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Behringer MINIAMP AMP800 - a short review - Page 3

post #31 of 37
Interesting thread, didn't come across one like this in the recent months. And ados_cz, do post your impressions no matter how they are.
post #32 of 37

After reading this debate about Behringer AMP800, I decided to give this brand a try an bought the HA4700 model. At more than twice the price, I hoped it would be even better than the AMP800, especially because of the built-in toroidal power transformer. Unfortunately, the HA4700 is really not a good piece of audio component. Sure, it is VERY loud and can drive even my old Realistic PRO-30 orthodynamic to insanely high levels. But that's almost all it seems to be capable of : play loud...

 

The major problem I can't forgive from this amp is noise. There is a “hum” noise in the audio signal, clearly audible even when all the control levels are lowered and no cables connected. This noise is still audible when listening to quiet music at low to moderate level.

 

What surprises me a lot, is that my cheap Samsung HTiB receiver’s headphone output is doing MUCH better than the HA4700, with no noise at all and a really enjoyable musical sound. I'm talking here about a 300$ system that includes a upconverting DVD player, a multi-channel receiver with DD an DTS decoder, a tuner, a wireless amp for rear channels and 5 speakers plus a subwoofer. Isnt it supposed to be the lowest crap available when it comes to sound quality? It seems that Samsung has put an excellent headphone amp in this low range system.

 

Anyway, I was wondering if the Behringer AMP800 has any "hum" or noise like the HA4700. Maybe the AMP800 is better designed, but now I'm afraid of the Behringer brand. The only other multi-channel headphone amp I want to try is the PreSonus HP-4. If it fails my expectations, I will stick to my Samsung.

post #33 of 37

You guys have to consider the fact that some people who bash cheaper gear might have gotten a lemon, while those who say the same gear performs just great in their setup might not have gotten a lemon. I have both high-end and low-end gear in my studio, and if the low-end gear performs just fine and can keep up with my high-end gear, then it has found a place in my studio. I have a Behringer MiniAMP as well as two MiniMON's, and also two Samson C-Controls, and they all perform just fine--no unacceptable levels of distortion, coloration, noise, collapse of stereo imaging...etc. The only problem I've had is that the older C-Control I have has developed an intermittent problem with its power supply, but all the other units are just fine. I have tested all these units and A/B'd their how they contribute to the signal chain, and they really didn't do anything negative at all--in fact they didn't change the sound of my signal chain, even when compared to when I ran a purely digital signal straight out to my Klein + Hummel O 300D's.

 

 

 

post #34 of 37

I have had the AMP800 for a year now and find it very good.

An under appreciated virtue of this amp is its balanced inputs. Connected to my Cambridge Audio DAC3 or Isomagic the sound quality is unaffected and true to the original as played through my good home stereo equipment or other headphone amps such as from Fiio. I appreciate that you can buy more powerful headphone amps, but the AMP800 is extremely good value for the relative very low cost.

I find it indispensable for comparing several different headphones at the same time and it drives 300 ohm cans perfectly loudly, without distortion, in my setup.

I suspect that those who have big issues with the sound may either have a faulty product or Behringer may have altered some of the components since it was first launched.

post #35 of 37

I've been to the first Euro CanJam this fall and Philips used this amp to drive all the headphones in their booth. I was extremely surprised that a big company such as Philips that can allow itself to bring virtually any headphone amp in the world to demonstrate its products will use a 50$ amp that is being bashed all around the web for its sound quality. I think that makes this amp at least a mid-fi.

post #36 of 37

The telling phrase in the opening "review" was that mentioning "audiophile design".  I've owned lots of sound systems & even do mixer work for bands.  I am no stranger to mastering recordings and I generally find people who describe themselves as "audiophile" to be arrogant, self-deluded individuals who thrive on giving negative reviews of perfectly good equipment and extolling the great sound of vinyl-records.  (Listening to old scratchy records played back by a piece of rock moving a cantilever in a magnetic field is the defining cliche of "The audiophile" in my experienced & now-jaded opinion.)  Let's not forget that Bob Carver FOREVER put them in their place: http://carvermk2.com/docs/Carver%20Stereophile%20Challenge.pdf - but I digress.

I own the Behringer miniamp discussed and find it to be a well performing utility amp that quite adequately drives my power-capable Sony Studio headphones to a respectable volume with good sound characteristics & decent S/N ratios.   

For the price, it is unmatched in usability ... and those "pretty LEDs" actually provide a guide -telling that listening levels are within the sweet zone of the op-amps (because displays mean things).  I give it a thumbs up.

post #37 of 37

I actually bought the HA4700 as a distribution amp for vocal monitoring during live performance. The first one I got was a lemon - it had a constant hiss in one channel on the left side. I brought it back and got another one. The salesman did mention that he has seen this more with Behringer than other brands.

 

It is installed at a club for live performance and I have never used it for any other purpose - so while using it, there is music coming out of the FOH speakers, rear monitor speakers (for those who prefer speakers instead of head gear, and subwoofer.

 

It serves it purpose and it serves it well.

 

I have no comment on using it as a hi-fi listening device (I'm using a FiiO E6 at this moment).

 

It is loud, clear, powerful, and it is able to pump a stereo mix to 4 independent channels plus each channel can mix in their own channel if they want - invariably this is that persons individual performance and some of us like to make it louder in the monitor mix.

 

I hear no hum - and if there was hiss, I couldn't hear it since the house speakers are always on the same time.

 

When I've had the chance to compare a Behringer model to the box that inspired it, I invariably favor the original inspiration. But also at the same time, the inspiration model costs 2x-5x more - but at the same time, the performance of the Behringer is not 2x-5x worse than the inspiration - it is close - and when price is an object, I'll opt for the Behringer. 

 

For the sound system at the club, the patrons do not care about ultimate hi-fi sound. They are usually more interested in something else than just the music playing at the club.

 

But for my own recording purposes outside of the club, I have chosen the inspiration models rather than Behringer (vocal strip, mixer, enhancer, cans, microphones). However, this is also not for hi-fi listening. 

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