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PROPERLY Deciding On Amp/DAC

post #1 of 94
Thread Starter 
SERIOUSLY! This stuff makes so much more SENSE now! Incredible!

Anyway, I could use a hand in deciding on an amp (or not!) and DAC (probably need an upgrade) for my Sennheiser HD-650s (maybe 800s one day) and Grado SR225is (Maybe the HF-2 at a later date). As with everyone else, I'm looking for an amp that will sufficiently drive the Senns and Grados for the lowest price possible. Knowing that most SS amps are exactly the same; you guys would be great for this recommendation. A good-looking amp is also a plus, if the price is right!

Same thing with a good DAC, since most of those are the same, too.

Thanks! And, as usual, be specific as to WHY you picked which amp. I want to LEARN something from this process!
post #2 of 94
I have been repeating this so many times...

You have as a very cheap contender, for low impedance HPs, the SM Pro Audio XPH4. Only shipping in the states (not for Europe any more... And it is damn cheap $39)

SM Pro Audio XPH4 4 Channel Headphone Amp

Second on the list you have the Samson S·Amp. Good for medium and high impedance cans. It costs $55 on Amazon

Then there are also other amps that will do the job no problemo, which are the Behringher MA400, BEHRINGER AMP 800, ...

Pumping prices you have the Presonus HP4, great for high impedance cans and with a lot of power to be used even as a pre-amplifier.

Amazon.com: PreSonus HP4 4-Channel Compact Headphone Amplifier: Musical Instruments

Finally not to repeat everything you have the following self-quotation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullseye View Post
Hi again,

Well I had to revive this thread because searching for more low cost headphone amps I found one which can't compete with the price of the S·Amp, but has some interesting specs. In the end maybe (most likely) it sounds the same as the S·Amp, but it has different specs and that is where I am going.

The amp I am talking about is the Musical Fidelity V-Can.

Its has this specs:


Link: http://www.musicalfidelity.com/manua...n_manual_1.pdf

The interesting part of this is the output impedance of 5Ω
The total harmonic distortion is low, but even if it were <0.05 or more it would be ok. What do you think about the S/N?

The MSRP price is $199. Almost 4x the price of the S·Amp. However it can be found for $160 (shipping included to my place) (still around 3x the price of the S·Amp)

Another amp I have found is the Pro-Ject Headbox II:
These are the specs:


Link: http://www.project-audio.com/inhalt/...al_headbox.pdf

This amp seems to allow headphones with impedances higher than 30 Ohm

Price is a bit more than the V-CAN: ~$170 (Much more than the S·Amp)

Finally the Creek OBH-11

Specs:


Link: http://www.creekaudio.com/products/leaflets/obh11.pdf

Price: ~$220 The priciest. This one also has a variable headphone output impedance.

Why am I putting all of these amps here? Well my intention was mainly to mention the V-can due to its specs and its very low output impedance. The others just for reference, and due to their multi purpose with different headphone impedances.

So far I still feel the S·Amp will be the best buy. For the price you just can't go wrong. But for people who use low impedance HPs, the V-Can, even if pricier than the S·Amp might be a good amp.

What do you guys think? (Mainly directed to Royalcrown?

Edit: Forgot about one last thing. It is still unbelievable how much the price sky rockets as soon as "Hi-Fi" is mentioned... Luckily we also have the word Pro that sometimes it is well used
Hope there is enough info here.Then you can keep searching other type of Pro amplifiers. Some of them with one output jack, the majority with 4.

Feel free to ask
post #3 of 94
Here is my impersonation of "intoart"

You don't need a dedicated amp at all, there are people who continue to insist on recommending them despite the fact that vastly better phones are available for a lot less money. For example, a K701 powered by a $500 amp does not sound as good as an AD700 powered by an ipod. People can't even successfully ABX when the headphones were put on backwards so you are wrong to have an HD-650 sell it to purchase one of these five fine dac/amps, they have all the same sound quality as the Orpheus system but with 1/200th the weight, 1/100th the cost, and is portable and doesn't need to be connected to the wall to play.



All colors are designed to be the best color, and they are scientifically proven to be the best dac/amps in the world.
post #4 of 94
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post
Here is my impersonation of "intoart"

You don't need a dedicated amp at all, there are people who continue to insist on recommending them despite the fact that vastly better phones are available for a lot less money. For example, a K701 powered by a $500 amp does not sound as good as an AD700 powered by an ipod. People can't even successfully ABX when the headphones were put on backwards so you are wrong to have an HD-650 sell it to purchase one of these five fine dac/amps, they have all the same sound quality as the Orpheus system but with 1/200th the weight, 1/100th the cost, and is portable and doesn't need to be connected to the wall to play.



All colors are designed to be the best color, and they are scientifically proven to be the best dac/amps in the world.
Back under the bridge, you!
post #5 of 94
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullseye View Post
I have been repeating this so many times...

You have as a very cheap contender, for low impedance HPs, the SM Pro Audio XPH4. Only shipping in the states (not for Europe any more... And it is damn cheap $39)

SM Pro Audio XPH4 4 Channel Headphone Amp

Second on the list you have the Samson S·Amp. Good for medium and high impedance cans. It costs $55 on Amazon

Then there are also other amps that will do the job no problemo, which are the Behringher MA400, BEHRINGER AMP 800, ...

Pumping prices you have the Presonus HP4, great for high impedance cans and with a lot of power to be used even as a pre-amplifier.

Amazon.com: PreSonus HP4 4-Channel Compact Headphone Amplifier: Musical Instruments

Finally not to repeat everything you have the following self-quotation



Hope there is enough info here.Then you can keep searching other type of Pro amplifiers. Some of them with one output jack, the majority with 4.

Feel free to ask
GREAT GOOGLY-MOOGLY, MAN! Recommendations are great; really like that Behringger 800! But, what I should has asked more specifically for are the specs I should keep my eyes open for. How do I calculate what is the proper amount of power for the HD650s, SR225is, etc.?
post #6 of 94
Stupid trolling... He is so ignorant he thinks he's funny...
post #7 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullseye View Post
Stupid trolling... He is so ignorant he thinks he's funny...
If he keeps it up he'll step over the line sooner or later. They always do.
post #8 of 94
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ph0rk View Post
If he keeps it up he'll step over the line sooner or later. They always do.
Is that what happened to BlueEyez?
post #9 of 94
I wouldn't worry about power too much. Most dedicated headphone amps deliver WAY more power than is necessary. Look for a low output impedance (for your Grados, if your output impedance isn't below your HP's impedance, you're going to get frequency response alterations), sturdy build quality, and the features you need. Do you need a monitor bypass? Specific connectivity? the XPH4 listed above is a great choice for your needs. Pro headphone amps tend to have a high output impedance (for reasons I don't quite understand), but the XPH4 is notable for its 10 ohm output impedance, which is low enough to drive just about any pair of headphones.
post #10 of 94
You think I'm being funny? Apple is supreme here.

post #11 of 94
post #12 of 94
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by royalcrown View Post
I wouldn't worry about power too much. Most dedicated headphone amps deliver WAY more power than is necessary. Look for a low output impedance (for your Grados, if your output impedance isn't below your HP's impedance, you're going to get frequency response alterations), sturdy build quality, and the features you need. Do you need a monitor bypass? Specific connectivity? the XPH4 listed above is a great choice for your needs. Pro headphone amps tend to have a high output impedance (for reasons I don't quite understand), but the XPH4 is notable for its 10 ohm output impedance, which is low enough to drive just about any pair of headphones.
Is a low output impedance all that really matters? Voltage or current don't make a difference? Right now, I'm trying to UNDERSTAND everything before diving in on a purchase. How much of those will I need to properly drive the 650s; I listen to them a lot more than the Grados, so they're the priority...
post #13 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by TStewart422 View Post
Is a low output impedance all that really matters? Voltage or current don't make a difference? Right now, I'm trying to UNDERSTAND everything before diving in on a purchase. How much of those will I need to properly drive the 650s; I listen to them a lot more than the Grados, so they're the priority...
The thing about voltage and current requirements is that they really don't matter all that much unless you're running off of battery power.

Is a headphone amp needed? - Hydrogenaudio Forums

In this instance, voltage swing was limited and clipping occurred. That's pretty much all you have to look out for (aside from FR alterations caused by impedance mismatches) with high impedance headphones. Also note that the test I linked to was done with very dynamic music at extremely loud levels. Voltage swing limits your volume, and if you listen to music at average to below average levels (which you should do anyway to save your hearing) you'll probably only need about 2V RMS, and with a 16V+ supply you can probably have around 4V RMS, which is more than enough to drive most any headphone into oblivion.
post #14 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by TStewart422 View Post
GREAT GOOGLY-MOOGLY, MAN! Recommendations are great; really like that Behringger 800! But, what I should has asked more specifically for are the specs I should keep my eyes open for. How do I calculate what is the proper amount of power for the HD650s, SR225is, etc.?
You need not worry about the amount of power... (follow royalcrown...)

Well funny to see I was writing the same as him, but my attention got diverted into an amp I am looking at.

The amp itself is the Millennium HP1. It looks good and sturdy. Has a nice output impedance starting at 8 Ohm, but I can't find the specs nor the home site of the product.

Then there is this other amp that looks quite interesting. It is passive device and very cheap. These are the specs:

http://www.artproaudio.com/downloads...et/headtap.pdf

If anyone of you finds the specs of the millennium amp I will be interested in seeing them
post #15 of 94
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by royalcrown View Post
The thing about voltage and current requirements is that they really don't matter all that much unless you're running off of battery power.

Is a headphone amp needed? - Hydrogenaudio Forums

In this instance, voltage swing was limited and clipping occurred. That's pretty much all you have to look out for (aside from FR alterations caused by impedance mismatches) with high impedance headphones. Also note that the test I linked to was done with very dynamic music at extremely loud levels. Voltage swing limits your volume, and if you listen to music at average to below average levels (which you should do anyway to save your hearing) you'll probably only need about 2V RMS, and with a 16V+ supply you can probably have around 4V RMS, which is more than enough to drive most any headphone into oblivion.
So, if I get what you're saying, the Audio-GD Compass should be enough for my amp AND DAC needs for around $300.
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