Headphone Amps

Discussion in 'Headphones and Earphones' started by manwithnocape, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. manwithnocape Audioholic

    manwithnocape
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    hey guys. i dont know too much about headphone amps, and there seems to be differing opinions about what is good - solid state vs tube, brands....
    so im just looking for personal opinions and referrals for the 100-150 dollar range. i would like to run the K702 with it.

    cheers
  2. bikemig Audioholic Chief

    bikemig
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    I'd take a long hard look at the FiiO E9k (that's the newest version) and the Fiio E17. The price is good, the reviews are good, and it has enough juice to drive your headphones.

    Edit: @manwithnocape: good to know about the power of your stereo to fix "optical rectumitis;" that's one thing I'll no longer have to worry about . . . good to know.

    Edit: I've been really happy with my audio gd fun dac that I picked up on a blowout 2 years back. Unfortunately you have to deal directly with the company in China and the website is, as you might imagine, a bit of a hoot. That said, their amps have great power specs.

    Edit: also take a look at Schiit audio; the magni runs $99 and is made in the US of A, http://schiit.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=0&products_id=13
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
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  3. jcl Senior Audioholic

    jcl
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    Not so sure about dealing with Schiit. Here's a blob post you might find interesting - There was a problem with an earlier version of one of their headphone amps with a turn on or off thump powerful enough to damage headphones. How it was originally handled doesn't seem to be the best for the consumer. NwAvGuy: Banned at Head-Fi!
    Makes me think twice about Schiit and Head-fi.

    You basically want low output impedance for uncolored sound and adjustable gain settings to support different headphones and enough power to power your headphones.

    FiiO is a good inexpensive option.
    The O2 amp is another JDS Labs - Objective2 Headphone Amplifier
    The Project Headbox might be another to look at. I think they are between versions so they may be scarce.
    jcl,
  4. bikemig Audioholic Chief

    bikemig
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    This criticism of Schiit has been posted here before. My understanding is that the problem with the earlier units has been fixed. In any case, you can always contact the company and ask whether it has been dealt with. The owners are very quick to respond to e-mails and you can draw your own conclusions.
  5. jcl Senior Audioholic

    jcl
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    I did say 'There was a problem with an earlier version of one of their headphone amps.' I'm sorry if I wasn't clear that the original issue has been fixed on that model. I raised this not because it's still an issue with current models, but I think it refllects poorly of the company.
    One the model wasn't properly tested before release. Two, they didn't put their customers first. Schiit dismissed it as not an issue, released incorrect information of the power down to 'prove' it, then proceeded to attempt to discredit the ones asking questions.
    jcl,
  6. bikemig Audioholic Chief

    bikemig
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    I think this is a fair criticism. I just now that I have corresponded with the owners of the company and they have always been informative and forthright with me. I would buy their products but I understand why others might not.
  7. manwithnocape Audioholic

    manwithnocape
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    awesome info.
    the reason ive asked is because i have an insane neighbor that has made it her mission to destroy my life... in that process, shes told me that my music listening has been rather loud. so im trying to come up with good alternatives and compromises blah blah blah.

    i always look at the return policy and warantee before i buy anything, so i will be careful. but this is a great start.
  8. manwithnocape Audioholic

    manwithnocape
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    optical rectumitis is a condition that is better known as a cr**py outlook on life. the fact that my stereo cures it makes me believe that it can also cure; awesome deficiency syndrome, and debbie downer disease. studies are still being conducted in the David Banner wing at Berkeley (super cool science division; SCSD). i will keep everyone posted. :D :D
  9. schiit Audiophyte

    schiit
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    Hey all,

    Just to clear some things up:

    1. There was a product recall for all early Asgard and Lyr owners, and everyone has been offered a relay retrofit for free. Furthermore, the offer to retrofit any Asgards or Lyrs on their second, third, fourth, or later owners for free is ongoing, to catch any that went to new owners who were not notified.

    2. We have stated our reasons for not including a relay mute at the beginning--that is, we believed we were creating no-compromise products that required some care with their use, typical of many uber-high-end-gear that needs a "turn on sequence" to avoid blowing up speakers. But the fact is, we made a mistake. Now, all of our products include protection (including Magni's relay mute.)

    3. Our design philosophy (using both instrumentation and listening) may not be congruent with everyone's beliefs, and if that's the case, that's cool--there are plenty of other great manufacturers out there.

    4. That said, we do use extensive instrumented testing in development of our products--we own two Stanford Research SR-1 audio analyzers, and have used Stanford gear since the Theta Digital days. We have one kitted out for analog testing, and one with the ultra-low-jitter analysis option for digital testing.

    5. Although Schiit is a new venture for us, at much lower price points than our previous companies (I was the Vice-President of Engineering at Sumo, Mike Moffat was one of the founders of Theta Digital), we're really set on delivering great products. If you take a look at the interest in, reliability of, and resale for, some of the 20-year-old Sumo and Theta products we designed, you'll see that our stuff is built for value over the long haul.

    Let us know if you have any questions!

    All the best,

    Jason Stoddard
    Co-Founder
    Schiit Audio
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  10. manwithnocape Audioholic

    manwithnocape
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    im impressed. thanks.
  11. jcl Senior Audioholic

    jcl
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    Thank you for the response and providing your side of the situation. It's good to see you stand behind your product. It's also good to see an American made product line that is competitive in price and features.
    jcl,

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