YOU’RE a music-loving audiophile (not that the two always go together). Yet, you eschew ugly boxes in your living room … either there’s no space or you can’t play loudly enough to evoke the visceral thrills you crave. Sound quality, however, is of primary importance to you. Your path is pretty clear … high-quality headphones and an audiophile-grade amplifier, specially designed for the job. That cosy aural envelope and in-your-face (well, ear) experience is something you value dearly.
Well, if you’ve sorted out the cans, then here’s something to interest you – Cary Audio‘s HH-1 hybrid headphone amp, which promises to deliver superb sound quality into your auditory passages (obviously, Monster Beats hasn’t endeared itself to you).
Hybrid, you query? The HH-1 uses a pair of tubes at the input stage – one 6DJ8 per channel – and a single-ended current-sourced Mosfet circuit, working in Class A at all times, at the output. Understandably, Cary Audio has also paid careful attention to the power supply, which is fully regulated and includes a high-performance audio-grade toroidal transformer.
Says Cary Audio president Billy Wright: “We realise how important excellent headphones are to many audiophiles, and made a concerted effort to develop a truly world-class headphone amplifier in a very compact form.
“By using the best qualities of both tubes and solid-state, we have come up with a dedicated headphone amp whose performance rivals that of our famous CAD-300SEI tube integrated amplifier, considered by many to be among the very best amplifiers in the world. We’re very excited to introduce this new headphone amplifier and establish Cary Audio as a leader in this new market.”
The HH-1 is designed to drive headphones with impedances of between 30 and 600 ohms. A 30-second muting circuit prevents irritating pops and clicks when it is powered up – this also ensures all circuits are fully stable when the real work starts. And yes, it is a desktop-style design. Also on board are a pair of RCA outputs, a loop-through output pair, power switch and volume control.
The American-made HH-1 begins shipping today (July 30), and retails at US$1,595. Go on, then, pamper your ears …