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Tjoeb & Headphones

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I've just begun a new job, and there are a variety of noises here impinging on me, so I'm going to take the plunge & experiment with a CD player/headphone set-up. I'm simultaneously planning on giving in to another temptation: the fascinating Ah! Tjoeb CD player (the 4000 in this case).

I've ordered some Beyerdynamic DT831's (upon the rec. of this board, HeadRoom, and others) from Jan Meyer (another great rec.), and I'm about to order the CDP from Upscale audio.

They suggest lowering the output voltage to account for my use of headphones. This will apparently give me greater volume control and keep the output near the upper range of the volume control (which they say lends itself toward greater fidelity).

Any thoughts? I'd like to avoid getting a headphone amp just now (this having blown my budget), but I don't want to buy a unit that screws me down the line (i.e., when I do buy an amp, or when I incorporate it into my main system).

Many thanks,
post #2 of 19

Oh! Nice CD Player! Funny name.

I've had my eye on the OH! Tjobe 4000 too. From what I have read it's a best buy for under $1K? But, I'm not an expert.
Please post your thoughts on the deck once you have used it a while. That price seems OK, has the best upgrades too.
Going to have Jan send me some Senn 580s very soon. Perhaps early next year will get the Oh! as well.
post #3 of 19
I'm serious- you need need need an amp to get great sound out of even the best cdps. Even a cmoy will make a big difference and it won't bust your budget.
post #4 of 19
I don't think these Beyers will sound as good out of low impedance jacks...including the Cmoy.

But you can get a custom Cmoy, or there are some multiple impedance amps (creek OBH-11SE, SHA-1, Corda, MGhead Maybe). Note that the jack out of a power amp or integrated will typically also be higher output impedance, but you run the risk of less clean power from having speaker level noise tolerances vs headphones.

Unfortunately, there are very few audio companies that actually really KNOW what they are doing when it comes to properly driving headphones, just because they are so typically speaker geared. So unless its been tested and tried, we really don't know how well your modd'd HP jack will work.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

Revised Question

Thank you for the input so far. Keep it coming. After I posted this, I posted a similar question over at headwize, and I'd be curious for your answer it...

Which of the following two scenarios will likely yield more satisfaction: (recognizing that both are flawed)

Good headphones (in this case, as above, DT831s) +
Run-of-the-mill portable CD player (in this case, a Sony D133 discman) +
good headphone amp (think ~$350, likely an MG Head)


Good headphones (ditto) +
good CDP (Ah! Tjoeb 4000) +
no headphone amp.


post #6 of 19
Good headphones
Denon DCM-370 for $125 from ubid.com
$350 left for an amp (of course, $425 would get you a Melos SHA-1, but I won't tempt you )

That'll be a good system. BTW, stereophile doesn't like the Njoe Tjoeb that much and it's really rare for stereophile to not really like something
post #7 of 19
I think it depends on your taste and expectations. You may very well be happy without an amp. I have an Ah! TJ 4000 and a JMT/HD580. I had never used the 580 without an amp and when I finally plugged it directly into the Ah!, it totally sucked. If my amp went away, I would stop using the 580s till I got another amp. No ifs, ands, or buts.
post #8 of 19
Don't use the AH!TJ 4000 without a headphone amp ,it sounds awful.I had never attemped it until seeing your post.I'M listening to it now through HD600s and the sound is very muffled and there is poor instrument separation.The volume is ok but that's about it.With Grado SR325 it sounds like I'm listening to a bad portable.The headphone jack on this player is an afterthought at best.Keep in mind that this player is VERY revealing of the source material and maybe it needs to be amplified by some means to soften it up a bit.

If your budget does not allow for both the CDP and a headphone amp,do not buy the AH!.I am certain you will not get maximun satisfaction from the headphones or the CD player.

When the budget does allow,you must try the AH! cd player and the MGhead amp,together they are aural sex.I have found the sound best when I feed the amp straight from the player.
post #9 of 19

Great thread, thanks.

The thread has been very helpful to this newbe. I have been reading posts for a long time trying to find quality equipment that works well together.
I have ordered a set of Sennheiser HD-600’s from Jan just now. I plan to buy a HD Head and use my old Sony ES 5 disk until I can afford the Oh!.
If anyone has first hand knowledge good or bad on the Oh! I’m very interested to hear your thoughts. Jan B found an interesting negitive review on the Oh!, thanks Jan............Dan
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 

No Tjoeb?

If anyone has links to (negative) Tjoeb reviews, I'd love it if you posted them.

As far as positive reviews go, the AudioReview people love these players, and a collection of additional positive (not surprising, this is the US dealer) reviews can be found here: http://upscaleaudio.com/4000review.htm.

post #11 of 19
a good cdp is a nice place to start ofcourse, but what use is a good cdp when you're going to use the built in heapdhone jack? get a good amp and preferably one with an increased output impedance (maybe a CMOY from JMT, he might be able to make one with the higher imp.) and spend a bit less on the cdp. unless you'll have $300 in a few months to buy an am, cause you'll want one bad
post #12 of 19
stereophile didn't like the njoe tjoeb?

i bet the reviewer complained that the tube output stage 'colored' the sound and hence was less 'accurate' in reproducing music...

oh well, let the blind lead the blind...
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
p.s.: I did a search on Stereophile & Tjoeb, and it appears that you may be refering to this:

Unfortunately, that is only the contents page, with none of the meat available (free at least) online. Anyone have this issue laying around? I'd be curious what this Tellig fellow thought.

(the only other reference is this: http://www.stereophile.com/showarchives.cgi?306, which is not a review)
post #14 of 19
Naw, stereophile didn't pan it. They liked it and even classified it as a class D (or was it C?) CDP. From the reviews, it's definitely worth a listen and is likely great for the price.

Anyway, Dick Olsher used to work for stereophile and he gave the New Tube a great review on enjoythemusic.
post #15 of 19

the njoe tjoeb is just decent stock, you're gonna have to buy some nice NOS tubes and look into minor tweaks before it becomes a giant killer. so, quite honestly, it may not be the best choice for your application (in my opinion, it's greatest characteristics-soundstage openness, lots of air - need a speaker setup to shine). instead, maybe try to audition the NAD c541 or a Rotel - it'll probably be more condusive to headphone listening (out of the box). then get a semi decent headphone amp.

for any other type of application, the ah! tjoeb 4000 absolutely kills. but there's also a lot of options used in this price range, so try to take that into account.


as far as i know stereophile has only reviewed the ah! tjoeb '99, which is a MUCH different player than the 4000. reviews (and i'm saying this as a reviewer) are guides, don't take them as gospel.

if you care, i think the njoe is absolutely special, but not the last word in anything audiophile (and i'm saying this as an owner). however, with improvements (BDR cones, amprex or mullard tubes - about $750 total cost including player), it's pretty damned great.

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