Starter HP Amp ($100 range)
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My SSL 2 audio interface’s internal HP amp is not getting my new HD6xx quite loud enough. If I want to start with an HP amp (and perhaps add a DAC at a later date), would something like the Schitt Magni 3+ or Heresy (don’t really know how these two models differ) refrain from “coloring” the audio while adding some extra volume (for a 300 ohm HP)? Also, would I be able to connect the HP amp from the HP out jack (1/4” stereo) from the interface? If that is the correct connection, I would need an amp with either dual rca mono, 1/4” stereo, or 1/8” stereo inputs. Thanks for our help.
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Fight-On
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Jan 14, 2021
If you have not purchased your amp yet, you may want to consider the Close-out Schiit Asgard 2 for $119 (in the B-Stock/Close-out area of the Schiit website). It's pure class A with just slightly less power than Magni 3+/Heresy into 300 ohm. I've both the Asgard 2 & the Magni 3+ to drive my HD6xx. To me, the Asgard 2 is much smoother.
dcha12
399
Jan 12, 2021
Hey there, welcome to the world of audio! First of all, allow me to say that there isn't really a right place to start. Got to start somewhere, and the HD6XX is a great headphone to start with (I come back to my HD600 on a fairly regular basis myself despite going off the deep end). In regards to headphone amp, either Magni 3+ or Heresy works just fine. I'm partial to the Magni 3+ in sonics. The difference is that the Heresy is a very well-measuring, opamp based design and the Magni 3+ is all-discrete (and still measures very well). Don't fall into the pitfall of the whole "coloring the audio." Any component in your chain is going to add or subtract from the overall sound. There is no such thing as a completely transparent, "wire with gain" sound (I hate that phrase and think it's completely BS). All components have two things: sins of commission and sins of omission. Various pieces of gear will have some mix of both; some gear will tend towards more sins of commission and some gear will tend more towards sins of omission. Which is correct? I'm going to take the Stereophile route and say that it's up the listener (I can hear you booing already at the lame response, but unfortunately in this matter it is true). Here is a great resource on understanding what THD and THD+N actually tells us: A Rethink of THD/THD+N (or why both tell us almost nothing) | Super Best Audio Friends Feel free to ask any questions you may have to me and I'll answer to the best of my knowledge (which is very much incomplete; still learning).
dcha12
399
Jan 14, 2021
This depends entirely on your interface. If the interface has output transformers, this will be fine. But if your interface does not, you could potentially fry the board because what you're doing is tying the grounds together. Playing it safe would be just using the RCA out. You are correct in that using the interface's headphone out to the Magni is a bad idea. It could work in theory, but why?
bcab17
3
Jan 14, 2021
I think I've got it. Thanks so much for all the info...as well as your patience.