp section.
This amp will let any good DAC shine, so yes. You should also try LCD-3F or LCD-X for more clarity. For bigger soundstage and more precise imaging, you could go with HD800!
mmmm all this review is good idea, but it’s really bad idea for me . I Bought Audio-gd Master 9 but it didn’t improve the sound of hugo .
very sad right now.
Abdulla, That is not the fault of the M9. If you are not happy with the sound signature of the DAC (Hugo) to begin with, then an amp will not change that. In fact with an amp which is as transparent as M9 you will hate your DAC even more. You need to change the DAC.
I am sorry to hear that. One my part it improved the sound of every dac/headphone I’ve tested it with. Please give me more details on your setup. (including interconnects, cables, power cables, etc).
Great review, this helped me made my decision on my endgame amp 🙂
Thank you. Glad it helped with your decision.
I wish an Auralic Taurus mk2 would fall from the sky and into your lap so you could compare it. Any possibilities this will happen in the near future?
It would indeed be most interesting to compare the Taurus MkII with the Audio GD M9 amp. I am intrigued by this amp, and had kind of decided upon the Taurus but now not so sure. Now the dac: that is another question, and I for one would REALLY love to read a review from you on the Master 7 dac. As far as the MSB Analog dac, I just don’t want to spend 12 grand for a dac/power supply when I know there are others available that will perform admirably for a much more reasonable sum. Extremely curious about the combination of the Master 7/Master 9 for use with my LCD-X. Or Auralic Vega or possibly Schiit Yggdrasil whenever it finally becomes available? It would be neat to read a review on the Master 9 paired with the Auralic Vega as well… Extremely important to get the right dac to go with the amp for synergistic relationship.
I have been curious about Taurus too. Actually, I still am. If I get my hands on one, be sure I will write a review on it explaining how it compares to m9. As for Master 7, I would love to hear it too, but it’s not that easy to come across.
I may have the possibility of reviewing Auralic Vega, though 😀
It would be truly awesome and so appreciated to see if you could do a review of the Auralic Vega dac AND a review of the Audio GD Master 7 dac paired with the Master 9 amp. Extremely interested in the afore-mentioned combinations as I really do not want to spend MSB type funding for the dac. Thanks for the wonderful review of the Master 9.
I communicated with Kingwa and he informed me that it’s OK to place the amp vertically – the chassis dissipates heat well enough to do this. This solves some of the space issues, as it’s a big unit.
Dan – I wanted to also add my thanks for this excellent review. I had been ‘on the fence’ for sometime about buying either the Master 9 or another Audio GD pc., and suffice to say your review convinced me to pull the trigger. I’m now the SUPER proud & happy owner of a Master 9 and couldn’t be more pleased. After several $2-$3k headphone amps (both glass & tube) I now feel my search is finally over. As you said, this really is an ‘end game’ pc. The construction and build actually reminds me of a Mark Levinson 390 CD player i bought many years ago. It might not have the inth degree of polish as the M.L. (or the fancy white cotton gloves!) but it comes damn close. If the Master 9 had that particular manufacturer moniker pasted on it, it would & could easily cost $3 to $4k. BTW – I’m currently using HiFiMan HE-560 and the Oppo PM-1’s, both to superb effect. This product and company sure deserve a LOT more quality reviews like yours to get the positive words out. Thanks again, and happy holidays.
Thank you for your kind words. Really glad it was of help and congrats on your purchase! It really is a bang for the buck.
Dan, if you don’t get to reviewing Auralic Vega soon, I will be reviewing the Master 9 before you do Auralic Vega, together with the Vega 😉
And even better an MSB Analog with M9 vs Auralic Vega with M9 😉 GO GO GO
That is good news. I’ve heard the Vega recently, but didn’t have it for a full review. It is a good DAC.
Forgot to add. Looking forward to reading your review 🙂
I won’t forget to review it, but I currently have a Lyr (I’m the same XVampireX from Head-Fi) and of course Auralic Vega, I’m sure that I will love it much better than Lyr.
But regarding Master 9, do you consider it your End Game? As in, you’re stopping at it or are you going to try future/newer products later? It seems like even SimAudio Moon 430HA didn’t budge you even though it’s more than twice the price… but atm you seem to be keeping your Burson + Taboo mk3 unless I’m wrong.
Everyone nowadays are posting in either: GS-X mk2 topic or Schiit Ragnarok/Yggdrasil topic, SimAudio Moon 430HA topic…
Master 9 topic is very “last year” kind of topic it seems… But then maybe it is sort of like the Auralic thread, when it’s so good you just don’t need to discuss it so much 😉
Still do tell me your thoughts on the issue of End Game Amp.
Damn, did I miss this comment by so much time. I am truly sorry man. I do consider M9 to be end game, indeed. Actually I also consider P2 to be end game. Indeed, moon didn’t manage to get m9 off my table, and it wasn’t close either from my perspective. I would take p2 over moon as well.
I did sell Taboo and Burson since then.
I would love to hear a gsx mk2, but didn’t have the opportunity. I am certainly not going to wait 6 – 12 months to order one. I have a friend that had both rag and moon 430 and said that rag was too smooth, lacking impact/dynamics. I trust his opinions until I hear one myself.
Master 9 may be last year, but performance wise is TODAY! Didn’t find any amplifier to beat it yet.
Great review, I am ready to buy, but haven’t been able to get a reply from the company.
Thank you. What was the email you tried to contact them on?
Hi Dan , Very good well thought out review of the Master 9 , I think I will order the HE 9 so I sent a couple of questions and waiting patiently for a reply . I think this summer will be fun trying new components,
HE9 should be a great amp. From what I understand it has more slam and bass than M9. It has 100000 uF vs 55 000 on M9.
Will HE9 be very close to you when you are listening to music? It has big transformers and it might have some hum.
Geweldige review. Ik heb zelf de Master 19 de kleine broer en die klinkt ook fantastisch.
With friendly regards
Hi Dan , As you mentioned Kingwa is accessible and easy to speak with . I rarely ever purchase anything without trying it first , it was your single review of the Master 9 that convinced me to make this blind purchase , I find you level headed with a ear for live unamplifiied music , it is surprising many in this hobby never experience this pleasure though try to explain the virtues of reproduced music they hear ,..
I ‘m sending Kingwa some Eichmann silver RCA chassis mount sockets to install on my order , it’s incredible what this small change does for the signal transfer .Manufactures have to make cost cutting decisions and this is one area they do it , even Lamm amplifiers which I had changed to a real eye opening surprise using Eichmann silver bulit RCA interconnects including silver balanced connections from other manufactures .
Hi Dan , I thought to drop you a short note regarding the HE 9 . however do to renovations to our home and just a normal busy summer I have not had too much time on it ,.oh well ,. Breifly ,AG Audio have done an excellant job ,.perhaps down the road the transformers will become noisy however currently the HE 9 is completely silent and I could warm soup on it if need to .
Headphones are a new experience for me and so far I have no complaints ,.well no complaints from other during late , late evening listening but life is about compromising and its working out fine , so far I like it.
I have some new digital components coming and learned about a sensational cable from one of the owners of Tenor Audio that he says is killer and cheaper , much cheaper from the current best ,.Curious cable manufacturers from Australia , well I’ll have to order one for myself .I guess wire really makes a difference with usb and I2s.
Really glad to hear that you didn’t find problems with the unit. I would love to hear one some day. For the moment I have a master 9 and a Master10. Both wonderful products.
How is the transparency in the sound? And the bass. I’ve heard that he9 has excellent bass.
Hi Dan , Currently there are a combination of wire and I think even the HE 9 itself needs more hours log on as it sounds a little HI Fi- ish with a acouple of stations known for high quality FM broadcast and they don’t at all sound hi fi .. But I have confidence this will settle down once well run in .
Hi Dan ,now that some time have past and things have settled in I foind the AG Audio HE9 to be one of the “best audio values around today” .
Currently I have just taken delivery of the Audeze 4 which i quickly learned is the icing on the cake with this combination ,
The best discription I can think of is Wow ,,,,
Congratulation for both the purchases! I am thinking of buying HE9 as well. From what I heard, that amp is very clean and a bass monster in the same time!
This hobby never ends! :)) I have to complete my portable rig for the office, adjust my speaker setup, then….maybe he9…
Hi Dan , Yes it is super clean with well defined deep sub bass , if it is in the recording you will hear it . One year ago I would of never entertained the thought of spending this kind of money on head phones . The HE9 and Audeze combination truly are killer ,.
Hi Dan , I failed to mention the Stillpoint ultra minis put under the HE 9 . If you have a dealer of still point that would lend you a few sets you will have to re- review the AG 9 along with some of your other components. No exaggeration, Even under your wonderful dac , of course this is serious stuff from a brilliant mind of still point and exceeds most if not all past brilliant resonant control devices ,
I am squeezing all I can from the he 9 and borrowed AC cords from Audio quest , Nordost and others from my dealer friend .Hopefully I can give a little write up of my findings on your site .
Buna Dan, as vrea sa stiu care este pretu-l final pentru M9 adus in Romania
Salut Marius. O sa fie aproximativ pretul declarat x 1.2 + pret transport (scrie pe site cat e) + taxe vamale (pana in 150 ron cred).
It would be great if you could review Audio-GD top dacs, eventually comparing the Master 7 to the NOS 7 and to the Hugo to have a known reference.
If I have the chance, sure.
Not sure that I understood correctly: you compared M9+MSB DAC vs Conductor (9018S)?
It was a comparison to the first Burson Conductor. It was named just Burson Conductor if I remember correctly.
Thank you for the review, a very complete and interesting one.
Have you tried the M9 as preamp?
I ask because I am interested on the Master 1 preamp and I understand it is the same as the Master 9, but with out the Headphone section, wich I dont use.
Looking to hear from you soon. Kind regards