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Being a DIY nut, I love to build gear. One of the more affordable bits of kit are head amps. I have several and love em all.
Does anyone around hear use one? Build any? Have a favorite?

I have built all of mine and they include a Mini^3 and CKIII2 from AMB, a Crack with speedball upgrade from BottleHead, an O2, several CMOYs of various types, Millet Hybrid, and on, and on!
For portable use, I love the Mini^3 I use it with modded iPod minis running Rockbox' i use Shure S215s with this combo. At home it is the Crack, love the sound of that through my Senns... smooth and lush, but my Dead shows are still rocking!
 

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I use the Firestone Audio Cute Beyond, with Class A output stage (no longer made), am very happy with it.

Sounds like you are quite the builder. I used to build DIY projects, kinda burnt out on it. If a project calls for a soldering iron, I probably won't get to it.

You should post some photos of your DIY work, would love to see them.
 

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Just an O2. Instead of buying kilotons of additional amps I'd rather use DSPs to achieve different sounds if I even wanted that. I hate wasting money like that.
 

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This was a "just for fun" listening test, didn't expect great results, but here they are in brief.

I am putting together a headphone test rig for detailed measurements. Not wanting to wear out my Firestone Audio Cute Beyond headphone amp driving these tests, I enlisted a Behringer A500 power amp for the job, and decided to give it a 1-hour listening test.

Not bad. Actually quite good. But the Cute Beyond had a level of refinement in the high frequency range that the A500 could not match. The A500 noise floor was low enough I did not notice it. It will work great as a test rig driver, but will not become my favorite headphone amp. No surprise. A 100W class A-B power amp operating with all low-level signals around the crossover region will be at a disadvantage.

Edit: Forgot to mention, the Cute Beyond has a Class A output, so it is at a definite advantage in this comparison. I was surprised that the big A500 did as well as it did, though.
 

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I would love to build one. Jim Williams of Audio Upgrades has thrown around a design or two I'd love to nail down and try out. But in the meantime, I very much enjoy my Grace M902 and the headphone outputs of a Metric Halo ULN-8. Both sound amazing (and I use the conversion within each, as well).
 

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I use an AMB Mini^3 that I built 'bout a year ago. Not a difficult build and excellent support on the website, both in parts and advice. The sound is as good or better than any other portable head amp I've heard and the physical size is ideal. While some may say an amp isn't needed with an Ipod, it depends on the choice of headphones and the load they present. Some are much less problematic than others, but an amp like the Mini^3 will buffer that situation, taking the signal from the Ipod before the (inferior sounding) internal amp. A much improved method!
 

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As an addition to my PA2V2-'pimp' reply, you might be interested on how to make your own noise cancelling headphone:boxer:

http://manuelandre.wordpress.com/be...nary-listening-to-music-all-at-the-same-time/
Nice! I was hoping, however, that they would be true noise canceling headphones, i.e., with an active circuit, instead cans that merely do a great job of reducing external noise. However, for what they are, these are indeed excellent. I do a similar thing by wearing shooter's muffs over my Future Sonics MG6Pros.

I'm definitely going to check out the headphone amp pimping.

Thanks so much for these links, I love mods and DIY!
 

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Thank You 'boulderbass', the pleasure (was and) is all mine! :wave:

If you, boulderbass, or anyone would like some more instructions or advice; maybe more detailed instructions? ; I would be most welcome to answer them ASAP. Found an error: same applies :gulp:

And rest assured, even if the noise cancelling isn't active - and ye...you'll have the looks of a complete nut :gulp: - they are very effective and imho even better than actives ones.

I did compare both my own 'canary' to active ones, in an airplane and next to a sawing mill, the 'Canary' always won!

One thing to consider is that the original headphone drivers, or speakers if you want, are located at the same distance from your ears as the non 'Canaried'-headphone. I have another Canary-pair with AKG K81 DJ 'inside' and it blows the original or even the newer AKG 581 DJ to pieces :paddle:

Also consider some extra padding or filling like I did and you will get a great sounding Canary! :T
 

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Thank You 'boulderbass', the pleasure (was and) is all mine! :wave:

If you, boulderbass, or anyone would like some more instructions or advice; maybe more detailed instructions? ; I would be most welcome to answer them ASAP. Found an error: same applies :gulp:

And rest assured, even if the noise cancelling isn't active - and ye...you'll have the looks of a complete nut :gulp: - they are very effective and imho even better than actives ones.

I did compare both my own 'canary' to active ones, in an airplane and next to a sawing mill, the 'Canary' always won!

One thing to consider is that the original headphone drivers, or speakers if you want, are located at the same distance from your ears as the non 'Canaried'-headphone. I have another Canary-pair with AKG K81 DJ 'inside' and it blows the original or even the newer AKG 581 DJ to pieces :paddle:

Also consider some extra padding or filling like I did and you will get a great sounding Canary! :T
I think the best part about it is getting to look like a complete nut!

There is a company that does something like this with the Sony guts, but I would build your design before spending the money on what they did.

More fun with audio!
 

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Word!

And hell yeah, for the 25€ I spent on the 'Canary' and the fun I had with it converting, who's the nut here right? :T
And as an added bonus...
YOU :clap: did it yourself and you can spray paint them in any color you want! :sn:

I think the best part about it is getting to look like a complete nut!

There is a company that does something like this with the Sony guts, but I would build your design before spending the money on what they did.

More fun with audio!
 

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Nice! I was hoping, however, that they would be true noise canceling headphones, i.e., with an active circuit, instead cans that merely do a great job of reducing external noise. However, for what they are, these are indeed excellent. I do a similar thing by wearing shooter's muffs over my Future Sonics MG6Pros.

I'm definitely going to check out the headphone amp pimping.

Thanks so much for these links, I love mods and DIY!
New link since wordpress was acting up on me:

Full "Noise Cancelling Canary"-can guide @ :http://manuelandre.wordpress.com/be...nary-listening-to-music-all-at-the-same-time/
 

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Bryston BHA-1. It powers my Sennhieser 800,650 and HiFiman 500. I have an iqube for my Shure 535 along with a Fiio. I use a Nuforce when listening to my computer.
 

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For my Sennheiser HD-800, I use an Icon Audio HP-8 Mk. II, a tube amp for dynamic HP. For my Stax SR-507, I use the SRM-006ts tube electrostatic-only amp. :wave:
 
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