General purchase advice: Ask your questions/for advice here!

I’m thinking of picking up a class A amp for no reason other than having a class A amp.

I am trying to stay under the 500€/$ mark and have sort of reduced it down to the Asgard 3 (approx 350€ with import fees etc) or the Rebel Amp (around 500€ with shipping etc).

This will probably be most used with the Ananda and the HD6XX, although it will give me one more flavour for when I am trying out new stuff.

Any recommendations that I have overlooked?

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I have never heard the Asgard 3 in comparison, but I love the Asgard 2 with the 6xx. It has a warm signature but that can be nice sometimes and drives the 6xx no sweat. And it can help warm your office in the winter, or you can fry an egg on it. Seriously though, there is still B stock for $119 I think.

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Living in a place that is over 100°F for 5 or 6 months of the year, I’m not sure that is a good thing :smiley:

Seriously though, thanks for the input!

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I have a couple class amp amps, one is my smaller 2 chl system, its a PASS xa30.5 I rotate that out of the room when summer get s here, and the other is my Bryston BHA-1 headphone amp. Its seems to drive about everything I’ve tried to date. And one interesting item about this amp is the balanced XLR. I contracted Mike at Bryston on the advantage of using the xlrs vs the standard jack, his comments
"
The big advantage of using the balanced outputs on the BHA1 is the doubling in output voltage, because, as mentioned in the forum, you have two class A amplifiers driving the output rather than one. This doubling in voltage actually results in a 4 times increase in power, since power is proportional to voltage squared.

This applies to both the 3-pin XLR connectors and the 4-pin XLR connector.

The question of how much advantage there is to having 4 times the power is difficult to answer. For most headphones, the power isn’t strictly necessary, but can improve the dynamic response of the amp. For some more difficult-to-drive headphones, the extra power would be required to drive the headphones to their maximum useful level."" … I see a noticeable difference for my HD800s and LCD-3. And these amps can be picked up used for under $1200. Built soild.

Heat will always be a concern for class A amps since internally they run at full power all the time.

The legit class A/B are class A for the first amount of power (varies by amp, something like 100mw to 500mw) so if you already have a class A/B amp you might be hearing class A.

The Asgard 3 is class A/B and operates in class A up to 500mw. If your headphones need less than that you would be in class A all the time.

Schiit does not describe the Asgard 3 as cool but it is an improvement over the Asgard 2.

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Asgard 2/3…

:slight_smile:

You know, just saying.

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Thanks for the offer Prof but they are 115V, the Asgard would probably get even hotter :wink:

Oh yeah, huh. I don’t know why, but I always forget you are across the pond.

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I am sadly reminded each time I see something I like online and then search and see the price in Europe.

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you can build your own

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I built a Whammy and have posted in that thread.

Its an excellent Class A amp, and can stand head and shoulders with amps costing much more.

Mine sits on top of my HPA1 amp from PassLabs and I enjoy in immensely. It has enough power to drive Focal Clears, HEDD Headphones and Meze Empyreans.

The ability to swap out op amps to fine tune the sound is very nice as well.

You can ask many of the folks in that thread about it as well…the kits at diystore are not yet available but rumored to be available in Feb.

For approx $200 or so its a "Steal’…but you have to solder and be able to put stuff together…if u buy the kit from diystore its really an easy build.

Alex

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@ProfFalkin, you should listen to one of his reviews, and you would never forget he’s across el mar and not simply “the pond”. He sounds much like I’d think Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (el Cid) would sound if he were giving headphone reviews.

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Folks,

I have an apple dongle and today I was in the middle “of a battle” with my better half because of it. So it’s time to get a redundancy.

Any good options in similar ballpark than above that one would like to suggest? Of course I saw a couple of alternatives, but proven experience is always better.

Budget would be up to 30 bucks. USB-C only, please. Application is podcasting. You know, something to hear at the gym, street running, etc.

Thanks much. Cheers. :beers:

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That amazon one is unlikely to be a genuine Apple product. Possible, but unlikely.

It would still probably work for you just fine.

Alternatively, Monoprice generally makes solid cables. (Monoprice USB-C Digital to 3.5mm Auxiliary Audio Adapter, Black - Monoprice.com) Not the best by any means, but usually quite reasonable for the price, and with good customer service. (And you can always upgrade to higher quality (and much more expensive) interconnect/adapter/cable later if you feel like you can hear the difference.)

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https://www.ddhifi.com/productinfo/1474339.html

:+1:

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I can vouch that the Amazon one is indeed a genuine Apple product. I just bought one a few days ago, using that exact same link.

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That’s probably your best bet then!

Welcome to the community @robur44

That is a lovely DAC (from what I’ve read, I haven’t heard it myself).

SS vs. tubes for the VC is entirely personal - if you like the tube sound and perhaps want the opportunity to tube-roll, then there are lots of possibilities. I’d start by looking at the ZMF Pendant, given it’s in your price range. Offerings from Feliks Audio are worth a look or for an increse in budget ampsandsound (they make the Pendant but have several other fine offerings under their own name) alongside Glenn, DNA, Pathos, among others, will be worthy considerations but for increased cost (unless you buy secondhand, which I’d personally advise).

It really comes down to what sound you’re looking for and what you’re looking to achieve e.g., you might prefer the EL84 over the EL34 tube or a KT88. Or you might love the lushness of 300B’s. Alternatively, you might be seeking a very neutral tube amp or perhaps even a hybrid (like a Pathos Aurium).

It’s a similar story with SS, what sort of sound are you looking for? Something ultra-clean sounding like a THX amp, a wire-with-gain approach or are you looking for SS with a little more character, colouration, warmth, sweetness vs neutrality. E.g., a THX amp might not be your cup of tea because you seek a little more warmth in the presentation etc.? You may consider Class A designs to be preferable to Class D for your needs.

You’re likely to get more helpful recommendations (and general responses) the more specific you can be about what you’re looking to acheive. In a room of 10 VC owners, they likely all have different rigs and slightly different objectives. Personally, I like a warmer signature in my gear, I’m not all that interested in neutrality (in a purest sense) and I tend to gravitate toward a more euphoric and holographic presentation but not an overdose of this. I dislike equipment that I perceive to be sibilant, treble-peaky, sterile, overly analytical, or digital/hard in character.

Part of the reason I like warmer gear is that I listen to a lot of poorly recorded or harsh sounding music - more than 60% of my music collection is metal of some form. So, a little warmth in my rig goes a long way to make my listening experience more enjoyable across my collection - which is my leading objective, to enjoy my collection, rather than be limited to styles or recordings of the higest order. Your objectives might be manifestly different to mine.

Having said all that, the collective opinion is that ZMF headphones love tubes. Zach himself is a big tube fan and ZMF sell a tube amp. So if you’re worried about ZMF headphones pairing with a tube amp, don’t be! ZMF headphones paired with a GOTL, Feniks, Woo Audio, ampsandsound, BHC, DNA, etc., the consensus is extremely positive.

You might also be better off in the official VC thread, where you can get the attention of owners: ZMF Vérité C - Closed-Back Dynamic Headphone - Official Thread

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Done a little exploring, a lot choices and decisions to make. Moving from a cheap amp and Beyerdynamic mmx300 to Monoprice THX dac/amp with Hifiman Arya (with Corpse Cable XLR) sound pretty good together.

Back to the mention of running, I’ll never bring IEM’s running, I have a large laundry list of headphones I’ve destroyed running due to sweat except those beat 3 some how survive but I don’t always run with music cause I have a bad habit of turning up past what I need. (surprised my hearing is still good)

I have the Focal Clear inbound. I know many don’t suggest Topping A90/D90, it’s suppose to be in today, I’m on the fence of just sending it on it’s way instead of trying and paying the restocking fee. I also have the Bifrost 2 with Jot coming today. I have some fear that the Jot is aging technology and won’t sound as good as the THX amp, the Monoprice is growing on me and it’s 550, pretty light on the budget.

For giggles, I found locally a Dragonfly red that I tried with Hifiman Sundara. My Iphone barely powered the Sundara, so I kind of wanted to know what it would sound like if I wanted to listen to music at work. This is not a necessity although I’d have more time at work to list then anywhere else, I do quite a bit of a mix of desk work (sitting at a desk) and light physical work. I have a 256gb 12 pro max, kind of thinking with the right music service, that could be my hub for now for music.

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That should do. Thanks.

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