Which AMP to Try Today?

Down to only 12 amps !!!

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What is the red one?

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Great Question.

Its a AGDR designed O2 ODA amp.

ODA Desktop DIY AGDR Headphone Amp

Only about 5 or 6 ever built…its a powerful amp, very clean and I would stack it up against most any SS amp up to $1K or even higher…

AGDR is a wizard that unfortunately has dropped of the radar screen…this amp can be found in a long detailed thread at : Diyaudio ODA Headphone Amplifier

I never had the front cover engraved, should do that some day!!

Alex

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The no-whistles black box on the bottom left looks interesting.

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Thats a DIY amp that a fellow at diyaudio presented a discrete Class A design called the Terminator or T2 at first and was changed to “Noir”. The PCB and case is sold at the diyaudio store:

DIYAUDIO STORE NOIR LINK

It puts out 2 watts of Class A Power. Its a very easy first time headphone amplifier and has a build thread here:

Discussion Thread

And a Build Guide:
Build Guide

Its a really great little amp that sounds nice…lots of power.

Alex

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That looks like an interesting build, I may actually give it a try.

Is the preamp out fixed or controlled by the volume? Any way of making it a permanent out (always active)?

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Plug straight into the PC motherboard.

Go back to where we all started off with PC based audio.

Here is your answer…

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Buy yourself a Headamp GSX-mini. You’ll like it.

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How do you find the Valhalla 2? Everywhere I read people say it is holographic ,energetic in treble, and bass light. I’m interested in your thoughts on it paired with the Bifrost. Was thinking about getting one.

Excellent pairing for high impedance headphones very much like the BH Crack with Speedball with Senn HD600/800s…very very good match.

Less so for below 50 ohm cans IMO, mainly the bass…

Solid OTL design, gobs of power…

Alex

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I really wanted to like the Valhalla 2 but it sounded too much like solid state to me. I do own Schiits other tube amps and Jason gave up on one I would have really liked to have tried. :grinning:

I built several Cracks and after modifications they sounded better and better but I wanted a little more power but an excellent kit for those wanting to get some experience.

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Had the V2 here for a looong time and many times when using HD600s I stopped and said to myself…Gosh this is really good…but only with the high impedance cans…and then going to the BH Crack I have and thinking hey this is really good too, but different and IMO a tad better…so I sold the V2 and kept the Crack…it is what it is…

But I have the Jot and Lyr 3 and a magni 3 and love them all…waiting on a Jot2!!

Alex

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EarMen make some great portable amps (I am loving my TR-Amp - it works magically with Sennheiser headphones). Auris Audio is the parent company of EarMen, they make the big boys.

Auris Audio is more expensive, and they get pretty expensive with their top-end models

Did you ever listen to any of their amplifiers?

I am pretty selective in my likes and the Crack is a good amp IMHO. I designed my own OTL with more power and apparently the ability to run lower impedance headphones. I am running Focal Utopias etc. To be fair, I am not comparing apples to apples, many of my amps have $3,000 worth of parts and wire and hand made cabinets in some hard to find hardwoods. Early I did some versions for less money but I am starting to wind this up and need to use up some high end components or I will have them forever so a few of my friends will get a bargain.

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Thanks for this info, but no I have never heard of these guys…I dont usually muck with portable stuff or IEMS…mainly desktop stuff etc…
Alex

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I see. EarMen is the one that is the portable focused brand.

Auris Audio makes the big boys - here is a screenshot of their products (they are gorgeous)

I dont have the Schiit Vahalla 2 anymore. I do have a newer Lyr 3 here for several months now. Also have a BH Crack and a few mods…I never thought the Vahalla 2 was SS like, just the opposite, more soft and leaning towards the Crack especially with HD600/800 higher impedance cans…

The LYR 3 seesm more clean and more SS like, the main reason I sold the V2 was it was similar to the BH Crack with Senns…very good but didnt need two amps IMO that were so similar…

But we all hear differently and there are so many listening variables…

I recently tested the Schiit Magnius, although great wasnt and audible difference in what I already have and returned it…but am having an Asgard 3 sent to me to test against several SS DIY amps I have built…and the Schiit JOT amd Magni series…

Great time to be in headphone audio!

All the best
Alex

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