Thursday, 26 May 2011

Synergy between Headphone amp and F4 amp

After some more thought, it seems that there is great synergy between headphone amps and the F4 amp. In as much as, I can use all my headphone amps as the front end to the F4. In a simple way, once the F4 is built, each and every headphone amp also becomes a speaker amp. Of course, this is provided that they can output enough volts to drive the speakers. Looking through the F4 manual, the amp needs to out 10V swing or more (around 7 Vrms), with around 12 dB of gain, and moving towards 14V (10 Vrms) and 20 dB for lower efficiency speakers.

This then led me down a path of potentially exploring an even more extreme headphone amp - the Raven. This design is a fully differential single stage using shunt voltage regulation. The PSU is very similar to my D3a concept, and could be inter-changed. The prime difference is the current loading, the Raven requires 60mA per channel. However, with the higher spec'd chokes on hand, that may not be a problem.

This is something for me to consider as I embark on the D3a build. If I could make it modular enough, in terms of the PSU, then I could power the Raven with the same PSU unit. However, the primary cost of the Raven are the input and output transformers, and if I go for all Amorphous cost, the total cost would be around AU$1,000. A very tempting option indeed.

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