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Amp For Compression Driver Headphone Amps
Old 14th October 2018
  #1
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Amp For Compression Driver

I'm currently looking to upgrade the amps on my triamped main speakers which are used for mastering. Currently using a Parasound HCA1206 for the mid and high components and a Parasound A23 for the subs. I'm thinking of getting a Hypex 500W for the subs and then a second A23 to use those for the mid and high.

I'm wondering if maybe there's a better option for the compression driver. Looking at options up to around $3000 for the pair. They have an efficiency of 110dBSPL/W/m so the amount of power I need is minimal. I even managed to power them with a Grace m900 headphone amp...

I'm currently looking at Parasound, Starke, PS Audio, and Hypex. I'm not a fan of Bryston, Classe, or Crown.

Does anyone know of any low wattage options (15W? 30W?) that I should consider? It seems like higher end amps just get you more wattage versions. Of course other components are also upgraded so I'm wondering if there's some cheaper option than getting a higher power amp but with the same high end components. I know there's Pass Labs and First Watt but those are out of my price range. I'm not familiar with the tube amp market so maybe there's something there that would work well. I just don't like the idea of having to replace tubes, watch ambient temperature, vibration isolation, etc.
Old 14th October 2018
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerhardw View Post
I know there's Pass Labs and First Watt but those are out of my price range.
You can build your own First Watt series. The schematics and principles for most (all, I think) of them have published by Nelson Pass and there's quite a lot of help online building them (including input from Nelson Pass) to the DIY community.

Or if you know anyone who is handy with a soldering gun, you could have them build it.
Old 15th October 2018
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
You can build your own First Watt series. The schematics and principles for most (all, I think) of them have published by Nelson Pass and there's quite a lot of help online building them (including input from Nelson Pass) to the DIY community.

Or if you know anyone who is handy with a soldering gun, you could have them build it.
Right now I'm looking at buying their Amp Camp Amp. Even if it doesn't end up being all that great, it's only $300. I'm not sure how that compares to the DIY First Watt ones.

I've done quite a bit of soldering (mostly cables) but I know next to nothing about electronics and circuitry. Do you think the instructions are straight forward enough for me to build? I know that they have the PCB's available for the First Watt amps but I'm worried about getting the proper components for it all. Considering that I'd have to built the PSU as well, I'm worried about being around 120V when I have no idea what I'm doing. Even if the build guides seem straight forward I could end up wiring things up completely wrong and have no idea.

But thanks for the suggestion. I'll do some more digging on the other DIY amps (not the Amp Camp Amp which is very straightforward) and see if maybe it's something I could handle.
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