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Are headphone amps pointless... - Page 3

post #31 of 158
JazzHands,

try to audition some if u are near any shops.

if u like it, try a hi-end one or several hi-end ones, and save towards that.

cause most of us here are on a upgrade route... it's cheaper to start and stop at the end.

post #32 of 158
I owned a Musical Fidelity X-can V3. And sold it after carefully listening to the built-in headphone amp of my Denon PRA-1100.
The X-can was brighter, with less bass. Waste of money.
post #33 of 158
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiemen View Post
I owned a Musical Fidelity X-can V3. And sold it after carefully listening to the built-in headphone amp of my Denon PRA-1100.
The X-can was brighter, with less bass. Waste of money.
I imagine the sound preference was quite subjective. Was it that the amp was poor, or that you just disliked the sound?
post #34 of 158
post #35 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by JazzHands View Post
I imagine the sound preference was quite subjective. Was it that the amp was poor, or that you just disliked the sound?
Of course it was subjective.
I bought the X-can when I had a Philips receiver, and the X-can sounded a lot better than the headphone socket of the receiver.
When I got the Denon, I hardly listened to the headphone socket, because I had the X-can. But when I started listening to the Denon with headphones, there was no single reason to keep the X-can.
Not that it is a bad amp, but the Denon is just as good, and maybe better with the bass. The Denon has a warmer, smoother sound.
The V3 had more treble, more details, but for me that was also more fatiguing.
post #36 of 158
Thread Starter 
Denon definitely has strengths with its bass performance, at least across the headphone, earphone and amp ranges I've owned/heard. What was the Philips amp? That must have been quite a while ago.
post #37 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by JazzHands View Post
Denon definitely has strengths with its bass performance, at least across the headphone, earphone and amp ranges I've owned/heard. What was the Philips amp? That must have been quite a while ago.
The Philips was one of the receivers they made in the nineties.
Can't remember the type.
Almost all my gear is second hand, hence old
post #38 of 158
Thread Starter 
It must be quite a while since Philips did hi-fi equipment. They're focussing a lot of TVs and streaming/portable audio these days. I'll have to look up some of that old equipment. Do you have any photos by any chance?
post #39 of 158
It was the Philips FR731.
post #40 of 158
Thread Starter 
Is this the one?
post #41 of 158
I recently got a pair of old RatShack Nova20 headphones, (still new in the box), and they sounded pretty good with my Onkyo A-8190 integrated amp. I have a bunch of amps and recievers around, so I tried these phones with all of them. Long story short, they worked best with a Kenwood KA-3500 integrated, an amp I never used much for lack of output power.
Okay, not the best phones or the best amps, but it illustrates the tendency of audio gear to mesh with other bits better than others.
post #42 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by JazzHands View Post
Is this the one?
Yes, that's the one with the relative worthless headphone amp inside.
post #43 of 158
To me, the issue is that the headphone jack on many amps is just an afterthought; there's no reason for the companies to put a huge amount of money into a headphone jack when it's not something they really market to their customers. I've noticed a huge difference between the output jacks on both my Harmon Kardon integrated (sold at this point) and Soundblaster card, and the dedicated headphone amps I have.

This may have something to do with the fact that all of my dedicated headphone amps are really high end; maybe it's comparing apples and oranges.
post #44 of 158
Quote:
To me, the issue is that the headphone jack on many amps is just an afterthought; there's no reason for the companies to put a huge amount of money into a headphone jack when it's not something they really market to their customers.
This has been the often-repeated conventional wisdom on Head-fi, but it happens to be wrong. Most vintage and modern receivers and integrated amps simply step down the output of their speaker amps through a nest of resistors in front of the headphone jack. This can create rather high-impedance output, possibly altering the frequency response of low impedance phones (though people report good results, even with Denons, so listen before you assume). It has no audible effect on reasonably high impedance phones like most Senns, AKGs and Beyers. In other words, the headphone jack is no more of an afterthought than the speaker terminals, as it shares all the same design, parts and assembly. A good amp should have good ouput at the headphone jack. A bad one will, of course, be bad.

Tim
post #45 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by tfarney View Post
This has been the often-repeated conventional wisdom on Head-fi, but it happens to be wrong. Most vintage and modern receivers and integrated amps simply step down the output of their speaker amps through a nest of resistors in front of the headphone jack. This can create rather high-impedance output, possibly altering the frequency response of low impedance phones (though people report good results, even with Denons, so listen before you assume). It has no audible effect on reasonably high impedance phones like most Senns, AKGs and Beyers. In other words, the headphone jack is no more of an afterthought than the speaker terminals, as it shares all the same design, parts and assembly. A good amp should have good ouput at the headphone jack. A bad one will, of course, be bad.

Tim
Agree completely. And would like to add that also pre-amplifiers can have a great built-in headphone amplifier.
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