What headphone amp do you use?

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers' started by Oscar Stewart, Jun 2, 2017.

  1. Oscar Stewart

    Oscar Stewart Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm currently using a Feliks Audio Espressivo as my main headphone amp at home, but have a little Space Audio Plus DAC/Amp for use in the office.

    Getting a little DIY Objective2 amp soon too, the desktop version with inputs on the back instead of the front.

    DSC_7929.jpg
     
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  2. dalethorn

    dalethorn Obsessive Auditor

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    I've run through quite a few small amps, but now rely mostly on the AudioQuest DragonFly Red, or use the DF Red as DAC and Lehmann Traveler as amp. If I eventually decide on a desktop amp, I want it to be able to run off batteries, unless it's a valve amp with separate power supply.
     
  3. Oscar Stewart

    Oscar Stewart Administrator Staff Member

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    Battery or separate psu because of the noise floor?
     
  4. Oscar Stewart

    Oscar Stewart Administrator Staff Member

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  5. dalethorn

    dalethorn Obsessive Auditor

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    I can't say noise floor exactly because that suggests random noise instead of AC mains noise, which has a lot of sources and characteristics. Cleaning up or eliminating AC noise etc. doesn't have a predictable result, because some mains are already pretty clean and others may be quite dirty.
     
  6. dalethorn

    dalethorn Obsessive Auditor

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    There are some good points here - my interpretation of a couple: The first thing that came to mind was the acclaimed Woo WA7 'Fireflies' DAC/amp, with optional external power supply. While I'm generally in favor of external power supplies or battery operation, the pricing structure and design of the WA7 makes me uneasy, and I never warmed up to it. A manufacturer should not (in my opinion) offer the "good, better, best" options like Radio Shack did years ago, or AudioQuest does today with multiple grades of interconnect cables, each just slightly better than the next lower grade.

    A few years ago I bought a proprietary iPhone DAC, before the generic DACs we have today. The brand was HRT and the model was iStreamer, and I wrote a couple of Stereophile articles on the advantage of running from battery power. Results were variable of course, depending on the quality of the AC current.
     
  7. Oscar Stewart

    Oscar Stewart Administrator Staff Member

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    Well then surely using a power conditioner would be easier, as amps with separate power suppliers are less common than those with.
     
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  8. Oscar Stewart

    Oscar Stewart Administrator Staff Member

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    Got this lovely amp on loan, it is a beast!

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. matt.byrnes.5

    matt.byrnes.5 Casual Listener

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    I have an LTA MicroZOTL2 with the LPS and upgraded tubes. It's dead silent and just sounds so good. Still my favorite headphone amp I've heard. Nice when you find your own personal, perfect device.

    Sent from my LG-H918 using Tapatalk
     
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  10. Oscar Stewart

    Oscar Stewart Administrator Staff Member

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    Here's my new reference system as a benchmark for reviews (minus the headphones)

    JDS Labs OL DAC, HeadNHifi Desktop O2 Amp kit I have just finished building with 1x and 4x gain:

    [​IMG]
     
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