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I too have a MH25 and am want for something better. I recently auditioned the Luxman SQ-38u integrated and it was hands down the best "headphone" amp I've ever heard. Even though it didn't work with my speakers (ProAc) I was tempted to buy it anyway to pair with my AKg 702's and change speakers. Alas, the $6,000 price tag dashed those thoughts.
I think the key is that Luxman are Class A amps for the most part (not sure of your L480, but seems likely) where the Music Hall is A/B. I was going to start a similar thread looking for Class A HPAs, but your idea of just looking for a vintage integrated might be the ticket.
If you pick something up, let me know - I'll be curious of your thoughts.
Hi, I realize that this is an older thread but I am going to purchase a pair of audio technica m50x headphones this weekend as my first venture into headphones. My question is that while I continue to get a feel for headphone amps and additional cans, can I safely use a Yamaha CR820 receiver in the meantime? Any potential issues to be considered. And hopefully not a totally dumb question, do I have to have a set of speakers hooked up to avoid damaging the receiver? Thanks much, and Happy 4th to all!! Thanks, Dave
Dave - You'll probably have this question answered before Audiogon prints this response, but just in case, here goes.
Receivers of that era often had provision for multiple speaker connections with some means of selecting the speakers you want to power - or no speakers at all. Look for a "speakers off" position, select it, and use your phones.
Ah, Mapman mentions Nakamichi Well, I had a Peachtree Nova, which I thought had quite a good headphone amp in it (its best feature actually and certainly no worse than the W4S uDac) and I move up to a vintage Nakamichi System One with a Nak 610 as my preamp. I was fully expecting it would be a disappointment and it blew the Nova away. So there is a vote for the Nak.