Do you want multiple RCA inputs/RCA pre-out on your amp?
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antness

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I was wondering how many of you find multiple sets of RCA inputs, and even an RCA pre-out to be a useful feature on your amplifier.

For example, the Corda HA-1 has only 1 set of RCAs, which is an input. Would this amp be more desirable if it had 2 sets of RCA inputs? What about 2 sets of RCA inputs and an RCA preamp output? How much more do you think these features are worth?

-antness
 
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akar

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I would find this feature very desirable.
I have been considering the Sonic Adventure Reality, and one of it's best selling points, excluding sound, would be the dual, switchable inputs, and a pre-out.
 
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andrzejpw

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personally, I'm ok with just 1 input, but that's since my system is dedicated to headphone listening. In the future, I'd probably like another input, since I'll be going off to college, and it would be nice to have one for the computer as well.
 
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sacd lover

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I think if you are going to use it as a preamp the extra imputs are essential. I wouldnt want two imputs without a preamp out. If the cost were reasonable, I would probably get the preamp outs. Whats reasonable? I dont know, because I have no idea how much work and time and parts costs these changes would require. I REALLY WANT THIS AMP. Strangely enough, with the posts about what a good preamp this design makes, I was going to PM you to see what the cost difference and performance losses,if any, would be. To be truthful, all I have been waiting for are some objective posts detailing this amps performance as a headphone amp; and if they are as good as I expect them to be,I will buy one regardless of whether these other options are available or not.
 
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Hirsch

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In a high quality amp, I'd want at least two inputs, one for vinyl and one for a CDP. It's also possible I could hook up outputs from a HT preamp for headphone use, perhaps a tuner or even a <shudder> cassette deck. A pre-out would be nice, but not at the expense of headphone performance. The second input is key, and would be worth extra expense to me, but any more would be luxuries. Worth a bit extra, but not a lot. A set of balanced inputs would be nice...
 
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antness

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Would you pay 10% more for an amp for adding an extra set of inputs and pre-out, as opposed to just one set of inputs?
 
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kerelybonto

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More features never hurt. Some headamps just won't make good preamps, so it doesn't make a lot of sense to put a pre-out on them. Multiple inputs is close to essential in my opinion, though.

As I think I've told you, I wanted to see a pre-out and an additional input on your amp. A lot of the headphone amps competing with yours offer both these options, and given how well the KG Dynamic is supposed to perform as a preamp, it just seems stupid to leave it out.

How much would I pay? Depends on the amp, of course -- 10% is quite variable depending on how much the amp was to start with. We all know it doesn't cost $50 to add two sets of RCA jacks and drill a few holes though. That said, I still think a lot of people would be interested in your amp at that higher price with those additional features, especially if you market it as a headamp/preamp. Not sure I'd go for it then, though, since it's already pushing my budget -- but that's just me.

So depends on the amp. But the KG Dynamic is a prime candidate for these features.

kerely
 
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I think 10% is reasonable. I dont really need a preamp now myself,but if I did Iwould pay this extra amount. The question I have is, are you just going to build all the amps in one configuration? Will we be able to choose if we want the extra imputs/outputs or the basic amp?
 
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antness

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kerely,

Of course, two sets of RCA jacks doesn't cost $50 (well...some jacks would..) but there's also the matter of switches to select the input and output. These can be costly as well.

However, the big deal is, the labor. Ask any DIYer, hooking up switches and jacks is a lot of work. There's probably an extra 30 minutes of labor in wiring two more sets of jacks and 2 switches.

Someone mentioned that they'd prefer if an amp had the option of having an extra set of jacks. The problem with this, is most amp manufacturers have their panels custom fabricated or drilled. This would mean there would be extra sets of holes for those who don't want more than 1 set of Jacks (however, the amp could be upgraded at a later time). If some panels were made to have one set of jacks, some panels for two sets of jacks, and some panels for 3 sets of jacks, the amount of labor or panel drilling cost would increase thus increasing the cost of the amp and the options of adding more jacks as well.

Also, how many amp manufacturers offer adding or subtracting sets of jacks from one of their models? Headroom doesn't, Jan Meier doesn't, Sugden doesn't, ASL doesn't...

I will gladly take more input on this matter as I want to know how everyone feels about the value of more inputs/outputs on their headphone amps.
 
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kelly

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I'm surprised this topic hasn't come up before as it's something I've discussed a lot with people in private.

The Max includes a pre-amp out and your choice of either an additional input or a tape out. Aesthetically, I think the tape out is a better option because the additional input is somewhat crippled by having its switch on the back of the unit--this is something a lot of people have complained about. With the Max, this is more of a bonus feature than an actual feature.

The Sugden does it all. 3 source selections, tape out and preamp out. It has a remote control too. Dig it.

The upcoming Corda Preamp has 4 source selections, a loop out for one of the selections (ie, like a tape out but only valid on one of the sources) and pre out.

Of course, one can't help but notice that these are all somewhat large and somewhat expensive amps. I think that's where the dividing line is. You don't expect to see these kind of features in a CMOY but you do expect them when you get closer to the $1000 mark. I'm sure many people are turned off to the RKV due to the fact that it cannot be used as a preamp (and its nearest competitor the ASL TwinHead CAN).

To complain that the MG Head doesn't have a pre out is kind of silly. If you can afford seperate components, the MG Head is not going to do you as a good preamp.

In short, my answer is both or neither. I would prefer an amp to be either as small as possible for use at work, with a PC or maybe in the bedroom or something or be a fully functional preamp with multiple source selections and pre-out.

Finally, there is a model beyond either of these that I'd like to see more of -- the one that includes balanced ins and outs and does not cut any corners to achieve a price point. The BlockHead falls into this category and yet still is not as full featured as you would expect a preamp to be. For $3300, you'd expect you could get a balanced preamp out of the deal and I think that's something HeadRoom might should consider.
 
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andrzejpw

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Hmm, I'm going to add a bit on what kelly is saying. Give the option to have multiple inputs/pre-outs. I know that for some people(me included), every cent counts. Although an rca jack or two shouldn't add too much to the price, giving people options is key.
 
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geom_tol

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Two sets of RCA jacks and two switches can become very expensive. Especially if they are some high end brand.

And the labour invloved inwiring them is indeed intense. If the pcb had provisions for it it would be easier, but then the pcb would probably be limited to one specific front and rear panel layout.

There's a couple commercial high end passive preamps that sell for over $1000...
 
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andrzejpw

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geom: I realize the labor/jacks can be expensive, I wasn't too clear before. But still, I think the option to have them/not is needed.
 
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I think having two inputs and a pre out are nice features. I already posted about there being a gap in price in SS HP amps. As a pre amp with a dedicated headphone out, you could be filling a hole in the price line up.
md
 
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Dan H

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Quote:

The upcoming Corda Preamp has 4 source selections, a loop out for one of the selections (ie, like a tape out but only valid on one of the sources) and pre out


Looks like I missed something here. Is Jan coming out with a headphone / preamp? Kelly?
 
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