Author Topic: O2 Headphone Amp build - design by NwAvGuy  (Read 595 times)

Offline makepeace

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O2 Headphone Amp build - design by NwAvGuy
« on: January 24, 2017, 07:53:41 PM »
Tis the season to be making things. This is the second thing that I'm posting about building. I just bought a pair of AKG K7XX's, and apparently they need an amp. I considered the Schiit Vali and Magni, as well as purchasing an O2 from JDS Labs. Decided I didn't want tube warmth for these (mostly for critical listening) and apparently the Magni vs O2 are much of a muchness with these phones.

Enter DIY. Decided I may as well make the O2 as I like it, saving a few bucks while I'm at it. I've got all of the parts and am busy designing an enclosure. Going to do things slightly differently from the traditional builds for these. More details to come.

I have but one question that I was pondering today... Is it mostly pointless (sound quality wise - not level wise) to use a headphone amp without a dedicated DAC? I'm going to be using my PC as the source (mostly) and I realised today that it has it's own (probably mediocre) amp. Will I get rid of the slight sibilance and drop in transient performance with high energy signals with this amp inline with my PCs headphone out, or do I absolutely need a DAC to achieve this? The level I get out of my pc is mostly fine for me with these phones - I'm mostly after SQ.

Offline makepeace

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Re: O2 Headphone Amp build - design by NwAvGuy
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2017, 08:10:34 PM »
And if so - anyone recommend a really good bang for buck DAC for less than R1k shipped?

Offline makepeace

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Re: O2 Headphone Amp build - design by NwAvGuy
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2017, 08:24:25 PM »
So I built up the amp (sans enclosure - still needs to be designed). The sibilance that I was hearing is still there (where I don't think it should be on the vocals. Guess DAC is the next step. Any ideas anyone? Bang for buck is key.

Offline makepeace

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Re: O2 Headphone Amp build - design by NwAvGuy
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2017, 07:02:11 PM »
This is what we're looking like so far:



Sounds really good. I wasn't initially very impressed bumping through my PC, but biamping through my Samsung S6 sounds amazing with my AKG 7XXs compared to the raw sound out of the Samsung.

Planning to investigate welded aluminium sheet metal for the enclosure with Vulcan or Fabrinox. Probably anodized as well. Have a design for a box that I've been meaning to try out.

Offline makepeace

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Re: O2 Headphone Amp build - design by NwAvGuy
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2017, 07:22:31 PM »
Also considering buying a cheap bang to buck USB powered DAC and gutting it and putting it in the amp with an offboard USB port. Looking strongly at the Audioquest Dragonfly.

Offline makepeace

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Re: O2 Headphone Amp build - design by NwAvGuy
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2017, 06:46:04 PM »
Any ideas about the biamping DAC thing guys? Sitting here wondering...

Offline TranSonicX

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Re: O2 Headphone Amp build - design by NwAvGuy
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2017, 06:39:58 AM »
Howdy

I just ordered a O2 from JDS.
What power supply are you using?


Thanks,

Ross