June 13, 2019 § Leave a comment
The Woo Audio WA33 is a terrific headphone amplifier, as well as a balanced linestage preamplifier suitable for use in the finest audio systems. It should drive any dynamic or planar magnetic headphone without a problem and the overall sound is glorious with a rich, but naturally detailed, tonal balance, explosive dynamics, and powerful and extended bass. Better still, its superb performance will keep you listening late into the night.”
June 12, 2019 § Leave a comment
“The Spark has power to spare on even planar magnetic headphones. On High gain, I rarely would push it past halfway on the knob. On the other end of the spectrum, with low impedance less than 16 Ohm CIEMs and Low gain, I experienced no audible buzzing or hissing with the Liquid Spark; everything was dead quiet. Since this is an analog design, there is a channel mismatch at the lowest end of the volume spectrum which is detectable on my CIEMs; this is to be expected and not something to ding the Liquid Spark points on. The volume level discrepancy is only noticeable at volumes too low for anyone to ever listen to music at. The Spark has proven itself to be very adaptable and shocked even me at how wide a range of headphones it could take. The other two amps on my desk, that were much more expensive, were geared towards high impedance headphones and had obvious background hissing with the CIEMs.”
May 24, 2019 § Leave a comment
“In all my years as a headphone listening enthusiast, one thing has remained clear from the very start – there is nothing quite like listening to a Stax system. There’s a certain charm to it; the retro and unashamedly bulky styling of the earspeakers and the proprietary energiser system combine to create an unusual and very untraditional (in the modern world) Head-Fi encounter.
Listening to a Stax system always leads me on a listening journey. I start with my familiar test tracks and end up winding down an experimental path of music and genres I’ve never listened to before… just to experience it.”
May 23, 2019 § Leave a comment
“It would be nice to say that the sound of the HPA4 is the sound of nothing getting in the way of the music. However, I think some listeners would say that it has a certain, albeit subtle, character with tight bass and a very slight treble dryness. I’d comment that the bass is a feature, not a bug, but you need the right headphones. And the more I listened, the more I concluded that the dryness was actually the HPA4 revealing a character of the recording chain.
This adds up to a super-revealing amp that isn’t going to correct the mistakes of the rest of your system. I thought top-flight headphones sounded great as a result, but that doesn’t necessarily make it the amp for you. I, however, wish the review sample didn’t have to go back.”
May 23, 2019 § Leave a comment
“The conrad-johnson design team is particularly excited to announce the release of our latest product, a headphone amplifier that just sounds right. The HVA1 is a reference quality single-ended class A triode amplifier designed to power low-impedance headphones (around 20 to 32 Ohms). The HVA1 accommodates two line-level inputs. Power output is 3 Watts into 20 Ohms. The enhanced triode circuit (similar to that introduced in our flagship GAT preamplifier) employs two 6922 vacuum-tubes (one for each channel) for voltage gain coupled to a high-current FET buffer stage (source follower). Each of the two channels is powered by its own independent DC regulator. CJD Teflon capacitors and Vishay resistors are featured in the circuits. The level control is a discrete stepped attenuator constructed entirely with Vishay resistors. The circuitry is housed in a heavy, elegant aluminum chassis dressed with anodized brushed aluminum panels on front, sides, and top”
May 13, 2019 § Leave a comment
“The original Headtrip had two blue LED’s by the Right and Left outputs to indicate power was on. A few clients complained that the lights were bright and distracting so they were removed and replaced with a green lit power button that is more subtle but still indicates the unit is on. The original had dual 3-pin XLR’s for balanced out while the new version has one 4-pin balanced XLR output. What has not changed is the units power output of 50 WPC at 8 Ohms, 25 WPC at 32 Ohms and 1.8 WPC at 600 Ohms. It is a powerful amplifier and yet in listening to it, you discover a vanishingly low noise floor. The Headtrip II also has the ability to display all the nuances of the recording including the most subtle and delicate passages and details. No matter what headphones you own, the Headtrip II will drive them with aplomb.”