Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Are headphone amps pointless...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Are headphone amps pointless... - Page 11

post #151 of 158
In chess a stalemate is defined as a threefold repetition of a position.
post #152 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by tfarney View Post

Of course, from a purely practical standpoint, almost all amps, regardless of design, change the FR of the transducers they drive. It's a matter of how, and how much...
This is a major point. Seems this is something that people use to make non-dedicated jacks pariahs. The thing is, anytime someone says, this amp increases the bass response, or that one brings out the mids, so on and so forth, those amps are changing the frequency response that you are hearing. Not only that, but we can take it further and actually look at how that's not only not necessarily a bad thing, but is actually often times preferable. In fact synergy is basically changing the frequency response that you get in such a way that it sounds better to you. Aiming for neutrality is all fine and good, but the fact is, humans like colored sound. The misnomer here is that colored means a worse quality signal, which is not necessarily the case.

The negativity towards people trying out other amps is ridiculous. Sure, some of you can hide behind your "people are fine to choose integrated over dedicated if they're on a budget and already have one", but then to turn around and say there's no way they could be comparative in enjoyability to high end headphone amps is doing a disservice to the community by stifling real experimentation (which is a major point of advancement I personally believe).

I'm not saying that there aren't plenty of crap headphone jacks out there. Considering receivers, there's a reason why some people don't choose them even when amping speakers. The same goes for the implementation of the jack on the amp, and impedence matching seems to be a significant issue (although I would say that impacts headphone amps as well, and consider how many amps are labeled as for 32-600 ohms and the like). I'm curious if perhaps we shouldn't be looking into adapters designed for specific impedance and run them off the speaker plugs. Something that I find interesting is how I see some people tell someone if they don't absolutely need portability, then to not bother looking at portable amps at all, citing how much "beefier" home amps are. Non-dedicated amps take that to an entirely other level.

Now, for the people who are interested in furthering non-dedicated amps, there's a monumental task. Its hard enough trying to figure out which headphone amp, now think about how many non-headphone amps there are. Then there's issues such as is it good for headphones? Good for headphones and speakers? If we're talking receivers, do they have a good DAC?

Something that I'm curious about is digital amps. They were set to take over a couple years back, but while they delivered solid performance, they ended up not being able to handle a multitude of of speakers and maintain their performance at suitable volume levels. Headphones likely would not be pushing them nearly as much, but it seems like a lot of the jacks were not suitable for headphones (seems like the receivers with digital amp I've seen discussed actually had the infamous cheap opamp instead of being stepped down, so it wasn't really possible to determine the quality of the digital amp).

Really at this point, I don't even see that there's an argument, as it simply boils down to preference. I think we should start a non-dedicated amp appreciation thread, where people can post what non-dedicates they've used. We might even be able to start to draw some conclusions about the information if we can get a large enough amount of it.

Wow, really did not intend to write so much. Oh well.
post #153 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by tfarney View Post
Then we're good. I just had the Glow here for a week. I've heard a couple of Headroom's home products. I've heard a dozen or more good studio systems. They all sounded good, particularly the little Glow. None of them made the headphone jacks of either of my receivers sound like a cheap afterthought, and those headphone jacks would probably deliver a perfectly satisfying listening experience on good, high-impedance phones for 99% of the people who stroll in here looking for advice on cans, only to be told that there really is no point in buying good ones if they're not going to drop another $500 on a dedicated amp.

Tim
Tim's succinct statement is a refreshing break from this exasperating post.

I was in that boat a little over a year ago. I was immediately convinced that my Denon receiver was inferior and then I realized that I was trying to reconcile theories on a computer screen to real-life listening. The two are often incompatible and can lead to misrepresentations.

There is no substitute for first hand experience and you can't get that on the internet.

Scott
post #154 of 158
Couldn't agree more with that. Daily I see here newbies parroting the received wisdom about it not being worth investing in a top end phone without also buying a good dedicated amp and wish I could speak to them directly. No, I wouldn't say forget dedicated amps, but I would ask if they've properly listened to the integrated/receiver they probably already have, or their mate's, or their mate's mate's, or those in the local hi-fi shop, particularly if they intend buying their phones there. IOW, they may in the end prefer a dedicated amp, but that's in the end, not the beginning. At least forget the head fi rhetoric and listen for yourself--it's the least you can do.

Here endeth the lesson.
post #155 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingmajix View Post
Tim's succinct statement is a refreshing break from this exasperating post.

I was in that boat a little over a year ago. I was immediately convinced that my Denon receiver was inferior and then I realized that I was trying to reconcile theories on a computer screen to real-life listening. The two are often incompatible and can lead to misrepresentations.

There is no substitute for first hand experience and you can't get that on the internet.

Scott
It really depends on the receiver.. I think the performance of my receivers amp would satisfy most newbies at Headfi.. But I don't a huge difference between stereo & digital. The DAC1 balanced kills my Yamaha.. It's defiantly a step up.. But when I compared then with a all digital set up.. The DAC1 loses it's advantage & becomes more of a toss up.. I'd still like to buy a amp/DAC for stereo purposes.. or use a external dac to bypass the 3.00 dac in my receiver..
post #156 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by boomana View Post
Uh.....no.....not necessarily. Also, please learn to type correctly and maybe check your spelling. This isn't IRC.



Not true at all. I hope no one here is making any such claim. There are some pretty crappy headphone amps out there, and some are pricey. There are also some amazing headphone amps out there, and not all of them are pricey. It also depends on which headphones you're using with which amp.



Yes, and that's the point. If you're not in a position to hear a lot of amps before making a choice, be selective with your research. Are you taking the advice of well-meaning, enthusiastic members who have maybe only heard one or two before, and with maybe only one or two headphones? Are you letting yourself gets sucked into "this is the best!" posting without asking more questions: which cans, which source, and again, most importantly, which headphone amps and/or integrated, receivers, etc. have they heard before so that you know they have frames of reference to be able to say anything at all.



I have never liked that amp, and have said so on many occasions. I think it's mediocre at best with headphones I'd heard it was made for, and one of my first lessons in what you read ("it's great with Senns," etc.) won't mean it matches with experience once heard. Depending on which cans used (please qualify your statements to be helpful to others), your preamp may be better, but also, how do you mean "better": increased clarity? detail? more realistic imaging? We might have very different definitions of what that means.

Folks, anyone taking the extreme in either position is wrong. Anyone who also says that experience with a variety of headphone amps isn't important is also wrong, even if they have a background in audio. Anyone who doesn't pay attention to who is posting recommendations, what cans they're using, what experience they have, etc. might want to take a look at that before believing anything, and especially before putting money down.
I know my Sony SA5000 sounds wonderful through my V1800.. They synergize very well.. I remember hearing detail I never heard before, even with a expensive amp/dac.. Too bad I don't have them to compare.. Just to make sure, I'm not wanting to hear more detail then I am..
post #157 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingmajix View Post
I was in that boat a little over a year ago. I was immediately convinced that my Denon receiver was inferior and then I realized that I was trying to reconcile theories on a computer screen to real-life listening. The two are often incompatible and can lead to misrepresentations.
Just to expand on that point, because it's a good one: I wonder how many people have plugged their phones into a receiver or CD player, liked what they heard but dismissed the evidence of their own ears due to what they've read here? I have a Sony MDS-JB940 home minidisc deck which sounds great out of the HP jack, but for years I resisted using it because I thought a minidisc deck can't really sound any good with top grade headphones--I must need to refine my hearing a little. But it's true: the 940 sounds as good as anything I've heard including the Little Dot Mk V. Now it probably won't drive my Senn 650 hard on rock or rap, in fact I know it won't, but at moderate listening levels with classical it's great. And that's the thing: horses for courses. Not everyone needs enough ampage or current to kill an elephant.
And not everyone needs superbly disciplined bass or to hear every tiny detail in every recording.
post #158 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post
Just to expand on that point, because it's a good one: I wonder how many people have plugged their phones into a receiver or CD player, liked what they heard but dismissed the evidence of their own ears due to what they've read here? I have a Sony MDS-JB940 home minidisc deck which sounds great out of the HP jack, but for years I resisted using it because I thought a minidisc deck can't really sound any good with top grade headphones--I must need to refine my hearing a little. But it's true: the 940 sounds as good as anything I've heard including the Little Dot Mk V. Now it probably won't drive my Senn 650 hard on rock or rap, in fact I know it won't, but at moderate listening levels with classical it's great. And that's the thing: horses for courses. Not everyone needs enough ampage or current to kill an elephant.
And not everyone needs superbly disciplined bass or to hear every tiny detail in every recording.
Thats what happened when I heard a lossless audio file with my AKG 701s using my computer jack.. I was telling myself it shouldn't sound this good or trying to come up with reasons why it doesn't sound good.. Now my DAC1/BADA12 combo did sound better.. But I expected a night & day difference, & was really disappointed..
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) › Are headphone amps pointless...