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Upgrade to Xonar Essence or buy Headphone amp? - Page 7

post #91 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reader View Post
Whole lot of non sense, your (or Mine) HD 650 do not have a "ultra smart AI and magic circuit" that will know which amp it's plugged into, when it pluged into my prehead it's not going go "I am in prehead now, I will draw 500mw, but instead of making it really loud and blow the driver I will use the extra power to make it sound better!!" Or "I am in STX now, I will draw 30mW to get the same Vol but it just won't sound as good."

At same wattage, the same headphone it will have the same vol, 500mw likely will kill it or make you deaf. Headphone amp is not about pump out more wattage, it's about how well it outputs at certain wattage.
Not at all. The difference is like the one between moving a 10 pound rock and a 100 pound rock. That requires zero participation or intelligence from the rock. If you want to move a substantial driver and voicecoil with precision, you need the power. You can dance around that all you want, but it will not change.

If you want to run a flyweight amp with a modest (at best) switching power supply out of your computer, fine. Just stop pretending that it is something it isn't.

If you want to go into the timeworn automotive analogies, all this modding, etc. is just putting a bunch of performance tweaks on an economy car. If you go to the trouble of building a linear power supply and installing proper caps and resistors, it will no longer fit in a computer case and will cost substantially more than buying a desktop amp.

Me? I wanted a sports car. I didn't buy an econobox and put a ton of crap on it. I went and bought a RX-7 and leave it stock. The RX-7 cost less than an econobox with a bunch of crap and it performs just fine. That's the same reason I don't use tweaky lightweight amps - I start with a proper one. You don't have to do the same, but give some serious thought to starting out with what you actually want instead of pimping out some consumer grade card that's engineered for a 12-18 month lifespan.
post #92 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by laobrasuca
For example, for the HD650, what's the max input power?
According to the manual, 500mW.

Also, the power output of M^3 amp, for example (known to power Senns good) is as follows:

Quote:
AD8610, 27V PSU: 0.6Wrms into 33Ω, 2Wrms into 8Ω
OPA604, 40V PSU: 1.8Wrms into 33Ω, 6Wrms into 8Ω
The power output of STX's headphone amp chip is 80mW @ 600Ω.

Also, I think this would be relevant for the discussion, I should have posted it here. Please, take a look.
post #93 of 102
nice, thx funky-kun for the details. I'm really dropping off on the discussion about STX being able or not to drive the HD650. For me it's clear that power is (EDIT) NOT a problem. As you said in the other thread, it is ridiculous to try reaching its maximum power input, since no one can support the sound level at that point. If there's a problem with the AMP section, it is definitely elsewhere (the TI for example, as suggested by Chinesekiwi:

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonboy403 View Post
"The MKV is clearly better. I've had it. I consider the TI internal amp in the big picture of things a low-end amp. It's not crap, but it's not stellar either." - Chinesekiwi
)

lao
post #94 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post
Not at all. The difference is like the one between moving a 10 pound rock and a 100 pound rock. That requires zero participation or intelligence from the rock. If you want to move a substantial driver and voicecoil with precision, you need the power. You can dance around that all you want, but it will not change.

Dude, think about it, just because you push it with different truck, the 10 pound rock can't all the sudden turn into a 100 pound one.
post #95 of 102

I just did an A-B comparison of the Heed CANAMP vs. the Asus Xonar Essence STX using AKG K 702 and Bose Triport; and using the RCA out of the STX's DAC for the CANAMP.  Both are able to drive the K 702 easily, and both sound nearly identical.  There is a little more clarity in the STX, probably due to less noise, but there's a little more bass with the CANAMP.  It's really hard to tell the difference, so just go with the $180 STX instead of the $450 CANAMP. 

post #96 of 102

I agree with PointyFox... I bought the woo audio 6 recently and was shocked to find that the sound from my STX was identical to the WA6 (with my hd650s and D2000s). The D2000s actually sounded better with the STX at higher volumes. I even compared it to my sansui amp's headphone out. The sansui had a bit more bass but other than that I could not tell the difference. I sold the WA6 and bought a NAD C355BEE integrated amp. The NAD has a better headphone out than the STX though. There is a slight increase in instrument separation and detail. I still haven't heard a dedicated headphone amp that costs 5 times as much as the STX and sounds better...

 

I'm not saying this because I love the STX. I actually loved the woo audio's looks :P. I just couldn't justify spending so much on something that sounds identical to something so cheap.

 

post #97 of 102

Not sure if anyone still interested in that topic but I believe that xonar cant be compared to dedicated headamp. More to say its not as good as source as ppl think. I own now stx and I must say its great card ofcouse! I can listen to beyers dt880pro and ultrasones pro2500 so different impedance phones..BUT.  Some time ago I wanted to give it a try and upgrade headamp. I chose amp made by Majkel, known constructor here in my country and known here at forum. I bought his moonlihght, connected to stx and what... heard almost no difference! I bought also DIy amp clone of pass aleph from ebay working in class A etc and I also didnt notice any difference I could say "wow". Now Im waiting for matrix m stage and Im afraid it could bve the same situation. And I think its not that all these quite good amps are queal to stx amp, but because stx is too weak as SOURCE to hear difference! Im only speculating now, but 2 very experienced ppl already said that thing so it must be something in it.

To prove it or not Ill have soon opportunity to listen to some amps with better source. Ill write it here if anyone would be still interested ;)

post #98 of 102

Zibra try rolling op-amps on the STX with some OPA2107APs or OPA627/827. You will need Two OPA2107AP one for each I/V while you will need Two pairs of OPA627 or 827s on a adaptor. Tho I dont know how those op-amps will react on both your Ultrasone 2500 pros and Beyers DT880pro. Stock Op-amps just dont do jutice with those headphones.  Just like how the JRC doesnt do justice with my AKG 702 where the ones I mention does, also you try high gain with either of those headphones unless the DT880 you have is the 32 ohm ver?  I do belive it has a very good headphone amp because of those two people. Other then my jaw droping with my STX and AKG 702 which didnt happen on the auzentech bravura I had before.

post #99 of 102

I rolled it to 2604 on headphone output. I see difference but I dont believe its so good that I cant see other amps difference. I would compare it to CPU and graphic card. Both works but if CPU is too weak then graphic card wont go further and show its full possibilities. Stx sure as sound card looks great and specs are impressive, but Ill find out soon if im right or not, when I test other stuff, external DACs etc toit.

post #100 of 102

THANK YOU for all your research and eliminating the power concerns/myths. Being new to head-fi I cannot express how stupendous this thread is for a scrub like me. Nothing short of enamored. chaps. :*) Loads of thanks for all your research. You've certainly taught this young head-fier a thing or two! Now to return the HD 595 and pair my day old STX with the Sen 650! Deepest thanks all: Cheers!!


Edited by Hennyo - 12/25/10 at 11:07pm
post #101 of 102



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Funky-kun View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by laobrasuca
For example, for the HD650, what's the max input power?
According to the manual, 500mW.

Also, the power output of M^3 amp, for example (known to power Senns good) is as follows:

Quote:
AD8610, 27V PSU: 0.6Wrms into 33Ω, 2Wrms into 8Ω
OPA604, 40V PSU: 1.8Wrms into 33Ω, 6Wrms into 8Ω
The power output of STX's headphone amp chip is 80mW @ 600Ω.

Also, I think this would be relevant for the discussion, I should have posted it here. Please, take a look.


Your comparing apples with oranges here as the impedances are radically different & not even the impedance of the phones in question which is 300 ohms. It looks as if you are tring to make the TI amp look really bad when if you look at the power of the TI amp at 300 ohms instead of 600 ohms & use the same impedance fore the others there is only 20mW difference 160 compare to180 about a 0.5db difference. Not enough to write home about.

 


Edited by germanium - 12/26/10 at 11:06am
post #102 of 102

Some major necromancy going on in this thread basshead.gif. I'll chip in, having used the Asus Xonar Essence STX and Heed Canamp with the AKG K701's and the HD650's.

 

Both headphones reveal the same differences between the Canamp and the STX. Which are slim, though noticeable in back-to-back SPL-matched listening. The foremost thing is the Heed seems to have more oomph in the bass end. Impact hits harder and things like the bass drum or an electronic beat punches through more clearly when the bass end gets busy. The STX also seems to be very forward in the lower treble compared to the Canamp which manifests in higher subjective clarity, but also sometimes sounds shrill and sibilant. Thirdly, the soundstage is noticeably larger with the Heed Canamp, while the STX sounds decidedly closed in and intimate in comparison. Overall, I would give the STX the edge where is comes to clarity and detail, but the Canamp is, to me, more enjoyable and musical.

 

 

I'd also like to note that while the STX's line-out gets very good measurements, to me it sounds too dark and the bass sounds uncontrolled and bloated compared to the HP-out or Canamp. The difference between the outputs is curiously much more pronounced with the HD650's than the K701's.

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