Meier Corda HA-2 (and/or HA-1b)?
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BenG

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If Dr Meier came out with an 'improved' head-amp(s) what should it be like?

-I would keep the main features, though I might omit the highest crossfeed setting. I don't think very many people use this setting.

-I would also retain the Alps Blue pot and the generic, though less expensive, headphone jacks and RCAs. Sorry, I have no need for the added cost of Cardas RCAs or fancy headphone jacks. The cheap 1/8 jack is fine with me, since all of my cans are terminated for 1/8 jacks. (there will be people who will disagree with this, I know)

-The enclosure should be of the same sturdy aluminium with black-anodized plates. Generally, just keep the looks the same.

-Step-up the internal amplifying electronics(in a HA-2).

-A feature I would possibly like to see added is the Analouger feature built into an amp -- this way the signal wouldn't have to go through an added set of IC cables. This might require a larger enclosure, and thus bring up costs. Maybe both a HA-1b & HA-2 could have the Analoger feature, the HA-1b containing the same or similiar ampliflying electronics as the current HA-1, but both new Amps(HA-2 & HA-1b) would use the same enclosure? The built-in Analoger feature is not as important as the electronics up-grade, in the case of a HA-2, but worth some pondering.

-Retain the trademark neutral sound (at it's price point) of the HA-1 in any new amps. Just make the sound even more linear and transparent in a HA-2, and able to handle any can well(ie. difficult cans like the HD-600/580 or K-501). Also, use the Etymotics as a design reference, too.

-Continue to offer kits and assembled units

-Offer a trade-in or upgrade service for current Corda owners!

-Keep the prices relatively low and affordable on any new amps(ie. under $1,000, even under or around $500)

What do ya think?
 
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Joe Bloggs

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Hey BenG,

Dr. Meier already has plans for a new Corda. Two, in fact.

I should let him talk about it himself, but I suppose he can come by and correct me if I'm wrong.

The two Cordas:

1. The HA-2, if you like, would be an amp with enough gain and oomph to drive the K1000! Also the circuitry design will be changed and the volume pot will be put in the output stage (like the Porta Corda) instead of the input stage (like the current Corda).

2. The HA-1b would be the current Corda with a gain switch thrown in. I don't know if any internal circuitry changes are planned.
 
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taoster

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i was thinkign the same thing.. i think it'd be great to upgrade the op-amp, circuit and power while keeping the price as low as possible.

figuring, the labour between cheap and expensive part is the same i would think people are willing to pay a premium a modded corda.
 
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grinch

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i don't really see how jan could make any money from most of these ideas.. especially if he's taking trade-ins on his old amps (that have been built by him or who knows who else). i think the reason why the ha-1 is so great is it the perfect "getting started" type amp: drives anything decently well and it's cheap to buy/build.

also, upgrading circuitry and not upgrading the connectors seems really silly to me. circuitry doesn't mean anything if it can't transmit the signal/sound properly. i think the analogeur is a great idea for some people, but most people don't care in the slightest. i'm not into changing the sound at all, but that's just me. if i could afford it, i'd get an upsampling dac to do that kind of thing.

between you and me, i'd just rather save up for a max or an mohr.
 
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kelly

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While I agree that the Corda HA-1 is priced to be considered as a "getting started type amp", I don't agree that its performance is entry level. The Corda easily competes with amplifiers costing two to three times its price in its stock configuration.

Since the Corda was designed to meet a budget, I'd very much like to see what Jan could do in an unlimited class amp. Here are some thoughts I have about that and what I'd like to see:

enclosure and faceplate are standard component size (like the Melos)
amplifier operates exclusively in class A
complete dual mono design
switched source selection on the front panel (three inputs would be nice)
tape loop out
line out (to control a speaker amplifier)
gain, impedance, crossfeed, analoguer and psychoacoustic bass enhancer on front panel--all completely bipassable
high quality stepped attenuator (one knob controlling both channels)
cardas or wbt style rca jacks
high quality binding posts for efficient speakers or K1000
black locking neutrik 1/4" jacks (like the Max)

I am NOT interested in an amplifier that requires custom balanced cables such as the BlockHead. I'd like to think such a preamp/headphone amplifier could meet a $2000 pricepoint and be profitable, but I'd rather pay more than that to sacrifice part quality in such an expensive product.

Again, if you want the reasonable and affordable Corda amp, I believe Jan has already successfully developed this product in the HA-1. Be careful not to underestimate this amp just because it successfully achieved a lower price than its competitors.
 
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TimSchirmer

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eeek...keep the corda the way it is...i can barely afford one right now, as it is. I'm down with the Idea of him making an uber-high end amp seperate from the HA1
 
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lini

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I have no problem with the gain of the HA-1, but WBT-jacks would be nice. I'd also like to see an even juicier version with discrete transistor class a output (2 x 4W @ 120 Ohm and 0,01 % THD?
) and at least one more input as well as a line-output for loop-through puroses. Upgradability with both a phono input and a multichannel-dac daughter-bord with dolby headphone and digital-out would be nice, too.
Jan, what about a modular pre-amp with an integrated high-quality headphone-amp - marketed as Corda Headguru Deluxe?
Af course it should have a pre-out for your later addition of a small form-factor class a 2 x 40W power-amp, too... (Additional bonus feature with the pre-amp: high quality dc power supply with selectable voltage (1.5, 3, 4.5 and 6 V) for powering pcdps and pmdrs from the pre-amp) Any more suggestions?


Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini
 
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taoster

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i like what kelly and lini has suggested. A modded corda ha-1 that sounds better than the max at a fraction of the price! lol
i can dream cant i?
 
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Joe Bloggs

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kelly, a minor point, but the current Corda IS Class A.
 
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kelly

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Quote:

Originally posted by Joe Bloggs
kelly, a minor point, but the current Corda IS Class A.


The stock Corda HA-1 operates in Class A as does my modded Corda. Most other amplifiers, including I believe the HeadRoom amps, operate in AB which may be responsible for their slightly diminished texture and high frequency detail. The point was.. I'd like the NEW Corda amplifier to operate exclusively in Class A. I don't think the request required a correction.
 
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jodokast

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Jan reading this?
 
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Jan Meier

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yep, I'm reading :)

My comments will come tomorrow.

Jan
 
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Joe Bloggs

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I thought even the Cosmic is Class A.

Otherwise it would have twice the battery life it has now.


Anyway, Class A is a trivial detail in the great scheme of the amplifier's design--my Porta Corda was designed as Class AB but was modded straight out of Jan's 'factory' by adding four 1.2kOhm resistors. Surely the HeadRoom amps are Class A too--especially the home amps, as there's no power consumption worries.

Of course Class A is not so easy to design for in speaker amps because of power handling and heat dissipation issues but we're talking headphone amps here.
 
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JML

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You should read about Jan's preamp. A real preamp, not just a headamp. Based on opamps. The description on Headwize was fascinating. And it had that Meier look, too.
 
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kelly

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Quote:

Originally posted by JML
You should read about Jan's preamp. A real preamp, not just a headamp. Based on opamps. The description on Headwize was fascinating. And it had that Meier look, too.


JML
I have looked at it, of course.


I like that it uses regulated power supplies. I also like that it includes a tape-out (non volume controlled), a lineout (volume controlled) and a lineout with processing. I wish also it had a switch of some sort to turn the processing on for the tape-out. This would allow me to connect a Stax headphone amp and use the crossfeed and/or bassboost with it.

Many of my wishes are not quite fulfilled in the preamp plans. I think ultimately I will have to build my own but unfortunately am a long ways away from having the ability to accomplish that. I can be quite tenacious, though.
 
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