Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Russ Adam Bodner, Jun 13, 2018.
Does anyone have any experience with Concert Fidelity’s XHP-7 Headphone amplifier?
There isn't much info out there about Concert Fidelity headphone amps. They showed up at a 2014 CanJam with their headphone amps, but didn't have the XHP-7. Other than that, there is very little info and reviews about the amps.
The Concert Fidelity web page says the XHP-7 is a Class AB, BTL amplifier design. It has balanced headphone outputs, but implements balanced mode by bridging two amps. That's a concern. The reason to do a balanced headphone amp is because the amplifier circuit and design is inherently balanced. The Schiit Ragnarock, Ayre Codex, Cavalli Liquid Gold, and some other balanced headphone amps are balanced because the circuit is inherently balanced and sounds better in balanced mode than when converted to single-ended. The cheater way to do a balanced headphone amp is to use two single-ended amps side by side. Yeah, that makes a balanced headphone amp, but at almost twice the cost of those single-ended amps and for only a very slight improvement in sound quality.
My rule of thumb is that I'd rather have a very good $4000 single-ended headphone amp than a $4000 cheater balanced amp that is essentially two $2000 headphone amps side by side. The $4000 single-ended amp done right with the right design will sound better. I'd approach interest in the XHP-7 with caution. I don't know the price, but it's going to be expensive. The XHP-5 is $1500. I'd expect the XHP-7 to be more than double that price since it is two amps side by side. There are some very nice $4000+ single-ended headphone amps out there.
Thank you for your input
Separate names with a comma.