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Preamp and headphone amp in one. -- need recommendations

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm currently using a Yamaha receiver to drive my Sennheiser HD650s for headphone listening and to drive NHT SB-2s for speaker listening. I drive that from a digital front end that's a MacBook Pro running Audirvana to a V-Link to a Peachtree Dacit. I want a better headphone amp to pair with HD650s but I want something that can also serve as preamp to feed a McCormack DNA1 Deluxe that I have but am not using. Then I can sell the Yamaha and keep feeding upgrade-itis.

Any ideas on something that can do both? I listen to many different music genres. Budget is under $500. I looked at Little Dot Mk III but understand it may not work with McCormack because of amp design.

Thanks, all.

Marty
post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by nymarty View Post

I'm currently using a Yamaha receiver to drive my Sennheiser HD650s for headphone listening and to drive NHT SB-2s for speaker listening. I drive that from a digital front end that's a MacBook Pro running Audirvana to a V-Link to a Peachtree Dacit. I want a better headphone amp to pair with HD650s but I want something that can also serve as preamp to feed a McCormack DNA1 Deluxe that I have but am not using. Then I can sell the Yamaha and keep feeding upgrade-itis.
Any ideas on something that can do both? I listen to many different music genres. Budget is under $500. I looked at Little Dot Mk III but understand it may not work with McCormack because of amp design.
Thanks, all.
Marty


The Schiit Lyr is a fantastic pairing for HD650, IMO, and also has pre-outs.  It's not ideal as a dedicated preamp but it may just fit the bill for exactly your needs, a solid headphone amp that doubles as a preamp. 

 

I haven't used the pre-outs so you may want to search around for results by those who have.  For headphones, it's clean, powerful, neutral, and supports tube rolling for tweaking your sound. 

 

Versus my Headroom Micro Amp (and various AV receivers) I used before it, the HD650's really came alive on it.  Clearer, more detailed, less fatiguing, wider soundstage.  Sennheisers love tube voltage....   And it just conveniently fits your budget too!

 

I'm sure it's not the only amp that'll work for you, but it's probably a good one to consider!

 

post #3 of 10

From what I've read, the Lyr is not a very good pre-amp.  It excels as a headphone amp, though.  It's my impression the pre-amp out was added because of the "why not?" approach.

post #4 of 10

Hmm, shame.   Do you remember what was disliked about it?

 

I do remember a thread where it was disliked however in that instance I believe the OP was running it to actually power external monitors rather than feeding an external power amp instead, so it was sort of an outside-the-scope trial.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the recommendation on the Lyr!   My other option I've been considering here is to use a Y-splitter out of the Peachtree Dacit analog outs and run 1 line to a headphone amp (exclusively a headphone amp like the Asgard) and 1 line to a passive attenuator (like the NHT PVC http://www.nhthifi.com/passive_volume_control_PVC_PC?sc=12&category=1213 ) and then to the McCormack.  This would basically give me separate systems past the Peachtree.  I have a decent pair of StraightWire y splitters sitting around I could use.

 

Anybody doing something like this?  Any thoughts on whether this would work?

 

Thanks again.

 

Marty

post #6 of 10


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgjy View Post

From what I've read, the Lyr is not a very good pre-amp.  It excels as a headphone amp, though.  It's my impression the pre-amp out was added because of the "why not?" approach.



Thats because the Lyr is more headphone oriented. The 160D is more Hi-fi oriented with a fine preamp/headphone amp..it was designed originally with the preamp function in mind.  

 

I know its out of your budget, but a good option to consider in the future. 

 

Cheers

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fabio-fi View Post

The 160D is more Hi-fi oriented with a fine preamp/headphone amp..it was designed originally with the preamp function in mind.  

 


Who makes the 160D?   Is this the Burson that you're talking about?   I thought the amp that had the preamp also had a built-in dac.  I definitely don't want to change out the dac.  I really like the Peachtree.

 

Thanks.

 

Marty

 

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by nymarty View Post


Who makes the 160D?   Is this the Burson that you're talking about?   I thought the amp that had the preamp also had a built-in dac.  I definitely don't want to change out the dac.  I really like the Peachtree.

 

Thanks.

 

Marty

 



Yes. 

I think they need to think on a headamp/pre only. biggrin.gif

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Any other amps with preamp outs that I should be looking at? Can't just be the Lyrr. Also, any thoughts on y-splitters? Thanks.
post #10 of 10
if you need pre-outs i would just get a preamp instead of getting a headamp. headamp and a preamp is pretty much the same. preamps usually have pretty low output impedance and high voltage output. if you like yamaha. something like the yamaha C-2 or even the Yamaha C-60 will do fine and have great phono stages too. i recently picked up a 1980's H/K 725 preamp and had no issues driving a pair of 600ohm AKG 240DF's on them with good clean sound and good enough headroom. hd650 is an easier load with higher sensitivity so it'll probably do even better with them. if you can find it the aragon 18k can also be on your list for preamp plus headphone amp. very well sought after preamp. if it was me i be looking for the opposite if pre outs number one concern but that's just me. preamps don't take much space as well if that's a concern to you as well.
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