Manley "Absolute Headphone Amplifier"

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by AllanMarcus, Sep 7, 2018.

  1. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    Any respect for Manley? They are scheduled to show their "Absolute Headphone Amplifier" at RMAF. Looks slick, but not cheap at $3k-$4k (estimated).

    Just saw a post from TTVJ: The Absolute is currently $3800 - buy it now - the price is going to $4500 on Jan.1 2019!

    https://www.manley.com/hifi/mabhpa

    [​IMG]

    It has a way to vary negative feedback. I wonder if I'll be able to distinguish any difference. Guess I'll find out in less than a month. Anyone heard this amp?

    Head out on the back. Not a great design choice, IMHO.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
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  2. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    Looks cool (IMO, YMMV, FFTDBGFOIYD, etc.), hopefully sounds good enough to warrant the $3k price tag. If memory serves this is roughly the price tier where boutique amps get really interesting.

    Afterthought: Looks like a fancy coffee machine. Mm, coffee.

    After-afterthought: checked their site out, saw this... thing. Slightly less enthused.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. JustAnotherRando

    JustAnotherRando My other bike is a Ferrari

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    I thought this was going to be about overtly masculine-looking amps.


    Guess I wasn't far off.
     
  4. 9suns

    9suns [insert unearned title here]

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    Don't know about their headphone amps, but their microphones are off the charts good, that Manley Gold + their TNT mic preamp is pure sonic love, I would be surprised if the headphone amp sounds anything less than gorgeous.
     
  5. direstraitsfan98

    direstraitsfan98 D2Girls v2.0

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    Oh I remember seeing this thing years ago, even before I got into hifi. I remember thinking to myself 'why did they make it like this, who buys stuff like this?' and actually now that I think about it I'm still thinking that... surprised it hasn't been released yet. Has anyone here heard a Manley The Wave preamp? I love the looks of that one.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. drgumbybrain

    drgumbybrain Science Nut

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    They should hire a designer to their team. Good lord.
     
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  7. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

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    For some reason the unit on the left and the remote reminds me of a Colecovision:

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. manatworks

    manatworks Friend

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    Gotta admit that i’ve been lusted after this since the beginning of this hobby but uhhhh i guess my eyes on “aesthetic” have been changed since back then....
     

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  9. OldDude04

    OldDude04 Friend

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    Kind of looks like it belongs in the rear center console on a Bentley Mulsanne. (Not a compliment, it's way over the top, lol)

    [​IMG]
     
  10. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    Manley stuff is supposed to be quite good despite their questionable aesthetics...

    Always too pricey for me so I've never actually heard.
     
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  11. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

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  12. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    Wow, and you thought Chord made fugly equipment..
     
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  13. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    I've not heard Manley's hi-fi stuff but the pro audio components deliver. Massive Passive EQ and Vari-Mu compressors can be found populating the outboard racks in many recording studios.
     
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  14. Wilson

    Wilson Socially Anxious Volleyball

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    Colecovision, some good memories there. Cosmic Avenger was cool. The "plot" was that your planet has been destroyed. Your mission was just to attack the bad guy planet and blow shit up. No peace, no hope, just revenge.
     
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  15. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    EveAnna Manley has rightly earned a reputation for premium gear. $3000 is steep but they also do all their transformers in-house as well.

    And I'm going to defend the design a little. The openings on the side are good holds to move it around and the height is above the tubes, which gives it some protection.
     
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  16. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    In addition, the curved top on the back can be used as a headphone stand. I would only use for short periods of time since I would be concerned about the pads getting compressed.

    BTW, here's the amp being shown (with headphones in the "stand" position) at T.H.S. Show 2016! Guess it takes some time for Manley to go from prototype to production.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
  17. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Like Chord, Too Much Money Spent On The Case Alert.

    But hey...
    I trust you. But, quite apart from not having that cash, I guess I'm just Manley enough for this stuff.
     
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  18. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    Yeah, that doesn't look like a very good idea, either for the headband or the pads.

    Whether or not that amp sounds nice (which is possible), it looks like you're paying extra for some pretty spurious ironmongery there. I think that if I was dropping 3-4k on a tube headamp , I'd be considering DNA or EC before this, wasting less of the BOM on a fanciful 1950s raygun scifi fugly case.

    That said, obviously someone should talk a loaner out of them, and establish how it sounds :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
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  19. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    Call me a pessimist, but the super fancy looking stuff like this is more for wow'ing your neighbors and less for serious listening. Even if that is not the case here, I'm sure about 2/3rd the cost of this amp is in the chassis itself, which makes my inner-pragmatic-audiophile-child cry.
     
  20. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    Re Manley:

    Gotta remember their roots. Great older tube stuff, pro audio and recently hifi. I love the industrial design. I got to hear the original Stingray, talk about clean and fast.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,. Me likey!


    manley-stingray-ii.jpg
     

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