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how to chose an AMP depending on the headphone ?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hello, 

 

As i begin in head-fi, would someone explain me how to chose the correct desktop amp, tube or not etc, depending on the headphone kind / impedence, and what we search for in term of sound ?

 

thanks a lot..

post #2 of 13

It depends what you're looking for.  Accuracy isn't to hard to find but if you just want something that fits your tastes then all bets are off.

post #3 of 13

Sometimes, picking the right amp is a very inexact science.  Some amps pair well with headphones they shouldn't pair with on paper.  But, anyway....

 

I general, if your headphones are low impedance, you need lots of current.  Best amps are solid state or tube amps coupled with output transformers.  Sometimes hybrid tube amps work well.

 

If you have high impedance headphones, you need more voltage.  Look for output transformerless tube amps or solid state amps with good voltage swings.  Hybrid tube amps also work.

 

Once you get those things squared away, start looking for amps that are voiced to your liking.  Examples include, smooth, warm, cold, clinical, laid back, etc.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiesto141141 View Post

Hello, 

 

As i begin in head-fi, would someone explain me how to chose the correct desktop amp, tube or not etc, depending on the headphone kind / impedence, and what we search for in term of sound ?

 

thanks a lot..



 

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your answer ! i'll begin to learn how everything works as i am new to this, would you have some websites where i could find some beginners guide regarding amps, headfi in general, and also a guide to understand the "hifi" language as you mentionned (warm, cold, clinical etc), i'm reading chinese in this forum lol..

 

Thanks again ;)
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgjy View Post

Sometimes, picking the right amp is a very inexact science.  Some amps pair well with headphones they shouldn't pair with on paper.  But, anyway....

 

I general, if your headphones are low impedance, you need lots of current.  Best amps are solid state or tube amps coupled with output transformers.  Sometimes hybrid tube amps work well.

 

If you have high impedance headphones, you need more voltage.  Look for output transformerless tube amps or solid state amps with good voltage swings.  Hybrid tube amps also work.

 

Once you get those things squared away, start looking for amps that are voiced to your liking.  Examples include, smooth, warm, cold, clinical, laid back, etc.
 



 



 

 

post #5 of 13

You're welcome!

 

I must have read this thread at least 100 times when I was just getting started.  Hope it may help you, too!

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/220770/describing-sound-a-glossary

 

post #6 of 13
[puts on flame suite]

A clean watt is a clean watt.

Buy whatever a reasonably priced solid state amplifier is for you that fits your power and form needs.

You won't be able to tell a difference between any decent solid state.

You can find your preferred sound signature through headphone selection.

Add equalization and DSP's to taste.

Avoid tubes unless you want to start with a fundamentally flawed presentation instead of arriving there through above methods.
post #7 of 13

^  That would in fact be the cost effective way to do it.

post #8 of 13
Erp, forgot to mention - I highly recommend looking in the FS section of this forum and picking up a used piece.
post #9 of 13

I agree with some things you say, but not with others.

 

Yes, the best designed amps don't change the sound.  Amps shouldn't add to the sound, nor should they take away from it.  But....there are some colorization that people like that can only be offered through fundamentally different amps, and not by headphones alone.

 

For example, that wonderful tube glow can't be duplicated with solid state amps.  Can't be added by headphones, either.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarioImpemba View Post

[puts on flame suite]
 


 

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for your answers ! all this is exciting :) and the describing sound is exactly what is was looking for thanks :)

 

I think, once my headphone chosen, i should buy a solid state amp instead of a tube one, first because i'm a beginner, and i don't think my ears are that sensible to really feel the difference when tube rolling, and second, with tube rolling i think i will spend too much money..... :p 

 

I need perhaps to build my own head-fi experience by experiencing new things, be curious, then i might be able to know exactly what i want in term of sound signature etc..

 

Thanks again !

post #11 of 13

Welcome to head-fi!  Sorry about your wallet!  You will probably spend more money than you ever thought possible.  I've come a long way since my iPod ear buds!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiesto141141 View Post

 i think i will spend too much money..... :p 

 



 

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hehe, i had a preview last year when i bought my first IEM (1964-Q), but for headphones, i'm entering in a new dimension lol
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgjy View Post

Welcome to head-fi!  Sorry about your wallet!  You will probably spend more money than you ever thought possible.  I've come a long way since my iPod ear buds!
 



 



 

post #13 of 13

You're in the Twilight Zone, now!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiesto141141 View Post

Hehe, i had a preview last year when i bought my first IEM (1964-Q), but for headphones, i'm entering in a new dimension lol
 



 



 

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