Audio HiFi

Class A Power Amplifier to Headphones

Power Amplifier to Headphones

At the time of wrting this I was no longer use Hi-Fi speakers on my main system and had 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 an 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 I use on my audio workstation setup.

Very Easy DIY Audio Mains Filter

Easy DIY Audio Mains Filter Parts

This is no doubt the easiest method of making a good quality mains filter suitable for any audio or visual use be it a HiFi, home studio or TV system. These also make great mains filters for computer based audio systems. I have made and used these on all my computer and audio based setups since they are better than the basic ones you buy for a computer and compare quite well to the cheaper dedicated HiFi ones.

 

Parts Needed :-

LM3886 Gain Clone Amplifier DIY

Gainclone DIY

In 1999 a manufacturer called 47 labs released a 3000 USD amplifier called a gaincard. Although it got good reviews it caused a great deal of controversy because it was based around a pair of LM series power amplifier IC's with a fairly basic power supply. So a 3000 USD product had about 100 USD of parts inside so it was ripe to be reverse engineered by anyone with an electronics background.

Musical Fidelity M1 HPA Headphone Amplifier Review

Musical Fidelity M1HPA Headphone Amplifier

I have always had a bit of a love hate relationship with musical fidelity products in the past. They always get good reviews in the Hi-Fi press but a few times after prolonged use I find that the immediate wow factor is eventually replaced with a feeling that the initial gloss is hiding a few problems. I found this particularly true with my A308 CD player I used for a while. This was advertised as being 95% equivalent to the Nuvista 3D CD Player at half the cost. Again at first it had this immediate appeal with detail and extended bandwidth but after several months of use I felt that it was just too shiny and glossy lacking soul, timing and musicality when compared to other Hi-Fi CD players.

 

M1 HPA Headphone Amplifier

Sennheiser HD 800 Review (vs Grado and Stax)

Sennheiser HD800

At the time of wrting the HD800 headphones are currently Sennheiser's top end set of headphones. They claim to have the largest transducers and the most advanced driver technology of any current headphone on the market at this time. These are reference class headphones and a benchmark to compare many other headphones against. Premium parts have gone into the build, the transducer being encased by precision machined stainless steel and the ear-pads are claimed to be hand crafted from a high-quality microfibre fabric.

Audio HiFi Mains Cable DIY

DIY Audio HiFi Mains Cable

Nothing invokes more of a mixed response in Hi-Fi circles than the concept of 'audio-grade' Hi-Fi mains cables. Audio grade mains cables are very much a Hi-Fi thing and not so much in the pro-audio world were the higher grade mains lead is used because it has screening and twisted pairs to stop noise radiating out of the cable and inducing on other near-by more sensitive audio carrying cables. This has engineering sense behind it.

Yulong A100 Headphone Amplifier Review and Capacitor Upgrade

Yulong A100 Headphone Amplifier

The Yulong A100 is a class A headphone amplifier from the far east. They are not a well known brand in the west but Yulong produce some high end models along with this mid priced unit. I have used tube headphone amplifiers in the past and wanted to try a class A solid state. It is a compact well made unit with a brushed black metal chassis, thick aluminium front plate and nice vintage style VU meters. The knob is plastic however but it still looks very good and not particularly plastic looking. Phono sockets are again good quality gold plated but it does not have an audio pass through facility which is an opportunity missed I feel. An audio pass though would make it a little more system friendly since it could be daisy chained with the system main amplifier from the source.

Teac VRDS Copland 288 Rubber Tray Repair

Copland 288

The Teac VRDS mechanism used in many high end players does not age well. The gears go soft and start to perish making the unit skip on playback or the tray fails to open and close. These gears are very hard to find now and expensive if you do manage to find some. Therefore unless you have a 3D printer and a good set of gears as a template then I would avoid paying too much for any Teac based cd player.

 

Removing The Tray Rubber

Nelson Pass Labs B1 Buffer Pre-Amplifier Update DIY

Nelson Pass Labs B1 Buffer

Having sold the last B1 buffer I built I ended up building another. I had a spare pcb sitting around for a while and since it is such a good pre-amp, easy to build and the fact I had 90% of the parts already it was a situation of... might as well. It also meant I could use one of those nice aluminium cases from modshop in Italy to match my copland cd player and the lightspeed pre-amp case. Solid state builds such as this simple design do not have much to go wrong and testing is safe unlike tube gear. A big difference working on 18V here rather than 300V plus. The B1 is the ideal project for a beginner since it is safe and the parts are easy to fine along with 3rd party pcb's. Most parts can be found on eBay.

 

Matched Vs Unmatched

Grado PS500 Headphone Review

Grado PS500 Headphones

For the past year I have been using a pair of stax lambda pro electrostatic headphones with my Copland 288 cd player in one of my setups. I sold my Martin Logan speakers and wanted something as good but more suited to a small room, able to be used any time of day or night and as loud as I wanted with minimal external noise. Quality headphones are very hard to better with similar priced loudspeakers. They also provide a highly involving listening experience. Their diaphragms are much lighter than typical dynamic speakers and so have timing and pace unmatched bar the very best speakers. Electrostatic speakers do try to overcome this problem by the use of lightweight film which only weigh a few mg.

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