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Versatile headphone amp solution?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hello all,


Been a couple of years getting into head-fi, coming from 2 channel audio. I moved into a smaller place and the neighbors aren't too fond of the Dyn's so I am looking to put my investment into some better headphone equipment. My cans currently are DT990/600, and K702 in the past.


I am looking for a new tube amp and I am a bit torn. I was leaning towards something OTL like a used Woo WA3 or the Bottlehead crack. However, I am sure that as time goes on I will want to expand my headphone collection. I know that OTL really shine with high Ohm headphones, such as the Beyers - but this is where I struggle. If I am going to spend money on an amp, then I want it to be versatile and power low Ohm as well as high Ohm if I were to try some different headphones in the next year or so. Does such a thing exist? Would I be better off looking at solid state or hybrid amps, or would there be a tube solution that has output transformers and not cost me an arm and a leg?


Reasoning for tube: My speaker gear is SS, usually when I listen to cans it is late at night and the silky smooth sounds of tubes entice me.


My gear:



Simaudio Moon 100D

Arcam rDac



Little Dot I + w/spare tubes and the recommended op amp



Beyer DT990/600


Headphones I'm interested in for the near future:

Sennheiser 598/600/650

Hifiman HE-400

Beyer T70


Any input is appreciated, I don't know a ton about amps but I know a lot of you do. I would like to keep the budget ~300 give or take. Used is fine of course.Thanks in advance.


P.S. I would be open to amp/dac combos if it is a good value.

post #2 of 4
Thread Starter 

Bump. Alone on this one?

post #3 of 4
You can check Bottlehead S.E.X. It has an impedance switch as optional. Many people report that it was good with high and low impedance cans. I don't have the opportunity to listen to it though. Hope this helps
post #4 of 4

Ditto on the S.E.X. with the impedance switch option.  Or an amp designed to drive headphones with hi/low impedances; usually it will have some type of impedance switching via a switch.  However, very few amps can drive all cans better than two separate amps that are optimized to drive either high or low impedance.


Another possibility to is to get two amps, one to drive high impedance cans (usually OTL) and the other to drive low impedance cans.  

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