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Tube amp with low impedance Headphones

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by hordsak, Feb 19, 2010.
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  1. Hordsak
    Is it a bad idea to use a Tube Amp with low impedance headphones? I currently have a Glow Audio Amp one, and I'm looking at purchasing the Audio Technica ATH-AD700 phones, that I believe only have 38 ohm impedance or so.
     
  2. dongringo
    There are a few out there that are doable such as the Woo WA6 or Mapletree Ear+HD (which I ordered and am waiting for) that will drive most impedances. OTL amps aren't the way to go. Look for a transformer coupled amp or one that has a low output impedance. Either that or look for hybrids.
     
  3. St3ve
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dongringo /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    There are a few out there that are doable such as the Woo WA6 or Mapletree Ear+HD (which I ordered and am waiting for) that will drive most impedances. OTL amps aren't the way to go. Look for a transformer coupled amp or one that has a low output impedance. Either that or look for hybrids.



    X2 on the WA6 or MAD ear+. I started this thread about OTL tube amps and low impedance headphones, and the consensus was that transformer-couple jobs (like the WA6 and Ear+) are the safer option. That isn't to say that some OTLs don't work nicely - some people find they work just fine - but TC tube amps can technically pander to low impedance better. I have heard of some OTL amps which actually output low impedance aswell - the Zana Deux being one of them (unless my memory is faulty). FWIW I am using a WA6 with some low-impedance cans (RS1i) and they sound brilliant together.
     
  4. Hordsak
    I found these specs for my tube amp on their website. From this info, it seems I should be ok. What do you guys think though?

    Amp One
    SPECIFICATIONS
    OUTPUT IMPEDANCE
    Speakers: 4Ω~8Ω
    Earphone: 32Ω~600Ω
    OUTPUT POWER
    5W×2 at 1KHz
    Earphone: 600mW
     
  5. freakydrew
    The 700's will be fine amped or unamped, so I would go for it, sit back and enjoy...

    and in case no one has mentioned it yet, sorry about your wallet
     
  6. Hordsak
    Oh, my wallet is already starting to feel the pain.. tube amps aren't cheap hehe.
     
  7. K_19
    My transformer-coupled WA6 is fantastic with both low impedence and high impedence cans. Actually, they amp more of my low impedence stuff (RS1, K701, ESW10) than high impedence (HD650) currently. [​IMG]
     
  8. ford2
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Hordsak /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Is it a bad idea to use a Tube Amp with low impedance headphones? I currently have a Glow Audio Amp one, and I'm looking at purchasing the Audio Technica ATH-AD700 phones, that I believe only have 38 ohm impedance or so.



    The only problem with some amps with low impedance phones is noise,very much so if there sensitivity is up around 104 dB/mW.
     
  9. VALIENTE
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dongringo /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Either that or look for hybrids.



    Excuse me guys, are hybrid amps really good for low impedance headphones?
    is WA6 a hybrid amp?
     
  10. atbglenn
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by VALIENTE /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Excuse me guys, are hybrid amps really good for low impedance headphones?
    is WA6 a hybrid amp?




    The Woo WA6 is not a hybrid. It's 100% tubes including the rectifier. It's an excellent choice for both high and low impedance loads because it uses an output transformer which has both high and low impedance outputs

    From what I hear, hybrid amps excel at driving low impedance loads. I'm not sure how well they do with high impedance's
     
  11. St3ve
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by VALIENTE /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Excuse me guys, are hybrid amps really good for low impedance headphones?
    is WA6 a hybrid amp?




    Yes, hybrid amps are considered a good match for low impedance headphones, as the solid state output stage can supply the amount of current favoured by low impedance designs. To clarify, a hybrid is a tube pre-stage with a solid stage output stage.

    As for the WA6, it is not a hybrid amp, it is a pure tube design. Amps like WA6 make use of output transformers as a means of matching the output to either high or low impedances.
     
  12. stratowhammy
    Yes, I have a pair of Shure SRH-840s which are powerhogs but only run at 44ohms.  I have a Little Dot I+ hybrid and I've never heard my cans sound better.  I would definitely recommend a hybrid, but I too was wondering if I should upgrade to something like the LD III tube amp for better imaging, sq, etc.
     
  13. nikongod
     
    Quote:

    I disagree with this, well I disagree that it is implicating that tube amps are inherently noisier than other types of amps. This is definitely not the case. Any amp can be noisy.
     
    db/mw is a bad way to look at whether a particular thing will be noisy. There are quite a few high impedance headphones pushing close to 100db/mw after all... you have to have an especially speshul amp for someone to say that they are noisy. (A high gain SS amp with high impedance feedback/input impedance setting resistors should do just fine). db/mv is a better standard if you want to look at noise. 
     
  14. Frihed89


    Quote:


    That's what I learned, too.  However, my SinglePower MPX-3 Slam SE is doing a great job of driving my Audeze LCD-2s.
     
  15. musicman59
    What i have learn is that impedance matching is very important. If you have a tube amp like a Woo with high impedance and low impidance outputs wil work fine. I have notice a big difference in sound when I connect my D7000 in the low inpedance output compared to the high impedance output jack. Out of the high impedance output they just not sound right.
     
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