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Tube amp for HD650 and HE-5 LE, under $700 used - Page 2

post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 

Yeah my headphone lot is mixture of high and low impedances. I already have a setup that I like for high impedance, but would like to improve on it. On the other hand, my low impedance cans definitely could use some better amplification.


The problem is I am a bit partial to my high impedance phone (HD650) so I have a bit of reservation going for a compromise solution (transformer coupled) that will make everything sound quite good at the expense of high impedance phone sounding its best (OTL, I am guessing)

post #17 of 22

How to put this, OTL is something like SET that is audiophilia.  Being OTL is not always, scratch that, rarely a good thing.  Some OTL amps are very good, but there are a ton that are terrible at prices with lots of 0s in them ;)  OTL is the SS equivalent of driving the headphone straight from the opamp which you won't find many people gaga over.

post #18 of 22

On this flipside, a good transformer-coupled tube amp requires a good output transformer, which is quite costly.  So for high-impedance headphones, OTL can actually be a very good choice, and can sound excellent while costing less.  For low impedance headphones, or speakers, there are some serious challenges there.

post #19 of 22


post #20 of 22
Originally Posted by Solude View Post

Low impedance and OTL is just not a good match regardless of price.  Doesn't mean it won't sound good though ;)

I can agree they can sound good for sure. Grado's and my Sennheiser HD555 sounds great on my WA3+ tube amp. They become ultra smooth like a HD650, but never sound muddy or loose detail. Plus they get some more bass :) .


I just won't use the OTL amp for them since they aren't designed for it. I use my WA3+ for my high impedance headphones only.

Edited by Zombie_X - 7/27/10 at 3:31pm
post #21 of 22

Nevermind, memory fail.

Edited by Solude - 7/27/10 at 4:33pm
post #22 of 22

I just want to say that I'm hardly an expert with tube amps. What I can say is that the HE-5LE, to me, sounds nice with the Little Dot MKIII. I didn't even have to strain the amp as I barely went past 10:30-11:00 on the dial.

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