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what is best headphone amplifier in the world?

post #1 of 78
Thread Starter 
regardless of price.
What would you consider the best headphone amplifier in the world?
would it be the headroom max amp?
post #2 of 78
A maxed out Singlepower SDS-XLR.
post #3 of 78
Thread Starter 
i see how about in terms of solid state dynamic headphone amplifiers?
post #4 of 78
Probably a Headroom Max or Balanced Dynamight.
post #5 of 78
There can be no one best headphone amp in the world for a numbers of reasons...

1: synergy involves the entire audio line, there for the amp is no "i" cause there is no "i" in team.

2: to many different tastes people have in audio

3: to many Different uses a head phone amp can have (pre,portable,solid state,etc) and those in them selves can be argued for many of moons.

4: way to many people that will say in this thread "oh its the oyehds amp" when that person has never even come within a mile range on that amp let alone heard one

5: take number 4 and put a few weeks of listening to it.

6: way to many agendas,fan boys,etc here to even get close to one top amp.

7: in a consumer market there can not be "best in the world" cause there is always something else either on the market or being made now not known to people that may beat that one best amp.

8: every amp has a bunch of little parts in them to make them work (I call the "thingy's") and those parts may not be perfectly matched, or something like to the whole thingy...thing

9: to answer your question of being the max? yes? no? no such thing...only opinions..

10: to answer the question as from my opinion?.....no way close is it...its good, even great but not the best.
post #6 of 78
Clearly the mighty Manley 300B preamp, father of all high-end headphone amps since 1996, when you were all living in the stone age "headamp-wise".
Stick in a pair of EAT 300B and hear what the Gods of music have to tell you. You guys made me laugh with your "balanced" hype especially when the genesis of some of these amps is just customer asking for more. Ask a manufacturer to sell you two times the electronics necessary...what he gonna do? Show me the specs and the signal path of these "killer" monsters...please.

You can't beat single ended direct heated triode amplification, you can't, and while i like better push-pull for my speakers, this is just because of power needs.
Headphones represent a perfect load for DHT. Simplicity at it's best. Shorter signal path possible...blah...blah...
post #7 of 78
Thread Starter 
BHD I understand your point that it is a subjective subject.
I thought the headroom max looks pretty good,
has the option of USB so it can run fully balanced signals out of a laptop and or balanced source like a meridian.
the crossfeed, gain and treble switches too. I thought that would be a plus. So it would give a bit more freedom in creating a sound that is preferable by the listener and higher chances of system synergy. It has options for balanced or unbalanced, so I guess it would fix those that don't want balanced or unbalanced.

So I thought the headroom max would be at least one of the best in terms of dynamic SS headphone amplifiers?

signal purity aside. Sometimes crossfeed just sounds better on a lot of material with headphones IMO.
post #8 of 78
XIN Supermacro-III. Tweaker's paradise, decent sound. Gain switch and crossfeed included. Bass boost and impedance switch included for those with "special needs."
post #9 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by PsychoZX
A maxed out Singlepower SDS-XLR.
I would also go with the SDS-XLR for tubes .... but even the single ended versions sound awesome. With unlimited funds the SFT Dynamight is the solid state unit I would buy.

Best on a budget ...... the SLAM PPX3 for tubes and the Headamp GS-1 for solid state. These two are exceptional with the AKG K 701.
post #10 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mastergill
Clearly the mighty Manley 300B preamp, father of all high-end headphone amps since 1996, when you were all living in the stone age "headamp-wise".
Stick in a pair of EAT 300B and hear what the Gods of music have to tell you. You guys made me laugh with your "balanced" hype especially when the genesis of some of these amps is just customer asking for more. Ask a manufacturer to sell you two times the electronics necessary...what he gonna do? Show me the specs and the signal path of these "killer" monsters...please.

You can't beat single ended direct heated triode amplification, you can't, and while i like better push-pull for my speakers, this is just because of power needs.
Headphones represent a perfect load for DHT. Simplicity at it's best. Shorter signal path possible...blah...blah...

I just hope I get to hear this amp someday!
post #11 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by sacd lover
I would also go with the SDS-XLR for tubes .... but even the single ended versions sound awesome. With unlimited funds the SFT Dynamight is the solid state unit I would buy.

Best on a budget ...... the SLAM PPX3 for tubes and the Headamp GS-1 for solid state. These two are exceptional with the AKG K 701.
Agreed, if price was no object for SS the SFT Dynamight would be #1 on the list!
post #12 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by RnB180
regardless of price.
What would you consider the best headphone amplifier in the world?
That's easy: the direct connection to a low-impedance source capable of delivering enough current on low impedances. Bel Canto DAC2, Benchmark DAC1 and some (or all?) Wadia CDPs and DACs are working examples. Provided that «best» means most accurate and neutral.
.
post #13 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by xand1x
Agreed, if price was no object for SS the SFT Dynamight would be #1 on the list!
Tried it, tested it and found it to be far from neutral and accurate.
.
post #14 of 78

Best solid state amp on the planet

I haven't heard the Headroom Balanced Max, but if it is anywhere close to the Headroom Blockhead that I auditioned for three days, the Balanced Max gets my vote.
post #15 of 78
Of the amps I've heard:

Dynamic:
tubed: Singlepower SDS-XLR
solid-state: Headroom Balanced Max

Electrostatic:
tubed: Singlepower ES1
solid state: Headamp KGSS
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