About five months ago I purchased a Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Ortofon 2M Red turntable and am extremely pleased with it. I am currently running it through a really run-down Hitachi HA-300 amplifier that I snatched from my grandfathers' basement. I mainly listen music through my headphones (as the ones around me don't appreciate the music I listen to) and am looking to increase the sound quality I'm hearing through my headphones. I currently have Sennheiser HD 555's, but am looking to upgrade soon to better ones such as a HD 598, 650 or headphones from other brands. I don't plan on changing my cartridge anytime soon and I mainly listen to hardcore/punk/metal/rock. Now, I am looking for an upgrade of about 300/400 euro's but am a bit torn on which route to take.
As of right now I only listen through headphones, but next year I'll move out of my parents house and I'll invest in some speakers so I could play my vinyl out loud sometimes. I could buy either an integrated amplifier with a MM phonostage for around 300/400 euro's (with the benefit of being able to connect speakers to it at a later stage) or I could buy a preamp, a dedicated headphone amp and a high-quality chord to connect the two for about the same money. This would have the potential benefit of making my headphones sound better compared to an integrated amp. What the choice ultimately comes down to is whether the second option (with seperate preamp and headphone amp) will deliver superior sound quality through earphones compared to the first option of taking an integrated amplifier.
I've done some research and discovered that the comparison would be between the following choices:
- Marantz PM5004 (195 euro's)
- Denon PMA-720AE (299 euro's)
- NAD C316BEE (349 euro's)
- Pro-Ject Phono Box MM (79 euro's)
- Pro-Ject Phono Box (109 euro's) / Pro-Ject Phono Box S (159 euro's)
- Musical Fidelity V90LPS (185 euro's)
- Musical Fidelity V90HPA (225 euro's)
- Pro-Ject Headbox S (119 euro's)
Seeing as buying a preamp and headphone amp together would be a quite expensive ordeal and would leave me no possibility of hooking up some speakers, I am leaning a bit more towards an integrated amplifier, unless the sound quality of the preamp and headphone amp are significantly better. I am completely unaware of the differences in quality and therefore hope to gather some information here.
Any help, tips, suggestions are immensely appreciated. Thank you in advance!
- 4 Posts. Joined 2/2012
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