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Headphone & Amp Impedance Questions? Find the answers here!

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by proton007, Apr 25, 2012.
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  1. Chris J
    Oh,  I didn't know all those headphone amps have rotary switches.  my turn to be...... [​IMG]
    I seem to remember seeing a few cheaper one without taps?
    I think Little Dot makes a few without taps?   Or have I imbibed too much Sarian Brandy?
  2. Chris J
    Then you probably don't want to read this:  http://www.head-fi.org/a/headphone-impedance
  3. obobskivich

    Those are OTL models afaik; they're fairly popular from what I've seen.
  4. proton007
    Any advantages/disadvantages of OTL ? From what I know, they're mostly for high impedance headphones.
  5. Chris J
    OTLs have a high output impedance so they work better with high impedance cans.
    Output impedance ranges from approx. 60 to 100 ohms, which is really dictated by the output tube used.
    Since they don't have output transformers, they are cheaper than tube amps with output transformers.
    And since they don't have output transformers, theoretically they would have lower distortion and a wider bandwith than transformer coupled tube amps.
  6. obobskivich

    What he said. :)

    From user reviews, they tend to be preferenced for higher impedance headphones (and honestly there's not a lot of high Z cans that I personally like, so I haven't ever tested this out for myself - most OTL amps are dangerous with one of my favorite cans).
  7. Chris J
    Another way to look at this is to say that it is a fairly cost effective way to get into tube amplification:
    A high impedance 'phone with an OTL tube amp is cheaper than a low impedance 'phone with a transformer coupled tube amp.
    Good output transformers are expensive!
    OTOH: a good solid state amp with drive both low and high impedance cans with ease.
    IEM guys seem to get into trouble with excessive gain and noise from poor amp matching, but that is another argument for another day.
  8. proton007
    So far the only OTL amp I've heard of is the crack OTL, but seems like its a fairly old design, when headphones were inefficient and high impedance.
  9. T.F.O.A
    Great threat, but since i don't have any science background... smokes coming out of my ears.
  10. proton007
    And thanks but I guess you do need a bit of maths/science to understand it.
  11. obobskivich

    As opposed to now when they're inefficient and low impedance? :p
  12. proton007
    Well, nowadays it seems to be more like efficient and high/low impedance...
  13. obobskivich

    Aside from noticing my glaring spelling error (BAH!), I was making a jab at the orthodynamic products that've come about recently. :p
  14. proton007
    Yeah, thats what I was thinking of, I couldn't find the word...or-tho-dy-namic
  15. Chris J
    OK, as long as you weren't taking a dig at AKG Q701!
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