HeadAmp Gilmore Lite Mk2 Class-A Headphone Amplifier

This is the place to discuss the HeadAmp Gilmore Lite Mk2.


@Andrew_Davis, How does the power output compare to the Phonitor E?

1 Like

Thanks for making the thread!

The power of the Gilmore Lite Mk2 is nearly identical to the Phonitor e in low gain. In high gain, it is much much more. Here are their volume levels driving a HiFiMan Arya, which is 91db/mW. Both at about 1/3 the way to max.



It has unusually high gain settings but it caps at 1.5W … well below the Phonitor E’s power capabilities.

1 Like

Torq, I don’t follow.

The GK Mk2 has less much power than the Phonitor E, your statement suggests the opposite. Which either means it doesn’t read correctly (I didn’t think that Gilmore amp had a gain setting), and you mean that the Phonitor E is what you are referring to as having more power. Or you’re confused about what power is available where.

Yeah, sorry. Poor grammer reversed my meaning, and I was also over- generalizing. Work has been beating me over the head the last couple weeks, sorry.

Essentially I was trying to say that neither had to be turned more than 1/3 of the way up to power the Arya to listening volumes. But the Phonitor e was in low gain, and the Gilmore Lite doesn’t have any gain control.

Of course the Phonitor e is much more powerful overall.


I got what you were throwing down, as the Gilmore doesn’t have selectable gain.

How the sound?

1 Like

Ya pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down? :sweat_smile:

Not quite ready to say, only like and hour or so of listening time. And most of that while working. I think I really enjoy it. Feels more fun. I want to say…something about dynamics? More to come for sure.




I owned this amp for a while before I bought the Phonitor x. At the time I also owned the Violectric V280 and the THX 789. In terms of tonality, with the Violectric being warm and having the most weight and the 789 on the other end of the spectrum I found that the Gilmore Lite MK II sat right in the middle, which I quite liked.

I found the three amps to be very close in terms of detail retrieval and resolution with the 789 edging out the other two by a hair. Of the three, the Violectric was perceptively the slowest and the 789 the most nimble, with the Gilmore Lite once again in the middle.

In terms of staging and imaging, I found the Violectric to perceptively have the largest stage, in terms of depth and width. The images also seemed larger and the most stable of the three. I would say that the Violectirc is rather special in this regard and as such nothing stands out in my memory of the other two, so I would say that they are not lacking nor do they outperform.

In terms of measurements (SINAD), I think the Gilmore measures the worst but in the inaudible range. I certainly could not hear any distortion or noise. That said, as has been mentioned, the Gilmore does have unusually high gain, which is why you can run a more difficult to drive headphone on it at a similar volume level as with an amp that has more power, like the Violectric. That is what I found. But I did not try it with IEMs so I can’t say if the high gain results in more noise for very sensitive transducers. At the time I was using Focal Clear and MrSpeakers Aeon closed headphones.

While all three amps have their upsides and downsides: the Violectric is warm and meaty and everything is large with lots of slam and power but it gives the impression of being slow; the 789 is fast and nimble, has a very black background and resolves extremely well but gets fatiguing over time; the Gilmore Lite for me, is not exceptional in anything it does but also does not do anything wrong, other than have unusually high gain. Of the three I found it to be the most enjoyable over longer listening sessions and if I had not bought the Phonitor x, which is exceptional in most of what it does and in my view does nothing wrong, I would have kept it.


Thanks for impressions. Very thorough and well stated.

It sounds like the Gilmore is a pleasurable little amp with some oomph!

1 Like

It’s a great little amp, but from everything I have read, for $100 less, it would appear the Jotunheim is a better value purchase, although I have never heard one. Perhaps others can comment.


Yeah, that Jot. Some swear by it, and some barely acknowledge it. I’ve yet to hear anything bad about it, though. Spec wise it looks great.


@Andrew_Davis, it sounds like a great little amp.

Aside from power, how does it compare to the RNHP?

More power obviously, but you already covered that.

I want to say is that the G–Lite is…louder??? Haha. Of course I don’t mean absolute volume, I think that’s just the perception of greater dynamics that I described before. But I haven’t zeroed in on exactly what that is yet. Also, the RNHP is “softer around the edges.” That is, I think, the “natural” sound that people like about the RNHP. I perceive a little more bass in the G-Lite also. But that may be a symptom of the same effect that causes me to describe the Glite as more dynamic, that I haven’t nailed down yet.

Does that make sense? Is there any meaning left in there with all that equivocating? :joy: :joy:

1 Like

I think I got it…:laughing:

1 Like

Is this still a useful amp for lower impedance headphones considering no gain switch?

I have had this amp for about a week. I was looking for an amp to pair with my RME ADI-2 DAC and I was having a hard time deciding on which amp to get. I considered the Cayin iHA6, Rupert Neve RNHP, Audio DG-1 and the G like mk2.

I had purchased a few weeks back a Hifiman Ananda and I was not convinced if I wanted to keep it or not. From my Tube Eddie Current ZDT Jr. it sounded ok but nothing special. From my RME ADI-2 it sounded a bit bright and none engaging… so I was kind of disappointed. BUT… after I installed the Gilmore Lite and EQ the RME a bit to get more bass… I am loving the Hifiman Ananda on this amp, it is fun and engaging!!!.