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Old 13th April 2011, 03:01 AM   #1
JoeDJ is offline JoeDJ  United States
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Default Looking for headphone amp..........

First of all, why are headphone amps so %%^$ expensive?

I'm looking for a fairly good, inexpensive 2ch headphone amp but, I can't even find any bad inexpensive ones.
Are there any good kits avalible as I have plenty of experience in assembling electronic kits.

BTW, I still remember the fantasic sound of my
"Superex" ES headphones of the "70s.

Last edited by JoeDJ; 13th April 2011 at 03:04 AM.
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Old 13th April 2011, 04:21 AM   #2
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There's likely to be kits available, but I can't say I'm familiar with any.
Radio Shack sells the Boosteroo headphone amp for $30, powered by 2 AA cells. It isn't bad, and its size is great for portability. It uses the National Semiconductor LM4808 set for a gain of 10, if you'd like to check the datasheet.
There are lots of DIY headphone amp projects. From basic op amps to discrete transistor and tube circuits. You'll have to do the research to see if any are worth your while. Along with this forum, there's headfi.org which is dedicated to headphone listening.
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Old 13th April 2011, 04:31 AM   #3
iko is offline iko  Canada
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You might get a lot of suggestions if you define "inexpensive." $33, $100, $200, what? Portable? Energy efficient? Class A WATT pigs but amazing sound? You have to describe what you want, then people will help.
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Old 13th April 2011, 04:43 AM   #4
JoeDJ is offline JoeDJ  United States
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I just found this kit by "Ramsey"
Personally, I have no idea of their quality but, it's the kind of amp I'm looking for and is in the right price range.
http://www.ramseyelectronics.com/cgi-bin/commerce.exe?preadd=action&key=SHA2
http://www.ramseyelectronics.com/dow...nuals/SHA2.pdf
Any opinions on it?

Last edited by JoeDJ; 13th April 2011 at 04:48 AM.
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Old 13th April 2011, 05:06 AM   #5
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I've been a Ramsey customer but didn't think of their headphone amp. They take pride in their kits so I don't think quality will be an issue. If it fits the bill I say go for it. It uses the LM386 power IC so know one here is going to call it audiophile quality, even though Ramsey does. I've built a LM386 headphone amp myself, and it doesn't sound bad. Just a bit rough sometimes on the higher frequencies. Plenty of power though for the usual 16-32 ohm headphones! Can't comment on the LM1036 processing chip; I have one in the parts box but haven't put it to use yet.
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Old 13th April 2011, 06:57 AM   #6
JoeDJ is offline JoeDJ  United States
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To be honest, at my age I can't hear very high freq anyway.
one reason this amp caught my attention because it has bass and treble adjustments so I can taylor the sound a lower volumes as I do not want to abuse my ears any more.

Thanks for your input, I think I will order one. I better get my soldering iron and nail clipper ready.
In fact I believe I have a couple of 15v PS around here somewhere so I wont have to use a battery.

Last edited by JoeDJ; 13th April 2011 at 07:05 AM.
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Old 13th April 2011, 04:46 PM   #7
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At that price (or within $20) you could likely piece together a Pete Millet Starving Student. It uses the 19J6 tube and IRF530s. It has good reviews but the tubes have gotten difficult to find. Not impossible just hard to find at decent prices.

Case in point:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Starving-Student...item27ba365aa9
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Old 13th April 2011, 06:59 PM   #8
JoeDJ is offline JoeDJ  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PedroDaGr8 View Post
At that price (or within $20) you could likely piece together a Pete Millet Starving Student. It uses the 19J6 tube and IRF530s. It has good reviews but the tubes have gotten difficult to find. Not impossible just hard to find at decent prices.

Case in point:
Starving Student Tube Headphone Amplifier 19J6 Kit | eBay
I would absolutly love to do that.
However, I'm afraid that I have no real experience with schematics other than basic wiring
My experiece with kits has always been of the kits for dummies type like the Ramsey kit.

BTW, I was born the same year the transistor was invented and witnessed the birth if the PCB so, I agree that a good tube amp is best .

Last edited by JoeDJ; 13th April 2011 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 14th April 2011, 03:37 PM   #9
ghughe3 is offline ghughe3  United States
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Did you ever hear of the Bottlehead Crack or S.E.X. headphone amps? Do you consider $200 cheap? If so, this a very nice!
https://www.bottlehead.com/store.php...on=show_detail
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Old 14th April 2011, 06:27 PM   #10
boris81 is offline boris81  United States
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I am in the process of building a PIMETAv2. I have no clue how it compares to others but it seems like a well thought out design.

PIMETA v2 Headphone Amplifier

It's costing me around $150 in parts and they are impossible to source from one supplier. I could help you with that if you are interested since I took the time already.

There's also an intriguing design on this forum called "the Wire" but it doesn't seem like you can get pcbs right now.
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