or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › need for decent passive preamp
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

need for decent passive preamp

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I have a very nice NAD M3 (at least nice in my opinion) but it does not have a headphone input. So I would like some suggestions on a quality headphone amp that can act as a passive preamplifier so that the M3 will be my amplifier. This is a temporary solution and I only have NAD HP50s to use so I would like to keep the price around $400-500 if possible. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 4

Why use the headphone amp as a passive preamp? The NAD is an integrated amp that has multiple preouts, including a Rec loop. You can hook up the headphone amp to that and still use a more direct path from the source through that nice amp to the speakers, and only a slightly longer path to the headphone amp.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks ProtegeManiac, great suggestion for sure, but I really would also like a concrete suggestion for a headphone amp that is within my budget that can act in this capacity. Do you have any particular amp in mind, or anybody else of course? I am sadly not well enough versed in preamplifier designs to know what is most important. I know that I want the NAD to do as much of the work as possible and have the headphone amp do as little as possible. Perhaps I don't even need to spend $400? If there is a quality solution available for less, and no real sonic advantage to be had by spending way more I would be open to that. Thanks.

post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Defender View Post
 

Thanks ProtegeManiac, great suggestion for sure, but I really would also like a concrete suggestion for a headphone amp that is within my budget that can act in this capacity. Do you have any particular amp in mind, or anybody else of course? I am sadly not well enough versed in preamplifier designs to know what is most important. I know that I want the NAD to do as much of the work as possible and have the headphone amp do as little as possible. Perhaps I don't even need to spend $400? If there is a quality solution available for less, and no real sonic advantage to be had by spending way more I would be open to that. Thanks.

 

What headphone are you using? I do have a few in mind, but the system set-up will still be the same - just hook it up to the Rec loop on the amp - although one I do have in mind actually has a preamp (still, I say keep the path straight to the speakers).  As the cheapest option you can look into the Schiit Magni at $99, a great value compact discrete Class A/B amp, but you can go for the Asgard2 for $249 if a discrete Class A amp is more to your liking (this WILL get really hot if you don't have proper ventilation around it). There's also the Meier Audio Jazz, a Class A-biased opamp design that has a trick digital potentiometer that uses an analog knob (no fussing around with buttons, so you have the feel of a proper knob, with the benefits of digital potentiometers), and the Meier Audio Rock, which is only slightly larger than the Magni.

 

If you're not averse to trolling for used gear around here you can have a lot more options, such as the following, though of course somem might be much rarer used:

1. Meier Audio Headfive or similar designs, the chassis is similar to the Jazz

 

2. A CKK amplifier built from a kit

 

3. the original Asgard, which will be well below $200 nowadays

 

4. Gilmore Lite

 

5. AudioGD C2C


Edited by ProtegeManiac - 4/2/14 at 8:10pm
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphone Amps (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › need for decent passive preamp