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WHAMMY Headphone Amplifier

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The WHAMMY Class-A headphone amplifier PCB

Wayne Colburn, the genius at Pass Labs who for the last 25yr has designed essentially all the things that aren't speaker amplifiers, wanted to make a fun, high-performance, fantastic-sounding, Class-A, DIY headphone amp for this community. We call it;

Wayne's Headphone Amp Must Make Yourself

Yes, it's a silly name. But it's cute. And it explains a lot about it. So it stuck. 

Given the explosion in the popularity of headphones, as well as the unbelievable amount of choice and variety in the market, it seemed that a simple and great-sounding headphone amp would be a great addition to the DIY community. 

Because there are so many choices of headphones, from Planars to IEM's, high impedance or low, this amp will drive any headphone you want to throw at it. (Well, not electrostatic headphones directly, no amp like this will, but it will happily drive a step-up transformer like Stax.) Wayne wanted a universal headphone amp for his desk. This is the fruits of that idea. It’s made to be made in an afternoon or an evening and it has no builder adjustments, so it’s going to have a high likleyhood of success and completion for beginners and experienced DIYers. 

It's an all in one PCB, just wire the AC & fuse, input and output jacks. Add a selector switch if you like.

Class-A output stage with enough current to drive anything. It also makes a wonderful linestage with about 14db of gain.

Some pictures are attached of a completed project. Please note, we are just selling the PCB, the rest is up to you :)

Illustrated build guide

Most of the info you need to complete this project can be found in the first 6 posts this thread, a well-illustrated guide showing how everything goes together.


Here's a video of Wayne talking about the Whammy at Burning Amplifier Festival 2017 -- Wayne Colburn at BAF '17



Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
Absolutely Beautiful

The board quality is beautiful and easy to build. Sounds absolutely fantastic, it's my everyday headphone amp, super happy with it. I chose to use a Burr-Brown OPA2134PA Op-Amp and Fairchild finals.

Simplest & best circuit I have assembled

This sweetly doubles up as a preamp for few main amps...tonal quality is amazing...must have build for newcomers for sure


Super fun build, sounds quite good!


Just finished the assembly of my whammy. I use an OPA 2604 and it sounds just great.
Highly recommend.
Headphone is AKG 712 pro.


Good pcb and a really nice sounding amp.

I have been listening to this headphone amp for several weeks now. I find it to be well extended and drives all of my headphones without any trouble. The build is straightforward and not difficult. Highly recommended!

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