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flohmann
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Boulder 865 has a headphone output?

Thanks to Wes for the informative review of the Sennheiser HD800. Now if only I could afford them!

But the real interesting tidbit was Wes' tantalizing statement that the Boulder 865 integrated amp has a "super headphone driver stage." Wes, can you say any more about that? There's nothing out there that even mentions that the 865 has a headphone output (none of the reviews, not the Boulder website). And the photos leave me guessing where the jack is located (below the display?).

And most importantly, how did it stack up against the Headroom Max? I've got a Headroom Blockhead, but selling it might help finance the 865 with the Senn 800s... must stop these dangerous thoughts...

dcstep
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Re: Boulder 865 has a headphone output?

It's curious that you talk about affording the HD800s, but you're seriously considering a $12,000 Boulder to replace a Blockhead.

Boulder's site DOES suck, doesn't it? I don't see any 1/4" jack either, nor do they mention it in their very abbreviated description.

If it does have headphone capability that'd help justify the 50% price over the more powerful and arguably superior Jeff Rowland Design Group Continuum 500 intergrated amplifier. You could buy the Rowland and one of Woo Audio's best headphone amps, like the WA6, along with a pair of HD800s and have money left over. I guarantee that rig will blow away a Headroom Max or Blockhead.

If you don't have speakers, then Woo Audio has several choices that'll drive the HD800, or whatever you have, extremely well. I run the pre-out of my Rowland Continuum 500 into a Woo Audio WA6, into my rewired AKG 701s. I'm thinking seriously about ordering the HD800s and selling the AKGs if the Senns sound as good as Wes says.

Rowland and Boulder are both located just a few miles from me and there's a dealer two-blocks away that carries both. They both are excellent, with slightly different strengths, but the pricing on the Boulder is pretty near outrageous, IMHO.

Dave

flohmann
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Re: Boulder 865 has a headphone output?

Does the Rowland have a fixed-volume balanced output? That's the trick with integrated amps -- how to get a line level output to the headphone amp without getting any audio through the speakers (a task my old BAT VK-300 couldn't manage, as the outputs on it were controlled by front panel volume).

As for the price of the Boulder, I tend to agree, but Wes sure liked it. And most of it could be made up by selling my existing preamp and amp.

linden518
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Re: Boulder 865 has a headphone output?


Quote:
Does the Rowland have a fixed-volume balanced output? That's the trick with integrated amps -- how to get a line level output to the headphone amp without getting any audio through the speakers (a task my old BAT VK-300 couldn't manage, as the outputs on it were controlled by front panel volume).


Try using Tape-Out to get to the headphone amp if your integrated has one.

Back to matching Sennheiser 800 with an integrated, with their high impedance, you should definitely look into some tube integrateds from Leben and Cary that have headphone outs that are directly coupled to the transformer. Should be magic with the Senns.

dcstep
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Re: Boulder 865 has a headphone output?

I'm using a variable level line output off the Rowland's pre. Jeff made me a toggle switch to either include or bypass the amp section. The Woo Audio makes good use of the Rowland variable output when driving the inefficient AKGs.

Dave

Editor
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Re: Boulder 865 has a headphone output?


Quote:
But the real interesting tidbit was Wes' tantalizing statement that the Boulder 865 integrated amp has a "super headphone driver stage." Wes, can you say any more about that? There's nothing out there that even mentions that the 865 has a headphone output (none of the reviews, not the Boulder website).

The Boulder does not have a headphone output. We regret the error in Wes's review text, which I should have picked up prior to publication. Wes says that he had been using another, unidentified amplifier (review presumably forthcoming) to audition the Sennheisers, but had put the Boulder back in his system by the time he was writing up his Sennheiser review notes. He made the wrong association.

We will correct the Web reprint of the review.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

dcstep
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Re: Boulder 865 has a headphone output?

Good, I'm not going blind...

alrmad
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Re: Boulder 865 has a headphone output?


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It's curious that you talk about affording the HD800s, but you're seriously considering a $12,000 Boulder to replace a Blockhead.

Exaclty my thought when I read the review. I can understand WP can't afford a pair of $+100k speakers (hardly anyone can), but surely if a Stereophile reviewer deems a $1,400 statement product too expensive compared to his ca. $700-reference, then it can't be worth the (extra) money, and the reviewer should make a case of this. I know the story of diminshing returns, all I'm saying is that $700 in a Stereophile reviewers system is peanuts.

mrlowry
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Re: Boulder 865 has a headphone output?


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. . .all I'm saying is that $700 in a Stereophile reviewers system is peanuts.

Especially when it's someone Else's money. Who knows what the financial situation in Wes' household is? I know that I don't although he does mention in the review that he isn't getting as many writing jobs as he'd like.

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