Equipment Recommendations - The Home For New System and Upgrade Advice

kvetcha

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Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you guys had converted me on the prima Luna for Power amps.

What’s the minimum I would need in a single power amp (for now) to drive my zu’s?

The 100 would drive the Zu’s no problem or would you recommend more power?

How much would I be giving up later if I didn’t get balance inputs?
The Zus are 97db efficient, you can deafen yourself with literally 10-20W.
 

HiFi Guy

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That's about 2k more than I wanted to spend on the head amp. LOL Thanks. I was eyeing the Focal Arche as it also has a dac. I've avoided tubes to date for my own reasons, but I will give this a look.

I'm also for a recommendation on a power amp in the 1k range that won't sound like total poo when I do need speakers in for the time being. My current rig has my TV through it as well, so I need something passable.
The best headphone amp I’ve ever heard happens to be an integrated. This would work for you. Alas, it’s tubes...

 

HiFi Guy

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Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you guys had converted me on the prima Luna for Power amps.

What’s the minimum I would need in a single power amp (for now) to drive my zu’s?

The 100 would drive the Zu’s no problem or would you recommend more power?

How much would I be giving up later if I didn’t get balance inputs?
Balanced connections do two things:

They are great for long cable runs.

They don’t buzz/hum if disconnected/connected with the volume up.

Keep your cables as short as possible and don’t make connections with the volume up. Presto! You don’t need balanced connections.

Also lots of gear out there isn’t truly balanced- it’s just XLR jacks connected to the RCA jacks. True balanced gear requires matching transformers- like the Prima Luna EVO-400. Transformers aren’t inexpensive. That’s why the price went up to $4999 from the previous unbalanced version which was $4399.
 

wmeugene

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So I was recently looking for new earbuds but I'm thinking now I may want to bypass that and get some over ear headphones. I do about 95% of all my listening digitally, and was previously using a crappy pair of Philips ear buds that you can buy at the supermarket for $10.

Anyone have any recommendations for over ear headphones that are reasonably cheap that work with a standard headphone jack? I have glasses so fitting comfortably over glasses would be an important factor.

Did some looking online at different lists and came across these guys

I have glasses and can wear my Beyerdynamic DT770s comfortably for 2-3 hours, which is the most I'd ever wear any headphone. I have the 80 ohms, which work great driven or on a standard phone. And they have a regular headphone cord. Available for around 150 on Amazon.
 

wokeupnew

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I have glasses and can wear my Beyerdynamic DT770s comfortably for 2-3 hours, which is the most I'd ever wear any headphone. I have the 80 ohms, which work great driven or on a standard phone. And they have a regular headphone cord. Available for around 150 on Amazon.
Thanks!

I like the price point on those and I didn’t even realize that I wouldn’t want open back headphones, like the ones I had first linked. I will be listening at home but I don’t want anyone else to be able to hear and they don’t want to hear as well.
 

HayesWeighsIn

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Thanks!

I like the price point on those and I didn’t even realize that I wouldn’t want open back headphones, like the ones I had first linked. I will be listening at home but I don’t want anyone else to be able to hear and they don’t want to hear as well.
If you DO end up wanting open back, I absolutely love my Beyer 990’s. They’re my favorite headphones to date. They’re 250 ohms though, need a good amp. I’m on my 3rd pair of 770’s 80 ohms, love them as well.
 

wokeupnew

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If you DO end up wanting open back, I absolutely love my Beyer 990’s. They’re my favorite headphones to date. They’re 250 ohms though, need a good amp. I’m on my 3rd pair of 770 80 ohms, love them as well.
Sweet! Good tips. And the 80 ohms are fine for a phone or laptop? I’d almost exclusively listen on my laptop.

Would it also work well if I plugged it into my turntable amp? Over time I’ll probably upgrade but definitely interested in trying out headphones since I’ve literally only listened via speakers.
 

apholden

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Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you guys had converted me on the prima Luna for Power amps.

What’s the minimum I would need in a single power amp (for now) to drive my zu’s?

The 100 would drive the Zu’s no problem or would you recommend more power?

How much would I be giving up later if I didn’t get balance inputs?
I drive my Zu speakers with a Bottlehead Kaiju. This amp puts out a whopping 8 watts per channel and can make my neighbors call the cops.

As @HiFi Guy mentioned, don't worry about balanced inputs unless you want to put components in separate rooms or unless you expect to reconfigure your system without interrupting the tunes.
 

HayesWeighsIn

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Sweet! Good tips. And the 80 ohms are fine for a phone or laptop? I’d almost exclusively listen on my laptop.

Would it also work well if I plugged it into my turntable amp? Over time I’ll probably upgrade but definitely interested in trying out headphones since I’ve literally only listened via speakers.
Totally fine - you’ll need more juice than earbuds, but you should have enough gain on tap to enjoy anything from a phone or laptop.

I listen to my 770’s with my turntable whenever my girlfriend is at home and doesn’t want to listen to whatever I’ve got on.
 

wmeugene

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Sweet! Good tips. And the 80 ohms are fine for a phone or laptop? I’d almost exclusively listen on my laptop.

Would it also work well if I plugged it into my turntable amp? Over time I’ll probably upgrade but definitely interested in trying out headphones since I’ve literally only listened via speakers.
Yes, you'll be fine. I've listened on smart phones without issue without any amp. If you listen on the laptop a lot, you'll eventually want to get a DAC/headphone amp. But that's not necessary at all.
 

wmeugene

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Thanks!

I like the price point on those and I didn’t even realize that I wouldn’t want open back headphones, like the ones I had first linked. I will be listening at home but I don’t want anyone else to be able to hear and they don’t want to hear as well.
I use mine when I travel, so closed back was a must.
 

wokeupnew

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Totally fine - you’ll need more juice than earbuds, but you should have enough gain on tap to enjoy anything from a phone or laptop.

I listen to my 770’s with my turntable whenever my girlfriend is at home and doesn’t want to listen to whatever I’ve got on.
Haha that’s exactly my situation. I’ll probably break into more of my punk/weird stuff records more than once every blue moon with headphones.
Yes, you'll be fine. I've listened on smart phones without issue without any amp. If you listen on the laptop a lot, you'll eventually want to get a DAC/headphone amp. But that's not necessary at all.
Sweet - thank you!

Edit - went with the Beyerdynamic DT770s - 80 ohms. I’ll report back when I get them with how they’re working. Thanks for the recommendation!
 
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VMPKJ

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The best headphone amp I’ve ever heard happens to be an integrated. This would work for you. Alas, it’s tubes...

I'm a tube guy with my guitar amps, but I have trouble believing that an Headphone jack on an integrated tube amp is going to sound better than a 100% dual mono solid state preamp with S/N of over 120db. I may have to breakdown and jump in with primaluna the way I did with Sutherland and their lack of published specs. You guys were certainly right there.
 

duke86fan

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it seems the issue with vibration isn't something for the vibrapods but in general with the table i have.. and that if i tap the table in a certain way it will skip.. i need a way to isolate it more on my carpet
 

VMPKJ

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I asked about the Focal and the guy a Upscale Audio told me that was a lateral move to the headphone amp in the Stellar Strata. Then Recommended Felix, Pathos or Chord as better front end building blocks. I was curious why he didn't mention Prima Luna in there since its a huge connection for them so I asked him if to comp. his recommendations to the EVO Integrateds and also asked if he had experience with the Manly.

I wonder if he's of the mindset that I need separates to make a significant leap.
 

DJSJ

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Weakest point in my chain is my crappy little preamp, looking at options to upgrade. Currently eying the Cambridge Audio Alva Duo. Anyone have any recommendations, or want to back this one up?


I have a U-Turn orbit plus with a 2MBlue, Will go into my receiver and out through either a pair of Pioneer speakers (BS41) or Beyer 990's.

Appreciate the help.
 

Ghost

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Weakest point in my chain is my crappy little preamp, looking at options to upgrade. Currently eying the Cambridge Audio Alva Duo. Anyone have any recommendations, or want to back this one up?


I have a U-Turn orbit plus with a 2MBlue, Will go into my receiver and out through either a pair of Pioneer speakers (BS41) or Beyer 990's.

Appreciate the help.
The Musical Fidelity LX-LPS or LX2-LPS is a pretty popular choice around that price point, I own the LX-LPS and its great to my ears.
 

Joe Mac

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Weakest point in my chain is my crappy little preamp, looking at options to upgrade. Currently eying the Cambridge Audio Alva Duo. Anyone have any recommendations, or want to back this one up?


I have a U-Turn orbit plus with a 2MBlue, Will go into my receiver and out through either a pair of Pioneer speakers (BS41) or Beyer 990's.

Appreciate the help.

I think there have been questions raised in the past about the quality of the components Cambridge Audio use inside their bits.

The current forum love in is with the Darlington Labs one at about that price


@HiFi Guy did a review recently

 

DJSJ

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I think there have been questions raised in the past about the quality of the components Cambridge Audio use inside their bits.

The current forum love in is with the Darlington Labs one at about that price


@HiFi Guy did a review recently

Thank you, this is looking very promising...
 
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