Seeking Stereo Power Amp Recommendations



Hi all,

I've had a Schiit Jotunheim w/DAC to drive my headphones for a while now. I'm looking to add a stereo power amp to the outputs and wanted to get some recommendations of units that are desktop size. I've searched around some stuff, and it seems like a lot of them are all massive beasts designed for dedicated shelving/cabinets/racks. Realistically, I'd love to use the XLR outputs of the Jotunheim, but it's not a deal breaker. I don't really want to get a unit with a volume knob or gain adjustment on it. The one that is currently forefront on my list is the audio-gd Precision 3. Planning to power some Paradigm Monitor (either v.7 or SE) Atoms.

If anyone has anything in mind, I'd love to hear about them. Thank you all!


Audioholic Field Marshall
Is this for a desktop/nearfield setup? What sort of power will you require? Budget constraints?

The audio gd site was a bit more than cryptic, but it seems to be a bit of an oddball amp design. Zero nfb, output stage biased hard into fully class A, touted as a current source amp (implying a very high output impedance, and thus incompatibility with speakers intended to be paired with low output impedance amplification, which includes your Paradigms). So, no, without more info on that amp, it's impossible to give it an objective thumbs up, and available info tends to lean thumbs down.

Parasound still makes the Zamp, a half sized conventional amp. No xlr inputs, and still modest power (but plenty enough for a nearfield setup), but a safe, more proven, conservative option. It's less expensive than that audio gd thingie too.

The Benchmark AHB1 amp checks all of the boxes on your wish list, but may be cost prohibitive.

Those are just two examples of small form factor amps. I'm not that familiar with what else is out there. There is a whole world of boutique Chi-fi, the audio gd's and such, which has improved quite a bit over recent years, but I would be wary of amps that employ unconventional approaches, woefully limited spec disclosure, and flowery marketing prose.

For the msrp of the audio gd amp, you are into the realm of diy hypex based amps. At least a few here have gone that route, @ryanosaur was one. SOTA performance for a kilobuck or less.

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