Headphone Amp Question

Hi All,

I received a free pair of B&W P7 headphones and am using them directly from my Oppo 105 CD player.

I would like to run the headphones through my Prima Luna Dialogue Premium pre amp to a headphone amp.

What are the good choices in a tubed headphone amp that would match well with low impedance headphones such as the B&W's?

Would/should this improve the sound by adding in the PL preamp sound?



Scott...  I don't know your headphones, but can tell you that they could sound much better with its own dedicated headphone amp.  I believe the Oppo has their headphone jack installed as an afterthought run by a cheap op amp.

Most headphone amps are freestanding and have a volume control.  I don't know if there any benefit in running the signal through a pre and a headphone amp, prolly not a good idea.  The problem you face is figuring out how to get your CD player out into both your 2 channel system and your freestanding headphone amp, not the jack  out, the real signal out.

Then the usual questions regarding budget, stationary vs mobile, and tube vs SS, resistance and so on.  You might want to look over some of the forum at Headfi.com It can be very helpful just don't get overwhelmed. They cover the headphone world well.

A quick suggestion that won't break the bank-  I was quite pleased with a little sigle tube hybrid tube input section/pre and an SS power out.  The company is "Bravo" I have the model 2.  When I bought it through MassDrop it cost about $60- They are for sale on Ebay I think but the price maybe $80 at this point.  The tube is a common pre amp tube the 12AU7. 

 Another website and small manufacturer that is hot right now is called Garage 1217 dot com. I have one of theirs now also "Project Ember" it's for tube rollers, they have other models that may be right for you.  They are friendly and quick to return e-mails 

I've got the single tube Bravo Ocean (120.00 on Amazon) and I really like it.  In fact, I just bought one for each of my sons for Christmas.
For more information than you can consume regarding headphone gear I'd suggest headfi.org. While researching your question I did discover this post from a headfi member.
"The B&W P7 is designed to work with portable devices, and as such, does not need an amp to sound its best. Unless you really want one, consider not splurging on mid-tier gear for now and focus on something cheaper, such as the Schiit Magni 2 (amp) / Modi 2 (DAC) stack. That will more than drive the P7 to their full potential and still be future-proof for most of your future headphone purchases."
My friend Robert, who I refer to as "Mr. Golden Ears," has the Grado battery operated headphone amp. He loves it in spite of the fact that it eats batteries. He says its very tube like in overall sound. They can be picked up used on Ebay for around $350.00.
Scott,have a look at my second system.Then go grab a Schiit Audio(yep just like it sounds) Vali Hybrid amp.The all tube amps(except the $600.00+ Woo 6)aren't good with low impedance cans.Hybrids are juuuusssttt right!Schiit Audio is 100% American Made!Running off the PA will work fine.
Hi All, Thanks for the responses. I have some homework to do!