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inexpensive amp for Senn 580's? - Page 3

post #31 of 49
I'd ask you all to read my last post again more carefully. Again, I'm not suggesting something is "better" because it has more material in it. I'm using that obvious fact to question the manufacturing cost of the item with less material. And coolvij, I'm sorry you got flunked, but if it was for comprehension there may have been a reason. I fail to see where I made blanket statements, over generalisations and gratuitous comments. I suppose if you don't agree all comments are gratuitous.
Anyway, this discussion has probably passed its use-by date. I just want to say one thing to whoever suggested I was hostile to the idea that hi-fi has to be so expensive and messy and difficult to attain. Yes, you're right. As someone who's been in hi fi from the mid-sixties, had every kind of gear you can imagine and even written for a hi-fi magazine, I'm angry that we've blown it, that audiophiles have failed to sell their hobby to the general public and that that public has moved on by straight to home cinema. Hi Fi will soon be irrelevant if it isn't already, and I blame the "lunatic fringe", those who insisted for years that budget hi fi has no validity or relevance, that only brands most of us have never heard of, at prices none of us can pay, are "real" hi fi. We haven't communicated, chaps, and the public has headed off to their minis and micros in droves. What's more, I think the fault largely lies with the U.S. hi fi press. In England you have What Hi Fi and Hi Fi Choice constantly extolling the virtues of budget brands, and hi fi has always been popular and widely sampled there. In the U.S. you have Absolute Sound and Stereophile etc, and I have never seen either of these publications review anything that the average Joe in the street could afford or has even heard of. (And no, don't quote the Senn 580. No average Joe would pay that much for a headphone). What are these people on about? Who are they talking to? I can't even afford the magazine let alone the reviewed items. I mean let's get real here. We haven't just shot ourselves in the foot, we've blown our heads off, to the extent that hi fi from now on will be nothing more than a tool to better hear the gunshots and squealing tyres of bad movies. R.I.P. I say. We brought it on ourselves.
post #32 of 49
And if you open up a mountain biking magazine, it'll probably will have plenty of bikes that the average joe wouldn't buy either.

Its wheter or not the average joe becomes interested in a particular hobby. In which case what is "affordable" changes in their eyes.

In terms of material cost, a DIY speaker amp is probably going to cost a lot more than a DIY headphone amp. No doubt there probably is an added premium manufacturers add to a niche market...especially being as you might not have the greatest access to headphones and amps in Oz. The thing is, if a manufacturer of a speaker amp used the equivalent quality parts of a hi-fi headphone amp throughout, it would cost a lot more than the headphone amp.

Do you really think the masses have moved onto home cinema? I know very few people that really care about home cinema. And its not like that is a cheap hobby either. Multi-channel sound? Thats being pushed by the mass-market electronics...but how many people actually have a good multi-channel setup. Its just as much a niche hobby.

I don't really read any US hi-fi press...but I doubt that is the reason anyone becomes interested or not interested in a particular hobby. Hobbies come first, the magazines come later. Actually in terms of headphones, headwize or head-fi is the source of information people use and it definitely doesn't constantly preach expensive wares. Is $200-$400 for top-tier headphones truly excessive? How much do highly ranked speakers cost. Or how much would a highly regarded mountain bike cost? How is it that the US publication gets the bad rap, and the English ones are somehow more consumer friendly? The X-cans series is a made in England product last I remember and seems pretty popular over there as well so I have no idea how Stereophile has anything to do with that. I do believe the English publications tend to give Musical Fidelity good press as well.

As to why people think you are making blanket statements...well some people seem to get the impression that your bias against hi-fi HP amps as being over-rated/hyped expensive equipment premature especially when you start rambling about the evils of US hi-fi press, which has very little to do with your impression of the Musical Fidelity UK-made X-cans.

Hobby comes first...press is later. There are plenty of hobbiest magazines that review extreme hi-end products...that just happens to be the APPEAL to buying those magazines. People wouldn't pay for playboy if they just had very average looking women either!

I'm not one that would care to watch Robin Leech's Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous either.
post #33 of 49
pp312: First of all - I didn't flunk. And I CERTAINLY don't want anyone's pity. You're sorry I flunked? Are you really? I don't think I'm the one who's not comprehending right now, but I won't stoop to shallow levels of insulting as you apparently have done.

I flunked certain assignments, yes. But at least in my J.H., tests have a 50% weightage - and I aced the tests. Why? Because I CAN comprehend, and do so on a regular basis, as I'm sure you do. People with poor comprehension generally do not ace tests. Why? Well......that's obvious My point is, maybe if you stepped back, instead of taking a shot at my "comprehension," you'd realize what I typed. But it's too late for THAT now - I'll just walk you step by step.....

You said you failed to see where you made blanket statements or over-generalisations. Here's one:

Frankly I don't understand this obsession with headphone amps--apart from anything else they're lousy value. I know I'll probably get savaged for this but I have to call it as I hear it.
Lousy value? All? Have YOU heard every single one? No, you haven't. I kno that since you certainly haven't heard the Blockhead..so...you really don't know if they are a lousy value - or do you?

How did you make your opinion seem "right"?
And my statement about "lousy value" is objectively true from the consumer's side.
So are you saying you are a consumer, and people who buy amps not consumers? Or are you saying that you more accurately represent the average consumer? Either way - an opinion is NEVER objectively true.....that's WHY it is an opinion...it is a view, standpoint, etc. Not a solution to a problem.

I feel like pointing out another over-generalisation you must have also "failed to see":

Newbies are being told here that ONLY a headphone amp will suffice
That would have been an excellent point - if it were true. People recommend amps mainly for HIGH-impedance phones that could use a little headroom (no pun intended). However, even people with low-impedance Grados are told to get amps. Why? Because they provide a pretty big difference....to some people's ears. To you, they apparently don't

And I ought to clear up one statement that keeps cropping up: the one about material value. By that I meant one thing and one thing only: an integrated simply has more metal and more components and more switches and more knobs etc, etc per dollar. That why I said it was self evident, as it obviously is.
Self-evident? Well yes - according to YOUR definition of material value. That, IMO, makes it a little less self-evident, no? It did, after all, need you to clarify the point...

We haven't just shot ourselves in the foot, we've blown our heads off, to the extent that hi fi from now on will be nothing more than a tool to better hear the gunshots and squealing tyres of bad movies. R.I.P. I say. We brought it on ourselves.
I have no comment, but would like you to note that you made ANOTHER blanket statement (!) right here. "hi-fi from now on will be nothing better than a tool to....her the gunshots....of bad movies." I think not! Just take a look at sales charts for the past 10 years for hi-end audio stuff. You might be surprised.....

I am not offended, per se, by your comprehension comment. And I hope you will stay as an active member. The only reason I made this post was just to clarify what exactly I meant. Do you comprehend?
post #34 of 49
Whooo.... just discovered this thread.

Nobody here's gonna change his/her opinion anyway,
and we're already steering off-topic.

Besides, there's a very hostile atmosphere here, which you usually don't find on Head-Fi.

Maybe it's best to close the thread.
post #35 of 49
Redwood: In a way, I agree.

However, DO NOT LOCK THIS THREAD - I would really like to resolve this....let's hear what pp312 has to say.

And I feel hostile - slightly irked, but not hostile

just keep it open a LITTLE longer.....
post #36 of 49
Actually, Coolvij, my remarks were meant entirely tongue-in-cheek--that at least you didn't comprehend. However, if I offended you I certainly apologise.
I assume--always a dangerous thing--that most posters here are young or youngish. That probably means you haven't had the overview of the hi fi industry that I have, or been able to chart its decline. The fact is, hi fi just hasn't taken off as it might have, or promised to, back in the seventies. Enthusiasts like us simply failed to convince the less enthusiastic of the merits of our hobby. And the mountain bike analogy doesn't really apply simply because most people don't ride motorbikes, whereas nearly everyone has a music system of some sort. Had we communicated effectively, hi fi could have been enjoying the sorts of sales mini and micro systems now enjoy--and if you doubt the validity of my point, just ask any salesman in the industry. Most people couldn't care less about hi fi---don't even know what it is. To them a mini is hi fi. And yes, I believe I'm right about home theatre. Even the dedicated hi fi magazines are beginning to switch over--take a look at What Hi Fi (now What Hi Fi Sound & Vision). Home cinema is hot. DVD is hot. Micros are hot. Hi fi is cold, guys, and it's going to stay cold. Of course, there'll always be a market for those rarified stratospheres where the law of diminishing returns applies with a vengeance--the $10,000 amps etc. But as a mainstream hobby, hi fi just hasn't made it, and now never will.
As for headphone amps, has it occurred to anyone yet that my real complaint was excessive cost? I just think they should be cheaper. Doesn't anyone agree? Do you all enjoy paying through the nose? Boy, you must have more money than I do.
To finish off. There was never any hostility on my part. To be honest, I was surprised by the hostile reaction, the blanket condemnation. I've been into headphones since the early seventies, sometimes exclusively. It's been a fabulous interest, even if it has ruined my ears (tinitus just setting in now--be warned). I'm just sorry it's remained so exclusive, and that the majority of people are thus condemned to never knowing how good sound reproduction can be, or how real and exciting and moving music can be. Pity really.
post #37 of 49

I hope your comments aren't directed at me, anyone that has been on these boards knows how much i dislike the marketing and greed in the industry.

I tried to do the community a favour and gain some experience myself by selling these amps at a tiny markup over the cost of the "raw materials", and yet you comment that all amps are exclusive and overpriced? How is $55 overpriced, and too expensive for an average person to afford?

If you were referring to headphone amps in general, then start a new thread in the "ELECTRONICS" forum, don't jump into a transaction and say "don't buy it its lousy value". (btw, someone ASKED me for my prices! I have never tried to "sell" anything to anyone, i simply posted my what i was offering to do, and responded to anyone that contacted me. I have never solicitated anyone, tried to sell them somthing they didn't ask me for, or try to rip them off as you imply)

My offering these extremely low cost amplifiers to people, i'm trying to help people discover how an amplifier can improve the sound, and help them get into this hobby. Give me a break about cost, decent componants cost money, and this is about as cheep as i can make it while offering a decent improvement. If you want a $20 boosteroo amp, then buy that. I'm offering somthing that sounds better because of higher quality compoants, and that costs more money. And just to point out, I wasn't planning on making ANY profit originally from these amp sales, since i do not own the copyrights to the designs. But after a discussion with the owners of the desings, they encouraged me to charge a little more for all the work i am doing.

TimD's point is perfectly valid. There are aways niche markets where a small community of people are stronly intersted in somthing. And this is a headphone audiophile community, where we all care stronly about sound quality. I am not trying to sell these to the general consumer, and have not offered it to anyone outside of these communities. People here are intersted in these things, which is why i am offering it here.

To be honest, I was surprised by the hostile reaction, the blanket condemnation
No, you really weren't. look at your orignal post. if you want to discuss the merits and pros/cons of headphone amplification, post it in another thread and we would galdly debate with you. But if you interrupt a transaction by questioning my integrety and calling it "lousy value", you knew you would get this reaction.
post #38 of 49
Examples of thread crapping (there are many different ways to crap on a thread) include:

Stating that you know of a better price elsewhere. Again, if you think the seller is trying to rip someone off, contact me (jude) or a moderator of the "for sale" forum.

Stating that the product for sale is somehow not as good as another product.

Negotiating publicly -- in the forum -- with comments like those above.

Common sense should tell you whether or not you're thread crapping. Ask yourself the question, "Can what I'm about to post affect this sale negatively?"
SInce this falls into the "grey area", and i didn't think you could get permenantly banned and your posts deleted, i had to defend my reputation.
post #39 of 49
Thomas, as I said before none of my comments are directed at your or your amps. How could they be, if as I said I don't know you or your amps. Since by your own confession you've been trying to sell your amps cheap, then you must agree with me that other amps are too dear. Indeed I'd tend to recommend you as an antedote to what I'm complaining about!
Have you never heard the adage, "Present company excepted"? It means that no one present when a statement is made is included in that statement. Now surely you have no need to defend yourself any further.
post #40 of 49
tongue-in-cheek? Hmmm...were your amp comments made tongue-in-cheek as well?

I'm sorry....if they were meant tongue-in-cheek, I guess EVERYTHING you have typed was meant tongue-in-cheek. You may kno more about hi-fi than I - in fact, I'll go out and say you do. But internet communication is another thing altogether - if the comments really were intended tongue-in-cheek, you should've included a smiley. Remember, on-line, I can't tell HOW you are saying something, WHAT your expression is, or WHAT exactly you meant....unless you make it clear.

post #41 of 49
Also: Do "we" all enjoy paying through the nose for amps? Of course not! However, when's the last time you went to a automotive site and starting complaining about how expensive Rolls Royce and Mercedes are?

Another thing - the mountain bike analogy DOES work; a mountain bike is not a motor bike, but a TYPE of bicycle.....and nearly everyone has a bike, right?
post #42 of 49
Anyhow, I guess your original post just looked strange in the context of all the DIY posts that came before it. In context to the original reply it doesn't come off as so accusatory. You do have a point with regards to price/performance of manufacturers, however it is better if we sort through what works and what doesn't instead of saying that headphone amps as a whole are over-rated.

For example here's a spine tingly thread over at headwize
It will obviously spur up some arguments since it is a well-regarded amp...yet in the end it even seems that the average Cmoy has more going for it...

I just think you have to give headwize/fi more credit than typical press...we really do unearth more than the typical magazine when it comes to reviews. You will barely ever see a negative review of X-cans outside of these communities for example. Headroom definitely has a premium on pricing...but we also know that their amps are well designed. Likewise Jan's Corda and the MGHeadDT often come up as value winners. And finally the DIY/DBSE variety of amps as well.

Hmmmm but I think I should definitely be more understanding...cause without remembering it, I was a big headphone amp skeptic in the beginning as well! This is after I dug up some old threads of mine on headwize. Coincidentally a lot of the confusion was based on my comparison with my first headphone amp to a cheap Yamaha computer speaker...which even more shockingly turns out to use the same op-amp as the RA-1.

But without even knowing it, my stance on headphone amps totally changed. I think the DBSE amps helped change my perception. And just knowing that there definitely are some amps that are definitely better than others.
post #43 of 49
pp312- I never sensed your hostility at all, I guess some people interpret things differently. I found what you had to say about the hi-fi industry very interesting. I just stepped into this hobby a few months ago, and I learn more and more by the minute. Your last posts gave me some insight as to what things could have been. I also agree 100% with you about the industry heading towards home theater. I found headphones to be a much more economical soloution to audio, and it will be many years before I will go to home theater. I'm glad I was introduced to headphones before I spent loads of money on a POS surround sound setup. So it goes. I wish that this post went more on the lines of the origional question though. I'm one looking for an inexpensive amp, and the majority of these posts didn't help me answer my question at all. I'm glad that I did hear your side of the story, I'm also open to new opinions. Please, no one get offended by this post! None was implied. Thank you
post #44 of 49


No offense taken... but you gotta prove you aren't pp312 first! LOL!!
post #45 of 49
So what amp is good for use with senn 580's??

Well none of them are inexpensive except for DIY amps. The creek OBH11 is no better than the output on a decent preamp or that of my DENON even. If you want an amp that makes an EASILY noticeable difference to the sound, you will PROBABLY have to spend $hundreds$. SO, my advice is save your money and buy something we all agree absoutely KICKS ASS. OR simply keep lugging your 580's into whatever it is your plugging them into to right now. There are very few real bargains in life anymore. IF someone is selling something that really is GOOD they are going to charge you for it. And charge you out the ass they will.
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