CanJam at RMAF 2014: Moon Audio's Dragon Inspire IHA-1 Purist Tube Headphone Amp

Caught wind of this just before the show began...and I couldn't wait to get a little ears-on time. Well, this was one of those "I'm not sure I can stop listening moments." Smooth, organic, something so right, was all I could think as I pried the Audeze LCD-3s off my head to begin my chat with Drew Baird.

RMAF2014_Moon_AmpDennis Had, of Cary Audio fame, has given up a little retirement time to produce this gorgeous copper-flaked red Dragon version of the IHA-1 tube amp exclusively for Moon Audio. Talk about purist, Drew tells me this amp has no resistors (other than the volume control I suspect) in the audio signal path! From the unbalanced inputs on the rear panel, signal is fed to the DACT 100 kOhm stepped attenuator and then on to a pair of 6SN7 tubes that feed the amplified signal to two custom made output transformers...and that's it. Of course, there is the power supply with a Sovtek 5Y3GT rectifier tube and it's own transformer. Starting price is $1599; alternative tubes available include a pair of NOS 6BX7 to replace the 6SN7 for $100, and a Sophia 274B to replace the Sovtek for and additional $160.

The IHA-1 has two rear panel RCA inputs selectable with a front panel 3-position rotary switch having a mute position between the two inputs. Output connectors are a standard 6.5mm headphone jack and a four-pin XLR for headphones wired in balanced mode.

Moon Audio home page, IHA-1 product page.
Link to a little video of Dennis and Drew introducing the IHA-1.

Pedalhead's picture

...what a wonderful amp, at least in concept and visuals - of course I've not heard it - yet, but it's just what a tube amp should be imho. I was almost hoping you'd not like it as much as you did. Guess I need to start saving up...