Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Integrated Amplifiers and Preamplifier with Good, Great or Excellent Headphones Output - Contribute to a LIST of amps!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Integrated Amplifiers and Preamplifier with Good, Great or Excellent Headphones Output -... - Page 2

post #16 of 56

My experience is that any well-designed, well-reviewed integrated that feeds the HP out from the main amp will sound pretty decent. I recently had a Cambridge 340A SE that sounded very nice with an HD650. Likewise a Marantz PM5003. Of course if you spend a motza you'll get slightly better detail, soundstage etc, but regular amps from the top mainstream manufacturers (Marantz, Rotel, Nad etc) will satisfy most people's requirements.

post #17 of 56

Hi all, first time posting.  I see the last reply speaks well of the Cambridge 340A SE integrated amp's headphone out, and am hoping the quality extends to the Cambridge model that I own, which may be older.  It's a Cambridge 840A V1 - this was the original version that came out at least three or four years ago.  A revised version that is basically twice the price came out a year or two year later. 

 

I haven't been able to properly test my 840A's headphone out because I've yet to buy a proper pair, but am thinking of making my first foray into quality headphones with possibly the Sennheiser HD650's.  Anyway, the only hard information I have on my Cambridge comes from the user manual, which states

 

"Allows for the connection of stereo headphones with a ¼" Jack plug.  Headphones with an impedance of between 32 and 600 ohms are recommended. When the headphones are connected, the loudspeaker relays are released switching off the output to the loudspeakers
(speakers A and B)."

 

Does that last bit about the loudspeaker relays tell us anything about the quality of the headphone out?  I'd really love to be able to avoid buying a headphone amp for awhile, as buying one now would likely mean having to compromise on pricepoint and/or buying cheaper headphones too, or possibly just putting the whole thing off.  Any thoughts?

post #18 of 56
Thread Starter 

Just get the HD650 :) If the 340 is up for it, I would be shocked if Cambridge made the 840 with a worse hp out. 

 

If you want all the details, just email Cambridge's technical support and ask about the layout of the headphone circuit, whether it is tapped off the main amplifier etc. 

post #19 of 56

I'm sure you're right, was just concerned because my model is fairly old, but I agree, it'd be shocking if Cambridge had cheaped out on the headphone out of an integrated amp that cost $1600 when it first came out (although price was cut in half when it was discontinued alongside introduction of the V2 model).

post #20 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardilla View Post

Just get the HD650 :) If the 340 is up for it, I would be shocked if Cambridge made the 840 with a worse hp out. 

 

If you want all the details, just email Cambridge's technical support and ask about the layout of the headphone circuit, whether it is tapped off the main amplifier etc. 



To the best of my memory (this has all been discussed before, and the manufacturers have been emailed as well!), the 840 and every other Cambridge bar the 340 uses a separate HP amp; only the 340 is tapped off the speaker outs. Consequently I don't think you can draw any firm conclusions; it's all suck it and see. The 340 is unique to Cambridge in that it's not a discrete design but uses a gainclone amp. I imagine it wouldn't be in the same class as the others for driving speakers, but for headphones it's just fine, and what's more it has tone controls that only effect the frequency extremes, which is great for headphones like the 650 (which is what I used it with). I'm sorry I sold it now as it would suit my current LCD-2s as well. Anyone in Oz got a 340SE they want to flog off cheap? redface.gif  

post #21 of 56
Thread Starter 

So - Cambridge has seperate hadphone amps on all their integrated ecxept 340? So then the only thing it shares with the main amplifier will be the pre-stage and the power supply. But it isn't necessarily bad :) Anyway - the HD650 sounds very good even from an ipod, if you compare it to lower grade stuff, so it can't really be that bad.

post #22 of 56

As I say, suck it and see. There are no hard and fast rules; it depends entirely on the designer. A separate amp can be as good or bad as taking the output from the speaker outs. My point was simply that with headphones you don't always need to spend a motza; often the cheapest amp will sound just as good as the dearest.

post #23 of 56
Thread Starter 

X2. That's the mission of this thread I think - to make people try what they have before getting the $1000 amp :)

 

 - and remember to listen to the headphones output when they buy a speaker amp! It is annoying that reviewers of hifi-gear seldom review the headphone section of an amplifier. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post
....with headphones you don't always need to spend a motza; often the cheapest amp will sound just as good as the dearest.


 


Edited by ardilla - 9/6/11 at 7:11am
post #24 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardilla 

 

 - and remember to listen to the headphones output when they buy a speaker amp! It is annoying that reviewers of hifi-gear seldom review the headphone section of an amplifier. 
 



 


I completely agree. Quite often you read a "professional" review where they test some super nice integrated, using high end speakers and even pricey cables, then throw a Grado SR-60 at it and say "it sounded pretty good". Thanks guys, very helpful. 

 

BTW I typed up my impressions of the Lead Audio LA-200. Link in my signature. If you want to add it to your original post. 

 

post #25 of 56

      I meant that the 8255 is an integrated receiver with a decent head-phone out (on the front panel). The speaker out are on the back panel. Since I have not compared it with any of the amps mentioned in this thread, I would not where it stands, unfortunately.

post #26 of 56
Thread Starter 
post #27 of 56

My Cary SLP03 preamp is giving me excellent results with my Denon AH-D7000. Left my Musical Fildelity M1HPA in the shadow ...

 

 

7036109065_07298d22c3_z.jpg

post #28 of 56

I have recently had a chance to try Beyer DT990/600 on a NAD C320BEE (an amp I love BTW). My initial impressions are this is not a good match at all, the highs are very laid back, the bass is good and fairly tight. It sounded way better with Grado SRi80, bass was still as tight (although not nearly as extended as the Beyers) and the highs were well matched. The testing on the Beyers has not been as extensive but I'll go back sometime (probably fall) and check this out again, but was very disappointed.

 

Now the Beyers have also spent much time with my Kenwood KA-8300, and whilst this amp has some electrical issues, the sound quality is excellent and the HP out works great with the Beyers, much much better than the Grados. The response across the spectrum is great, a nice balanced sound, slightly on the warm side of course, but this is one combination I would say is top notch. The KA-8300 and Grados highlights the missing low end and the mid range is too forward to make comfortable listening.

 

I hope this helps, I have little experience with more modern amps, as that upgrade is probably a year or two away, but in the interests of propagating this information I'll add it here.

post #29 of 56

I want to vouch for the Onkyo A-5VL integrated amplifier and DAC. Excellent speaker amp in the <600$ range, with mighty powerful headphone output that laughs in the face of the 600 ohm Beyerdynamic load.

Read more in my brief review:   http://www.head-fi.org/t/621917/onkyo-a-5vl-a-game-changer
 

post #30 of 56

Does anyone have experience with the Kenwood KA-405?

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphone Amps (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Integrated Amplifiers and Preamplifier with Good, Great or Excellent Headphones Output - Contribute to a LIST of amps!