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Disturbing Trend - Page 3

post #31 of 528
I think the marketing of the amp companies also have something to do with it as well. Example: Ray Samuels says right in his Hornet ads that the amp can be used with HD650. The Hornet uses a nine volt battery and has, say, maximum 250mA current output (though we don't know what opamp he uses, lets assume the upperbound is an AD8397).

But this leads to another question. How far can portable audiophilia go? Take the Senn line: Is the HD-25-II the best that can be had in a portable setup? The HD595? The HD600? The HD650? How do we determine how much a portable amp limits the extent to which a portable setup can approach Hi-Fi?
post #32 of 528
Honestly, the main reason for having a larger desktop headphone amp is the volume control. The crappy little pots in portables simply do not hold a candle to stepped attenuators.

Other than that, most headphone amps sound almost identical, the difference is within 5% for most, and even smaller for higher end amps. The night and day differences most people hear at meets are simply the fact that they are listening louder. I don't typically trust meet impressions of amps, even my own. A long period of quiet time at home is really needed.

If you hear a big difference in sound quality between headphone amps, there is something wrong with one of them.

IMO, of course.

-Ed "standing by with a headphone amp switch box"
post #33 of 528
Quote:
Originally Posted by kramer5150 View Post
IMHO everyone has to start out somewhere, and budgetary limitations vary greatly across the population.
Common sense trumps hype everytime (eventually). The limitations of portable design makes it hard to compete with home amps at the same price level. That's why the LDII-series was so popular.
post #34 of 528
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwood View Post
Honestly, the main reason for having a larger desktop headphone amp is the volume control. The crappy little pots in portables simply do not hold a candle to stepped attenuators.

Other than that, most headphone amps sound almost identical, the difference is within 5% for most, and even smaller for higher end amps. The night and day differences most people hear at meets are simply the fact that they are listening louder. I don't typically trust meet impressions of amps, even my own. A long period of quiet time at home is really needed.

If you hear a big difference in sound quality between headphone amps, there is something wrong with one of them.

IMO, of course.

-Ed "standing by with a headphone amp switch box"
This post makes no sense to me at all as it flies in the face of everything I've experienced. I own six amps right now. Only two sound similar, and those are both portables. To put the mini^3 within a 5% range of my home amp, however much I like the mini, is ridiculous.
post #35 of 528
I would think that the biggest difference would (or should) be in the power supply....not the volume pot.
post #36 of 528
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dept_of_Alchemy View Post
That's why the LDII-series was so popular.
And that's basically a crappy amp. I've changed my sig to reflect my sentiments. I'm all for getting the best you can on a budget, but when it comes to certain headphones, they simply require better.
post #37 of 528
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
Boomana- I agree with you wholeheartedly. The portable amp trend parallels another trend: People using computer-based rigs versus a high-end dedicated CDP(with or w/o DAC) based rig. I started with a computer-based home rig with an outboard DAC myself, and when I made the jump a while back to a dedicated CDP it made me almost cry at the difference in sound quality. While a computer based home rig is very convenient, I believe a lot of Head-Fier's are shortchanging themselves, thinking "it's just as good."
X 2
post #38 of 528
I'm curious. How much power do you folks think your headphones use?
post #39 of 528
I'm also curious.
Can someone in this thread link me a scientific article that proves this assumption?
Or at the least a comparison using the minimal factoids to even consider this topic serious such as:
1) A control (was there a control factor used for a comparison)
2) A large sample size of participants
3) Blind testing (to eliminate placebo, etc...)
4) Environmental control
5) Data of the participant's hearing capability, age, music preference, etc...
post #40 of 528
Quote:
Originally Posted by thrice View Post
What!?!? There goes my entire business model. Damn it!
That's hilarious.



This is a good post, something that is good to bring to the attention of n00b's. And even those who know better who may not be thinking about it.
post #41 of 528
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Computerstud View Post
I'm also curious.
Can someone in this thread link me a scientific article that proves this assumption?
Or at the least a comparison using the minimal factoids to even consider this topic serious such as:
1) A control (was there a control factor used for a comparison)
2) A large sample size of participants
3) Blind testing (to eliminate placebo, etc...)
4) Environmental control
5) Data of the participant's hearing capability, age, music preference, etc...
What the hell are you talking about? Go get yourself a damn good amp and source and find out for yourself.
post #42 of 528
Quote:
Originally Posted by Computerstud View Post
I'm also curious.
Can someone in this thread link me a scientific article that proves this assumption?
Proves what assumption? Actually, I don't want to know where you were going with this line of questioning. And please, don't turn this into another DBT type debate. If you don't have anything to add to the thread don't post. If you don't believe that any amp will make a difference or sound different more power to you.
post #43 of 528
At one point, diminishing returns will cause people to stop buying more expensive equipment. Of course there are those out there who are willing to drop thousands in order to eke out that extra 5%, but for the general population, 'good enough' might mean iBuds. For Head-Fier's, 'good enough' might stop at a decent portable amp and some reference headphones.

If you want to go even higher, that's your choice, but nothing's really wrong with wanting a cheaper solution. Not everyone has money to throw around like toilet paper.
post #44 of 528
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dept_of_Alchemy View Post
Common sense trumps hype everytime (eventually). The limitations of portable design makes it hard to compete with home amps at the same price level. That's why the LDII-series was so popular.
Of course... there are always exceptions. I for one don't hold the earlier LD tube amps in that high regard. True they are so-so sounding for the $, until the unit fails. I for one would take a mini^3, mister-X XP or a well made pint over the original LDII, but more for reliability reasons than anything sonic.

IMHO the "marketed" (non-DIY) desktop amps in the $100-$150 range leave a lot to be desired.

After reading all the comments, I still believe (even with the K701 or HD650)... if you're on a tight budget say ~$150. Your best value is still a portable amp. $150 barely even gets you into Millet Hybrid territory, but then again thats a DIY. Its not so much that portable amps in this price rang are that good, its more that the desktop amps are that bad.... IMHO

However, saying a portable amp sonically out-paces a desktop is stretching things a little IMHO especially when you scale up the $$$ ladder.
post #45 of 528
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranma13 View Post
At one point, diminishing returns will cause people to stop buying more expensive equipment. Of course there are those out there who are willing to drop thousands in order to eke out that extra 5%, but for the general population, 'good enough' might mean iBuds. For Head-Fier's, 'good enough' might stop at a decent portable amp and some reference headphones.

If you want to go even higher, that's your choice, but nothing's really wrong with wanting a cheaper solution. Not everyone has money to throw around like toilet paper.
Quite frankly, I don't throw toilet paper around either.

I'm not suggesting everyone needs to have the best of the best. Lord knows I can't afford it, so I settle for what I can, but talking about diminishing returns is b.s. when the topic is portable amps with certain (not all) reference headphones.
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