Here is a kind of Kickstarter project that we do not see too often. Sicphones, developed by Colin Shaw, is a headphone amplifier that provides audiophile level sound amplification for nearly quarter of the price of a high quality professional headphone amplifier.
The chief component inside this amazing headphone amplifier is a Silicon Carbide transistor and the amplifier uses class A digital amplifier circuit design to produce high quality audio output. All the circuitry is enclosed within a heavy duty steel case with laser cut product name and logo at the front.
Here is the list of features offered by Sicphones
- Silicon Carbide class A gain stage
- Big ALPS potentiometer
- Cardas RCA jacks and solder
- Nichicon Muse capacitors throughout
- Mills and PRP resistors
- Neutrik headphone jack
- Solid 2 ounce copper PC board
- External power supply
- 11 gauge steel chassis
- Stunning aesthetics
I admit that i am not an audiophile and hence not qualified enough say how the amplifier sounds. But this is what Steve Guttenberg, the the resident audiophile from CNET has to say about Sicphones in his review.
“I listened to the Sicphones with Grado RS-1, HiFiMan HE 400 and HE 500, and Sennheiser HD 700 headphones, and the sound was exceptionally clear. The amp doesn’t add any warmth or richness to the sound, so it won’t please buyers who listen to a lot of heavily equalized, low-bit MP3s. If the recording isn’t up to snuff the Sicphones won’t make it any better than it really is.”
With great-sounding acoustic jazz or classical music the Sicphones sound was revelatory. The immediacy was stunning; it was like looking through a much clearer window. Paul Simon’s outtakes from the “Graceland” sessions were a thrill. Vocals and acoustic guitars were palpably realistic. The sense of being there, as if there was nothing separating me from the musicians, was perfect. “
Guttenburg feels the base is light compared to HiFiMan EF-6 headphone amp, but the latter cost many times more at $1,599.
Sicphones will be available for $279 at Kickstarter but those who think they can build their own Sicphones, for $35, Colin Shaw will provide you with parts source list and detailed assembly instruction along with a sticker.