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Old 17th September 2013, 10:37 PM   #1
weemo is offline weemo  Canada
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Default Looking for a Headphone Amplifier

So..let me introduce myself to the forum. I am new to this whole amplifier thing. I have my Grado Lab headphones which I love and my good cowon mp3 player..started looking for amplifiers, started from the commercial ones, ended up in DIY amplifiers. From the tinbox to the o2..From LME-49990 (because I keep hearing is a good OP-AMP) to this website. Anyways...I could tackle a simple DIY..The problem?? so much information but alot is outdated. I need simple pointers to the most recent DIY stuff with my beginning knowledge in mind.


Thanx!
weemo
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Old 18th September 2013, 12:06 AM   #2
davym is offline davym  Scotland
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Hi weemo, I recon the Cmoy is probably one of the easiest to make, it's quite cheap and if you don't want to have to make a board and source components there are some decent kits around. You can get an idea if you do an ebay search for Cmoy kit, the dual chip version sounds very good indeed through my Grados for the little amount it cost to build.
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Old 18th September 2013, 12:59 AM   #3
weemo is offline weemo  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davym View Post
Hi weemo, I recon the Cmoy is probably one of the easiest to make, it's quite cheap and if you don't want to have to make a board and source components there are some decent kits around. You can get an idea if you do an ebay search for Cmoy kit, the dual chip version sounds very good indeed through my Grados for the little amount it cost to build.

THanks for this. So, I went to ebay as well. There are alot of DIY kits, Chinese, doesnt matter which one?? also, if I get a kit, would swapping the OP-Amp with lets say a more expensive one, does that guarantees better sound? Thanks again!!
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Old 18th September 2013, 01:41 AM   #4
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When Dick Marsh wrote up his HA in Linear Audio I had some PCB's made up -- check out the thread. It's a beautiful device capable of driving low impedance loads at low THD.
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Old 18th September 2013, 01:55 AM   #5
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A simple pointer? Get into winding your own transformers, then almost any amp you already have can be your headphone amp. I've never heard my Sony CDR3000s sounding as dynamic as when I connected them to a simple chipamp via a step-down transformer I wound myself on a cheap ferrite core.
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Old 18th September 2013, 02:18 PM   #6
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Hey

Just finished a proto of a semi portable amp. This thiny can be powered from single 9V battery and will work almost down to 4V.
With 9V supply it can give something like 60-70mW into 32Ohm load, which is usually more than enough.
The spectrum shows amp driving 35mW into 33Ohm resistor at 1100Hz.

If you are really interested, I can spend some and make separate PCB layout with tinier connectors.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg pcb_4.jpg (161.9 KB, 268 views)
File Type: png opa1662_11100Hz+caps.png (39.9 KB, 264 views)

Last edited by Sergey888; 18th September 2013 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 18th September 2013, 03:17 PM   #7
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I think you can still order one of these
wire board group buy
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Old 18th September 2013, 06:21 PM   #8
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If you don't know what you want, chances are everyone will propose their favorite project.

It's generally better to start from sort of a performance spec. Like, what requirements do you have for the amp (size, portability, powering, features, sources)? What sort of budget do you intend to invest? (Usual hint: You generally don't DIY to save heaps of money.) And what is your skill set in terms of soldering, measurements and whatnot, and what sort of tools do you already have?

I think for 32 ohm cans like Grados, a cMoy with a beefy opamp like a 4556 (or an RA-1 clone, which is much the same) would be the minimum.

As far as ordering finished PCBs/kits, be prepared for bugs of some sort or other with Chinese sources in particular. At least it's quite hard to mess up a cMoy, but getting part values wrong is still an option...
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Old 18th September 2013, 10:17 PM   #9
weemo is offline weemo  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgrossklass View Post
If you don't know what you want, chances are everyone will propose their favorite project.

It's generally better to start from sort of a performance spec. Like, what requirements do you have for the amp (size, portability, powering, features, sources)? What sort of budget do you intend to invest? (Usual hint: You generally don't DIY to save heaps of money.) And what is your skill set in terms of soldering, measurements and whatnot, and what sort of tools do you already have?

I think for 32 ohm cans like Grados, a cMoy with a beefy opamp like a 4556 (or an RA-1 clone, which is much the same) would be the minimum.

As far as ordering finished PCBs/kits, be prepared for bugs of some sort or other with Chinese sources in particular. At least it's quite hard to mess up a cMoy, but getting part values wrong is still an option...
wow..Thanks for this..seems like I have my hands full on a project like this. Obviously is a mix of things that determine the quality of the sound and that requires reading/research...Its been such a long time since I last used a soldering gun!!! Its something I can tackle though. Reading schematics is a different story, new to me...So, all in all, I think I will do both. Buy a built cMoy and keep researching and eventually tackle my own built..

Thanks for all the replies. All indeed helpful. Cheers!

W.
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Old 19th September 2013, 01:57 AM   #10
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You should check out Freds Amps
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