Does such a tube head/preamp exist?
Nov 22, 2008 at 7:36 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 5

IceClass

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I have been idling trying to find a tube headphone amp with balanced input and output with good preamp out stage with balanced in and out, single ended rca in/out AND the ability to drive efficient speakers?

I'm having visions of a Woo5 type beast with a good preamp stage or a Cayin HA-1 with balanced in/outs for some reason.

Does such a product already exist?
 
Nov 22, 2008 at 9:14 PM Post #2 of 5

tom hankins

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My Singlepower does everything but drive speakers. 2 XLR and 1 SE input. XLR and SE preamp and headphone outputs and a very good preamp. Maybe you should be looking for a good integrated amp with good headphone output?
 
Nov 22, 2008 at 9:55 PM Post #3 of 5

Uncle Erik

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I can't think of anything like that. Haven't seen a DIY design for this, either.

The only thing similar to this I've heard of would be Ray Samuels' B-52, except that it is only a preamp.

A couple other options would be building one or commissioning one to be built. That might be tricky, because a little engineering would have to go into the build. Not all of us who build are capable of design.
smily_headphones1.gif


Another option would be to find a balanced tube preamp with a balanced tape loop out. I don't know if this exists, but it is possible. Tape loops are terrific for hooking up headphone amps.
 
Nov 23, 2008 at 12:10 AM Post #4 of 5

Spareribs

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Quote:

Originally Posted by IceClass /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I have been idling trying to find a tube headphone amp with balanced input and output with good preamp out stage with balanced in and out, single ended rca in/out AND the ability to drive efficient speakers?

I'm having visions of a Woo5 type beast with a good preamp stage or a Cayin HA-1 with balanced in/outs for some reason.

Does such a product already exist?



The Woo 5 does not have balanced inputs but perhaps you could customize it if you talk to them. I use the Woo 5 currantly to drive speakers (it has speaker posts) with no preamp and I am pleased with it. Perhaps it may improve with a good preamp connected but I've never tried it.

If I were you I would consider the Ray Sameuls B 52 and use that as a killer preamp and hook it up to a good speaker amp. It should sound awesome since the B 52 already sounds great brotha.

But for me, I'm satisfied with the all in one speaker/headphone amp of the Woo 5.
 
Nov 23, 2008 at 2:17 AM Post #5 of 5

nikongod

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Something worth considering with the B52 is that it does not have phase-splitting capabilities when the single ended inputs are selected. The true "purists" amongst us will argue that the signal is not really balanced because it came from a single ended signal, I guess they are right in this. On the other hand, with a good phase-splitter it is tricky to determine which was "phase-split" and which was natively balanced by ear (or electronics test equipment if quality is good enough).
Others will argue that a device which "expects" a balanced signal at its input may not work properly, and could be damaged, when fed a single ended signal riding in an XLR cable. They are right too.

The phase splitter is as important to a preamp which claims to have balanced outs as the fact that it claims to have them. It is risky to run a single ended signal on a balanced line. Whether the signal was balanced from the DAC chip or from the preamp dosnt matter to the power amp that MUST have a balanced signal on its XLR input to run properly.

BAT, Melos, EAR/Tim de Paravicini, and a few others have all managed to split phase and build preamps that get rave reviews. Why not RSA?
 

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