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Portable class A headphone amps

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 

Class A amps are used to get low distortion and cleaner, transparent sound, where true reproduction ,and amplification of a signal is required,.  Does anyone know of any  "portable class A headphone amps," that are out now, or in the works?

 

What would be the advantages of using class A headphone amps, on efficient in-ear monitors?

post #2 of 40

There's the uAMP109G2 from Microshar Electronics. I was considering this amp as an upgrade option, but ended up with Headstage Arrow HE.

I haven't found any reviews of the uAMP109G2 so I decided to shun it.

post #3 of 40
Thread Starter 

What makes you think these are class A amps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrProggie View Post   uAMP109G2 from Microshar Electronics.. Headstage Arrow HE. 
post #4 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumflow View Post

What makes you think these are class A amps?

 

Headstage Arrow is not a class A amp. I didn't say that. I only said I chose that one instead of the class A amp.

The manufacturer of uAMP109G2 claim uAMP109G2 is a class A amp.

post #5 of 40

Class A amps are highly inefficient, so are not practical for portable designs. I wouldn't concern yourself with this, but the suitability of an amp for your headphones and your needs.

post #6 of 40
Thread Starter 

Thank you I did not know until now that the uAMP109G2 was a class A amp. 

Quote:

Originally Posted by MrProggie View Post  I only said I chose that one instead of the class A amp.  The manufacturer of uAMP109G2 claim uAMP109G2 is a class A amp.

Mircoshar.jpg  They post specs like class A amps do.. I will look into it.  THD+N ≤ 0.00003% Made in USA.    Thanks..
Quote:

Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

Class A amps are highly inefficient, so are not practical for portable designs.

What does inefficient and practical have to do with getting the best sound possible? My home amps have that class A sound. Why would anyone want to go on the road with anything less.  That is of course unless they have never heard it.

post #7 of 40

I can just imagine that you will be constantly charging your portable hp amp. Also, most opamps already have very low distortion.

post #8 of 40

The uAMP109G2 looks interesting. I might take the plunge and try it out. I have an RX on the way so I could compare the two. I'd be using this at home mostly anyways, so it may be better.

 

On second thought this thing might be too beefy for IEMs


Edited by knubbe - 6/3/10 at 5:59pm
post #9 of 40
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by wuwhere View Post  you will be constantly charging your portable hp amp. Also, most opamps already have very low distortion.

Opamps?

 

That was why I suspected a class A would be hard to find.  In home amps they can run ten times the maximum out put, all of the time.  Imagine an amp running a thousand watts per channel around the clock, just in case some music passage wants to spike to 100 without any distortion.  They sound different.
Quote:

Originally Posted by knubbe View Post  The uAMP109G2 .. I have an RX on the way so I could compare the two.

Is the RX class A?  Please get back to us.

post #10 of 40

The Rx isn't Class A, but I doubt it really matters. I've never actually known anyone who could reliably tell between class A and A/B (modern A/B). The distortion figures that manufacturers give will be wrong in final output - they never ever perform that well. What will happen is that those numbers will be about 100-1000x more noisy, but still be beautiful. The part may actually perform that well, but when used witheverything else, will pick up lots of noise. Never look at one part only - it will only frumple the plans. 

post #11 of 40
Thread Starter 

It may be true, especially with earplugs that we cannot hear the difference between class A amps and the newer technologies.  But why do people still pay a huge premium for class A amps?
Quote:

Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post  The Rx isn't Class A, but I doubt it really matters. I've never actually known anyone who could reliably tell between class A and A/B (modern A/B).

I will not be surprised; so many advances have taken place since tubes went out of favor.

Quote:

The distortion figures that manufacturers give will be wrong in final output - they never ever perform that well. What will happen is that those numbers will be about 100-1000x more noisy, but still be beautiful.

I don’t know about the numbers, I think that is what MacIntosh use to check for at there clinics.  I do think that if any amp is actually going to improve the sound class A, should have a good crack at it.

Quote:

The part may actually perform that well, but when used with everything else, will pick up lots of noise. Never look at one part only - it will only frumple the plans.

Maybe someone will figure this out and I can read the report.  In theory, class A should have advantages.  Thanks for taking the time to explain.

post #12 of 40

People pay huge premiums because the items are class A. The idea is that it sounds better and that is the rallying call for a lot of audiophiles, especially ones who have the dosh to throw around. In the end, modern amps will have more SQ affected by a lot more factors than just what class they are. Class A theoretically means that the entire 360 degree waveform is being 100% rendered, but in practice, the sound is pretty much the same. 

 

It's like buying a 7Kg road bike. It won't affect your performance at all unless you are already a professional, but even then someone who is stronger will do better on a 10Kg bike. The 7Kg will cost 3-5x more and get more stares and ooh' and ah's, but it won't do anything for anyone. 

post #13 of 40
Thread Starter 

Anyone can make the sacrifices and pay the price, on a class A headphone amp.  It will not cost anywhere near what it costs to push speakers.

Quote:

Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post  The idea is that it sounds better and that is the rallying call for a lot of audiophiles, especially ones who have the dosh to throw around.
post #14 of 40

The uAMP109G2 has a DAC circuit too, very interesting. If I ever get another portable this just went to the top of the list, sharing that spot with the protector balanced amp anyways. But I really like my Arrow and am saving for a couple of other things in mind for now...

 

Subscribed, damn you Head-fi!

post #15 of 40


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumflow View Post

Quote:

Opamps?

 

That was why I suspected a class A would be hard to find.  In home amps they can run ten times the maximum out put, all of the time.  Imagine an amp running a thousand watts per channel around the clock, just in case some music passage wants to spike to 100 without any distortion.  They sound different.
Quote:

Is the RX class A?  Please get back to us.


Opamps can be run in class A, don't you know?

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