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Hi-end HP amps - Benchmark HPA4 alternatives?

  1. YooperAudio
    Hi - I'm currently evaluating a Benchmark HPA4 headphone amp.

    I like a lot. A LOT. I'm driving it via a Benchmark DAC3 HGC, and it sits in front of a Benchmark AHB2 power amp. Senn HD800S HPs complete that picture.

    But the HPA4 costs a LOT - $3K (at least that's a lot for me). That part I don't like. :) But the HPA4 has some pretty impressive performance numbers, and it delivers some amazing sound.

    I would love to hear some suggestions for higher-end headphone amp alternatives that you think I should be considering in the "up to $3K" price range - alternatives that you think would offer comparable performance/value compared to the HPA4. I don't need a DAC in the HP amp. Balanced audio inputs/outputs are required, and I'd prefer a balanced headphone output as well. Remote control is a definite want as well. Not looking for tube amp solutions - I want to keep the audio chain as uncolored and clean as possible all the way to the AHB2 and speakers.

    Thanks for your thoughts!
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  2. Rhamnetin
    Definitely consider the Mjolnir Audio Pure BiPolar. It is much less costly, and also in the very top tier for solid state headphone amplification. Not only that but it is fully balanced, and converts single ended input into balanced without extra circuitry (super symmetry inputs).

    It has a no compromise build quality and uses one of the best headphone amp circuits AND linear power supplies ever designed, the Dynalo and Golden Reference Low Voltage respectively. The amps are fully discrete and incredibly linear and delivers lots of pure class A power (no class AB here), so this is an amp that does not color the sound, and the PSU delivers under 1 microvolt of noise. Build quality is perfection too, and conveniently assembled thanks to its use of connectors and the spacing of components.

    At this price range I'd only consider the Pure BiPolar, HeadAmp GS-X Mk2 (which is also a balanced Dynalo but requires a balanced source in order to operate balanced), and maybe the Benchmark HPA4 but I believe that is only a class AB amp.
    phthora likes this.
  3. SalR406
    Jodet likes this.

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