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Comparison of components for driving an AKG K1000 headphone - Page 2

post #16 of 109
I, and two other fellows who are professional speaker designers, did a single-blinded comparison of the AKG 1000 with a burnt in Stefan Audio Art upgrade cable vs the Vand Der Hul interconnects that I now use as the cable and with every single test, at least 6-8 tests per subject, we each correctly identified a difference that we felt was superior and ultimately discovered to be the VDH. This was even done with several attempts to fool the listener by not actually changing the cable. If you remove the stock cable entirely, you can indeed hear a significant, and to me superior, difference in the sound. Is it worth the expense and trouble? To me it is. Chaque a son gouttes
post #17 of 109
Quote:
Originally posted by mikeg
BTW joelongwood, it's you who lead me to this wonderful head-fi group. Thanks.
Sorry about that, mike.
post #18 of 109
mikeg,
I remember you saying the the tj mesh 300b was a definite improvement over the stock valve art tubes. Now if you can hear the differences between tubes, I thought you'd be able to hear the differences between a $200 amp vs a $1600 amp.

Also, if you're now saying that the AQ1005dt with tj meshh 300b sounds the same as the wave 8 with stock tubes, then that means the aq1005dt with stock tubes sounds worse than the wave 8?
post #19 of 109
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by darkclouds
mikeg,
I remember you saying the the tj mesh 300b was a definite improvement over the stock valve art tubes. Now if you can hear the differences between tubes, I thought you'd be able to hear the differences between a $200 amp vs a $1600 amp.

Also, if you're now saying that the AQ1005dt with tj meshh 300b sounds the same as the wave 8 with stock tubes, then that means the aq1005dt with stock tubes sounds worse than the wave 8?
I realize that there is a significant discrepancy among my reports. But, it was really not possible for me to do a close comparison among the two types of 300b tubes. The time difference between letting tubes cool, and plugging in and warming other tubes was considerable, and thus I had to rely on my "hearing memory." Thus in accordance with the excellent writings by John Dunlavy that you posted earlier today, he refers to "the old Placebo-Effect," of which I may have suffered. As for a critical comparison between the Waves and the 1005dt for driving the K1000, this is really the first time that I conducted such a test. In the current test I was actually able to make almost instant A/B changes from one system to the other. I held in one hand the connectors from the stock K1000 cable and the Stefan AudioArt cable, and I quickly and repeatedly plugged the K1000 headphone into one cable, and then into the other. I did this with my eyes open, and critically listened to the sound. And, I also did it with my eyes closed, and randomly interchanged the connectors in my hand. With eyes still closed, I connected the K1000 headphone into one connector, and then the other, and I did this again and again. I tried very hard to identify which connection gave the better sound. The result was that I was totally unable to pick one cable (with associated amp) over the other. I realize that these were not very sophisticated tests, and obviously I hoped that my much more expensive equipment would prove to be clearly better than the less expensive equipment, but I could not hear any difference. BTW, I urge others to read the very excellent report regarding cables by John Dunlavy to which you referred in your other message. The URL of this article is: http://home.austin.rr.com/tnulla/duncable.htm John Dunlavy makes the following points in his article:
- That those who claim to hear differences between cables do not fully grasp the power of the old "Placebo-Effect."
- That we have heard of golden-eared audiophiles who claim to be able to consistently identify "huge audible differences" between cables. But when these experts visited John Dunlavy's facility, and were put to the test under carefully controlled conditions, they invariably failed to yield a score any better than "chance."
- That during the "comparisons" (without actually changing cables), some listeners were able to describe in great detail the "big differences" they thought they heard in bass, high-end detail, etc. (Of course, the participants were never told the "naughty truth", lest they become an enemy for life).
- To say, as some do, that there are factors involved that competent engineers and scientists have yet to identify is utter nonsense and a cover-up for what should be called "pure snake oil and buzzard salve" - in short, pure "fraud".

darkclouds provided the following reference to the preceding excellent information by John Dunlavy: http://home.austin.rr.com/tnulla/duncable.htm
post #20 of 109
I have been asked if the Stephan cables really make a big difference in the quality of the K1000 sound. I think it makes a huge difference.

But, I hooked the broken-in cable up at the same time I added an Antique Sound Labs "Signature." The signature is a device for adding a headphone jack to an amp that doesn't have one. There is a set of incoming speaker posts, a set of outgoing speaker posts (for the K1000) and a quarter inch headphone plug with a speaker on/off switch. Perhaps this device is providing the increased bass and soundstage? I wouldn't think so, but my K1000s have changed dramatically since I changed the cable/signature.

I will have to play around with this to see if it influences the sound.
post #21 of 109
Quote:
Originally posted by mikeg
That those who claim to hear differences between cables do not fully grasp the power of the old "Placebo-Effect."
I'm a psychologist who's been working in drug research for almost 20 years. Want to place a small wager on whether Dunlavy knows more about placebo effects than me?

BTW, I hear differences between cables.
post #22 of 109
Kevin, I too use the ASL UHC. I do wonder if that add or detracts from the recording.

mikeg, I don't think I was disputing the differences in cables. I'm not sure if I can justify my cardas cable for the HD600 was worth the $150.

I was more concern about the differences between the wave 8 and aq1005. Although I must say, that the preamp used with either of the amps may be a huge factor.
post #23 of 109
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Kevin
I have been asked if the Stephan cables really make a big difference in the quality of the K1000 sound. I think it makes a huge difference.

But, I hooked the broken-in cable up at the same time I added an Antique Sound Labs "Signature." The signature is a device for adding a headphone jack to an amp that doesn't have one. There is a set of incoming speaker posts, a set of outgoing speaker posts (for the K1000) and a quarter inch headphone plug with a speaker on/off switch. Perhaps this device is providing the increased bass and soundstage? I wouldn't think so, but my K1000s have changed dramatically since I changed the cable/signature.

I will have to play around with this to see if it influences the sound.
Interestingly, for a time I connected the stock K1000 headphone cable, and the fully conditioned Stefan AudioArt cable to the same speaker terminals of my AQ-1005DT amp., and I could hear absolutely no difference between the sound that they produced. In fact, before the 72 hour burn-in period, the Stefan cable sounded much worse. But, after this conditioning, it got to sound as good as the stock cable that came with the K1000 headphone, but not better. The sound of my K1000 headphone is equally wonderful, using either cable. I suggest that you read John Dunlavy's writing at http://home.austin.rr.com/tnulla/duncable.htm
post #24 of 109
Hirsch, you must admit that the "placebo/new toy/ perceived value (cost)" does affect *some* of our judgement at times.
post #25 of 109
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by darkclouds
Kevin, I too use the ASL UHC. I do wonder if that add or detracts from the recording.

mikeg, I don't think I was disputing the differences in cables. I'm not sure if I can justify my cardas cable for the HD600 was worth the $150.

I was more concern about the differences between the wave 8 and aq1005. Although I must say, that the preamp used with either of the amps may be a huge factor.
My ASL preamp (i.e., the ASL Passive TIDT) is supposedly very sophisticated in not using standard volume controls, i.e., no sliding contacts. It's operation is supposed to be such that there is essentially no modification of the audio signal. As I noted, I also used a Creek OBH-10 Volume Control, but solely with the Waves. If the Creek would have caused a noticeable loss, it would have been in the sound produced by the Waves, But, as I reported, I was unable to hear a difference in the sound produced by the K1000 headphone, when connected to these two systems. What I'm saying is that the passive preamp, interconnect cables, and headphone cable used with the Waves were far less expensive that those used with the AQ-1005DT, and yet there was no discernable difference in sound produced through the K1000 headphone.
post #26 of 109
So it would be plausible, in your case mikeg, that the K1000 may not be refined enough (for you) to reveal the differences between two very different levels of amp/preamp.

Are you able to discern between the amps/preamp combos through your speakers?
post #27 of 109
Quote:
Originally posted by darkclouds
Hirsch, you must admit that the "placebo/new toy/ perceived value (cost)" does affect *some* of our judgement at times.
Of course it does! Expectation not only affects judgement, but is part of the perceptual process itself. Perception is an interplay between "bottom up" processing, in which an external stimulus triggers a sensory process, and "top down" processing, in which the brain actively participates in and alters the perception of stimuli. Unfortunately, it's a long and unfounded leap between the fact that the brain plays a role in perception, and the assumption that because the brain is playing a role in perception, some perceptions may not be real. Suppose the real placebo effects aren't the perceived differences by some people, but rather the lack of perceived differences by others?
post #28 of 109
I had assumed that the placebo effect was based on one's expectations of a product. If my assumption is correct then, it would not be "the lack of perceived differeces" that is the placebo effect since one would expect a return from money spent.
post #29 of 109
perhaps Hirsch meant a negative perceived difference... such as skepticism?
post #30 of 109
I realized what Hirsch stated. But when you put out good money, you do expect a certain amount of return back, hence the "upgrade".
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