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Integrated Amplifiers and Preamplifier with Good, Great or Excellent Headphones Output -... - Page 4

post #46 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nik View Post

In my experience the best integrated headset are those (few) with rear headphone output ...

Greetings
Nik

I always found that very awkward....
post #47 of 49

I just wanted to chime in on this thread as I've been researching integrated amps to drive a new pair of Zu Omens but wanted something that could work with speakers and headphones. My criteria for my search has been. 

 

A. At least 20 watts

B. Tubes

C. Tube connected headphone out.

 

Rogue Audio gears looks sweet but all the units I tested use a PCB mounted Opamp for the headphone driver.... I want to tap tubes directly. I found that out about Rogue while auditioning the Sphinx last week... I wasn't terribly impressed using LCD2's with the Sphinx

Musical Paradise and Opera Audio have both been covered by the writing team at Inner Fidelity but I wanted to throw a couple more out there for anyone looking

 

Audio Space has a few intergrated from $800 to $2000 with direct connected headphone outs.

Reviews of their units from Positive Feedback and Dagogo.

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue27/as_3i.htm

http://dagogo.com/audio-space-mini-2se-integrated-tube-amplifier-review

 

 

Also Line Magnetic 218 Mini (although I really wish they would put a headphone jack on their full size integrateds.... the 211ia and 216ia

 

 

Another one that us Yanks may not know very well. Triode Corp. makes a number of tube integrateds with headphone out.

All three of these units can be had for under 

 

 

And Icon Audio who is gaining market traction in the US has a 20 watter for right around $1K with a headphone jack that uses the EL84 glass... for about $500 more you get the EL34 and 5 more watts per channel. 

 

 

Just wanted to put these out there in case someone else was on the same hunt. 

post #48 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by LugBug1 View Post

Nad 3020 series. I have the 'i' model and it is stellar with the HD800's. Warm and organic yet detailed without any hardness. Loads of voltage swing and always sounds effortless. Always needs a good warm up period though. 

I second this. I was once sold a NAD1020 preamp to use as a headphone amp, which is the preamp section of the 3020 (or the 3020 with the power amp ripped out , which is pretty much what NAD did tongue.gif ). The dealer told me it would make a surprisingly good headphone amp for the new HD540's I just bought from him. He wasn't kidding, that thing sounded great! Velvety yet very detailed. The dealer was kind enough to make a photocopy of the 1020 schematics. I roughly used that as a basis for designing & building my own headphone amp, which I have used for the last 20 years. That competes really remarkably well when set against my Lehmann Linear headphone amp, both when using the Hd540 as well as the HD800! I like to think a bit of the NAD1020 magic rubbed off on it.
post #49 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2leftears View Post


I second this. I was once sold a NAD1020 preamp to use as a headphone amp, which is the preamp section of the 3020 (or the 3020 with the power amp ripped out , which is pretty much what NAD did tongue.gif ). The dealer told me it would make a surprisingly good headphone amp for the new HD540's I just bought from him. He wasn't kidding, that thing sounded great! Velvety yet very detailed. The dealer was kind enough to make a photocopy of the 1020 schematics. I roughly used that as a basis for designing & building my own headphone amp, which I have used for the last 20 years. That competes really remarkably well when set against my Lehmann Linear headphone amp, both when using the Hd540 as well as the HD800! I like to think a bit of the NAD1020 magic rubbed off on it.

Great stuff! Yup I do love the 3020. I want to try the new one. 

 

I've recently bought a Rotel 820BX2 and QED 230S (going through a bit of an 80's phase). Both very good headphone stages. Especially the QED. However it is sooo loud I can't use my HD800's unless I have a very low level going in. But the SQ of the QED is probably the best I've heard with hp's yet including HP amps. I use it with K701 as they can handle lots of power and really appreciate it. Never heard them sound so real! I wish I still had some orthos to try with it, I imagine it would work a treat with LCD2 or Hifiman. 

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