It’s possible that I’m a sucker for new gear that has that vintage appeal. Which may be why the Dragon Inspire IHA-1 Tube Headphone Amplifier is so appealing. It also might have to do with that crazy-red paint job.
It was the paint that gave it away, actually. For those of you with a two-channel background, this look and feel has “Cary Audio” written all over it. Which makes sense, since the amp is a collaboration between Moon Audio and Cary Audio‘s founder, Dennis Had.
The IHA-1 has a stepped attenuator, outputs for balanced and single-ended headphones, and the 6SN7 output tubes are good for over 1 watt of power (plenty). Power is choke-filtered and tube rectified. Oh, and you can also use it as a preamp to drive your two-channel audio system. Sweet.
Prices start at $1,699, and there are a host of upgrades available — including Lundahl transformers and some very interesting new and NOS tubes.
The Occasional Editor, Marc Phillips, has one of these now in-house for review — expect more soon.
Moon Audio‘s booth at CanJam was a cornucopia. There was gear on the table from dozens of different brands — and this may be why the listening stations were so jammed. But the thing that Moon Audio is best known for, aside from their embarrassingly deep and wide portfolio of personal audio products, are their Dragon cables. The have several lines named after various prismatic versions of the mythical creatures, catering to various sonic pleasures and wallet needs. The options are almost too numerous to mention here, but many major headphone brands can be upgraded with custom cables from Moon, and most can purchased with those upgrades. It’s worth a look.