I'm looking for a nice headphone amp under 1k$
I have identified the Soloist SL, the Violectric 200, and the recent TEAC HA-501 for which i don't find yet many reviews
That's why I'm looking for Headfiers feedback about this amp, which presents (on the paper) nice specifications, for an affordable price corresponding to my request (It is available in Europe at 630 €)
I just turned on a brand new HA-501 and there are a couple of things that surprised me and I would be grateful for some help here from the community.
My chain goes: Win8.1 > JRiver20 with disabled volume > DSD2x bitstreaming via ASIO > USB 2.0 > TeacUD-301 DAC with FIX output > XLR > Teac HA-501 with VAR output =>= 1/4 cable > Alpha Prime =>= RCA > Focal CMS40 Monitors.
If I want to play music through the speakers after unplugging the phones, the Auto Mute does not reset when turning the volume down to zero as expected. I plugged in a 1/8 to 1/4 adapter to avoid having the phones playing at the same time and turn off the Audio Mute at the same time. Even powering off did not work recycled it.
Does anybody else that has powered speakers connected to the unit experience the same issue?
I am also surprised about the listening volume level. No matter the recording I go between 22 and 17. And to be clear, I do not use any DSP like Volume leveling and Adaptive volume from the media player, the signal path goes straight to the amp.
Listening mostly classical music, I hoped to get much more room to play with the hungry Alpha Prime and I am also concern of the fable signal coming from the HA-501 as a pre-amp feeding the speakers. Using the line out from the DAC it's not a viable alternative because it requires switching the output setting from FIX to VAR, not a good idea for the headphone amplifier (I already tested and there is plenty of distortion with 100% volume coming from the DAC).
On the other hand, the good news is that it's dead silent, no hums, no buzz, nothing and I like that a lot!