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Inspire IHA-1 tube headphone amp

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by burn1, Oct 18, 2014.
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  1. BlakeT
    Hello again pedalhead!   I have not listened to my Crack since the IHA-1 arrived (not because I don't like the Crack... IHA-1 is just the new toy getting all the attention at the moment).
    I am just waiting for the Pulse to arrive so I can add a third point of reference/comparison then I will post a review.
    The Crack is great with T1's and cans like the HD-600 (I used to own the HD-600).
  2. pedalhead Contributor
    Cheers Blake.  One reason I'm drawn to the Bottlehead Crack is for the HD600s that I like a lot. As I'm also waiting for a Pulse Xfi, we definitely share some common interests :wink:
  3. Bellasperson
    Signed up for the Oppo headphone demo program. Not quite up to the Audeze LCD 3F but close and very comfortable. Highly recommend the demo program. The Oppos with balanced Norne Draug cable work very well with the IHA-1
  4. irow

    He does..

  5. adamaley
    Sweet! Now you know you are going to have to provide a name and description of whatever you have in that pic.
  6. adamaley
    Atubbs, I am looking forward to your impressions of the LCD-3Fs with the Ragnarok vs. the Dragon Inspire amp. I'll soon be hearing a fellow Headfier's Rag with my LCD-3Cs and would like to get your perspective on it with regards to the Dragon amp. 
    On another note, have you tried the Ragnarok on the LS-50s yet? What are your thoughts on that combo?
  7. atubbs
    I'll probably post my Rag review tonight, though it doesn't offer a lot of X vs Y as much as how I feel about it for its role. Like with the IHA-1 review it's probably going to expand/evolve a bit over time as I spend more time with it. Really think what you're getting with the Rag is universal applicability and being "good" in nearly any situation and "great" in certain situations. Where I think you miss out with the Rag is something that may be situationally/subjectively better depending on one's specific equipment and/or listening preferences. They're both great amps but they're great in very different ways and think an apples vs. oranges comparison is a little dishonest. 
    That said, they have very different sound signatures. The Rag is very neutral. Plenty of power (can drive anything) and plenty of control/grace (can drive anything). The IHA-1's sweet spot is definitely somewhere in the middle, and I think it's not as well-suited for hard-to-drive or very-sensitive loads. Where the IHA-1 really shines for my personal preferences (with the HD800s and LCD-3s), I think it wins out on euphony. Feel like it has an edge in the microdynamics. With that said, the IHA-1 doesn't control the lower octaves nearly as well as the Ragnarok (bass is present and well-pronounced but not as tight). And, if I'm being fair, some of what I love in the IHA-1 is almost certainly a product of pleasant [second harmonic?] distortion. I seem to be diverging from the general Rag opinions, but I'm not finding it very tube-like by comparison. The current plan for the indeterminate future is to keep both; I've generally been listening to the HE-6 on the Rag and the LCD-3 on the IHA-1. If you put a gun to my head and made me keep one amp and the LCD-3s and I didn't care about speakers, I think I'd stick with the IHA-1.
    My Ragnarok is hooked to my LS50s in this rig as well, and it's been doing well. I prefer how they sound with a somewhat beefier amp (Bryston 4BSST2), but am sticking with the Rag -- it's more than good enough and keeps the system simple. At the price point, I think the Rag is an incredibly good value for integrated amplifiers, punching above its weight class. Ignoring even the whole headphone aspect, think I'd have an easy time recommending a Rag + LS50 setup to anybody wanting to build a two-channel playback system in the ~$3200 range.
  8. irow



    L to R from top

    Inspire LP-2 Pre... 3 in 2 out, additional output really there design wise for bi-amping...uses 3 6FM7's, 2 in the gain the other in the DC circuitry..5Y3 recifier...

    Inspire Sweet 807 SET....9-12 watts depending on rectifier....2 807 power tubes and the rectifier (5U4, 5AR4 etc.) in pic is 5R4GYS.... the 807's power tubes in the pic are Russian military and were a gift...

    2010 Mac mini...used as music server...has a 3 TB hard drive tethered for the lossless files...optical out to

    Centrance Dacmini....

    Musical Surroundings Phonomena II

    L and R of the Dual CS5000 turntable are Inspire Qudra QMB-25 monoblocks....20-25 watts (again depending on rectifier)....4 6V6 power tubes run in parallel single ended triode power mode....Same rectifiers as the Sweet 807

    IMO Mr.Hads retirement hobby produces w/o question sonic single end masterpieces.....as he refers to them "music machines"
  9. adamaley
    Thanks Irow for the breakdown of your setup. I'm sure those amps sound wonderful. Atubbs, once again, thanks for taking the time, and I'm surely looking forward to your Rag review.
  10. Bellasperson
    Finally found a GEC U52.  It does sound very good in the IHA-1.  May be a bit more refined that the EML 274 mesh but not an easy call.
  11. BlakeT
    I just posted my review in the headphone amp review section.
  12. Frank I
    My review wis linked in my signature and will post a full review in the section and on the thread next week. Check it out the amp is outstanding.
  13. BlakeT
    Great review Frank.
    Thanks for taking the time to prepare it.
  14. pedalhead Contributor
    Yep, thanks Frank - excellent review.
    Shameless plug for our UK Head-Fi meet in April...Dennis Had will be sending us one of these beauties (with upgraded tubes) to have a play with.  Link in my sig [​IMG]
  15. BlakeT
    Way to go pedalhead!  Looks like the meet is coming together nicely.  Looking forward to your impressions of the IHA-1.
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