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Please recommend a few amps I should look into.

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hey Head-Fiers!

 

I'm in the market for a good 'Home' headphone amp. I've been searching through posts here and reviews on the web and I'm totally overloaded at the moment with all the amps out there.

 

I'm torn between tube and solid state first of all. I've always wanted to try a tube amp as the only experience I have is from when I was a kid and my Dad ran those amps. He always loved them but I was too young to remember anything about them. That was back in the 70's, (41 years old here).

 

My main headphones are the Grado 325i and I plan to eventually upgrade to a higher end Grado in time.

 

I'm looking for an amp that will compliment the grado's and future Grado's I might own.

 

All that said I'd consider solid state if it's really the best way to go. I listen to a lot of rock, metal, pop, some folk, and I really enjoy female singers such as Sarah McLaughlin, Tori Amos, Sarah Brightman etc..

 

I prefer my music to sound open/spacious, clean, detailed, and I like warm towards neutral. (My Grado's are a little on the bright side and that is why i thought a tube amp might be the way to go).

 

 

Budget: I don't really have a budget but I'd like to keep it around or below $600 for the amp including a DAC or I can add additional money towards a good DAC.

 

Any and all input welcome.

 

 

I own a Fiio E12 for a portable and because I'm so happy with the performance I now realize I want a good home amp just for my cans.

 

Thanks!

 

~Amish


Edited by Amish - 6/17/14 at 7:34pm
post #2 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amish View Post
 

I'm in the market for a good 'Home' headphone amp. I've been searching through posts here and reviews on the web and I'm totally overloaded at the moment with all the amps out there.

I'm torn between tube and solid state first of all. I've always wanted to try a tube amp as the only experience I have is from when I was a kid and my Dad ran those amps. He always loved them but I was too young to remember anything about them. That was back in the 70's, (41 years old here).

My main headphones are the Grado 325i and I plan to eventually upgrade to a higher end Grado in time.

I'm looking for an amp that will compliment the grado's and future Grado's I might own.

All that said I'd consider solid state if it's really the best way to go. I listen to a lot of rock, metal, pop, some folk, and I really enjoy female singers such as Sarah McLaughlin, Tori Amos, Sarah Brightman etc..

I prefer my music to sound open/spacious, clean, detailed, and I like warm towards neutral. (My Grado's are a little on the bright side and that is why i thought a tube amp might be the way to go).

Budget: I don't really have a budget but I'd like to keep it around or below $600 for the amp including a DAC or I can add additional money towards a good DAC.

Any and all input welcome.

I own a Fiio E12 for a portable and because I'm so happy with the performance I now realize I want a good home amp just for my cans.

 

I would think with low impedance headphones like the 32-Ohm Grado 325is, a low impedance solid state headphone amplifier might be the best.

The FiiO E12 is a low impedance headphone amplifier, providing way more power then your 325i would ever need.

 

The Audio-GD NFB-11 external DAC/Head amp ($355+shipping) comes with a Sabre DAC chip :) and a headphone amplifier with a very low output impedance (only 2-Ohms).

http://audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB112014/NFB112014EN.htm

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the response. It's funny you brought that amp up as it is one I've been looking at.

 

In fact I've been eye balling that one as well as the Objective2 + Odac.

 

And you make a good point about the E12 powering my Grado's as it does a pretty good job of it but I'd really like something that sounds even better. The E12 can't be the end all amp that I would need.

 

I have a handful of cans that I use on a regular basis depending on my mood yet none of them require a lot of power. BUT I do plan to buy the hifiman he400 and maybe next year or so a higher end set of Grado's.

 

I bought my current grados from a member here at Head-Fi a few years ago but I have never had anything that they sounded half decent on. Shockingly the E12 brought them to life which made me start thinking that an even better amp would help them sound even better yet!

 

I have some amazing speakers with my two channel amp but I have never had luck with my Grado's till recently.

 

I need a better amp now that I have heard a difference.

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

I'm really leaning towards the Ember amp from garage1217. I know I would have a lot of fun rolling tubes. For the money I can still pickup a good dac.

 

Gonna decide today sometime. I've been running solid state amps for home stereo for years and years. I think i want a change. Something I can tinker with.

 

Though I have found a great deal on a Objective 2 + ODAC so I am considering buying that off a guy. Save a lot of money but not really what I want. I might regret getting it. Gonna give it a few hours to decide.

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