Balanced Solid State Headphone Amps
Oct 18, 2008 at 3:35 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 40

4N6

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After spending some amazing time with the TTVJ 307A and Ray Samuels B-52, I am interested in getting away from the "high maintenance blond" of the amplifier world (aka: tube amps) and getting back to the nice "girl next door" (aka: solid state amps). However, I am unsure that a balanced solid state amp exists that is in the same league as those two amplifiers. The Headroom Max Balanced Amp is of interest, but there are not many posts about this amp and it seems to have been around awhile without any updates (not necessarily a bad thing as "newer" is not necessarily "better", but I know that new electronic components have been made recently that definitely outperform older versions...especially op-amps). As it seems that the RSA Apache is bested by the B-52, and I sold my B-52 in favor of the 307A, I am pretty sure that I would be "downgrading" by going the Apache route. Therefore, not too sure I want to go that direction.

With that said...What else is out there?!?
 
Oct 18, 2008 at 3:40 AM Post #2 of 40

lacrossebowe8

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If you have any experience in DIY you could try building the B22 or if not you could have it built by one of the builders. Check amb.org for info. To many this is the finest solid state amp available.
 
Oct 18, 2008 at 6:31 AM Post #4 of 40

HeadphoneAddict

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Quote:

Originally Posted by 4N6 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
After spending some amazing time with the TTVJ 307A and Ray Samuels B-52, I am interested in getting away from the "high maintenance blond" of the amplifier world (aka: tube amps) and getting back to the nice "girl next door" (aka: solid state amps). However, I am unsure that a balanced solid state amp exists that is in the same league as those two amplifiers. The Headroom Max Balanced Amp is of interest, but there are not many posts about this amp and it seems to have been around awhile without any updates (not necessarily a bad thing as "newer" is not necessarily "better", but I know that new electronic components have been made recently that definitely outperform older versions...especially op-amps). As it seems that the RSA Apache is bested by the B-52, and I sold my B-52 in favor of the 307A, I am pretty sure that I would be "downgrading" by going the Apache route. Therefore, not too sure I want to go that direction.

With that said...What else is out there?!?



I have a Single Power 2008 model Square Wave XL discrete SS balanced amp (redesigned after beta in 2007, and with the optional Blackgates upgrade MSRP $1249). At the July Head-fi meet in Denver I compared it to a Headroom Balanced Desktop and liked the Square Wave XL better, enough to buy it on the spot.

I have since brought the Square Wave and my Woo WA6 over to Blutarsky's a few times and we have determined that it is in the same league as his Zana Deux and Melos SHA Gold with single ended headphones, and excels with balanced headphones. My WA6 is maxed and needed the new pseudo dual power supply and Sophia Princess 274b rectifier to move up into that same class of amps.

I am listening to it right now with my balanced HD600 and absolutely love it - I could not more highly recommend it. There is not much posted about this amp either, and all I could find was some reviews of the 2007 beta that were not glowing about it, but rather it was okay but not spectacular. Mikhail went back to make changes, being the perfectionist he is, and it is indeed spectacular now.

I have links in my public profile to some reviews we did, under the "about me" tab.
 
Oct 18, 2008 at 7:47 AM Post #5 of 40

krmathis

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Singlepower SS-1 maybe?
Dual cabinet solid state amplifier, which I am quite sure is fully balanced.

3.jpg
 
Oct 18, 2008 at 10:46 AM Post #8 of 40

krmathis

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Ricey20 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
that is one sick looking SS amp from Singlepower, never even heard of that one. Looks expensive
tongue.gif



Around $15,000 I think. So quite expensive it is...
 
Oct 18, 2008 at 12:11 PM Post #9 of 40

Audio Addict

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Quote:

Originally Posted by 4N6 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
After spending some amazing time with the TTVJ 307A and Ray Samuels B-52, I am interested in getting away from the "high maintenance blond" of the amplifier world (aka: tube amps) and getting back to the nice "girl next door" (aka: solid state amps). .........

I am pretty sure that I would be "downgrading" by going the Apache route. Therefore, not too sure I want to go that direction.

With that said...What else is out there?!?



Could you provide a little more insight into this issue? I had been thinking of upgrading from my Apache but I definitely don't want a "high maintenance blond".
 
Oct 18, 2008 at 4:39 PM Post #11 of 40

4N6

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Audio Addict /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Could you provide a little more insight into this issue? I had been thinking of upgrading from my Apache but I definitely don't want a "high maintenance blond".


The "high maintenance" part of the B-52 and 307A is the bane of all tube amps, namely the need to replace the tubes which can get quite expensive. I use my headphone amp primarily at work and it is on most all day, so I go through tubes relatively quickly. That and the irresitable urge to tube roll leads to an ever decreasing wallet size. And I could be using that money to buy music!
smily_headphones1.gif


A solid state amp, should one be out there that is sonically in the same ballpark as the TTVJ 307A, may be a little better choice for my situation. Unfortunately, the Singlepower SS-1 may be a little too expensive at $15,000. All right, no "may be" about it, it IS too expensive! I do not know much about the RudiStor but admit that I was at their website last night looking at that beast. Anyone own the RP010-B MkII? Also, does anyone own the Headroom Balanced Max?

Man, I need to go to the next CanJam!
 
Oct 18, 2008 at 7:33 PM Post #12 of 40

vcoheda

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i doubt you'll find a solid state balanced amp that is on par with the 307A or B52.
 
Oct 18, 2008 at 8:07 PM Post #13 of 40

4N6

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Quote:

Originally Posted by vcoheda /img/forum/go_quote.gif
i doubt you'll find a solid state balanced amp that is on par with the 307A or B52.


That's what I am afraid of.
 
Oct 19, 2008 at 12:31 AM Post #14 of 40

Sony_R10

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Quote:

Originally Posted by 4N6 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Anyone own the RP010-B MkII? Also, does anyone own the Headroom Balanced Max?

Man, I need to go to the next CanJam!



Markl owned the RP010-B MkII . You should ask him his experience with it.
 
Oct 19, 2008 at 10:48 AM Post #15 of 40

tom hankins

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The Singlepower Transparency is a killer SS balanced amp. (also the best SS preamp i have had in my system) Its remote controled, XLR and SE inputs (you can run two sources) and outputs. Small in size, ( 4" high X 14" wide X 12" deep) dual chassie but joined by the front and back plates, around $4K new. I know Mikhail has the one I sent back when I got my all tubed preamp. Might see if you can get a deal on it. I used it with balanced qualias, R10s, and 650s. All were very, very good.
 

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