Another headphone or an amp ? Need advice
Apr 18, 2003 at 10:26 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 15


Apr 18, 2003
Hi folks,

I'm now also am member of this great community. I have been visiting Head-Fi since 3-4 months now and my intention was just to find some information to spend some €'s for a new headphone. What I finally bought was the new Beyerdynamic DT880. I don't want to spend that much money, but after spending some time with my new headphone it's now time to say:

Thank you all for your great discussions that helped me to choose a new headphone !!!!!

But I'm now infected with the upgradititis-virus. So i want to spent another 200-250 €, but I don't know what to buy. Should I buy another headphone to get a different sound from my beyer, maybe a grado or something like that ? Or should I buy a dedicated headphone amp ?

I'm quite shure that most of you will advice me to buy an amp. But there is just one thing I'd like to add. I use a Sony NS-900 (DVD/SACD-Player) as a source and my reciever is a Yamaha with silent cinema. And I like this sound of it's headphone jack very much. You can get Prologic II throughout the headphone jack, I think this must sound quite similar to crosfeed ?

The problem is, I like the sound and I couldn't imagine what an improvement a dedicated amp could bring ?

So I would be very happy if someone could give me an advice. Thanks in advance.


Apr 18, 2003 at 10:47 PM Post #2 of 15
Well if you like the sound of your system, then it seems to me that what you want to do is get a new set of headphones as opposed to a dedicated amp. What you are searching for is not an upgrade, because you like what you have.....what you are searching for is a different sound, which will be more apparant in a new set of headphones.
Apr 18, 2003 at 11:23 PM Post #3 of 15
If the jack on your receiver is that good, I'd have to say you'd be better off getting a new pair of phones. I've heard some powerful receivers and you'll be better off with the receiver's sound unless you want to drop a considerable amount of money on an amp. For 200-250, you'd be much better off just getting a new set of cans.
Apr 19, 2003 at 1:21 AM Post #4 of 15
Welcome to Head-Fi. Sorry about your wallet.

On a dollar per unit of performance basis, you're best investment will be new set headphones. The first of many I predict.
Apr 19, 2003 at 3:32 AM Post #5 of 15
Frienes, Quote:

I'm now infected with the upgradititis-virus.

Get out now. Before it is too late. Buy some CDs and SACDs and just enjoy the music. You do not need anything else. Save your money. Get a girlfriend. She will drain every last dollar in your crying wallet. And you will be happy. (Or at least I hope so). You have been warned.

May I suggest a nice tube amp.
yeah, an RKV, that's the ticket.
Apr 19, 2003 at 2:52 PM Post #6 of 15

thanks for your input.

@ AIM9x

My problem is, that I really don't know, if my reciever's jack is very good, it has an output impedance of about 580 ohm. But I like the sound, especially when combined with the silent cinema function (and it is very comfortable, I don't have to sit next to the amp because it has an remote control hehe).

@ RacerX

Some special questions for you. I have seen the picture of your beautiful amp. How does ist sound, especially with the grados (maybe my next can?) ? Where can you buy it and how much will it cost ? Thanks in advance.

@ wallijonn

Happy birthday,

I know I should follow the first part of your advice, but, ... we all only live once ...


Apr 19, 2003 at 4:06 PM Post #7 of 15

Originally posted by Frienes has an output impedance of about 580 ohm.

Hard to believe!

Apr 19, 2003 at 6:28 PM Post #8 of 15
Hi JaZZ,

your right, I made a little mistake, just looked into the instruction and it says:

Phones Output: 0.34 V/560 ohm

But I have deffinetly no idea what that means, I mean, is it good or bad to have such an impedance ?


Apr 20, 2003 at 5:34 AM Post #9 of 15

Some special questions for you. I have seen the picture of your beautiful amp. How does ist sound, especially with the grados (maybe my next can?) ? Where can you buy it and how much will it cost ? Thanks in advance.

Thank you for your kind words. However, my Cmoy is merely one of many "mint tin" amps built by many members of these boards. It's a simple, elegant and great sounding headphone amp designed by Chu Moy. The schematic can be found in the Library section of Tangent has put together a fantastic guide for constructing the Cmoy with about $30 worth of parts. It sounds fantastic with both my Grados and my Eggos. I highly recommend trying this project if you ever get bitten by the DIY bug.

However, if you wish to purchase a CMOY or any of the other great amps mentioned on these boards, various members will build one for you for a reasonable price. I know both Tangent and JMT are well known as quality people to deal with who deliver beautiful amps.
Apr 20, 2003 at 6:39 PM Post #10 of 15
Hi RacerX,

many thanks for sharing your experiences. I think building an amp on my own is no option, because I have only very limited technical know how. Instead I will collect more informations in this forum and maybe buy an amp later on.


Apr 20, 2003 at 7:30 PM Post #11 of 15
You already have great headphones. I would advise an amp next. Not sure of your budget, since the characters came across funny. Can you translate?

My second choice would be an equalizer. Limitless sound shaping without changing cans. I am wishing that I had started there myself.

Welcome to the whirlpool

Apr 21, 2003 at 1:13 AM Post #12 of 15

if you fill out your profile more (specifically location), then you will probably get some responses from people who may invite you to a mini-Meet or Meet.


you do not live only once. just as there's before and after 65, there is also before and after Head-Fi.
save the bucks, get an RKV or a Gilmore. resist temptation. or all is lost.

thanks for the birthday wishes.
Apr 21, 2003 at 6:43 PM Post #13 of 15

@ gerG

I saw the funny characters in my posting. My budget is ment to be in Euro. I used the Euro-sign but it seems that the system didn't understand it.

I love my new headphones and I like the sound out of my receiver. The problem is that I have never heard a dedicated headphone amp, so I couldn't imagine if and how much better it will sound. One advantage of my receiver is that I can adjust treble and bass and that I have a lot of different DSP-programs (for rock concerts, jazz club, music hall etc.). I won't have these possibilities when I just use a headphone amp.

I saw in your profil that you are a lucky owner of a corda HA-1. I think this amp could be interesting after the price-reduction. Does it sound good with the beyer DT880 ? Will the improvement over my receiver justify the investment (I know this is very subjective) ?

@ wallijonn

"there is a live before and after head-fi"

You're absolutely right. It's very hard to stand all the temptations in this forum. So I must limit my budget now and never come back after I spent it. And that was exactly what I said to me before I bought the beyers ...


Apr 21, 2003 at 7:28 PM Post #14 of 15
Hi Frienes.

I am not sure that I have ever even seen the symbol for the euro. I need to go educate myself

The HA-1 is indeed a good match for the DT880s. I don't think that they need crossfeed, but I do really like Jan's variable x-feed circuit. My only real gripe about the HA-1 are the mini-jacks for the headphone output. Not a problem if you have the stock cable on the Beyers (I don't, so I have to use a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter with the Corda).

Does your receiver have pre-out connectors on the back? If you miss the tone controls you could actually connect your headphone amp up to the pre-outs and still have that option.

Apr 23, 2003 at 5:36 PM Post #15 of 15
Hi gerG,

thanks for your reply. My receiver has pre-outs, I looked it up in the manual. But only bass- and treble-control will have an effect on the sound then. There is no chance getting the DSP-modes out of the pre-outs. Maybe I'm a little bit discriminating ?

The symbol for the euro is a C and =, and the = goes straight through the C. I hope you can understand that.



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