Looking for a powerful Balanced headphone AMP

Hey guys, i’m looking for a powerful balanced headphone amp.
At the moment im using an RME ADI-2 DAC that i wont be replacing or selling. unfortunately it only does SE and not Balanced.

In future im hoping to get the Audeze LCD-X, Sony Z7m2, Hifiman Arya and others.

I’ve been told the Questyle CMA Twelve is a good option and “future proof”, does anyone else have experience with this amp/dac ?

also maybe a better/cheap alternative thats still powerful? :slight_smile: thanks!

I had the Questyle cma400i and while it is a fantastic amp/dac Questyle’s customer service is utter garbage. I sent in my unit 3 months ago and have not heard back from them in over 2 months. The products are nice but when stuff breaks you might as well scrap them. I wrote my unit up as a total loss of $800 which is a shame because I really did like it.

I currently have the Schiit Mjolnir 2 which puts 8WPC into 16ohm, so plenty powerful. It also allows you to roll tubes to give different sound flavors. Definately end-game amp material if you aren’t an “I’m only buying this because it has the lowest (insert measurement category from ASR) numbers ever” type of person

Thats really unfortunate to hear, my sympathies.

I am curious about Schiit, ive never owned something from them, and i personally dont know anyone whos bought from them. From what ive heard online, people have mentioned that if you play nothing and keep the volume at a normal level (-30 to -40db) the amps usually make a noticable hiss or static crackle. Also happens when rotating the knob. I personally would find that very annoying. :frowning: have you experienced that?

While my unit does experience the audible noise, it is due to a ground loop issue and not the amp itself. I turned the amp on with no external sources plugged in and it’s dead silent all the way through the volume pot. Different tubes might have some slight sound but that is more due to the nature of the tubes and not the amp. I need to isolate my USB from my computer with something like a Schiit Wyrd or an iFi idefender but I haven’t made that plunge yet

Of course the THX AAA 789 with a balanced dac is an anxious choice.

If you really want to go big, Benchmark’s headphone amp, HPA1 is balanced and as good as it gets.

I’ve seen some measurements of the Schiit Jotenheim without its DAC (amp only) is pretty clean. Grain of salt with that though. I would definitelyavoid the Jotenheim’s multibit dac and attach a 3rd party balanced dac like the smsl su-8 or the Topping D70.

Those are all very powerful and good choices.

Ive never heard of smsl or topping or benchmark.

Ive heard of that amp the thx aaa, but i dont want to order from MD because i live in canada and in the highest taxed province too. So, that package from the u.s. would be almost double the price. Lol

Smsl and topping are Chinese companies that make great gear and are usually a fantastic value. Benchmark is a western firm that makes super high end, super high performing, super expensive gear.

Do you know if the SPL Phonitor e is any good? I love european made products lol.
it does have a balanced XLR and 6.35mm input.

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THe SPL phonitor is HIGHLY regarded as a very high quality amp…costly but very, very good…there is a lower cost version without the VUmeters etc…that might be a better fit pricewise?

At the recent Canjam in NYC the Focal and other had these “red” faced versions all over the place.

The Schiit Jotenheim is also a very nice amp at a whole lot less cost…

How about the Monolith Liquid Platinum amp? TONS of power and it is supposed to have a pretty good sound. It is hybrid, so it won’t sound too “tubey”.
On sale right now for $627.00 in US$'s. Or at least it was yesterday.

I don’t know if I would recommend the jot in modern day until it gets updated by schiit, too many issues they would need to correct imo (think of the changes from the asgard 2 to the asgard 3, similar changes would want to happen)

It’s the Phonitor e. I got one on eBay from a reseller for $950. It’s the most capable amp I’ve ever encountered.

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