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Posts by jnorris

Unfortunately, people with low impedance headphones are not getting anywhere near the best sound.  The high-value resistors that all past and present amplifiers use, 150 to 330 ohms, negatively impacts sound quality significantly.  I didn't want to believe it, since the headphone jack is so convenient, but after listening through a simple resistor divider off the speaker taps I was totally blown away by the difference.
Look up USB DAC on Amazon.  There are a number of them under $100, but under $50 may not be doable.
BestBuy is selling out of the Dragonfly 1.2 USB DAC at $80.  That's a very good option.  A bit more than the $50 you wanted to spend, though.  If you've got an optical out there are any number of low cost optical DACs that can be used also.  Radio Shack used to sell one for $35, and Amazon has quite a few for even less than that.  Not hi-fi obviously, but good enough for starters.
Do you work for Fiio or something?  This is just plain untrue.  The Dragonfly v1.2 had a little bit of bloom in the bass but the new Red is superbly clean and flat.  Whenever someone trashes something that so many others have praised, my spidey sense tingles and I wonder what the agenda truly is.
I'm not sure I understand what you're trying to do.  If you have a solid-state preamp and want to drive your headphones from the tube LD MkIII, that would make sense.  If you're thinking that you're adding a tube buffer by going from the tape out of your preamp to the input of the LD. then from the output of the LD to the tape in on the preamp, you may be in error.  The output of the LD is probably taken directly from the input and is not actually sent through any tubes....
Frankly, I think it's silly.  You're adding a piece of equipment to purposely color the sound.
Take a look at the Parasound Zamp v.3.  It's an ultra small 45 watt/channel amp that even has a headphone out.  You can get one for around $300 new.
Mine are 64 and I still hear the hiss and noise of a poorly designed amp.  Mostly because much of it is comfortably within the range of my hearing.  Of course, using Shure SE535's with their innate ability to highlight the tiniest buzz makes matters worse.  Sometimes if I just want to hear music I listen to my UE900s's.  They have a pronounced upper midrange dip that hides the amp noise.
Did you check the fuses?  I'd do that first.  If each channel is fused separately, there may have been a momentary spike or short that caused the fuse to pop.  Beyond that, the decision to update is a very personal one.  If you liked the Kenwood, then get it fixed.  Personally, I find the vintage Pioneers, Kenwoods, et.al. somewhat lacking in performance and not worth big repair costs.  Especially if you're listening through headphones with the background hiss and buzz...
May I introduce you to FrankenPhono!     My Pioneer SA-8500II started blowing fuses two days after I discovered how good its phono section was.  I was completely unimpressed by the rest of it, though.  After looking at the circuit diagram and the board layout I realized I could transplant the phono board as long as I could provide the requisite +/- 24v supply.  Frankenphono consists of the transformer and bridge rectifier from a Tascam PA-20B, a home-made zener...
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