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need help picking amp please

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
hi there -

i find myself in the enviable position of being able to get just about any widely available amp i could ask for, but i don't know which one will be best for my needs. i thought maybe you guys could help.

i have the senn hd25sp now, and will shortly be receiving the hd600. the amp would primarily be for the 600s. if the wallet can handle it, i would also like to get some etys, but that wouldn't be for at least another year. [wallet breathes a sigh of relief]

anyway, i have a few special needs. i move around a lot, meaning that whatever amp i get needs to be able to be run on 110v or 240v outlet without killing the quality. i don't mind getting a converter, but if for instance i get an amp with kick ass power supply, i don't want it to be voltage specific.

for the same reason, i'm swaying away from tube amps because i need something that's not likely to break when i take it from country to country. i get the impression that a solid state amp would be much more durable.

the other issue is that i can't audition any amps at all because of where i live. bummer. so i have to hope for the best, and be happy with what i get.

i've been looking at the creek obh11 and obh11se, and while they seemed ideal, i keep reading reviews that say they are better suited to grados [which i will never own - dunno what it is, they just don't appeal to me - nothing against them though] than senns.

i listen to all sorts of music, and in the changer right now i have ben harper, d12, travis, saint germaine, pink floyd, cream, moby, morcheeba, nightmares on wax, miles davis, philip glass, etc... you get my drift. it's a pretty wide range.

as for the sound i like, i think i would tend towards a smoother, more bass-heavy sound than anything with shrill highs. i not talking nothing but subs here, but i do like nice strong bass, as long as its not muddy and distorted. nothing ruins music like muddy bass.

the only other snag i can think of is that i don't have any particularly good source. [yet] i have a reasonably good yamaha mini-system, a few discmen [though none with great sound], a pc with gametheater xp and klipsch promedias, and a sony mzr900 minidic recorder. for the moment, those are the possible sources, and none seems good enough to do this equipment justice. i just have to deal with that though, because my wallet and lifestyle preclude getting a really nice home CD player.

can anyone help me please? i'd appreciate it...

post #2 of 30
"just about any widely available amp i could ask for"

Ooh, that's easy, the Max
post #3 of 30
or the earmax pro
post #4 of 30
Max? pah, try, blockhead!

Or maybe a Holmes Powell DCT-2 will do you justice...
post #5 of 30


Lucien, I think that the amp that most fit your needs is the Headroom Cosmic, I'ts portable, you can use it with batteries or with the regulated power supply, It has the premium module, and I'm almost sure you can run them in 110 volts and 220 volts too. The new version of this powerful amp has 3 levels of gain (for different impedance headphones), three levels of Crossfeed (It allows you to hear the music in your brain, not in your ears.....) and three levels of filter (no highs-medium highs-full highs).....
Check it out at www.headphone.com
post #6 of 30
the new Headroom Cosmic sounds like a good choice too being its a bit less costly than the Max but still provides top quality sound and it can be moved around easily and is for portable use as well...
Happy hunting
post #7 of 30
Yup, either the Cosmic (for truly portable use) or the Max. The Blockhead would require a modified 600, which I don't believe he is getting.

Even though you say you could get any amp, I bet you still have a budget. Otherwise I'd be saying Stax Omega II!

And shame on you people who suggested tube amps, he specifically said NO tube amps!
post #8 of 30
Oh yeah, and this thread should be in Electronics & Accessories, not Headphone Reviews...
post #9 of 30
Yup, I just moved it to E&A.

About tube amps: the Earmax Pro is supposed to be very durable and is very small. If the sound you're looking for is smooth, warm, and certainly not bass-deficient, perhaps it's the right choice. Several members own or have owned the Earmax Pro; if you look around, I'm sure they'll be able to help you out more than I can.

The Cosmic is a good choice too.

But if you're looking for something in the price range of the Creek OBH-11, the two above suggestions, running at about $700 each, would probably break the bank.
post #10 of 30
If budget permits, I would also recommend the Max.

I'm not sure if the Cosmic has a user switchable power supply, but if it does I'd recommend it too.

The Max retails for US$1777.00, and I think the Cosmic retails for about a thousand less.

I have the Max. I also want a Cosmic, and will likely audition one at some point.
post #11 of 30
guys, c'mon 700$ for an amp while he can't afford a decent cdp?

if you can spend 700$ tho, I'd say get a Corda and a cdp like a Marantz CD6000-OSE.
post #12 of 30
Originally posted by Braver
guys, c'mon 700$ for an amp while he can't afford a decent cdp?
Good point, Braver. Just re-read his message.

I'd suggest a Creek OBH-11 and a better source component than you've currently got, lucien (Denon DCM-370 for ~$200 to $250; Marantz 6000 OSE for I think around $400; Sony SCD-C333ES for ~$550).
post #13 of 30
three levels of Crossfeed
I could be wrong, but I don't think any HeadRoom amps have three levels of crossfeed. I believe the new line all have crossfee on/off, with three levels of filter and gain.
post #14 of 30
Originally posted by MacDEF

I could be wrong, but I don't think any HeadRoom amps have three levels of crossfeed. I believe the new line all have crossfee on/off, with three levels of filter and gain.

To the best of my knowledge, MacDEF, you're correct. You have a new Max, so I'm guessing yours also has the three-position gain and filter, but only two-position crossfeed (on and off).
post #15 of 30
Thread Starter 
hi - thanks for all your feedback...

he he. it seems i underestimated the potential cost of an amp. not ANY amp around then ... limit is probably around $400 or $500-ish.

the catch though is that the guy buying it for me [hence having a large amp budget and no decent source] is overseas and won't get something off the internet. i could argue with him about it, but then again he's buying me an amp, so i'll take what i can have and be happy with it, right??

is the cosmic available retail at all? i'm going to need to be able to walk into a store and walk out with an amp. the cosmic sounds pretty good, but i've never seen it available anywhere offline.

so barring that, i'm leaning towards going for the creek amp and saving myself for a marantz cdp. does that sound like the right approach guys? is there a huge difference between the obh11 and the obh11se?

also, if you CAN get the cosmic retail in the US or Singapore, please tell me where, and i'll see if i can get one of those. so much praise has to count for something.

again, thanks for your feedback.
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