HEADPHONE AMPLIFIERS

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TRAFOMATIC  HEAD 2

General Intro

The Head 2 is a Class-A Push Pull circuit design . This is the second headphone amplifier in the Trafomatic Audio product range, introduced after the very successful Experience Head One. In the Trafomatic Headphone Amplifier range, it sits in between the $2K Experience Head One and the $15K Primavera flagship model. 

 

With 3dB of feedback and 100% tube amplification, the Head 2's power delivery is 2W into 50 Ohms . Its 6H30p and 6922 tubes have been carefully selected based on their long established reputations for sonic virtue.

 

Power Supply and Output Stage 

The ‘overspecified’ power supply features very robust multi-stage high-voltage filtering for superior low-frequency performance.

 

A proprietary output stage with high quality C core output transformers accommodates a wide range of headphone impedance from 25-600 Ohms. This allows the Head 2 to drive a very wide range of headphones with ease and with no sacrifice to fidelity. Conveniently, it is also the ideal head amp for "shared listening sessions".

 

The Preamplifier Stage 

The Head 2 is perhaps unique in that it also offers an exceptionally great tube preamplifier stage capable of driving all power amplifiers, even those with a very low input impedance. This stage is definitely not an "afterthought" feature, but stands on its own merits as a very high quality Tube Line Pre.
 

Build Quality 

The Head 2 features uncompromising build quality and technical design throughout. Much time and care have been given to the aesthetic design of this piece. As such, it truly represents a rare "timeless design" built to last a lifetime and to deliver an unmatched sonic experience.

Class of operation : Push Pull Class A
Tubes : 1x 6H30P and 1x ECC88 per channel
Input voltage : 230V/50Hz- 115V/60Hz selectable
Headphone Output impedance : 25 – 50 -100 – 300 and 600ohms
Gain : 26 dB
Maximum output power on headphone output : 2W into 50 ohms
THD at 0.5W/1kHz : 0.2%
Output for headphones : Neutrik 4 pins balanced connector + ¼” Neutrik connector 
Inputs :  XLR + RCA
Input sensitivity : 0.5Veff – Input impedance: 47Kohm
Frequency bandwidth : headphone and line out 10Hz (-1dB) – 80KHz (-3dB)
S/N : 88dB
Weight : 10 kg
Dimensions : W 430 x D 310 x H 100 mm

 

$ 3,200

TRAFOMATIC  PRIMAVERA

"No question at all. In my opinion, the TRAFOMATIC PRIMAVERA is currently one of the very best tube amplifiers for operation via ear loudspeakers that money can buy.

 

It combines the fundamental strengths of the tube principle such as impulse speed, spatial imaging and naturalness with the outstanding performance values of transistor amplifiers, garnishes them with a good pinch of emotions and impresses with a highly dynamic and irrepressible joy of playing.

 

The fact that the PRIMAVERA does without the tonal characteristics of classic tube amplifiers, such as the exuberant wealth of timbres and the sometimes unrealistic size representation, is to be credited to it in my opinion.

 

Unfortunately, the Serbian super tube amp will probably not be "found in the wild" in the future either. Especially since the TRAFOMATIC PRIMAVERA from the Serbian manufacturer is only given to handpicked knights of the grail of the finest notes for a not inconsiderable monetary tribute.

 

This amplifier is without a doubt a musical dream. And after all, dreams can be allowed"

 

Musical Head.de (Germany)

Class of operation : Single End  DHT class A
Tubes : 1x 6S45P and 1x SV 811-10 per channel
Input voltage : 230V/50Hz- 115V/60Hz selectable
Power consumption : 280VA
Headphone Output impedance : 25 – 50 -100 – 300 and 600ohms
Gain : 33 dB
Maximum output power on headphone output : 9W into 50 ohms
THD at 0.5W/1kHz : 0.2%
Output for headphones : Neutrik 4 pins balanced connector + ¼” Neutrik connector + 2 x Neutrik 3 pins balanced connectors
Inputs :  XLR + RCA
Input sensitivity : 0.5Veff – Input impedance: 47Kohm
Frequency bandwidth : headphone and line out 10Hz (-1dB) – 80KHz (-3dB)
S/N : 88dB
Weight : 30 kg
Dimensions : W 340 x D 480 x H240 mm

 

$ 15,000

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TRAFOMATIC  EXPERIENCE HEAD 1

The Experience Head One is designed around the super-linear Russian 6S45P triode tube and delivers up to 2 x 300 mW.

 

In order to be able to optimally adapt the amplifier to the impedance of the connected headphones, the output transformer has multiple secondary windings and taps, which can be selected using a rotary control switch on the front panel. This, unlike the typical OTL solutions, allows for perfect matching of impedances for the different types of headphones. As with all our amplifiers, ensuring "lossless sound quality" on all outputs was a major design goal for this amp. 

 

In line with the design principles and philosophy of the entire Experience series, a high quality power supply was implemented with extreme care. This includes a low inductance toroidal transformer, a tube rectifier, double L-C filtering for the anode voltage, and top quality double C-core output transformers.

 

Headphone impedance connection values ​​are 30, 100 and 300 ohm allowing for a variety of dynamic headphone models to be drive with ease.

 

To enhance tube-rolling pleasure, Trafomatic has opted for a low noise tube / soft start rectification design for the Experience Head One -- an indirectly heated EZ80 or EZ81. This, whilst many competitive devices in this price range with a similar concept use semiconductors for rectification. Other quality parts include Rubicon electrolytic capacitors, an Alps potentiometer, metal-film resistors, and more.

 

The "small" Trafomatic Head Amp has two RCA inputs on the back panel. These inputs are selectable via a small toggle switch located under the sockets. 

 

In addition, the Experience Head One offers nice and useful option : The switch for setting the connection impedance has an "alternate" position that is labeled "Lineout".

This means that the headphone amplifier can also be used as a tube preamp.

that sports 2 output sockets on the back - one for connecting a power amplifier and one for connecting a subwoofer.

Class of operation : Push Pull Class A
Tubes : 2x 6S45P and 1x EZ80 (81)
Input voltage : 230V/50Hz- 115V/60Hz selectable
Headphone Output impedance : 30-100-300 ohms
Gain / Line Output : 18 dB

Output line voltage :

  • THD 1% – 3.2V

  • THD 2% – 6.4

  • THD 2.8% – 9V

Maximum output power on headphone output : 300mW
THD at 100mW/1kHz : 3%
Output for headphones : ¼” Neutrik connector 
Inputs :  2 x RCA

Outputs :  1 x SUB, 1 x Line
Input sensitivity : 1 Veff – Input impedance: 47 Kohm
Frequency bandwidth :

  • headphone and line out 20Hz (-3dB) – 57KHz (-3dB)

  • Subwoofer out 20Hz (-3dB) – 18KHz (-3dB)

​Minimum load resistance on “LINE and “SUB” :

  • 2k ohm both outputs simultaneously

  • 1k ohm single output

S/N : 71dB
Dimensions : W 200 x D 280 x H 150mm

 

$ 2,050

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PASS LABS  HPA-1  Headphone Amplifier

 

Intro

The HPA-1 headphone amplifier was designed ground-up to become what we believe is one of the very best sounding headphone amplifiers available today. With low feedback, wide bandwidth and a direct coupled MOSFET output stage, this musical instrument drives even the most difficult headphone loads with ease, power and grace.

 

The HPA-1 also functions as a line-level preamplifier that sonically rivals much higher-priced competition. The measured performance is superb and the sound even better.

 

General Technical Features 

Pass Labs’ HPA-1 is capable of delivering full-range dynamics across the entire frequency range, even when driving headphones that present difficult loads in terms of impedance or power consumption or both.

 

Pass Labs’ designers knew that in order to stand out from the crowd, and satisfy their demanding customer base, the HPA-1 had to establish higher standards for audio performance. That has been accomplished : 

 

First, by the conceptual approach of designing the HPA-1 as a real Class-A power amplifier, and not as an accessory offering only incremental performance gains.

 

Second, by cutting no corners in circuit design, while omitting unnecessary frills.

 

Thirdly, by sparing no necessary expense in execution.

 

The foundation of the HPA-1’s engineering is a custom, low-noise shielded toroidal power transformer with a Faraday shield between windings as well as a mu-metal shield around the circumference, feeding a discreet low noise regulated power supply for the audio circuits.  The importance of the power supply is often overlooked and plays a large part in overall performance of the amplifier.

 

The HPA-1’s amplifier circuits are low-feedback, wide-bandwidth discreet designs employing a J-Fet input stage and a Mosfet output stage biased into Class A-biased direct-coupled output stage.

 

The HPA-1 easily drives headphones presenting loads from 15 to 600 Ohms, particularly excelling on planar headphone designs. The sound is rich and detailed.The HPA-1 has a single high-quality “locking” headphone jack on its front panel, two sets of single-ended analog inputs via RCA jacks on the rear panel, and also a set of switchable “Preamp” line-level output jacks on the rear panel.  

 

There are no compromises with the HPA-1 used as a preamp, and it will compete against contemporary preamps. The rear panel holds the power switch and fuse. Volume control is via a hefty rotary knob connected to an ALPS Potentiometer or circuit. The other front-panel controls are three pushbuttons, to select inputs or to engage the Preamp output. The substantial casework is the customary and well-recognized brushed aluminum shared with other Pass Laboratories products..

 

Summary of Key Features 

Works with headphones with impedances of 15 ohms to 600 ohms

Designed as a power amplifier rather than a typical headphone amplifier to be able to drive low impedance planar headphone

Low feedback wide bandwidth discrete design

Class A direct coupled Mosfet output stage

Custom low noise Toroidal power transformer with a Faraday shield

Discrete regulated power supply for audio circuits

Locking Headphone jack

Full function Class A Line Preamplifier offering 2 RCA Inputs and one RCA Line Outpu

SPECIFICATIONS

Class of Operation                    Class A 

Input Impedance                      50k Ω
Output Power                            3.5W at 20 Ω / 200mW at 200 Ω 
Output Impedance                   15 Ω - 600 Ω / HPA

Output Impedance                   < 2 Ω / LINE
Preamp Gain                              8 dB
Input Sensitivity                        300mV (500mW at 32 Ω)
Frequency Response                 10Hz - 100Hz (- 1dB)
Distortion                                   0.005% at 1kHz
Inputs                                          2 x RCA
Outputs                                       1 x standard 1/4" headphone jack                                       
Size (W x D x H)                          11" x 13.5" x 14"
Net Weight                                 14lbs

$ 3,675   

 

SPECIAL OFFER -  With MEZE EMPYREAN Headphones $5,990 [save $600]

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Quad PA-ONE Headphone Amplifier with QUAD ERA-1 Headphones
QUAD PA-ONE Headphone Amplifier Tubes

QUAD  PA - ONE +   Headphone Amplifier

 

The QUAD PA-One + is a highly versatile, user-friendly headphone and pre amplifier. It combines classic quad valve topology with a modern selection of digital inputs and outputs for low and high impedance headphones too. With classic QUAD styling and a life-like sound quality, the PA-One is perfect for enjoying music personally via your laptop as well as being an integral pre-amp in a larger hi-fi system too.

Get The Best Out Of Your Headphones
...The Quad PA-One, however, is dedicated to achieving the best possible sound quality of any set of headphones connected to it. 

A whole host of connections, both analogue and digital driven by hi-fi amplifier valves bring an exciting detail to your music.

With a nod to Peter Walker’s styling and topology of his original valve amplification and superior quality from aesthetics to audio make a truly exquisite amplifier. The sound is full of life, yet without the unwanted colouration many would expect from such amplifiers. The genuine heritage of Quad has been preserved with all the features to enjoy modern audio mediums.

Classic Meets Contemporary

Quad engineers have relied on valve technology for our trademark sound. Referencing the high standards set by the Quad II, valve amplifier as a benchmark, we’re sure you can enjoy a level of audio fidelity which we have consistently delivered since 1936, this time packaged into a personal hi-fi experience.

Carefully selected hi-fi amplification valves; 2× 6SL7, 2 × 6SN7, 1 × EZ81, allow the PA-One to deliver the latest technology in perfect harmony with traditional hi-fi.

True to tradition, the front panel is dominated by a large volume and balance control, while input select and impedance mode controls are in keeping with the rest of our product range for a perfect match.

The valves and electronics are housed in a Lancaster Grey steel chassis which is compact enough for a stand-alone space-saving setup, while it can also be an integral part of a high-end, large scale system.

Connect With Your Music
An amazingly wide variety of digital and analogue sources are on hand. Balanced, RCA, Coaxial, Optical and USB, makes it easy to listen to music without ever having to ponder on decoding different formats. Simple and effective. Additionally, low impedance and high impedance modes enable connection to a plethora of modern, popular headphones.

 

With the increased popularity of computers as source, the PA-One USB DAC allows you to enjoy listening to digital music sources from a computer or laptop (Windows or Mac) via USB connection. it processes high-resolution audio up to 384kHz PCM and DSD256 by way of its reference-grade ESS SABRE 9018 K2M DAC.

 

With dedicated gold plated RCA outputs, the PA-One is a pre-amp in its own right and can be integrated into part of a larger hi-fi system, too.

SPECIFICATIONS

Input Impedance                      50k Ω
Output Power                           500mW at 32 Ω
Output Impedance                   32 Ω - 300 Ω
Impedance Modes                    High / Low
Input Sensitivity                        300mV (500mW at 32 Ω)
Frequency Response                 15Hz - 30Hz (+0.5dB, 0.5dB)
Distortion                                   0.5% at 1kHz
Channel Balance                       +0.5% at 1 kHz
S/N Ration (ref. 500mW)           105dB (IHF-A)
Inputs                                          1 x 3-pin balanced, 1xRCA, 1xUSB, 1xCOAX, 1xOPT
Outputs                                       1x standard 1/4" headphone jack
                                                     1 x 4-pin balanced headphone jack
                                                     1x RCA output
Digital Resolution                      44.1kHz-192kHz, 384kHz(USB), DSD256(USB)
Valves                                          2 x 6SL7, 2 x 6SN7
Size (W x D x H)                          180mm x 284.5mm x 163.5mm
Net Weight                                 7.5kg

$ 1,695   

 

SPECIAL OFFER -  With QUAD ERA-1 Headphones $2,245 [save $250]

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