Hello oddiofyl, both of my Headphone Amps are by Schiit Audio one SS and one Tube Amp.
So no direct experience with Quicksilver HA.
However I do have a local Retailer that carries the Quicksilver line.
The one Amp that is on display might be another brand but looks Good.
Anyway I could check into it if it would be helpful.
Thx. Im in Boston.....closest dealer I think is Audio Connection in NJ.
Pulled the trigger on it.... I already own Quicksilver gear so no doubt it will be awesome...
Please report back with your impressions of the little Quicksilver and what phones you use with it. I almost bought one based on how much I love my M120 amps but needed two source inputs. Enjoy the music
I will be sure to post my impressions. I am just going to connect it to my c-j Classic 2SE via it's tape out so I can enjoy all sources.
It looks like it's built like a tank, just like all QS amps. I am using a pair of Klipsch HP 3 and a pair of Grado RS2e. I'm currently using a Rupert Neve RNHP amp and it's a great amp but I wanted the QS since it came out last year. Mike from QS said it will drive any headphone, and I believe it considering the size of the output transformer. I read on one site it can drive a pair of speakers..... not that I would try it. Hopefully it's the last HP amp I purchase.
It just arrived. Stay tuned
I spent a few hours listening to this amp last night and it is so transparent. While listening I kept thinking of the best way to sum up the sound....clarity. It is so natural sounding. My Neve RNHP is a great amp, but this is in another league.
@oddiofyl Thanks for the update. I’m really interested in hearing your overall impressions after the "new toy" happiness wears off.
What headphones are you using with the Quicksilver amp?
I haven’t heard the RNHP but I went to CanJam and heard his $5,000 Precision (I think), driving a Mr. Speakers ’phone. It was, IMO, probably the best sounding rig there. Granted show conditions are NOT the time to make such assumptions.
I love my MHDT Orchid feeding a Burson Conductor V2+ which drives my Arya. However, I’m curious how a tube amp would do with my planars, so I was wondering about your setup.
Sources are NAD M51 DAC , OPP0 103d, Bluesound Vault 2i, tuner. Turntable
The Neve is a fine amp... it really is clean and detailed. If you are looking for precision, studio quality it's there. It sounds great don't get me wrong but the Quicksilver is more engaging, you know you are listening through a SET amp.
The Quicksilver has incredible tone and a natural quality to the sound. It's lightning fast and has airy highs . The bass is very well defined, again, great tone. It seems much more powerful than the Neve but being tube I would expect it to be. I haven't spent a lot of time with this amp but I can say it's the best sounding headphone stage I've ever heard.
It' s built exactly like my Mid Monos.... it is a tank!!! Same heavy gauge steel used in chassis, same power transformer. It is beautifully constructed. I had mine built with optional chrome transformer cover, it looks sharp.
Im using Grado RS2e and Klipsch HP 3 primarily, I used them with some old beyer 600 Ohm and it drove them all no problem. This amp has balls ! I also used a pair of Sennheiser ear buds and those too have never sounded better. $1000 isn't cheap but it's worth it . Best new piece of gear I have bought in a while.
I have to bump this thread because I too am just enthralled by the Quicksilver HP amp. I called Mike Sanders and ordered mine a few months ago and it's been everything I expected and more. I have a pair of Quicksilver Silver 60 monos so I knew if Mike designed and built an HP amp it would be quite good.
Sources are Tidal or Qobuz steams through Benchmark and Crane Song DACs which I only mention because these are both in the neutral realm of DACs so my perception of the Quicksilver amp is really just that, not character introduced before it.
I own these DACs because I've been in the recording industry for a couple of decades and long before Benchmark Media pursued the audiophile market they were in broadcast audio and then the recording studio where they are a reference for many. Crane Song's Solaris is an amazing DAC that's quickly become one of the standards for mixing and mastering.
I'm currently listening to the HD800s which pair wonderfully with this amp.
oddiophyl's description of the Quicksilver HP amp mirrors mine so I won't try to improve on what he has stated so well.
I have the Pathos Aurium and have owned a few other of the 'best' hybrid and all tube HP amps. I also have several of the reference SS HP amps, Bryston and the lot. The Quicksilver raised the bar over anything I've heard and offers the most enjoyment of THE MUSIC I've ever had.
@glissando Couldn't agree with you more. I have been using the Quicksilver headphone amp for a few weeks now, and it is probably one of the most satisfying purchases I've made in the last few years. I'm just surprised that the reviews are so scant. Maybe the folks at Quicksilver rely more on word of mouth instead of professional reviews. Either way, these are keepers and a great foundation for any headphone rig.
Wow. Such glowing opinions of the headphone amp.
I have the Hifiman Arya which is 35ohms.
All of the glowing reviews I hear of the Quicksilver headphone amplifier are with higher impedance headphones such as the Sennheiser.
Does anyone have positive feedback with this amplifier driving a lower impedance headphone like the Arya?
@devilboy I’m actually using the Quicksilver HP amp with the Aryas. Prior to the QS amp, I used them with Naim Unitiqute, AAA THX 789 (now returned), and iFi Micro DSD Black Label. A few issues I had with the Aryas was that sometimes they tended to sound just a little on the thin side, slightly distant and the bass heft was lacking every so slightly. The QS amp addressed each and every concern and then some. I absolutely love the hefty, lush and rich sound I’m getting now. But by far the biggest improvement was the quantity and quality of bass -- these amps take it to a whole new level and make them more musical than before. Also, I feel the midrange and vocals are more intimate than before. I moved from the fifth or sixth row in the auditorium to third or second which is about as close as I want to go with the Aryas.
But keep in mind that none of the other amps I tried before were particularly high end. Plus I’m very partial to the tube sound. So take that with a grain of salt. YMMV.
@arafiq wow. You described exactly what I hear from the Arya. "Hefty, lush and rich".
I’m getting that sound using the headphone output of my Hegel integrated, (which actually beat my Burson Conductor V2+ headphone amp), so I can’t imagine how much better it must sound through the Quicksilver amplifier.
Because of the great responses I've read on this forum, I’m so close to pulling the trigger on the Quicksilver to drive my Arya.
I haven't checked the website in a while but does anyone know the output of the Quicksilver amp?
It is 3.5 watts of single ended goodness... I just picked up the RME ADI-2 DAC and that driving the Quicksilver sounds incredible. The NAD is still a fine DAC but the RME has a quality to the bass that is palpable. You can almost hear the drum skin smack the air , it is so well defined and realistic. It along with the Quicksilver has such control , the bass from those HP3 is amazing. I used the RME's headphone amp briefly and it's good but nothing like the Quicksilver . You are unlikely to see many of these used, it is that good.
@oddiofyl 3.5 watts? Into how many ohms?
That's more than I expected... Nice.
It is rated that at 30 Ohm or above. My headphones are 25 , 32, and 600 ohms , drives all of them no problem. PLENTY of power with anything I've plugged into them.
Hello all. I just pulled the trigger on this beauty. Will be my first SET tube amp! Currently have a Dared Hybrid amp and it sounds pretty good but I can’t really tell any difference between it and my Xduoo XD-05 Plus mobile headphone amp, sound wise. Hoping the SET tube amp sound is what I’ve been looking for! Current headphones are Hifiman HE5SE’s.
Silly question, but are the inputs for the Quicksilver headphone amp just standard RCA? Thanks and cheers!
John at AudioConnection is really great. Do it all by phone.
The only shortcoming of this design for some is it's single RCA input. No problem though if you are using a DAC directly connected or in my case , my preamp's TAPE OUT is feeding a fixed level input to the Quicksilver. I'm lucky I guess that my preamp Tape Out is wired directly to the input. My preamp does not have to be on to pass what ever is present at its input appears at Tape Out. This most likely would only be the case with an analog preamp, i would guess anything micro processor controlled does not pass a signal when its off.
If whatever you are feeding the Quicksilver with has a variable volume control in the digital domain, set it to either "fixed" or " 0dB" or a little below for best results. Keep AC cables away from its input cables and it should have a nice quiet background. I had noise when I first set mine up and it was just poorly shielded interconnects. Swapped them and nice and quiet. Remember, you are listening through headphones , so anything to lower the noise floor is worth the effort.
Enjoy, it is a great sounding amp. I bought mine sight unseen, but having Quicksilver amps , knew it would be awesome. Wait til you lift it out of the box, it is a monster. Once you pick it up, you will know your money was well spent before even plugging it in... one caveat, you will be upgrading headphones a few times over the next year.... actually, you will keep your existing phones along your upgrade path because they all sound better powered by this amp. Post feedback once you've spent some time with it
Loving the amp! Feels and looks premium enough to me oh and the sound is fantastic! Love the heft of this beauty when picking it up as well :)
The quicksilver headphone amp really helped tame the little bit harsh top end of the HE5SE’s. I think they always had good top end but if you came upon a brightly recorded album you would definitely know it. Bass and mids are great as well! Im not a super audiophile so that’s about as much of a description as you’ll get out of me.
Amp is being fed by IPhone X>Chord Mojo>Audioquest evergreen 3.5mm to RCA>Quicksilver Amp>Corpse Headphone cable>HE5SE’s. Setup is dead silent.
You can’t go wrong with this amp. Happy customer through and through.
Looking forward to testing out some LCD3’s, Arya’s etc. on this setup one day 👍🏼
Quick question. Does anyone know if this amp can handily manage Hifiman HE6SE’s rated at 50ohms and a sensitivity of 83.5db?