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HeadRoom Amp: Which one?! - Page 2

post #16 of 87
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vcoheda View Post
maybe you should look at this. i purchased headphones from this seller. good transaction. plus buying used is a good way to save money.

http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....ran&1190542665

Yep. That sure looks interesting and it's a good deal all right, but it's just too big for what I want right now. Man those home and max amps are monsters.
post #17 of 87
yes. it looks like a good deal. i'm surprised no one has purchased it yet.
post #18 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradman View Post
Feifan, oh cripes. That's not making it easier! ;-)
LOL!
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradman View Post
I'm leaning a bit more towards the DT with it's preamp functionality, but responses like this are making it dificult to forget the idea of balanced. I better continue pondering the issue. Did you get the stepped attenuator on your DB?
Yes, the stepped attenuator for the DT-SE and the DTB. For the latter, it's included as part of the package deal, along with the HD650 + HR's balanced cable (and home DAC and home module).
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradman View Post
If so, could you let me know how it compares to that on the DT? Do you have any difficulty setting it to the precise level you want to listen at?
They function the same, I think. I don't see any differences. Re volume levels -- it's really a non-issue because you have three gain settings: high, low, medium. For finer tuning, you can lower the gain and fine tune volume. For example, at high, I'm usually at 9:00; at medium, at 12:00 or 1:00. With the wider range of volume settings in medium, you can find a setting that's comfortable. Ninety % of the time I leave it at high for the cans that I have. For value (whether you resell it or not), it's probably better to go with the best possible options.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bradman View Post
Btw, if your DT and DB are located in physical proximity to each other, have you considered connecting the DB to the DPS as well?
Yeah, they're right next to each other. That's one of the first things I futzed with -- the PS connections. I found that the DTB raised the heat level of the DPS to a significant degree. When I switched in the Astrodyne, the DTB seemed to actually sound better. I'm not sure if this makes any sense since there's a huge price difference between the two. OTOH, the DT-SE didn't sound as good with the Astrodyne. Again, I don't know why this is so. So I have them set up the way I do: DTB with Astrodyne and DT-SE with DPS.

Re the DAC: Yeah, I always wonder if the max DAC in the DTB would make a big difference -- but only the home DAC is available. The same re the home vs. max module. If there's not enough room in the desktop chassis, I wonder if a larger case might be a consideration -- that is, IF the max is a significant improvement over the home. (EDIT: By "larger" I mean a little bigger than the DT but a lot smaller than the full-sized home and max.)

Re the inputs: three digital (optical, coaxial, USB) and two analog -- I'm using them all! It's sweet, it's fun. I'm strictly cans so I've never used the analog out. BTW, the USB straight off a computer is a killer in both the balanced and SE DTs. (I'm ripping tracks in lossless WAV -- huge files, but worth the SQ.)
post #19 of 87
If you are really interested in Meier Audio's amps and the only drawback is with the optical connection, then I suggest you email him. He is flexible, and may be able to accomodate you. He's certainly worth talking to.
post #20 of 87
'TheSloth' has stated in another thread that the major difference between the Home and Max dac is that it has a resampling chip, an Analog Devices AD1896, before its passed on to the Cirrus Logic CS4398 dac. What this means is if you have high jitter from your connection such as USb then this is minimized. If you intend to not use the USb connection from your source then you are better off getting the Home variant(Save some money).
Another thing to consider is that you do not need to purchase the dedicated power supply. The Desktop amps now have a new brick supplied that will cater up to Home+Home. If you go the Max+Max route you still do not need to buy said power supply. On Headrooms site there is the 'Astrodyne' brick for $99.00 which will do just fine, saving further money.
post #21 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecala View Post
Another thing to consider is that you do not need to purchase the dedicated power supply. The Desktop amps now have a new brick supplied that will cater up to Home+Home. If you go the Max+Max route you still do not need to buy said power supply. On Headrooms site there is the 'Astrodyne' brick for $99.00 which will do just fine, saving further money.
TheSloth's HR Desktop Portable Convertible with all '06 modules have been in my home for 2 months(Thanks! TheSloth). And I did some comparison between (non-standard version of) my Sigma22 and 'Astrodyne' brick, I would say 'Astrodyne' brick is very good for mony($99), but if you spend that much to buy MAX+MAX, then I would suggest to go HR DPS($399?).

Better power supply does make the sound fuller, more dynamic, tighter bass, overall the sound faster.......
post #22 of 87
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by feifan View Post
<snip>

Yeah, they're right next to each other. That's one of the first things I futzed with -- the PS connections. I found that the DTB raised the heat level of the DPS to a significant degree. When I switched in the Astrodyne, the DTB seemed to actually sound better. I'm not sure if this makes any sense since there's a huge price difference between the two. OTOH, the DT-SE didn't sound as good with the Astrodyne. Again, I don't know why this is so. So I have them set up the way I do: DTB with Astrodyne and DT-SE with DPS.

Re the DAC: Yeah, I always wonder if the max DAC in the DTB would make a big difference -- but only the home DAC is available. The same re the home vs. max module. If there's not enough room in the desktop chassis, I wonder if a larger case might be a consideration -- that is, IF the max is a significant improvement over the home. (EDIT: By "larger" I mean a little bigger than the DT but a lot smaller than the full-sized home and max.)
Thanks for the feedback on the stepped attenuators.

That's really bizarre concerning the DPS. One would think that with 6 outlets, the DPS should be able to drive a heck of a lot of amps without breaking a sweat. Perhaps the temperature increase you observed is normal. If you have all the units stacked up, having the power supply on top could be a good idea if it really gets extremely hot. However, I have read that the maxed out DT is supposed to become fairly toasty during normal operation.

On the subject of power supplies, HR are a bit skimpy and inconsistent when it comes to specifications on their gear. Do you have any idea how much the DPS weighs? In addition, I wouldn't mind knowing the dimensions and weight of the Astrodyne.

Finally, from what I have read, there are two issues with putting the max modules inside the DTB. Firstly, since you are putting double the number of modules in there, there is a problem with heat discipation. The max modules generate substantially more heat than the home modules and The Desktop enclosure is simply too small to offer adequate ventilation and surface area for conducting heat away. The other problem I believe is, as you say, related to physical space constraints. I believe the max modules are slightly larger than the home ones and packing two of them in there, instead of just one of each, would require some fairly radical reorganisation or alteration to the enclosure.
post #23 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecala View Post
Another thing to consider is that you do not need to purchase the dedicated power supply. The Desktop amps now have a new brick supplied that will cater up to Home+Home. If you go the Max+Max route you still do not need to buy said power supply. On Headrooms site there is the 'Astrodyne' brick for $99.00 which will do just fine, saving further money.
For what it's worth, Jorge at HeadRoom told me I could use the Astrodyne with the Home modules and get "within a few percentage points" of the Home performance with the DPS, but the MAX modules required the DPS to function properly. That's the official line but you're free to make your own decisions.
post #24 of 87
A few comments and thoughts about the HR Desktop with Max amp and DAC modules and DPS: I've had these for about a year, actually bought as part of a package with the AKG701s. Overall, I can't quibble about the overall quality of this combination, especially considering that at the time I bought it, I was relatively new to the headphone game. Over the subsequent months of use (and after spending some time reading this forum), I somehow began to feel that the sound of this particular combo didn't seem to be going anywhere - there was a certain hardness to the sound, even though pretty detailed with a good soundstage, that I thought would disappear after break-in of the AKGs but even after a year (and well over 300+ hours of use), the "hardness thing" never went away. I then decided to try a HeadAmp GS-1 with a Benchmark DAC1-USB which for me was like night and day -- the 701s really opened up and lost the hardness that I heard with the Desktop, detail resolution and soundstaging improved. At this point, I have to conclude that the AKG701 synergy with the HR Desktop is not as good as it is with other amps. I've heard that most HR products seem to sound their best with Senns, so if the Desktop proves to be your thing, those would be the recommended phones to use. And incidentally, Grados and HR don't seem to be a good match at all.
post #25 of 87
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardwired View Post
For what it's worth, Jorge at HeadRoom told me I could use the Astrodyne with the Home modules and get "within a few percentage points" of the Home performance with the DPS, but the MAX modules required the DPS to function properly. That's the official line but you're free to make your own decisions.
TA for that. I have read exactly what you've said somewhere before, but I don't remember where. I thought it was on the HR site, but can't locate it at the moment, so it was probably on head-fi somewhere ... maybe in the HR sponsored DB thread. On the HR product page for the Astrodyne, by reading well between the lines, I'm given the impression that it might handle the max modules at a pinch, but even they are rather dubious of this. ;-)
post #26 of 87
I will be getting HR DT Balanced with home module and DPS soon. If I can't discern between Astrodyne and DPS, then I will return the DSP. They do have a great return policy


Quote:
Originally Posted by bradman View Post
TA for that. I have read exactly what you've said somewhere before, but I don't remember where. I thought it was on the HR site, but can't locate it at the moment, so it was probably on head-fi somewhere ... maybe in the HR sponsored DB thread. On the HR product page for the Astrodyne, by reading well between the lines, I'm given the impression that it might handle the max modules at a pinch, but even they are rather dubious of this. ;-)
post #27 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradman View Post
Thanks for the feedback on the stepped attenuators.

That's really bizarre concerning the DPS. One would think that with 6 outlets, the DPS should be able to drive a heck of a lot of amps without breaking a sweat. Perhaps the temperature increase you observed is normal. If you have all the units stacked up, having the power supply on top could be a good idea if it really gets extremely hot. However, I have read that the maxed out DT is supposed to become fairly toasty during normal operation.

On the subject of power supplies, HR are a bit skimpy and inconsistent when it comes to specifications on their gear. Do you have any idea how much the DPS weighs? In addition, I wouldn't mind knowing the dimensions and weight of the Astrodyne.

Finally, from what I have read, there are two issues with putting the max modules inside the DTB. Firstly, since you are putting double the number of modules in there, there is a problem with heat discipation. The max modules generate substantially more heat than the home modules and The Desktop enclosure is simply too small to offer adequate ventilation and surface area for conducting heat away. The other problem I believe is, as you say, related to physical space constraints. I believe the max modules are slightly larger than the home ones and packing two of them in there, instead of just one of each, would require some fairly radical reorganisation or alteration to the enclosure.
Weight of the DPS is 3.5 pounds, but all I have is a digital bathroom scale with a battery that's about to die so take it for what it's worth. It feels heavier than the amp. The Astrodyne is 2-7/8W x 1-5/8H x 5-5/8L (inches). The DIN cable is permanently connected on one end and the power cord is the standard removable computer-type. It doesn't register on my bathroom scale so I have to assume that it's less than 3.5 pounds. It does feel lighter than the DPS. Re heat, yeah, the DTB gets very warm.

Re stacking: when used together, the DTB and DPS both run hot so I did try it both ways, DPS below and above. When I switched back to the DT-SE + DPS pairing, position didn't matter because both units run cool to slightly warm. No heat problem. The DTB is next to, not on the stack. Here's a photo of my setup. The DTs sit on top of a CD case, and the case is on my desk, to the left of my computer LCD screen and keyboard. The Astrodyne is on a shelf, circled in red.

post #28 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by twsmith View Post
A few comments and thoughts about the HR Desktop with Max amp and DAC modules and DPS: I've had these for about a year, actually bought as part of a package with the AKG701s. Overall, I can't quibble about the overall quality of this combination, especially considering that at the time I bought it, I was relatively new to the headphone game. Over the subsequent months of use (and after spending some time reading this forum), I somehow began to feel that the sound of this particular combo didn't seem to be going anywhere - there was a certain hardness to the sound, even though pretty detailed with a good soundstage, that I thought would disappear after break-in of the AKGs but even after a year (and well over 300+ hours of use), the "hardness thing" never went away. I then decided to try a HeadAmp GS-1 with a Benchmark DAC1-USB which for me was like night and day -- the 701s really opened up and lost the hardness that I heard with the Desktop, detail resolution and soundstaging improved. At this point, I have to conclude that the AKG701 synergy with the HR Desktop is not as good as it is with other amps. I've heard that most HR products seem to sound their best with Senns, so if the Desktop proves to be your thing, those would be the recommended phones to use. And incidentally, Grados and HR don't seem to be a good match at all.

My feelings exactly!!! Except my experience was with the MicroAMP. After going to a meet, I realized MicroAMP was so in my face all the time, it ended up sounding like noise in comparison to other AMP's. It may be perfect for Senns, but for Grado's and K701's, it was a bit too much all at once.

Headroom amps are touted as neutral. I firmly believe they are some of the brightest amps around. Especially in the upper midrange and lower treble.
post #29 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redo View Post
My feelings exactly!!! Except my experience was with the MicroAMP. After going to a meet, I realized MicroAMP was so in my face all the time, it ended up sounding like noise in comparison to other AMP's. It may be perfect for Senns, but for Grado's and K701's, it was a bit too much all at once.

Headroom amps are touted as neutral. I firmly believe they are some of the brightest amps around. Especially in the upper midrange and lower treble.
I would have to disagree with this. I strongly dislike forward mids and replaced my Opera with a HeadRoom Desktop to push the mids of my Edition 9s back a bit. I discovered in the process that the Opera is brighter than the Desktop and the Desktop suited the Edition 9s that much better because of it. I don't find my Micro Amp to be bright either.

Grados are reported to be about as forward and aggressive as headphones get, and the K701s have a strong midrange of their own, so perhaps you just don't like the sound of those cans regardless of amp? Or are there other amps you've used that you like better?
post #30 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redo View Post
My feelings exactly!!! Except my experience was with the MicroAMP. After going to a meet, I realized MicroAMP was so in my face all the time, it ended up sounding like noise in comparison to other AMP's. It may be perfect for Senns, but for Grado's and K701's, it was a bit too much all at once.

Headroom amps are touted as neutral. I firmly believe they are some of the brightest amps around. Especially in the upper midrange and lower treble.
Hmm, this doesn't jive with my experiences with my 2006 Headroom Desktop with max module.

It's very smooth and laid back. The GS-1 w/DACT is more forward, and at first sounds better because the details stand out. But for long term listening I keep going back to the Headroom and it's fuller, relaxing sound.

I can't keep both of these suckers, so one of them has to go... But I can't decide which. I keep going back and forth.

EDIT: Note that I'm using the VDA-2 + power supply as a DAC, and I think it pairs well with the Headroom Desktop. It's very detailed but is almost too bright together with the GS-1 + K701's. If you have a very laid back DAC and want the amp to brighten it up, the Desktop + max module isn't your choice.
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