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Old 8th May 2015, 03:31 PM   #1
Glowbug is offline Glowbug  United States
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Default My return to tubes, via headphones - what circuit would you recommend?

I've been out of audio for a while - moving, new job, entire career change, etc. Definitely making my late twenties interesting

Right now, 90% of my material possessions - along with my 811 monoblocks and Fostex horns - reside in climate-controlled storage, waiting for me to find a place big enough to move them to. I'm realizing I will get far more listening time in at the office, and so I'm thinking about a tubed setup that's just a bit different than the Bottlehead Crack/OTL way of doing it. I'd also like to use low-impedance 'phones, as the closed-back cans I'm looking at are primarily under 100 ohms.

It's probably been 6-7 years since I've regularly checked these kind of forums, but what have people been building lately if one was interested in a triode HP amp? I love DHTs, but even with DC heaters, is it possible to get one quiet enough? EL84s wired as triodes? Something weirder?

Thanks in advance
The machine does not isolate us from the great problems of nature but plunges us more deeply into them. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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Old 8th May 2015, 03:57 PM   #2
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My main thing is headphones. I've got AKG K601 at 118 ohms, and another AKG set at 60 ohms.

All my amp builds have to be both headphone and speaker capable. I drive all loads from the same output; speaker outputs are just behind a switch for convenience.

DHTs can be made headphone ready. My reference amp has 4P1L tubes, and the background is pitch black. I would caution to stay away from big filament current types though if you go DHT.

I'd recommend an all balanced 6N3P amp. Pretty cheap, can be made without heat sinks, and delivers crazy low distortion to headphones. I can draw schems if you're interested.

What kind of money are you looking to spend? Do you have some parts already?
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Old 8th May 2015, 04:48 PM   #3
Koifarm is offline Koifarm  Netherlands
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Below schematic with 6n3 works great with akg701.
Anode voltage 200Volt.
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Old 12th May 2015, 10:34 AM   #4
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Hi Glowbug,

I am in the same boat. Will follow this thread. Pardon my ignorance, but what is a DHT? I have Focal Spirit One headphones 32 Ohms, what do you guys suggest for me? I am going to build my first tube amp. Thanks
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Old 12th May 2015, 01:01 PM   #5
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DHT = direct heated triode
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Old 12th May 2015, 02:12 PM   #6
00940 is offline 00940  Belgium
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I've been very happy with the results I got with this:

Click the image to open in full size.

It uses the edcor pcw10K-7K/300-32.
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