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Headphone Amplifiers

Rope

Well-Known Member
Famous
For those who may be in the market, or just interested in someone's experience with many headphone amplifiers, tube and hybrid, (Skylab, well read and respected) these results may answer questions and lead you down the right path.

:text-link:

Rope
 

PaulyT

Behind the Curtain
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Superstar
Yeah, that review is how I got to the Jade that I still use and am very happy with. That was before the Schitt line came out...
 

Rope

Well-Known Member
Famous
PaulyT said:
Yeah, that review is how I got to the Jade that I still use and am very happy with. That was before the Schitt line came out...

Personally, I think it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to recommend any HP amplifier, since the variables are near endless, the only constant being the HP amplifier itself. Add to that, differing headphones, source, tubes and ears (personal preference), and you present a myriad of variables.

Possibly the best advice in selecting a HP amplifier, is to take your headphones and media to a Head-fi meet, and proceed to audition HP amplifiers until you find the one that tickles your fancy.

Rope
 

PaulyT

Behind the Curtain
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Sure. I spent endless time fiddling with my tube amp, swapping tubes, and then swapping headphones... I'm happy with how it turned out, but it was a big time suck. A review like skylab's helps you pick a good starting point, with some guess as to bang-for-the-buck in whatever price range you're looking at.
 

Rope

Well-Known Member
Famous
Everyone should send Skylab $20.00 for research and time, since he has done the largest portion of leg work.

I attempt to match the best sounding tube to a particular headphone, since it seems, to my ears anyway, that different tubes add SQ attributes to a specific HP. For example, DM-5000's doesn't display the upper frequency sibelance when utilizing the Mullard IEC 6DJ8 ECC88 (warmer sounding tube) vs the Lorenz PDJ8 PCC88, which compliment the laid back sound of the HiFiMan HE-500's present.

I would really like to purchase a pair of Siemens & Halske CCa gray plates, but at the current asking price (NOS) I'm going to roll a bank before that comes to fruition.

Rope
 

PaulyT

Behind the Curtain
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Superstar
I didn't know you were so into headphone gear. That's great! I had the HiFiMan HE5 for a while, liked it, but was never 100% satisfied as it had a bit of a fatiguing high end - when paired with the EF5 amp; my Jade wasn't powerful enough to drive the HE5. Would love to hear some of the newer HiFiMan stuff someday...
 

GreatDane

Well-Known Member
I wish I had Rob's budget for my HP hobby. He's helped me in the past when I was a green Head-Fier. Respect.
 

Rope

Well-Known Member
Famous
I know very little of his budget, I do know many headphone manufacturer's send their HP products for him to review. If Skylab hasn't been around the block twice, no one has been around the block once.

Rope
 

Rope

Well-Known Member
Famous
PaulyT said:
I didn't know you were so into headphone gear. That's great! I had the HiFiMan HE5 for a while, liked it, but was never 100% satisfied as it had a bit of a fatiguing high end - when paired with the EF5 amp; my Jade wasn't powerful enough to drive the HE5. Would love to hear some of the newer HiFiMan stuff someday...

I really like the HP gig, and participated quite regularly at Head-Fi up until Kwkarth and I butted heads over a product recommendation I made, which contradicted the terribly expensive recommendation he had made. He proceeded to acuse me of bating him and played his Admin trump card. Haven't logged in since.

The HE-500's are a "laid back" version of the HE-6, easier to drive, have a huge sound stage and are really fun to listen to. Not the most accurate phone out there with crap ear cushions, much like the rest of the HE series. Between the Denon's, HiFiMan, AKG's and Senns, I've got a pretty fair representation of headphone sounds.

Rope
 
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