Audio note amp and headphones is it possible?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by jsr, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. jsr

    jsr Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto
    Would love to use my headphones on occasion, is it possible to somehow connect them to the speaker out jacks on my Meishu ?
     
  2. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Audio Note use to sell a Headphone amp kit. They may still sell it if you ask.

    If you had the AKG 1000 you could connect that heaphone to the output taps of AN amps. I heard the headphones connected to the OTO. But back then I didn't check to see how the connection was made.

    I don't think Peter will do things unless he personally likes the sound or would use it. So if he personally doesn't love headphones then chances are you will never see a headphone amp - it's the same for computer based inputs like USB inputs on the DACs. Other than most entry level DAC 0.1x which is probably because that DAC will be sold to people on a budget and using it for computer based desktop set-ups.

    I wish they would try to modernize a little more to attract people who may like the sound but also need some features - even if you make the optional extras. Like a headphone jack, remote control, USB or an Audio Note USB to SPDIF Converter.

    [​IMG]
     
    Encore likes this.
  3. jsr

    jsr Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto
    thanks Richard, I will check with AN. I have enjoyed your posts and appreciate your perspective on all things Audio Note. I have a Cary 300B with a head phone jack but cant use my source TT2 as I dont have a phone stage since I have gone AN end to end
     
  4. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    I think if you have the money - you can get AN to make you something. I was in a second hand shop and saw an Audio Note tuner. I thought it was a fake - I asked Peter and he said - "yes we make tuners." WHAT! Why is it not on your website? "because then someone might order one and we'd have to make it."

    Peter is a madman. LOL - who knows what they are making and selling - the website is a tip of the iceberg. My speakers have been selling for several years - not on the website - they make an M6 two box Signature edition - not on the website.

    I still want to see an Audio Note Class A Solid State amplifier. Level Minus 1 ;)
     
    Rolltide and jsr like this.
  5. There are resistor network devices that are designed to connect to the speaker taps of an amp and plug in headphones. There are some commercial versions and some DIY versions. The resistor networks pads down the volume so you don't blow the headphones and also sets the impedance.

    One of the DIY versions is the Robinette Box. Lots of info about it on the web site.

    You'll need to find out from Audio Note, or someone who really understands the amp design of your amp, whether it would be safe to plug in a single ended headphone into something like the Robinette Box with the amp. Single ended headphones have a common ground. And that can be bad news for some amps. Using a 4-pin balanced headphone connection that doesn't share the ground will most likely be safe. But you'll need to confirm with Audio Note or someone you trust to really know and understand.

    It can also be safe to directly connect some planar magnetic headphones to the speaker taps of some amps. Herb Reichert has been exploring connecting planar magnetic headphones directly to speaker taps. See this Stereophile article for some background: The Problem With Loudspeakers You'll need to confirm whether it is safe and wise to try that with your amp and with particular headphones.

    Considering the cost of your amp, do confirm whether any of this is safe or wise with your amp and the headphones you want to use. You don't want to damage the amp or the headphones experimenting with this.
     
    jsr, pscreed and Richard Austen like this.
  6. tmsorosk

    tmsorosk MORE MUSIC PLEASE

    Location:
    Outer space
    You can't find good sounding headphones without all the above rig-a ma-role ???
     
    MaxxMaxx4 likes this.
  7. jsr

    jsr Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto
    Thanks for your insight. I think I will approach AN perhaps they could make something and or guide me regarding your suggestions.
     
  8. jsr

    jsr Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto
    Somewhat off topic from my original post, but since you brought up your speakers, I have been meaning to ask you how you would compare yours to the AN E Spe HE, I am considering moving up from my LX versions. Is there a big cost difference between your version and the Spe HE
     
  9. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Yes unfortunately there is a massive price difference - the E/Spe He though has apparently seen a big price hike - but the old price was $7,400 and the AN E/Spx Alnico I have is close to $24,000. But these are 2 year old prices and AN has seen across the board 10% price hike in September and another one since. I think the E/Spe is over $10k now.
     
  10. jsr

    jsr Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto
    Yes they are over 10k now (Canadian) . What model of E would you consider to be the best value ..... performance per $? I guess another way to put it is what would be the "sweet spot" in the line up. I have meishu phono silver sig, s4, tt2 I01 and cd3 , vx interconnect and spx speaker cable(single) would you invest $10 in speaker upgrade or invest it elsewhere?
     
    Socalguy and Fred Hansen like this.
  11. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Well different people seem to feel differently about what makes the biggest upgrades. I actually prefer the E/Lx and the higher guage Copper cabling to the thinner guage silver cambling so I prefer the warmth and weight of the E/Lx to the E/Spe. I am in the minority on this one though but I have long felt the copper wired version of AN gear play better with non AN equipment So IMO they are "safer bets" especially with entry level or SS (which is entry level :) )

    The De-facto most well viewed as the "sweet spot" speaker is the E/Spe HE Hemp. And since you have AN front end this probably makes the most sense. I chose the E/Lx because I figured I would keep it for years and then make the big move the E/Alnico because for me the E/Spx Alnico is a much bigger improvement on E/Lx than the Spe.

    But I think you have to marry the gear with your preferences - I prefer the 2a3 sound to the 300B sound so I think it is reasonable that a speaker I would choose would differ as well. But you can probably buy a second hand E/Alnico for what a new E/Spe HE sells for - and if you can - the Alnico is definitely worthwhile - the treble is about as good as treble gets.
     
    jonwoody, jsr and Fred Hansen like this.
  12. klonk

    klonk Forum Resident

    Location:
    Switzerland
    If you are looking for a AN headamp, the closest you can get, would be the DNA Stellaris, it uses bespoke AN UK output transformer and the more expensive one adds AN UK input transformer. It's a 2A3 headamp. I never heard it, but on paper it sounds good


    .
     
    jsr likes this.
  13. rodentdog

    rodentdog Forum Resident

    Split the signal from the source to a dedicated headphone amp.
     
    jsr likes this.
  14. spartree

    spartree Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    Please report back on what you hear!
     
  15. jsr

    jsr Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto
    thanks Richard
     
    klonk likes this.
  16. Don Parkhurst

    Don Parkhurst Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    This is a good idea. I believe that your Meishu has tape outs. Use that line output as the input to a tube based headphone amplifier. That is much simpler than using the Robinette box. You have the ability to tube roll that headphone amplifier as well.
    :laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:
     
    jsr likes this.
  17. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    jsr likes this.
  18. Fred Hansen

    Fred Hansen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Europe
    @jsr Richard's advice is very good, as always. There's wide consensus that the E HE Spe is the sweetspot. Lexus has a fuller sound than Spe, but silver has a higher resolution than cobber. I changed from Lexus to Spe after three years because I craved the resolution. I prefer the Spe and was surprised how much more resolving it is. However, I have been thinking about upgrading to Spx because I have heard the difference and it's close to having the best of both worlds. I am even considering Sogon from amp to crossover because the difference would be very audible on my speakers. But that's a somewhat big investment that I don't feel is necessary so that also tells me something about the Spe.
     
  19. jsr

    jsr Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto
    Thank you Fred. I recently went Lexus to single Spx and Vx between my sut and amp. I only have about 100 hours on them but I hear what you are describing and prefer it on most music. Did you biwire with Spe?
     
  20. Fred Hansen

    Fred Hansen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Europe
    Hi JSR, I considered biwiring, I have tried it twice at different moments in the evolution of my system. In both instances, I heard some improvements, but minor, and the soundspace became less precise and organic, so overall I prefer singlewiring, and not because it's cheaper.
     
    jsr likes this.
  21. Peter Qvortrup

    Peter Qvortrup Forum Resident

    Dear Klonk, it even sounds good through your head phones! :) Peter
     
    jsr and klonk like this.
  22. jsr

    jsr Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto
    Thanks Fred, I appreciate your input
     
  23. jsr

    jsr Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto
    In the end, I think I will invest that money higher up the AN-E chain and retire the headphones as it will most definitely deliver more enjoyment
     
    Sugar Man likes this.
  24. DaveP65

    DaveP65 Active Member

    Location:
    10016
    jsr....

    Yes it is possible, and very inexpensive. A few years ago I bought a box called the "HE-adapter" from Hifiman to use with my Hifiman HE-6 headphones. At that time it cost $99. It is still listed on their website.

    I attached it with speaker cable directly to my Audio Note Quest Silver Signature amps, and I got very good results. When I wasn't listening to headphones, I disconnected it and plugged my speakers back into my Quest amps.

    After a few weeks I opened it up and found that the resistors they used were very very cheap, so I bought better ones and replaced them. This improved the sound quite a bit. But even after replacing all of the resistors and adding silver wire and Audio Note speaker taps, the all-in cost was under $250. Quite a bargain, and no need for an expensive headphone amp.

    Dave
     
    jsr and spartree like this.
  25. spartree

    spartree Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    That is a very useful bit of information. How is the background noise?
     

Share This Page