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If you still love Etymotic ER4, this is the thread for you... - Page 95

post #1411 of 4777
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post


The HF5 straight out of my Squeezebox Touch which, by the way, has a very competent DAC and amp built in. The amp wont drive the Sennheisers or planars obviously, but its more than enough for sensitive IEMs and portable headphones.

My HD800's are driven by my Pioneer Elite SC-25 AVRs headphone jack. Another surprising gem with plenty of power and rare (for the segment) low output impedance. I havent heard another solid state amp that can best it. biggrin.gif


Ever try driving them out of the speaker outs? The HF5's should love it. (just make sure the volume is all the way down when you plug in)

post #1412 of 4777
No, in my experience, the HD800 is sensitive enough that it doesnt benefit from speaker taps (I tried this at a meet last summer and had no volume control travel). The HF5 would just explode...LOL.
post #1413 of 4777
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

No, in my experience, the HD800 is sensitive enough that it doesnt benefit from speaker taps (I tried this at a meet last summer and had no volume control travel). The HF5 would just explode...LOL.


You should give this a quick read

http://www.head-fi.org/t/649107/speaker-amps-for-headphones

post #1414 of 4777
Yes, I have read that thread.

I made a speaker tap for my HE-500 when I had them and have experimented quite a bit with different headphone amps and speaker amps (tapped). IME, I have heard no benefit from using the speaker output and do not like the penalty - limited volume control. Speaker amps are designed to drive 4 - 8 ohm loads consisting of multiple crossovers and 8", 10" or even larger drivers. Big voice coils and heavy magnets. Have you examined an HD800? It has a 300ohm nominal impedance, a tiny little coil and magnet, and a 2" driver. Why on earth would I use a speaker amp for them? It's like putting a Kenworth diesel engine in a Vespa...lol!

So after sampling dozens of amplifiers in multiple configurations - from vintage silver faced leviathans to modern exotics, from the Objective2 to the Eddie Current Balancing Act, I have reached the conclusion that a well designed headphone amp of sufficient power is all that's required for me to fully enjoy the HD800.

Some may claim to hear a significant difference, and some may actually hear a difference. Some endlessly search for that mystical amp/can synergy. Not me. I don't need a DAC, or vacuum tubes, or cryo-treated cables, or power conditioners - just a Pioneer AVR and my HD800's. biggrin.gif
Edited by palmfish - 5/25/13 at 5:20pm
post #1415 of 4777
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

Yes, I have read that thread.

I made a speaker tap for my HE-500 when I had them and have experimented quite a bit with different headphone amps and speaker amps (tapped). IME, I have heard no benefit from using the speaker output and do not like the penalty - limited volume control. Speaker amps are designed to drive 4 - 8 ohm loads consisting of multiple crossovers and 8", 10" or even larger drivers. Big voice coils and heavy magnets. Have you examined an HD800? It has a 300ohm nominal impedance, a tiny little coil and magnet, and a 2" driver. Why on earth would I use a speaker amp for them? It's like putting a Kenworth diesel engine in a Vespa...lol!

So after sampling dozens of amplifiers in multiple configurations - from vintage silver faced leviathans to modern exotics, from the Objective2 to the Eddie Current Balancing Act, I have reached the conclusion that a well designed headphone amp of sufficient power is all that's required for me to fully enjoy the HD800.

Some may claim to hear a significant difference, and some may actually hear a difference. Some endlessly search for that mystical amp/can synergy. Not me. I don't need a DAC, or vacuum tubes, or cryo-treated cables, or power conditioners - just a Pioneer AVR and my HD800's. biggrin.gif


Excellent.

 

I had an old BK preamp that had a phenomenal headphone stage. Gave it away to a guy hurting for a pre. Dumb mistake.

post #1416 of 4777
Yeah, I know how you feel. Ive owned some really nice gear over the years that Ive gotten rid of when it became "obsolete." I wish I could go back in time, huh?

Well, all is not lost. Just as with cars, quality modern components are generally more reliable, more consistent, and less expensive than their vintage counterparts. I went through a number of vintage and modern amps/receivers. Very few had a headphone stage of sufficiently low output impedance to drive modern headphones - especially Sennheisers which are very picky and sound bloated if not properly amped.

Even among the modern amps and receivers I tried, only the Pioneer receivers were good (driving headphones). I tested Denon, Marantz, NAD, Rotel, Yamaha, Onkyo, Sony, etc. and only the Pioneer was satisfactory with a low output impedance. And this is from the $2000 Class D Elites all the way down to the $300 budget VSX series. The Pioneers sounded so good I found a VSX-1122 on Craigslist and pressed it into 2-channel duty. It is now my primary Headphone Amp.

I am sold on AVRs now - programmable analog and digital inputs (so when I turn the rotary input selector, the display actually says "CD" "Vinyl" "Squeezebox" etc.) and tone controls to trim the sound for less than perfect recordings. I paid $200 for my VSX and it stands head and shoulders above any dedicated headphone amp Ive ever owned.
Edited by palmfish - 5/25/13 at 6:07pm
post #1417 of 4777
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

Yeah, I know how you feel. Ive owned some really nice gear over the years that Ive gotten rid of when it became "obsolete." I wish I could go back in time, huh?

Well, all is not lost. Just as with cars, quality modern components are generally more reliable, more consistent, and less expensive than their vintage counterparts. I went through a number of vintage and modern amps/receivers. Very few had a headphone stage of sufficiently low output impedance to drive modern headphones - especially Sennheisers which are very picky and sound bloated if not properly amped.

Even among the modern amps and receivers I tried, only the Pioneer receivers were good (driving headphones). I tested Denon, Marantz, NAD, Rotel, Yamaha, Onkyo, Sony, etc. and only the Pioneer was satisfactory with a low output impedance. And this is from the $2000 Class D Elites all the way down to the $300 budget VSX series. The Pioneers sounded so good I found a VSX-1122 on Craigslist and pressed it into 2-channel duty. It is now my primary Headphone Amp.

I am sold on AVRs now - programmable analog and digital inputs (so when I turn the rotary input selector, the display actually says "CD" "Vinyl" "Squeezebox" etc.) and tone controls to trim the sound for less than perfect tecordings. I paid $200 for my VSX and it stands head and shoulders above any dedicated headphone amp Ive ever owned.


Your theory hold true for everything but my lamented ESP 950's . I bought them for 700 new and you cant find them for that anymore.

 

I picked up a Technics avr for 5 buck recently just for parts. You are tempting me to actually plug it in and give it a listen before scrapping it.

 

Funny thing about the whole vintage thing. I distinctly recall that it was the poor quality of the headphone outs that led to the development of headphone amps in the first placeconfused_face(1).gif

post #1418 of 4777
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hutnicks View Post


Your theory hold true for everything but my lamented ESP 950's . I bought them for 700 new and you cant find them for that anymore.

I picked up a Technics avr for 5 buck recently just for parts. You are tempting me to actually plug it in and give it a listen before scrapping it.

Funny thing about the whole vintage thing. I distinctly recall that it was the poor quality of the headphone outs that led to the development of headphone amps in the first place:confused_face(1):

Yes, output impedance is basically irrelevent for electrostats and planar magnetics. Koss still makes the ESP-950 and they often run 25% off sales so you can get a new pair for $750 if you're patient.

It's not that the headphone outs were poor, its that they were fed by the main power amp stepped down with resistors. This often gave them an output impedance in the 600+ ohms region. With the advent of portable sources, the need for low impedance high sensitivity headphones skyrocketed. Most modern headphones fare very poorely with vintage headphone jacks.

Vintage gear can still sound good, but you'll most likely need a high impedance headphone, a planar magnetic headphone, or a low impedance headphone with high mechanical damping and a flat impedance curve (Denon AH-DXXXX for example).

I was using my 70's vintage Pioneer amp very successfully with my Denon AH-D7000. Then I got the HD800 and it sounded dreadful! In a way, I guess I just put my foot in my mouth because this is a form of "synergy" I suppose - a term I abhor around here...lol.
Edited by palmfish - 5/25/13 at 6:32pm
post #1419 of 4777
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post


Yes, output impedance is basically irrelevent for electrostats and planar magnetics. Koss still makes the ESP-950 and they often run 25% off sales so you can get a new pair for $750 if you're patient.

It's not that the headphone outs were poor, its that they were fed by the main power amp stepped down with resistors. This often gave them an output impedance in the 600+ ohms region. With the advent of portable sources, the need for low impedance high sensitivity headphones skyrocketed. Most modern headphones fare very poorely with vintage headphone jacks.

Vintage gear can still sound good, but you'll most likely need a high impedance headphone, a planar magnetic headphone, or a low impedance headphone with high mechanical damping and a flat impedance curve (Denon AH-DXXXX for example).

I was using my 70's vintage Pioneer amp very successfully with my Denon AH-D7000. Then I got the HD800 and it sounded dreadful! In a way, I guess I just put my foot in my mouth because this is a form of "synergy" I suppose - a term I abhor around here...lol.


Yeah. Theres so much "synergy" going on I really have to take peoples opinions of their headphones with a grain of salt. That is one of the reasons I usually ask what is driving the phones. Also why I keep my ancient Rega Ear around. It's as plain vanilla as it gets. I have yet to hear it alter a headphones response (probably why it's so hated among reviewers). So I guess it lacks synergybiggrin.gif

post #1420 of 4777
Glad Im not the only one who feels that way. We are certainly in the minority around here.

Anyways, this is really becoming a discussion for the "sound science" forum. Im enjoying it, but its pretty off-topic here.

BTW, I like your avatar. Though I always liked Pinky wink.gif
Edited by palmfish - 5/25/13 at 6:37pm
post #1421 of 4777

 

If you don't enjoy these performances (through the ER4), you don't exist to me.

post #1422 of 4777

Thanks for posting that video. I have never heard of her before and enjoyed watching her perform.

 

She is gifted, no doubt, and seeing her perform was entertaining, but I personally don't think her performance would be that enjoyable listening without the video accompanying it. For example, her opening with Vivaldi was impressive technically, but it was more of a "talent show" than a stirring performance of "The Four Seasons." Any violinist at the professional concert level can play the 3rd movement (Presto) from "Summer" (just go to Youtube and see how many videos you find, LOL!) and I personally would rather hear the entire concerto than just a "showing off" snippet. And the piano just wasnt able to provide the weight and support that is needed - The Four Seasons is much better with a full string ensemble IMO. Here's a Youtube example you might enjoy (the Presto starts at 8:10)...

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g65oWFMSoK0

 

I also personally didnt like her arrangement of Handel's "Sarabande" at the end of the video either. It's a beautiful and moving work and the drums made it sound like a James Bond Theme Song to me.

 

I didnt recognize the piece she played in the middle of the video but it was beautiful.

 

I think seeing her perform live would be fun. But if I was sitting in my living room with no video just listening with earphones, it wouldn't be my first choice. I generally don't like listening to classical music in "greatest hits" format - It doesnt allow me to immerse myself in the music. But hey, that's just me.


Edited by palmfish - 5/26/13 at 9:02am
post #1423 of 4777
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

Glad Im not the only one who feels that way. We are certainly in the minority around here.

Anyways, this is really becoming a discussion for the "sound science" forum. Im enjoying it, but its pretty off-topic here.

BTW, I like your avatar. Though I always liked Pinky wink.gif


Thanks.

 

I rather avoid sound science here as the objective acolytes are a bit trying.

 

Pinky's a riot, but Brains continued machinations ending in ruin somehow seemed more appropriate of the high end audio thingwink.gif

post #1424 of 4777
Quote:
Originally Posted by tigon_ridge View Post

 

If you don't enjoy these performances (through the ER4), you don't exist to me.

 

Have you checked out this thread?

 

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/253245/what-are-you-listening-to-right-now-new-thread-new-rules-please-read-them/42390#post_9471554

 

Easily the best thread on the board.

post #1425 of 4777
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hutnicks View Post


Thanks.

 

I rather avoid sound science here as the objective acolytes are a bit trying.

 

Pinky's a riot, but Brains continued machinations ending in ruin somehow seemed more appropriate of the high end audio thingwink.gif

 

Brain is an objectivist.

 

Thanks for the link to the "What are you listening to..." thread. I just contributed and will follow it (but I have an awful lot of catching up to do!).


Edited by palmfish - 5/26/13 at 9:09am
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