News:

Happy New Year!


ln76d

Headphone amplifier recommendations
« on: October 19, 2016, 08:52:27 PM »
Hey,

am looking for headphone amp, can be cheap but decent or at least easy to mod :D
Anyone found something decent direct from China (without european/us sticker on it :D )?
Anything which can work up to 800ohm headphones.
For listening during recording.


gyraf

« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 03:28:07 AM by gyraf »
..note to self: don't let Harman run your company..

ln76d

Re: Headphone amplifier recommendations
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2016, 07:29:52 AM »
Thank you Jakob ;)

Looks pretty well designed and it's totally cheap :D

I'm really sorry, i was not precise.

I'm looking for amp which is complete with enclosure.
It could be kit but with enclosure which fit.
I need four amps and if i have to make enclosures for it, probably i would finish it in first half of 2018 :D :D :D
I need something decent to use it for some time, for quick.
After i fully run studio i be able to make diy something better  or just use console headphone amps.
Unfortunately for rebuilding my console i will also have to wait a while.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 07:34:30 AM by ln76d »

gyraf

Re: Headphone amplifier recommendations
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2016, 08:46:49 AM »
Aah - I understand then..

Jakob E.
..note to self: don't let Harman run your company..

Michael Tibes

Re: Headphone amplifier recommendations
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2016, 02:24:40 PM »
I've bought this one from China some years ago and I was really very surprised by how much better it sounds than the Behringer Powerplay Pro which I used a lot for cue mixes: JHL HOOD 1969 Class A small amp headphone amplifier  - http://www.ebay.de/itm/252192134318?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
These populated pcbs are sold by several dealers on ebay and if I remember right some offer cases for them as well.

If you are looking for a Headphone monitoring system the Behringer Powerplay 16 satellites are shockingly good for my taste.
I feed them digitally, so I don't need to worry about the quality of the input converters (which are probably good too, but maybe not as good as my beloved Apogees).

Michael

JohnRoberts

Re: Headphone amplifier recommendations
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2016, 04:29:19 PM »
There are some modern very hi performance op amps that will drive 800 ohms directly.  Why make it more complicated than it needs to be?

JR
John Roberts
http://circularscience.com
Tune it, or don't play it...

shot

Re: Headphone amplifier recommendations
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2016, 04:39:51 PM »
I've also built JLH headphone amp and it is fantastic.
But there's word that Zen headphone amps are also smokin!
Didn't tried that one yet.

For both of those models you can score matching enclosures, or even fully assembled ones on the ebay.
Best value for money IMO!

:)

Luka

ln76d

Re: Headphone amplifier recommendations
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2016, 06:29:07 PM »
Thank you Guys!

I didn't expected that this topic will move more than max two posts :D

Hood looks realy good, but i think JohnRoberts idea would be something better for my needs.
I don't need really high quality amps for listening music, checking mixes etc.
It need to be something simple and better than behri behri HA400.
Gain reserve, driving high impedance headphones (at least i have two of DT100 which are exactly 800ohm :) ), less distortion.
Example of use - let say four band members, each one in it's own recording room.
Each one need to hear what he want on his own channel, without distortion when he turn knob in high position.
Yes - the knob! This is most important.  I don't want to hear everytime, "give me a little louder", "now it's too loud", "turn it down" :D
That's it :D
Any ideas?

shot

Re: Headphone amplifier recommendations
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2016, 06:35:42 PM »
My friend has Topping NX3. He got it from ebay.
It's something chinese.
Looks cool. Sounds decent.
I see there's NX5 model also available. I don't know it's features.
But it's cheap! :)

ln76d

Re: Headphone amplifier recommendations
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2016, 06:42:01 PM »
Thanks shot!

That could be something, probaly will try one :)
It's up to 300ohm so i would need also something more for higher impedance headphones :D



gyraf

Re: Headphone amplifier recommendations
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2016, 05:20:55 AM »

It's up to 300ohm so i would need also something more for higher impedance headphones :D

You can always drive higher-impedance headphones - only drawback is slightly reduced maximum power at a given supply voltage.

In my experience, only drummers ever need more than +/-18V-supplied-amplifier into 600 Ohms phones. But as those guys rarely are picky, you pass them lower-impedance, high sensitivity, fully-closed headphones anyway..

Jakob E.

..note to self: don't let Harman run your company..

Jarno

Re: Headphone amplifier recommendations
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2016, 08:53:09 AM »
http://nwavguy.blogspot.com.au/2011/07/o2-headphone-amp.html

Ah, one of the legends of DIY audio, came out of nothing, designed this and helped design some other products, before vanishing again.....

Re: Headphone amplifier recommendations
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2016, 04:42:53 PM »
Quote
http://nwavguy.blogspot.com.au/2011/07/o2-headphone-amp.html
Ah, one of the legends of DIY audio, came out of nothing, designed this and helped design some other products, before vanishing again.....
Long winded, verbose ... but authoritative and refreshingly different on OPAs from Self & Cordell.

He shows 2xNJM4556 in parallel as a voltage follower is difficult, if not impossible to fault.  My take is that 1 off is pretty good too and even 1 off with a bit of gain ... as is used by most prosumer (& pro) headphone sockets.

Note his emphasis on layout/grounding/decoupling .. all VITAL to good performance and misunderstood by most.

My first thought was to find a cheapo 2 stage eBay special and replace the OPAs with his recommendations ... but you can't tell good layout/grounding/decoupling from a couple of pics.  :(

He's got a couple of 'recommended' commercial amps though.

Seeker

Re: Headphone amplifier recommendations
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2016, 03:15:09 AM »
Ok, so I know this isn't what you asked for, but this is DIY! ;D  ...and Wayne Kirkwood is a super awesome guy, + you aren't gonna beat this, its about as reference quality as you get, very neutral, and able to drive just about anything within reason...  Also, it's not a terribly expensive build, esp if you have some things laying around like a case, power transformer, etc...

http://www.ka-electronics.com/kaelectronics/Dual_Class-A/Dual_Class-A.htm


"Sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself.” - Miles

ln76d

Re: Headphone amplifier recommendations
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2016, 07:48:22 AM »
Thanks Guys.

All these propositions are great, even if some not fit my current needs. In the near future definately i'll be looking for something better, so definately it's worth to share it :)
Also i think that thred will be usable for other members, there's not much about headphone amplifiers on gdiy, at least from some time :)

Re: Headphone amplifier recommendations
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2016, 03:33:22 AM »
Search for TPA6120A2 on Ebay.

It's actually a DSL modem line driver (aka THS6012) that can put 400mA into 25 ohms at 140 MHz with a slew rate of 1300 V/us. So it should be able to drive some phones!

Actually it's powerful enough that you could just wire up 4+ jacks in parallel.

Although I have no experience with any of the Ebay stuff with that chip. Actually because the chip is so fast, if the layout isn't exactly right, it can be unstable. And it must be driven from a low offset source which means hybrid buffer. So be careful about anything that looks a little too cheap. It has to be done right or it won't matter how good the chip is. If you do buy something from Ebay, check the offsets with a dummy load first.

JohnRoberts

Re: Headphone amplifier recommendations
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2016, 10:16:22 AM »
Search for TPA6120A2 on Ebay.

It's actually a DSL modem line driver (aka THS6012) that can put 400mA into 25 ohms at 140 MHz with a slew rate of 1300 V/us. So it should be able to drive some phones!
OP has already shared that he has 800 ohm headphones.

25 ohms is lower Z than needed and 1300V/usec is roughly 100x faster slew rate than needed for audio.

More is not always better.

JR
Quote
Actually it's powerful enough that you could just wire up 4+ jacks in parallel.

Although I have no experience with any of the Ebay stuff with that chip. Actually because the chip is so fast, if the layout isn't exactly right, it can be unstable. And it must be driven from a low offset source which means hybrid buffer. So be careful about anything that looks a little too cheap. It has to be done right or it won't matter how good the chip is. If you do buy something from Ebay, check the offsets with a dummy load first.
John Roberts
http://circularscience.com
Tune it, or don't play it...

ln76d

Re: Headphone amplifier recommendations
« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2016, 05:29:47 AM »
Long winded, verbose ... but authoritative and refreshingly different on OPAs from Self & Cordell.

He shows 2xNJM4556 in parallel as a voltage follower is difficult, if not impossible to fault.  My take is that 1 off is pretty good too and even 1 off with a bit of gain ... as is used by most prosumer (& pro) headphone sockets.

Note his emphasis on layout/grounding/decoupling .. all VITAL to good performance and misunderstood by most.

My first thought was to find a cheapo 2 stage eBay special and replace the OPAs with his recommendations ... but you can't tell good layout/grounding/decoupling from a couple of pics.  :(

He's got a couple of 'recommended' commercial amps though.

Hmm... am reading  slowly http://nwavguy.blogspot.com.au and probably i will end with four of o2 amps :D
Price for boards and enclosures are pretty good. Don't need any kit, since the parts i can easily buy local.
Easy for quick build :)
Thanks ricardo as always :D

alexc

Re: Headphone amplifier recommendations
« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2016, 10:23:13 PM »
I just finished making a headphone amp from an ebuy kit ....  about 15usd for the pcb and components (incl. delivery!)

It' s the John Linsley-Hood Class A circuit using 2 small signal transistors and a pair of output transistors (which are mounted on the underside of the pcb).

Has a gain of x8,  with a stereo potentiometer at the input, unbalanced rca inputs and a stereo trs output jack.

I'm running (for now) with a Vcc +9.7Vdc - the output transistors warm up *strongly* without the heatsinks - I am using  simple aly angle brackets for the heatsinks.

ANYway, apart from having a bunch SMDs   in the form of resistors, the size of a grain of schmutz  :(,  the thing all came up good.

THD is something in the region  0.001% driving my Motu  (10K inputs, more or less)

NOTE - further tests at 'normal listening levels', then switched to drive 10K load does indeed show THD 0.001% rising to around 0.1% for 8Vpp output (off of a +9Vdc supply)     [ just a quick test so far, so not definitive .. yet]

Considering it has just 4 active devices, and with a relatively low Vcc supply used,  it is pretty good THD performance, albeit at a stupid level of power wasted as heat!

I'll wait for the properly heatsinked version before increasing Vcc to +15Vdc and beyond!

.....

So, I'm  doing more tests, driving various loads, down to 60ohms (headphones!) to get more info on this neat little beasty.

But so far, it is looking good, sounds quite good with the headphones  ... well strong,  *quite* hifi and very balanced in the frequency response  (ie. not a fizzy schtick and with proper bass).

For use as a stereo line amp (into 300ohm and higher) loads, it seems to be working well.

--------

SUBjectively, as a 'born again tube guy', I'm *surprised* the sound is giving me such excitement, for such little time and cash down :)  Yes there's heat and power involved, but for a tube guy whose made big SE amps, it's not such a big deal!

I'm looking forward to messing with the JLH circuit (1969), the mods from the designer himself (from 1996) and the subsequent commentary (circa 2000+).

I'm hoping that the JLH 1996 at 10Wrms per channel will be a good match for some late 70s real-wood paper-coned 'Realistic'  2 way speakers  (Radio Shack for the usa folk!)

-----

The same design scales up to whatever class A power levels you can heat-sink! The esteemed JLHood has lots of info out there on his 10W plus version. I've seen it used up to 25Wrms into 8ohm speaker loads.

This same compact pcb, I'm using as a stereo bus driver with some haufe traffos for output balancing.

Input is stereo unbalanced mix busses.

SUper cheap and damn good performance, for mixing up a bunch of pedals and such ..   :)



« Last Edit: November 23, 2016, 11:39:09 PM by alexc »
I ping therefore I am