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Musical Fidelity X-CANS
22 Reviews
rating  4.5 of 5
MSRP 
Description: Headphone Amplifier


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Reviews 1 - 5 (22 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by steven tom a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 16, 2009

Bottom Line:   
This review if for the X-CANS v2. I've used this on and off since I bought it used, and I am always amazed how good it sounds. I was disappointed at first with the forward and brighter treble, but after some simple bypass caps on the input / output electrolytic(!!) coupling caps, power supply caps bypassed with film caps, extra uF on the supply stage, and replacing the OEM tubes, this unit equaled the sound of a good tube preamp. It sounded good enough that I haven't even used "quality" upgrade parts or FRED diodes. Mods were done with mylar bypass caps and used electrolytic caps.

I used it as a line stage or buffer stage sometimes, and it gives a dynamic, crisp, clear, and with proper tubes, a warm presentation with great imaging, space and dimension. It's not quite as warm and rhythmic as the Audible Illusions 2 preamp in direct comparison, but I can easily live with the sound for a long time. The volume pot is tiny and gain is pretty high, so fine control is mediocre.

Sonically, I cannot fault this after the mod. I've seen the schematics, it's almost exactly like the X3 version. I found a generic AC supply with higher amperage output, and it makes a moderate improvement in sound with a quieter background, more dynamics, and a little more groove. Looking at the parts inside, they've gone with cheap parts, and if you some simple work, you'll be rewarded with great sound. Kills any headphone jack I've ever used on a "preamp" or receiver. My tube preamp (SS headphone amp into a tube stage) beat out the budget Headroom preamp I had, and this X-CANS V2 was superior in all aspects to my preamp. Overall, I'd give it a solid 9/10 with sonics at 9.5, use and flexibility at 8, functionality and operation at 9, and upgradability at 8.
If only it had multiple inputs and a remote volume control....

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   online



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Tysdad a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 19, 2003

Bottom Line:   
Recommended for anyone curious about "tube sound" without paying for it.
I replaced the stock tubes with JJ electronics. Definite improvement. Replaced the JJ's with Mullard NOS in July '03. I recommend giving these valves a listen. Paid $34.00 US (pr). Well worth the minimal investment.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $150.00

Purchased At:   ebay



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by John Davis a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: June 7, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Can't add much new to the other reviews here. The X-Cans V2 are excellent with my Sennheiser HD600s and Linn Mimik, BUT PLEASE do yourself a favour and replace the stock valves with JJ Electronic E88CCs - they're inexpensive (£18 for 2) and the improvement in sound quality is remarkable. They also cure the problem with leaking noise on the right channel!

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Casual Listener

Product model year:   2001



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Nick Dangerous a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: May 17, 2002

Bottom Line:   
The X-Can headphone amp was one of my first amps to experiment with. Initially, the sound was uncomfortably bright but otherwise excellent with my Sennheiser 580 headphones. I decided to take matters into my own hands and change the tubes. I documented the procedure in an easy format here: http://www.nickdangerous.com/misc/xcans/index.htm The X-Can vastly improves the sound of audio coming from the PC and various other budget sources. I don't consider it a high-end headphone amp, but for the money its a good way to get a taste of smooth sounding tube audio.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   www.head-fi.org



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by hellskitchens a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 7, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I just bouht this last week and was very dissapointed with the sound , it distorted at anything more than 8o"clock.
So I thought i would change the Valves or tubes as their known.
I phoned many places for advice and was really impressed by Watford Valves.com.
This guy new his stuff and tested every valve he sold! He recomended Harma Diamonds. And WOW what a difference and they are not even run in yet!
Amazing with Sennhiesser HD600"s.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $50.00

Purchased At:   Small Ads




Reviews 1 - 5 (22 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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