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Schiit Lyr Shipping! Impressions? - Page 3

post #31 of 2389

Ummm if you haven't listened to it, you're just posting words about words.

post #32 of 2389



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by foaming at the ears View Post

Similarly, it's probable that the HE-6 will sound different at 95db depending on how many watts is feeding that volume.  The amp isn't there just to make sure your amp can hit 110db... it's there to make sure it sounds great at 110db.


There's only one problem with the theory you described - it's not compatible with the laws of physics. Power is not independent of voltage and impedance. In fact, it's easy to calculate the power (wattage) from the volume (voltage) and impedance. There is no such thing as "feeding that volume" with more watts. The watts are determined by the voltage and impedance.

 

For example, say your headphones are HE-6. For a volume of 95dB you need to feed them 900mV, which means 16mW (yes - less than 2% of one watt...) into 50 ohms. It's just the basic laws of electricity. All the extra wattage that your amp is capable of aren't used because driving even a little more wattage into this 50 ohm load would mean higher voltage and thus higher volume than the 95dB that we picked as an example.


My claim is that all these extra watts beyond, say, 1W (to be generous) will never be used even with the HE-6 because they can only be deployed at high voltage and thus deafening volume.

 

post #33 of 2389

@ visualguy

 

You missed my point.  I'm not a physicist, but what I meant was that the implementation of the watts as a part of the whole (whole being the amp) should have a noticeable impact on the headphone experience at a constant volume.  Have you heard the HE-6 out of a PC-headphone out?  If so, were you impressed by the quality at any volume? I'm merely questioning what seems to be a narrowing view of the amp's purpose as a result of the watt discussion: is volume all there is?

 

Also, this next question is really because I'm ignorant about the matter: how come a headamp that produces something like the bare minimum mw you meantioned, such as an OTL tube amp, clips so heavily with the HE6?

 

@ sferic

 

What is a post if it is not one of words?  So, if I shorten your "posting words about words" to "posting about words", what does this mean?  Is it derisive? (ie is it accurate for me to say that you, too, ummmmmmm are also posting words about words?).  I'm sorry, I just really don't understand.


Edited by foaming at the ears - 3/2/11 at 10:26pm
post #34 of 2389

I guess the bottom line is how it sounds with orthodynamics, the Lyr's target market.


Edited by USAudio - 3/2/11 at 10:33pm
post #35 of 2389

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by visualguy View Post


I realize we're talking about peaks, but even peaks have a sensible volume limit. How loud do peaks need to be? on the HE-6 you would get extremely loud peaks of 117dB at 3W. That's at or beyond the loudness limit of many headphones, and I wouldn't want to listen to it even for short periods.

 

Even 1W will give you 113.5dB peaks which are too loud. Even at 0.25W you're at 107.5dB...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin View Post


It mostly is a gimmick since pretty much only the K1000s need that kind of power.  It does give you peace of mind though.  It should be able to handle pretty much any "conventional" headphone ever made and probably anything that will be made.  Its not like there are any drawbacks to it either assuming they QC the pots properly.  If it tracks properly it doesn't matter if you won't usually need to go very high.  You aren't paying through the nose for that extra power either.  Anything I know of with similar amounts of power costs around twice as much.

 

I'm considering one for myself.  Based on the specs this may pretty close to "the one amp to rule them all."  I'd love to see some detailed measurements of it.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by visualguy View Post


My claim is that all these extra watts beyond, say, 1W (to be generous) will never be used even with the HE-6 because they can only be deployed at high voltage and thus deafening volume.

 

 

The HE-6 and the K1000 have roughly equivalent amping requiring requirements, this has been covered painstakingly in the HE-6 thread. Out of my Woo WA22 with 2-watt power tubes in balanced mode, the HE-6 were not driven to their potential, and I had to go past 3pm on the pot to even get adequate volume levels. Out of my pro-audio dual mono SS speaker amp rated at 45 wpc (Alesis RA150), the HE-6 is driven to their proper dynamics, and get to a good listening level at around 10:30 am on the pots. This has been tested with multiple sources.

 

As far as "one amp to rule them all", I don't know of any headphone amp as versatile as the Woo WA5; there have been a number of reports of the HE-6 being driven quite well from the K1000 jack on that one. Without adequate wattage you can't generate adequate current to do the HE-6 justice, voltage is not the issue with orthos. I agree that the Lyr may be overkill for most headphones, but it seems tailor-made for the HE-6 and K1000.

 

The LCD-2 is quite a bit more efficient than the HE-6; it's more like a hard-to-drive conventional dynamic such as the HD800. Indeed, the HD800 and LCD-2 need about the same position on the pot of my WA22 in 2-watt mode, which again is completely insufficient for the HE-6. There have been reports of the LCD-2 being driven very nicely off the taps of a speaker amp as well, but it is not as necessary as it is for the HE-6.

 

HiFiMAN's EF5 is a 2-watt headphone amp that was designed specifically to drive their earlier orthos, the HE-5/LE. It is not adequate for the HE-6, that is why they are working on the EF6. The Lyr is aimed at fulfilling the same need as the EF6, Schiit just beat HiFiMAN to the punch. Without the HE-6, I don't know iof the Lyr would even exist as the K1000 is discontinued and you would need a SE adapter to drive it out of the Lyr anyways.

 

Reading these impressions I am a bit concerned about the volume/gain; it sounds like the gain may be set too high (edit: for certain input devices), even for the HE-6. But current-wise the HE-6 wants everything that the Lyr has to offer and maybe even more.


Edited by grokit - 3/2/11 at 11:49pm
post #36 of 2389
Quote:
Originally Posted by visualguy View Post


There are certainly drawbacks to the high gain that goes with this high power. See note above regarding the lack of fine volume control and the channel volume mismatch.

 

I think this amp may be ok for the HE-6, but far from ideal for more efficient headphones because of the volume control issues that you would be facing.


We'll have to wait until someone reports that problem to see if it actually exists in the wild.  I know there are plenty of pots with imbalances at low levels and that even individual samples of the same model can vary quite a bit which is why I mentioned Schiit's QC.  If they are halfway competent (which I'm going to assume they are until I hear otherwise) they are going to actually test the pots before the put them in the amps and put the best ones in the Lyr since it needs them the most.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post

As far as "one amp to rule them all", I don't know of any headphone amp as versatile as the Woo WA5; there have been a number of reports of the HE-6 being driven quite well from the K1000 jack on that one. Without adequate wattage you can't generate adequate current to do the HE-6 justice, voltage is not the issue with orthos. I agree that the Lyr may be overkill for most headphones, but it seems tailor-made for the HE-6 and K1000.

 

I said close.  I'm not trying to imply that its absolutely the best, just that its price, power, and size should make it the most versatile (taking things other than sound and power into consideration) amp I know of if it lives up to its specs.  Even if you can afford the WA5 it weighs 75 pounds, costs 7 times more in base configuration, takes up your whole desk, and may be unusable in the summer depending on your local climate and personal temperature tolerances.  It looks cool as all hell, and I bet it sounds great, but even if I (or most other people here) could afford it, there are severe issues of practicality.

 

Also, unless someone is just making up specs, the HE-6 (83.5dB/mW) is almost 10dB more efficient than the K1000 (74dB/mW).

post #37 of 2389



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post

 

But current-wise the HE-6 wants everything that the Lyr has to offer and maybe even more.


 

Current (amperes) is just power (watts) over voltage, which is the same as voltage over resistance (ohms). If you fix the voltage (headphones volume) limit that you want to reach, and the impedance, you can derive the needed current. There is no such thing as driving more current into a fixed ohm load at a fixed volume level, just like there is no such thing as driving more power (watts) into it. Something has to give. Either you raise the voltage (volume) or you lower the impedance. Assuming the impedance is fixed, and the max volume is fixed, the max current is fixed as well, and it's not high even for the HE-6 at extremely loud levels.

 

I don't want to dispute your observations about driving the HE-6, but you have to realize that you're basically saying that their specs are wrong, because based on the specs you don't need that kind of power of drive them. Also, I have been able to drive them well with amps which provide only a little of 1W into 50 ohms (DAC1 and m903).

 

I'm going to try the HE-6 with a balanced Beta 22 which is as powerful as the Lyr to settle this in my mind once and for all.

 

 

post #38 of 2389

This is a most enlightening discussion...it helps put alot of the commentary that arises in various threads about amplifiers (generally speaking)  and puts it all in perspective relative to headphone sensitivities and characteristics.  I have the EF5 amp and a pair of HE-5 headphones and a pair of the Thunderpants cans, both of which are lower sensitivity designs.  The TPs are a bit easier to drive than the HE 5 and I note the richer, fuller sound with the TPs through the EF5 compared to the HE-5.  In the context of the comments about the richer. fuller sound the Lyr can deliver with the LCD 2, it makes sense, at least based on my analoguous experience with the EF5 and the TP/HE5 comparison,  Thus,  one can readily deduce that if a headphone design is more sensitive, then the extra power is there to give that extra nuance to the reproduced musical note so that it approximates the actual note more closely.  

 

This then leads me to the question of whether that extra power leads to some "coloration" of the actual note that was played in the studio or concert hall, i.e., how faithful is the Lyr design to the actual sound of the musical event?  

post #39 of 2389
Quote:
Originally Posted by foaming at the ears View Post

@ visualguy

 

You missed my point.  I'm not a physicist, but what I meant was that the implementation of the watts as a part of the whole (whole being the amp) should have a noticeable impact on the headphone experience at a constant volume.  Have you heard the HE-6 out of a PC-headphone out?  If so, were you impressed by the quality at any volume? I'm merely questioning what seems to be a narrowing view of the amp's purpose as a result of the watt discussion: is volume all there is?

 

Also, this next question is really because I'm ignorant about the matter: how come a headamp that produces something like the bare minimum mw you meantioned, such as an OTL tube amp, clips so heavily with the HE6?

 

 

1W should be more than sufficient to drive the HE-6 based on their specs. The 16mW was just an example for peaks of 95dB. 1W will get you to 113.5dB...

 

The PC HP out that you mentioned has nowhere near that power. However, I don't see the need for multi-watt amps for the HE-6. I know many say the need is there, but the physics doesn't support that, so it's a mystery to me. I listened to the HE-6 on two different 1W amps, and they sounded well-driven to me. I'm going to try a high-power Beta 22 next to see if it makes a difference.

 

 

post #40 of 2389

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin View Post

 

I said close.  I'm not trying to imply that its absolutely the best, just that its price, power, and size should make it the most versatile (taking things other than sound and power into consideration) amp I know of if it lives up to its specs.  Even if you can afford the WA5 it weighs 75 pounds, costs 7 times more in base configuration, takes up your whole desk, and may be unusable in the summer depending on your local climate and personal temperature tolerances.  It looks cool as all hell, and I bet it sounds great, but even if I (or most other people here) could afford it, there are severe issues of practicality.

 

Also, unless someone is just making up specs, the HE-6 (83.5dB/mW) is almost 10dB more efficient than the K1000 (74dB/mW).

 

The WA5 is so heavy mainly because of it's transformers, which provide it with the current reserves that it needs to truly drive any headphone made (with the WEE on it's speaker taps for stats). I couldn't imagine it on anyone's desk as it's not a desktop amplifier; I just brought it up because of the favorable reports of it driving the HE-6 out of it's K1000 jack, which provide the same level of power as it's speaker taps. It's also the only headphone amp I can think of when I hear things like "the one to rule them all".

 

As far as efficiency is concerned the comparison you have pointed out is helpful but not quite the whole picture, as the HE-6 presents a 50-ohm load to the amp and the K1000 presents a 120-ohm load. All I was trying to point out is that the 2-watt WA22 was inadequate, and the K1000 jack of the WA5 seems to be "just right" for the HE-6.

 

I don't have time to read through it now as it's movie night, but I did find what seems to be a very helpful thread on the subject of K1000 input impedance and amplifier load that I will catch up on soon:

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/15613/akg-k1000-impedance-and-amplifier-load
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wharfrat View Post

This is a most enlightening discussion...it helps put alot of the commentary that arises in various threads about amplifiers (generally speaking)  and puts it all in perspective relative to headphone sensitivities and characteristics.  I have the EF5 amp and a pair of HE-5 headphones and a pair of the Thunderpants cans, both of which are lower sensitivity designs.  The TPs are a bit easier to drive than the HE 5 and I note the richer, fuller sound with the TPs through the EF5 compared to the HE-5.  In the context of the comments about the richer. fuller sound the Lyr can deliver with the LCD 2, it makes sense, at least based on my analoguous experience with the EF5 and the TP/HE5 comparison,  Thus,  one can readily deduce that if a headphone design is more sensitive, then the extra power is there to give that extra nuance to the reproduced musical note so that it approximates the actual note more closely.  

 

This then leads me to the question of whether that extra power leads to some "coloration" of the actual note that was played in the studio or concert hall, i.e., how faithful is the Lyr design to the actual sound of the musical event?  


Hi Bob, nicely put. But it's not just nuance we're talking about, it's also about the headphone reaching it's full dynamic potential without any letdown evenly across the frequency spectrum if that makes any sense. With adequate power reserves we will get to hear the headphone's full resolution at all frequencies. If anything, coloration is more likely to result when a headphone does not get the power it wants on a dynamic level, resulting in less controlled bass, recessed mids, sibilant highs and what have you.
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by visualguy View Post

 

1W should be more than sufficient to drive the HE-6 based on their specs. The 16mW was just an example for peaks of 95dB. 1W will get you to 113.5dB...

 

The PC HP out that you mentioned has nowhere near that power. However, I don't see the need for multi-watt amps for the HE-6. I know many say the need is there, but the physics doesn't support that, so it's a mystery to me. I listened to the HE-6 on two different 1W amps, and they sounded well-driven to me. I'm going to try a high-power Beta 22 next to see if it makes a difference.

 

As I said, even two watts out of a headphone amp is inadequate to drive the HE-6 to its full potential; please read through the HE-6 thread for confirmation and consensus (edit: this latest post there is typical). I'm not very familiar with the Beta 22 but I do think it has been mentioned there a few times, just do a search for it within that thread. Looking forward to your impressions, but there is a reason that HiFiMAN is designing a more powerful amp than its 2-watt EF5 for the HE-6, as well as offering a speaker tap adapter for it.
 

 


Edited by grokit - 3/3/11 at 3:10am
post #41 of 2389

Reading through the comments of this thread is quite amusing as this subject has been explored for many months.  Even before the announcement of the Lyr there were people who were saying that they were happy driving the HE6 from <1W amps and yet it has been conclusively shown that higher current delivers higher quality performance out of the HE6, all other things equal. 

 

There seems to be too many people who have opinions that are theories and are not based on any use of either a Lyr or the HE6.  We should all remember to wait until we have physically tested a product before making claims about it. 

 

The Lyr was designed for a purpose and that is mainly to drive difficult to drive headphones like the HE6 and K1000 etc.  To make comments on how inappropriate the Lyr is to drive high efficiency cans is like commenting that an F1 car is useless to race through sand dunes.  It is outside its design focus.

 

To those that have provided initial listening impressions with whatever cans they have...Thankyou heaps.  I love reading them.  For those that have the HE6 to test....I am envious and especially hanging out to hear how the amp changes over time as it, and the tubes, burn in.

 

 

post #42 of 2389

Yes please less current/power/watt discussion please, lets save it for impressions. My head's going to assplode.

post #43 of 2389
Thread Starter 
Visual guy,

It seems you're not interested in owning a Lyr as you've decided it's unnecessary. That's great, but why are you so bent on convincing others it's wrong for them...especially when you haven't tested one & haven't heard one?

The idea here was to provide IMPRESSIONS. I love a good electro-physics debate as much as the next guy (which is to say, not very much) but you're arguing in a vacuum. While power needs of some cans can preclude the use some amps, There are many more things than simply power output that make an amp good or not. This is simply an amplifier designed to provided more than enough power for any headphone. And more is better than not-enough. I have LCD-2's and 2 1-watt amps. They both tend to struggle with highly dynamic passages of music, like they are running out of. Available power. Thus my interest in the Lyr and my desire to hear from those who have tried one.

To those who have posted early impressions, THANK YOU! I look forward to hearing more.
post #44 of 2389

I believe Schiit's LYR design objective was to compliment a full range of HP's, regardless of the impedance challenges.  Further more, is it counter productive to own a HP amplifier that will drive cattle, and herd cats?

 

I think not.

 

 


Edited by Rope - 3/3/11 at 11:00am
post #45 of 2389

I got mine yesterday.  I have only listened to a few songs on it.  All were very demanding in the bass frequencies (i.e. electronic music in FLAC format: Orbital - Beelzebeat, etc.).  I am feeding it from an Asus Xonar Essence STX via the RCA outs.  My headphones are the Beyerdynamic DT-990 600ohm (recommended by Jason@Schiit in its price range).    So far I am extremely happy with the bass control.  This combination of source, amp, and phones works extremely well together.  With the volume up full and no sound from the source, I hear no hiss or noise at all.  I have never had a setup this good before.  I will listen to some Jazz and Classical tonight to get a better idea of the accuracy across the sound spectrum and post an update.  

As far as the build quality, it is exceptional.  There is no noise what so ever in the potentiometer movement.  I feel like I could drop it (without the tubes in) from the top of my house onto concrete and it would be fine, minus some scratches.  I do not understand how Schiit can use such high-end physical components and still sell the unit at this price point.  I cannot imagine that their cost in parts is less than $100.  

Akh

 

Update 1: After reading more of this thread I feel I need to give a little more information.  My Xonar is rated at 2vrms for the RCA outs.  The volume on Foobar2000 and in Windows 7 are set to 80% of maximum.  I have been using the pot on the amp between the 10 o'clock and the 2 o'clock position.  The gain seems perfect for this set of phones.  Second, there is no such thing as too much power, only too much volume.  The mistake that some people seem to be making is thinking that power only causes a speaker cone to move further.  It also allows the driver to have more control over the cone.  This increased control requires more power.  Conversely, the more power the amp has at its disposal, the better control the amp has over the cone.  This results in the harmonics of the various instruments used in the music being more accurately reproduced, i.e. that violin sounds more like a real violin would sound in person.  This creates the "wider sound stage" effect that people have been describing.

 

Update 2: I have listened to some Classical music on it now, in particular Alfred Brendel "Beethoven: The complete piano Sonatas".  It sounds very good.  However I feel the highs roll off a little too quickly with the stock pair of tubes.  When I get a chance I may replace them with some "brighter" tubes.  Most of the music I will listen to on the amp is Trance and Electronica.  For that genre, where super deep and controlled bass is required, this amp is perfect.


Edited by akhnaten - 3/9/11 at 5:07pm
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