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Headroom amps: too pricey?

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 
I was looking at the headroom amps and was trying to see the internal circuitry from the pics provided. I really liked the internal wiring and could tell that quality craftsmanship was put into them. But then I started to ask myself: why is a desktop SS amp 1000+ $?? The passive components are not of excessively good quality, and the opamps are MAX 10$ apiece.
Why buy this over any other 400$ SS amp out there?

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post #2 of 55
@ OP's topic question: Don't know. Never heard one myself. I've only ever owned a bithead from them. Service was pretty good, build quality seemed solid to me. Pricing dropping soon after (for 2006 model) was probably my bad luck...I wasn't checking head-fi at the time, and it happens with electronics.

It's all preference..if they have the sound you like, then it could be worth the money. The answers a bit different for everyone, try to hear one at a meet or something.
post #3 of 55
I haven't heard them myself, but a lot of people love their desktop Balanced setup
post #4 of 55
Quote:
why is a desktop SS amp 1000+ $?? The passive components are not of excessively good quality, and the opamps are MAX 10$ apiece.
Wrong on both counts.
post #5 of 55
little earbuds even worth more and you can't tell whats inside sometimes.
post #6 of 55
I really enjoy my Headroom Millett Hybrid. Its like a swiss army knife of amps.

I really like the simple look to Headroom...the gain and crossfeed switches are always nice.

It sounds great, since i have a hybrid, i can swap tubes to my liking.

Also its great build quality, Headroom is a company that should be around for a while in case you need repair. Tyll Hertsen is like one of the kewlest guys in this hobby also.

Now, are they overpriced? I mean, not terribly ... they right around the area with mid-high end amps. Some items they have are certainly a bit overpriced...like the headphone stands and the Desktop Power supply.
post #7 of 55
You are right, there are many cheaper alternatives out there, including DIY. But:

First, you will be buying a product from a serious company with an outstanding customer service. The amps sound good, the workmanship is excellent. There is no delays or BS with this company. This is not a situation were you buy a product and 6 months down the road they will be obsolete because there is a new iteration of the item. Headroom has a established product line. Ultimately, the choice is yours.

The DIY community is a very valuable asset that keeps providing great amplifiers, (and maybe Tyll could shime in here,) and also keeps manufactures under a pseudo "evolutionary pressure" to evolve along with new designs as well. This is a very good thing to everyone. But again in terms of production costs and profit margins, it is very difficult to reconcile the two spheres. more on this below...

Second, and more financially oriented note, running a company that has full time employees, with benefits, etc, involves having a profit margin that can accommodate for such a set up. Then there may be some advertisements costs involved as well.
post #8 of 55
I asked something similar a while ago (about headphone amps in general) then wished I didn't. Beware.

Apparently the other motto over at HeadRoom is "Too much? Don't buy it."
Not to take it out of context, you'll find Mr. Hertsens' original post on this page. This was about the $499 desktop stand

I guess it's ultimately up to you to compare and decide if HeadRoom amps are worth the price. So far, I couldn't afford their products.
post #9 of 55
Beware? Beware what? This is a good question to ask!

Let your own ears be the final guide. Try one that's within your budget, if you don't like it, no harm, no fowl. If you like it, you're done!

Happy listening!
post #10 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by HighLife View Post
I really enjoy my Headroom Millett Hybrid. Its like a swiss army knife of amps.
Agreed, HighLife!



The prices do seem a touch high to me, but they seem to be right before the point you'd start looking elsewhere for sure for similar equipment.

That being said, I'm listening to a HR Micro DAC and HR Millett right now, and I don't sweat the 50+ dolars for each unit that I may have felt had more to do with the "profit margins" than the product.

The initial trigger-pull may sting, but you'll get over it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwkarth View Post

Let your own ears be the final guide. Try one that's within your budget, if you don't like it, no harm, no fowl. If you like it, you're done!
Excellent point! The company selling the product is not responsible for you over-reaching within your budget. A good company will have something pleasing in any budget. A not-so-good company will be a bit more of a one-hit-wonder.

(And here are the o-NEE-ders!)
post #11 of 55
It's not all just about parts; over engineered products in this hobby are overpriced, also being able to provide stellar support & adequate manufacturing capacity also translates into higher prices.
post #12 of 55
a1joe507 " A good company will have something pleasing in any budget. A not-so-good company will be a bit more of a one-hit-wonder. "

Nope, not at all. Products in all categories strongly suggest...
1) desperate to get their hands on your money
2) jack-of-all-trades and master of none
3) happy to sell you a cheap product just to 'hook you in'

I know some people can't see these realities.

The worst companies are those that deliberately structure their range to encourage the hard-of-thinking to spend and then spend more. Examples are Naim (with thier hi-fi power supply hierarchy), Woo (with their 62% premium for a few capacitors 'upgrade' on the WA6), and SinglePower (... any experienced person can clearly see that their whole marketing startegy is to hook in the 'tweaky' upgrader and then milk them dry). It stuns me that people keep falling for it. Oh well.
post #13 of 55
Gosh, you seem pretty well educated - and cynical - for someone with such low post count.

I tend to disagree with much of what you said. It does not IMHO mean anything bad at all if a company has products in many, most, or even all categories. It simply means that the company has made the decision to serve the market in general, and not just some segment of it. I don't think this necessarily means jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none in the case of amps, as the market for amps in and of itself is a niche. And, BTW, what is wrong with a company having an entry-level product, or for that matter wanting to get their hands on your money. This is a capitalist system and companies ARE in business to turn a profit...right?

Oh, and let's not be too quick to slander our fellow forum members as "(unable to) see the(se) realities", "hard of thinking" and so on. I'd expect someone to have more than 16 posts to be thinking that highly of himself.
post #14 of 55
Look at the number of posts and look at the join dates of the members complaining.

Maybe you're in the wrong hobby? Maybe you’ve never heard the items you are questioning? Maybe you don’t understand business? Maybe you don’t understand what it takes to create a market that didn’t really exist before companies like Headroom took the risk to create and expand the market. Maybe you don’t appreciate the number of hours and years Tyll worked to help us- the members of Head-Fi.

Ever hear of the Headroom World Tour? Tyll took the time to drive some of the finest gear we’ve ever seen around to let us listen to it- for free. The man helped create the market you now take for granted.

It’s easy to look at a product and figure out how to copy it- how about you creating something amazing from scratch? Investing your own money, time and life into marketing it? Ever take a major financial risk? Tyll and the others have. They’ve put their money on the line. They’ve given more to this community than you’ll ever know or be able to appreciate.


Now back to our regularly scheduled complaints……

Mitch
post #15 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by HighLife View Post
I really enjoy my Headroom Millett Hybrid. Its like a swiss army knife of amps.

I really like the simple look to Headroom...the gain and crossfeed switches are always nice.

It sounds great, since i have a hybrid, i can swap tubes to my liking.

The Headroom Millett is on my shortlist for my next amp.

Has anyone compared the Millett hybrid to the pure SS Headroom Amp?
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