I suppose it says it all. What I want to get are recommendations for a headphone amp, if possible the best amp and also some priceworthy ones. The headphone is Sennheiser HD600, which I am satisfied with, so the key is to find an amp that will play with these phones, as well as with my CD-player NAD 521BEE, and my turntable Rega P3-24. So I'm just hoping to get a clear idea what's what out of this thread. In order to make a balanced and successful purchase. As a sidenote I would also like some viewpoints about not purchasing a headphone amp at all. How much difference does it in fact make to play with a dedicated amp compared to a regular amp like the one I've been using up to now - NAD 320BEE? The NAD 320BEE has a quality headphone jacket by all accounts.
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Headphone Amp for Sennheiser HD600
Gear mentioned in this thread:post #2 of 38/12/12 at 8:19am
Since you already have that integrated amp, do you listen enough with headphones to want to really maximize them or just for nighttime listening? It's best if you listen to a good dedicated headamp to discern whether you really need to spend that much on top of your current system and it's not plain old GAS*.
That said, you could try:
1) Schiit Asgard : $249, pure Class A (vs the A/B NAD), and best of all I think they have a 30-day money back trial (read fine print on return shipping, repacking fees, etc)
2) Schiit Valhalla : $349, OTL tube class A (vs A/B SS NAD), optimized for high impedance headphones, same return policy
3) Little Dot MkII : under $199 I think; Class A OTL tube; was too dark for me save for absolutely brand new earpads (sources were Marantz CD80, which was too dark throughout, and Superpro707 DAC, which was dark with sharp treble) but you might like that
4) Also check out one-box DAC+Amp AudioGDs - use the digital input, then try it out as a headphone amp, as a DAC, and as a preamp into the poweramp input of the 320BEE.
*Gear Acquisition Syndrome; related to SARS or Severe Audio Replacement Syndrome, also known as upgraditis
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