What are some good & affordable class A amps?

I know it’s not directly related, but how would you compare the Liquid Spark to the Asgard 3?
I realize the Asgard 3 has more power, but I was wondering about sound signatures.

The A3 is a bit more balanced sound with more oomph to the sound essentially. It’s not as smoothed out or slightly rolled in the highs as the spark. I do think that the A3 is the higher amp, but I don’t know if I would upgrade from the spark unless I wanted more power for planar or something

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I have thought about upgrading the LS to a nicer amp, but I do like the sound and it has more than enough power for me. If I was to upgrade it would just be for a better or different sound.

I think if you wanted to upgrade from the spark the more significant difference would be in the range that the rnhp lies imo.

Or those cool tube amps you showed me.

Yes, those would be sweet too lol

This is pretty surprising… youd think someone would tap into that market

I mean at this point with what’s in there, for a desktop standalone amp, I would just skip the 250-450 range imo

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Would the archel be a better/different option for @ShaneD ?

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I mean, the 2.5 pro is pretty sweet and a more natural amp, but I think to see a fairly larger difference you would still need to jump to that higher end range. I just don’t know if I myself would personally go for a 2.5 pro if I already had a spark and was content with it


We need a new thread for GREAT amps under 1K. I think the vast majority of us jump into $100.00, $200.00 and $300.00 amps without much, if any, drama. And the vast majority of us will Never spend more than $1K on a stand alone amp. I know there are exceptions on this forum… :grin:

I would guess the sweet spot for budding audiophiles and passionate music lovers is $500.00 to $1,000.00 in US funds. To me that is high end headphones, VERY nice amps and Really capable DAC/amps.


Here is the thing, at that range it really comes down to what headphones you have and what your preferences are, as you want to get something that would match your preferences and also preform well with your headphones (again not a fan of “best” at this price whatever stuff)

indeed M0N, so the thread / sticky would hopefully have notes to help the buyer out.

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At least 3 depending on genre

Probably at least 3 depending on headphones

… I’m staying sub $500 cad for awhile :sweat_smile:

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Too much work, you will never get a best list from me muahahaha

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Fair enough, but if you hadn’t told me about that tube amp with adjustable impedance levels, I would never have known about it. It would be GREAT to have a thread/sticky about high quality gear between entry level and stupid expensive. That amp at $649.00US, is pretty much the top of my financial limit, but it’s great to have something to shoot for. Nobody needs a $700.00 amp, but it would be cool, if you’re into it.

With the demise of audio magazines, information wise, we are swamped with Best Buy “stuff” and Stereophile Magazine grade gear, but not much in the middle. Really, just the forums and some can misinform or just be nasty.

That’s what I said, but then “I must have those Elex’s” kicked in and…

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Also fair, it’s just that having something like that would be pretty difficult to compile and maintain because it would be pretty subjective

I really just want to make sure someone just doesn’t buy something because it’s on a list that says it’s good. In this price range it’s mostly enthusiasts as you say, and typically they will know what they want, but you still never know lol

I also don’t think I would be allowed to sticky things anyway lol

I’ve shown great restraint I feel lol… I’m stoked you’re getting the elex :+1:


There would be nothing to maintain. Just a list of amps, in this case. If someone is interested in a certain amp, they can create a thread and ask about it. At which time people will ask, what kind of headphones…, what music do you listen…, etc. questions.

As far as quality goes, people NEED to research the amp listed. Nothing would be promised or inferred.

If you Google best headphone amp under 1K, you get the same cookie cutter lists over and over.