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NAD Receiver beats LD MKIVse?? - Page 8

post #106 of 191
Thread Starter 
Spot on Golden Monkey, this is my experience too, thats why my NAD712 sounds much better than the whole new BEE 320C thingy.

@sonq, tbh I'm quite unimpressed by all of them, they are definetly not worth the price imo. Offcourse they are 'cheap' one could say for what they offer as 'technology' and materials. But for the SQ increase, it doesn't really seem worth it. From my experience I would recommend one to get on ebay and find an older receiver/amp, cause it will probably be 99% of the SQ and be alot cheaper + more functional. But I should have gone to Stax a long time ago tbh, they just beat everything else I have
post #107 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golden Monkey View Post
Slightly off topic (at least in relation to NAD headphone jacks), but while I was trying out using a really old Denon DRA-627R (1991) amp I have as a preamp, I tried plugging my HD650s into the jack, and I was REALLY suprised at how good it sounded. It wasn't better than the MKV, but it was much better than I had anticipated. It was rich and warm, but not muddy or unfocused. I thought "WTF?" and tried the Denon D2000 on it, and it was even better due to lower impedance. Nice and quiet background, gobs of power...I couldn't believe it. My much newer AVR-3805 (2005) receiver's jack sounds like crap in comparison. I guess Denon put more effort into the headphone outs back in the day. Humph...who knew?

Me, because I've been buying and selling 80s/90s amps and receivers for years and testing out the jacks, first with a Senn 595 and more lately with the 650. However, my objections on these forums to the popular myth that all speaker amps use crap 10c op amps and aren't worth bothering with not only fell on deaf ears but inspired implied threats of taring and feathering if I didn't immediately wake up to myself and tow the line. So I retired, not from HeadFi but this emotive subject. Now it seems I wasn't suffering premature dementia after all, or even functional deafness. However, as I'm a generous soul, I'll refrain from adopting an "I told you so" attitude and just smile smugly, since you can't see me anyway. I won't hope that those who berated me in years past will come apologising cap-in-hand, as I don't want to be disappointed. But I am confident they'll be a little less quick on the trigger the next time this subject comes up.

The above is of course all meant tongue-in-cheek. I think.
post #108 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by vvanrij View Post
@sonq, tbh I'm quite unimpressed by all of them, they are definetly not worth the price imo. Offcourse they are 'cheap' one could say for what they offer as 'technology' and materials. But for the SQ increase, it doesn't really seem worth it.
I've not heard enough popular amps on this site to make valid comments, but I suspect that there's much hype and misinformed enthusiasm - which may be expected as everyone has different level of exposure to hifi and taste is also subjective.

BTW, what are the amps you have heard?
post #109 of 191
I don't think the popular amps on the board are over rated, but good quality receivers and integrated amps have been grossly underrated. And for most of us, that makes the popular headphone amps over-priced. Even some DIY and great bang-for-the-buck headphone amps start to look expensive when you can get something like a brand new Cambridge Audio Azur 340A for $329 and get so much more functionality. Used integrated amps? Forget about it. The price/performance ratio gets really good.

Tim
post #110 of 191
A point often overlooked is that even if you buy a dedicated HP amp you still need an integrated/receiver for switching purposes and to drive the speakers most of us have for occasional purposes even if not main listening. So it's not a question of either/or, but whether to add the HP amp cost onto the receiver/integrated cost. What amazes me is when people post stuff like, "I have a NAD 712receiver and want a good HP amp for not more than $300." You can see they've scoured dozens of threads and decided the NAD HP jack is not worth trying even out of curiousity, so brainwashed are they that a receiver's jack cannot be any good. If these recent contrary threads do no more than entice such people to try out their receiver jacks before shelling out big bucks on dedicateds they'll have served their purpose.

Or are there people out there using dedicated HP amps on their own
post #111 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post
What amazes me is when people post stuff like, "I have a NAD 712receiver and want a good HP amp for not more than $300." You can see they've scoured dozens of threads and decided the NAD HP jack is not worth trying even out of curiousity, so brainwashed are they that a receiver's jack cannot be any good.
I have my doubts about that. I can't imagine being interested in headphone listening, having a good pair of phones and not even plugging them in until you can get a headphone amp. I suspect, rather, that they have listened to the headphone jack of that hypothetical NAD, read Head-fi and become convinced that they're really missing something. Then they get a $300 or $400 or even $500 headphone amp and either convince themselves that they hear a big difference so they don't feel foolish, or don't come here and talk about it for fear of looking foolish. It has changed a bit recently, though. People seem to have been coming out of the woodwork saying they don't hear all the drama discussed on these pages.

I'd call that a good thing. Now, with all of that said, if you're interested in the very high-end, it is much less expensive to achieve in head fi. But the differences between really good integrateds and receivers and mid level headphone amps seem to be incremental at best. Heck, even the difference between tubes and good, warm solid state is fairly small. It is a pretty compelling little difference, but it is little nonetheless. I was in love with that Glow for the week that I had it. I could hear that the whatever-it-is in the mids was missing when I switched back to the Harman Kardon. Three days later? I really don't miss it. The HK sounds great.

Tim
post #112 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by tfarney View Post
I have my doubts about that. I can't imagine being interested in headphone listening, having a good pair of phones and not even plugging them in until you can get a headphone amp. I suspect, rather, that they have listened to the headphone jack of that hypothetical NAD, read Head-fi and become convinced that they're really missing something. Then they get a $300 or $400 or even $500 headphone amp and either convince themselves that they hear a big difference so they don't feel foolish, or don't come here and talk about it for fear of looking foolish. It has changed a bit recently, though. People seem to have been coming out of the woodwork saying they don't hear all the drama discussed on these pages.
x2. Although I won't hold my breath waiting for people to stop fooling themselves. I've not heard good headphone amps to compare. That'll change Saturday when I go to the DC meet. I'm taking my NAD and I'm sure there will be plenty of dedicated amps to listen to.

I'm also building a Starving Student Millet Hybrid. I finished building it and listened to it for a couple of minutes. When I closed the case up, I shorted something and fried it.
post #113 of 191
There is another reason to have a separate tube headphone amp hooked up to a receiver/integrated amp/pre-amp, and that is line filtering, or what some call tube filtering. Here is an example of what I mean:

I have my MKIII tube amp hooked up to the "tape 1" of my Yamaha Pre-amp (1980s version). I have the MKIII's input hooked to "REC OUT" and it's output hooked up to "PLAY" in the tape loop connections. With everything fired up, I can select my CDP or DAC as a source, and listen to my book shelf speakers. If I also select "Tape1" to monitor, I can listen to that same source "tubed" by the MKIII, with speakers, headphone jack or directly from the MKIII.

The general consensus among those of us who have done this, is that it improves the listening experience through speakers much more than what was expected. Digital brightness is gone, replaced by what most would describe as "normal" brightness, or more "analog" than before. Tube rolling can further enhance the "tube" effect, allowing customization to match your personal tastes.

If a person already has both a receiver/integrated amp/pre-amp and a separate tube amp with pre-amp capabilities, this is a no brainer to try and see if they like it. Highly recommended!
post #114 of 191
Quote:
Tube rolling can further enhance the "tube" effect, allowing customization to match your personal tastes.
A point that should be made regarding my experience with Miguel's Glow. I used the standard Chinese tubes only. And there was a difference. One that is very difficult to put a finger on but that was very pleasant. Yeah, now that I've been back on the old HK a few days, I'm right back in my groove and I don't miss the Glow much. Or maybe I do. I still remember the presence in the mids. I'll probably have a tube amp someday.

Tim
post #115 of 191
I'm using a dedicated headphone amp on its own. I have used such "abbreviated" systems since I attached a Melos SHA-1 to a cdp 14 or 15 years ago.

I also have a Rogue Cronus/Vandersteen 1C system in a dedicated listening room. The headphone jack on that Rogue is dreadful, just dreadful, compared to the VHP-2. It is opamp-based.

BUT . . . I have had both dreadful AND wonderful jacks out of integrateds in the past.

I wonder if the real problem with discussions of standard jacks in receivers and integrateds isn't the bizarre variation in quality of said jacks? And the fact that no two Head-Fiers have the same A/V receiver or other piece of equipment.

I mean, how do you get a handle on it? A HeadRoom this-or-that is a discrete piece of gear that, hopefully, varies little from unit to unit. We can discuss how it sounds with headphones on more or less common ground.

But how a 30 year old HK compares to a 10 year old Yamaha integrated compares to a new Denon A/V unit is hard, very hard, if not impossible, to determine or to discuss.

But as to the question as to whether or not folks use dedicated HP amps all by themselves, I think the answer is yes, zillions do, at least in Head-Fi country or at the other major headphone forums.
post #116 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by greggf View Post
I'm using a dedicated headphone amp on its own. I have used such "abbreviated" systems since I attached a Melos SHA-1 to a cdp 14 or 15 years ago.

I also have a Rogue Cronus/Vandersteen 1C system in a dedicated listening room. The headphone jack on that Rogue is dreadful, just dreadful, compared to the VHP-2. It is opamp-based.

BUT . . . I have had both dreadful AND wonderful jacks out of integrateds in the past.

I wonder if the real problem with discussions of standard jacks in receivers and integrateds isn't the bizarre variation in quality of said jacks? And the fact that no two Head-Fiers have the same A/V receiver or other piece of equipment.

I mean, how do you get a handle on it? A HeadRoom this-or-that is a discrete piece of gear that, hopefully, varies little from unit to unit. We can discuss how it sounds with headphones on more or less common ground.

But how a 30 year old HK compares to a 10 year old Yamaha integrated compares to a new Denon A/V unit is hard, very hard, if not impossible, to determine or to discuss.

But as to the question as to whether or not folks use dedicated HP amps all by themselves, I think the answer is yes, zillions do, at least in Head-Fi country or at the other major headphone forums.
I think those are all legitimate questions and issues. Answer? I think it starts with a reality-based discussion. All dedicated headphone amps aren't better than all integrated amps and receivers. Heck, all dedicated headphone amps aren't good, period. And of course, neither are all integrateds and receivers. And I don't think the industry is going to make it easy for us. I think we'll find some op amp based headphone sections in A/V receivers that sound damn good. And some discrete, dedicated headphone amps that don't. And I think we'll find that often, the opposite is true. I think we'll have to use our ears, and I wish we would stop repeating myths and conventional wisdoms, because a couple of the most often repeated have turned out to be dead wrong.

All the rest are now suspect.

Tim
post #117 of 191
Still glad I sold my X-can V3, and enjoying the headphone amp in my Denon pre-amp
post #118 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiemen View Post
Still glad I sold my X-can V3, and enjoying the headphone amp in my Denon pre-amp
And I'd still love to hear a Darkvoice 332, and a Woo 6, and a CIAudio....

Tim
post #119 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by tfarney View Post
I have my doubts about that. I can't imagine being interested in headphone listening, having a good pair of phones and not even plugging them in until you can get a headphone amp. I suspect, rather, that they have listened to the headphone jack of that hypothetical NAD, read Head-fi and become convinced that they're really missing something. Then they get a $300 or $400 or even $500 headphone amp and either convince themselves that they hear a big difference so they don't feel foolish, or don't come here and talk about it for fear of looking foolish. It has changed a bit recently, though. People seem to have been coming out of the woodwork saying they don't hear all the drama discussed on these pages.

Tim
Actually that was what I meant--not that they haven't ever plugged into the NAD, but that their impressions were hopelessly tainted by all they'd read on HeadFi and other forums: that they heard, in fact, exactly what they expected and had been told they would hear. Or, as you suggest, they liked what they heard but no way were going to admit it on a forum of happy Opera Corda owners. Or--the most likely scenario--they liked what they heard so assumed that a dedicated amp had to be at least three times better. That's one I've fallen into myself, but no more.
post #120 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by tfarney View Post
And I'd still love to hear a Darkvoice 332, and a Woo 6, and a CIAudio....

Tim

Well, it's safe to listen now, since you're going to hear what's there, or isn't there, and not what someone told you you should hear.
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