Class A Power Amplifier to Headphones



I no longer use Hi-Fi speakers on my main system and have not done for sometime, switching to headphone use from the CDP. I use budget stand mounts for movies on the TV and a 2-way on my DAW but the Nelson Pass Labs Class A pre-amplifier and a Nelson Pass Class A Power Amplifier I put together in a past life had not seen use for some years. Before I switched to headphones I had built a simple power amplifier to headphone adaptor but never got to test or use it since I ended up with a good deal on the Yulong A100 Headphone amplifier at the time. Fast forward and after a few headphone amplifier box swaps I was in a situation with no way to drive headphones from my CDP so moved the headphone listening to a 2nd system on my audio workstation and laptop.

So years after making it I dug it out and connected my old Hi-Fi back up. So what to use as a test set of headphones. Do I really want to plug in a 1200 Euro pair of headphones to check this thing out. No, hence the MF200 in the photo. The Musical Fidelity MF200 headphones did not get a great review at the time and the company have since dropped out of the headphone market. The MF200 were seen as being bright, harsh and not exactly forgiving easy to listen to. For what was sold off at 80% RRP these are very good headphones for the price particularly if you want something totally open and revealing above anything. I am comparing the MF200 to a pair of Stax and HD800s. So we test with the forgotten sold off MF200 and leave the expensive HD800 in their pretty box just in-case.

 

Sound

I really should have done this sooner. This is a great headphone amp combo. Is it a bit over the top ? A 25W class A amp with 600V worth of power supply driving a discount pair of headphones needing just mW. It seems the MF200 might need some power to shine and the smooth warmer class A nature of these amps suits them well. I will say for anyone with a spare pre-power combo or integrated amplifier doing nothing it is worth turning into a headphone amplifier. Disclaimer : Test it on some cheaper headphones to begin with. You might just be amazed at how good they sound. I know with Hi-Fi they always say spend most on the source end up the chain and less on the speakers. (More $) CDP --> Amp --> Speakers (Less $). This does also seem to be true of headphones if this test is anything to go by.

Here is the original project : Power Amp Headphone Adapter

 

Power Amplifier to Headphones
Power Amplifier to Headphones
Power Amplifier to Headphones