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HP amp for D50s with preamp recommendation

skkayman

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May 2, 2022
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Slovakia
Hello, I am new user here, but long time reader.
I am looking for replacing my O2 amplifier I made about 8-7 years ago and diy input/output switch with volume pot. O2 needs replacing scratchy pot, RCAs and everything I moved out of PCB to back of the case - badly soldered.
So I thought it may be right time to upgrade to something already made, made better and new.
My first look was on A50S but I want preamp for my speakers too (Mackie CR4, but planning to upgrade to fluid audio fx50 or anything in this price range and dimensions to fit my desk). And I hate switching to preamp and back to HP by plugging and unplugging headphones. All my headphones are easy to drive, not very good probably (AKG K240 mkII, Audio Technica ATH-T500 (I think they changed them a little and sell as ATH-AVC500 now), Audio Technica ATH-SR50BT), but I may buy a new one this christmas as gift to myself :).
  • A50S, local shop have it on sale for 165€ but I would have to use my old diy switch/volume control, or buy one. Will not use balanced output.
  • L30, I am not fan of glass fronts, have switch for preamp which I much prefer, but have to change the volume before because volume is set by pot. I can align the volume on mackies so it will more or less be similar to volume on headphones, but that will work with one headphones only. Price is just a little less then A50S in sale. Can use old switch/volume too. So I think A50S is preferrable from L50 because it fits nicer
  • just found out Sabaj A10h, not fan of blue screen as most people, but would work for me. Digital volume control with two levels - one for headphones, one for preamp. Switching needs to go to menu though. The rellays may be loud in this, do they? Would fit similary as L50, under D50s. Cheapest option, I have seen it selling for ~105€.
  • Much more expensive but very nice Consoz QXA1, was not tested here but they are not spoofing customers by power outputs hard to get for normal people. Their number are for 2Vrms on RCA inputs and not 3-5V. Good for them and liking this brand more :). Switching to preamp is a push the knob, rotate to find HP out, push, set to the other headphone output (SE vs BAL), push, find PRE option, push, change to enable/disable, push. A little complicated and unplugging connector seems much easier now :). This is most expensive from these options but I will not need an upgrade from this in many many years.
  • fix O2 and stay with it :). I have parts for some upgrades I found on the internet. I never get time or be up to upgrade it until now. I even bought two PCBs in case I brake one. I am not sure if O2 is still worth using now.
  • AIO - sell d50s and buy topping dx5 or smsl M500 mkII - most expensive but I will get balanced outputs for speakers (not sure if I need that :)).
Is there any other option? I see downsides on all options. Or maybe amp without preout and controlling volume of speakers other way = more space and cables..

Did I miss other headphone amp, small, fitting D50s?
 
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