Originally Posted by palmfish
I had an Icon HD and found it to be very colored, so I returned it. And the Woos are tube amps - also colored.
So instead of saying the Peachtree headphone amp "is not very good," I think it would be more correct for you to say that you prefer a headphone amp that adds some fun coloration to your sources, which the Peachtree does not do.
Regardless, since you like using a dedicated headphone amp, then a splitter is a reasonable alternative for you. I don't think a splitter will affect the signal quality at all. It's simply a box with some wire and a switch - things the rest of your signal chain already has in abundance.
Thanks for the response in regards to the splitter, I had read that splitters could add their own artifacts but wasn't sure that was correct..
In terms of headphone amps, I really have to disagree with you and let me put it this way - "in my opinion," while I really enjoy peachtree as a system, the headphone amp is leaves much to be desired. In addition, while tubes can add coloration in any amplification setting the type of tubes you use determine the amount of coloration (my WA6SE with my tubes is as neutral as I've heard it with a dead quiet in the noise floor).. I have used several other amps in the past from Alo Audio and Schiit both solid state and hybrid and there is no denying a dedicated headphone amplifier especially well built one will produce a much audio experience.
Also, IMO the peachtree doesn't produce enough juice to drive demanding headphones like the Beyerdynamic T1 or HD800 to their full potential and I have experienced noticeable upward scaling with more power and better amps. To be clear I dont enjoy coloration and I do agree that the HDP is a cold/treble heavy sounding headphone amplifier/dac (I did not like it very much) but the clarity, soundstage, and instrument separation that Woo, Schiit, Alo, and Eddie Current amps produce are leaps and bounds beyond what I hear from the peachtree headphone amp on my decco2 - some may have colorations but the point is that a high end dedicated headphone amp will do everything better (treble is more accurate, mids are more natural, bass is more controlled and soundstage is expanded horizontally and vertically). That said, for someone that doesnt listen to headphones that much or doesn't care and is more focused on speakers its a great setup; the exact reason I am considering purchasing another one - its just a really great package. I just prefer to have a better headphone experience so I purchased a separate amp for that.
Finally in response to your coloration comment - I would not consider the headphone amp section in the peachtree neutral; it sways towards the warmer side with a slight emphasis on bass and thus is colored - its not a reference grade headphone amp and to be fair peachtree never claimed that, but since you didn't state that you have any actual experience with Woo Audio headphone amps there is lacking justification for your comment on my personal preferences and equipment. No hard feelings, just wanted to clear that up and thank you for the input.Edited by Ahzari - 1/7/13 at 4:44am