Project Head Box II Headphone Amp

TOMMO3108

Standard Member
Hi,

My current system is Audiolab 8000S Amp/8000CD, Pure DRX702ES DAB and Grado SR125 headphones. I'm very happy with the Grados, but would the Project Head Box linked to my amp help headphone performance. Any comments most welcome
 
K

Killahertz

Guest
Hi,

My current system is Audiolab 8000S Amp/8000CD, Pure DRX702ES DAB and Grado SR125 headphones. I'm very happy with the Grados, but would the Project Head Box linked to my amp help headphone performance. Any comments most welcome
In my opinion, no.

Not that the Headbox is a poor amplifier, but it is very much the first rung of the 'dedicated headphone amplifier' ladder. Fine if your system doesn't have a headphone output, or perhaps in place of a headphone output on an AV amplifier, which are often a poorly utilised afterthought.

The 8000S has a headphone output, doesn't it? I haven't tried it, but i'd be suprised given the Audiolab pedigree that it was sub-par. Is there a specific problem with it, sonically speaking?

If so, and/or you are set on a dedicated headphone amplifier, then i'd recommend something like the Rega Ear, Meier Audio Arietta, Heed Canamp. Maybe one of the many US or Chinese solid state offerings, or even valves.
 

TOMMO3108

Standard Member
Thanks for the response. I'm not unhappy with the Grados linked up to the Audiolab amp; I was just curious what I'd need to spend to see any improvement. Again, thanks for the advice.
 

coliam

Novice Member
Hi TOMMO, :hiya:

I was going to reply earlier to your question, but not having heard any of the equipment you are asking about,
I didn't feel it was my place. :)

However, I agree with Killahertz, on this.

You might hear an improvement with a separate headphone amp or you might not.
The issue is whether the Audiolab can provide the current needed by low impedance phones like Grados.
If it struggles, particularly with Bass power and control, that could be a sign of not having enough current.
An amp could help if that's the case, but be wary of cheaper end ones, as they are often a fairly simple
op-amp based circuit, which is more likely to have problems providing enough current.

Most equipment manufacturers don't invest much time or money into their headphone stages,
so a separate headphone amp is often necessary to get the best sound, but some do care enough
to provide fairly respectable headphone outputs.

Hope that helps. :D
 

phil t

Well-known Member
I agree with Kilahertz.

Although not the same, I had an 8000c and the sound (same headphones and cdp) from that was definitely better than the sound from the Head Box.

:)
 

-Ad-

Well-known Member
Millett MAX headphone amp is what you want, or even the older millett hybrid. Best DIY amp for grado''s in my opinion :)
 

WhyAyeMan

Well-known Member
You need to spend upwards of £200 really to start seeing improvements, i.e. the likes of the Heed Canamp, ANT Amber, Gilmore Lite, entry level Corda, etc etc, that sort of thing. Forget even the likes of the Rega Ear IMO, as i've been there and done that, and its probably not better than what you've got now.
 

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