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Headphone amp vs old stereo amp headphone out

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

First post, hello everyone.

 

My current setup is an Asus Xonar DS sound card - Yamaha AX-396 stereo amp - Denon D2000's

 

I've searched and found mixed views when comparing a headphone amp with using headphone out on a stereo amp.

 

Would i notice a difference if i replaced my old Yamaha amp with a headphone amp like the Little Dot Mkiii or Fiio E9?

 

I've also looked at the at the E7 / E9 combo if the Xonar DS DAC is not good enough.

 

Budget is £200

 

Thanks in advance for any help.

post #2 of 4

Most stereo receivers, especially old ones, sound really good with the headphones.  The only issue with them is they tend to have high output impedance, which can lead to damping problems.  Some may actually like the sound of this, as it sometimes warms up the sound and can bloat the bass a little.

 

Truth be told, as much as I love my amps, the differences between amps isn't nearly as great as differences between headphones.  If you're happy with the sound of your receiver, stick with it.  Switching to a new amp won't magically make your headphones sound too much different.

post #3 of 4

I have a cool vintage Marantz receiver from the early 70s and the headphone output is excellent and is great even in  today's standards. I currently use tube amps because I prefer it to solid state. Still a good old receiver can be capable of sounding very good.

 

However, I've had an 80's receiver given to me and the speaker output was great but the headphone jacked was crappy quality. It sounded dark and a bit muddy. Good luck brotha.

post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by miam View Post

First post, hello everyone.

 

My current setup is an Asus Xonar DS sound card - Yamaha AX-396 stereo amp - Denon D2000's

 

I've searched and found mixed views when comparing a headphone amp with using headphone out on a stereo amp.

 

Would i notice a difference if i replaced my old Yamaha amp with a headphone amp like the Little Dot Mkiii or Fiio E9?

 

I've also looked at the at the E7 / E9 combo if the Xonar DS DAC is not good enough.

 

Budget is £200

 

Thanks in advance for any help.

I was having trouble deciding the same thing that you are, (purchasing the LD MKIII), and also read a lot of mixed reviews/personal preffrences on this subject. I own Grado SR325is's, and was using the headphone output of my Sony CDP-C701, (also using a Meridian203 DAC in between), which sounded very nice to my ears. I also own an Adcom GTP-400preamp/tuner with a headphone out. So one day I plugged my headphones into my preamp, and what a nice surprise I heard!!! The preamp gave me a much fuller sound, much more depth, and a nicer sound stage, and not mention a much better balanced sound all in all, and the power was more than enough to drive the SR325is. BTW I never listen to my headphones loud, I only listen at mid to moderate levels. With that being said I really loved the sound I was hearing from the Adcom. Even though I never heard the LD MKlll I never even bothered to listen to listen to one. I was so satisfied with the Adcom that I purchased a GFP-710, because I had no need for the tuner section at all on the GTP-400, and also the GFP-710 has a remote volume control, where as the GTP-400 didn't, and I really wanted this option, and after doing some research I found that not many dedicated headphone amps have this option, or they cost an arm and a leg with this option. Also now when I have the room, I can use the GFP-710 as the preamp for my home stereo speakers, so as far as I was concerned I couldn't go wrong.

BTW the Adcom preamps have dedicated headphone amps for the headphone out. 

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