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headphone amp

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Rich D

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Jul 8, 2023, 8:37:41 PM7/8/23
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What is the point of a headphone amp? I plug
mine into a stereo amp, and it works fine.


--
Rich

Scott Dorsey

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Jul 8, 2023, 10:06:39 PM7/8/23
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Rich D <rdelan...@gmail.com> wrote:
>What is the point of a headphone amp? I plug
>mine into a stereo amp, and it works fine.

So you've got a headphone amp. That's good.

Sometimes you might need to drive 20 headphones at once for tracking a
group and then a more hefty amp might be a help.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

Roy W. Rising

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Jul 9, 2023, 12:23:12 PM7/9/23
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This topic makes my thoughts drift to the concept of "Actual vs. Nominal impedance. "Nominal" means "named". Mics and headphones are fertile ground for this somewhat confusing matter. A mic's actual impedance might be 150 ohms. Although a preamp's input impedance may be named "150 ohms", its actual impedance should be 2000 ohms or greater to avoid loading ribbon mics and such. I've seen headphones marked "8 ohms", "600 ohms" etc. Their actual impedances tend to be higher. Solid state power amps' output impedances approach zero ohms! Whatever they're driving usually is much higher impedance, there's little likelihood of actually "loading" them. Rich's "it works fine" applies most of the time. Scott's example of 20 'phones in parallel across an amp is where some understanding is useful. That's where "power" enters the chat. A dedicated "headphone amp" might not have enough power for a large number of "cans". When in doubt, subscribe to Tim Allen's endorsement of "More Power!"

"If you notice the sound, it's wrong." Roy W. Rising

John Williamson

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Jul 9, 2023, 2:29:04 PM7/9/23
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On 09/07/2023 03:06, Scott Dorsey wrote:
> Rich D <rdelan...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> What is the point of a headphone amp? I plug
>> mine into a stereo amp, and it works fine.
>
> So you've got a headphone amp. That's good.
>
> Sometimes you might need to drive 20 headphones at once for tracking a
> group and then a more hefty amp might be a help.

I have a four way headphone amp, and it it easy enough to daisy chain a
few together.

If you use most domestic power amps for your headphones, they use a
series resistor to cut the power down so you can't go deaf. Ss the
headphones are not a resistive load, this does some strange things to
the frequency response as well as wrecking the damping. Mind you, I'm
still waiting for a pair of headphones that sound the same to you as
they do to me.

Headphone amps start at a much lower power level, so the output
impedance can be lower, which gives a more level FR and better control
of transients.

--
Tciao for Now!

John.
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