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"WHAMMY" Pass DIY headphone amp guide
"WHAMMY" Pass DIY headphone amp guide
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Old 13th August 2019, 04:24 PM   #1541
slowpogo is offline slowpogo  United States
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Edit: forgot to mention, I'm listening primarily with Beyerdynamic DT-880s, the 250 ohm version.

So far I've tried the LM833, MUSES8820, OPA1612 and OPA1618. The OPA1618 is easily my favorite. It has a neutral to mildly bright signature but feels energetic and reveals a lot of distinct front to back layers in the music, and in general a 3D vividness (Radiohead's In Rainbows is super fun to listen to with this one). Most importantly, it's the one where I find myself bobbing my head and getting lost in the music. The LM833 was fine but I just didn't find myself involved in the music. The Muses and OPA1612 were good but a little too warm for my taste and again, didn't involve me as much.

I know this depends on personal taste, cans used and to some extent part selection, so none of these judgments are necessarily useful to anyone else. But having tried several opamps that people like in this thread my one criticism of the Whammy is that straight out the gate, it seems geared more toward clean, hi-fi, mixing/monitoring type listening. Nothing wrong with that per se, in fact I mix music myself and it will make a great reference there. And given the ruler-flat frequency response, its' not surprising. But I had to try several op amps before I found something that was actually *fun* to listen to. Having done that legwork, I'm really enjoying the amp.

I've got the OP249 and OPA2134 on the way. I'll probably stop there as I'm already pretty satisfied with the OPA1688, but down the road I might be tempted to try one of the more expensive Muses, or a discrete op amp like the Burson V6 Vivid.

Last edited by slowpogo; 13th August 2019 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 13th August 2019, 04:57 PM   #1542
Gaz2613 is offline Gaz2613  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowpogo View Post
Edit: forgot to mention, I'm listening primarily with Beyerdynamic DT-880s, the 250 ohm version.

So far I've tried the LM833, MUSES8820, OPA1612 and OPA1618. The OPA1618 is easily my favorite. It has a neutral to mildly bright signature but feels energetic and reveals a lot of distinct front to back layers in the music, and in general a 3D vividness (Radiohead's In Rainbows is super fun to listen to with this one). Most importantly, it's the one where I find myself bobbing my head and getting lost in the music. The LM833 was fine but I just didn't find myself involved in the music. The Muses and OPA1612 were good but a little too warm for my taste and again, didn't involve me as much.

I know this depends on personal taste, cans used and to some extent part selection, so none of these judgments are necessarily useful to anyone else. But having tried several opamps that people like in this thread my one criticism of the Whammy is that straight out the gate, it seems geared more toward clean, hi-fi, mixing/monitoring type listening. Nothing wrong with that per se, in fact I mix music myself and it will make a great reference there. And given the ruler-flat frequency response, its' not surprising. But I had to try several op amps before I found something that was actually *fun* to listen to. Having done that legwork, I'm really enjoying the amp.

I've got the OP249 and OPA2134 on the way. I'll probably stop there as I'm already pretty satisfied with the OPA1688, but down the road I might be tempted to try one of the more expensive Muses, or a discrete op amp like the Burson V6 Vivid.
I think you will really like the OPA2134 but I really do recommending giving the OPA2107 a whirl as it's made on a difet process and sounds amazing.
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Old 14th August 2019, 05:09 PM   #1543
vvs07 is offline vvs07  United States
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"WHAMMY" Pass DIY headphone amp guide
Quote:
Originally Posted by slowpogo View Post
Edit: forgot to mention, I'm listening primarily with Beyerdynamic DT-880s, the 250 ohm version.

So far I've tried the LM833, MUSES8820, OPA1612 and OPA1618. The OPA1618 is easily my favorite. It has a neutral to mildly bright signature but feels energetic and reveals a lot of distinct front to back layers in the music, and in general a 3D vividness (Radiohead's In Rainbows is super fun to listen to with this one). Most importantly, it's the one where I find myself bobbing my head and getting lost in the music. The LM833 was fine but I just didn't find myself involved in the music. The Muses and OPA1612 were good but a little too warm for my taste and again, didn't involve me as much.

I know this depends on personal taste, cans used and to some extent part selection, so none of these judgments are necessarily useful to anyone else. But having tried several opamps that people like in this thread my one criticism of the Whammy is that straight out the gate, it seems geared more toward clean, hi-fi, mixing/monitoring type listening. Nothing wrong with that per se, in fact I mix music myself and it will make a great reference there. And given the ruler-flat frequency response, its' not surprising. But I had to try several op amps before I found something that was actually *fun* to listen to. Having done that legwork, I'm really enjoying the amp.

I've got the OP249 and OPA2134 on the way. I'll probably stop there as I'm already pretty satisfied with the OPA1688, but down the road I might be tempted to try one of the more expensive Muses, or a discrete op amp like the Burson V6 Vivid.

Did you mention OPA1688 or OPA1618?
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Old 14th August 2019, 05:17 PM   #1544
slowpogo is offline slowpogo  United States
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Whoops, I meant OPA1688. OPA1618 doesn't exist as far as I can tell.
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Old 15th August 2019, 02:59 AM   #1545
avdesignguru is offline avdesignguru  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaz2613 View Post
Forgot to mention I tested these OP Amps with HiFiMan HE400i headphones and a Topping D50 DAC. I used FLAC audio 96Khz 24 bit. Evanescence Synthesis album.
Hi Gaz

First, thanks for the extensive Opamp review. I also have (among other sets) a pair of HiFiMan HE400i headphones, so I'm looking forward to seeing how your evaluations match up with my experiences (RC4580IP, LM833N, LM4562NA, OPA2134PA, AD746JNZ so far).

Your mention of the Topping D50 DAC led me to doing some research on the unit, as my existing Eiderol DAC was pretty minimal quality.

Short story: I just received a D50 today, hooked it up and can only say I am surprised and amazed at the improvement. So thank you, sir, for bringing this excellent piece of kit to my attention.
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Old 15th August 2019, 03:22 AM   #1546
avdesignguru is offline avdesignguru  United States
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Originally Posted by 6L6 View Post
I have a whammy with Toshiba and another with Fairchild (and I've built one with IRF...) and there's no difference in bass.

It's (the whammy) a very neutral design that doesn't editorialize at all. Changing opamps won't make much difference either. If you want more bass, I'd honestly grab a different set of headphones, or (more fun) put a Schiit Loki in front of it and EQ to your taste.
Hi 6L6:

I took note of your mention of the Schiit Loki and it pushed me over the edge in deciding to get one of my own. Turns out it is an excellent EQ for headphones, as well as my desktop system. It's also surprising how useful it is for balancing out some less than ideal recording mixes.

Of course, the Loki was an easy self-sell as I was sales manager for Audio Control in the late 1970s when our only product was a 5 band rotary control equalizer (the Audio Control 520) with optimized EQ band center points and filter Qs.

All I can say is that I feel sure Greg Mackie would also like it, and the circuit design is decidedly more hi fi than the opamps and circuit implementation used back then (40 years ago - how time flies!)
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Old 15th August 2019, 01:54 PM   #1547
Mark Johnson is offline Mark Johnson  United States
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"WHAMMY" Pass DIY headphone amp guide
I still have a couple of Audio Control equalizers in my garage! The newer models with slider pots. I got them for like $7 each as surplus, because the power transformers had failed. Did I repair them? Naah, couldn't find replacement trafos easily and other projects beckoned....
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Old 15th August 2019, 02:07 PM   #1548
jameshillj is offline jameshillj  Australia
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The little Shiit Loki benefits from a good quality linear power supply too - a bit of a surprise there...
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Old 15th August 2019, 05:12 PM   #1549
avdesignguru is offline avdesignguru  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Johnson View Post
I still have a couple of Audio Control equalizers in my garage! The newer models with slider pots. I got them for like $7 each as surplus, because the power transformers had failed. Did I repair them? Naah, couldn't find replacement trafos easily and other projects beckoned....
Must be models built after Greg Mackie sold the company to Tom Walker in the early 1980s. Greg's product was always conservatively designed and built: +/-18V opamps run at no more than +/-15V, generous margins on the cap voltage ratings, etc., all design criteria holdovers from his days running the TAPCO pro music mixer company (sold to Electro Voice in the mid-1970s). That said, bad parts runs do slip through.
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Old 15th August 2019, 05:38 PM   #1550
avdesignguru is offline avdesignguru  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jameshillj View Post
The little Shiit Loki benefits from a good quality linear power supply too - a bit of a surprise there...
Sounds interesting. Since the Loki uses an external 16VAC transformer and an internal regulated LM317/LM337 bipolar supply, how did you implement a linear supply? Did you hack the PCB?
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