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Budget headphone amp vs Budget stereo amp - Page 2

post #16 of 53
My DT880 sounds very good through the headphone jack of my Pioneer Elite A-35R integrated amp. It is indeed a little warm, but I think this works well with the DT880. Same goes for the SR60. It sounds noticeably better out of this amp than out of an ipod or PCDP. Now, the Westone UM2....it sounds awful...it's way too sensitive and picks up all kinds of noise, while the jack is virtually silent with the other phones. The bass is also extremely bloated. I also really like having the remote volume control.
post #17 of 53
Jeez, just when I was ready to buy my first headphone amp, all this doubt now comes my way!

Though, in my case, neither my pre, or amp has a jack. My inexpensive dvd player does, but, if I want to listen to something other than cd's or dvd's.... I guess I STILL need one. But now Im more concerned on how much to spend....I had more or less decided on either a Gilmore Lite, or a Rockhopper Audio M3 (with STEPS psu)...maybe I should just sell my stereo gear and buy a clock radio with an eight-track player in it....
post #18 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tull1996
maybe I should just sell my stereo gear and buy a clock radio with an eight-track player in it....
Yeah, you are probably better off going that route.
post #19 of 53
I love this thread.

Let's not forget another budget bargain for high impedence headphones:

The Marantz 2230 receiver or 1060 int. amp. Just make sure the caps are not dry as these are both circa 1976. I agree with the comments on the Rotel 971 MK2 and remember a great review for that unit in an underground audio magazine "The Audio Critic" comparing it to top line amp/preamp combos.
post #20 of 53
Im surprised to see this thread here, ive seen the same post all over the net and on other forums, pbirkett you have been busy

I decided to go the stereo integrated amp route and went with the popular Nad C352 amp since I heard from this post Nads tend to have good headphone outputs.

So I paired them with the Senn HD-595s, and with my X-fi soundcard front panel output for comparisions.

My conclusion may proove interesting.....

The X-fi headphone output jack is better then the headphone jack output on the NAD stereo amp.
Ive tried it dozens and dozens of times and my ears can notice the Vocals/mids are alot more sharper and detailed and the Vocals are clearer from the X-fi soundcard output.

Its almost night and day difference, so my plan is to return this Nad Stereo amp for a refund.

Im not saying its bad, the Nad amp sounds great and has slightly better bass extensions over the X-fis output and with the right speakers it may sound completly different!

Before this I had a Sherwood Newcastle RDS925 AV amp and oddly this had a very good headphone output, maybe not as strong bass as the Nads but better mids/higher trebles which the nad headphone output just cant match.

I think headfis gonna cost me! cos ive spent £350 and the Amps going back should get a refund no problem but now I wanna ditch my Senn HD595s since the open design expels too much noise for my liking!

Im gonna stick with the X-fis output till I research better but I may try a headphone amp or possibly a Denon AV amp and a decent closed pair of cans.
post #21 of 53

Do receiver headphone jacks change the FR?

The heretic says: "All you need is the power provided by a good old NAD receiver's headphone jack. The rest is just overkill. No need for fancy amps!" Audio blasphemy?

My guess is that good receivers work because having enough power is critical for good headphone sound. But is there more to it? I'm about to find out! I've been using the headphone jack on my NAD 7175PE receiver, but just bought a Meier Audio Corda Aria amp.

Meier has an interesting argument against using a receiver with headphone jack. He points out that these usually have a resistor between the amp output and the headphones, and this resistor changes the frequency response of the sound. He has a graph showing the effect of two different resistor values on the FR of an HD 600 and a DT 931. The graph shows a distorted response, with a bass bump and treble roll-off. Meier comments:
Quote:
With most headphones, increasing the output impedance makes the headphone sound darker and more muddy
You can find Meier's thoughts on http://www.meier-audio.homepage.t-on...tipstricks.htm
post #22 of 53
Some receivers have headphone outputs not powered by the amplifer section at all.

Headphone outputs can also be powered by opamps on modern receivers and integrated amps.

Many have reported the best results from lower powered integrated amps that can use the lower powered amplifier sections with a minimum of resistors/buffering between the amp and the headphone socket.
post #23 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by RP2X
Im surprised to see this thread here, ive seen the same post all over the net and on other forums, pbirkett you have been busy

I decided to go the stereo integrated amp route and went with the popular Nad C352 amp since I heard from this post Nads tend to have good headphone outputs.

So I paired them with the Senn HD-595s, and with my X-fi soundcard front panel output for comparisions.

My conclusion may proove interesting.....

The X-fi headphone output jack is better then the headphone jack output on the NAD stereo amp.
Ive tried it dozens and dozens of times and my ears can notice the Vocals/mids are alot more sharper and detailed and the Vocals are clearer from the X-fi soundcard output.

Its almost night and day difference, so my plan is to return this Nad Stereo amp for a refund.

Im not saying its bad, the Nad amp sounds great and has slightly better bass extensions over the X-fis output and with the right speakers it may sound completly different!

Before this I had a Sherwood Newcastle RDS925 AV amp and oddly this had a very good headphone output, maybe not as strong bass as the Nads but better mids/higher trebles which the nad headphone output just cant match.

I think headfis gonna cost me! cos ive spent £350 and the Amps going back should get a refund no problem but now I wanna ditch my Senn HD595s since the open design expels too much noise for my liking!

Im gonna stick with the X-fis output till I research better but I may try a headphone amp or possibly a Denon AV amp and a decent closed pair of cans.
No doubt, if you read the thread, you'd see that integrated amp headphone sockets only sound good with higher impendence headphones, the 595s are only 50.

If you were using the 580s, 600s, or 650s, the story would be totally different.
I've heard both out of my NAD, and I agree the 595s do not sound good as opposed to other amps I have heard the 595 with make it sound great.

Its all about synergy.

On a side note, I am planning to upgrade from using my NAD 352 headphone out to either a GS-1 or a PPX3 Slam, I hope to add some insight about improvements with a much better amp vs integrated amps for headphone use next month.
post #24 of 53

Nad 352

I had a NAD 370 that sounded OK but not as good as my Rockhopper M3.

Not really fair to compare the NAD 352 which is less expensive than the GS-1.

I think the better NAD integrated amps for driving headphones are the lower powered units such as original 3020.
post #25 of 53
OK, after many years of trial and error, and after trying a lot of amps, Nik arrived to a similar conclusion, with the difference that he is using now a fairly expensive integrate amp instead of a budget one, the CS-600 IIRC....Here is the link of those Japanese beauties...He swears on them and the K701
post #26 of 53
I completely agree. Power amps with some resistor wiring for headphone output can compete very well against dedicated headphone amps. If an amp can drive speakers well, then it can be modded to drive headphones well also. Sometimes some resistor values need to be calculated for the particular headphone for best results, but I really do think the newer class D power amps can beat any headphone amp in headphones mode. I will soon verify this.
post #27 of 53
Hey, the information in this thread is genius! Maybe we can get Jude to shut down the amplification forum altogether; that way we can put a stop to all these headphone amplification companies ripping us off if there is no discussions about them.
post #28 of 53
You do realize that until yesterday, this thread has been inactive since October 2004, with the exception of one posting in Sept. 2005?
post #29 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by replytoken
You do realize that until yesterday, this thread has been inactive since October 2004, with the exception of one posting in Sept. 2005?
Blame chippy.
post #30 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asmo
No doubt, if you read the thread, you'd see that integrated amp headphone sockets only sound good with higher impendence headphones, the 595s are only 50.

If you were using the 580s, 600s, or 650s, the story would be totally different.
I've heard both out of my NAD, and I agree the 595s do not sound good as opposed to other amps I have heard the 595 with make it sound great.

Its all about synergy.

On a side note, I am planning to upgrade from using my NAD 352 headphone out to either a GS-1 or a PPX3 Slam, I hope to add some insight about improvements with a much better amp vs integrated amps for headphone use next month.

I wasnt aware that the higher impendence headphones would sound better, this was certainly not the case with my HD-595 cans and my old Sherwood AV amp/reciever unit, it did provide higher levels of treble alround just the bass the nad won it on, overall though the Sherwood AV headphone output was better.

Ive always liked headphone outs from amps/but as ive read from most guys here they reckon they have spent $10on the headphone output hence it wont match even a budget headphone amplifier.....

Im curious to try that accept id miss the features a Stereo/AV amp would have ie multiple source inputs/modes/volume and Remote ! Yes the surge/Creek headphone amps £300-600+ have those features but way expensive!
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