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How do headphone jacks in old amps compare to modern headphone amps?

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Some of the older amps from the 60's and 70's sound really fantastic with headphones.  Instead of a opamp they usually just went the route of using resistors at the headphone jack to knock back the sensitivity.  Because they are designed for driving speakers they have serious grunt compared to most headphone amps.  The sound through some of these older amps is often big, ballsy and weighty.  They usually really control the diaphragm.  Not generally speaking the last word in transparency, detail or lack of grain and can have a bit of noise floor.  But with the right headphone amp combination they can be fantastic.


Headphone amps usually have less noise and a purer/ cleaner sound.  Again depending on the amp and the money spent.  Its always tricky to generalise with this sort of stuff.  But i would expect if its a great budget amp like a Jotunheim more detail, clarity and purity.



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Thanks for that.


I also ended up trying out a pair of Sennheiser HD 650s and although the general consensus seems to be that you need a headamp to run em, the PM-5 drives them well.


Might have a look down the track though to see how a headamp sounds though.

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