Hi everyone. I've been contemplating on getting the little dot mkiii. I'm just wondering if tube headphone amps make sense since I would be using only IEMs. I have the HD650 but prefer to use one of my IEMs (TF10, PFE232, IE8), my question is does it make sense to go with a full size tube headphone amp. Is there something smaller and more appropriate for the IEMs?
Does a tube amp make sense for IEMs?
Gear mentioned in this thread:
Way better :P At least for my two cans (dt880 and hifiman HE-500). The music is more natural and way more musical and the soundstage is better too. But it also has the tubish sound, and the bass can be a bit too blurred at times.
Not for iem's because the noise floor is a bit too high and I hear hiss.. It is bearable though..
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certainly... just make sure the amp is optimal for the impedance load of your IEM. OTL amps that make your HD650 SING (for example) will not fare so well with low impedance IEMs. High gain circuits optimized (again) for the HD650 will also not like high sensitivity / low impedance IEMs.
Edited by kramer5150 - 1/15/13 at 11:27pm
Thinking about it, most tube amps are good for putting out some voltage, not amperes. So, most tube amps would not be that good with low impedance cans. Also beware of the output impedance, which should be approximately or lower 1/8th of the impedance of the headphone, else the bass response will increase (more bass).
I *think* the little dot's output impedance is quite high, and I think you will get more from your money getting a solid state amp. You WILL get a more neutral and unaltered sound.