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Tube Amps & Headphone Appropriateness

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hi All,


Need a little help understanding synergies between tube amps and headphones.  I'm looking to upgrade, and in so doing, am trying to narrow down where/what I should be considering in terms of options.  Hopefully knowing what works and doesn't, and why, will help.


What I do know I want a tube amp for the qualities they are generally known to provide, and am looking in the Valhalla, Bottle Crack, Little Dot MKIV range... Of course, I am (will be) then looking at headphones these obviously will drive well and fit my preferences.  A few opening questions:


If I really want to get a pronounced effect from a headphone amp, is going higher in ohms necessary?  Does dropping the ohms on a headphone so they work better with more portable player degrade quality in some respect?


I read many comments on how tube amps don't work well with low impedance phones - is this an opinion, or something scientific?  Or, does it depend on specific characteristics of the amp, e.g. certain levels of output at various ohm factors?



Sorry - sort of mixed questions here, but I think the underlying confusion is clear.  Of course, more specific questions on gear to follow....


Thanks in advance

post #2 of 3
Thread Starter 

Never mind - found a few threads that address some of these questions.

post #3 of 3

Those three amps you listed are all OTL, or Output Transformer Less so they will have a high impedance output.  Running low impedance headphones through them will work, but will sound slow, wolly and just not very good at all.


As for synergy, all you can do is read the threads, sprinkle a little salt, and then decide what you think will suit your tastes.

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