Headphone Amp (No DAC) Suggestion ie. Spend my Money

I am looking for an endgameish headphone amp. I will use it with Focal Eligia, LCD 3s. I plan on adding to the headphone stable either, LCD 5, Meze Elite or Empyrean, or ZMF Vérité, based on audition results. I primarily listen to Jazz blues, and some 70s and 80s Rock and R&B. Suggestions are appreciated .

I use Benchmark HPA4 with Meze Empyrean and I highly praise it. test and judge for yourself.

and greetings


I’m using a Drop + THX AAA 789. Can drive pretty much all headphones and it has excellent performance.

This one is on my bucket list to own. Ferrum Oor Desktop Headphone Amplifier. Add the partnering power supply and you have the all the amp you need for the rest of your life.

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One of the things I did not want was feedback employed on the circuit. I know it can significantly lower distortion, but nothing is free, feedback can create other distortion (phase comes to mind) so I ended up finding a good deal on a ModWright TRYST. Push Pull circuit which with good design with regard to tube matching and threshold set up can be very low distortion. Not many reviews but Dan Wrights other stuff is considered top notch, and I can return it if it does not measure up.

So I thank everybody on their suggestions and would love to continue to discuss headphone amps if y’all are willing.

What country are you in?

So I can try to recommend something where you can have good local warranty support.

Without having to ship to opposite side of the world for warranty support

I am in the U.S.A. California

And I think Apos is also official retailer in USA:

I’ve gravitated over the last several years to no-feedback amps, including delights like the discontinued solid state ecp DSHA-3F (which is being reborn), and 2A3 tube SET amps (discontinued Eddie Current Aficionado and handmade, long wait DNA Stellaris). These will definitely spend your money :wink: and they are fantastic with the ZMF headphones I own (Verité, Atrium, Auteur) but to this point I’ve not found any amp that does really well with both high-impedance dynamics and low-impedance planars. The best compromise I’ve owned that has both power and finesse across different headphone types is the SPL Phonitor XE, but the more exotic amps I own now are even better matches for ZMF.

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Endgame is quite subjective and can mean many different things. It all depends on budget. And yes, more money buys you an overall better amp, that is with some exceptions a fact. However, the law of diminishing returns is a sometimes painful fact as well. I bought a Riviera AIC 10 and feel like a lucky bas**** any day I switch it on. Highly recommended. It is definitely endgame for me.

I have Moon 430HAD (430HA is the version without DAC) at the office. Very happy with this device (it can handle anything).

That Riviera is one sexy amp. I never heard of it prior to you mentioning it.

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I looked at the THX AAA circuit which measures excessively low distortion. I accomplishes that by using feedback. It is well reviewed, affordable, Stereophile Class A, but I set an early criterion for myself, class A biased and 0 feedback.

Unless the internal implementation of a device violates some kind of universal law or puts humanity in danger, I would think that real-life performance, demonstrated by both measurements an listening, is more important than how it’s achieved.

This is true, but due to my inability to hear most of the available product in person, I set the aforementioned criteria.

Hi, and thanks for the suggestions, I ultimatly landed on a ModWright Tryst. It checked a lot of my boxes. the amp came with 4 NOS 12B4s and 2 JJ 6922. Each piece weighs a ton, and is well crafted.

I listened to it for a while last night and it was sublime. I listened to Nina Simone, “Little Girl Blue” (45 RPM), Bill Evans Trio, “Portrait in Jazz”. LaFaro’s bass was lush and reached way down. This first session was all LP the signal chain was Bardo TT to a PS Audio Stellar Phono preamp to the tape out of my preamp (preamp was off). The Headphones were Audeze LCD 3s.

So far I am pleased with my choice I plan on listening to some music through my Chord TT2 to check out how it sounds with a digital source tonight. Again thanks for all the suggestions.