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What amp for 3 different heaphones

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
Hi there!
 
As you can see from my sign, I own three very different headphones (MS1i /w bowls, DT 990 Pro 250 Ohm and HD 558) and I power them with a Fiio E9 (not E09K).
 
I'm quite happy with it, but it has two main annoyances:
- high output impedance (10 Ohm) which doesn't couple well with MS1i and HD 558
- static noise when I chance volume (I know the trick of move the potentiometer back and forth, but it's a bit annoying)
 
I'm wondering if I could improve sound quality changing my current headphone amp with something else.
 
I'd like a headphone amp that couples optimally with all three headphones and with the line out to connect my Topping for loud speakers.
 
Many thanks!
 
PS: I forgot to mention a budget. I'd like to spend about 200 Euros

Edited by Jag86 - 5/9/13 at 8:53am
post #2 of 41
Thread Starter 

Tiny up :)

post #3 of 41

Heh, I have a very similar headphone repertoire ( RS1i / DT 990 / Senn HD555 ) to yours with which I use the Graham Slee Novo. It's about €100 over your budget though, but I find it to be very pleasing especially with the Grados and DT 990. Back when I was choosing the headphone amp I tried about six different ones with the RS1i before ending with the Novo. AFAIK the mids are slightly emphasized and it has just a tiny bit recessed bass and treble which takes some of the typical harshness away from the Grado and DT990 highs. It also has the line out you want, but it's a clean pass-through with no volume adjustment.

post #4 of 41

Have a look at the NFB 15.32 from Audio-gd.  I have a somewhat similar set-up (325i, DT880, HD600).  I have the NFB-12, the NFB-15 is the later model with newer USB implementation.

 

Output impedance (both headphone out and DAC out) is 2 ohms.

 

Combined DAC/amp - DAC has dual Wolfson WM8741s

 

Specs here : http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB15/NFB15EN_Specs.htm

 

USD 235 + shipping.  Should be pretty much spot on your budget.

post #5 of 41
Thread Starter 

The Graham Slee Novo appears to be really interesting but it's way over my budget. Maybe I can find an used one or I'll save my money until I can reach that budget.

 

Audio-GD NFB-15.32 is another nice model but I wish it had line-in so that I could use my Xonar DX (I'm a PC gamer too). I've seen the NFB-16 but it seems portable and battery powered.

 

I'm wondering if a Little Dot or a Schiit (Magni or Asgard 2) could be a nice improvement over Fiio.

 

Furthermore, do you think that a better DAC could improve more than a better amp?

 

Thanks for all your suggestions!

post #6 of 41
Thread Starter 

Could anyone give a little help? :)

post #7 of 41

Is space a problem? You can find very good vintage receiver/amplifier that you can drive your Tannoy with, and use the Headphone out with cans. Cons is they are huge.

 

If you're just looking for headphone amp, then the Little Dot 1 is really nice for the price. Also, don't drive the Topping with the headphone out of an amplifier.


Edited by khaine1711 - 5/12/13 at 2:20pm
post #8 of 41

The little dot might be nice

post #9 of 41
Thread Starter 

Not really a matter of space. I will update my current T-class amp with an integrated AB-class one (i.e. NAD or similar), but now I've got a limited budget. Furthermore, the NAD i've looked at has a huge output impedance (60-70 Ohm).

 

For now, I'd like to improve headphones rig ;)

post #10 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jose_marti View Post

The little dot might be nice

 

Pretty interesting, but which of them? I+ or MKII?

post #11 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jag86 View Post

 

Pretty interesting, but which of them? I+ or MKII?

The 1+ got some nice synergy with Grados. The Mk 2 3 4 is more suited toward high impedance headphone.

 

It's been a while since I last heard a Tannoy setup. But the Marantz Pm 6004 + Tannoy Mercury v1 is a pretty nice bedside rig that I had the chance to listen to - the headphone out of the 6004 is quite nice too. If budget is a concern, you can go for the vintage Marantz Pm 44/66/80SE.


Edited by khaine1711 - 5/12/13 at 2:27pm
post #12 of 41
Thread Starter 

That Marantz is very nice. If the headphone output is as good as a mid-range dedicated headphone amp, maybe it's better to go for a full-integrated solution such as this Marantz


Edited by Jag86 - 5/13/13 at 3:16am
post #13 of 41
Thread Starter 

As a result of a internet search, I found the following models of integrated amplifiers (in alphabetical order):

 

  • Denon PMA-720AE
  • Marantz PM-6004
  • NAD C326BEE (or C316BEE?) (high headphones' output impedance from datasheet)
  • Rotel RA-10

 

I'd like to test them to listen how they drive my Tannoys, but I'm not sure I will able to do that. However, I'm pretty sure that all of these amps will sound good, with their slightly different sound signature.

I'm wondering which of them has the "best" headphone output. Has anyone of you more information or has the chance to listen to them?

post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jag86 View Post

As a result of a internet search, I found the following models of integrated amplifiers (in alphabetical order):
  • Denon PMA-720AE
  • Marantz PM-6004
  • NAD C326BEE (or C316BEE?) (high headphones' output impedance from datasheet)
  • Rotel RA-10

I'd like to test them to listen how they drive my Tannoys, but I'm not sure I will able to do that. However, I'm pretty sure that all of these amps will sound good, with their slightly different sound signature.
I'm wondering which of them has the "best" headphone output. Has anyone of you more information or has the chance to listen to them?

I have Denon PMA-720AE. I don't know much about others, but this Dennon gives realy nice sound quality. I don't have it here where I live, and last time I used it with headphones, it was HD570's. I used to turn "Source Direct" on to bypass bass/treble control. I think it had warm sound signature, and sound was highly detailed. My home made speakers (two three way, two two-way, and one passive sub) got new life with this thing. There was always plenty of power, and I never dared to listen to 100% volume.
Edited by koolas - 5/27/13 at 3:41pm
post #15 of 41

I have the Denon pma 720 also and my brother too he bought the NAD 326bee first but returned it cause the Denon sounded better warmer and more punch in it,the NAD was more neutral a little flat also,the marantz is also really good and the Rotel does not have a remote control which sucks a lot.For speakers i have the Dali Zensor 7's and the combi with Denon is awesome don't know about Tannoy tho....I have not high end headphones i have the Sony xb700 and the ATH ws55 but the headphone output is very good much better then the Fiio e10 for example...:)


Edited by dailysmoker - 6/11/13 at 9:28am
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