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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. pedalhead Contributor
    Thanks Blake, really looking forward to hearing it.  If I like it as much as I suspect, I may have to make an offer so it doesn't have to go back [​IMG]
  2. Frank I
    Glad you liked the review. Dennis being back is good for the high end industry and making headphone amps is great for us enthusiast.
    pedalhead likes this.
  3. Schopenhauer
    Love this thread and everyone's impressions of the Inspire IHA-1. This is currently on my radar as I'm looking for a tube amplifier that can drive a range of headphones. The versatility of the IHA-1 is impressive. Quick question: Can one use both the balanced and unbalanced headphone outputs at the same time? 
  4. BlakeT
    You can.  I do it all the time (TH900's balanced, W3000ANV single-ended).
  5. Schopenhauer
    That's awesome. I don't see any listed in your signature, but have you ever doubled-down on planars with the IHA-1? Or mixed planars with dynamics? I'm wondering just how much it can drive. Most of my headphones are planars. I know it pushes roughly an entire watt into any impedance, but can it push a watt through each headphone out simultaneously? 
  6. Bellasperson
    I have driven LCD 3fs and Senn 555s at the same time. Power was not an issue.  Volume differential was.  Drove LCD-3fs and Oppo -2's for a couple of sessions. Power not an issue.  Volume differential was.
  7. Schopenhauer
    Well, I just pulled the trigger. Very excited about this. I'm especially interested to hear the HPA-1 paired with the MDR-Z7. That headphone has been really surprising for me. Certainly isn't reference. But it's fun as hell and images/layers like a fiend. And the bass. Loose and messy like an all you can eat buffet. And I'm going to eat a lot.
  8. adamaley
    Is everyone still enjoying their Inspire amps? Any new impressions that you can give? This and the Stratus have the most of my attention for CanJam.
  9. Schopenhauer
    I'll have some impressions in the coming weeks. It's been surprising how slowly this amp has been received. Although, given it isn't a mass-produced, I suppose a slow burn could be expected.
  10. atubbs
    I've continued to enjoy mine; don't think impression has changed materially since my review. Would continue to recommend it with the same caveats (it's not as narrowly-focused as an OTL tube amp, but it's definitely not for everybody/every load). Stick to cans that aren't too sensitive and, to a lesser degree, aren't a bear to drive, and it's a magical thing.
  11. Bellasperson
    I enjoy mine very much, it provides an amazing 3D sound. A very "live" experience. It  improves with time. I have ordered a Stratus to compare.  I suspect I will keep both and am looking forward to hearing the Stratus long term. It will be close to mid year before they are both in house. If you are going to order the Stratus you will want to get on the list quickly.  There is a bit of a wait.
  12. BlakeT

    Absolutely loving mine still.  I'm not even tempted to look at any other amps- the Dragon is an end game amp for me.
  13. Schopenhauer
    Mine arrived Friday of last week. It's obviously too early to call it, but I can understand why you'd say that the Dragon is endgame. I don't see myself getting another amp anytime soon; in fact, I could see myself paring down my gear. Except headphones. I could see myself getting headphones. For the Dragon. But I digress. I wanted to ask what tubes you've been using/what tubes you prefer. So far I've been using the stock tubes. I have some 6BX7 NOS RCAs incoming from Moon-Audio. It'd be excellent if there were a tuberolling guide for the Dragon.
  14. BlakeT

     Congratulations on the acquisition Schopenhauer!
    For tubes, I still like my NOS Sylvania 6BX7's, although I still messing around a bit.  I also like RCA grey glass 6SN7 VT-231.  If you want a bit more energetic sound, the Sylvania 6Sn7 Chrome Domes are good as well.  I have my eyes set on one other 6SN7 tube type, then I will probably stop any further 6SN7 experiments.
    For the rectifier tube my Brimar U52 is not going anywhere.  It will stay for as long as I own my amp.  Having said that, just for fun I bought the Brimar 5Z4G from Langrex and it is really, really good for the currently low price.  People are hoarding them though and the price is creeping up.  I still prefer the U52, but it is way more expensive than the 5Z4G.
    Schopenhauer likes this.
  15. Schopenhauer
    Thanks! I'm loving this amp. 
    And thanks for the info on the tubes. I'll look into the ones you mention. I had a WA6 awhile ago but never really got into tuberolling beyond what Woo offers. Had the Sophia Princess, e.g. Have wondered how that would sound with the Dragon, especially since Moon-Audio offers it as a rectifier upgrade. Are GZ34s viable for this amp?
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