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Desktop Amplifiers (for speakers) with good Headphone Amplifiers

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

I will soon be moving my Audioengine P4s to my office and I will need something to power them.  Ideally I could get an amplifier with a very good headphone amp to power my DT880/250 phones.  Currently that job is being performed by a Little Dot mkIII.  I don't have a whole lot of desktop real estate available, so one unit to do both jobs would be best.  A quality built-in DAC would be a bonus, and I'd like to keep it below $400.  No real preference between tube and solid state.

 

So far on my list:

 

-Maverick Audio Tube Magic A1

-Musical Paradise MP-301 mk2

 

 

Anyone have any opinions on these two units vs. each other?  Anyone know of any units I'm forgetting?  I've intentionally left the Audioengine N22 off because I've read the headphone amp isn't all that great on that unit.


Edited by RevMen - 5/19/11 at 11:14am
post #2 of 22

I was thinking the same thing. There isn't much users opinion on the A1 driving speakers alone.

 

It seems that a lot of people are headphones rather than speakers.

post #3 of 22

Having heard both with the dt880s, i would say the Maverick comes out on top as a headphone amplifier (althought i was using the 600ohm version). I have also used it for a period of time with my Audioengine 2s and they sounded pretty well together, however i dont know how the MP-301 performs as a speaker amp

 

post #4 of 22

^ I don't think OP and I are talking about using the A1 as a preamp.

 

The AudioEngine P4's are passive speakers. They need an amplifier to power them, which is where the A1's class A/B amp comes into play.

 

 

post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lipidsnake View Post

Having heard both with the dt880s, i would say the Maverick comes out on top as a headphone amplifier (althought i was using the 600ohm version). I have also used it for a period of time with my Audioengine 2s and they sounded pretty well together, however i dont know how the MP-301 performs as a speaker amp

 

This is good info. I'm more interested in their performance as a headphone amp since that's what most of my listening will be. I'm about 95% sure the Mav-Audio is the way to go, but I'm worried it won't sound as good as my Little Dot.
post #6 of 22

I don't believe it will sound as good as the Little Dot.

 

The Little Dot is a pure tube amp. The A1 isn't exactly...

post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 

I know what you're saying, but tube doesn't automatically equal good.  And a tube gain section is far more important than a tube power section.

 

I think I'll probably get the A1 and compare it side by side with my Little Dot, just to make sure I'm not shooting myself in the foot.

post #8 of 22

Yah. It's said that the A1 isn't a pure tube amplifier. Not proven though.

 

Spanky says the audio signal goes through the tubes, then to the solid state. It then splits to the headphones and the speaker outputs from there.

 

Doooo it. I may give my friend my incoming A1 to test with his Little Dot IV as well, since it uses the same tubes.

post #9 of 22

The NuForce Icon series seems like something you would want to look into.

post #10 of 22

How about a refurbish Peachtree Audio Decco for $499?

post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by priest View Post

The NuForce Icon series seems like something you would want to look into.



I did look into these but the headphone amps don't seem to be much to talk about.  I could be mistaken, though.



Quote:
Originally Posted by hduong View Post

How about a refurbish Peachtree Audio Decco for $499?


Very interesting.  Thanks for the tip.  I shall investigate further.

 

post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by RevMen View Post





I did look into these but the headphone amps don't seem to be much to talk about.  I could be mistaken, though.




Very interesting.  Thanks for the tip.  I shall investigate further.

 


Excellent idea on the Decco. I honestly don't know what could be better as a DAC/Preamp, and its speaker and headphone taps are certainly nothing to sneeze at.

 

post #13 of 22

A few small options that come to mind:

Nuforce Icon 1 or 2: power amp, headphone amp, dac

Temple Audio Bantam XC2: power amp and headphone amp

Travagans Red/Green: power amp, headphone amp, Green is also a usb dac but has no linein

 

 

post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post

Temple Audio Bantam XC2: power amp and headphone amp


I wasn't thinking of a T amp but I really had not reason not to.  This might be the way to go.  I've read some very positive comments on the XC2 and it's made me very interested.

 

post #15 of 22

save yo money & get a vintage amp. its naturally warm with hefty bass authority plus lots of power for even lowZ speakers. their headouts should also play nice with your DT880-250. my ex DT880-600 pounded hard when driven by either my vintage Sansui or Pioneer. YMMV ofcos.

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