Originally Posted by Phishin Phool
It seems like a distinction in many headphone amps is whether or not it has an op amp. I understand what an op amp is but not why it is a better or worse choice than an alternative.
BTW being a long term 'speaker' HT guy moving into the world of headphones and related items I feel like an idiot at times and just lost at others
When I look at an amp, I could care less if it's an operation amplifier, or a different type. I look for quality sound, with output ranges that fit my needs.
I suggest you worry less about this. You seem to be doing too much reading, and not enough listening.
There are probably thousands of threads on the subject of op amp rolling, looking for "the sound" but each one for each person is different. No different than simply having a favorite color. There's not one that is clearly superior. The only thing that matters is the subjective variable of you liking it.
You will literally drown in technical gear fights, with no clear winner, and gear creep as new stuff is released, or an old idea is "revisisted" and becomes popular again.
Again, I highly suggest you simply don't worry about it, and focus on getting something that sounds like it will be pleasing to your ear.