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Headphone Amp recomendations?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by JeremyErwin, Dec 2, 2005.

  1. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

    Feb 11, 2001
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    Lately, I've been noticing that I spend a great deal of time with Grado SR-80s plugged into my PowerMac G4, listening to iTunes (ripped mostly from my own CDs). I listen to a lot of classical, some Jazz, the occasional folkie, and a lot of R.E.M., and U2. Some Sarah McLachlen. A right mishmash, with only a few genres (hip-hop, country) excluded completely. The headphones are driven from the front headphone jack. I do have a Sonica-USB (original stereo version), but it's a tad weak. I really like the Grado sound-- it makes stringed instruments seem lush, and the bass extension isn't bad. I must confess, however. that it's been some time since I've heard music from anything but a Grado set--bought SR-60s close to ten years back, and these SR-80s are about a year old.

    I have a Onkyo 502 system in my living room to play DVDs, and monitor HDTV, so this would be a music only system. Can I really upgrade my sound by getting a good amplifier? I'm not interesting in spending more than about $250, and if good bargains can be had for substantially less than that I'd be very interested.)
  2. Mark M. Smith

    Mark M. Smith Stunt Coordinator

    Oct 16, 2001
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    Well, if you don't mind getting out the soldering iron and have a bit of technical ability you can always build your own. The C Moy amp design is a pretty common one found around the web for hobbyist work (I suggest http://tangentsoft.net/audio/cmoy-tutorial/ for it's excellent tutorial on building one). Considering that it can be made for under $50 it might be a good option to consider.
  3. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

    Jun 4, 2004
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    Real Name:
    I've been spending a lot of time at www.head-fi.org and quickly learned just how serious and far gone one can go in terms of going for an audiophile experience with headphones! I really had no idea there was so much going on!

    I'm going to be taking delivery of a pair of AKG 701 phones sometime this month, hopefully, and I'm feeling out this headphone amp territory.

    The consensus of advice I've gotten on the issue can best be summarized right from the opening of Meier Audio's headphone amp page:

    I'm currently using my Harman Kardon AVR 635. Excellent receiver. I'm very happy with it. I'm using the Onkyo DVSP1000 as my audio and video source. Awesome! Couldn't be happier with it!

    I don't doubt this advice and much as I doubt myself. Would I really gain benefit from buying a "dedicated headphone amp" vs. simply using my HK's Dolby Headphone jack? I've been told universally "YES!" for the above quoted reasons repeatedly.

    I'm currenlty considering a solid state, discrete, Class A amp like those featured here: www.headamp.com. I'd probably swing for the GS-1, or if I really get some kind of amazing feedback, I'd save up and splurge for the GS-X.

    Any other people into all of this here? [​IMG]

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