Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Amps do nothing.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Amps do nothing. - Page 6

post #76 of 90
IXZ5P. you're wrong! My CMOY makes a big difference on my plastic computer satellite and sub! (true)
And makes a difference on my HD495: they sound too bright, I prefer my Philips DVD jack. But I can't make a general rule out of that: DVD jacks are better than headphone amps. I thing there's an impedance matching problem between my specific design and can or something like that, because many people enjoy the CMOY, otherwise the easiest reaction is to post warnings about this amp being useless.
Finally, my CMOY adds almost nothing to my $100 KSC35.
But I still keep my hope in amps, I'll buy a Meta42 someday, when Venezuela's government free my credit card.
post #77 of 90
Oh, I think I know why IXZ5P has heard almost no difference between the D-EJ01's headphone-out by itself and the Cosmic Reference running from the D-EJ01's line out:

Another Head-Fi member, zeplin, didn't like any of the newer Sony PCDPs even after their signal is run through his Cosmic. He much prefers the SlimX (with Cosmic, of course) for sound quality.

Thus, it seems as though the high-end Headroom amps just don't work well with modern Sony PCDPs. If the PCDP happens to be his only source, then I wouldn't recommend the Cosmic - and I would recommend the Supreme only if he intends to primarily use particularly inefficient headphones. (Sorry, ER-4S and HD580/HD600 users; none of your headphones are the least efficient models currently on the market.) If he must buy a Headroom amp strictly for a PCDP, the AH and TAH are better values than the bigger amps. Otherwise, other makes of portable amps can out-perform the Headroom amps at the same given price point.

So if I don't recommend the Cosmic or Cosmic Reference for strictly (trans)portable use, then what good are they? Well, the Cosmic/Cosmic Reference's beauty is that you can have a kickass headphone rig at home, when those amps are used with audiophile-level home components - and yet still have the same amp go with you with a PCDP. So, consider them to be home amps that can be used portably.

My assessment: Any high-end Headroom amp + Any Sony Walkman player and/or any Sony headphone = crap.
post #78 of 90
Someone needs to coin a term for stuff like this. Something along the lines of the Post Hoc Falacy...

"X amplifier (or other component) is Junk because it makes junk coming from junk sound like louder junk."

All else equal, a system can sound bad if:

1. The music in question is mixed poorly
2. The source cannot render it well
3. The compression (if applicable) sucks
4. Interconnects introduce noise
5. Amp introduces noise
6. Speaker cables introduce noise
7. Source introduces noise
8. Amp has too much power and overdrives the output device
9. Amp has too little power and clips the output
and conversely
10. Speakers/cans are overpowered
11. Speakers/cans are underpowered
12. Theres a full moon
13. Who knows what else

Theres a million and one factors that can cause crappy sound and the statement "Amps do nothing" and the following thread seem to subscripe to the above falacy IMO.

Besides that, if someone is going to make an assertation (however wrong it may be otherwise) QUALIFY!

Example: Ummm.....I say 'good cans suck' I follow with 'because I listened to X, Y, Z with A source, B interconnects, C media, D this, E that etc. and I found that ___________ is the same as with cheep cans. I wasn't gonna even post but come on people....qualify your statements especially when saying something like "Amps do nothing" on Head-Fi. Posting like that and having everyone drag more info out of you to refute your theory is pretty lame. Come out with info and people can make usefull judgements without wasting so much time.
post #79 of 90
Quote:
13. Who knows what else
I'll add to your list:

14. Terrible recording engineer who has bad ears or was told by the producer to record in such a terrible way.
15. Bad recording label company (Verve, Chesky Records and a few other ones are the only ones who provide great recordings, the majority record just trash)
16. Cheap and terrible recording equipment.
17. Terrible/cheap source
18. Terrible/cheap preamplifier
19. Terrible/cheap amplifier
20. Terrible quality control in pressing/making the CDs, DVDs, DVD-A, SACD, LPs, etc.
21. Cold components (Amps and preamps most be hot to sound to their best. Many highend units have a standby feature to keep the unit warm already, but an amp sounds much better after an hour of listening)
22. A component during its breaking/burning period doesn't sound good.
23. Incorrect placement of the speakers
24. Incorrect room.
25. Components incompatibility (they don't like each other, sometimes they cause too much interference to their neighbor)
26. Messy cableing
27. Bad power (The cleaner the electricity the better an amp will sound)

I'm sure there are more but for now, these ones help to understand why music sounds terrible.

Just now, I'm listening to Diana Krall (Live in Paris Album, a Verve recording) which is a live recording and I'm really impressed by how good this CD sounds. It puts my others CDs to shame!

Not all CDs are recorded the same. Not all CDs are legitimate sons, many are bastards and evil!
post #80 of 90
Quote:
Originally posted by eighteen_psi
... I wasn't gonna even post but come on people....qualify your statements especially when saying something like "Amps do nothing" on Head-Fi. Posting like that and having everyone drag more info out of you to refute your theory is pretty lame. Come out with info and people can make usefull judgements without wasting so much time.
eighteen_psi,

Your points are all well taken, but by the same token I beg to differ with you. I don't think this has been a waste of time. It's true that the original post was far too general and open ened and the tone bordered on inflammatory. However, if you look back at the thread there really has been a lot of information posted here. I may be less experienced than others in this forum but I've definitely learned something. The vagueness of the original post and its aggressive attitude combined to incite people to respond but without channeling them into a specific area. I think it's a tribute to the knowledge and integrity of the people on this board that so much conversation came out of such a trite thread topic.
post #81 of 90
Ah, what a stroll down memory lane this has been. I remember way back when, in the heat of headphone passion, how I purchased my Total Airhead and X-Can V2 back to back. I went on a similar rant about wasting money with the X-Can (which I still hold to be true), so I can't blame xqe332342 (or whatever) for not being happy with the boost in quality he got after paying a substantial sum of money (and, poor guy, shipping to Australia!) But some amps DO something. I sold my Total Airhead after I developed tinitus, but that was a great little amp! Mainly because of crossfeed. I loved crossfeed and now when I try to listen to my Senn 600s out of my Sony D-777 PCDP, it just doesn't make it without that little Airhead sending me a crossfed signal. I just don't enjoy headphones half as much without crossfeed! That's something I've learned the hard way.
post #82 of 90
Quote:
Originally posted by judgmentday
Not all CDs are recorded the same. Not all CDs are legitimate sons, many are bastards and evil!
Some are clones!!
post #83 of 90
Chadbang,

Quote:
I sold my Total Airhead after I developed tinitus, but that was a great little amp!
Did you develop Tinnitus as a result of using the Total Airhead? How bad is your Tinnitus?

Cheers,
Alex Altorfer
post #84 of 90
Quote:
Originally posted by erikzen
eighteen_psi,

Your points are all well taken, but by the same token I beg to differ with you. I don't think this has been a waste of time. It's true that the original post was far too general and open ened and the tone bordered on inflammatory. However, if you look back at the thread there really has been a lot of information posted here. I may be less experienced than others in this forum but I've definitely learned something. The vagueness of the original post and its aggressive attitude combined to incite people to respond but without channeling them into a specific area. I think it's a tribute to the knowledge and integrity of the people on this board that so much conversation came out of such a trite thread topic.
Thats a good point. Most forums I frequent (for different purposes) would have flamed someone like that right off the boards without any info at all.
post #85 of 90
I can completely understand where ix2340923840 is coming from, because i could potentially be in a similar position.

I was in fact, living in Australia for a year, when my roommate showed me his pride and joy, a pair of Grado SR-80's and the RA-1 amp. He only played music off his discman, but I remember not knowing what good headphones were, and thinking in my head what an idiot he was for paying 350 dollars for that little piece of wood that he had to lug around with them. Well, I remember stealing them while he was at uni, and realizing that without that box they didn't sound nearly as good.

now, a year later, i decided to get myself a pair of sr-80's, and i did a search on the net to find out about the headphone amp. well i stumbled across this site, and truthfully, i feel like a i know less than when i started. it's the old problem with listening to people's advice on purchasing any kind of gear. when you have people saying things like 'this amp lifts me to heaven' or whatever it is that someone said a few posts ago, it can really set you up for disapointment. why? because you go and make an impulse buy and realize that unless you're really looking for those subtle differences, and unless you have experience comparing them to something, there wont' be much there.

i almost bought a creek amp a few weeks ago, thank god someone outbid me on it, because i've been reading all this talk about amps on this site. i haven't even got my sr-325's yet, which were much more than i set out to buy in the first place, party because of the enthusiasm of this forum.

so take it easy on our australian friend. unfortunately, as i remember from my time down there, he won't be lucky enough to audition much high end gear in stores or at meets. it's a big island far from all of us. and that means he won't be lucky enough, like i was, to go to baybloor radio and reailze that i think all sennheiser headphones sound muddled compared to grado's, and that i never really shoudl have gone higher than the 125's, because god help me, i can't hear much of a difference.

imagine my disappointement had i purchased the senn's, with everyone here recommending them, and realizing that to me, they don't at all sound better than the grados.

sound, especially at the audiophile level it seems, is extremely subjective, and unfortunately, we're not talkign about digital cameras where we can share snapshots online and closely look at them. what lifts one man to heaven, can to someone else, especially the initiate, be a barely noticeable difference.

i would have been pissed off too.

toodles.
post #86 of 90
Quote:
when you have people saying things like 'this amp lifts me to heaven' or whatever it is that someone said a few posts ago, it can really set you up for disapointment. why? because you go and make an impulse buy and realize that unless you're really looking for those subtle differences, and unless you have experience comparing them to something, there wont' be much there.
I agree and disagree. I think it's safe to say that the reader bears at least 50% of the responsibility for using his/her own brain and judgement when weighing statements like those. And always try to be aware of who is posting. Do they have similar equipment, musical tastes? Has he ever heard an amp before? Is he using mp3's or does he have a high-quality CDP up front? How much experience with different equipment do they have? Is it a similar level to mine? And so on. You can really only do that by doing your homework. You can do it now, or you can do it later when you get your $500 amp back home and hook it up to your MP3 player and feel "ripped off".

Mark
post #87 of 90
Mark's right about this. I read these boards as much as anyone, yet I'm able to cut away certain opinions from people whose tastes or situations are similar to from mine from other "what could be interpreted as hype" comments. I've said this before on the boards, the only person making you "push the buy button" is you. You make the final decision.

When I interested in buying something I use the search feature and read every word from anyone about the product in question. Even if I impulsely buy something, I realize and take accountability for the decision I've made (good or bad), learn from it, and move on.
post #88 of 90
Man! I just wish this thread would get locked. Every time I see it get bumped back up I just shake my head in disbelief. Now I'm off to Car, and Driver to try, and convince them that my stock 351 in my "78" Mercury Cougar is faster than a Viper.
Oh yeah, the ignore function on this site is quite useful if you know what I mean.
post #89 of 90
Alex Altorfer,
No, I'm not going to pin developing tinitus on the Airhead. It was my own stupid fault wearing headphones at work and listening to music 8 hours a day for 8 months. Even though I never played THAT loud (really not even loud), I just wore out my ears from too much headphone use.

My tinitus has been pretty good lately - I've grown used to it and that's the hardest part. Once you learn to not let it freak you out (very hard, and required being on xanax for almost a year) then you sort of start to ignore it. Unfortunately, I went with some friends to a bar last week where the music (as usual) was being played much too loud. Like a fool I didn't wear earplugs, and my left ear has been ringing for a week. So, don't play with tinnitus. Once you've got it, it's permanent.

To headphone uses: if your ears every start feeling tired or sore - GET OFF YOUR HEADPHONES FOR A COUPLE DAYS. If you start using them and the get sore again - take them off for a week and then try again.
post #90 of 90
Chadbang,
Very interesting. I think I've got a type of mild Tinnitus myself. It's not a whistle. It's a hissing sound. I hardly ever notice it, however, when I'm in bed right before sleep it becomes very noticeable and it even seems loud. I suspect that I got it from too much headphone use over the years. I find it significant that one can get Tinnitus by listening to volumes below 90 db. Not a single Tinnitus warning I've ever read mentions this possibility, but I suspect it is very true.
Cheers,
Alex Altorfer
PS: As for a whistling sound, I do rarely hear a faint whistle on either ear but it lasts but a minute and then fades away.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphone Amps (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Amps do nothing.