Amp Purchase advice?

more_vert
Hiya!
Since everyone here has been super helpful, I wanted to ask for advice on purchasing a dedicated headphone amp.
I currently use the Dragonfly Red as a DAC/Amp at work, and while I love it I think I could probably get better sound by using the Dragonfly as dedicated DAC and running it into a standalone headphone amp.
My main set of headphones are Beyerdynamic T1 2d gens. I will probably also use the amp to power my Hifiman 4XX and Sennheiser 6XX.
My budget is flexible, part of my question is whether its worth it to invest big money (over $600) in an amp -- the consensus is that there are diminishing returns.
Vote
11
remove_red_eye
602
WESXF
40

search
close
samhith
50
Feb 26, 2018
audio gd nfb or r2r
WESXF
40
Feb 26, 2018
There seems to be a lot of positive buzz on this amp but I think I just need an amp, not a dac/amp hybrid. I'm a bit concerned about getting another DAC because I can't install device drivers on my work computer
samhith
50
Feb 27, 2018
you dont need drivers to play 24/96 on any dac . only higher bitrates need drivers . you can use it as an amp only too
DenonFanboy
818
Feb 26, 2018
You don’t have to spend big money for a great amp, Magni 3 would be perfect for you. Has a slightly warm tilt, 430mw @ 300 ohms which plays the 6XX really loud, then if u want, buy a modi multibit for a terrific DAC and for 350$ u got a killer system.
Zilfallion
147
Feb 25, 2018
I actually had a talk with some people recently, and we were actually somewhat stumped. It's surprisingly hard to find a variety of amps with under 1 Ohm output impedance under 500 dollars(ideally close to 0). You've got O2, Schiit Magni 3(And Jotunheim) , Arcam rHead, and JDS Labs EL Amp/Element. A lot of other stuff runs 1-2, and then a lot of chinese stuff runs around 10. Most of the cheaper things run like 2-3, and some of the really cheap stuff run like 15. Is this bad? Not for a huge majority of headphones.
What do you want in an Amp? At that money you can start into some of the well liked tube amps if you want a different sound signature, you can get a pretty decent solid state amp. If you budget well, you could get a decent solid state amp and a tube amp. Is it about power? Is there a sound signature you want?
WESXF
40
Feb 26, 2018
Hi,
Thanks so much for your response!
What do I want in an amp? Mostly just something that plays nice with my current roster of headphones -- I don't think there is a particular sound signature I'm seeking above others, although my listening tastes tend toward bass-heavy genres like hip-hop, r&b, electronic, rock, etc. (I don't listen to a ton of classical)
Just for the purposes of education (I'm new here), why is it important to find an output impedance under 1 Ohm?
Zilfallion
147
Feb 26, 2018
It's really not. Lower is better, but as long as it's under like.. 3-4, it's fine for most lower ohm headphones. You want ideally a 1/8th of your headphone's impedance or less for your output impedance, not counting planars like the 4XX you have, otherwise it can color the sound or add distortion to your headphones. This is mostly for solid-state amps. It's not important to be under 1 ohm, but there are some super sensitive 8-ohm IEMs for example. And 16-20 ohm headphones aren't terribly uncommon, so under 2 is sort of the ideal to be able to drive ANYTHING without distortion. 3 ohms will be okay for most things. Once you get to about 4-5 it might start affecting you a bit.
You might like tubes if you like warm sound signatures. Though tubes can get REALLY in depth and different tubes can change the sound from an amplifier though, so depends on how much you want to try tweaking the sound with tube-rolling as well. I've never gone tubes myself, so I can't really suggest anything on that side.
I personally am planning to pick up an EL Amp or Element myself in the future(Element has a built in DAC for 70 more). It's not the most amazing price/performance, but it's a solid single-ended amplifier that looks incredible.
The hardest to drive thing you have looks to be those Beyerdynamic T1. Pretty much any of the amps I mentioned before should have more than enough juice for those though.
VRacer111
491
Feb 25, 2018
If you could find a Gustard H10 its a very nice solid state amp, it works really well with the DFR in line out mode, especially once you replace the stock opamps for Burson V6 ones (pair of Vivid singles and pair of Classic duals). It's an extremely nice warm leaning amp that drives an HD6XX very well and for ~$300 +$200 for the opamps is really something special.
I will say though it really needs cooling mods, at minimal heatsinks on the two voltage regulators and venting of the top cover. If you are not prepared to mod then I would look elsewhere. Compared to just the DFR it really brings the bass, gives noticeably better dynamics, detail, and more clarity with smoother highs.
search
The Burson opamps:
search
The red opamps are the Burson V6 Vivids and the orange the V6 Classics:
search
WESXF
40
Feb 26, 2018
thanks for all the tips! This is very helpful, although I'm a little bit gun shy about doing a lot of DIY circuit modification. however, if I can get a great amp with ~200 plus modifications on eBay, it might be worth the effort.
Have you heard anything about the Gustard H20? I saw it dropped here a little bit back, but I missed out.
VRacer111
491
Feb 26, 2018
All the mods I did were thermal/mechanical, didn't change anything with regards to the stock electronic board circuit - the opamps plug into 8 pin socket connectors on the board. Heat sinks were selected and adhered to the transistors that needed them.
The reason I ended up choosing the Gustard H10 was actually got a Massdrop email about a drop for it and then researched it. This was after hearing high current amps at a headphone meet with my TH-X00PH and M1060 and wanting to look into higher powered amps. Experimenting with opamps and being able to alter the sound with them was a big draw as was its really low output resistance and high praise of its dynamics, clarity, and detail with Burson opamps. The one thing that had me nervous was the heat related failure issues with the Burson V5 opamps... they simply were not reliable stuffed inside the closed H10 chassis and would fail from heat buildup. Decided to get the H10 anyways (bought 2 in the drop actually) with plans to mod it to reduce heat on the components, which is what I did. I ran it with the top off until the mods were completed so it would help out the two voltage regulators which were identified as the main components that needed some thermal help.
I was looking into the H20 as well, but it seems to have gone a different direction from the H10, with a different sound and not really designed for rolling opamps. Absolutely love the sound the H10 provides and will stick with it, it works great with all my dynamics and planars.
Whatever amp you go with I would suggest something on the warmish side that also is known for excellent detail, dynamics, and clarity. I previously thought that a neutral amp was my ideal, but the Meier Audio JAZZ-ff I had showed me that no matter how clear and detailed it was, it just didn't sync with me - my headphones always somehow felt lacking in bass presence/impact and dynamics. The H10 cured the lack of bass and dynamics for my phones while also adding in even more detail than I heard from them before.
rastus
1318
Feb 25, 2018
Projecting my own ~$600 other people's money - wants here, thanks;) but it is a unique amp at the price range you are looking at; The La Figaro; https://www.massdrop.com/buy/la-figaro-339-tube-headphone-amplifier, on my list for an OTL.
Your post made me go look for a used one on eBay...:) then today it dropped here, coincidental... Would be a bit of an odd-fellows thing feeding it a Red Dragonfly, but hey make it your own, until you decide to upgrade the DAC. You will be blowing some more $ on upgrading tubes, but you can do that later, now you would have something unique and fun. It is not optimum for low impedance, but it still will push them just fine., your HD6XX's will simply elope.
Otherwise in SS amp/DAC world the TEAC 501 that was recently up on MD; https://www.massdrop.com/buy/teac-ud-501-dual-monaural-dac-amp would be a nice upgrade, and the Dragonfly remains your portable. On Amazon for a good price still; https://www.amazon.com/Teac-Monaural-Converter-Streaming-UD-501-B/dp/B00BC1ULTQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1519576653&sr=8-1&keywords=teac++501
Yes, the TEAC has them,I'm a MUSES fan: https://www.njr.com/MUSES/index.html
Love this post, funny, but there is truth in the musings... what happens in some semiconductor fabs, is like Vegas... it stays in the fab...
NJR is boutique, yes, better does cost more... "Originally Posted by jcdrisc JRC has chosen to wrap the die of each chip in a very rare silk thread only made in a small farm in Hokkaido. This accounts for their astounding sonic signature and increase in fiscal depletion of truly dedicated audiophools using them. a japanese friend of mine said than : "The silk thread is made by 30 years old Virgin Muses whom only eat Kobe beef, then are blessed in Greece after a Master in Harp playing for a better mature product! Education costs a lot ! Some even say than the oaps are brushed with beers while leads are sharpened by Fugu cooker Masters ! But mostly: due to a crisis to find ethiopian eunuchs for the quality control with the virgins production benchs, the prices as the panties have been soaring" I believe him as he stoped to drink sake ! " http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/analog-line-level/262261-jrc-muse01-muse02-opamps-expensive-2.html
Related Posts
Skyinfly
How to get Interject Airlines flight bookings online?
You can get Interjet Airlines flight bookings online by visiting the official websites of Interjet. Several flight booking websites offer Interjet Airlines flights to beautiful destinations at an affordable rate. You can use the Google search engine to find Interjet flights and make the booking online. Book one way or round trip with Skyinfly and get many offers and discounts on Interjet Airlines reservations. Call us immediately at +1 (877) 658-1183 to find out how much you could save on InterJet Airlines. Don’t wait any longer to do it! It’s a one-time deal. Be the first to benefit from this fantastic offer. How can I check the flight status after booking a flight with Interjet Airlines? Here are some quick steps to check the flight status of an Interjet Airlines flight booking. Launch the official website of Interjet Airlines. Now click on the "Check Status" tab available in the header section. Now you will get two options: "Flight and Destination". On choosing the option...
Jun 30, 2022
Questions
SnowFoxx
Need help for THX AAA One
Gonna get THX XXX One, may I know where can get Dc30v/0.4A UK plug or other alternative way to support this unit? Thanks.
Jun 25, 2022
Questions
9199170022
tise are good
wow
Jun 22, 2022
Questions
kklrby
PC37X mic problems.
My PC37X headset mic is not working even though I have everything plugged in.
Jun 20, 2022
Questions
vhoyle
Best imaging and soundstage headphones for positioning and immersion?
I was looking at He4XX and K7XX mainly, but I was going to use these mostly for gaming and some music, which means overall imaging is the most important, but I also wouldn't want a headphone that's too boring. Thank you for any help. Edit: My previous headphones were Sennheiser G4ME One's, I'd want comparable or better performance.
Jun 20, 2022
Questions
spacetransient
The $400 question: E-mu Teak or Aeon Closed X? (Just try both?)
I am looking for my end game. For most of you that is a dream. At my 68 years of hearing experience it is more real than most of you know! I will become less, not more demanding other than the need to increasingly EQ!! Not yet but it's coming... So I would rather spend my money on one very good pair of closed headphones than go for multiple specialists in desktop, movie, portable, gaming, analytical/monitor, fun etc. My audio experience is extensive. Headphones though quite limited; originally Koss Pro 4a, finally the Sony MDR-V900HD closed purchased 14 years ago (!) that I am still using with different pads. They are still good but I have no recent reference to judge them by. And I want more clarity. With the pads I have they are somewhat mid-centric and veiled, with neither highs nor lows particularly convincing, though the sound is quite neutral & natural otherwise. I listen to Classic Rock/Stones, Who; Metal/Iron Maiden, Motorhead & Classical, with some Bluegrass and Blues...
Jun 15, 2022
Questions
Trending Posts in Audiophile
MrChiSox
An upgrade to my Little Dot MKII
I made the decision to upgrade my modest Little Dot MKII Tube Amplifier this past week and it just got here yesterday. This is a used piece of gear, it's the first generation Woo Audio WA6. I wanted to go with Silver as it would match my Solid State Burson Conductor 3 Performance Headphone Amp/DAC/Pre-Amp, as well as the Schiit Lokius I also picked up recently. I wound up with Black; it was in the best condition of those I saw available, it was priced better and it came from an audio dealership with a brick & mortar store which displayed a working telephone number and an A+ rating with the BBB so I knew that I was probably safe in dealing with the gentleman. The Lokius is brand new. What I've learned is that I am going to have to do some figuring out how to deal with all of this new stuff, including how to get it all onto my 6 foot desk along with my lamp and modem. Apparently the Lokius has to be connected between Amp and DAC, so it would fit in between...
Jun 30, 2022
General
americanairlinesmanagebooking
Manage My Booking +1.888.ʒ39.0070 American Airlines
American Airlines +1.888.ʒ39.0070 Manage My Booking American Airlines is a leading US airline headquartered in Texas. In terms of fleet size, it is the world’s largest airline because it has a fleet of 951 aircrafts. These aircrafts are used to transport passengers and cargo to more than 350 destinations around the world. Being a major air carrier it is obvious that maximum travelers ought to choose American Airlines +1.888.676.21ʒθ as their air travel medium. The airline is dedicated to provide its customers the best of all services. From flight reservations to American Airlines Manage My booking there is not a single service inferior to any other major airline of the USA. Confirm Your American Airlines Booking +1.888.676.21ʒθ via official Website If you are interested in the services offered by American Airlines, you can look forward to making a booking with them. Many passengers have made American their first choice for air travel. However, a few still don’t know much about the...
Jun 28, 2022
General
coinbasephonenumbertgt
Bitfinex Support Phone Number℠ +1805↹521↹4320 Toll Free Number
Bitfinex Support Number℠ +1805↹521↹4320 ĵų22 Customer Care Phone Bitfinex phone number Bitfinex customer care number,Bitfinex Support Number Bitfinex Toll Free Phone Number Customer Service Phone Number Call or write an email to resolve Bitfinex issues: Account, Login/ Service, What is Bitfinex? Bitfinex Support Number +805↹521↹4320 , Bitfinex Toll Free Number, Customer Service Phone Number +805↹521↹4320 Bitfinex Customer Care Helpline Number. Call or write an email to resolve Bitfinex issues: Account, Login/ Service, Payments and Charges. Visit the company website Bitfinex support number or help center for more information. Bitfinex Customer Service Phone Number, Email, Bitfinex Help, Bitfinex Support , Bitfinex Toll Free , Helpline , Bitfinex Customer Service , Bitfinex Customer Care ,Bitfinex Login Questions? Our customer support team is available 24/7 to take your call Bitfinex toll free number Bitfinex exchange Bitfinex US is moving to impose stricter measures on U.K.-based...
Jun 27, 2022
General
coinbasephonenumbertgt
Bitfinex Support Number℠ +1805↹521↹4320 ĵų22 Customer Care Number
Bitfinex Support Number℠ +1805↹521↹4320 ĵų22 Customer Care Phone Bitfinex phone number Bitfinex customer care number,Bitfinex Support Number Bitfinex Toll Free Phone Number Customer Service Phone Number Call or write an email to resolve Bitfinex issues: Account, Login/ Service, What is Bitfinex? Bitfinex Support Number +805↹521↹4320 , Bitfinex Toll Free Number, Customer Service Phone Number +805↹521↹4320 Bitfinex Customer Care Helpline Number. Call or write an email to resolve Bitfinex issues: Account, Login/ Service, Payments and Charges. Visit the company website Bitfinex support number or help center for more information. Bitfinex Customer Service Phone Number, Email, Bitfinex Help, Bitfinex Support , Bitfinex Toll Free , Helpline , Bitfinex Customer Service , Bitfinex Customer Care ,Bitfinex Login Questions? Our customer support team is available 24/7 to take your call Bitfinex toll free number Bitfinex exchange Bitfinex US is moving to impose stricter measures on U.K.-based...
Jun 27, 2022
General
lucifersharma286
Finnair 1-850-389-5009 Ticket Reservation Number
What is the 1800 number for Finnair Ticket Reservation? Finnair 1-850-389-5009 Ticket Reservation Number With a Finnair Reservation Phone number, passengers are fully covered and they can get proper assistance with everything related to their flight. If they have any questions or concerns related to a Finnair-operated flight, they are well equipped to provide the best solution for every passenger who wants help or assistance. Finnair’ Reservation Phone team is made up of professionals who have a better understanding of how to meet passengers’ needs. They have extensive experience in Reservation Phone and are therefore able to provide a great experience for travelers planning to travel with Finnair. A list of things travelers can contact a Reservation Phone representative. They can communicate with the team by calling the Finnair phone number for any questions and concerns related to in-flight accommodations, discounts and offers, packages, baggage allowances, cancellation policies...
Jun 27, 2022
General
lucifersharma286
Etihad Airways 1-850-389-5009 Ticket Reservation Number
What is the 1800 number for Etihad Airways Ticket Reservation? Etihad Airways 1-850-389-5009 Ticket Reservation Number With a Etihad Airways Reservation Phone number, passengers are fully covered and they can get proper assistance with everything related to their flight. If they have any questions or concerns related to a Etihad Airways-operated flight, they are well equipped to provide the best solution for every passenger who wants help or assistance. Etihad Airways’ Reservation Phone team is made up of professionals who have a better understanding of how to meet passengers’ needs. They have extensive experience in Reservation Phone and are therefore able to provide a great experience for travelers planning to travel with Etihad Airways. A list of things travelers can contact a Reservation Phone representative. They can communicate with the team by calling the Etihad Airways phone number for any questions and concerns related to in-flight accommodations, discounts and offers...
Jun 27, 2022
General
lucifersharma286
British Airways 1-850-389-5009 Ticket Reservation Number
What is the 1800 number for British Airways Ticket Reservation? British Airways 1-850-389-5009 Ticket Reservation Number With a British Airways Reservation Phone number, passengers are fully covered and they can get proper assistance with everything related to their flight. If they have any questions or concerns related to a British Airways-operated flight, they are well equipped to provide the best solution for every passenger who wants help or assistance. British Airways’ Reservation Phone team is made up of professionals who have a better understanding of how to meet passengers’ needs. They have extensive experience in Reservation Phone and are therefore able to provide a great experience for travelers planning to travel with British Airways. A list of things travelers can contact a Reservation Phone representative. They can communicate with the team by calling the British Airways phone number for any questions and concerns related to in-flight accommodations, discounts and...
Jun 27, 2022
General