NAD Pre-amp 114 with headphone amp...good enough?
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s363134

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Hi all

I have a NAD 114 Pre-amplifier that has a dedicated headphone amp stage, NAD did not provide specs for this stage as it was purely an added feature so I'm not sure how good it is compared to other delicated head-amps. Upon circuitry inspection, it seems that they used discrete components for this stage, but I've never gone as far as tracking the circuit.

Has anyone used this NAD unit (as well as others) and can provide some comparisions.

Also, I'm wondering at which impedance mark does a headphone requires/benefit from having a dedicated amp.


Thanks everyone.
 
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TonyTripleA

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I'm also very interested in this question as these pre-amps are being discounted substantially (about US$220 in Australia at the moment). If the sound is good, say as good as my NAD amp, then this is a bargain.

Cheers,

TonyAAA
 
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s363134

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TonyAAA, from what I've seen, some headphone sockets on the cheaper amps/pre-amps simply tap straight off the end of the pre-amp stage, while others have an additional amp/buffer stage at the end of the pre-amp, purely to drive the headphones.

Whether or not you need this dedicated buffer stage depends on the impedance of the headphone. Higher impedance cans have higher IR loss, due to greater resistance and reactance. This means you get less dB at the same volume setting.

So to drive high impedance cans you need to have some juice.

It seems that anything up to 100 Ohms can be driven straight off diskmans/iPod etc, but anything around 600 Ohms you'll need an amp to drive loud.

As to quality of the sound...this depends on the design and the component of the amp, whether it's Class A or AB, whether it's discrete or integrated design.

Besides all that, if is NAD component then you can't go wrong, it's mid-high end equipment, one of the best budget component you can get but not the best you can get.
 
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KR...

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This is the wrong forum for this question, you should post this on the Amp forum for a faster response, but I guess you will just have to wait until a mod moves it for you over there now.
 
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s363134

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oops...sorry, I should have known that there's an amp section as well.
 
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SunByrne

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Quote:

Originally Posted by TonyTripleA
I'm also very interested in this question as these pre-amps are being discounted substantially (about US$220 in Australia at the moment). If the sound is good, say as good as my NAD amp, then this is a bargain.


That's like US$140--that's a STEAL. Where are you finding it for that price?
 
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grox

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tonytriplea actually said us$220. it's even in your quote


but I haven't seen it for that price in Melbourne.
 
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SunByrne

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D'oh! This is what I get for reading Head-Fi while I'm on the phone...
 
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TonyTripleA

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Yeah, I went and checked it out today but couldn't plug my cans in because they had to set it up and my time was short. Maybe tomorrow. But A$349 is on the sales ticket right now and I know these guys go lower for cash cause I asked!

But the question remains... it may be better to save my pennies for a "real" headphone amp? Any thoughts, anyone tried one of these and can compare to headphone amp SQ?

Heck, for this price its probably worth a plunge.

Cheers,

TonyAAA
 
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