Radial Engineering has announced the launch of two headphone amplifiers: the HA15 Solid-State and the HA75 Tube Head. First production samples were circulated to the very best ‘golden ears’, highly regarded recording and mastering engineers such as Glen Ballard (Alanis Morissette, Michael Jackson), Ed Cherney (The Rolling Stones, Barbra Streisand), David Rideau (Janet Jackson, Sting), and Tom Coyne (Adele, Taylor Swift). The feedback received was very positive, which has resulted in this current release to consumers.
The HA15 is a 100% discrete audio headphone amplifier that has plenty of drive to handle any headphone impedance. The discrete architecture assures minimal phase-degrading negative feedback for a more natural rendering. Both RCA and XLR connectors are offered for connectivity to Hi-Fi and professional recording systems. The front panel features a traditional level control along with dual headphone outputs for sharing. A unique FOCUS control introduces a matrix that allows the user to simulate listening to speakers in a room. In other words, when listening to headphones you only hear the left program material in the left ear and the right material in the other. When listening to speakers, the bleed from the left is also heard on the right side. FOCUS mixes the left and right together and lets you decide how much of each you want in your ears. This adds listening excitement to certain mixes that simply would not translate well to headphones.
The HA75 Tube Head is a 12AX7 tube headphone amplifier that brings forth the character and sonic landscape that is only possible with a tube. The design applies 140 volts to the tube to provide sufficient voltage for a ‘clean’ sound, yet at a lower scale in order to impart the all-important tube character and harmonic generation. When pushed hard, tubes introduce a form of natural compression to the signal that do not distort in a ‘square wave’ but more gradually saturate with even order harmonic distortion. This results in a more pleasing tone with far less ear fatigue when listening to music for extended periods. Like the HA15, the HA75 is also equipped with FOCUS control to simulate listening to live speakers, dual headphone outputs for ‘sharing the fun’ along with RCA and XLRs input connectors to adapt to either audiophile or recording system setups. A dual RCA line output on the rear panel allows the user to capture the HA75’s tube character and incorporate it into a solid state system. This ‘warms’ the often sterile tone of a digital recording, bringing warm tube harmonics into play.
Look for more information on the HA15 and HA75 at: http://www.hafler.com