Vincent's Hybrid Headphone Amp
he Vincent Audio KHV-111MK headphone amplifier ($499) combines a solid-state output stage with a classic 12AX7-based vacuum-tube input stage. According to Vincent, the 12AX7 was chosen "for its high gain, accuracy and musical character." The unit's power supply is said to be "large and stable." The KHV-111MK weighs a substantial 7 pounds due to its power supply and all-metal chassis.
The KHV-111MK has separate front-panel volume controls for the left and right channels, a 1/4" headphone jack, a power switch, and a window for monitoring the vacuum tube's filament. The rear-panel has a single set of gold-plated RCA input jacks and an IEC power inlet. The unit's nominal output is 5 watts, providing ample power to drive even insensitive headphones.
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