My Mogwai SE was ordered on Feb 17 and delivered from CA to NY on April 30th… hang in there, the wait is worth it!
It’s understandable, and is a fear we all have when we spend a huge amount on a blind purchase. I can’t tell you that you won’t be underwhelmed, but I can tell you that I’ve bought 2 amps from Justin and they both sounded great with stock tubes, because he puts a lot of care into his products.
But when you start tube rolling (and as I mentioned above, you don’t have to spend a fortune on tubes, although it is very easy to spend a fortune), you’ll have the opportunity to tune the amp to the exact sound that you like. That’s a magical experience, and I’m really hoping you reach that point.
As different as possible from SS: 5U4G and 6L6GC (input tube isn’t as relevant here).
My preference for high sensitivity headphones: 5AR4, 6550/KT88, and 12AU7.
My advice, even though probably most of us aren’t good at following it, is to really take your time to enjoy the stock amp once you get it. Let it burn in. Listen for a hundred hours on 32. Then try the 8 and 300. You’ll find that this is 3 flavors in one amp and that alone will take a bit of time to really figure out what you like… before even changing tubes.
I’ve been listening to the Mogwai between 1-6 hours on most days for the past month on 32 ohms, and just got giggles tonight unplugged my VO mid-song (U2 Where The Streets Have No Name) and plugged it into 300.
And honestly it felt like the bass kicked me in the face. Wow, this thing rocks. Totally different sound from what I’ve been hearing. So take your time, and just sit back and enjoy!
FWIW, your new amp should be quieter than most of ours as Justin has been continually making them quieter and quieter. I have minimal noise on 300 ohms and probably would barely notice it if I wasn’t deeply listening for it.
I’m really liking the bigger Ben via 100 ohm. My favorite on the mogwai was 32 but yea switching to 300 is a treat for sure. I really like this new 100 ohm tap is is a nice middle road.
I really need to second this! The amp is amazing and truly gets better as it keeps burning in.
Moreover, I have found the tube roll that really works well for my preferences (RCA 6L6GC, NOS 6SN7GT, RCA 5U4GB) and now I am in love.
One thing that applies to all of Justin’s amps is that they are super sensitive to noise interference. A few things that are on the cheaper end that have helped in my setup:
A very solid linear power strip that wirecutter also gave top marks for surge protection:
A DC blocker from IFI (I am awaiting their full on Supanova power cord, but the DC blocker is definitely great to try first and helped for me)
And just really good shielded RCA cables. These mogami cables are inexpensive but super well constructed cables using the “quad” construction microphone cable designed to reduce noise. I think they outperformed the $100 Audioquest Golden Gate cables I tried first:
Thank you all for all the great advise. It is much appreciated.
I think I am going to take all your advise and listen to the mogwai with stock tubes for a while and then for sure try different. This way I should be able to tell a bigger difference and maybe you never know prefer stock tubes
Anyone have the dimensions for the amp???
Trying to figure out if I will get it to fit on my desk(to many amps )
I have to say I have topping a90/d90 stack smsl sh-9/su-9 stack, cayin iha-6, little dot+1 and just recently purchased the rebelamp.
And I have to say the rebelamp is the first amp that I have noticed a difference is slam/dynamics and I am really impressed with it. Runs my radiance, arya like a champ. Makes my arya sound more dynamic(they need that).
The hole reason I ordered a mogwai is because I wanted something that sounded different from all the amps I currently own as I said all sound same to me and I want to have the choice of using a amp that sound special instead of the usual common solid state amps.
Anyway you guys I think get the idea.
Really looking forward to getting my first listen to the mogwai. Very excited boy I am
Thanks for all the links that is amazing.
Will see how much interference I am getting once setup as it will be close to a water cooled gaming pc and charger, wireless mouse etc
I do have a little dot mk1+ and its nothing special but I did have a bit of noise with that and realized the other day moving my wireless mouse docking station to the other side of the desk made the noise it had completely disappeared.
I have got some evergreen rca cables that I will use and a shielded power cable.
My house was only built in 2015 so hopefully wont have any interferences on that side.
But again much appreciated all the advise.
I will see if i need any of these cables etc wen I get start using it.
Getting very excited now
15 x 11 x 7 in.
I believe you are achieving this. The Mogwai SE is engaging and immersive with its harmonic richness, tonal density, impact, immediacy, and “on the stage with the performers” presentation.
Sounds like my ideal sound
Nice! Is that Koa wood?
Yes it is👍🏻 Looks gorgeous
Can’t believe how quick it arrived. Was posted Sunday from California and arrived to me in the UK today. Thats impressive.
Can’t wait to get home
“I’ll wait at least a full month with stock tubes before I’ll start tube rolling”.
Three days later…
After a couple of days listening to the Mogwai se im really impressed.
The only let down is im Getting some noise on all my headphones except hifiman arya.
Noise is not rca influenced it’s definitely power.
My hd600 and radiance have both got quite a aggressive background noise floor thats very distracting.
Tried using different wall plug power sockets around my house that was suggested by Justin but made no difference sadly.
I get lower noise going to a lower impedance socket but still quite noticeable.
What have you guys done to remedy this?
I was expecting to have a bit of noise floor from radiance but not from hd600.
Briefly tried lcd xc and was getting noise from them to.
Just ordered a ifi dc blocker see if that helps.
Really want to resolve this.
What are your Suggestions/experiences?
Here you go.
I was curious to try what Justin considers as his reference tubes, the Tung Sol 6L6GC.
They sound spectacular.
Even more control and dynamics especially in the lower end.
Background noise very low.
Sennheiser HD660s never sounded so good. With the Mogwai OG they even reproduce with good control and realism a good extension of sub bass frequencies that I’ve never heard when used with solid state amps.
Treble is very well controlled and while it contributes to a greater sense of staging it never sounds spicy or excessive.
I’m simply rediscovering my music.
Best suggestions are: move electronics farther away (computer, phone, router, refrigerator) switch up each tube one by one to see if it changes.
Is it brand new? When I first got my mogwai it made noise but then went away after a month.
Maybe the amp needs time to settle especially after being jumbled around a lot.