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What is a good headphone amp? - Page 13

post #121 of 132
Not as simple as that. Circuit implementation is still key and things like output impedance affect audio equipment.
post #122 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrGroove View Post

HD600 and 650 are barely any different, and putting a tube amp on an HD600 just turns it into a 650 anyways

no and no. my dad owns both of these headphones.
    
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post #123 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by FEAST View Post

All modern amps of equivalent power, Class D, A, A/B (unless something is wrong/the amp is old) - sound the same - with exception of tube amps. If not then something is wrong.

Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. I own a Schiit Valhalla, HD600's, and a Cambridge Audio DAC. Yes, the amp and DAC sound almost exactly the same as my motherboard output. I live and breath audio every day, I write and produce my own music (you can hear it if you want).

I have sat down and flipped between many, many different amps. They sound the SAME. I too, once believed that amp quality effects sound. Don't listen to anyone. Setup a side by side comparison and see for yourself.

Headphones make a massive difference in sound quality. Almost all modern DAC's (last 4 years) sound the same.

Buy something as cheap, small, and powerful as you can.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinesekiwi View Post

Not as simple as that. Circuit implementation is still key and things like output impedance affect audio equipment.

This is a great point, kiwi - I'd also add that one of the characteristics of a well-designed amplifier is tolerance to noise from other sources; everything from the circuit board layout to the power supply design could be allowing in noise from outside sources, and that has an impact on amplifier performance.

FEAST, unless you do your listening inside a faraday cage your audio device is the only thing plugged into a high quality filtered power supply, even the exact same circuit implemented two different ways could yield quite different performance. Almost any modern (or even older) amplifier topology can be implemented well, but there is more to that implementation than seeing that the thing is Class D with your desired output power and declaring it to be the best possible option.


That by no means says that all the spectacular claims made by some of the specialist audio manufacturers are real and valid - often times, they have almost no engineering merit - but there is more to a high quality amplifier than its mode of operation, output power, etc.

Douglass Self has many great publications on sources of distortion in audio amplifiers - they're worth a read if you're interested in learning a little more (and have some electronics aptitude).
http://www.eetimes.com/design/audio-design/4015846/Distortion-in-power-amplifiers-Part-I-the-sources-of-distortion

I'd agree 100%, though, with your sentiment that the transducer itself (aka our headphones, speakers, etc) makes the single largest difference in the overall "quality" of an audio system.
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post #124 of 132
I agree that a low noise floor is one of the defining elements in a quality amplifier - alongside efficiency. Obviously power is the major concern here, and impedance matching can effect performance through power available.

At the end of the day the only thing of concern not directly related to power output of the amplifier is noise. I simply haven't heard any discernable difference between any amplifiers when power isn't a concern (aside from the noise floor).
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post #125 of 132
I really like these:

http://www.bottlehead.com/store.php/products/crack-otl-headphone-amplifier-kit

I have build several bottlehead products and really enjoy them. However, you have to be careful about matching impedance like others have mentioned on here.

You also have to like the "tube sound"

Tubes tend to be higher in 2nd order Harmonic Distortion, but dont let that fool you, even order harmonic distortion is considered to be "pleasant" to the brain because it is similar to how real life instruments distort.

The odd order harmonic distortion is what is considered harsh and unpleasant.

Note:
When I look at amplifiers I look less at total power output and more at the distortion/noise as that is what determines the sound signature of an amplifier...not the amount of watts it puts out.

Edit: To add to my note, if you have a Solid State amplifier that is tuned to distort the same exact way the tube is distorting(aka they measure the exact same) they will sound the exact same...however this is hard to do.
Edited by madbrayniak - 3/29/13 at 9:13am
post #126 of 132
I'm sorry I missed this thread. Glad to see that sound science and objectivity still have their place.

Don't throw away your dollar (stay away from head-fi outside of the headphone forums).
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post #127 of 132
Thread Starter 
I have decided what amps to go for to suit my hd650 headphones they are the o2 amp for it netrual sounding and the schiit lyr tube amp for something with a bit of colour any dac to recommend me to go with theses setups or what tubes to use to give the best sounding.
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post #128 of 132
O2.
post #129 of 132
Objective combo (O2 + Odac)
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post #130 of 132
Thread Starter 
Just got my o2/odac combo must say wow. What an amazing little unit, very neutral and clear the way music should be heard. The 2.5x gain is fine for me but the 6.0x gain is abit for me and really does clip the amp anyone know how do set it to 1.0x, 2.5x gain instead?
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