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What full size cans can the Tomahawk drive?

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
HD650s? (300 ohm impedence)?
post #2 of 35
It has no problems driving my DT-770/80's or my HF-1's. Ray Samuels has said that it performs admirably with the HD-650, which was one of the phones that he used to design the amp. One phone that it cannot power however are the K340's. I tried it just for kicks (yes, I know, a truly futile exercise), and it clips before the 12:00 position on the volume knob. As long as you don't own a K340, you should not be disappointed.

Aditya
post #3 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by a1rocketpilot View Post
It has no problems driving my DT-770/80's or my HF-1's. Ray Samuels has said that it performs admirably with the HD-650, which was one of the phones that he used to design the amp. One phone that it cannot power however are the K340's. I tried it just for kicks (yes, I know, a truly futile exercise), and it clips before the 12:00 position on the volume knob. As long as you don't own a K340, you should not be disappointed.

Aditya
hmm, so the TH was designed with mid/high impedence phones (300 ohms) in mind. Thats interesting!
post #4 of 35
still, i would rather prefer a hornet if i was going to be mostly using it for the HD650s even if the tH sounds good.

Does the hornet lowest gain work in the same way as the TH for IEMs set to low? So whilst you gain the battery life and form factor with the TH, you gain an extra gain setting and a bit of extra quality with the hornet? Always wondered what the tradeoff was, but if the TH drives HD650s fine, then why bother with the bigger amp - doesn't make sense from a business point of view.
post #5 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris_ah1 View Post
but if the TH drives HD650s fine, then why bother with the bigger amp - doesn't make sense from a business point of view.
I've been saying that for a while. People are very loyal to their amps and Ray (for good reason) but both the TH and the Hornet seem to be able drive iems and full sized cans without much trouble so the differences between the two (imho) are hard to understand.
post #6 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by pretzelb View Post
I've been saying that for a while. People are very loyal to their amps and Ray (for good reason) but both the TH and the Hornet seem to be able drive iems and full sized cans without much trouble so the differences between the two (imho) are hard to understand.
they sound different

thats a BIG difference
post #7 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by jinp6301 View Post
they sound different

thats a BIG difference
LOL
post #8 of 35
iirc, for IEMs on the hornet, you're supposed to use a "high" gain setting with a lower volume level on the pot. this is due to the high sensitivity of IEMs. i could be mistaken though!
post #9 of 35
I was not happy with the way it drove . . . um, failed to drive my 300ohm Beyer DT-880's. Sorry, but I don't know how anybody could be happy plugging high-imp cans into a Toma. IMHO, there is just no "punch" at all and it's easy to hear that something is just . . . missing.

That said, listening to my Ety ER4P's with the Toma is a lump-in-the-throat & smile-on-my-face experience every time I do it. I mean, wasn't this amp intended for IEM's? After all, it says "IEM's" right on the amp!!!

If I were to buy ONE of Ray's amps to drive all types of cans, it would be a Hornet. If I were to buy another builder's amp for high-imp cans it would be one of Cesar's maxxed-out Port V2^2's. Hey, I did just that ! zD
post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by jinp6301 View Post
they sound different

thats a BIG difference
I understand that but with such a small product line you (at least I do) start to wonder what exactly is the target market for each.

You don't see many headphones that are similar in price and function yet only differ slightly in sound. Typically a difference will be made with function along with sound signature. For example, closed vs open, or portable vs heavy, or low impedance vs high impedance. If headphones all had nearly the same functionality and were very similar in price but only had some minor sound differences, I'm sure eventually the buyers would figure it out but in the end the company would most likely alienate quite a few buyers who had to get both to try and figure out which was best suited for them.

I appreciate that sound makes a huge difference, it's the entire reason for anything sold or discussed here. But if you're making amps, it seems confusing to make two amps that are so similar in so many ways. After much reading I think I know which is for me but it did take about 3 weeks of reading these forums every day.
post #11 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by pretzelb View Post
I understand that but with such a small product line you (at least I do) start to wonder what exactly is the target market for each.

You don't see many headphones that are similar in price and function yet only differ slightly in sound. Typically a difference will be made with function along with sound signature. For example, closed vs open, or portable vs heavy, or low impedance vs high impedance. If headphones all had nearly the same functionality and were very similar in price but only had some minor sound differences, I'm sure eventually the buyers would figure it out but in the end the company would most likely alienate quite a few buyers who had to get both to try and figure out which was best suited for them.

I appreciate that sound makes a huge difference, it's the entire reason for anything sold or discussed here. But if you're making amps, it seems confusing to make two amps that are so similar in so many ways. After much reading I think I know which is for me but it did take about 3 weeks of reading these forums every day.
no yea I totally get what youre saying but as you can see that small differences means big change for us head-fiers. Im pretty sure that if you get a normal person and did a blind test, it would be hard to tell the difference between any type of amps.

that said, a go vibe is probably 90% of a hornet but we still pay $200 dollars more because we want that 10%. That 10% is so important to us that we would pay $200 bucks for it.

The TH is probably 95% of a hornet but its targeted at IEM users (Ray said he made it so it sounds best with the e500 and the UE10s among others) which makes it look better in the eyes of IEM users.

Wow, I'm really going off topic here but what I'm trying to say is that theres a lot of amps that sound similar but its the little changes that sways a decision from one amp to another
post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by zombieDave View Post
I was not happy with the way it drove . . . um, failed to drive my 300ohm Beyer DT-880's. Sorry, but I don't know how anybody could be happy plugging high-imp cans into a Toma. IMHO, there is just no "punch" at all and it's easy to hear that something is just . . . missing.

That said, listening to my Ety ER4P's with the Toma is a lump-in-the-throat & smile-on-my-face experience every time I do it. I mean, wasn't this amp intended for IEM's? After all, it says "IEM's" right on the amp!!!

If I were to buy ONE of Ray's amps to drive all types of cans, it would be a Hornet. If I were to buy another builder's amp for high-imp cans it would be one of Cesar's maxxed-out Port V2^2's. Hey, I did just that ! zD
I must agree. While I love the tomahawk with my shure e500, I think the corda aria I recently got does quite a bit better job driving the dt990 '05. The combo sounds incredible. But I also think the dt990 sound great out of the tomahawk.
post #13 of 35
My hornet can drive the 650's, but no where to their full potential.

So I'm guessing Tomahawk won't be any better.

If your intention is the HD650, try the Larocco PRII. I've heard it's capable of driving most full size cans well. It even has 1/4" jack as standard out.
post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by KrooLism View Post
My hornet can drive the 650's, but no where to their full potential.

So I'm guessing Tomahawk won't be any better.

If your intention is the HD650, try the Larocco PRII. I've heard it's capable of driving most full size cans well. It even has 1/4" jack as standard out.
The Hornet was designed with HD600 as a full size phones
with Meridian G08 as a source.
Ray samuels
post #15 of 35
It's something that's been bugging me recently. I haven't said anything about it because I don't want to be offensive, and my point isn't meant to be offensive here, so please bear that in mind when reading the following:

Anyway, I think the problem lies with the large number of new/inexperienced members recommending these portable amps for full sized cans.
Now I understand the reasons behind buying one portable amp for all purposes, not least because it's cheaper and anyone getting into the hobby might not be able to afford a portable and a home amp. Some who have been in the hobby for several years can't afford both.
My issue isn't with this, per se, but with the fact that the majority of these portable amp owners haven't heard any other amps. In comparison to 'straight out of a DAP' or other, less expensive methods of amplifying sound, yes, the Hornet/TH/Xin etc will sound a lot better. So these members will naturally recommend their portable as being okay for a larger set of headphones.

Ray's presence on this board is admirable, but he's often pushed into giving answers while he's here. So people say "will the Hornet drive my HD650" and Ray will answer "yes it will." He's too 'nice' and 'unbusinessman/uncorporate' to say "yes it will drive them, but not to the same levels of clarity as an HR-2" because it will look like he's pushing his more expensive products.

So we have a load of new members who are experiencing sound better than standard, plus the proprieter who's too modest to push any more expensive products, leading to a common consensus that the portable amps are ideal for full size, high impdedance headphones. Which, in my opinion, is a bit misleading.
True, Ray did use many cans to develop these amps. I know that the HD600 is his favourite. But the fact is that while most amps/portable amps will be better than the stock, built-in units, the portables are still generally directed at the easier to drive, more efficient cans that you'd generally associate with portable use, including things like IEMs, Senn HD25s, Koss KCS 75s and other similar types of headphones/earphones.

The end result is that there are often buyers of harder-to-drive headphones which then get paired with portable amplifiers and users will dismiss the headphone as being poor, when really it's asking a little too much of a portable amp, which is only drawing a small amount of power from a small battery.
So it's being unfair on both sides, because the cans aren't allowed to shine, and the portable amp isn't allowed to show off what it does best, because it's straining to drive a massive load.

I realise this may be viewed as an elitist point of view and that's not my aim here, so I apologise if that's how it sounds. It's basically an explanation for what I view as something that's frequently being debated and is often slightly misguided.
It's a long way of saying "yes, these little things can drive most headphones, but you won't be getting the best out of either the cans or the amp if you drive HD650s/DT770-250s."

Sorry, just had to get that off my chest. Hope this is useful in explaining why Ray has his products set out the way he does too. TH = IEMs. Can drive others, not brilliantly. Hornet = IEMs and smaller/easier to drive cans. Drives the bigger cans better than the TH, but should still be outperformed by a decent desktop with those cans.

edit: Hi Ray, thanks for popping in. Feel free to point out any errors you think I may have in my opinion on your line-up.
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