integrated amp and/or stereo receiver as headphone amp
Jan 1, 2012 at 8:30 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 9

alexsj

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I'm getting ready to buy a new integrated amp or a stereo receiver and I'd like to get one that will do a good job of driving my Beyer DT 880 (250 ohms) without having to buy a separate headphone amp.  I'm considering the NAD 326bee, the Cambridge 550A, the Marantz PM5004, and the Marantz SR4023.  So here are my questions: (1) Will there be any difference in terms of the quality of the headphone amp between these units?  I was told by someone that I respected that Marantz tended to have higher quality headphone amps than NAD or Cambridge.  (2) If I decide to add a dedicated headphone amp down the road, what is the best way to connect it to an integrated amp and or stereo receiver?  Thanks!
 
Edit: perhaps I should add the peachtree decco2 to this list.  It seems to have a pretty decent headphone amp.  I prefer separates, though, when it comes to amps and dacs since dac technology is changing rapidly.
 
Jan 2, 2012 at 7:08 AM Post #2 of 9

alexsj

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Bump: I realize that this may be posted in the wrong forum or that there may not be much interest in using in this topic (or maybe I've missed some threads on this).  That said, I'd like to know what is the best way to connect a headphone amp to an integrated amp and/or stereo receiver.  Thanks!
 
Jan 3, 2012 at 8:05 PM Post #3 of 9

hodgjy

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I've used the headphone jack on various stereo recovers over the years. They've always sounded pretty good to me. Like all things, your mileage may vary. Some recovers do this very well and others can't seem to stop falling over themselves. If it sounds good to you, then there's not a compelling reason to upgrade. Stand alone headphone amps aren't always or automatically better than stereo receiver headphone jacks.
 
Jan 3, 2012 at 11:46 PM Post #5 of 9

PurpleAngel

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Your going to use the RCA (Red/White) outputs on the back of the receiver.
Receivers in your price range usually come good DACs.
 
Yamahas are one of the few brands of receivers that have surround sound for the headphones.
These Yamahas come with Burr-Brown DACs
Yamaha RX-A700 (3 year warranty) $385
Yamaha RX-V667 (2 year warranty) $320
These are virtually matching receivers, they are the cheapest Yamahas that come with the better speaker amplifiers.
 
Jan 4, 2012 at 8:45 PM Post #6 of 9

mibutenma

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Marantz integrated amps have good headphone outputs.
And you get a lot more for your money you can power your headphones but you also have a really good amp to power a set of speakers.
 
I haven't tried out NAD or Cambridge Audio.
Although there was thread sometime ago talking about the NAD 316 BEE being great for headphones.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jan 4, 2012 at 9:14 PM Post #7 of 9

PurpleAngel

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Good site to get info on audio equipment is avsforum.
 
Jan 8, 2012 at 12:06 PM Post #8 of 9

alexsj

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Thanks for the info; I've heard great things about the headphone amp in Marantz amps as well but I can't audition one locally so I'd have to buy it online.  That may be the way to go though.
 
Jan 8, 2012 at 1:05 PM Post #9 of 9

Dan S

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I have the NAD C320BEE integrated amp (from around 2002), and while the headphone out sounds quite good, there is channel imbalance at low volumes. This can occasionally happen with dedicated headphone amps, too, depending on your headphones (matching system components well can be difficult). If you're buying online, hopefully there's a good return policy if you run into a problem like this. Good luck!
 
Quote:
Thanks for the info; I've heard great things about the headphone amp in Marantz amps as well but I can't audition one locally so I'd have to buy it online.  That may be the way to go though.

 
 

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