Originally Posted by rocksteady65
Hi. I have had the A-S500 in my system for a short while and I was very impressed with it as a Headphone Amp. It drove all my High-impedance Sennheisers (HD540/HD560) and Beyerdynamics (DT-990 Pro/DT-990 Premium 600 Ohm/DT-880 Premium 600 Ohm) with aplomb and lots of headroom to spare. In the end I have returned it because it failed to impress me as a Speaker Amp. Then again, not every Amp out there has got what it takes to drive the fabulous yet notoriously difficult Yamaha NS-1000M! BTW, I am selling my DT-880 600 Ohm if anyone is interested:
All the best.
That's funny - your experience as almost the exact opposite of mine!
I created a separate thread on the AS500 as a headamp, but in it I said:
"I picked this up yesterday to drive speakers (Monitor Audio Silver 4is) in my man cave and in that role, I can't fault it! Clear sound, powerful and accurate. Miles Davis' Flamenco Sketches hasn't sounded so good in years... £170 from Richer Sounds is an absolute steal for this speaker amp!
But plug headphones in and it's a whole different story. Harsh, brittle and choppy. I bet my AKG 271s aren't a good match, but the amp actually introduced sibilance on songs where I've NEVER heard it before. Marilyn Manson went from glossily produced crunch with bite to a raspy mess. And poor old Miles has never sounded so shrill, like a sharp knife to the ears.
This is all in Pure Direct mode. Using the tone controls softened the sound, but introduced a mushy bloom. Turning the loudness down to -30db was only slightly better.
All in all, fantastic with speakers, dreadful with phones in my experience."
I've pasted it in here in case it's useful to anyone considering this integrated for double duty with phones.