Originally Posted by nikongod
Cute, thanks for implying that I am not familiar with amp designs.
There is nothing inherently wrong with the EL34, or even pentodes (gasp!), but I am mostly curious why one would suggest such a powerful tube to put barely any power at all into a headphone.
Can you justify the suggestion to use such a powerful tube when less powerful tubes may offer very compelling advantages? El84, and the various "German post" tubes spring to mind immediately as things I would rather see in a headphone amp.
If more power is what we need for headphones why not just look at KT88 designs? Because we don't need more power. We need better linearity. We need lower noise. We need so little power it is often hard to measure.
No? I thought you were commenting on the fact that EL34s sounded bad or something.
I am well aware that the EL34 is a high power tube, but power tubes do offer different sound signatures than your average preamp tube. I am not a fan of using preamp tubes to power headphones. It sounds a bit more flat than using power tubes as triodes.
There are several EL34 amp designs that can use a variety of power pentodes and run them as a triode too, so you can also get a much wider range of sound signatures which is kind of fun. Like I personally like the valve art 350bs since they have a nice full body and warm sound. I can not get the 350b sound out of a 12au7 or something like that.
This is one of the DIY EL34 amps that my friend built. It is a speaker amp, but we used a resistor box to make it adaptable for headphones. I also have a pic of my 350b amp. They are all speaker amps that still kill those stupid darkvoice and deceware amps.