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JH Audio JH-13 PRO appreciation thread - Page 589

post #8821 of 10287
Quote:
Originally Posted by melkenshawn View Post

Does a rockboxed iPod classic 5.5g have a lot of improvement over a rockboxed clip+?

As mentioned earlier, you are not near the potental of how good the JH13 Pro will sound if you only use a cheap player like a clip+. If you have the chance, try the JH13 Pro with a good DAC and amp. The sound will be much fuller, organic, richer - the list of improvements is long. Just an helpful advice.
Edited by Oslo72 - 3/25/12 at 4:26pm
post #8822 of 10287
Quote:
Originally Posted by melkenshawn View Post

Umm i guess i am just thinking of ways to better the sound quality.


That's fine in itself, I'm just a little worried that you might be throwing money at a "problem" that doesn't seem to exist, to me.

 

Ever do any digital photography? When you load a photo into a program, even one as simple as iPhoto on a Mac, you can play with a slider that adjusts the "warmth" (or tone) of a picture--on one end is very blue, on the other is very orange/red/yellow. Most of the time, you only fiddle with that slider because you look at the photo and can tell that the tone is off; you then start moving the slider in the direction you know it should be. 

 

Right now it looks like you've got a "picture" of the sound presented to you by the JH13, and you want to improve it, but you're completely unsure what needs improving. This means you might be missing out the possibility that there's nothing to improve. I concede I might be wrong on that, but if you want to discount that possibility altogether without being able to tell what your system "ought" to be doing better, this looks like a very futile endeavour. Ultimately your cash, I hope you make the right call.

post #8823 of 10287
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oslo72 View Post


As mentioned earlier, you are not near the potental of how good the JH13 Pro will sound if you only use a cheap player like a clip+. If you have the chance, try the JH13 Pro with a good DAC and amp. The sound will be much fuller, organic, richer - the list of improvements is long. Just an helpful advice.


 

Money has little to do with sound quality for sources. Unlike headphones/speakers/transducers, producing a high-quality design isn't terribly expensive as far as the audio signal goes. The Clip series delivers a near-reference signal to the JH13s relative to other portables.

 

The only worthwhile improvement would be a more reference-level desktop setup, e.g. the O2 amplifier and the upcoming ODAC for about $200 total. Anything that deviates significantly from what either of these deliver (such as offering more warmth or other buzzwords like that) is actually adding distortion to the signal. Which is fine -- but I believe it's far more efficient in performance and dollar terms to keep the flavoring to the headphones and/or digital/hardware equalization.


Edited by 3X0 - 3/26/12 at 4:09am
post #8824 of 10287
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3X0 View Post

Money has little to do with sound quality for sources. Unlike headphones/speakers/transducers, producing a high-quality design isn't terribly expensive as far as the audio signal goes. The Clip series delivers a near-reference signal to the JH13s relative to other portables.

 

The only worthwhile improvement would be a more reference-level desktop setup, e.g. the O2 amplifier and the upcoming ODAC for about $200 total. Anything that deviates significantly from what either of these deliver (such as offering more warmth or other buzzwords like that) is actually adding distortion to the signal. Which is fine -- but I believe it's far more efficient in performance and dollar terms to keep the flavoring to the headphones and/or digital/hardware equalization.


Good take on things, though a superior DAC would help. I listen to my 4.A through the line-out of my iBasso D7... lol

post #8825 of 10287
[/quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3X0 View Post


 

Money has little to do with sound quality for sources. Unlike headphones/speakers/transducers, producing a high-quality design isn't terribly expensive as far as the audio signal goes. The Clip series delivers a near-reference signal to the JH13s relative to other portables.

 

The only worthwhile improvement would be a more reference-level desktop setup, e.g. the O2 amplifier and the upcoming ODAC for about $200 total. Anything that deviates significantly from what either of these deliver (such as offering more warmth or other buzzwords like that) is actually adding distortion to the signal. Which is fine -- but I believe it's far more efficient in performance and dollar terms to keep the flavoring to the headphones and/or digital/hardware equalization.


I have the Sandisk Sansa Clip+ player myselves, and even though that little source delivers a reference signal, the sound quality is not good with JH13 Pro. They sound hollow, flat, to bright and the bass is weak. It is like listening to the music through some thin walls - you hear the music, but the thin walls are blocking for a full enjoyment.

As mentioned before, you still can have a portable solution if you pair the JH13 with for example Hifiman 801 and a portable amp. Or pair it with the Clas DAC, an iPod and a small, but powerful amp. The JH13 Pro scales up nicely up with a good source and amp, and I really dont understand why anyone would only use the Clip+ player with such an expensive CIEM like JH13 Pro.
Edited by Oslo72 - 3/26/12 at 7:53am
post #8826 of 10287
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oslo72 View Post
I have the Sandisk Sansa Clip+ player myselves, and even though that little source delivers a reference signal, the sound quality is not good with JH13 Pro. They sound hollow, flat, to bright and the bass is weak. It is like listening to the music through some thin walls - you hear the music, but the thin walls are blocking for a full enjoyment.
As mentioned before, you still can have a portable solution if you pair the JH13 with for example Hifiman 801 and a portable amp. Or pair it with the Clas DAC, an iPod and a small, but powerful amp. The JH13 Pro scales up nicely up with a good source and amp, and I really dont understand why anyone would only use the Clip+ player with such an expensive CIEM like JH13 Pro.

That's a bit misguided. Thinking of these things in terms of money (e.g. the idea that the Clip is insufficient because it is cheap) is a good way to waste money, not spend it.

 

http://www.ethanwiner.com/audiophoolery.html

 

With these things in mind, the differences come down to either volume level mismatching or one of the four dimensions of audio quality. I wouldn't put it past audiophile-marketed sources/amplifiers to artificially introduce distortion through filtering/impedance tomfoolery to augment the perceived experience of the listener (it's a high-margin business, after all). Otherwise you are hearing differences that do not exist (i.e. placebo).

 

However, the same distortion/augmentation effects can be accomplished with greater precision through sufficient digital or hardware equalization and would cost much less in the process.

 

Given the relatively low impedance of the JH13s and the low output impedance of the Sansa Clip, it is more than sufficient to work well with the JH13s. Anything more (for portable use) is throwing money into a problem that doesn't exist.


Edited by 3X0 - 3/26/12 at 12:15pm
post #8827 of 10287

I love how the ODAC is reference when it doesn't even exist yet and uses an unknown, top secret chip from an unknown source.  With the O2 and ODAC makes you wonder why its designer even keeps a DAC1 around.  In fact, if the Clip+ is so good why buy or make an ODAC?  rolleyes.gif  Run it maxed bypassing the attenuator as LO to the O2.  Surely it's impossible to have a better source than a $27 Clip+ which would make an ODAC a ripoff for audiophools.

 

Oslo, people want you to believe your ears are wrong because the Clip is cheap and small in a little plastic box so you are fooling yourself (which is not impossible).  You aren't.  It simply doesn't have the juice to drive certain dynamic and multiBA crossover IEMs well enough for optimal dynamics.  Plus size does have a physical impact on the topology and maximum potential a device can achieve based on the quality of the parts available that can be employed. 

post #8828 of 10287


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oslo72 View Post

I have the Sandisk Sansa Clip+ player myselves, and even though that little source delivers a reference signal, the sound quality is not good with JH13 Pro.


But if you agree that it's "reference" (i.e. reference quality), then it's odd to simultaneously declare that it's not good. If reference is bad, why is it reference?

 

 

 

Quote:
Or pair it with the Clas DAC, an iPod and a small, but powerful amp.

 

Is more power the solution for a JH13? It's low impedance and high efficiency (SPL), yes? I thought "control"--vague as my grasp of that notion is--and things like impedance matching would be more important.

 

 

 

Quote:
The JH13 Pro scales up nicely up with a good source and amp, and I really dont understand why anyone would only use the Clip+ player with such an expensive CIEM like JH13 Pro.

 

I can think of a few broad categories:

Convenience, cost, conviction.

 

Convenience--less to carry, less to charge, less discrete components that can fail (my iPod's LOD is wonky, for example).

 

Cost--the JH13 is expensive. It's $1000+; people may not have cash leftover to buy a "good" source and amp afterwards. The "good" sources and amps mentioned are all more expensive ones, and this is additional cost. It's not fair to assume that since someone can afford the JH13, he/she can afford these expensive additional items too.

 

Conviction--if one is convinced that a Clip+ is good enough, then why would one buy a different source? Or amp? Let me use myself as an example: my ears weren't convinced that amps like the 2Stepdance, Pico, Pico Slim and CLAS were better for the 13, people who can read and understand measurements necessary for the 13 to be run properly aren't convinced that a 13 needs these amps, and I'm aware that the 13 is designed for professional use, and professionals will use it with wireless IEM transmitter packs that can vary in ratings and hiss and still, the 13 is good enough in those conditions for performing artistes who need to hear a fair amount of instrument separation and don't have time to stop and analyse before acting on that information. So, I'm convinced: my Classic is good enough. Hence, I don't buy these amps.

 

 

 

post #8829 of 10287
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

I love how the ODAC is reference when it doesn't even exist yet and uses an unknown, top secret chip from an unknown source.  With the O2 and ODAC makes you wonder why its designer even keeps a DAC1 around.  In fact, if the Clip+ is so good why buy or make an ODAC?  rolleyes.gif  Run it maxed bypassing the attenuator as LO to the O2.  Surely it's impossible to have a better source than a $27 Clip+ which would make an ODAC a ripoff for audiophools.

 

Oslo, people want you to believe your ears are wrong because the Clip is cheap and small in a little plastic box so you are fooling yourself (which is not impossible).  You aren't.  It simply doesn't have the juice to drive certain dynamic and multiBA crossover IEMs well enough for optimal dynamics.  Plus size does have a physical impact on the topology and maximum potential a device can achieve based on the quality of the parts available that can be employed. 



Well.. that's a bit misguided. It's certainly possible to observe a difference, but that begs the question: is the difference for the right reasons? Playing it by ear is about the worst disservice you could do (to your ears and your money), as much of the observed "differences" are down to a mismatch of output levels. It's a shame that many hours of comparative reviews on these forums are rendered pretty moot by a lack of precise output-level-matching. The rest of the differences are down to the four characteristics mentioned: frequency response, distortion, noise, and time-based errors.

 

Additionally, there is virtually no difference between most modern-day DAC chips themselves. The reason is that the measurable differences between the chips are well beyond the threshold of human hearing, and we simply aren't able to hear the differences of infinitesimal fractions of percentage points in THD or SNR (et alia). The four metrics that affect sound quality are close enough to be effectively identical to even the storied "golden" ear. If you pop the Clip's DAC into a soundly-engineered circuit, it will be pretty much in-line with other modern-day chips within the same circuit ceteris paribus.

 

With the digital-to-analog part of the equation pretty much identical, most of the differences are down to analog topology. Here, it's where metrics like output impedance and output levels are critical steps of the engineering process. If you've ever built yourself a DAC, you'd be surprised at the differences voltage and amperage can make at the output level even if you're feeding it to the same amplifier. (The "hotness" of the output is often another contributor to poor reviews -- the alteration of the final output level isn't properly compensated for within the comparisons.)

 

One of the key strengths of the Clip series is a low output impedance, thus preserving bass response (i.e. more reliable frequency response) even when handling low-impedance loads.

 

The suggestion of the ODAC was mainly for a desktop-based setup where portability is not a concern -- it's a bit of a top-of-mind reference given its design goals and preliminary specifications. It might be possible and worthy to build a quality DAC for less, but it seems that most DIY designs hover right around $100 (as the ODAC).

 

There's also the school of people that religiously cling to tube-based gear that introduce gobbles of distortion, and prefer euphony and alteration of the signal over audio fidelity. That's their personal preference, but about two decades of science confirms that we've been at the pinnacle of faithful digital-to-analog conversion for quite a while -- as far as we can hear, anyway. Amplification on the other hand is merely a matter of finding the product that plays what you want at the volume levels you need it to without fancy filtering/impedance/distortion tricks, and very few people will need to spend more than ~$100 to get that job done as far as headphones are concerned. Those very few comprise largely those with electrostats and a very small percentage of headphones with very high-impedance/low-sensitivity -- certainly not JH13 Pro users. The general idea is that once you get to the level of "juice" (as you put it) you desire, as long as the amplifier measures sufficiency well and doesn't introduce unwarranted distortion you're golden.

 

The rest can be left to the headphones and any equalization you'd like.


Edited by 3X0 - 3/26/12 at 6:44pm
post #8830 of 10287
Eric_C: I know one thing, and that is that can trust my ears, and they tell me that the Clip+ doesnt sound so good with my JH13 Pro. I really dont care so much for all that technical stuff that I am being served here and that musicians often dont use high quality sources. For me its besides the point, because all I am saying is that you only fool yourselves if you believe that the Clip+ or iPod is enough to deliver optimal sound quality on the go with JH13. You are saying that the Clas DAC and small amp that matches the synergy of JH 13 Pro doesnt improve the sound quality? If it were that simple, why are there endless threads about how to improve the sound quality when using CIEMs?

But If you are happy only using your iPod or Clip+, its of course fine by me. But you are not using the potential of JH13 Pro because I know they sound much better if they are fed by a strong signal. Its nothing more complicated than that.
Edited by Oslo72 - 3/26/12 at 7:22pm
post #8831 of 10287
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oslo72 View Post

Well, I know one thing, and that is that can trust my ears, and they tell me that the Clip+ doesnt sound so good with my JH13 Pro. I really dont care much for all that technical stuff that I am being served here and that musicians often dont use high quality sources. For me its besides the point, because all I am saying is that you only fool yourselves if you believe that the Clip+ or iPod is enough to deliver optimal sound quality on the go with JH13. You are saying that the Clas DAC and small amp that matches the synergy of JH 13 Pro doesnt improve the sound quality? If it were that simple, why are there endless threads about how to improve the sound quality when using CIEMs?


As before, 20 years of controlled experiments indicate otherwise. Equipment pretty much sounds the same. Measurements and scientific testing back up my argument whereas ears and subjectivity back up yours.

 

The key point here is that you shouldn't confuse distortion for improvement. Many audiophile-marketed products distort and tamper with the signal, providing a more "pleasing" sound at the expense of fidelity. Alteration by filtration, impedance tricks and frequency response adjustments are just some of the things many people spend hundreds of dollars on. Tube-based circuits are the best example of this.

 

Ears are also notoriously unreliable, especially when it comes to comparisons. Human audio memory is precariously short and we lack the auditory precision to match volume levels by ourselves, hence many of the anecdotal information and comparative work tends to be moot thanks to basic elements like subjectivity, HRTF and auditory imprecision.


Edited by 3X0 - 3/26/12 at 7:24pm
post #8832 of 10287
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oslo72 View Post

Well, I know one thing, and that is that can trust my ears, and they tell me that the Clip+ doesnt sound so good with my JH13 Pro. I really dont care much for all that technical stuff that I am being served here and that musicians often dont use high quality sources. For me its besides the point, because all I am saying is that you only fool yourselves if you believe that the Clip+ or iPod is enough to deliver optimal sound quality on the go with JH13. You are saying that the Clas DAC and small amp that matches the synergy of JH 13 Pro doesnt improve the sound quality? If it were that simple, why are there endless threads about how to improve the sound quality when using CIEMs?


Oslo72, all that "technical stuff" is how your JH13 was designed in the first place. Jerry Harvey, and any other headphone manufacturer for that matter, doesn't just trust his ears. It's one of many tools used to evaluate gear, but you can be sure he relies (and I daresay he relies more heavily) on gear that measures things for him. 

 

To reiterate a point that 3X0 has been making for the last few posts: price =/= quality. It's not fair to say that musicians "often don't use high quality sources". It's perhaps more fair, and accurate, to say that they don't often use expensive sources. Also, I don't know if you read my previous post, but I listed a number of reasons that someone might not use a more expensive source, DAC or amp with the 13. They're all practical reasons.

 

Finally, please don't do yourself a disservice by saying that other people "only fool [themselves] if [they] believe that Clip+ or iPod is enough to deliver optimal sound quality on the go with JH13." By saying that, you're discounting the possibility that the Clip+ and iPod are good enough for the JH13, and thus discounting the possibility that you're fooling yourself. I'm sorry if that comes off as a bit harsh, but it does strike me as a glaring omission in your line of thinking. As to why there's so much discussion on how to get the most out of customs like the 13? It's a related point about normal human psychology; we've spent a lot on one component, so we naturally feel that we have to ensure the rest of the components aren't bottlenecks. We're all JH13 owners here, so it's safe to assume we've all had that same thought... It does not, however, mean that we're on the right track just because many people are on it.

post #8833 of 10287

The best part of the JH13: It's bassy when a song is SUPPOSED to be bassy and it stays in the background where a song is SUPPOSED to have bass in the background..I don't know of any iem or headphone that I have ever owned that can do that.

 

Rap beats boom in my head, Classical sounds sweet and musical, the 80's are coming back to haunt me, The Police rock out a good tune and Billy Idol sings like an angel.

 

What more could a mere mortal like me want?


Edited by ProjectDenz - 4/4/12 at 5:45am
post #8834 of 10287



Bassy compared to your cheaper earphones or bassy compared to which other earphones?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProjectDenz View Post

The best part of the JH13: It's bassy when a song is SUPPOSED to be bassy and it stays in the background where a song is SUPPOSED to have bass in the background..I don't know of any iem or headphone that I have ever owned that can do that.

 

Rap beats boom in my head, Classical sounds sweet and musical, the 80's are coming back to haunt me, The Police rock out a good tune and Billy Idol sings like an angel.

 

What more could a mere mortal like me want?



 

post #8835 of 10287
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmiamihk View Post



Bassy compared to your cheaper earphones or bassy compared to which other earphones?



 



 


Compared to everything I've ever heard, including bassy iems such as the MG7's and IE8's, neutral cans like the DT440/DT880, and v-shaped iems like the TF10 and the great allrounder SE530.

 

JH16 demo version's bass was too boosted and unnatural to me.


Edited by ProjectDenz - 4/5/12 at 6:03am
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