P.S. If I could only listen to headphones, I’d drop the money for the top of the line STAX. After all, by definition, you’re not spending the money to build a two channel system with speakers, so, why not?
Because, contrary to you, I do not have infinite disposable income. 1.5K for my Clear was already borderline insane to spend on audio given my financial situation. (I don't regret it though)
If I had, I would buy a house first and get some nice speakers in a dedicated listening room.
Top of the line STAX are what ~5K?
Add another 5K for the specialty amp (b/c you can't drive them electrostatics with any equipment, compared to normal HPs).
Hmm, what kind of musicians don’t care about sound quality? Classical? Rock? Pop? I don’t believe that musicians who have spent decades perfecting their sound don’t care if that sound is ruined on the recording. Poorly recorded CDs will not sell well.
Read up on the thing called "loudness war", listen to modern music (I know most of it sucks)... hear the clipping distortion, hear the squashed dynamics, hear the crappy lossy compression in nearly all mainstream media..
Most artists / studio engineers do NOT care about audiophilia and neither does the vast, overwhelming majority of listeners.
These are professionals and they know their mathematics. They have neutral pro grade gear that is well designed w/o any unnecessary marketing BS. Down to the essentials and .. often not exactly good looking either. Designed to get the job done.
People like you and me, that actively try to get the best sound they can, sit back and close their eyes while listening are a tiny subset of a tiny subset. Most peeps out there listen to crappy 10€ earbuds while doing all kinds of things while listening and call it a day.
With so little ambient sound, you start hearing the blood flowing through your own veins, a disconcerting sound, and one you never hear normally.
Indeed, operational noises of our bodies are annoying as f***. To bad for me that I hear them most of the time. I can also feel my pulse w/o putting a finger on any artery.
Speakers and amps are the two biggest parts of the equation.
Speakers and room are the biggest factors, in nearly every system, interactions with an unoptimized room degrade SQ far more than any "cheap" amp could. Cheap being a relative
term, mind you, of course the amp has to be of sufficient quality to not add distortion/color the signal and cope with the attached load at the desired volumes.Now regarding your amp
: Why did you redact the spec sheet? This is a little paranoid.
I see rather high wattage, okay, if you think you need that (hint: unless you plan to go deaf or have a very large room to fill, you don't).
Okay, lets compare that to my amp: Yamaha RX-V377.
Note: That IS an entry level AVR and was the most modest and cheapest Yamaha had on offer when I needed an amp in aa pinch.
(more would not make sense for my speakers, more power would not be useful, I run it at -40dB and the neighbor already complains about the bass level (lol I swear that guy can hear grass grow
I have 70W @0.09/THD
You get 0.05 @ 50W
Yup, a little lower but both are well below any audible levels.
Mine: 10 - 100KHz +0 / -3db
Yours: 0 - 350KHz +-3db
In terms of what we can hear: 20 - 20000 that would be a tie. Both amps should be linear in that range with roll offs at the extremes of the spectrum.
Differences in measurements/weighting? Unclear since I do not know how the measurements are performed. Your amp seems considerably noisier but -79 should still be inaudible.
Power consumption idle:
Holy Moly yours eats 500W w/o doing squat all... yay Class A heater!
Sadly, my manual doesn't specify
Your amp outperforms mine on paper. Easily. It should, yet according to the numbers I see, apart from a lousy class A efficiency I don't see anything that makes me go "OMG awesome". Chances are good that when I hear your amps paired with my speakers, I would not notice much of a difference... well ... except in the electrical bill and room temperature.
Wanna see a really well designed headphone amp with values that make audiophiles drool?https://jdslabs.com/product/atom-amp/
Bam! 99$. Yeah, it is possible to design great hardware w/o it costing an arm and a leg.