Check out a Singxer SA-1. It’s fully balanced and operates in Class A, and at $599 new it’s certainly worth checking out. I can’t speak to Luxman headphone amps in their integrateds, but I think it’s fair to say for the most part they’re an afterthought and if you’re at all serious about HeadFi get a separate amp. That said, if you’re only an occasional headphone listener and like what you’re hearing through your Grados, who cares? Just enjoy and save the $$$. I will say though as a relatively recent HeadFi devotee it’s like the rest of high-end audio — everything matters and it can get crazy expensive yet also extremely rewarding. Unless you’re willing to start down that very slippery slope, I’d say just enjoy what you already have unless you’re willing to contract another expensive disease. FWIW.
I think this is common. I have heard this kind of thing before. It is an afterthought… better have this function. Why I chose a separate headphone amp (Woo) and found it incredible. I think most companies just add it to add another feature. Most folks don’t use them, I never have. I always put together a separate system for my headphones.
Next time I drop by my dealer, I’ll bring a set of headphones and listen to a Luxman. But my experience with several other… and more expensive integrated amps has been their headphone section is very poor quality. They have apparently been thrown in to have one. Maybe Luxman is different… but I doubt it.
I have owned well over a dozen headphone amps varying from a couple hundred bucks with four over $1,000, in pursuit of great sound. Once I found Woo headphone amps, I have never considered anything else. Incredibly natural… and some very powerful like my WA-5 that can power speakers if you want. This will take control of any headphones and get the most out of them.
Best thing. Go try a good headphone amp. They can be a real revelation.
@jim204 I have a P-750u as well. Yes, it is among the best. So is my Ampsandsound Nautilus. The Nautilus ought to be good, it weighs twice as much and costs twice as much (not that weight and cost are necessarily determinative of anything).
@fsonicsmith1 I have been looking at your Nautilus and it certainly looks an impressive beast . Is it both single ended and balanced ? I am probably going to huff a few people here but I'm not a fan of valve equipment so each to their own I suppose. I do hope you enjoy yours.
Being an SET design, by it's circuit design it can only be single ended. SET stands for single ended triode referring to not being push-pull. The two sound different in ways that are consistent with their respective designs. The Nautilus sounds purer, richer and less "processed", the Luxman has a characteristic house sound of a pleasant silky smoothness with great extension and evenness at the frequency extremes. They are both great. I would not get rid of either and if forced to, it would be very hard to give up one irrespective of money.
@fsonicsmith1 Yes I I do know and understand about SET equiptment as I grew up in an age when at one time everything was valve and to tell the truth I was glad when they started to introduce solid state . Like Compact disc the sound at first left a lot to be desired and for me it was the eighties before I thought solid state was acceptable. I used to have a friend who was a BBC recording engineer and I have been present at sessions he did in various churches and recording studios in Edinburgh and Glasgow . I used to hear direct feeds from the tape deck on headphones and I still have never heard anything to come near be it from from Vinyl CD or streaming that gave me that I am there getting those frequency extensions without resorting to distortion or stridency. We are still only getting approximations of performances and as long as we have mics miles of wires computers and amps and speakers all adding their distortions then we will still not be happy with home entertainment from boxes. This is why my go to system is headphone only with DSD files from various vendors and my bespoke replay system.
I mean nothing but good will. That said, your view is imho unrealistic and contradictory. The reason why is this;
I am going to use a "way out there" analogy. The firm now known at "Meta" that was formerly known as Facebook is working very hard-they bet the proverbial farm-on virtual reality. Do you think they can ever fully recreate the experience of having sex (other than with yourself)? Your expectations are unrealistic.
@fsonicsmith1 I don't think I am being unrealistic as I said what we hear through hi fi systems is definitely an approximation of a sound that has been recorded, I have heard from my friends headphones what he was hearing as the recordist and I said I heard straight from the recorder which was a big Studer Revox what I heard then was so clean and thrilling and the string quartet were right there beside me . Did you read further on that I have never heard recorded sound like that which I heard from my friends direct feed to that which I listed further on. That was the nearest to a live sound that I had heard and it still did not compare to the Quartet playing without the phones. I still stand by saying what I did and I don't Think my expectations are unrealistic because I have heard master tapes played through the machine that recorded it and it is seriously not that far away. My take on the recording process is that we can record events that are not too far away from what you hear only the hardware that we use lends it's own distortions that take us away from the reality of the performance. Furthermore I did sat that it was miles of wire and mastering computers and the end hardware materials that all compound those distortions. What I was trying to say was the nearest I can get to nearly being there is DSD downloads that are maybe second or third generation copies .
I do hope you understand my point and I did not mean to be condescending to anyone here I do implore anyone here to try and befriend an engineer and get into some sessions and hear their feed, It is an eye and ear opening experience.