What are your favourite headphones for your OTL amp?
Aug 10, 2021 at 9:49 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 11

donpablo

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Hello,
I have two main amps currently, Flux Lab FA12 solid state, and SinusAudio OTL on OTL 6N13S and ECC82 (12AU7). They both nicely fullfill eachother.
However I dont have higher impedance headphones that are most often suggested for OTL amps.
Currently I mostly use Aeon 2C and AudioTechnica W1000Z, they both also sound very nice through OTL btw, however I sometimes have a feeling that something could be much better when I plug A2C to OTL. Its not that Im unsatisfied, it sounds pretty solid, smooth and nice but I would just have to check how good higher impedance HPs could sound on that amp.

I know that people often suggest:
- all ZMFs
- Beyerdynamic dt880 (250 and 600 Ohm), T1, T90
- Sennheiser 650/600

I suppose 50ohm + would be enough for OTL (?).

I would not want to buy something that will not have comparable SQ to my solid state amp (FA12) + my current HPs, so my question is:
- firstly, what headphones would you suggest me to buy for OTL amp?
- secondly, what are your favourite hp for your OTL amp?

Regards,
Pablo
 
Aug 10, 2021 at 4:05 PM Post #2 of 11

Deolum

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My favourite headphones for OTL were so far the HD250 and the AKG K702.
 
Aug 10, 2021 at 11:19 PM Post #5 of 11

bagwell359

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HD-600.
 
Aug 11, 2021 at 12:30 AM Post #7 of 11

DenverW

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Zmf auteur and Aeolus, hd600 and hd800. Pretty much unbeatable with otl high impedance amps. I’m not familiar with your amp, but Bottlehead otl amps really need headphones with at least 150-200 ohms, less than that and you get bass roll off. The ones listed above are 300 and pair very well.
 
Aug 11, 2021 at 9:02 AM Post #9 of 11

bagwell359

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@DenverW Thanks, yet HD600 bas subbass rolloff anyway.
Interest in sub-bass is generational IMO. Even when I had the $35+ k room stereo I avoided speakers with less than 32 Hz - too expensive, rattle stuff in the room, no practical need.

Being attracted to sub-bass over all is like slam dunks on the 4 letter network. That's not where the game is. When the HD-600 debuted NO reasonably priced headphone could reliably play 20 Hz. Now they do (and lower).

So pardon this old goat. Flat into the lower 30's is quite fine.
 
Aug 11, 2021 at 10:16 AM Post #10 of 11

Kammerat Rebekka

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High impedance headphones for sure:)
It’s also a rather difficult matter to help you with, because there is nowhere to learn the most important spec of your amp…which is output impedance.
Yet going with the premise that it is a proper OTL amp, then your 13-14 ohm DCA Æon is a poor match. (Most) OTL amps deliver their power at a much higher ohm number than your usual solid state. The page for your amp does not say anything about output impedance but states that the headphone is designed for 32-600 ohm headphones…which is bolony when one doesn’t know the output impedance. I thought it was the cheapo amps from Alislibresse that usually made these nonsensical spec sheets, but I see that European manufacturers now have been inspired to do the same.
The output impedance of one’s amp should preferably be 1/8 of the headphones damping factor ie if you own the DT770 80 ohm variant, you’ll want to make sure that the output impedance is 10 ohms or less. That’s basically the golden rule.

Anyhoo…if you want a high impedance openback headphone that doesn’t roll off significantly in the bass, then spring for the equally brilliant R70X from Maude Technical. It’s a 470 ohm headphone that goes very well with OTL amps👍
 
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Aug 11, 2021 at 1:44 PM Post #11 of 11

donpablo

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@Kammerat Rebekka I have direct comparison with my low impedance Aeon 2C because I can fastly swtich between Flux Lab FA12 (solid state) to OTL amp. And it play really well. Its constructor assured me it will be good even with lower impedance headphones (I borrowed amp before buying it) and it was true that I havent noticed any significant roll off in the bass region (it was also highly depended from the tubes I used, I have few pairs that produce highely different signatures). Sure thing is that signature is different between FA12 and my OTL with A2C and my other headphones, I dont even know which one I prefer because they both have their pluses and minuses, not mentioning how big effect on sound different tubes may have (which is great!). However I am just curious about higher impedance headphones, maybe they will pair much better with this tube amp.
Once upon a time I have thought about R70X but I have read they have not so much space inside the pads and I have quite big earlobes ;/
 
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