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Headphone amps


jon
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I'm thinking of changing my current set up and need some ideas. current set up is a mac mini - apogee duet - cambridge audio 740a - quad 12ls. My biggest problem I think is room layout and accoustics but there is nothing I can really do about this. I started using headphones a lot over the last 3 months and I'm really enjoying it (akg 702s). I now think that headphones will be my primary listening source.

 

Herein lies my problem. I'm thinking of selling amp and speakers and getting a dedicated headphone / preamp and just using some cheap powered speakers (poss audioengineering) for non phone listening.

 

Would this give me better results and what would people recomend.

 

I've also been considering selling the duet and getting the proton but this may be difficult as I'm in the Uk. Does anyone know how the proton would compare to duet plus headphone amp?

 

Thanks

 

 

 

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Jon

There is a wealth of information on this subject in both Head Fi and Rock Grotto forums. You will find reviews of many items from cheap combinations, including combined DAC and Headphone Amplifiers, to some quite expensive valve headphone amplifiers including the Red Wine Audio Isabellina. Silverlight can give you a run down on that one. There are also a few Headphone amplifier projects ranging from basic to very high quality on those 2 forums.

 

SandyK

 

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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Jon,

 

I can only say that so many owners of the Proton have suggested the AKG 702's that I went out and bought a pair about a month ago. To me they really do kick up the performance of the Proton much higher than even my Sennhesiers or Grado's.

 

I think the combination of impedance and output makes for a good combination.

 

Thanks

Gordon

 

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Gordon,

 

thanks for info. How do I go about getting one shipped to uk?

 

Sandy, thanks for links - diy in general is well beyond my capabilities and I personally find head hifi is too full of bickering for my liking. Much prefer the measured and thoughtful views expressed here.

 

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SandyK - Since you are the admin of the Rock Grotto Forums I find it rather disingenuous to be recommending your own site as a "wealth of information" without clearly identifying your vested interest. It's no different than a manufacturer doing the same thing about its products on a forum. In addition it's rather rude to recommend your own site unless someone asks a direct question about your site. The same goes for manufacturers.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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Hi Chris

I only gave those links as an alternative to the Proton,

I don't have a vested interest in that area ,as although I have been given the title of 2nd Admin, it is only recognition of my efforts to help the members. I am also a member of DIYAudio, but not HeadFi, although I was invited as a guest to a recent Western Sydney meet.

I guess you could say that I am really only a moderator, and I have no ties of any kind with Pink Floyd (Mike) who owns Rock Grotto.

I have absolutely no commercial ties either, as I am mainly into DIY. My suggestions are purely to give additional choices and further information, as very few CA members appear to either use headphone amplifiers or are into DIY.

Regards

Alex

 

P.S.

I was responding to the attached.

 

"Herein lies my problem. I'm thinking of selling amp and speakers and getting a dedicated headphone / preamp and just using some cheap powered speakers (poss audioengineering) for non phone listening.

 

Would this give me better results and what would people recomend."

 

 

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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It is generally acknowledged (and through my experience) that a headphone system can be more cost effective to achieve audiophile or whatever level of sound quality than a speaker system becase the former compents are more dedicated than the latter.

 

A speaker needs to distribute sound over a wide area which from the manufacturer's perspective could be from a small to medium size room etc

 

Headphones need to produce sound quality over a the headphone cup/canal area.

 

A similar issue applies to amplifiers.

 

I am not advcoating one over the other etc (I have both) but there are merits for each apart from a headphone system is quiet for your next door neigbours or partner etc.

 

 

 

Keep on Upgrading!!!

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"I am not advcoating one over the other etc (I have both) but there are merits for each apart from a headphone system is quiet for your next door neigbours or partner etc."

 

Firefly0071

They are also my sentiments. I also have a very high quality DIY Class A amplification system, and a still own a pair of the legendary DCM QED TL loudspeakers, which were renowned for their imaging qualities.

Unfortunately, I do not get to enjoy this system as much as I would like, due to having my son's family living with me. Having 3 grandchildren in the house isn't conducive to relaxed loudspeaker listening. Hence, my posts are more often about headphone related findings, which do however directly translate to my preferred speaker listening.

SandyK

 

 

 

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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I'm intrigued Gordon.

 

I am running an Amarra-Offramp-Altmann-B22/O22 phone amp and on that setup Grado RS1s were preferable to the 702s to the extent that I sold the 702s (as well as Stax 404, AT W1000 and my Yamamoto amp). And the latest uber-pricey PS1000s are considerably better again.

 

Which Grados were you using? Are the 702s still stock, or did you recable?

 

The ability to drive 702s is a good test of your amp section (iPods and portable iPod amps are a poor match for the 702, they are just too demanding)

 

 

 

Source: Diskless fanless PC Win Server19, fed from a linear supply and 19v pico

All SSDs on JCat battery supplies - JPlay femto - JCat femto USB - JCAT reference USB - Chord DAVE

Plus CEC TL 5 Cd transport - Blackcat Tron BNC - Chord DAVE

Amps: Merill Audio Veritas

Speakers: Trenner and Friedel RA

Cables : Kubula-Sosna Elation I/C and speaker

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Kaka,

 

I only have the 60 and 80's here of the Grado's and am sure that the better ones would be more equal to the 702's. These are stock ones. I also have a number of the Sennheisers 580, 600, 650's and some lower end ones.

 

There's something about the 702's that I prefer... but gang remember this is mostly personal taste.

 

I have a really upscale headphone amp (SET 71A/6072A/6754 dual mono) on my drum set. The Grado's are usually plugged into that... but it is basically a stress release setup. There the 600+650's really shine because it has a 300 ohm output tap on the custom transformers.

 

~~~~~~

 

Jon,

 

You can get information about the Proton on USBDACS.com and the Contact page has all the information for Europe.

 

Thanks

Gordon

 

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