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Headphone amp?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I have a pair of Sennheiser HD 595's, and I will be using them as my primary audio device soon when I got to college (7.1 speakers dont work so well in a dorm room ). I have heard that getting a good headphone amp really makes good headphones sound better, is this true? If so, what is a good amp that I should get? (note that I will also be driving these phones from a MacBook, not just my X-Fi)
post #2 of 11
What's your budget?
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dskina View Post
What's your budget?
Up to $150 I would say. However, I have no idea what headphone amps cost, so if I should spend more to get a good quality amp, I will.
post #4 of 11
There aren't a whole lot of amps you can get with that much $, but some to look at:

PIMETA: this is a DIY amp, but properly configured will sound good w/ HD595's.
LDII series: These are tube amps that are not made anymore, but if you can find a II+ or II++ they should be in your price range.

I have a LDII+ with some extra tubes for rolling that I'll probably be selling within a month or two. I'm going to be building a Millet Max to replace it. Speaking of which, if you increase your budget by about $50 you can build yourself a Millet Max, or if you can't build it yourself you could pay someone to build one for you.
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post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by soloz2 View Post
There aren't a whole lot of amps you can get with that much $, but some to look at:

PIMETA: this is a DIY amp, but properly configured will sound good w/ HD595's.
LDII series: These are tube amps that are not made anymore, but if you can find a II+ or II++ they should be in your price range.

I have a LDII+ with some extra tubes for rolling that I'll probably be selling within a month or two. I'm going to be building a Millet Max to replace it. Speaking of which, if you increase your budget by about $50 you can build yourself a Millet Max, or if you can't build it yourself you could pay someone to build one for you.
Where can I learn more about this stuff? Also, whats a good amp, regardless of price? I.E., what should I get for the best bang for the buck?
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoaDMTGguy View Post
Where can I learn more about this stuff? Also, whats a good amp, regardless of price? I.E., what should I get for the best bang for the buck?
well the amp that I want is a SinglePower PPX3 Slam, but configured the way I want it I'll have to drop over 1K on it!

head-fi my friend
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post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoaDMTGguy View Post
Where can I learn more about this stuff? Also, whats a good amp, regardless of price? I.E., what should I get for the best bang for the buck?
go to www.head-fi.org - its all there. Use the search function, there is a ton of information.

$150 is quite low, seriously. Also check out these:
Gilmore Lite ($299)
Check out the offerings from headroom (www.headphone.com), they have a micro-amp for $299 here. This one is good because it has the cross-feed circuit (essentially creates the same effect as listening to speakers since your left ear will hear the right speaker and vice versa).

I think you'll have to spend about $300-$400 for a decent entry-level amp. I'm currently using the X-can v3 but will soon get the headamp GS-1.
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post #8 of 11
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/HP4/

Recording-studio quality. This is what I use, and it sounds great.
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post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
What exactly should I be looking for in an amp? How do I compair them?
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoaDMTGguy View Post
What exactly should I be looking for in an amp? How do I compair them?
You listen to them. This is hard with headphone amps so you have to go on what other people say.

Basically people who own or have owned HD595's are typically good references. Other noobies aren't that great of a reference as everything sounds good when you first get into hi-fi audio.

HD595's love tubes, which is why I suggested a LDII amp. the Little Dot amps are cheap, but can compete with other amps 2-3x their price. They aren't the best, but for the money they're hard to beat.

You could also look for a used Millet Hybrid, but they can get spendy. The Millite Max I suggested is better and a little cheaper, but you won't be able to get a used one for some time as there are only a few in existence today. There is a group buy for the boards that ends today and then there will be many more amps around. Like I said, I have 3 boards on the way and plan to build one for myself and then sell the others. It's cheaper to buy parts for multiple amps instead of just enough to build one amp. I'm probably going to go all out on my Millet Max though... boutique caps, custom case. It'll look and sound good
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