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Using full sized integrated amp - Page 4

post #46 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post
The truth is, the 650 sounds quite fine out of any decent integrated/receiver, even if not quite as fine as out of a $1000 dedicated amp. And since most people have one of those already, there's a sensible saving and an avoidance of the dreaded upgrade trap. My call is for balanced advice, not the downfall of the dedicated amp industry or its adherents.

Hmm...I guess I do deserve to be killed.
I was pondering a theory the other day, specifically regarding AKG K701's though it might be applied to any headphone that comes stock with a 1/4" jack, that they were designed primarily for hi-fi owners to plug into their existing gear, rather than for dedicated head-fi.

I auditioned my first pair of hp's - Quart 55Xs - on a Luxman CD player in a hi-fi shop. After that, I often listened to music plugging them into a CD player or amp. I never imagined until recently that there were dedicated amplifiers for headphones, or at least if there were, they were rare and unusual things.

Since I don't have any regular hi-fi gear to test this theory with me in Japan, I hope to take my cans into a proper hi-fi store and "listen" to some of my music using a CD player and/or amp with them. I think it will be interesting.
post #47 of 347
WARNING: greggf is a heretic. Follow him at your peril. Better to get a box of popcorn and sit back. For my part, I believe in computer-as-source, competent, inexpensive DAC chips in simple circuits that endeavor to be transparent, and an old Harman Kardon integrated amp that I suspect would drive K-1000s without breaking sweat. It lifts the weight of my 580s like they're a pair of earbuds, and delivers really good sound. Is it as good as I'd get from tubes or a modern dedicated SS headphone amp? I suspect it is really, really close. But I intend to test the theory. I'm going fishing, after I've finished my popcorn and this show is over . Will it be a catch and release expedition? We'll see...

Tim

THE SERIOUS PART: Here's the bottom line on receivers/integrateds as head amps, IMHO: All of the 70s vintage stuff and much of the higher-end contemporary stuff drives their headphone jacks with the main amps (stepped down through a resistor), which are more powerful than any headamp and probably as good as all but the most expensive discrete designs (more or less, depending on vintage and specs). Where could the problem be? The resistor? See the high-end volume control of choice, the stepped attenuator, for resistors in the signal chain. The rest of the receivers/integrateds drive their headphone jacks with separate circuits designed around op amps, just like most dedicated headphone amps. Are they as good? I'm sure they're not as good as some and better than others. Use your ears. If you are plugging 650s into a Rotel, or Yamaha, or a vintage Kenwood receiver and it sounds really good to you, listen. If you are coming here, reading, and subsequently doubting what you hear, stop reading. Listen some more. TF
post #48 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penchum View Post
Is this not what you meant? (see bold above)
Of course not. If I see a group of youths selling drugs to ten-year-olds and intervene, I might get beaten up, but that doesn't mean I was wrong, just a little careless of my safety.

Not of course that I'm comparing selling dope to children with an inability to appreciate the virtues of integrated amps.
post #49 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by tfarney View Post
WARNING: greggf is a heretic. Follow him at your peril.
Now that's my kind of man!
post #50 of 347
While I agree sweeping generalizations can't be made, alot of us seem to be missing the point about vintage amps and headphones. It's not the ideal situation! It was not intended to be a dedicated thing like headphone amps are. Sure some dedicated amps suck, but at least they try to do it right.

Don't get me wrong, I've used vintage Yamaha class A, vintage tube fisher, and a whole bunch of other old integrateds which sounded GREAT driving cans, but facts are facts, and that's my opinion.

I've since moved on to dedicated amplifiers. I'm done.
post #51 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post
Of course not. If I see a group of youths selling drugs to ten-year-olds and intervene, I might get beaten up, but that doesn't mean I was wrong, just a little careless of my safety.

Not of course that I'm comparing selling dope to children with an inability to appreciate the virtues of integrated amps.
Well then, I stand corrected on that part.

Look, I'm happy for you and the others that get satisfaction from headphone jacks in receivers and integrated amps. More power too you.

I'm not a priest, a golden ear or one of the many who spend untold amounts of money on super high end headphone amps. I champion the idea that you can have quality headphone audio for a more than reasonable price. I do this for the benefit of the membership and no one else. I am however, an audiophile and have been for over 30 years. I have decent hearing for my age because I took extreme cautions to protect my hearing as time went by.

I have a very good understanding of the differences I hear in audio equipment and I have not found one built-in headphone jack in a receiver or integrated amp, that I would consider on the same level as any of my dedicated headphone amps. That isn't a guess, it's a result of my experiences.

While you can boost about how great receiver/integrated amp headphone jacks really are, I can easily counter with how wonderfully superior a dedicated headphone amp can be. So, we agree to disagree. That is fine and OK in my book.

The one thing I find a little strange, is why someone would want to put down dedicated headphone amps, on a forum designed for headphone audio. It just seems counter productive. Well, I've said enough. I'm going to go roll some tubes and have some fun listening. See ya!
post #52 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penchum View Post
Well then, I stand corrected on that part.

Look, I'm happy for you and the others that get satisfaction from headphone jacks in receivers and integrated amps. More power too you.

I'm not a priest, a golden ear or one of the many who spend untold amounts of money on super high end headphone amps. I champion the idea that you can have quality headphone audio for a more than reasonable price. I do this for the benefit of the membership and no one else. I am however, an audiophile and have been for over 30 years. I have decent hearing for my age because I took extreme cautions to protect my hearing as time went by.

I have a very good understanding of the differences I hear in audio equipment and I have not found one built-in headphone jack in a receiver or integrated amp, that I would consider on the same level as any of my dedicated headphone amps. That isn't a guess, it's a result of my experiences.

While you can boost about how great receiver/integrated amp headphone jacks really are, I can easily counter with how wonderfully superior a dedicated headphone amp can be. So, we agree to disagree. That is fine and OK in my book.

The one thing I find a little strange, is why someone would want to put down dedicated headphone amps, on a forum designed for headphone audio. It just seems counter productive. Well, I've said enough. I'm going to go roll some tubes and have some fun listening. See ya!
That's all fair enough, and no one wants to ridicule your enthusiasm or spoil your fun (and if you scan my posts again, you'll see that I haven't done so). As to the matter of why I'm questioning the use of HP amps in a HP amp forum (assuming of course that integrateds/receivers can't be considered HP amps in themselves), I believe I've already provided the explanation:
"Not everyone has Golden Ears, and I think a lot of people who come here just want a good sound, which, as you've discovered, an integrated can easily provide. There's simply too much advice along the lines of "No point buying a Senn 650 if you're not going to buy a good dedicated amp." The truth is, the 650 sounds quite fine out of any decent integrated/receiver, even if not quite as fine as out of a $1000 dedicated amp. And since most people have one of those already, there's a sensible saving and an avoidance of the dreaded upgrade trap. My call is for balanced advice, not the downfall of the dedicated amp industry or its adherents."

So I'm not "putting down" dedicated amps. I'm just saying they're not mandatory and for some people--including probably me--they represent overkill.
post #53 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunseeker888 View Post
While I agree sweeping generalizations can't be made, alot of us seem to be missing the point about vintage amps and headphones. It's not the ideal situation!
This headphone world is a wacky one. It's not like speakers, where they are almost all 8-ohm loads and extremely uneven loads pretty rare and reasonably reliable efficiency specs are commonly published. In this world, the loads range from a few ohms to several hundred. And those loads can be radically uneven, even in very mainstream products (can you say Sennheiser?). Efficiency specs are rare. Some headphone amps come with variable gain switches, so they can be adapted, within some reasonable ranges, to phones with their various needs. Most, by far, do not have such a feature, and are designed to work well, if not optimally, within a range from 30 or so ohms up to 300 or there abouts. Of course there are amps that are made for phones that need voltage, amps made for phones that need current, but because their manufacturers don't want to narrow their market and their designers usually believe their amps will do well, even when faced with a less than ideal load, they are often not very transparent about specialization.

It's not the ideal situation.

And that puts us right back where we started, whether we are considering a dedicated headphone amp or a vintage receiver: With our ears.

Tim
post #54 of 347
FWIW, I did further comparison between my Rotel pre amp and my power amp + DIY adapter.

After 10+ hours of burn in some difference started to show up (let's not debate about if resistors and cables do burn in ). Most noticeable to me are the wider sound stage and punchier attack, making the Rotel pre amp sounding more relaxed.

Not bad considering wire wound resistors which are not exactly "audiophile" grade, and cheap but thick (12 gauge) speaker cable are used. Sounds like lots of capacitance in there.

I guess if I were to build the adapter with "good" parts, coupled with a half decent CDP with a variable output plugged straight into the power amp, I think I'd be in serious business. How would it compare to LD Mk V? I guess I can only tell when upgraditis struck me (not that I hope ).
post #55 of 347
Audition some good CDP's with built in headphone jack. i'm not exactly sure what models they are or if its true but i've read certain CDP's have built in headphone amps. So you get new source and amp, I'm sure it would sound decent.
post #56 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by braddo View Post
Audition some good CDP's with built in headphone jack. i'm not exactly sure what models they are or if its true but i've read certain CDP's have built in headphone amps. So you get new source and amp, I'm sure it would sound decent.
Anything with a headphone jack has some type of headphone amp. If by CDP, you mean portable CD player, I doubt that they have good enough headphone amps to power most high end headphones well, especially running off of batteries.
post #57 of 347
Which brands of integrated/receivers are known to be/offer good headphone amps? I often read that HK and Marantz do... Any other?

Also, can I expect a better headphone amp from an audiophile receiver than from an entry level receiver?

Finally, would you expect more/less from a stereo receiver than from a 7.1 receiver at twice the price?

I just wonder if it would be better for me to drop 300-500$ more on a new receiver, than purchase a separate head amp...

My cans : DT990 and D2000

Thanks for your lights !
post #58 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by scompton View Post
Anything with a headphone jack has some type of headphone amp. If by CDP, you mean portable CD player, I doubt that they have good enough headphone amps to power most high end headphones well, especially running off of batteries.
Btw, he meant CDP with reputable headphone out like the Marantz. It sounds like you are from the iPod generation. (sorry can't help it)
post #59 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by Headdie View Post
Which brands of integrated/receivers are known to be/offer good headphone amps? I often read that HK and Marantz do... Any other?

Also, can I expect a better headphone amp from an audiophile receiver than from an entry level receiver?

Finally, would you expect more/less from a stereo receiver than from a 7.1 receiver at twice the price?

I just wonder if it would be better for me to drop 300-500$ more on a new receiver, than purchase a separate head amp...

My cans : DT990 and D2000

Thanks for your lights !
You missed the friendly disagreement a few pages ago didn't you?
post #60 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by Navyblue View Post
Btw, he meant CDP with reputable headphone out like the Marantz. It sounds like you are from the iPod generation. (sorry can't help it)
I was wondering as you typed it if you meant CD Player instead of CD Portable. I'm not part of the iPod generation, I'm a child of the 70s. I can't always keep all of the acronyms straight. I've also never owned a CD player with a headphone jack. I've always used an amp or receiver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Headdie View Post
Which brands of integrated/receivers are known to be/offer good headphone amps? I often read that HK and Marantz do... Any other?

Also, can I expect a better headphone amp from an audiophile receiver than from an entry level receiver?

Finally, would you expect more/less from a stereo receiver than from a 7.1 receiver at twice the price?

I just wonder if it would be better for me to drop 300-500$ more on a new receiver, than purchase a separate head amp...

My cans : DT990 and D2000

Thanks for your lights !
I don't know where you live, but my suggestion if your thinking of buying new is find a good shop and take your headphones to try them. BTW, I can't remember anyone saying anything good about a headphone jack on a 7.1 receiver. I'd think you're guaranteed to be buying an op amp based, second thought headphone amp. I'm sure there are decent ones, but not ones that I've read about.
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