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Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (Update: 10/15/2014: Beyerdynamic T51i Added) - Page 547

post #8191 of 26638

Thanks guys,

 

@genclaymore Unfortunately I live in the EU (Belgium to be precise, it's not so much stuff we can get delivered in here... France is way more widely know and ship way more stuff from abroad than here... But thanks !

 

@Mjonir Regarding the O2, that's what I was guessing, no need of DAC but... You know i'm kinda Junior. Why Nomad ? Well, the idea of having an Amp on any portable player sounds nice to me but... The truth is I have a car so I listen to my car sound system :)

 

@Ev Well I got the feeling that people wouldn't really call their child "Shrug"... That... That would sound akward all their life.

Thanks for all your detailed information ! And you set my mind very much on the FiiO, i would love an O2 but still, I mean, if the FiiO are enough powerfull for half the price and available on Amazon... I will prefer this solution ! The FiiO E9 it will be I think ! Sorry for Zigis, tough I migh PM and ask him some detail on his product :)

I don't think I have much more questions, you really helped and that's awesome ! You are awesome ! I will stick around and will post my impressions when I got my E9. (As soon as my wallet get refilled)

Cheers to you all !

post #8192 of 26638
Thread Starter 
Well, I went ahead and did it. I ordered the 250ohm DT990. Getting it tomorrow.

This will hopefully put to rest whether jumping straight to the 250ohm over the 32ohm makes more sense.

On one side, the 32ohm will sound good off minimal amping. On the other side, many devices you plug your headphones into have a high output impedance (like a lot of AV Receivers), which will negatively affect the DT990/32 due to it not having ohms to be properly damped.

In theory (and probably practice), the 250ohm would be the most versatile, as it can be powered by portable amps (though not as well as the 32ohm), receivers, and have a lower noise floor.

It costs about $55 more used than the 32ohm, but oh well. The things I do out of curiosity. This will complete my testing of all ohm versions of the 990.

I will see just how much the 250ohm needs out of the Mixamp vs the 32ohm, as well as see how well the E17 drives the 250ohm vs the 32ohm, which should be at it's limit with it. Testing for bass, mids, treble, dynamics, soundstage, and directionality when gaming.

If I decide on keeping the 250ohm, I'll probably end up with an E9K soon after. rolleyes.gif

Ironically, it seems the E9K is ever so slightly weaker than the E9. I wonder why?
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 10/11/12 at 5:24am
post #8193 of 26638
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruuku View Post

Fixed it for ya Ev!
Regarding the O2 + DAC, remember if you buy the combo in the same enclosure, you're also tying up the DAC with the amp, so you won't be able to use it with any future purchases/amps.

@_@
Omg, thanks ruuku! I guess you know what other amp I was just reading about on another thread... I'll go edit my post!
post #8194 of 26638
Well, I still haven't purchased new headphones yet, but I did place an order for a FiiO E9 desktop amp. Also placed an order for an RCA to stereo cable to connect the amp to my Titanium HD soundcard. Hope I got the right one. Luckily they're both expected to come in today.

I'm somewhat hoping the E9 will make a huge difference paired with my HD595s, but I know that the Senns are very efficient and probably wouldn't benefit much from an amp. We'll see. Either way, I'll be ready for when I do eventually upgrade to the Q701s or DT990s.

Will give you guys my impressions later. smily_headphones1.gif
Edited by chroniX - 10/11/12 at 7:30am
post #8195 of 26638
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fa11ou7 View Post

Ev,
Can I ask what price range Zigis was asking for his tube amp with shipping to US? If I need to PM you just let me know, I'd ask him myself but I'm embarrassed because my wallet is really tight atm and I feel like a cheapskate. 

Well to be quite honest, I'm not sure yet what he's going to sell it for. But it seems like you might have to set it as something to save up for... I think he's targeting it to be a tube competitor to compete with/surpass the O2 in musicality, with good quality components. Keep in mind, NwAvGuy released the O2 design for free, and chose his components to cut costs while staying within scientific tolerances. The result is pretty transparent and powerful, but Zigis' tube amp will have the unique coloration of tubes, and chose his components based on upgrading the sound from the design I linked to before, which was already reviewed as superior to the Millet Starving Student amp. Zigis' amp will also be a desktop amp, not the something-inbetween the O2 is.

I'm getting a finished prototype, gonna take a lot of pictures and write about the internals & sound, so I'd recommend that if you're interested, set up a plan to set aside some money with each paycheck and wait to hear what you'd get for your money. Meanwhile, how would you describe your Koss headphones? Did you write a review?
Quote:
Originally Posted by proGressive13 View Post

Thanks guys,

@genclaymore Unfortunately I live in the EU (Belgium to be precise, it's not so much stuff we can get delivered in here... France is way more widely know and ship way more stuff from abroad than here... But thanks !

@Mjonir Regarding the O2, that's what I was guessing, no need of DAC but... You know i'm kinda Junior. Why Nomad ? Well, the idea of having an Amp on any portable player sounds nice to me but... The truth is I have a car so I listen to my car sound system smily_headphones1.gif

@Ev Well I got the feeling that people wouldn't really call their child "Shrug"... That... That would sound akward all their life.
Thanks for all your detailed information ! And you set my mind very much on the FiiO, i would love an O2 but still, I mean, if the FiiO are enough powerfull for half the price and available on Amazon... I will prefer this solution ! The FiiO E9 it will be I think ! Sorry for Zigis, tough I migh PM and ask him some detail on his product smily_headphones1.gif

I don't think I have much more questions, you really helped and that's awesome ! You are awesome ! I will stick around and will post my impressions when I got my E9. (As soon as my wallet get refilled)

Cheers to you all !

proGressive,
redface.gif D'aw, I'm not all that awesome, just a little bit obsessive. And I'm kinda "junior" about what Nomad means...
In my old-ish car, I use my iPod to supply music to my car through a cassette tape adapter (it's better than any FM Radio adapter), and I found that using my FiiO L11 line-out dock adapter and the modest E5 amp really helps out the weak system that came with my car. The difference was pretty clear: before the E5, everything sounded so weak I thought the previous owner had blown the speakers, now it sounds just fine biggrin.gif

One last thing, as a desktop amp, the E9 needs to be plugged into a wall outlet for power. I think Zigis' product would be more of an upgrade from the E9, so cost wise it isn't a bad idea to go for the E9 or E9k first. Solid State amps, like the E9 and O2, are largely similar in sound yet vary in power, whereas a Single-Ended tube amp like Zigis' has more coloration that can vary a lot by switching out the tube. Having a SS amp and a tube amp ought to compliment eachother well, though I'm jumping straight to Zigis' amp so I can play with tube rolling wink.gif

Also Mad, doesn't the E9's larger 1/4" headphone jack have lower output impedance? Or is it just better grounded?
Edited by Evshrug - 10/11/12 at 8:10am
post #8196 of 26638
Thread Starter 
Uhh, the E9 wouldn't be a good pairing with the Sennheisers, because not only are the Senns efficient, but they are low ohms, which wouldn't be a good pairing with the high output impedance of the E9. This isn't the final word on whether they will sound good or not, but you usually want to pair your headphones with amps that have 1/8th the output impedance of the headphones's impedance.

For example, the E9 has a 10ohm output impedance. For proper amping you'll want to use headphones that have 80ohms or more for the E9 (8x the output impedance). When a headphone isn't at least 8x the output impedance, the amp may alter the sound signature, by either making bass weaker/stronger, treble harsher, etc.

The Q701 and HE400 are exceptions, because their signature doesn't change much if any, no matter what the output impedance of the amp is. Some headphone differ dramatically if you pair them up with an amp that has too high an output impedance.

This is why the E9 shouldn't be used for low ohm headphones, like the Sennheiser.
post #8197 of 26638
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

Uhh, the E9 wouldn't be a good pairing with the Sennheisers, because not only are the Senns efficient, but they are low ohms, which wouldn't be a good pairing with the high output impedance of the E9. This isn't the final word on whether they will sound good or not, but you usually want to pair your headphones with amps that have 1/8th the output impedance of the headphones's impedance.
For example, the E9 has a 10ohm output impedance. For proper amping you'll want to use headphones that have 80ohms or more for the E9 (8x the output impedance). When a headphone isn't at least 8x the output impedance, the amp may alter the sound signature, by either making bass weaker/stronger, treble harsher, etc.
The Q701 and HE400 are exceptions, because their signature doesn't change much if any, no matter what the output impedance of the amp is. Some headphone differ dramatically if you pair them up with an amp that has too high an output impedance.
This is why the E9 shouldn't be used for low ohm headphones, like the Sennheiser.

Yeah I wasn't expecting for it to make much difference for the Senns. I got the E9 in preparation for my upgrade to the Q701 or the DT990. But are you saying that the HD595 could possibly sound worse with the E9? Didn't know that, I just thought I wouldn't really hear a difference since they're already efficient. That would suck if it's actually worse off with the amp. frown.gif
post #8198 of 26638
Thread Starter 
Here are examples of what I'm talking about... (and yes the Senns MAY sound worse off the E9)

HE400 (to be honest, Planars are pretty output impedance proof)




DT880/32 (as an example of what non-optimal output impedances can do)



The O2 would be a much better buy for low ohm headphones, because it has an extremely low output impedance (I believe it's less than 1 ohm).
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 10/11/12 at 7:45am
post #8199 of 26638
Sorry I don't really understand what that graph is saying. Could you explain what is happening in that DT880 graph to the sound signature? Is it making it more bassy, harsher treble? Not sure what to take away from that.

Edit: Also, I think you said the E9 would be good for the Q701, but how about the DT990? Or would the DT990s prefer a lower output impedance
Edited by chroniX - 10/11/12 at 7:53am
post #8200 of 26638
Thread Starter 
Taken from innerfidelity:
Quote:
6 - FREQUENCY AND PHASE RESPONSE: Guideline: +/- 0.5dB and 1 degree. These can be graphed together:

Frequency Response – This is mainly a concern with tube amps, single-ended amps, and capacitor coupled outputs. All usually roll off the deep bass into lower impedances and a few corrupt the highs as well. Generally the amplifier standard for “flat enough” is less than 1dB total variation from 20hz to 20Khz and it’s critical to test with the lowest realistic impedance. Response specified without dB limits and load is nearly meaningless.
Phase Response - This is a sensitive indicator of what's happening outside the audio band and can alter the “soundstage” and spatial perceptions. The error should be under 1 degree from 10hz to 10Khz where spatial information is most critical.

From the DT880 graph, the phase is all over the place, altering the sound in a bad way. You want less than ONE degree. The HE400 is almost perfectly flat all the way through except in the highest treble range, which is basically inaudible to our ears anyways.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 10/11/12 at 8:03am
post #8201 of 26638
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chroniX View Post

Sorry I don't really understand what that graph is saying. Could you explain what is happening in that DT880 graph to the sound signature? Is it making it more bassy, harsher treble? Not sure what to take away from that.
Edit: Also, I think you said the E9 would be good for the Q701, but how about the DT990? Or would the DT990s prefer a lower output impedance

The 990s come in 3 different ohms.

32ohm (which would NOT be good for the E9 due to the high output impedance)

250ohm (more than enough damping factor... 25x the output impedance, well above the danger zone of less than 8x, and the E9 should have plenty of power for it.)

600ohm (this has the lowest noise and distortion, but wouldn't be driven to it's best ability by the E9. It sounds good, but it was missing a little in dynamics and body. The 32ohm just off the E17 sounds fuller than the 600ohm 990 off the E9)


The 250ohm 990s would suit the E9 best.

Basically, if you use a headphone with an amp that has less than 1/8th the impedance, they should look like the HE400's graph, where the amp won't alter the sound signature in a bad way. The problem is, most companies don't state what the output impednace is on their amps, and people buy them for regular, low ohm headphones, not realizing that it's not helping their headphones at all. Yes, giving it more power, but not in a good way.

The E9 should be bought only for those with headphones in the 80-300ohm range for best synergy. 600ohm will do well too, but it doesn't take voltage swings into account. The Sennheiser 595 actually has impedance swings that shoot the impedance to around 225ohm in certain frequencies. That's a HUGE jump. That's why 600ohm headphones aren't ideal for the E9. Those headphones can shoot up past 600ohm making the E9 struggle with dynamics.

I believe the HD800 is notorious for having massive impedance swings, which is why people recommend some incredibly powerful amps for them.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 10/11/12 at 8:25am
post #8202 of 26638
I see thanks. I was going to get the 32 ohms like you did but I'll go with the 250 ohms if I pick up the DT990. Just out of curiosity, if I was planning to keep the HD595, would I have been better served with an E11 or E17 (I want to use my x-fi soundcard as the dac)? If not those, which one would have been the best for $100 or under. It doesn't need to be portable.

The O2 would be my ideal choice but that would be out of my budget at the moment so I'm just wondering what would be the next best for the HD595.
post #8203 of 26638
Thread Starter 
Well, the 32ohm DT990 is fine, as long as you don't pair it up with amps with a high output impedance. Great amps are powerful and have low impedances, like the O2, NFB5, Asgard. This makes them more versatile in what it can drive without affect sound signature.

And yes, the E11/E17 are portable amps with very low output impedances, which wouldn't do bad things to the Senn.

The HD595 is very efficient. It does have massive impedance swings (relative to it's rated ohm), but portable amps like the E11/E17 should handle those peaks (at least on the 595). I think it jumps up to 225ohm at it's worst peaks. The Fiio E11/E17 would be fine with it (as well as the 990/32).



For fun look at the HD800. The HD800 starts at 300ohm, and the peaks go up to over 600ohm. rolleyes.gif



So basically at 100hz or so, the HD800 acts like a 600+ohm can, and then goes back to normal in the midrange. That's scary. That 300ohm rating on the HD800 is deceptive.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 10/11/12 at 8:38am
post #8204 of 26638
Thanks man, I'm really finding all this informing, I didn't know there was such thing as impedance swings and that the 595s can get that high in ohms. I sort of wish I posted this before I ordered the E9. If I were to have known that the E9 could make things worse instead of maybe just not making much difference, I might have gone with something else. Could have saved a bit just getting an E11 which would work fine with the Q701 and DT990 too I'm guessing? Would the E17 would have worked with my soundcard or no because it has its own DAC and is USB?
post #8205 of 26638
Quote:
Originally Posted by chroniX View Post

I see thanks. I was going to get the 32 ohms like you did but I'll go with the 250 ohms if I pick up the DT990. Just out of curiosity, if I was planning to keep the HD595, would I have been better served with an E11 or E17 (I want to use my x-fi soundcard as the dac)? If not those, which one would have been the best for $100 or under. It doesn't need to be portable.
The O2 would be my ideal choice but that would be out of my budget at the moment so I'm just wondering what would be the next best for the HD595.

Which model X-Fi are you using?

If it has an optical output, you can connect the Fiio E17 with an optical cable, so you would be able to take advantage for the E17's WM8740 DAC chip

And still get CMSS-3D headphone surround sound thru the optical to the E17.

If your current X-Fi do not have optical out, you can get a refurb Creative Titanium (non-HD) for $44.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102043

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