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HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening. . - Page 328

post #4906 of 18029
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post

 

Passive attenuator have high output impedance that can alter the sound, even in powered monitors (with rather high input impedance for their integrated amp).

Digital attenuation done right (that is, with dithering and that still provide the typical dynamic range) is preferable to passive attenuator, whatever its cost (at a matched/reasonable price, of course).  With 35bits words, the M51 is very well suited for this!

 

On a side note: I remember a video where M. Mallinson (a senior engineer who developed the SABRE 9018 chip) said that digital attenuation was worse than analog one. That's pretty funny because:

1- The ES9018 achieves excellent figures which make it suited for digital attenuation more than any other DAC chip, short of the M51 that don't rely on a typical DAC for D/A conversion.

2- I can't imagine the price of the preamp featuring a volume control that bests what they can achieve with the ES9018! So, yes in theory, analog is preferable since it can achieve lower distortion,  but in real world, how expansive would it cost to make something with better figures than the ES9018? Probably much much more than the price of the M51...

Well, you can build a passive attenuator with 10k Pot. Like I said - done right, don't slap a random 50k pot on a chain with high output source and low input amp. Also, FYI, the higher the input impedance of the amp, the better it is for passive attenuator. I'm using a 10k passive pre, which isn't altering the sound nor reduce bass/dynamic like people usually claimed (granted mine are an ideal circumstances where I got ~600 ohm source and  100k input impedance). The only downsize is that I need short cables, which means I'm practically bathing in the heat of 4x 6550 tubes to control volume - not a pleasant feeling - hence why I'm ditching it for an active pre.

 

There's countless of debates on this topic. No matter the wordings, most of the "digital attenuation" is still reducing resolution. Especially in the case of the NAD, which IS a typical delta-sigma DAC with upsampling - rebadged in fancy advertising words. The ESS9018 has its own upsampling mechanism too. Now Steve claimed his Overdrive dac does no such thing, and is digital attenuation perfection, I can't check that claim since I don't have 5k to blow =p.

 

To be honest though, companies can say all they want about how digital attenuation is supposedly superior. But the reality is once you introduce a (good) active preamp into the chain, dynamic and resolution increases significantly.

 

That's what people mean by digital is worse than analog volume. Digital got potential to be much better than analog, but no one seems to "unearth" that potential yet - much like the other digital vs analog stuff (film vs DSLR, digital vs vinyl)

post #4907 of 18029

well my norse cable broke today, no idea how, just the right channel connector must be loose, sound cuts in and out. 

 

back to using the stock hifiman cable which is absolute horse**** compared to the norse....

post #4908 of 18029
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubstep Girl View Post

well my norse cable broke today, no idea how, just the right channel connector must be loose, sound cuts in and out. 

 

back to using the stock hifiman cable which is absolute horse**** compared to the norse....

 

Go hard-wired :D

post #4909 of 18029
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post

 

Go hard-wired :D

Or use the Left channel of the Norse cable, and Right channel of the stock cable. That way you'll get a "half-good" cable tongue_smile.gif

post #4910 of 18029

I checked up on the NAD M51...I seem to be liking it the most so far. Also, so far I found that this makes for a great DAC where Concero works better as a transport. Also people have been finding the NAD M51 to be quite neutral and transparent. 

 

So, connecting the NAD M51 to monitor speakers directly is bad idea? I heard that even though it's digital volume attenuation, there's 35 bits, so it's not too bad. I would like to hear more about this.

 

Octave only has 1 output, so I think that's out as well....for now

 

Also, regarding the Lynx Minx...that was for $2400 ish. I couldn't find a deal on that.

 

EDIT: How does the Calyx 24/192 stack up to the NAD M51, especially for USB, since I hear that Calyx is mostly designed for computer based use?


Edited by Zoom25 - 5/14/13 at 10:25am
post #4911 of 18029
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post

I checked up on the NAD M51...I seem to be liking it the most so far. Also, so far I found that this makes for a great DAC where Concero works better as a transport. Also people have been finding the NAD M51 to be quite neutral and transparent. 

 

So, connecting the NAD M51 to monitor speakers directly is bad idea? I heard that even though it's digital volume attenuation, there's 35 bits, so it's not too bad. I would like to hear more about this.

 

Octave only has 1 output, so I think that's out as well....for now

 

Also, regarding the Lynx Minx...that was for $2400 ish. I couldn't find a deal on that.

 

I'm pretty much a perfectionist when it comes to audio - so take this with a bucket of salt.

 

Digital attenuation like in the M51, no matter how you look at it, reduces resolution when volume is reduced - whether you can hear the difference or not is another story. I myself prefer as pure of a signal as possible for peace of mind. Other volume controls method is not exactly perfect either, so I wouldn't fret much about the Nad -> Monitor, just don't make the pre-amp part becomes the main factor to your purchase. Dedicated pre-amps are widely available and cheap.

 

The Lynx you have to check the Hilo thread. I remember HC posted a deal where an US dealer offer the Hilo for 1.8k USD shipped internationally - now it doesn't show on their website anymore. But it won't hurt to ask - might get yourself a bargain even. Studio gears are really flexible in the pricing - just take sometimes to find the "right" dealer.

 

About the m51 and calyx, I myself prefer the Calyx (with PSU) to the M51. However, nothing is perfect and the Calyx got its own quirks (quite a lot in fact). Without the power supply, the Calyx sounds flat and uninspiring, the USB input on its own is pretty good (XMOS), but can be improved. The thing improve a lot with a good power supply though. I tried it with the Kingrex PSU, and it's very much up there with the best Dacs - definitely my favorite Sabre dac. As I said the thing isn't perfect, you'll need a good PSU (kingrex/paul/or even Calyx's own PSU) - it should output around 4-5A, so you can feed the Calyx, and use a split USB cable to feed the USB receiver with clean power too.

 

On the other hand, Nad pretty much hits a home run with the M51 in the stock form. It sounds good in stock form, and sounds even better with transport (again very few things doesn't sound better when fed by an AP1). There's very little I can complain about the M51, especially for the price. I just happens to like the Calyx better =p. But I won't touch them with the retail pricing. Buying used/ex-demo (+ your own PSU + a dual usb cable for the Calyx) is where it's at.

post #4912 of 18029

Quote:

Originally Posted by khaine1711 View Post

 

I'm pretty much a perfectionist when it comes to audio - so take this with a bucket of salt.

 

Digital attenuation like in the M51, no matter how you look at it, reduces resolution when volume is reduced - whether you can hear the difference or not is another story. I myself prefer as pure of a signal as possible for peace of mind. Other volume controls method is not exactly perfect either, so I wouldn't fret much about the Nad -> Monitor, just don't make the pre-amp part becomes the main factor to your purchase. Dedicated pre-amps are widely available and cheap.

 

The Lynx you have to check the Hilo thread. I remember HC posted a deal where an US dealer offer the Hilo for 1.8k USD shipped internationally - now it doesn't show on their website anymore. But it won't hurt to ask - might get yourself a bargain even. Studio gears are really flexible in the pricing - just take sometimes to find the "right" dealer.

 

About the m51 and calyx, I myself prefer the Calyx (with PSU) to the M51. However, nothing is perfect and the Calyx got its own quirks (quite a lot in fact). Without the power supply, the Calyx sounds flat and uninspiring, the USB input on its own is pretty good (XMOS), but can be improved. The thing improve a lot with a good power supply though. I tried it with the Kingrex PSU, and it's very much up there with the best Dacs - definitely my favorite Sabre dac. As I said the thing isn't perfect, you'll need a good PSU (kingrex/paul/or even Calyx's own PSU) - it should output around 4-5A, so you can feed the Calyx, and use a split USB cable to feed the USB receiver with clean power too.

 

On the other hand, Nad pretty much hits a home run with the M51 in the stock form. It sounds good in stock form, and sounds even better with transport (again very few things doesn't sound better when fed by an AP1). There's very little I can complain about the M51, especially for the price. I just happens to like the Calyx better =p. But I won't touch them with the retail pricing. Buying used/ex-demo (+ your own PSU + a dual usb cable for the Calyx) is where it's at.

 

Thanks for the advice. I'll look some more into the DACs. I am going to try to get around at least $300 off the retail if I go new with M51, although will try used when looking at it down the road. Out of all them, so far it has struck the most with me. Although I'll still keep my ears and eyes open. 

 

Regarding the Emotiva vs. vintage amps, I was considering picking up a Marantz 2230 and moving the Emotiva to speakers. How is the amp in general and how would it stack up with LCD-2 and HE-500? Also, what do you think would be a fair price of that, especially if the seller claims: All were serviced, replaced lights, some caps, relays, switches & defuser"...a rough estimate would be good on where they typically range from.

 

Also, I've noticed that the distortion on these vintage amps is rated a bit high. Any problem with that? Just curious if that would interfere with high end DACs


Edited by Zoom25 - 5/14/13 at 6:08pm
post #4913 of 18029

Can't have a general pricing scheme. But I'd guess the 2230 fully reserviced is around 300 bucks. I think it's a good entry choice considering you'll need to pay 1-2k for top Marantz unit (2285/2385).Better page Skylab and other in the vintage thread for pricing.

 

Vintage Marantz (receiver) in general, is warm and pleasing - people usually call that the magic Marantz warmth. If it's fully restored as claimed, it'll sound majestic - if you like the Emotiva, you'll like the Marantz. Personally I'm a Sansui/Pioneer fan, but I wouldn't mind having a 2285 on my desk. If it's local, pop by for a listen, or ask to bring it home for a few days to see if you like it.

 

Try both speaker tap and headphone out too. Vintage receivers usually got a resistor network for headphone out, unlike the cheapo opamp approach in modern ones. 

 

I wouldn't care at all about distortion. Not like our modern beloved manufacturers are "accurate" on spec either, if you know what I mean =p.

post #4914 of 18029
Quote:
Originally Posted by khaine1711 View Post

Can't have a general pricing scheme. But I'd guess the 2230 fully reserviced is around 300 bucks. I think it's a good entry choice considering you'll need to pay 1-2k for top Marantz unit (2285/2385).Better page Skylab and other in the vintage thread for pricing.

 

Vintage Marantz (receiver) in general, is warm and pleasing - people usually call that the magic Marantz warmth. If it's fully restored as claimed, it'll sound majestic - if you like the Emotiva, you'll like the Marantz. Personally I'm a Sansui/Pioneer fan, but I wouldn't mind having a 2285 on my desk. If it's local, pop by for a listen, or ask to bring it home for a few days to see if you like it.

 

Try both speaker tap and headphone out too. Vintage receivers usually got a resistor network for headphone out, unlike the cheapo opamp approach in modern ones. 

 

I wouldn't care at all about distortion. Not like our modern beloved manufacturers are "accurate" on spec either, if you know what I mean =p.

 

Haha fair enough about the specs. I'll update on how that goes. I would love to combine my modern Marantz CD player with the vintage Marantz to see how it works out.

 

So the headphone jack on the vintage receivers are much better? Would it be possible to remove the headphone out resistor part and just plug in the planars for full power from the headphone jack. I don't know if that makes sense, as I'm not too suer about the design.

post #4915 of 18029
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post

 

Haha fair enough about the specs. I'll update on how that goes. I would love to combine my modern Marantz CD player with the vintage Marantz to see how it works out.

 

So the headphone jack on the vintage receivers are much better? Would it be possible to remove the headphone out resistor part and just plug in the planars for full power from the headphone jack. I don't know if that makes sense, as I'm not too suer about the design.

No need - orthos aren't affected by high output impedance since they're purely a resistive load with flat impedance curve.

 

I think the headphone jack is plenty for the 500 and the LCD2, in case you want to use the binding post for speaker.

post #4916 of 18029
Quote:
Originally Posted by khaine1711 View Post

No need - orthos aren't affected by high output impedance since they're purely a resistive load with flat impedance curve.

 

I think the headphone jack is plenty for the 500 and the LCD2, in case you want to use the binding post for speaker.

 

But doesn't the headphone jack on the Marantz still have reduced power output compared to the speaker output - also, if true, by how much. I understand that the planar drivers are purely resistive without a reactance component, so not having to worry about impedance matching. Am I missing something here?

 

Also, if I do decide, how I would I go about connecting to the binding post of the Marantz? I already have banana plugs to female XLR adapter that I use to connect my balanced headphone cables into. Although these Marantz units didn't support banana plugs. How would I go about using my current setup with the Marantz. I really don't want to invest in hard wired cables of the Marantz. Would a further banana plugs to pin adapter work with the Marantz post?

post #4917 of 18029
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post

 

But doesn't the headphone jack on the Marantz still have reduced power output compared to the speaker output - also, if true, by how much. I understand that the planar drivers are purely resistive without a reactance component, so not having to worry about impedance matching. Am I missing something here?

 

Also, if I do decide, how I would I go about connecting to the binding post of the Marantz? I already have banana plugs to female XLR adapter that I use to connect my balanced headphone cables into. Although these Marantz units didn't support banana plugs. How would I go about using my current setup with the Marantz. I really don't want to invest in hard wired cables of the Marantz. Would a further banana plugs to pin adapter work with the Marantz post?

Yes, how much I don't know since I don't have its schematic. Power doesn't matter that much, the suggested rating for the He500 is the maximum it can handles, in reality it uses much less. And yes you don't have to worry about impedance matching with orthos.

 

Most vintage stuff uses a different kind of binding post. The gist of its is that you strip bare wires and insert them into the binding post then fasten. Back then it's still "best connector = no connector" running rampant. You don't need any specialty cable, just unscrew/cut the banana and use bare wires

 

post #4918 of 18029
Quote:
Originally Posted by khaine1711 View Post

Yes, how much I don't know since I don't have its schematic. Power doesn't matter that much, the suggested rating for the He500 is the maximum it can handles, in reality it uses much less. And yes you don't have to worry about impedance matching with orthos.

 

Most vintage stuff uses a different kind of binding post. The gist of its is that you strip bare wires and insert them into the binding post then fasten. Back then it's still "best connector = no connector" running rampant. You don't need any specialty cable, just unscrew/cut the banana and use bare wires

 

 

I'll look around for adapters, as I don't want to start opening my banana plug adapter set for headphone. For speakers, I always run them hard wire, with no attachments. The only reason why I don't do that with the headphones is that I keep switching stuff.

 

Regarding the headphone jack, any idea on how much reduction in output there is? I have tried the newer Marantz equipment and tried to run headphones off of the headphone jack. The headphone jack barely has enough power to run my D2000, the planars are absolutely terrible with that. The headphone jack for these amps should be good enough directly? Have you ever tried them?

post #4919 of 18029
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post

 

I'll look around for adapters, as I don't want to start opening my banana plug adapter set for headphone. For speakers, I always run them hard wire, with no attachments. The only reason why I don't do that with the headphones is that I keep switching stuff.

 

Regarding the headphone jack, any idea on how much reduction in output there is? I have tried the newer Marantz equipment and tried to run headphones off of the headphone jack. The headphone jack barely has enough power to run my D2000, the planars are absolutely terrible with that. The headphone jack for these amps should be good enough directly? Have you ever tried them?

4 screws (or 8 screws at worst, if you're using the double screw banana). You could DIY an adapter yourself - buy 4 banana posts then solder bare wire to them - put that in a fancy box if you want wink_face.gif

 

Generally, modern gear likes using a cheap chip-amp solution - and I mean really cheap - sometimes worse than a meager CMoy. They're built to power iBuds, not your fullsize cans =p. Vintage stuff however, the headphone out is tapped directly from the speaker output - think of it as a built in HE-adapter.

 

Overall, the main gripe people have with vintage receiver is that impedance mismatch with dynamic cans. No matter how great the amp section is, your Grado/Denon/K701 won't like 500 ish ohm output impedance.

 

I did try to plug the He-6 into the HP out of a Kenwood 9100 (95WPC) and found they pretty much sound identical to the speaker tap. Funny thing is the Dt1350 I have nearby play really well with the supposedly high output impedance of the Kenwood.

post #4920 of 18029
Quote:
Originally Posted by khaine1711 View Post

4 screws (or 8 screws at worst, if you're using the double screw banana). You could DIY an adapter yourself - buy 4 banana posts then solder bare wire to them - put that in a fancy box if you want wink_face.gif

 

Generally, modern gear likes using a cheap chip-amp solution - and I mean really cheap - sometimes worse than a meager CMoy. They're built to power iBuds, not your fullsize cans =p. Vintage stuff however, the headphone out is tapped directly from the speaker output - think of it as a built in HE-adapter.

 

Overall, the main gripe people have with vintage receiver is that impedance mismatch with dynamic cans. No matter how great the amp section is, your Grado/Denon/K701 won't like 500 ish ohm output impedance.

 

I did try to plug the He-6 into the HP out of a Kenwood 9100 (95WPC) and found they pretty much sound identical to the speaker tap. Funny thing is the Dt1350 I have nearby play really well with the supposedly high output impedance of the Kenwood.

 

I'm hoping for best case scenario that it kicks ass out of the HP jack. If not, maybe something like this perhaps? - http://www.smarthome.com/48801/Ethereal-Home-Theater-BTIP-Female-Banana-Plug-Pin-Adapter-Set-5-Pack/p.aspx 

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