Do I need a dedicated headphone amp?
May 29, 2009 at 3:50 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6


New Head-Fier
Jan 11, 2008
I'm upgrading my home stereo system...listen approx 25% of time thru my headphones.
My salesperson at hi-end, well respected audio place is advising the Peachtree Audio Nova as a combo DAC+ headphone amp for approx $1500. I feel he is de-emphasizing the headphone part of my new set-up. Would a dedicated headphone amp such as RPX-33 be a better headphone amp(then I;d need a separate DAC), or is the combo DAC in the Nova equivalent in quality?
May 29, 2009 at 6:09 AM Post #2 of 6
You can use Pico to feed your (future) amp first. Then you can upgrade DAC later.

About the amp, if you are free on this weekend, just drive to the south for a CanJam. You will find out what you like to have.
May 29, 2009 at 6:28 AM Post #3 of 6
The Nova is a really neat unit with tube pre+headphone section and a nice DAC too, for the price that would be worth it but then it adds a decent solid state speaker amp too. Since you're getting it from a dealer I assume you've at least tested it at his place and have a chance to try it in-home as well? If it's a proper authorized dealer I'd do an in-home trial and see how you like it. If I didn't already have a speaker amp the Nova would be on my short list.
May 29, 2009 at 9:59 AM Post #4 of 6
Looking at the Nova, it just looks like an integrated amp with lots of other functions and a headphone jack... I am a bit suspious of things like that. Best to try it with your headphone to see what you think. I am a bit doubtful it will beat quality dedicated headphone amp.
May 29, 2009 at 3:23 PM Post #6 of 6
Can you drive to LA this weekend? You'd have a great time listening to a lot of different gear and would learn a lot.

I haven't heard of the Peachtree. Have you thought about buying used? For $1,500, you can pick up a terrific preamp and amp from Audiogon. I'd put the emphasis on your speakers first, since you listen to those 75% of the time. Though make sure to get a preamp with a tape loop/record out feature. That way, you could add a dedicated headphone amp in the future and have it integrated nicely with your rig.

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