Blackbird Audio/Gallery


Headphone Amplifier
Many audiophiles use headphones to enjoy their system. While some people are compelled to do so by their living circumstances, others simply prefer cans to loudspeakers. However, some amplifiers either have no headphone output, just as they don't have phone stages, or if they do have one, it is often just a simple IC-based stage. Regrettably, even many outboard amplifiers resort to this simple - and cheap - solution, making it impossible for headphones to perform at their best. Let us 
introduce the CanAmp, offering a no-compromise solution at a realistic price - in fact, given its technology and manufacturing quality we might even say at a "discount" price.
Headphones can be considered as high quality loudspeakers, but with a much lower power requirement. For this reason, they have distortion levels an order of magnitude lower than conventional speakers, and therefore are capable of showing up amplifier deficiencies more clearly. What's more, headphones are one-way systems, with very few exceptions, and for this reason crossovers do not interfere with sound quality. Consequently, a headphone amplifier must offer the best possible sound quality, even at very low volume levels, whilst working not unlike a real power amplifier.
The CanAmp is a two-stage amplifier. While the first - voltage gain - stage is based on an integrated circuit of the highest audio pedigree, the second - power gain - stage is 
a single-ended, pure Class-A amplifier. It enables the CanAmp to drive virtually any headphones from 32 ohms up to 600 ohms. The unit has no internal wiring, and the signal path is kept to a minimum on its PCB. Its high-quality, 1 dB-tolerance Blue Alps volume pot goes through a further selection process during manufacturing to achieve an even tighter, 0.5 dB tolerance.
The CanAmp not only has a line-level input but offers a line-level output to boot; it can therefore be connected to the TAPE MONITOR output of an amplifier, leaving the TAPE output free for additional components (MP3, MiniDisc, CDR, etc.). Gold-plated RCA terminals are used, and soldered directly onto the fiberglass PCB.
Technical specifications
Input sensitivity/impedance:
200 mV/10 kOhm
Power output:
300 mW (100 Ohm)
Signal-to-noise ratio (unweighted):
85 dB
Distortion (THD, 1 kHz, 100mW):
Frequency range:
10 Hz-50 kHz (±0,5 dB


Heed Audio QUASAR

State-of-the-Art  MM / MC  Phono Stage
The signal processing of cartridges is one of the most delicate jobs in amplification. All the more so because it isn't done merely by boosting a few hundred micro-volts to a few hundred millivolts. In fact, at this thousandfold amplification (60 dB) the signal must be processed as cleanly and noise-free as possible. The extremely low signal level and the frequency-related amplification which arises from the RIAA equalization curve applied in the cutting of LPs make the highest demands of the circuit topology and technical realization of a phono preamplifier.
The QUASAR, with its discrete conception and wide range of features, represents a unique bargain at this price level. The QUASAR is built in dual-mono configuration from the power supply upwards. There are two separate amplifier stages for MM and MC cartridges, both being fed from their own regulated power supply arrangement. Optimum adjustments to the cartridge in use can be applied for sensitivity and load by various settings of the jumpers on the PCB. The two separate outputs with different sensitivities make it possible for preamps or recorders to be fed via 'Low Out', whilst 
its 'High Out' can drive power amps directly.
The output stage has huge headroom at extremely low noise levels and, due to its low output impedance and high current delivery, can drive long interconnect cables without any sonic degradation.
The enhanced power supply of the QUASAR is based around a 60 VA toroidal transformer with low-density magnetic field and very little dispersion. This power, together with 40,000 µF filtering, can feed the circuit with the kind of super-clean current usually delivered only by battery-based supplies, even with extreme dynamic swings.
The entirely discrete conception, as well as the short signal paths of the QUASAR, combine the best audiophile tradition with innovative circuit design. This new phono preamplifier makes analogue high-end reproduction affordable at last!

Technical specifications
MM input:
3 mV /47 kOhm / 100 pF
MC input:
100 µV - 220 µV - 600 µV
100 Ohm / 220 Ohm / 470 Ohm
Output voltage:
      "Low Out":
220 mV/100 Ohm
     "High Out":
775 mV (0 dBm)/ 22 Ohm

The QUASAR was awarded first prize for Best Phonostage in 2002 at the 
biannual "Image Hifi Awards" in Germany, one of Europe's premier hi-fi accolades.
HEED  Modular Line
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Heed’s Modular Line of components.

These are electronics are designed to perform with a huge heart  as many have already heard of the impressive Class A mode headphone amplifier, the CanAmp and their amazing Quasar phono stage that, with its Q-PSU (an external power supply) was awarded first prize for Best Phono stage in 2002 at the biannual "Image Hifi Awards" in Germany, one of Europe's premier hi-fi accolades.