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which AMP would you buy for $1,000?

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
The unsophisticated nature of this question may offend many of you readers, but here goes anyway ....

In the $1,000 price range, what is your favorite amp? I have heard a little bit about the MicroZOTL and the Maxed Out Home.

Are there other headphone amp manufacturers in this price range? The reason I picked $1000 is because I heard there is a noticable leap in quality from the $400-$500 amps when you start shelling out close to $1000. Anything much beyond that is just way too expensive for me. The amp should be able to present anything from classical to hard rock with no problem.

post #2 of 34
maybe an EarMax Pro (or whatevr it's called, the little tube amp with the cute looks ) dunno how it sounds, but it looks pretty good

or maybe a Corda. maybe not quite as good as a $1000 amp, but probably close enough. and I like the idea of adjustable crossfeed and the zero-hassle of ss amps.
post #3 of 34
The earmax pro is quite tubey and great for Sennheisers. Personally I would go with a ZOTL for reasons I am not sure about... and crossfeed does not matter for me since I do not seem to like it...
post #4 of 34
I would recommend ZOTL all the way.
post #5 of 34
If I wanted the sweetest-looking amp (w/ good sound as well), I'd go for an Earmax Pro. If I wanted a cleaner-sounding tube amp, definitely the MicroZotl. If I wanted a great solid-state amp, I'd grab the Sugden Headmaster.
post #6 of 34
Keep an eye out for old Melos Sha-1s. That's the best way to break the $1000 barrier without actually paying for it. And yes, there is definitely a tremendous difference once you break that price barrier. In fact, there's still a big difference between $700-800 amps compared to the $1000+ ones. My RKV Mark II utterly smokes the McCormack MID.
post #7 of 34
Earmax Pro is the best I've heard at that price.
post #8 of 34
check out this for the micro-ZOTL : http://www.davidberning.com/microzotl.htm

check out this for the Earmax Pro :

and if you are quick, you can get a Melos SHA-1 for a mere $450, if you act fast from right here:
Melos SHA-1 $450

you get also get the mighty The RKV - MARK III which is the next step up from what Verigo-1 has for $1290.00 brand new, right here :
post #9 of 34
If I wanted to spend $1000 on a headphone amp, I'd buy the Maxed Out Home, and maybe the Earmax Pro for occasionally listening to tubes. And that is exactly what I bought. If I had to have just one of them it would be the MO Home. (Haven't heard the ZOTL.)

post #10 of 34
I'd be torn. My choices would be (in no particular order):
  • HeadRoom Cosmic -- getting something that approximates the sound/performance of my Max, but is portable, would be very compelling.
  • Berning MicroZOTL -- I've never heard it, but it is well-reviewed.
  • Wheatfield HA-2 -- I've never heard this one either, but it strikes me as an amp that might be "tubey".
post #11 of 34
If you want to go the tube route I highly recommend the MicroZOTL. I feel that it handily beats the Earmax Pro, Melos SHA-1 and the RKV. I have had the chance to listen to all of them and I strongly recommend the MicroZOTL.
post #12 of 34
HA-2, if you like tubes. It's tubey.
post #13 of 34
Thread Starter 
thanks for all your replies!

zotl is getting a lot of votes here.
I wish I had a way to hear amps with and without crossfeed, but nobody around here has these amps. From what I have heard about it, I don't think I would *require* crossfeed.

I think I've narrowed this down to maxed out vs. microzotl. hmmm.
post #14 of 34
AudioValve RKV -- I voted with my wallet -- bought one, and never looked back.
post #15 of 34
I second the Melos SHA-1. Available for $425 and sounds really great... if it has synergy with your headphones.
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