Two interesting portable setups utilizing the P6P.
Some background: These two amps are both quite new to me but I have had the cans and dap for several months and have a couple hundred hours on each item. My music tastes cover realistically everything asside from rap (though I do listen to a lot of hip hop, r&b, and neo soul so some cross over). The majority of my listening is also quite quiet at usualy around 55-60db average, but I will have “loud” sessions around 75db average as well (peaks basicaly never over about 80-82db).
P6P → LessFox BX2 Plus → Diana V2
This is what I feel to be the more “normal” setup of the two. My 3 main points of reference for diana are using the P6P LO with a GSX-mini, Mass Kobo 428, and just directly out of the dap.
BX2 Plus vs GSX-mini:
Unfottunately I dont have the mini side by side with the bx2+ as I sold it on about a week ago but I’m at least confident I remeber the general sound signature on diana even if I can’t compair stuff like attack, detail, or raw image clarity which i feel are fairly similar between the amps from memory.
The place these two chains are not similar at all is stage and layering. I’m not sure if its a trick of having better air, but the stage size difference between the bx2 and mini is massive. The bx2 has a vast (for diana at least) stage that allows for propper layering and the Diana’s play within that stage quite well with no noticable dead spots. On the mini, while the imaging was good, the stage felt flat and narrow and as such didn’t have much opportunity to layer. The mini did have better control of over the bass leading to better texture, but I think the bx2 may actualy slam harder with better general presence (won’t say for certain without them next to eachother though)
BX2 Plus vs Mass Kobo 428
The mass kobo is a very low power amp (about 150mw max) but with amazing control and texture. It is the best bass texture I have ever heard on diana and the image clarity is a clear step above the bx2+ and gsx-mini. The real stand out though is the timbre. The timbre of this chain gives me the same kind of “wait, what?” that i have only ever gotten on the raal sr1a (though do note i havent heard susvara). Unfortunateky, the low power comes with some consequences though. While the image clarity is extremely high, the stage is the miniscule (im talking smaller than any iem i own) leading to 0 layering, the bass impact is obviously lacking, and it can push the Diana’s a bit too bright at times leading to fatigue on particularly sibilant or glarey songs. This is all basicly in direct opposition to what the BX2+ does with its large stage, slight loss of texture, and lack of timbral focus (its not bad, but its not mind blowing at all). All that said, the mass kobo is probabaly my favorite setup for diana purely because of that truly amazing timbre and texture, but that may change as I get more ear time on the bx2 (only have about a dozen hours so far)
BX2 Plus Conclusion
Just to reiterate. I dont have the GSX-mini on hand to AB them but the last time i hear it was about 5 days before the bx2 arrives. Over all I am extremely confidant I prefer the diana on the bx2+ over the mini and it is about tied with the mass kobo 428 as even though the 428 has some large downsides due to the low power, the timbre is just astonishing. Overall a very astonishing amp given the fairly low pricing (for a portable amp at least). Im genuinely currious how it stacks up against desktop amps in a similar price range for anyone else that has it.
P6P → Phatlab Phantasy ii → HD800S
The Phatlab Phantasy ii is a portable SET tube amp. Unfortunately, this is my first ever tube amp (hard to find decent ones being predominantly portable) so I can’t say much since I don’t have a proper frame of reference. What I will say is that it has taken my HD800S from in the pile to sell to considering keeping it as my only over ear. I fucking love this setup. While the technicalities are lower than the HD800s on the masskobo they are still quite high IMO. The mids get a hair more body and presence without loosing detail and the bass presence is brought up as well. Its clearly an overly colored sound, but also quite a technical one. I’m sorry I dont realy have the experience to compair this with other tube amps. Something to note is that this amp is SE only even with a 4.4 on the ii model. Its just an SE signal over a balanced plug.
Edit: just as a side note: diana on Phantasy ii sound solid on a quick listen but get extremely fatiguing very quick and maybe even have a slight chanel imbalance in the bass (hd800s+phantasy and bx2+diana are both fine). Not sure what’s going on there.