Icon Audio HP 8 MKII Headphone Amplifier
The conventional way to provide a headphone output on an amplifier is to drop the power through a resistor. This has a big problem that it provides very high source impedance (rather like a weak battery) the effect of this is to give very “Low FI” results. Ideally headphones should be driven from small high quality amplifiers. Many headphone amplifiers use small “microchip” amps which although are a better solution still do not provide ideal matching to the wide range of headphones available.
The HP8 MKII is in fact a miniaturised pure valve hi fi amplifier. Icon Audio use a custom wound multi-tap output transformer which provides perfect matching to virtually any headphone load. They start with a substantial mains transformer with matching power supply and two output transformers. The HP8 MK II tops the scales at 7kg, giving you an idea of how much iron you get for your money! Like their other models the HP8 MKII has no printed circuit board and is all hard wired with top quality components. They use silver Teflon audio cable, gold plated terminals and the famous “ALPS” volume pot for sonic purity.
The first stage gain uses the excellent JJ 12AX7. This wonderful valve has exceptional detail and fluidity. Its smoothness complements the super 6SN7 (the best hi fi valve ever?). This combination will give you a simply stunning insight into inner detail of your favourite recordings whether Analogue or digital. Like Icon's other amplifiers, close attention has been paid to the finish of the HP8 MKII. It uses the same “Bullet Proof”* build as their other amplifiers with a combination of anodised alloy plate, stainless and painted steel.
We do not use “tin and plastic”! For space saving we have used the same “lengthways” chassis as our phono pre-amp so it will fit nicely alongside your existing equipment, with the connections on the rear, and headphone socket at the front. The HP8 MKII is very versatile.
(*Quote: Hi Fi News/Hi Fi Choice)
It may be connected to your hi fi in several ways:
1, In a normal hi fi system you would connect to the “record out” of your amplifier. This will then be directly connected to the “source” that you have selected.
2, If your amplifier does not have a suitable output, splitter leads may be used.
3, With “Pre and power” systems a connection may be made between the two units.
4, As a stand alone unit you can directly connect to any CD/MP3 phono pre-amp.
Specifications and Features
• Comprehensive manual supplied
• Full instructions for valve change included
• All hand wired point to point
• No printed circuit board to ‘colour’ sound
• Japanese Blue ALPS volume pot.
• Class A, all Triode circuit
• Output impedance matching from 8 to 600Ω
• 2 x Russian 6SN7
• NOS, Treasure and Full Music types available
• 1x ECC83 first stage valve
• Signal to noise level -90db
• Freq response better than 20hz-20kHz +0 –0.2db
• Total harmonic distortion typically less than 0.2% 1khz
• Suitable for 4-8 ohm high efficiency loudspeakers
• Japanese steel EI transformers with low oxygen copper
• Slim profile design
• High quality 2W metal film, & wire-wound resistors
• Blue LED mains indicator
• Polypropylene audio capacitors
• Silver TEFLON audio cable
• Custom hand wound output transformers
• Ceramic valve holders for minimum leakage
• Gold plated Input & speaker terminals
• One line input
• 350mv input sensitivity.
• 230/240volts 36 watts.
• C E, ROHS and WEEE compliant
• 11cm W, 35 cm D, 14.8 H, 6.5 kg (remember to allow space for connections)