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Dynamic headphones are much more different than most people realize. For the same sound pressure level the power needed with different headphone models can vary up to a factor of about 500! Impedances can be different to a factor of more than 20!


This is the reason why different headphone models have very individual requirements to the headphone amplifier driving them in terms of voltage and current. Everybody who once has connected a high quality headphone to any given standard headphone output knows about this problem.

In my opinion, the Linear belongs to the reference class of its kind. It creates a relaxed, open, neutral and detailed acoustic image. – Studio Magazine
Linear inside

Since the launch of the Linear in 2004 there is a high end headphone amplifier to realize even the highest demands to reference quality headphone music reproduction. The selectable gain (0 dB, 10 dB, 20 dB) of the Linear effectively optimizes the output level of the zero global feedback Class A output stage. Practically all high quality dynamic headphones available will show their best possible performance, no matter if you have an easy to drive low impedance pair of headphones or an ineffective pair of 600 ohms studio cans.

Top notch components and a highly sophisticated circuit design

Carefully selected top notch components and a highly sophisticated circuit design guarantee top performance listening pleasure. For stereo setups with just one source like a CD player or a turntable with a phono stage the Linear is the simplest and most effective active preamp one can think of. All audio connectors including the two Neutrik phone jacks come with gold plated connectors. No external Y-adapter is needed!

The faceplate and the massive milled aluminium knob for the smooth running 27 mm ALPS high grade volume control are available in anodized black or silver.

To get the best out of your headphone you will have to try the Linear.


    • Linear - Overview

      PDF-Overview of our Linear: Introduction, technical details & extracts from reviews.

    • Hifi News 2009

      "It measures well and delivers unusually clear insight into the 'how and why' aspects of music making, not just the 'what'."

    • What Hifi? 2009

      "As far as sonic performance is concerned, it’s the best we’ve come across."

    • Studio Magazine 2008

      "In my opinion, the Linear belongs to the reference class of its kind. It creates a relaxed, open, neutral and detailed acoustic image."

    • TNT Audio 2007

      "The damn pre-amp section is so good!"

    • Positive Feedback 2005

      "Ye Olde Editor's 'Very Highly Recommended!'"

    • Techletter Headphone Amplifier

      Explanations of the sometimes confusing technical specifications of popular headphone models.

    Input impedance47 kohms
    Max. gain 0 dB, 10 dB, 20 dB
    selectable via DIP switches
    on the bottom side.
    Frequency response10 Hz (-0.3 dB)
    to 35 kHz (-1 dB)
    Signal to noise ratio>95 dB at 0 dB gain (analogue)
    THD<0.001 %
    at 6 mW/300 ohms
    Channel separation>70 dB/10 kHz
    Power consumptionapp. 10 W,
    internal regulated power supply with anti-interference toroidal transformer
    Output power200 mW/300 ohms
    400 mW/60 ohms
    Output impedanceLine Out 60 ohms
    Headphone Out 5 ohms
    Outer dimensions280 x 110 x 44 mm³
    (housing only)
    Connectors (audio)Neutrik headphone sockets
    6.35 mm with gold-plated contacts
    1x parallel to Line Out
    1x Line Out muting
    Gold plated RCA sockets with teflon insulation
    Weightapp. 1.5 kg
    Face plateAnodised aluminium
    natural or black
    Chrome optional


    Scroll Left. Scroll Right.
    • Swiss Precision

      That’s what the Swiss are famous for: being precise and accurate. Especially when it comes to good sound.

    • Master of Dynamics

      Interview with Friedemann Tischmeyer.

    • Sensous and Subtle

      Interview with Andreas Spreer, owner of the classic label TACET. Surround recordings and the use of tube technology are of crucial importance to him.

    • Recording the Music

      Norbert Lehmann interviews Fritz de With, audio engineer and owner of STS Digital, who records for Marantz.

    • The Art of Mastering

      Interview with Maarten de Boer, owner of the Netherland-based mastering suite "The Masters".

    • Hifi as a Hobby?

      Interview with Aalt Jouk van den Hul, which ideas have greatly influenced the principles of pickup and cable making.


    Mounting Kit