Certain frequencies hurt

Recently, due to certain frequencies coming across excessively loud and hurting my ears I've decided to run headphones (Sennheiser HD 800 or Hifiman HE 6se) instead of speakers through my power amps speaker taps. Then I ran across this yesterday:

"I’ll point out you need to be careful with Tube based speaker amps, they are designed to drive a specific impedance, and you’d want to match that with either a resistor in parallel with the headphones or a transformer to impedance match.
It’s also the case that more powerful tube speaker amps will self destruct/blow a fuse if a load is not connected to the terminals, because without the reflected impedance the circuit will draw too much current."

So will running headphones through my Audio Research Ref 75 possibly cause harm to the amp or preamp (both tubes)? The sound is sublime and it causes me no pain. Is this (speaker) set-up overkill for these headphones?



Haven't been to an audiologist in decades. I'll make an appointment. Thanks. Weird though, that the pain doesn't occur with headphones.

Unless you are listening at head-banging volumes, if your ears hurt something's wrong.  Go and see an ENT specialist right away..

In another thread there is a post about a (very costly) sub-woofer that can deliver 1Hz at 130dB.  Now that would hurt!.

If your hears hurt, it's time to replace your speakers that are more ear friendly.

Changing power cords to fix a medical problem is perhaps the most on-brand thing I've ever read on Audiogon.


what speakers are you using? How many hours on them? What tubes and how many hours on them in the Ref 76? The SP20 should not give you any sibilance.  What tubes are you running in the SP20?  How many hours on them?  Did you say your ears were hurting before you bought the new ARC amp?