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Linnenberg spa1: a new contender in the sub-1k€ balanced discrete headamp market?

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 

Hi guys, I'm very happy with my "Stello Eximus DP1", it sounds truly amazing to my ears...but we all want moar moar moar, and I guess the next step for me would be to go balanced very_evil_smiley.gif

 

This listing on audiogon has raised my interest into trying a possibly even better sounding headamp: http://cgi.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cl_sold.pl?preatran&1324341036

the Cavalli Liquid Fire (a $3250 dedicated headphone amp) sounds sufficiently better than the headphone output of the Eximus DP-1, such that I no longer want to give up the Cavalli and instead want to look for a cheaper DAC solution than the Eximus DP-1.

 

I'm from Team Source First, so I don't plan on giving up the DP1 magical sound anytime soon...and the "Cavalli Liquid Fire" is a bit too pricey, plus I really don't think that I'm a tube guy and I'm not even sure if it can run balanced(hopefully it can for the price ^^).

 

Anyway, after quite a lot of googling I've found this very promising sub-1k€ headamp: http://linnenberg-audio.de/html/spa1.html

 

It seems to be ticking all the boxes of what I'm seeking in a headamp:

[:yann39] a stepped attenuator and a gain knob, both on the front panel

[:yann39] a good PSU

[:yann39] no cheapish utterly colored IC's like most(if not all?) of the competition in the same price range...I'm not paying 1K to listen to 5532's or BUF634's, TYVM.

[:yann39] fully discrete with a short signal path

[:yann39] I can try it for 2 weeks at the price of shipping costs, which I now have made a mandatory condition when buying audiophile gear...we all hear differently, and I only really trust what my ears tell me.

[:yann39] 1Ω headphones output impedance, so everything should sound equally sweet out of it

[:yann39] it comes with both balanced and unbalanced output modules, so you can really A/B the supposedly substantial improvement balanced amping would provide

[:yann39] a load impedance lower limit of 8Ω, so if I get the vintage ortho bug again they would run flawlessly as well

 

Any thoughts to share? I'm a complete noob when it comes to balanced phones, but this looks like the perfect unit to stanch my thirst for audio nirvana'ness [:moldar:3]

 

All this said, I think we got a winner all the way and I'm this close to pull the trigger [:bakk15:2]


Edited by leeperry - 3/19/12 at 10:16pm
post #2 of 40

That looks pretty cool, I'm also considering a balanced amp. The only option I found in the ~1k range is the Violectric V181.

 

Where did you get the pricing info? Do you have any availability info?

post #3 of 40
Thread Starter 

There's a price list available on their site, it also states an ETA of January 2012: http://linnenberg-audio.de/Pricelist_3.pdf

 

Yep, I've read about the Violectric V181 but it's using four $3 a pop BUF634 IC's, a cheap ALPS pot and you have to play around with very annoying DIP switches at the back of the unit if you wanna change the gain. The spa1 seems to be in a whole different ball park, but it also comes a tad pricier.


Edited by leeperry - 12/5/11 at 5:32am
post #4 of 40

Kindly keep us informed of your impression.

post #5 of 40
Thread Starter 

Will do! I'll keep looking around a bit considering that it's not available for sale yet and that I'm in no way an impulsive buyer, but this looks like the real deal to me cool.gif

post #6 of 40

Sounds interesting, I'd love to see some nudies of this.

post #7 of 40
Thread Starter 

good point, but it's not available for sale yet [:yoannletroll:2]

post #8 of 40

Someone looking for a product picture? Here it is:

 

Product#1.jpg

 

 

Inside pictures will be published as soon as they are available. wink.gif

post #9 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linnenberg View Post

Someone looking for a product picture? Here it is:

 

Product#1.jpg

 

 

Inside pictures will be published as soon as they are available. wink.gif



Excellent thank you very much, I'm looking forward to seeing the innards :)

Will it be available in both black and silver?

post #10 of 40
Thread Starter 

Hah! Someone at Linnenberg Audio found his way to my thread, good! Eagerly awaiting internal pictures pretty pleasepopcorn.gif

post #11 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post

Hah! Someone at Linnenberg Audio found his way to my thread, good!


Seems like you found a manufacturer that cares, that is very good indeed.

post #12 of 40

Here is the long awaited inside picture of the spa1:

 

spa1_inside.jpg

post #13 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linnenberg View Post

Here is the long awaited inside picture of the spa1:

 

spa1_inside.jpg


Excellent, thanks again!

Looks like a nicely ordered layout, are those IC opamps I see? are they part of the signal chain?

post #14 of 40
Thread Starter 

Looking good! will it be available this month?

post #15 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linnenberg View Post

Here is the long awaited inside picture of the spa1:

 

spa1_inside.jpg



lol My dreamed headamp finally product!

 

3.5W@32ohm Don't know how's about w/LCD-2 o2smile.gif

 

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