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Purchasing advice: Headphone AMP

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Jul 12, 2018
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#1
I'm looking for a decent headphone amp, DAC input will most likely be a Topping D30. I will be using it with my K702 65th (62 Ω) and will probably pick up a pair of HD 650 (300 Ω) later this year so the amp should be compatible with those cans as well. I also have the Beoplay H6 (30 Ω) so if they also work it would be a plus.

400~ Euro price range
6.5mm output, preferably < 2 Ω output impedance
Isn't Audio-gd

Nice to have:
Gain switch
XLR balanced
RCA output
Switch for Headphones / RCA

I'm currently looking at the Yulong DA8 (used).
 

Grave

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#2
Well I would just recommend the A30 if you do not need all those features. I love it.
 

Sal1950

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The Chicago Crusher
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#3
Or staying in the Topping line, a DX7s.
Don't think you can do better at about any cost.
 

pkane

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#4
Don't see these often, but a Matrix HPA-3B might fit most of your requirements. A good quality headphone amp (no RCA output, though it has a SE headphone output in addition to XLR-4pin balanced.) Plenty of power, gain switch, balanced or RCA input and you can even try op-amp rolling, if that's your thing.
 

maxxevv

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#5
Don't see these often, but a Matrix HPA-3B might fit most of your requirements. A good quality headphone amp (no RCA output, though it has a SE headphone output in addition to XLR-4pin balanced.) Plenty of power, gain switch, balanced or RCA input and you can even try op-amp rolling, if that's your thing.
The op-amp rolling part is pretty much restricted to to the 18V parts bin for the HPA-3B though. Most of the popular/common op-amps use 15V though. I was looking at them for the longest time and waiting for a good discount sale.
 

pkane

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#6
The op-amp rolling part is pretty much restricted to to the 18V parts bin for the HPA-3B though. Most of the popular/common op-amps use 15V though. I was looking at them for the longest time and waiting for a good discount sale.
True. I bought a used one with 15v regulators already installed. It replaced a TEAC HA-501, which is also a good single-ended headamp.
 

Grave

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#7
I had the Matrix M-stage amp (not this one) and it was noisy, not a good amp.
 

pkane

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#8
I had the Matrix M-stage amp (not this one) and it was noisy, not a good amp.
At the highest gain setting (20dB), I can just start to hear a slight background hiss through HE-560s with Matrix 3B. At medium and low setting, there's no audible noise regardless of the volume knob position. Medium setting is where I leave it, as it gives me plenty of room to turn it up to a level well past my normal listening level. Oh, and I am using the balanced output.
 

Grave

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#9
It seems like a bad brand to me, not transparent.
 

maxxevv

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#11
I had the Matrix M-stage amp (not this one) and it was noisy, not a good amp.
The online reviews of the original M-stage and the 3B are not quite the same if you do a search.
Can't really put them together in the same basket.
 

Grave

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#12
Not that I want to defend it, but what isn’t transparent? Just curious.
It's noisy! It sounded worse than the O2 to me.

The online reviews of the original M-stage and the 3B are not quite the same if you do a search.
Can't really put them together in the same basket.
It's the same brand.
 

pkane

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#14
It's noisy! It sounded worse than the O2 to me.

It's the same brand.
Maybe they got better over time? Matrix published measurements for the 3B, including a THD+N chart from an AP analyzer. If you believe them, not that noisy:


Full-band of THD + N less than 0.0003%, SNR up to -114dB, bandwidth not less than 140k at -3dB gain, 0.4Ω
 
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#15
Don't see these often, but a Matrix HPA-3B might fit most of your requirements. A good quality headphone amp (no RCA output, though it has a SE headphone output in addition to XLR-4pin balanced.) Plenty of power, gain switch, balanced or RCA input and you can even try op-amp rolling, if that's your thing.
This unit seem to offer what I need, shame it has that deep form factor.
 
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