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Speaker amp equivalent of JDS Labs Atom 2?

elshaddai

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Feb 10, 2024
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Just picked up a JDS Labs Atom 2 stack (DAC and amp) for my headphones. Really impressed with the build quality, options and apparent transparency of the sound.

It made me curious what the equivalent combo of performance and value would be for a compact speaker amp if you weren't including the typical "chi fi" products. Nothing against those, I just like the idea of supporting a smaller shop known for honesty and support, and that offers products at less than boutique prices.

Budget up to $500. Needs to be appropriate for a small office, roughly 100 sq feet -- I don't have room for a full-size box. Primary speakers are NHT SuperOne 2.1's.
 

staticV3

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Gotta be a Hypex- or 3e-based Power Amp from:

Nord Acoustics (UK)
Buckeye Amps (US)
Audiophonics (FR)
VTV Amplifier (US)

Edit:
Here are the relevant links for the US:
https://www.buckeyeamp.com/shop/amplifiers/hypex/nc252mp/2_channel
https://vtvamplifier.com/product/vtv-stereo-amplifier-based-on-hypex-ncore-nc252mp/
https://vtvamplifier.com/product/vtv-amplifier-stereo-hypex-nc122mp-ncore-amplifier-125wx2/

I just saw that VTV also offers Amps based on Pascal modules, which I have not heard of before. Might be worth looking into:
https://vtvamplifier.com/product/vtv-amplifier-pascal-u-pro2s-stereo-amplifier-2x280w/
 
Last edited:
OP
elshaddai

elshaddai

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Gotta be a Hypex- or 3e-based Power Amp from:

Nord Acoustics (UK)
Buckeye Amps (US)
Audiophonics (FR)
VTV Amplifier (US)
Thank you for the quick response and the edits with links! Lots of new things to read and learn about.
 

Rhodo

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There's the US made Schiit Rekkr and Gjallarhorn:

They've got measurements for each at the bottom of the product 'Specs' tab. I'm using one of those right now in my small office and am quite happy with it. They do not have volume control built in (I think that's true of those nice amps posted by staticV3 too) so make sure you have gain control upstream on the DAC/preamp/source. Despite the low wattage they can get painfully loud on the cheapo, poor sensitivity speakers I'm using.

My belief based on those vendor provided measurements and my subjective experience is that they are pretty darn transparent, especially the Rekkr, but take that with a grain of salt until third party testing appears somewhere.
 
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elshaddai

elshaddai

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There's the US made Schiit Rekkr and Gjallarhorn ... They do not have volume control built in (I think that's true of those nice amps posted by staticV3 too) so make sure you have gain control upstream on the DAC/preamp/source. Despite the low wattage they can get painfully loud on the cheapo, poor sensitivity speakers I'm using.
Yes, the JDS Atom 2 headphone amp has a gain dial and RCA outs, so it would be my primary volume control. Thanks for the suggestions and links!
 
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