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Tpjrs

Inexpensive headphone amp

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Good Day,

 

Anyone, could recommend a good inexpensive headphone amp to listen to when kids are asleep with WAF?

 

regards

 

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I don't have much experience with headphone amps but Schiit gets a lot of good reviews and a lot of options.

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Great topic and looking forward to input. My original plans of a small system in my den are now seeming unrealistic due to the proximity of the TV living room. This is the way Iam leaning for marital harmony.

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Very far from an expert on the subject.  To some degree, it depends on the headphones you want to drive.  I only dived in briefly, but the pool is deep and somewhat complicated at first.

 

I wound up with Schiit asgard 2, to run my HD650.  It sounds great to me but it is class A and runs very hot.  If I were to do it again, I'd probably just get the Jotunheim from Schiit.  I also use their Modi Multibit DAC which is pretty awesome.  I got it to run with the Asgard amp but I've kept it as a DAC between my PC and my integrated NAD to run my Forte II.  Sounds really good.

 

There are lots other choices, I really can't advise you specifically.  Figure out the headphones first, then pair it with the right amp (specs mostly, but sound pairings can matter too).

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To clarify a little bit, a key spec is the Headphone impedance, measured in Ohms.  

The lower the impedance (xxOhms) (or the higher the sensitivity xxxdB), the less power they need to sound good, or at least pretty decent.  

 

For example:

My HD650 have an impedance of 300 Ohms (with max input of 500mW)  This is in the middle-ish, on the high side.  So they really need a decent amp to drive them.  A phone or typical computer headphone out just won't do them justice.

 

ATH-M50x I bought for my wife to use with her Yamaha digital piano have impedance of 38 Ohms.  Meaning they will sound pretty good with almost any source.  Good enough for the piano, but also have a max input of 1600mW. They sound good out of a phone, out of my Mac, and sound really good from an amp.

 

Oppo PM-3 I bought for my daughter, specifically because they sound good without an amp.  They are planar, with a low impedance of 26 Ohms.  They can also take 500mW max, and sound very good with an amp or without.

 

So your headphones impedance will direct you to what acceptable amps you should be looking at.  

 

Sound signature is a whole different, complicated subject.  Just like speakers, headphones have a wide range of sound signature.  Some are warm, bright, neutral, etc.  Many are V shaped, meaning exaggerated bass and treb / recessed mids.  And of course, amps can have their own influence on the sound, with design and type (solid state, tube, hybrid) having an effect.

 

ANYWAY :D  You can get a decent budget amp for under $100, even an amp / dac combo.  Which is not a bad idea, depending on the source you're listening from.  

 

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Goal is to listen amp headphone from my CAV50 CJ, and must neutral as possible, to preserve the sound of Cj to the Beyers? is it possible?

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On 11/2/2017 at 3:02 PM, Tpjrs said:

Good Day,

 

Anyone, could recommend a good inexpensive headphone amp to listen to when kids are asleep with WAF?

 

regards

 

What is your price range?

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inexpensive, so, maybe below 500$ or around max 1000$.

 

After listening, many headphone, i prefer the closed one, and Beyer 770 is very good to me and play good with my audioquest on computer and ifun, but on CAV50, something for the saturday morning that will bring the CAV50 sound to and in my headphone...

 

i prefer live sound, live album compare to scalpel and loudness studio sound...

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2 hours ago, Tpjrs said:

 Beyer DT770 closed headphone, i have

Hmm.  The Beyer DT770 have different models/specs (different impedance ranging from 32 - 250 Ohms.)  Shouldn't matter much with your budget of 500 (or 1000).

 

2 hours ago, Tpjrs said:

Goal is to listen amp headphone from my CAV50 CJ, and must neutral as possible, to preserve the sound of Cj to the Beyers? is it possible?

This is the hard part.  You might have to try / buy / return to find the right sound for you.   There are good tube headphone amps, but I don't know if that will be a good idea, as it would be more likely to change the sound from your CAV50.  I think any amp will add it's own character to the sound.  I also wonder if the pre outs from the CAV50 will have the sound you want anyway?  Not sure how the signal is processed from in to out in that case.  Maybe consider a standalone tube headphone amp, not connected through your CJ?  You can try different tubes to find that special sound you want.  Though, be careful with that if your Beyers are the low impedance, most tube amps work better with higher impedance.

 

2 hours ago, Tpjrs said:

inexpensive, so, maybe below 500$ or around max 1000$.

 

After listening, many headphone, i prefer the closed one, and Beyer 770 is very good to me and play good with my audioquest on computer and ifun, but on CAV50, something for the saturday morning that will bring the CAV50 sound to and in my headphone...

 

i prefer live sound, live album compare to scalpel and loudness studio sound...

 

I suppose if I was looking for a neutral solid state amp for $500, I'd probably try the Burson Soloist Mk2.  If I wanted tubes...dunno there are several I'd think about.  Woo audio, some of the Schiit options are interesting.  Lots and lots out there with lots and lots of opinions on them.  

 

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Burson it is, order placed, will hear it from it soon, based on what i have read, if it does haft of it, it will do the job, at worst, there will be a steal deal on canuck for an amp.... ;)

 

Thank you guys

 

Btw, my Beyers have 80 Ohms,

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6 hours ago, Tpjrs said:

Burson it is, order placed, will hear it from it soon, based on what i have read, if it does haft of it, it will do the job, at worst, there will be a steal deal on canuck for an amp.... ;)

 

Thank you guys

 

Btw, my Beyers have 80 Ohms,

 

Ha nice choice.  It's known to be a great headphone amp.  Worse case it sounds great but not like your CJ.   Remember class A will run hot - don't be alarmed.  They tend to sound best when left on and really cooking.  That's how my Asgard 2 is.  I'm going to fire it up now, been a while since I enjoyed it.

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Burson will do nicely.

I use DT 990 Pro, it is open model, 250 ohms.

It sounds good plugged in most of audio equipment I have. Like the sound of DT 880 more (more flat freq curve), but the money for that was also higher.

However, when I plug my DT990 in smartphone, the degradation of sound is noticeable but not that much worse.

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Got the DT990, loved them, but not a fan of open model, so i go back to the 770, just perfect! Also good on my computer with an audioquest firefly

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On 2017-11-04 at 2:13 PM, bkevind said:

 

Ha nice choice.  It's known to be a great headphone amp.  Worse case it sounds great but not like your CJ.   Remember class A will run hot - don't be alarmed.  They tend to sound best when left on and really cooking.  That's how my Asgard 2 is.  I'm going to fire it up now, been a while since I enjoyed it.

Great recommendation, just loved this Burson with my CJ, very neutral and transparent, exactly what I needed, regards

 

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1 hour ago, Tpjrs said:

Great recommendation, just loved this Burson with my CJ, very neutral and transparent, exactly what I needed, regards

 

 

Awesome, glad it is working out.

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