Wavac MD811 + Headphone

Hello Guys,
I am want to buy Wavac MD811 Amp to drive Denon HD7000 headphone and Audeze LCD-4, but I am not sure if 16 ohm enough for them. if you have any experience or suggestion I would love to hear it.

Hi Niko,

I don’t think that would be a good idea, for different reasons in the case of the two headphones.

Assuming the amp is set up with a 16 ohm output tap I suspect the 25 ohm impedance of the Denon headphones would be reasonably suitable, in itself. However, like most headphones the Denon is vastly more sensitive than speakers, in this case being specified to produce a sound pressure level of 108 db in response to an input of only 1 milliwatt (i.e., one-thousandth of a watt). So you would most likely find yourself using the volume control just about at the bottom of its range.

The Audeze phones are less sensitive, specified to produce an SPL of 97 db for an input of 1 milliwatt (although that is still vastly greater than the sensitivity of speakers). However their 200 ohm impedance would be a gross mismatch for the amp, and it might not even be safe to operate the amp into such a high impedance. As you are probably aware tube amps having output transformers can be damaged if they are operated without a load when they are processing a signal, and from the perspective of the amp 200 ohms may very well be high enough to approximate an unloaded condition.

-- Al
Thank you very much Al for your help, then I will not buy Wavac, it is not suitable with these headphones.

Hello Al, do you have any amp suggestion for these headphones, I consider to buy an amp around 1000-2000 USD second hand price range.

... do you have any amp suggestion for these headphones

I have no directly relevant experience, but based on some of the comments in Stereophile’s review of the LCD-4 as well as on its description and my knowledge of the Pass brand I would consider the Pass HPA-1. A used HPA-1 is presently listed for sale here at $2250.

Also, the following thread about headphone amplifiers for use with the LCD-2 may be of interest. But disregard comments that are not stated to be based on the LCD-4 or LCD-2, as most other headphones (including many other Audeze models such as the LCD-4z) are completely different animals in terms of impedance, and consequently in terms of their required drive voltages.


Finally, a point to be aware of is that for a given volume control setting the Denon headphones will play far louder than the Audeze headphones. To be specific the difference will be about 20 db, 11 db due to the 108 vs 97 db difference in efficiency, and 9 db due to the impedance difference.

Good luck. Regards,
-- Al