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REVIEW Summary/Index: 22 Solid State Home Headphone Amps  

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 

Again, at the request of several people, I have put together an index of my reviews of a number of solid state home headphone amps. I did not plan to do this, but have had so many requests to put together such an index that I decided to go ahead.

In this case I am NOT going to rank the amps. I simply wrote them over too long a period of time, and without enough of a common reference point, to make a ranking fair or reasonable, IMO. So please read the reviews, and draw your own conclusions.

> Audio-GD Phoenix: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...lifier-445766/

> ALO Audio Amphora: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...ne-amp-423217/

> Ray Samuels Audio Apache: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...preamp-239564/


> Blossom BLO-0299: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/501214/review-blossom-blo-0299-balanced-solid-state-headphone-amplifier

> Blue Circle Audio SBH: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...ne-amp-248158/

> Blue Circle AUdio Hat Peed Thingee: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...ne-amp-426621/

> Beta 22: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f113/r...us-dac-344299/

> Meier Opera, Cantate, Aria, Arietta: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...mpared-259065/


> Meier Audio Concerto: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/471583/review-meier-audio-concerto-headphone-amp

> Einar Sound VC-01i: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...ne-amp-450930/

> Purity Audio KICAS / Caliente: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...-kicas-329643/

> Graham Slee Solo SRG w/PSU1: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/5795739-post70.html

> Audio-gd C-2C: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...lifier-417975/

> KingRex Headquarters HQ-1: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...preamp-448483/

> Travagans White, Green, Red: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...4-08-a-273299/

> AV123 X-Head: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...lifier-431247/

> Graham Slee Beta Novo: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/4976167-post46.html

> Firestone Audio iCute: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...lifier-319381/

Edited by Skylab - 8/23/10 at 6:14am
post #2 of 57
Great, thanks again.
I love reading your reviews, your posting is much appreciated
post #3 of 57
Thank you so much Skylab this is very usefull. I only wish you would rank them to your best of ability, offcourse I read your post where you say its been too long of a time, but it would still be usefull if only a indication of which ones are good and for what money . Offcourse if you decide not to, I'm still very gratefull for your post .
post #4 of 57
You're awesome at this Skylab. Prices pretty please?
post #5 of 57
Another hit! Appreciated....
post #6 of 57
So Skylab, would you live with an Arietta or a Novo, given the choice.
post #7 of 57
Thread Starter 
I would pick the Arietta, given the choice of the two.
post #8 of 57
Thanks for this Skylab! You probably halve the need for all our noob posts with your helpful reviews.
post #9 of 57
Thank you sky! I promise not to hound you with rankings ;-)
post #10 of 57

Corda Arietta Issues

Skylab, regarding your review of the entire Meier-Audio headphone amp range, you describe the Arietta's sound as transparent, neutral, a bit on the warm side.

However my own experience with this amp and my headphones (ATH-AD700 / AKG K271 / Porta Pro / and some others) is that it sounds bright and thin to a degree that I can barely stand. As this hasn't changed a bit after a lengthy burnin-period, it looks like I got one Arietta on sale...

Do you have any idea why our impressions could be so different? Is the amp a bad partner to my 'phones? Could it be a faulty device?
I'd just like you opinion on this before I get rid of it...

Thanks and your reviews are much appreciated!
post #11 of 57
Thread Starter 
I can't really comment because I have not heard ATH-AD700, and I did not like the AKG K271 at all (I found it bright and thin )

post #12 of 57
Very useful. Thanks...I've actually tagged this page in my browser...
post #13 of 57

Could you possibly compare the EC/SS with the KICAS Caliente, and the Graham Slee Novo with the KICAS Caliente? With particular regard to sound signature and sound stage. Also, which do you think would pair best with a bass-lean phone, like the AD2000?

post #14 of 57
Thread Starter 
I cannot compare the EC/SS - never heard it. But the Caliente is definitely a better amp for a bass-lean headphone than the GS Novo, which itself is a little lean.
post #15 of 57
Generally speaking, is it even worth it to get a home-sized headphone amp, if I only have an mp3 player as a source? And if there are amps I can use, about how much can I spend before the mp3 player itself becomes the limiting factor? Thanks for this handy thread, Skylab, I've been wondering about what I'm missing with just a portable setup...
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