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A question about the benefits of one headphone amp over another

SJ777

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#1
My first post, so here goes!

Firstly I want to say a massive thank you to all of you for this site. A couple of months ago I had problems with an old headphone amp and decided I'd change my set up. These days I only listen via headphones so was thinking about a new headphone amp to attach to my CD player, and probably some new headphones as well. I'd never really considered using my PC or phone and was happy with CDs. I then discovered ASR and, wow, it was like somebody had opened an affordable treasure trove! I'd always gazed from afar at "genuine" hi-fi lovers who had the cash to spend hundreds of pounds (I'm in the UK) on cables. I wondered what I was missing out on. Now I've discovered that I was missing out on absolutely nothing!

Anyway, I decided to get hold of an Atom amp and a pair of Sennheiser HD600s. (I got one of the rare Atoms that doesn't turn off at first and need to be turned on and off several times - I feel special!) But a future tied to a CD player wasn't going to be enough. I added in a Topping D50s DAC. I've ended up connecting this set up to my phone, using USB Audio Player Pro. I'm ripping my CD collection as FLAC files and enjoying as much music as I can humanly consume via Qobuz (cheaper than Tidal here in the UK).

So, to repeat, a massive thank you. Letting science do its thing has freed my ears up to do their thing - enjoy music. I can stop wondering if there's some magic fairy dust that will lift the veil/get deeper into a mix etc. etc.

Now, my question. There's lot of love for, say, the Topping A90. What is the benefit of having that over the Atom in terms of how the thing actually sounds? I'm not planning on getting one, but it's just a question to enhance my understanding. I know that its fully balanced but that wouldn't be a factor for me. I kind of hope that the answer is that the A90 would not offer a marked improvement on the Atom in terms of the "listening experience". Please feel free to broaden my question to include any headphone amp that's more expensive than the Atom (i.e. most amps, I suppose).
 

maverickronin

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#2
Now, my question. There's lot of love for, say, the Topping A90. What is the benefit of having that over the Atom in terms of how the thing actually sounds?
There wouldn't really be any difference with the HD600s.

The A90 has less noise and lower gain modes for super sensitive IEM but also has more power if you need need it for an exceptionally inefficient pair.
 

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