Could you use the variable out from the LS26 then setting the head amp to some level and managing through the LS26 remote?
5 responses Add your response
The Oppo looks like a decent choice, but you would be paying for a DAC your don't need. For me, the deciding factor would be whether it digitizes the analog inputs. I'm not sure if it does. You would be giving up the dac in your Ayre and running your records through digital processing. I would pass if that was the case.
If it were me, I would consider using long IC's and just put the headphone amp within reach. Then you could just get whatever you want. Worry about sq and not features.
Rello, I suppose I could do that but then I would have to turn off the amp. Sounds simple but that word "lazy" factors in on this.
ZD542, My understanding is that the HA-1 would be passing the analog in to analog out at the headphone jack. But that is an interesting thought that I should contact Oppo to make sure that I would maintain a analog signal path. As mentioned by using the Monitor outs on the LS26 to the analog in on the HA-1 or what ever headphone amp I get, I would maintain the same quality of signal sent to my amp.
You definitely have a point to ponder and investigate, as I agree I don't want to depart from the analog domain.
I have tried the long IC's and my current Grado RA1 but that was not met with good results. One part being the Grado is not a top notch HP amp and my long IC's are old
bulk AudioQuests that probably don't have a good signal path.
Thank You for your response. I am curious to see if any other suggestions are provided.
Grace design M920 will replace your preamp, headphone amp and DAC, all for about $2200. It has an excellent remote control and 2 analog inputs, one fully balanced XLR pair and 1 RCA pair. You would need an outboard phono section.
The M903 that was recently replaced by the M920 is almost the same thing with a closeout price of approx $1500 from any number of pro gear outlets like Sweetwater or Musicians Friend.
This is an easy fix that probably provides an upgrade at every position.
I recommend the Audio GD Master 9(M9)headphone amp/preamp that sells for about $1500 USD and with shipping to the US cost me about $1660. I've had a number of high end headphone amps including the Eddy Current Zana Deux SE, Cavalli Audio Liquid Fire, Ray Samuels DarkStar and Raptor, Luxman SQ-N100 integrated, SPL Phonitor, and the original Grace 900. All of these amps except for the Grace 900 cost more the the Master 9. To my ears,the Master 9 is the best out of all of them. It comes with a heavy aluminum remote contol and it can be used as a balanced preamp.
Best of all is the sound quality of the M9. It outputs 9 watts of full class A power into 40 ohms. That power will drive any headphone including the power demanding orthos such as the HE6 and the Audeze planars. The sound is smooth, dynamic, with excellent soundstaging (headstage)and imaging. It features switchable low and high gain. The volume control (either from the remote or the front panel) has 100 steps so it is very easy to set the desired volume. All my headphones sound great with this amp. I currently have the Audeze LCD X, HiFiMan HE6, Lawton Audio modified Denon D7000, and an AKG K340. It also features both single ended and balanced headphone outputs and the amp is fully balanced.
This amp is a beast, but a very refined one. It weighs in at 35lbs which is quite heavy for a headphone amp. If this amp was made in the USA and sold through a retailer, it would cost more than double its asking price. Don't just take my word for it, look it up on Head-fi in the High End Forum. There is a thread dedicated to the M9 there. Delivery is very fast as well. After placing the order, it was at my doorstep in less than 10 days. Audio Gd isn't well known here on Audiogon but it is a well respected brand on Head-Fi. I've owned my M9 for over 6 months and I have no desire to change. IMO, I would take it over either amp that you are considering.