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Audio-Technica AT-HA5000 vs. Higher Fidelity HA-01 (photos) - Page 5

post #61 of 126
If it as he says then their advertisement is completely wrong in that the this amp is designed for the Audio-Technica headphone. Almost all of the ATH phones are at or below 50 ohms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobs
Would just like to add that Samuel from Kingsound tried the amp with a DT-880. He did not hear any noise even with volume at max, so this is obviously a low impedance problem.
post #62 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobs
Would just like to add that Samuel from Kingsound tried the amp with a DT-880. He did not hear any noise even with volume at max, so this is obviously a low impedance problem.
Not necessarily.
The W5000s pick up noise like no other full size cans I ever listened to, comparable in this regard to the Shure E5.

Maybe it's more a question of sensitivity than of impedance.

All the (few) amps I've tried so far have too much gain for the W5000s.
My current (intermediate) favorite components are a Aqvox DAC feeding a DIY tube amp.This combo is dead quiet when I plug a 32 Ohm Grado into it, but I get an annoying periodic low level noise through the W5000s.Sounds very good when the music plays but unlike our two owners of the HA-01 I can't tolerate background noise on the long run since I'm a fan of sound emanating from blackground.
The punch line: The amp has clearly too much gain, it's able to provide 1 W and I have to listen at 8 o'clock, but nevertheless it's (relatively, not totally) quiet unless I crank it fully up (without a signal naturally).
In fact the noise is emitted from the DAC.The damned DAC is noisy, and I've never realized it before.Not through Grados, not through electrostats.
Probably the W5000s were originally designed to be a detecting instrument for hiss, hum and any other faint background noise, but in the end AT decided to market them as HiFi headphones.

Unfortunately I fell in love with these noise detectors and now I need a new DAC as good sounding as the Aqvox and a low gain or even unity gain matching amp.Oh my wallet.
post #63 of 126
Quote:
Are saying that with the W5000 / CD5300 pairing, the W5000 sounds sterile, boring and lifeless compared to the W5000 / HA01 pairing?
Thats what i meant to say. However the CD5300 has other qualities, ultra black background even with the W5000, the sound is a little closer due to smaller soundstage. But technically the HA01 is clearly superior besides the background noise issues. The CD5300 amp sounds flat, very flat Like a unamped k701 version of the W5000

Quote:
How is it that the volume pot has "steps"? Does it incorporate a standard "volume pot" or a "stepped attenuator"?
I have no idea

@cosmopragma: I never noticed much noise using the W5000 out of my Nintendo DS, my cheapo mp3 player or my soundcard. Also the CD5300 amp is absolutely dead quiet.


Gain is usually set with resistors in an amp, luckily there arent many resistors in the HA01 so somebody with some knowledge in amp building should easily tell which resistors are used for the gain (wishful thinking ). Maybe its possible to keep 1 output at a high-gain setting and the 2nd one on low-gain.
That would be perfect
post #64 of 126
Quote:
How is it that the volume pot has "steps"? Does it incorporate a standard "volume pot" or a "stepped attenuator"?
This is probably just a common stepped pot.Purpose is to get an easily reproducable volume.
"Stepped attenuators" as in a 48 step switch and lots of precision resistors are fairly expensive and not likely to be seen inside a medium budget amp.
post #65 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by bizkid

@cosmopragma: I never noticed much noise using the W5000 out of my Nintendo DS, my cheapo mp3 player or my soundcard. Also the CD5300 amp is absolutely dead quiet.
All those devices are designed for low Z high sensitivity cans.
I do get a bit (too much) background noise from an older Porta Corda without gain setting capabilities.
I'm not amused about the headphones out of my old kitchen amp, a Marantz 2235 B (o.k. with Senns).
And the RKV hums like a hornet's nest, unlistenable.
post #66 of 126
Thread Starter 
I'm disappointed with the noise from the Higher Fidelity HA-01 when used with the W5000. If there is any noise at all, the amp can't be considered "designed for" the W5000. I hope the HA-01 owners will be able to find a fix and enjoy their W5000 or other headphone even more.

I don't think the W5000 is particularly sensitive or especially prone to picking up hum/buzz.

Using the AT-HA5000, Lehmann Black Cube Linear (low gain setting) and RSA Raptor, there is no hum/buzz or any kind of noise from the W5000. Black background only. Using the Hornet (low gain setting), a hum appears after the third to the last volume mark, nearing 3 o'clock on the volume knob; otherwise, black background.

I don't use the W5000 with the Dared MP-5 because of a high level of noise. The Dared is very high gain and basically a speaker amp.
post #67 of 126
@cosmopragma

I also have a pulsing noise issue with aqvox + W5000. I had it with my old and with my new unit, guess all of them have it. People at aqvox keep denying presence of any pulsing noise. Not exactly what you would call a good support for a pricey product. After some time I just gave up...

You can minimize this noise by switching the upsamling off, it goes almost completely away, at least on my unit.

-Alex
post #68 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmopragma
The W5000s pick up noise like no other full size cans I ever listened to,
Are you sure there is not a technical issue with your own w5000?
Never had any background noise whatsoever with the W5000 connected to Lavry DA10, Original Master, Raptor or Supra XLR.
I found the SA5000 to be much more prone to hiss, notably with the OM, but never the W5000
post #69 of 126
I can support this with the Lavry, HA5000 and my portable Headamp AE-1 with my W5000s; No Noise here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vic
Are you sure there is not a technical issue with your own w5000?
Never had any background noise whatsoever with the W5000 connected to Lavry DA10, Original Master, Raptor or Supra XLR.
I found the SA5000 to be much more prone to hiss, notably with the OM, but never the W5000
post #70 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vic
Are you sure there is not a technical issue with your own w5000?
I don't hope so.
Look at post #67, a-LeXx experiences the same issue with his DAC.

There's no significant hiss or hum when I connect my W5000s directly to the Benchmark or to a Benchmark/Rudistor RP31 combo, but these were quiet in combination with the Shure E5s either.

Unfortunately the Aqvox/DIY tube amp combination is sonically in a whole other league.I vastly prefer to listen through them despite of the DAC noise, the lacking blackground and the badly matched gain.

In a way I can sympathise with the HA-01 owners who are willing to tolerate the background noise as a trade off for the overall better SQ, but I'm hesitant to obtain a new amp with known issues.

The search continues.

Lately I thought for a moment the head-fi journey is over.
After all these years and 25+ cans (some were extremely expensive) I've finally found the headphones especially made for me.
Frankly, I've more than once thought about selling all the StaxAKGSonyGrado crap, move to a house at the fringe of my sprawl and get some decent speakers again since I was never really satisfied with headphone audio.

I'm now way past the new toy syndrome.
Satisfied for the first time, just me and the music.
They don't stop to amaze me, multiple eargasms every night.
A matching amp and source, and I'm done with head-fi as far as arguments and endless blah and FOTMs are concerned.
Well, there still will be the music subforum and the members lounge.

Now that I found love, what am I gonna do with it?
post #71 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by a-LeXx
@cosmopragma
You can minimize this noise by switching the upsamling off, it goes almost completely away, at least on my unit.
I already knew this, and I've emphasized what I don't like about it.
Besides of a source being almost quiet isn't exactly state of the art it's not always suitable to switch the jitter reduction off.
For my computers-as-source listening it's o.k. since I do utilize integer upsampling inside the PC and my RME (AES/EBU) soundcard does provide a fairly good signal.In fact it even sounds better this way regardless of the noise, but my cheap CDP as transport sounds like poop without the jitter reduction.

BTW, your "@>username<" style of adressing a specific member indicates your membership at the german HiFi forum.What's your screen name over there?
post #72 of 126
cosmopragma

I may be misunderstanding you but if I am reading what you are saying correctly that turning off upsampling is the same as turning off jitter? I do not think this is the correct way to look at these two functions. I thought that these two functions were somewhat independent. Upsampling has to do with the ability to cut off the high frequency artifacts while jitter is a data problem. The high end artifacts may well be a result of the jitter reduction process but turning upsampling off does not reduce jitter (its already been reduced) but it removes a product of the jitter reduction itself that has been moved into the higher frequency ranges so that they can be less of an issue. Upsampling allows your filter to cut off those artifacts found now in the upper frequency ranges from being in your output. Maybe this is clear enough!

Anyone else want to weight in here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmopragma
Besides of a source being almost quiet isn't exactly state of the art it's not always suitable to switch the jitter reduction off.
For my computers-as-source listening it's o.k. since I do utilize integer upsampling inside the PC and my RME (AES/EBU) soundcard does provide a fairly good signal.In fact it even sounds better this way regardless of the noise, but my cheap CDP as transport sounds like poop without the jitter reduction.
post #73 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by slwiser
cosmopragma

I may be misunderstanding you but if I am reading what you are saying correctly that turning off upsampling is the same as turning off jitter?
No, it's the same in this case as turning off the ASRC jitter reduction.
I'm well aware of what the upsampling part of the "sample rate converter" function is good for regarding the filter, and that's the reason why I do the upsampling inside the computer whenever I switch the function off.
Also, sonically I happen to prefer integer upsampling, 88.2 kHz or 176.4 kHz instead of the 192 kHz the DAC upsamples to in the end in ASRC mode.
The effects of upsampling itself have not much to do with the ASRC jitter reduction, but it's not separable, all or nothing.
You can either operate the DAC in the traditional slave mode without upsampling or in ASRC mode with 192 kHz upsampling.That's it.

I don't know exactly either what you are trying to tell me about my DAC.
It's most probably the lingual barrier.
post #74 of 126
@cosmopragma

well, your directness gives away your German origin as well

Your amp is probably even more sensitiv than mine though. With my amp I can barely hear the pulsing noise even with upsampling (actually I can't hear it at reasonable listening volume). Everything else would be a reason for sending the DAC back to aqvox.
To be more precise:

Normal listening - between 7 and 11 o'clock
With upsampling - start to notice the noise at 11:30, well noticable past 12
Without upsampling - noticable past 3 o'clock

That's with my W5000 and a tube amp (with high-gain e88cc's in the input stage and input sensitivity of 150 mV). So maybe you could just decrease the gain in yourr amp, since it's DIY amp anyway.

Now we are a bit off-topic here, but since we have a discussion about upsampling/jitter/oversampling:
What you call 'integer upsampling' is in fact oversampling. But, you don't have to do it externaly, because it's already done within the DAC itself.
To be more precise - the whole design of aqvox DAC is a bit odd. They use an upsampling unit, and then they use a multi-segment DAC from Burr-Brown. The thing is - this Burr-Brown DAC is an oversampling DAC itself, with at least x8 oversampling, which is done to both segments (multi-bit and delta-sigma). Then, delta-sigma part is running with at least 32fs... Bad design to combine upsampling and oversampling. They should have used the pure multi-bit dac chip, which is just $5 more expensive.
The jitter reduction is also related to upsampling. The thing is - for oversampling you don't have to re-clock, you can just multiply the incoming clock with the oversampling factor. For upsampling you always have to re-clock, and hence jitter in the incoming signal is being suppressed.


-Alex
post #75 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by a-LeXx
But, you don't have to do it externaly, because it's already done within the DAC itself.
That was my original (limited) understanding of the involved electronic components, too.
Some time ago IronDreamer started a thread about a contest of several DACs, including mini meet and huge meet impressions of lots of members.
To cut it short : They've found that the SQ benefits from bypassing the sample rate conversion function, but only in case the signal from the transport is of high quality and is oversampled before entering the DAC.
I didn't understand why outside oversampling should make a difference, but I did have the means to replicate the configuration since I did utilize the same soundcard/software as IronDreamer anyway.
It seems to sound better this way.I've never prooved it by a DBT though.
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