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Headphone Amplifers for Exakt Only DSM
2016-01-25, 03:22
Post: #1
Headphone Amplifers for Exakt Only DSM
An impediment for some in purchasing the very affordable Exakt only DSM player is that there are no analogue outputs, and most importantly, there is not a headphone jack. This was an impediment for me, however, having selected one, please let me share my journey and selection with you.

There are a few needs to selecting a headphone amplifier that will be compatible with an AEDSM: it need be able to accept a Coaxial Cable output; or a Toslink output; or, it seems, HDMI. The favoured output is the Coaxial. There are not a lot of headphone amps with this feature. As well, one would hope to find a headphone amp that at least matches the sound quality that is provided by the excellent Akurate Kontrol [or whatever pre-amplifier you have]: it was so good, an amp was not needed for my headphones [Sennheiser HD800s].

Having switched to Exakt two weeks ago, and after a lot of research, I rolled the dice and purchased a second hand, recently purchased Oppo HA-1 headphone amplifier. It was released this past spring, and there are many solid reviews of it online. While I may have preferred the Sennheiser HDVD800 to match the headphones, an excellent price for the Oppo, and the sinking value of the CDN$, convinced me to go with my second choice, and I am here to report that I am very glad to have made this decision.

The Oppo arrived approximately two weeks before my Exakt equipment did, and I had sold my Akurate DS and Kontrol, so Gary at Bettermusic kindly lent me an Akurate Kontrol and a Sneaky DS to get me through the Christmas holidays Smile I am so blessed to have such a good friend.

I was able to also borrow from him an AXM Titanium Digital Audio Coaxial cable interconnect to test the Oppo. Well I was really surprised, for the Oppo sounded about a step above the Akurate Kontrol for sound quality. Needless to say, I was extremely pleased with the purchase. While waiting for the Exakt equipment, Gary made for me a Linn Coaxial Cable interconnect and for this I was really looking forward to hearing: who has really ever heard of AXM?

I knew from experience that the Linn cable would need some time to "burn in", so I ran it for 6 hours a day for the first week to loosen it up. Well, after living with it for two weeks or so, I found that the sound remained muffled and closed, darker than the AXM cable. I subsequently borrowed the AXM back from to test, and indeed, it sounds MUCH better than the Linn coaxial: needless to say, you know which one is staying installed Big Grin.

Ultimately, this is an endorsement for those who are in need of a headphone amplifier that is qualitatively compatible with the sound of Linn to give very serious attention to the Oppo HA-1. If you end up purchasing one blindly like I did [no test listen], do not fret for you will be amply rewarded by its wonderfully clear, precise and neutral sound.

Victrola 1922 Floor model.
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Headphone Amplifers for Exakt Only DSM - Eldarboy - 2016-01-25 03:22

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