Dartzeel and Headphones

luiscesar

Well-Known Member
Oct 19, 2016
39
0
86
Madrid. Spain
Planning to add a headphone. Suspect is Dan Clark Ether 2.
I don't like the idea of buying a head amp and not using my Dart pre/power combo.
So my question is, can I play them via preamp output or directly attached to the amp?.

I read some people attach directly their headphones to the XLR output of their preamp (whatever brand)
And
I read some people attach directly their headphones to the speaker output of their amps (whatever brand), some using a black box to match impedances (like the outboard box of the RAAL Ribbon headphone) but home made... and some using directly a cable speaker cable ended in a balanced connector for their headphones...

Have anyone tried this way(s) with a headphone on your Dartzs ?

Thanks for your comments!!
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
9,773
4,535
1,170
Planning to add a headphone. Suspect is Dan Clark Ether 2.
I don't like the idea of buying a head amp and not using my Dart pre/power combo.
So my question is, can I play them via preamp output or directly attached to the amp?.

I read some people attach directly their headphones to the XLR output of their preamp (whatever brand)
And
I read some people attach directly their headphones to the speaker output of their amps (whatever brand), some using a black box to match impedances (like the outboard box of the RAAL Ribbon headphone) but home made... and some using directly a cable speaker cable ended in a balanced connector for their headphones...

Have anyone tried this way(s) with a headphone on your Dartzs ?

Thanks for your comments!!
i don't know the actual answer. i've never tried or even heard of headphones being powered directly by a darTZeel preamp or amplifier. i have recently added headphones to my system but they are directly connected to my MSB dac and so are not currently involved with my darTZeel electronics.

as far as headphones being powered from the line out of a preamp, i think that is rare. you would need a very efficient set of headphones and a very robust pre line out. i know that the passive line out on my MSB Select II dac is able to directly power Senn HD-820 headphones with XLR outputs. but it's the exception as i understand it. and the MSB Select II is a true fully balanced design so yields optimal gain to the Senn's. the dart is not.

there are a number of 'speaker' amplifiers that people use for headphones; the issues are the gain of the amplifier, (1) whether the noise factor at the gain level used for the headphones might result in too much noise, and (2) whether the impedance of the headphones and amplifier are a good match (3) we can assume that the speaker amplifier will have plenty of power for the job.

as far as connecting a speaker amplifier to headphones there are blogs that speak to that. or ask the headphone manufacturer for recs. i hope to read about it. here is a 3500 post thread on head-fi that speaks to that issue.....likely an ideal place to ask questions or find answers;


i would expect that a dart 108 stereo amp, having such a low noise floor and such transparency, might be amazing as a headphone amplifier.
i could see dart 108's having a re-birth doing that if someone figures out a high performing combination. hard to imagine a better more pure amp candidate for this task.
 
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moby2004

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2018
156
145
113
Hello,

I am a recent adept of listening headphones with speakers amps and I am extremely satisfied with this choice.
However this solution needs to be cautiously implemented:
- if your headphones are very easy to drive then you would need a low power amp (and extremely quiet) otherwise you would potentially fry your drivers and/or have a too high level of noise which would be unbearable with headphones. So in this situation a special impedance box is strongly recommended
- if your headphones are harder to drive ( Abyss, Susvara...) then driving them with speakers amps will be very rewarding! The priority will be then to still choose a very low noise amp. Many people are using tube amps ( the relative lower level of power is no longer an issue and it is giving you this “bloom” effect very useful for headphones listening). I am familiar with Dartzeel sound but not with this particular Dartzeel amp but there’s no reason it would not work given Dartzeel’s sound quality ! ( I think someone tried a Dartzeel amp to drive his Susvara or Abyss on Headfi and he was very satisfied)

Alex
 

luiscesar

Well-Known Member
Oct 19, 2016
39
0
86
Madrid. Spain
i don't know the actual answer. i've never tried or even heard of headphones being powered directly by a darTZeel preamp or amplifier. i have recently added headphones to my system but they are directly connected to my MSB dac and so are not currently involved with my darTZeel electronics.

as far as headphones being powered from the line out of a preamp, i think that is rare. you would need a very efficient set of headphones and a very robust pre line out. i know that the passive line out on my MSB Select II dac is able to directly power Senn HD-820 headphones with XLR outputs. but it's the exception as i understand it. and the MSB Select II is a true fully balanced design so yields optimal gain to the Senn's. the dart is not.

there are a number of 'speaker' amplifiers that people use for headphones; the issues are the gain of the amplifier, (1) whether the noise factor at the gain level used for the headphones might result in too much noise, and (2) whether the impedance of the headphones and amplifier are a good match (3) we can assume that the speaker amplifier will have plenty of power for the job.

as far as connecting a speaker amplifier to headphones there are blogs that speak to that. or ask the headphone manufacturer for recs. i hope to read about it. here is a 3500 post thread on head-fi that speaks to that issue.....likely an ideal place to ask questions or find answers;


i would expect that a dart 108 stereo amp, having such a low noise floor and such transparency, might be amazing as a headphone amplifier.
i could see dart 108's having a re-birth doing that if someone figures out a high performing combination. hard to imagine a better more pure amp candidate for this task.
Thank you Mike for your kind and explanatory words.
I'm aware of this thread at head-fi, but most of the cases are with not so hi-end brands except for a mentio or two with Pass amps.
I most listen to vinyl.
I'll wait for anyone else has a experience with that, and if not I'll try asking Dan Clark and Hervé about this. Wish me luck !! :D
 

luiscesar

Well-Known Member
Oct 19, 2016
39
0
86
Madrid. Spain
Hello,

I am a recent adept of listening headphones with speakers amps and I am extremely satisfied with this choice.
However this solution needs to be cautiously implemented:
- if your headphones are very easy to drive then you would need a low power amp (and extremely quiet) otherwise you would potentially fry your drivers and/or have a too high level of noise which would be unbearable with headphones. So in this situation a special impedance box is strongly recommended
- if your headphones are harder to drive ( Abyss, Susvara...) then driving them with speakers amps will be very rewarding! The priority will be then to still choose a very low noise amp. Many people are using tube amps ( the relative lower level of power is no longer an issue and it is giving you this “bloom” effect very useful for headphones listening). I am familiar with Dartzeel sound but not with this particular Dartzeel amp but there’s no reason it would not work given Dartzeel’s sound quality ! ( I think someone tried a Dartzeel amp to drive his Susvara or Abyss on Headfi and he was very satisfied)

Alex
Thank you Alex,
Headphones intended to buy are Dan Clark Ether 2. They are in the "middle" easier to move than Susvara/Abyss but they need a good quality amp.
I need to dig more on Head-Fi, :D I'll try the Susvara and Abyss threads .
 

fbhifi

Well-Known Member
Dec 21, 2013
74
81
150
The Sunshine State
I’m using a Dart LHC-208 to drive my Susvaras from the 208’s speaker outputs via custom headphone cables with spade connectors. They LOVE the power- 175W into 8 ohm. They NEED the power to come alive. I will put this combo up against anything, including Mike’s new MSB/Stax rig. The DAC section of the 208 is world class and the Susvaras are absolutely competitive with any SOTA cans on the market, IMO.

Generalizations about electrostats being superior to planers without having heard correctly driven Susvaras is highly presumptive, at best.

Back to the topic of darTZeel amplification driving headphones, yes absolutely!. The 208 is a remarkable piece, a true Swiss Army Knife!
 

luiscesar

Well-Known Member
Oct 19, 2016
39
0
86
Madrid. Spain
I’m using a Dart LHC-208 to drive my Susvaras from the 208’s speaker outputs via custom headphone cables with spade connectors. They LOVE the power- 175W into 8 ohm. They NEED the power to come alive. I will put this combo up against anything, including Mike’s new MSB/Stax rig. The DAC section of the 208 is world class and the Susvaras are absolutely competitive with any SOTA cans on the market, IMO.

Generalizations about electrostats being superior to planers without having heard correctly driven Susvaras is highly presumptive, at best.

Back to the topic of darTZeel amplification driving headphones, yes absolutely!. The 208 is a remarkable piece, a true Swiss Army Knife!
Woa!! that's wonderful,
where did you buy that cable? Photo? Thank you!!
 

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