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Amp recommendation?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hey all!

 

Ok, first post, yadda yadda.  I've been lurking for a while but can't seem to find an answer to what I'm looking for.

 

Background:

Just getting into this audiophile stuff, but have been listening forever (seems like).  Finally broke down and bought my first set of decent cans - Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80ohm.  I'm looking for an amp (portable would be nice, but not necessary) that pairs up with these cans well.  My source is an 2008 iMac, so I'm thinking DAC is nice but out of my price range.  Most of my mp3's are either 256k encoded or better, some are FLAC, and others Apple Lossless....I've been picky about that part at least 

 

Ok, here's where the questions come in....the sales dude where I got the cans at was trying to sell me a mic tube preamp and telling me to use it as a headphone amp.  Does this make any sense at all?

 

I want something respectable for an amp, and since the Mac don't move, the amp doesnt have to either.  I do use it for some mastering of audio tracks in Logic Pro, and that has to sound good.  Generally though, the amp is just for playing tunes through while I do more lurking and learning...I would like to stay in the $100-150 price range, as it seems strange to me still to have more invested in the amp than the cans....maybe at a later date 

 

So, any suggestions on these questions?  The mic preamp as a headphone amp thing still doesnt make sense to me......

 

Thanks

 

H

post #2 of 12

At that price range and your use of some lossy files fed straight from your computer, in my mind the best solution is the NuForce udac.  Dac and amp all in one.

 

http://www.amazon.com/NuForce-uDAC-2-Black-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B003Y5FRNS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1282012869&sr=8-1

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks hodgjy - never even seen those guys referenced before, I'll have to check them out.

 

I still have the question though about using a tube based microphone preamp as a headphone amp - anyone ever tried that?

 

H

post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by hdufour View Post

Thanks hodgjy - never even seen those guys referenced before, I'll have to check them out.

 

I still have the question though about using a tube based microphone preamp as a headphone amp - anyone ever tried that?

 

H



 I would check the Violectric V100 and V200. They are very good. You can find them at www.aphroditecu29.com

post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by musicman59 View Post





 I would check the Violectric V100 and V200. They are very good. You can find them at www.aphroditecu29.com


I second Violectric, I am currently being blown away by the v181 as I type this.... and it is built like a freggin tank....has the feel of exceptional quality.  I also purchased mine from aphroditecu29.com

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TigzStudio View Post




I second Violectric, I am currently being blown away by the v181 as I type this.... and it is built like a freggin tank....has the feel of exceptional quality.  I also purchased mine from aphroditecu29.com



Amps look awesome, but out of my price range for now.  Looks like I might have to save up....

 

H
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by musicman59 View Post





 I would check the Violectric V100 and V200. They are very good. You can find them at www.aphroditecu29.com

post #7 of 12

In the hundred dollar price range you are considering there are many solid state amp- amp/dac options. If you are looking for a tube amp, the little Indeed is a great starter. If you go for the Indeed, pair it with an inexpensive dac like the HotAudio destroyer, and you'll only be set back about $150 for both

post #8 of 12

Highly recommending the Audio-gd Sparrow. The quality of construction and the actual specs/ability of the unit cannot be beat in this price range, it's one of those units that you might not feel the need to upgrade, as it will even power the 600-Ohm monsters perfectly fine.

post #9 of 12
Odd, I've never heard of a mic preamp being used for headphones.

Anyhow, you might want to look into a used receiver. You can find them from free to $50. Some do very well with headphones and one will give you a FM tuner and, often, the ability to use a turntable and add speakers. I think they're the best thing going.

Most people think it doesn't make sense to spend more on the amp than the headphones. However, if you do a little cost analysis, you'll see that headphones are simple, use few materials and don't require much labor to assemble. Amps have a significantly higher parts count, the parts cost more, and there's significant labor to assemble one, as anyone in the DIY Forum will tell you. It's counterintuitive, but the numbers are there. Old receivers are a steal because they're fully depreciated and most won't buy a two channel receiver these days.
post #10 of 12

I second that, my amp costs almost twice what my most expensive headphones do.

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

Odd, I've never heard of a mic preamp being used for headphones.

Anyhow, you might want to look into a used receiver. You can find them from free to $50. Some do very well with headphones and one will give you a FM tuner and, often, the ability to use a turntable and add speakers. I think they're the best thing going.

Most people think it doesn't make sense to spend more on the amp than the headphones. However, if you do a little cost analysis, you'll see that headphones are simple, use few materials and don't require much labor to assemble. Amps have a significantly higher parts count, the parts cost more, and there's significant labor to assemble one, as anyone in the DIY Forum will tell you. It's counterintuitive, but the numbers are there. Old receivers are a steal because they're fully depreciated and most won't buy a two channel receiver these days.


I've never considered that (amount of electronics in amp vs headphones).  Very good point!  I've got a customer who wants to work out a trade for a Medion preamp, so maybe thats a start, then I'd just need a  decent DAC.

 

Also, thanks all for the tips on dac/amps....i've got experience with a soldering iron (I am a computer tech after all), and found plans for a cmoy amp...might just try to build one (sans dac obviously)....i was also eyeing the Headroom Total Bithead....there are just too many options!!! I'm still game for anything tho....its gotta be better than the headphone out off the iMac 

 

H

post #12 of 12
If you can handle an iron, then you should give some serious thought to DIY. Not only will you save a lot, but the DIY circuits out there are excellent. The CMoy is where most people start, but you can end up with a Beta22, custom tubes, or whatever you want. Also, the DIY Forum is very helpful and we could use more people who know rheir way around an amp.
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