headphone (pre)/amp
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mattbr

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hi all...
i'm a newbie here, to the general world of hi-fi, and i'm trying to get around to what the worthwile kit is...
i've been offered some nice rebates on job gear (www.jobsys.com), and am looking at buying what is basically toned-down goldmund kit.
none of their amps, or pre's, comes with a headphone socket, which is a necessity to me.
i'm trying to find either a decent pre with a good headphone jack, or a decent head amp with good pre capabilities...
reading the forums brought the sugden headmaster possibility up, and i was wondering if there were any other interesting possibilities in the same price range...
 
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Hirsch

Why is there a chaplain standing over his wallet?
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The Melos SHA-1 comes immediately to mind as a line stage preamp as well as headphone amp.

The Berning MicroZOTL can be modified by Berning to act as a single input preamp. He can also add a second input.

I don't recall seeing much written here about the van Alstine FET Valve preamps, which are hybrids that have a headphone output. They have a very good reputation as preamps, but I have no idea how good the headphone stage is. Here's a link
 
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lini

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Van Alstine OmegaStar SL, maybe? NAD C160? Creek P43R?

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini
 
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markl

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dbl post
 
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markl

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mattbr--

"Welcome to Head-Fi-- sorry about your wallet!" (standard Head-Fi newbie greeting)

OK, so what's your budget? (We'll have it doubled in no time so low ball us!)

Also, what headphones do you plan to use with it?

Finally, have you considered tubes or are you looking strictly at solid state?

markl
 
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mattbr

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Quote:

Originally posted by markl
mattbr--

"Welcome to Head-Fi-- sorry about your wallet!" (standard Head-Fi newbie greeting)

OK, so what's your budget? (We'll have it doubled in no time so low ball us!)

Also, what headphones do you plan to use with it?

Finally, have you considered tubes or are you looking strictly at solid state?

markl


markl, thanks for the welcome...

i'd like to stay in the sub 1000-range, which fits the sugden just perfectly...

as for the output, i own both senheiser 600's and er4-p's (which i mostly use out of an ipod, but that's another story alltogether)

i've considered the tube option... i'm a bit a concerned it might not work well with the kind of amp that's going to go behind it, though, given the jobs are extremely lively and unforgiving toys... wouldn't want to ruin the bandwith and speed of the amp by putting something a bit too laid-back in between it and the source...
 
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pigmode

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I'm really intrigued with the ASL Twinhead Preamp/Headphone amp, especailly after the ASL Tulip just got a great write-up in Listener.
 
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Dnic

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I know Sonic Frontiers Line amp series(1, 2 and 3) also have headphone output and their headphone section seems originated from Headroom. I have no experience with these amp. Just for your information. Oh, forget to tell you, Line 1 and 2 should suit your budget well. You can check with SF's site. Headmaster is my head amp and I tried it as pre- in my speaker system, not bad.
 
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mattbr

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thanks to everybody for the input...

i played with the headmaster this afternoon, and i thought, although nothing amazingly new came out of it, it might be of interest to someone or the other on here...

i quickly ran it through a series of different sources, from an ipod to a sondek cd-12 through a rowen-modded nad (which runs an improved DAC, i believe...) and an audiomeca mephisto to an HD600, through rowen cables ('cept for the sondek, who got linn cables).
the first conclusion is that, as expected, especially given the variety of sources, it is extremely source sensitive.
although brand-new, and therefore un-broken-in, it was definitely leagues over what i've been used to without a dedicated headphone amp (yet another surprising conclusion;P), and leagues above whatever the little black 300$-box originally designed for the jecklin floats i'd listened to before sounded like on the senheiser was. sorry, don't remember the name. doubt it would be necessary.

i also gave the full system a spin, outputting to a pair of jean-marie reynaud cantabile.
the amp/preamp combo is pretty amazing given its diminutive size, but the cd drive is definitely not up to par... the "straight" system is extremely analytical, if not a touch on the scratchy side of things, with an extremely compact soundstage...
source is, once again, absolutely crucial... i'd love to test it with a genki or an ikemi, as either one should fit pretty nicely on top...

still haven't decided wether to get the headmaster alone, the amp with it, or if there's some kind of secret in-between that might do the trick, given the hybrid use it's going to get...

that's pretty much it for now... still haven't decided wether or not to get the headmaster, meeting with one of the people from anagram tech (www.anagramtech.com) tomorrow, and he'll hopefully have a few suggestions to make on which way to go...
sorry for the long-ish, and probably pretty content-free to you guys, rant, but hopefully it'll help someone out at some point...
 
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lini

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mattbr: No need for modesty - I think you were the first to report a little about the complete bijou system here on Head-Fi...

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini
 
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