Let's get one made first!
Don't worry about the pricing just yet
. I just know from doing past projects like this... nothing is worse than charging too little and having a project die before it even starts. You can always come down in price when the economies of scale allow- it is very hard to ask people to pay more and just leads to dissappointment and frustration.
I am very excited about doing this. I feel like an envangelist introducing people to high fidelity. Best of all I like to show people how to get the most out of what they have. Ideally I would like to voice this component relative to other known components that people would love to buy but that are normally completely out of the price range for those same people. This is a reasonable goal.
I've noticed that a lot of people have a soft spot for tubed products yet hate the fuss of tubes. Also since the power output requirements are not huge we should be able to make something with great timbre and detail. As for the total power output.... we are talking just about a headphone amp.
However I would be very happy if we end up with something with enough fidelity that could serve as a preamp to run speakers at work or in one's car. I hate being without a system that isn't as truthful to the original performance.... I feel like I'm listening to singers with colds, drunk drummers, and poorly voiced guitars and sub $300 violins. There is a reason why people take years of singing lessons and save for years to buy the instrument of their dreams. Why should their music be anything less than what these musicans have struggled and practiced for so long to create for the enjoyment of others.
It drives me crazy when I go to a concert and have to listen to violins and wind instruments through Cerwin Vega speakers and cheap amps. No one compalins because they don't know any better. People learn to appreciate timbre- but if they never hear live music...how can they?
I will relish the day when I can loan someone my headphones on a train and so eaasily loet them in on what lies beyond the land of boom and sizzle.