Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Budget headphone amp vs Budget stereo amp
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Budget headphone amp vs Budget stereo amp - Page 4

post #46 of 53

Adcom preamp for headphones?

the manual to my Adcom 565 preamp declares it has a "high quality headphone amplifier" built in, but then goes on to say it will work best with headphones at about 600ohms. I have some AKG701s coming (they say!).

Does anybody have experience/ideas about how well my Adcom will be able to drive quality headphones?

I called Adcom, and they claim not to have specific info about the other specs.

I'd appreciate any feedback.

russedelic
post #47 of 53

Decent enough amp?

First off: If this shows up as a double post, my apologies. I posted nearly an hour ago (I think) and just got a blank screen and the post never showed. So I'm trying it again:

Hi all,

Sorry to dig up (and hijack?) this old thread, but I've been searching for just this sort of info. I have just ordered some K701s ($233 on ebay!) to replace my old and finally broken HD530s. I have an older (~1989) Rotel RA-810A integrated that I am hoping to use to drive these headphones, as I really don't have the budget to also get a headphone amp. After reading this thread, I checked the schematic that Rotel emailed me, and it appears that indeed the headphone jack is run right from the speaker posts and then through a couple of resistors (not sure the values, if important). If I remember correctly, the rated power is 10W (maybe 20W?) per channel.

Think this will be up to snuff? Or would a cheap (less than $200) headphone amp really make a difference? I haven't had any complaints about any of my gear (for the price), though it is all about the same age.

Just in case it matters, or anyone's interested: Rotel RA-810A, Mission DAD5, Mission DAC5 (lately used to connect onboard SPDIF out from media PC), Aiwa AD-F800, Systemdek IIX with stock Profile arm and Blue Point cartridge, Mission m35i, plus a Rotel RA-870 that I acquired but don't use because it doesn't sound quite right (probably due to age/abuse and could use some repairs?). No special cables or interconnects, just bigger is (usually) better. Music choices? You know, anything that sounds good, I enjoy it all.

Also, any harm in running that amp with speakers disconnected, since they don't turn off when the headphone is connected?

Thanks, any opinions, etc. would be very much appreciated.

Mark.
post #48 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbirkett View Post
I am still not entirely convinced that a dedicated headphone amp is all that much better than a good integrated amp for driving headphones.
This is an interesting opinion. I think my Cambridge 340A sounds awesome with my DT770s. The only reason I have been considering buying a dedicated headphone amp is that most people on this forum think I will hear an obvious improvement. If I spend the $ and that turns out not to be the case, I will be sorely disappointed!
post #49 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by intoart View Post
This is an interesting opinion. I think my Cambridge 340A sounds awesome with my DT770s. The only reason I have been considering buying a dedicated headphone amp is that most people on this forum think I will hear an obvious improvement. If I spend the $ and that turns out not to be the case, I will be sorely disappointed!
I'm also glad that I stumbled upon this thread. It helps put things into perspective and supports my own experiences.

I have the 80ohm DT770 Pros that I've been using straight from the Denon PMA-700AE integrated amplifier's headphone jack. Recently I bought a Corda Arietta headphone amp because I found one used and was interested in trying it out.

Well, I couldn't hear any difference. It could be that my source (plain X-Fi as DAC) is the limiting factor, or maybe there are differences that my untrained ears just don't spot. In any case... the 200€ headphone amp couldn't beat the 400€ integrated amplifier's headphone jack with the DT770s. No obvious improvement to be heard. In my case at least.

However I don't regret buying the Arietta; it's nice to toy with (the best crossfeed around, they say), it certainly doesn't sound worse than the Denon, it didn't cost much and won't lose its value, and who knows, it might start shining with a proper DAC. This small disappointment hardly put a stop to my journey into headphone hi-fi.
post #50 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by wundi View Post
I'm also glad that I stumbled upon this thread. It helps put things into perspective and supports my own experiences.

I have the 80ohm DT770 Pros that I've been using straight from the Denon PMA-700AE integrated amplifier's headphone jack. Recently I bought a Corda Arietta headphone amp because I found one used and was interested in trying it out.

Well, I couldn't hear any difference. It could be that my source (plain X-Fi as DAC) is the limiting factor, or maybe there are differences that my untrained ears just don't spot. In any case... the 200€ headphone amp couldn't beat the 400€ integrated amplifier's headphone jack with the DT770s. No obvious improvement to be heard. In my case at least.

However I don't regret buying the Arietta; it's nice to toy with (the best crossfeed around, they say), it certainly doesn't sound worse than the Denon, it didn't cost much and won't lose its value, and who knows, it might start shining with a proper DAC. This small disappointment hardly put a stop to my journey into headphone hi-fi.

More and more interesting! The Arietta was on my short list to try, because Corda is supposed to have excellent synergy with Beyer. Now it is crossed off the list, and I am leaning even more strongly towards thinking that an amp will not give me a noticeable improvement.

It is also enlighteng to read that the Denon sounds great with the 770s. I thought perhaps that when I bought my Cambridge, I just happened to luck into an integrated amp with an exceptionally good headphone section (luck because I was not even thinking about headphones at the time.

The only thing that I still think could perhaps make a real improvement at this point is tubes. Tubes are said to provide an enlarged soundstage, which is something I would enjoy.
post #51 of 53
I had a Creek OBH-11 amp for a short time, and it did not do any better than my Denon stereo receiver, which has a very good headphone output. If anything, Creek sounded worse, with harsher sound and thinner base.
I recently acquired Head-Direct EF1 (hybrid), and this amp is a definite improvement over my Denon receiver, with greater soundstage, smoother/richer mid-range and treble, and tighter base. I'm using Denon D2000 by the way.
I had also considered Arietta, but thought (I'm not sure correctly or incorrectly) that it would not differ much from Creek.
post #52 of 53
I think it depends a lot on the stereo receiver/amp/etc that you're using and a bit on the headphones too. The impedance of the output on most receivers and my integrated amp as well is higher (as mentioned) which probably won't suit low impedance headphones well. My NAD integrated drives my HD650s very well though, no complaints.
post #53 of 53
Great thread.
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) › Budget headphone amp vs Budget stereo amp