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Dragon Inspire IHA-1 Tube Headphone Amp

Dragon_Inspire_IHA-1

Moon Audio

Moon Audio

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The Dragon Inspire IHA-1 Tube Headphone Amp has a warm and very dynamic signature that will captivate audiophiles and music enthusiasts alike.


Drew Baird, P.E. & President of Moon Audio and Dennis Had (Founder of Cary Audio) spent over a year perfecting this Exclusive Dragon version of the Inspire IHA-1 tube headphone amplifier.


Absolute Sound Review by Steven Stone - Aug. 2016


$1,599.00

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Description

Details

Listen with various headphones seamlessly by means of the numerous output options that come as standard upgrades.

No expense has been spared in this Dragon Version by Moon Audio. Endless tube upgrade options are available to purchase to suit the most critical of listeners. 

Drew Baird, P.E. & President of Moon Audio and Dennis Had (Founder of Cary Audio) spent over a year perfecting this Exclusive Dragon version of the Inspire IHA-1 tube headphone amplifier.

Each amplifier is made by hand, to individual preferences, in Cary, NC. Custom headphone audio made to your specs every day, that's what we love to do.

 

 
Exclusive Dragon FEATURES:
- a Gorgeous Copper Metallic Powder Clear Coat finish
- a Stepped DACT 100K attenuator running a pair of 6SN7's at over 1 watt of output power
- Output impedence of 4.4 ohms
- Transformer Pro Balanced output
- 2 analog RCA input selector positions, including a mute position
- 4pin XLR Headphone output
- 1/4" headphone output
- a Sovtek 5Y3GT tube is standard
- a pair of 6SN7 Electro Harmonix tubes come standard
- a pair of 6SN7 New Old Stock Tubes are available for an additional $100 (Brand Depends on availability)
- direct coupling and transformer output are included as part of the standard configuration.
10 inches wide 8 inches deep, height varies based on tubes used.
- Weight is 15lbs 
- 2 Year warranty on Amp, 30 day warranty on tubes
 
Moon Audio is proud to host and share the return of the legendary Dennis Had, to the world of tube headphone audio. This IHA-1 Dragon Version, stereo vacuum tube headphone amplifier maintains Dennis' philosophy reinforced over decades of listening, designing and building audio amplification.

As with Dennis' previous designs, his main concern is always the sonic purity of the output signal as perceived by the human ear. The IHA-1 Dragon is vacuum tube amplification in its purest form. The Dragon IHA-1 utilizes a100K dual DACT stepped attenuator. No matter where one has the volume set the balance is equal at all times in each channel. The Amp has Pro-Audio outputs on the front panel. You will notice the locking 1/4" stereo output. In addition we have chosen to have the XLR 4 pin balanced output connector. The IHA-1 is a single-ended design but as you know it delivers the output in a balanced form from the output windings from the air-gaped output transformers. Then a final touch is a dual process powder coat finish in a clear coated copper.

The input driving signal is directly coupled to the grids of the 6SN7 dual triodes. This signal is amplified and sent to the headphones through a set of special hand wound air gapped output transformers. Once again, direct coupling straight through to the headphones. Utilizing the 6SN7 dual triodes, the IHA-1 is extremely linear and offers full bandwidth from 9 Hz to 33 Khz without the use of feedback.

The power supply is vacuum tube rectification with dual filter chokes to provide a low noise level along with a low impedance B+ power supply to the 6SN7 tubes. All and all, he had little concern for how loud one could blast their ears but an ongoing concentration of full bandwidth, linearity and a realistic music presentation. Once again, for fear of being repetitive, the new Inspire IHA-1 Dragon version, is vacuum tube amplification in the purest form.

For tube rolling, the rectifier tubes should be of the direct heater type like the 5Y3, 5U4, 274B or NOS and factory fresh direct heated filament types. The indirect filament type like a 5AR4 are fine to use but to his ear they do not even come close to a directly heated filament type.

The output tubes can be of course, 6SN7, 6BL7 and Dennis's favorite with less gain are the 6BX7 which are plenty loud for Drew's taste as well.

The THD is close to ultimate vacuum tube perfection considering zero feedback. The second and all remaining harmonic contents at the 1.125 watt output level into 32 ohms are over 65 dB down. Actually the only harmonics visible at these levels are the second harmonics down 65 dB and the other harmonics are in the noise floor. This is actually an amazing output spectrum. One would consider this for the board of health!!! LOL The power levels vary with the impedance of the output load. At the 32 ohm level up through 570 ohms the power is in the 1.125 watt to .750 watt level. Higher power at the lower end of the range. It will drive the 600 ohm cans you have as one of your choices.

Please keep in mind this is a direct coupled design without any coupling caps or output attenuation resistors in the signal path. Purity at its best.

Headphone.Guru Review by Frank Iacone - Jan. 2015

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Features

Additional Info

This Exclusive Dragon version includes:

  • a Gorgeous Copper Metallic Powder Clear Coat finish
  • a Stepped DACT 100K attenuator running a pair of 6SN7's at over 1 watt of output power
  • Output impedence of 4.4 ohms
  • Transformer Pro Balanced output
  • 2 analog RCA input selector positions, including a mute position
  • 4pin XLR Headphone output
  • 1/4" headphone output
  • a Sovtek 5Y3GT tube is standard
  • a Sophia 274B Rectifier Tube is available for an additional $160
  • a pair of 6SN7 Electro Harmonix tubes come standard
  • a pair of 6BX7 New Old Stock Tubes are available for an additional $100
  • direct coupling and transformer output are included as part of the standard configuration.
  • 10 inches wide 8 inches deep, height varies based on tubes used.
  • Weight is 15lbs

Specifications

Frequency Response 12 Hz to 32 KHz + - 0 dB

Power output into 40 ohms 1.7 watts less than 1% THD 2nd harmonic

Amplifier gain: 18 dB

Noise Floor -87 dB

Dual Headphone outputs 1/4” Pro-Type/ 4 pin XLR Pro-Type

Switchable line level dual channel line preamplifier output (optional)

AC voltage 120 or 240 VAC 50/60 Hz

Output power tubes X 2 6SN7 dual triodes

Vacuum tube rectification 5Y3

.090 aluminum chassis

Powder Coat: Copper/Clear Coat

Dimensions: 10” x 8” x 6” high with tubes installed

Weight: 15 lbs

Reviews

Outstanding!Review by Pete
Value
Quality
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I bought the IHA 1 with the tube ugrades, the preamp outs and the Lundahl transformers. I'm now using it with Sennheiser 800Ss, a Cayin CD player, and Chord 2Qute D/A processor; interconnects and balanced speaker cable are all Black Dragons.

In a nutshell, the sound is amazing. I listen primarily to classical music, and on well-recorded performances the instruments are precisely located, both from side to side and front to back. The timbre of individual instruments sounds life-like, including the piano; my mother was a pianist, and I grew up with the sound of uprights and baby grands in my ears. Chamber music sounds warm, intimate and personal; orchestral works can run the gamut from so soft as to be barely audible to sforzando climaxes without ever losing detail or articulation. This is the most musical amplifier I've ever heard.

My previous headphone amp was a Schiitt Lyr, a hybrid amp that I liked quite a lot. I had thought about doing a direct comparison with the IHA 1, but then realized it wouldn't work. The Lyr only has a single-ended output, and I don't have a single-ended Black Diamond cable for the Sennheisers. So all I can do is compare the sound I remember from the Lyr with the sound I now hear from the IHA 1. From what I remember, the Lyr is more laid-back and a little cooler, with less immediacy and impact. I'd say it was more analytical, but that might imply that the IHA 1 is less detailed when the opposite is true. The IHA 1 is highly articulate, and maintains that clarity and detail through the loudest and most sonically complex orchestral passages I've listened to. So far, nothing has thrown it off stride.

My one caution, if that's what it is, is just to note that, unlike transistors, tubes need to warm up to sound their best, and they also need to break in. Expect to let the amplifier burn in for 20-30 hours before it really begins to sing, and I now let it warm up for 15 minutes or so before I start listening. Minor inconvenience, major payout. (Posted on 3/11/2017)
Gorgeous euphonicsReview by Comzee
Price
Value
Quality
I've been thru Stax SR-009 + Carbon KGSSHV
Taurus Mkii, Torpedo III, Lehmann, Woo Audio, personally.
I've heard Eddie Current ZDS, Cavalli, and many other amps at meets.

The IHA-1 is special.
You cannot beat the price vs performance in my opinion.
End game amp for almost any audiophile. (Posted on 2/24/2017)
WonderfulReview by Ben
Quality
Price
Value
I have very good HP amplifiers (EC Electra, AV Luminare, Schiit Mjolnir...) but this one is special.

With the right tubes, it's both very smooth and detailed, impressive soundstage.

The rather small footprint allows me to use it on a desk.

Addictive listening... (Posted on 4/1/2016)
Dragon Inspire IHA-1 Headphone AmpReview by Jim
Quality
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Value
I now have about 40 hours on the Dragon Inspire and it is breaking in nicely. Sonically it sounds awesome. I got it with the basic tubes and I am very satisfied with them. I am not much of a tube roller but it might be fun to play around with them eventually. It is the best headphone amp I have had.

My only complaint is that the amp did not come with any papers or spec info or warranty papers. The serial number was on the outside of the box and that was it. It was packed in bullet-proof bubble wrap (it took me longer to unwrap the amp than it took to set up. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to know how to operate a headphone amp but it would have been nice to have just a simple info sheet to suggest break-in time, tube rolling options and specs.

I am very happy with the amp. I know I will probably venture out and play with new headphones and cables to see how optimal I can get it to be and that makes it fun too. Thanks for a great product. (Posted on 6/6/2015)
MagicalReview by Blake
Quality
Price
Value
This amp never ceases to amaze me. The sound is so wonderful, holographic, 3-dimensional, airy and detailed (in a pleasant, extended manner). I am a very satisfied purchaser. I highly recommend this amp, without any caveats or reservations. This is the most enjoyable amp I have ever used, by far.

I am using NOS tubes: Brimar U52 and Sylvania 6BX7 and using the IHA-1 with TH900's, W3000ANV's and T1's. (Posted on 12/30/2014)
Awesome AMPReview by Inspire IHA-1 lover
Value
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Price
This amp is very transparent to the tubes you use.  I may have to go for Tung Sol VT231's.  I think my headphone amp buying days are done. 

There is something very live about the Inspire IHA-1.  It is almost like like it is creating a perfect Cartesian sound field.
(Posted on 10/24/2014)
WOW!Review by Ed
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Price
I love the amp and plan on exploring different headphones. WOW!
And always blessings.

Ed
(Posted on 10/24/2014)
Positive feedback for the Inspire headphone ampReview by Fred
Value
Quality
Price
I have a lot of ++ feedback to provide on the new Inspire headphone amplifier.

I hooked up to a modified Cambridge Audio CD player as well as an FM-Scott (modified) tuner. Both provided excellent performance using Sennheiser's 650 and 800.

WOW!! I am very pleased with the purchase and outcome, THANK YOU!!

Fred
(Posted on 10/24/2014)
Absolutely love the Inspire IHA-1Review by William
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Quality
Price
I received the headphone amp today. Absolutely amazing, I love it.  I can already tell how good it's going to be.

I was hearing things I don't hear with my home stereo, and my home stereo has upgraded Cary V12's (tweeters and mids), a V12R (bass), Nola speakers, a Fosgate FAP-V1 vacuum tubed surround processor, a pretty sweet setup.

I went straight to some Tung-Sol 6SN7 round plates that I have and wow, just wow! Imagine when this thing gets warmed and up broken in. I'll let my friend hear it and he'll probably want one too.

This thing is beautiful too. You've done an awesome job, keep up the great work! I'm so impressed. Thanks for everything.

William

(Posted on 10/24/2014)
The bestReview by Cary Addict
Quality
Price
Value
Running it downstream of SLP 05. Balanced I/O and balanced LCD3f. IHA - 1 with 6bx7 and EML 274b.

Sound? 40 years of headphone listening and I have never heard anything this good. You're there, live, perfect cartesian space.

Get the 6bx7s. Sophia 274bs also sound very good. Would be a bargain at $3K. Best audio buy I have made. (Posted on 10/13/2014)

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