Loudspeaker Amp for Headphones VS Dedicated Headphone Amp

Discuss sources/headphone amplifiers here... mm saucy amps.
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lukeroberts
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Loudspeaker Amp for Headphones VS Dedicated Headphone Amp

Post by lukeroberts » Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:56 pm

I predominately listen via my Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 loudspeakers and currently looking for a new stereo amp to replace my questionable Yamaha R-5 Receiver from the late 1980's to drive these. But, I'm looking to invest in some headphones for quiet and concentrated listening as well as having high fidelity audio on the go to replace my Koss Porta-Pro's. I'm looking at something like a Marantz PM6004 or Yamaha AS-500, would anybody know how well a loudspeaker amp in this price range (450>600) fares driving headphones compared to a dedicated headphone amp in say the $150>250 range.

And for the headphones......

I've listened to a range of about 10 cans in the $250>$350 price range that are slightly portable and well driven by an iPhone with my current favourites being the Audio Technica ESW-9's from what I've tried, any recommendations?

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Belial
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Re: Loudspeaker Amp for Headphones VS Dedicated Headphone Am

Post by Belial » Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:38 am

YMMV, but my experience is:
- a ~2000 model Kenwood receiver, whose headphone stage was attrocious. This headphone adapter was a massive improvement
- an early 80s NAD 3150 integrated, whose headphone stage was as good as the $650 Talisman T-31H

If you're aiming for headphones that can be driven from an iphone, so long as they headphone stage of your new amp isn't a complete afterthought it should do fine.

As for those headphones: slightly portable, $350, driven from an iphone => DT250. So long as you don't want to look super-blingy-cool while you're wearing them.

Ben
MS-Pro, DT880, DT531, DT250, MS-1, A31s
Behringer UCA202 -> Octavart O1
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Drubbing
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Re: Loudspeaker Amp for Headphones VS Dedicated Headphone Am

Post by Drubbing » Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:43 am

As Ben says, HO stages on hi fi amps are variable. I have an A class Technics from 1990, not a top line amp, but decent gear for its time - which sucks remarkably badly with headphones. As a hi fi amp, it's solid.
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Belial
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Re: Loudspeaker Amp for Headphones VS Dedicated Headphone Am

Post by Belial » Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:55 am

The nice thing about headphones is that they're easy to take with you to the store, so you can test-drive the amp :-)

Ben
MS-Pro, DT880, DT531, DT250, MS-1, A31s
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Re: Loudspeaker Amp for Headphones VS Dedicated Headphone Am

Post by grev » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:20 pm

lukeroberts wrote:I predominately listen via my Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 loudspeakers
I stopped reading and want to hi5 you because my 10.1s are amazing, getting a set of 10.2 plus the SW150 sub.

Aside from that, I have the Audioengine n22 amp, it sounds pretty good with the headphones.
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lukeroberts
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Re: Loudspeaker Amp for Headphones VS Dedicated Headphone Am

Post by lukeroberts » Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:56 pm

Yeah I Listened to the Beyerdynamic T50P's and thought they were too sharp from an iPhone but sounded terrific through the head phonic amp setup where as the AT-ESW9's were much more neutral and the difference between being driven from an amp wasn't as ludicrous.

lukeroberts
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Re: Loudspeaker Amp for Headphones VS Dedicated Headphone Am

Post by lukeroberts » Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:59 pm

grev wrote:
lukeroberts wrote:I predominately listen via my Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 loudspeakers
I stopped reading and want to hi5 you because my 10.1s are amazing, getting a set of 10.2 plus the SW150 sub.

Aside from that, I have the Audioengine n22 amp, it sounds pretty good with the headphones.
Yeah I'm extremely happy with them considering I only paid $340 incl. shipping from the UK. The heavy bass seems to be a little too "thudish" but I'm guessing its my 20 year old amp held to be responsible or the fact they're just on my desk or they're just bookshelves?

lukeroberts
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Re: Loudspeaker Amp for Headphones VS Dedicated Headphone Am

Post by lukeroberts » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:04 pm

grev wrote:
lukeroberts wrote:I predominately listen via my Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 loudspeakers
I stopped reading and want to hi5 you because my 10.1s are amazing, getting a set of 10.2 plus the SW150 sub.

Aside from that, I have the Audioengine n22 amp, it sounds pretty good with the headphones.
Ok. So how much does one of these n22 Headphone Amps set you back? Does it have a fairly decent onboard DAC?

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Re: Loudspeaker Amp for Headphones VS Dedicated Headphone Am

Post by grev » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:56 am

It doesn't have a DAC, but it's $199 from pccasegear.
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Re: Loudspeaker Amp for Headphones VS Dedicated Headphone Am

Post by chancey » Sun Jan 01, 2012 4:22 pm

lukeroberts wrote:I predominately listen via my Wharfedale Diamond 10.1
Diamond 8.2s here in black and yellow. Pretty sure I got the last new pair in NSW, too me ages to find a dealer. At the time everyone had the diamond 9 series which look no where near as good.
Headphones: AD900 : Ultrasone DJ1 : Denon D5000
Amps: Yamaha V459 : Matrix Cube

lukeroberts
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Re: Loudspeaker Amp for Headphones VS Dedicated Headphone Am

Post by lukeroberts » Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:41 pm

Belial wrote:YMMV, but my experience is:
- a ~2000 model Kenwood receiver, whose headphone stage was attrocious. This headphone adapter was a massive improvement
- an early 80s NAD 3150 integrated, whose headphone stage was as good as the $650 Talisman T-31H

If you're aiming for headphones that can be driven from an iphone, so long as they headphone stage of your new amp isn't a complete afterthought it should do fine.

As for those headphones: slightly portable, $350, driven from an iphone => DT250. So long as you don't want to look super-blingy-cool while you're wearing them.

Ben
I'm currently bidding for a NAD 3150 on eBay, a lot of forum users talk of it highly as both a HIFI and Headphone amp.

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