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CSP2+ and Grado? (Read 7583 times)
gatornavy
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CSP2+ and Grado?
10/16/11 at 10:23:12
 
I am comptemplating the purchase of the CSP2+ to drive my Grado RS2i's. I know the specs say that the CSP2+ works with headphone impedances down to 32, but I've heard conflicting reports from people who are probably not experts, and may or may not have had actual expierience. I've been searching for months trying to find a nice tube amp that is capable of driving my headphones, and it has not been easy to find anything. Can someone with expierience let me know if the CSP2+ works well with Grado's?
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Pale Rider
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Re: CSP2+ and Grado?
Reply #1 - 10/16/11 at 17:05:55
 
Welcome gatornavy (condolences if you are a UF fan; tough season). I cannot speak to the CSP2+, because I do not have one, but I do have a Taboo. If you are looking for a preamp/headphone amp, well then, the CSP2+ is the choice. But if you are looking for a headphone amp, I strongly suggest the Taboo. It has driven everything my friends and I have thrown at it, including at least two Grados (friends', not mine). And.........it has Lucid Mode, which really is sweet.
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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gatornavy
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Re: CSP2+ and Grado?
Reply #2 - 10/16/11 at 20:49:45
 
Thanks! The Taboo sounds very cool. Do you have to use a preamp for it when using it as a headphone amp? I've tired downloading the manual with no success. I am in the Navy, and on deployment- our internet is not so great.  Anyway, I'd likely try to use my SS home theater receiver to feed the input of the Taboo until I can save up for the preamp. Is this possible? I've never dealt with seperate amps and preamps before, and have a lot to learn apparently. Thanks again!!
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Pale Rider
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Re: CSP2+ and Grado?
Reply #3 - 10/16/11 at 23:28:26
 
Taboo does not require a preamp. If your HT receiver has line out, and it probably does, you could feed the signal from that to the Taboo, though the Taboo does not require a preamp. It really blossoms with one, or with something like the ZSTAGE.

And, thanks for your service. It means everything to those of us enjoying the benefit of your vigilance on behalf of a free nation.
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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gatornavy
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Re: CSP2+ and Grado?
Reply #4 - 10/17/11 at 06:05:49
 
I really appreciate the help. My HT receiver does have a line out. If it sounds really nice without a preamp, then I may spring for the Taboo now, and a  preamp at a later time. It's a bit more expensive than I'd like, but I guess it's a deal compared to other equipment in the same catagory.

I just noticed the Mini Torii has an option for headphones too. Oh, this is killing me!!  

Thanks for being appreciative of my service. I've been in for 12 years now, and would not have made it this long if it wasn't for great people like you that appreciate and understand what we do.
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Pale Rider
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Re: CSP2+ and Grado?
Reply #5 - 10/17/11 at 16:49:50
 
Gatornavy, what will your primary source be?
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« Last Edit: 10/17/11 at 16:50:14 by Pale Rider »  

Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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gatornavy
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Re: CSP2+ and Grado?
Reply #6 - 10/17/11 at 17:06:49
 
A computer and/or a logitech squeeze box with ripped CD's and downloaded hi-res files. Right now, I am running my computer at home via a toslink cable to my H/K solid state receiver (AVR 335). A nice DAC is probably in my future too at some point. I've also looked at turntables, but money doesn't grow on trees.

I bought a pair of pretty nice, efficient Energy RC-50 speakers a few months ago from a friend. He had about 3 pairs, and SO much tube gear it's not funny. He got me addicted. Something that could also drive these speakers has my interest peaked too. I think they're in the 93-94% efficency range.

Anyway, hope this provides some insight into what I've got going on so you can help steer me in the right direction. Thanks so much.
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Lon
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Re: CSP2+ and Grado?
Reply #7 - 10/17/11 at 17:48:03
 
Though I don't have personal experience with it, I would think the Taboo would be a great choice for the headphones and speaker use. Though it may be a bit "quiet" in a medium to large room with the speakers?  I see these to be abou 91 db and one reviewer says they like power. . . .

And if you're using a Toslink, is it fiber optic, or glass?  I have found this glass cable to be wonderful, better than any other Toslink I've used by big margins.

http://www.amazon.com/Toslink-Optical-Impact-Acoustic-Sonicwave/dp/B0009JR4H4/re...
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« Last Edit: 10/17/11 at 17:56:27 by Lon »  

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Pale Rider
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Re: CSP2+ and Grado?
Reply #8 - 10/17/11 at 19:09:44
 
Lon beat me to the punch. I was going to say that, if your speakers are actually that efficient, they would likely sound excellent with the Taboo.

Also, in short lengths, I would concur with Lon's recommendation of the SonicWave optical cable, unless you can run coax, which I think is still preferable to optical. Much longer than 6 feet, especially if you have any bends, twists, turns, etc., you are taking a bit of a chance with bundled glass. I have liked the plastic optical I have gotten from Blue Jeans, finding them satisfactory even in comparison to the much more expensive Van den Hul. See here. I use a 12-foot optical to feed from my AppleTv to a Dolby Digital decoder that then feeds to the Ultra preamp. Sounds quite good, but most of this is for casual listening or movie view off the ATV. But if I could use coax out of the ATV, I would still prefer that.

Gatornavy, just to put my money where my mouth is, I have an offer for you: if you buy a Taboo, I will gladly donate to you my ZSTAGE, which right now is sad and lonely in a cabinet. I loved it with the Taboo, but with the Ultra, have no need for it; it is all the preamp you will  ever need, unless you have some need for switching capabilities. Anyway, your twelve years seem to me to merit it.

Greg
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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gatornavy
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Re: CSP2+ and Grado?
Reply #9 - 10/18/11 at 03:30:44
 
Thanks for the recommendations! I am leaning towards the Taboo. It seems to fit the bill perfectly. With the RC-50's- I went to my friends place before I bought them from him, and he was driving them with some 300b SE monoblocks- they got really loud. I'm not sure what their wattage was, but it had to be pretty low. I looked up the specs for the speakers again, and they have two different sensitivity ratings for some reason: 91% and 94%.

My current toslink cable is the plastic type. A cheap no-name brand. I'll take your recommendations and try out those cables once I get back home (April). I'm always looking for improvements, and those are not a bad prices for good cables. I can't currently run coax, but I can always upgrade the sound card in my computer at some point.

It's going to be a couple of months before I have saved up the money for the Taboo. I'm not sure if I should risk getting it mailed out here either, or if I should just wait until I get home. Do you know if they are prebuilt, or built once ordered with a wait time?

Greg, thanks so very much for your offer. I'm not sure if I can accept, but WOW! That is awesome, I don't know if I can turn it down either. It lessens my worries about getting the Taboo too. Super cool! Again, thanks. You guys have been incredibly helpful.

Ron
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« Last Edit: 10/18/11 at 09:24:08 by gatornavy »  
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Pale Rider
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Re: CSP2+ and Grado?
Reply #10 - 10/18/11 at 12:24:18
 
Offer is good; no worries. Let me know. It's a great match with the Taboo.
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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Rivieraranch
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Re: CSP2+ and Grado?
Reply #11 - 10/18/11 at 12:44:10
 
DUDE, you're gettin' a ZSTAGE! They are wonderful. I listened to one extensively at DECFEST. The advantage it has over a CSP2 is that the ZSTAGE is completely neutral. It will boost the signal but not color the sound at all.
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Pale Rider
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Re: CSP2+ and Grado?
Reply #12 - 10/18/11 at 14:08:02
 
That sly fellow Rivierranch wrote:

Quote:
DUDE, you're gettin' a ZSTAGE! They are wonderful. I listened to one extensively at DECFEST. The advantage it has over a CSP2 is that the ZSTAGE is completely neutral. It will boost the signal but not color the sound at all.


Unless you want it to, that is. Wink

I stuck an NOS Mullard into the ZSTAGE, and with what I had in the Taboo, it was like liquid goo. Lots of fun, but in the end, I switched back to the Genalex Gold Lion new production I had bought, which I preferred to the stock. I am pretty sure it is a 12AT7 or a 12AU7, but whichever, I will include that, too.
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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gatornavy
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Re: CSP2+ and Grado?
Reply #13 - 10/18/11 at 14:21:23
 
I have to take advantage. There's no other way I could afford both the Taboo and the ZSTAGE within the same year. So excited! Many, many thanks, Greg!  :)
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Pale Rider
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Re: CSP2+ and Grado?
Reply #14 - 10/18/11 at 14:42:46
 
My pleasure. Just PM how best to ship, and I will make sure it gets to you as soon as or before your Taboo.
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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