Discussion in 'Headphones' started by boza, Aug 15, 2017.
Schiit Bifrost, Jotunheim, and Focal Clear.
Figured I’d enter this in this thread as it pertains pretty well.
I’m new to the whole idea of headphone amps but after my recent experience I am a sold puppy.
Background first. I have a pretty nice everyday system but the problem is that wifey does not want to listen to music 24/7. She likes her tv programs in the evening. You obviously can’t blast SRV when the tube is in the same room as the stereo. So being the brilliant guy I am I thought why not add headphones and solve the problem. For research, besides the net, I have a friend that is, uh, how do I characterize him, fully committed to audio, that’ll work. I asked him about headphones and of course he turned me on to headphone amps. Went over to his house to check a couple systems out. He’s a Schiit freak (as I am becoming after listening and owning pretty much all their DACs not to mention they are very close) and has two systems, one is a little mini stack consisting of a Modi DAC, Loki pre and a Vali amp. Tried 3 different headphones and it sounded great. The other is simply a Lyr 3 with the DAC card. When I plugged into that the decision was made. If there’s one thing I’ve learned with Schiit, the bigger the box the better it sounds. Sold.
Now for the listening review. If there’s one album that gets a bad rap it’s the live Yes album, Yessongs. I love that album but if you don’t have a good system it’s a bit tough to hear everything. I’ve even heard some call it unlistenable. I heard that album a whole lot of times since I was a kid but listening to it through the Lyr 3 and some Audio-Technica headphones it’s like I heard it for the first time. You can hear all the instruments separately and well. Chris Squires bass came through loud and clear in places I’ve never heard him before. It was great.
I’m now in the process of figuring out what tube I like best or the ss tube that Schiit has.
So the upshot is I’m sold on headphones and headphone amps.
In keeping with the thread here’s the mini stack and my Lyr3.
It’s tough to find great sounding closed-back headphones with enough isolation to listen to them while the TV is on. 90% ish of over the ear headphones are open or semi-open, maybe more. Slim pickings. We could both hear the other’s audio. Quiet passages in Jazz and Classical especially so. Specs for isolation are generally unpublished.
I bought Monolith M1060’s from Monoprice. I was really hoping for more isolation, but they otherwise nailed it so I kept them. I’ll add some Dynamat soon now that the weather is cooler.
If the cans meet the application then an amp will certainly make them sound better. Start with the headphones in the actual environment then get the amp with the remaining budget.
Yes I’m going to try everything I can. As you figure they have to be close backs.
I have plenty of time and don’t mind spending a little money. I’m finding it fun though I may have done it backwards, I already have the amp.
Cool. Keep us posted
It might be a hard sell but headphones for the wife’s tv would solve the problem. There are some good wireless options for tv viewing. Good luck.
I don’t think I would call it a problem. How ‘bout preference.
The best thing is that it gives me the chance to buy new gear, which is a win in my book.
My first post in the headphones forum. Up til now I've never been much interested in headphones but will be retiring soon and want to be able to listen at night with others asleep. I just bought a pair of MrSpeakers Aeon planar magnetic open back phones. They also have a closed back version but I thought the opens had a more natural presentation. VERY comfortable which is a big deal for me with headphones. The sound is very much to my liking. Detailed without being over the top, nice bass, etc. I got them at the RMAF show in Denver last weekend at a show price. My headphone amps are a Mytek Brooklyn, a Channel Islands VHP-1 with VAC-1 external power supply, and a Chord Mojo portable DAC/amp. The Aeon's are fairly low impedanace but all of these amps drive them very well.
My name is Marc and I’m an addict.
Been listening to headphones for the past few hours today.
Ended up buying a set of Audeze Sine’s. For me they were the cleanest most uncolored, unmuddy pair I’ve heard that I felt like affording (450). They are crystal clear, comfy and light.
Also eliminate outside noise real well.
I’m listening to them as I write this and am liking them more and more.
Nice. The Sines's likely would have been my next stop had I not kept the Monolith's. Then again lately I've been thinking about selling off my surplus gear and go for the LCD-XC's.
The LCD-XCs are beautiful and sound incredible. I just couldn’t get myself to pull the trigger yet on the investment.
If that’s in your ballpark then you will love them I’ll bet.
BTW I went to a high end stereo store and I can’t believe the incredible headphone amps out there. Gosh they’re beautiful.
I like how Hybrid is incorrectly spelt on this one:
I've been an orthohead since I bought my Yamaha HP-1's in '76. I even built a pair of circumaural headphones from scratch using HP-1 drivers. We'll see how things go once I mod what I have. If they work out better and keep me and my wife happy while she's watching TV I'll be good for a while. If ever we need to downsize and go condo then it's highly likely my serious listening time will change from DQ-10's on 250W monoblocks to headphones. Open backs always sound better so I'd be looking at the LCD-3's or maybe better. At that point I'd probably have to upgrade from my Schiit Lyr to make the most of them. One thing always leads to another.
AURALiC Taurus MKII headphone amplifier. Seems to do a good job with my headphones.
Recently switched to this after my other headphone amp went down. It's doing a pretty good job driving my Sennheiser HD650s; not sure how it'll perform with more demanding headphones like my AKG K240 Sextetts, but I think it'll be able to handle them.
Careful. That is a Dynaco ST-35 power amp. 17wpc. Nice sounding little tube amps. New driver boards are available using easier to find and better sounding small driver tubes along with much better metal film resistors. Those old carbon comp resistors can drift off spec. That amp is on my "want to build one" list.
As I mentioned in my other post, I use a 'headphone interface' between the tube amp and the headphones:
The big 8 ohm resistors load the tube amp, and the 100 ohm resistors bring the output down for the 'phones, while the volume control moderates things further. I added a toggle switch to allow for going between headphones and speakers without having to disconnect and reconnect wires. The output of the amp never goes much above 1 watt according to my Realistic APM-100 wattmeters. Here's a picture of my computer desk system, with the headphone interface behind the CD player (and below the orange flip clock):
Those little ST35's are nice sounding amps. I've been looking for one of the CD players like what I see at the left of the picture. Philip's or Magnavox branded?
It's a Magnavox FD-1000, which is a rebranded Philips CD-100. Found it at a hamfest several years ago for all of $10. The CDM0 transport still works fairly well, though it can be balky with CD-Rs, and it sounds pretty good. Some of the markings are worn off around the buttons, but it's in decent shape otherwise.
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