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does it make sense to amp a headphone-out signal? - Page 2

post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by shuy View Post
is that it? does that mean it doesn't make sense anymore?
Adding something in the audio path always adds coloration. Some of this colorations seems to be sought after like extended soundstage, punchier bass, "de-essed" treble etc.
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by shuy View Post
as above. the sound probably be less clean than a line-out, but is that it? does that mean it doesn't make sense anymore?
It still makes sense, since the amp can relieve the headphone out from the labour of driving a headphone load (a low resistance reactive load), which can make the headphone out itself sound better, sometimes even behave like a proper line out depending on the circuitry used including level attenuation. Take for instance the last generation Panasonic PCDP's with the "digital amp" feature.

Of course your amp has to sound good in its own right, or it won't do anything good for the sound anyway.
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by cooperpwc View Post
Thanks. I'm not saying that the Bithead won't do for my 250 ohm DT880s. But their own website has changed. They used to recommend the Bithead for driving HD650s and now they are showing pictures of the Bithead powering lighter cans and make the claim that the Micro will more effortlessly drive the 650s with twice the output power.

So the questions is: are they conceding a shortcoming in the Bithead or rather trying to drive sales to the Micro line?

I very much like Headroom. I just think that there is some kind of transition going on in their marketing. I won't know what's really going on until I get my 880s and compare them on the Bithead to some alternatives.
Yes, I just read :

"The Micro amp will have about TWICE the power rating compared to the "Mobile" (Total AirHead/ Total BitHead) line and will effortlessly drive even 300-ohm, high-impedance headphones."

I have a Micro w/ desktop module and it is true that it will easily drive the 650.

Of course if you go the Micro Amp route ya gotta get the Micro DAC for your PC as source thing...do the stack! $600 !!! ouch. They make an awful purdy couple tho.

I've never used a Bithead or Micro DAC but if one has the money for the stack upgrade I'm sure it's worth it.(not that I'm trying to talk you into that).
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatDane View Post
Of course if you go the Micro Amp route ya gotta get the Micro DAC for your PC as source thing...do the stack! $600 !!! ouch. They make an awful purdy couple tho.

I've never used a Bithead or Micro DAC but if one has the money for the stack upgrade I'm sure it's worth it.(not that I'm trying to talk you into that).
They do look purdy. It's not the $600 that bugs (well, it bugs me a bit ). I still hope to get the all-in-one USB DAC/amp-desktop/portable combo. It's not that I want to walk around town listening to my oversized DT880s but rather that I go all over my house (and backyard in summer ) with my laptop (having a wireless network) or my iPod/Turbodock and want the flexibility to have my amplification go with me. A stack is fine on the desk... I guess I'm saying that a velcroed Bithead (or porta Corda or Headphonia) is still my ideal form factor.
post #20 of 26
I'm a firm believer of the Line Out > Headphone Out theory.

If you amp a signal thats already been badly amped...you're just amplifying bad sound. But if you take an unamped, line-level signal, and use a good amplifier it will sound significantly better.

think about it, amp an already (badly) amped signal? or amp an unchanged signal?
post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Advil View Post
I'm a firm believer of the Line Out > Headphone Out theory.

If you amp a signal thats already been badly amped...you're just amplifying bad sound. But if you take an unamped, line-level signal, and use a good amplifier it will sound significantly better.

think about it, amp an already (badly) amped signal? or amp an unchanged signal?
but like kramer said earlier, a line-out may still already have been amped on a portable, so the effect remains.
post #22 of 26
On the surface it does seem odd that you would be (further) amplifying an all ready amplified signal. I suppose if it were the only way, and as others have said, the source is a clean one it can be better, but...

My iPod all ready provides enough ooomph to drive my Grados or Etymotics to a level that is painfully loud. How ever, the caveat being that I do not desire "loud", rather I want an authoritative reproduction of the music I enjoy.

I am currently having a bit o' difficulty accessing my 60 gig 'Pod's line-out, but should I ever be successful , I will gladly let you and any one else interested, know what I think of it. Should there be any sonic improvement I will most assuredly be purchasing a dedicated amp.

I plan on playing the iPod (with a real line-out) through my garage stereo and my Music Hall RDR-1 radio. At the moment, I am only able to use the headphone jack to out put the signal and as such I am required to turn the volume on the 'Pod all the way up just to hear it.

Admittedly, I am no audiophile (tho' I aspire to be ), but I should think I could detect a difference in the quality of what I am listening to. As an example, my son and I went to a very nice audio shoppe yesterday and he listened to some excellent "budget" equipment (NAD). He was well aware of the difference in sound between good equipment and the little cheapo all-in-one stereo that he has had for a couple of years.

So much so, that he is willing to work to earn the money to buy his own "real stereo" (his words). The difference is detectable. I just hope my own aged ears can discern it.

El Toado Verde
post #23 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldRoadToad View Post
On the surface it does seem odd that you would be (further) amplifying an all ready amplified signal. I suppose if it were the only way, and as others have said, the source is a clean one it can be better, but...

My iPod all ready provides enough ooomph to drive my Grados or Etymotics to a level that is painfully loud. How ever, the caveat being that I do not desire "loud", rather I want an authoritative reproduction of the music I enjoy.

I am currently having a bit o' difficulty accessing my 60 gig 'Pod's line-out, but should I ever be successful , I will gladly let you and any one else interested, know what I think of it. Should there be any sonic improvement I will most assuredly be purchasing a dedicated amp.

I plan on playing the iPod (with a real line-out) through my garage stereo and my Music Hall RDR-1 radio. At the moment, I am only able to use the headphone jack to out put the signal and as such I am required to turn the volume on the 'Pod all the way up just to hear it.

Admittedly, I am no audiophile (tho' I aspire to be ), but I should think I could detect a difference in the quality of what I am listening to. As an example, my son and I went to a very nice audio shoppe yesterday and he listened to some excellent "budget" equipment (NAD). He was well aware of the difference in sound between good equipment and the little cheapo all-in-one stereo that he has had for a couple of years.

So much so, that he is willing to work to earn the money to buy his own "real stereo" (his words). The difference is detectable. I just hope my own aged ears can discern it.

El Toado Verde
doesn't the redwine mod do what you want? for $200? oh ok i see why now.
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by shuy View Post
doesn't the redwine mod do what you want? for $200? oh ok i see why now.
I must apologise for my ignorance, but I do not know what the $200 redwine modification that you speak of is.

The Toad
post #25 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldRoadToad View Post
I must apologise for my ignorance, but I do not know what the $200 redwine modification that you speak of is.

The Toad
http://www.redwineaudio.com/iMod.html

google is your friend.
post #26 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by supermite View Post
Every line out has a opamp to buffer it -- which is conceptually identical to a headphone amplifier, save for the voltage/current requirements and subsequent choice of op-amps, and gain setting.

As I said before, today's portable CDPs (or DAPs or laptop souncards etc.) tend to have circuits that realize both functions with a same op-amp that is both low distortion and able to drive headphones 'on occasion'. New generation chips like the MAX9724 or MAX9722 from Maxim are a good example of all-in-one headphone amp / line drivers.
that's really interesting. so the difference b/w a true line out and a headphone out is that there are less op-amps in the way? so a lineout and headphone out seems conceptually the same, just less clutter.
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