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The diary entries of a little girl! ~ | ~ Latest memoir: oıpnɐ ןɐuıɟ - Page 250  

post #3736 of 3746
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post

I'm a bit confused. When you are mentioning source as being unadulterated are you referring to the DAC? While letting the Amp do the refining? I also thought DACs played some roll on sound signature as well.
 

 



DAC, CD player, whatever floats your blueberry boat.

 

Like everything else in our hobby, it comes down to preference. Obviously a source isn't going to be completely neutral, but one can strive to have something approximating neutral. The alternative approach is seen in DACs that are marketed as being "analog sounding" or use tubes in their stages. For instance Red Wine Audio, the Havana, etc. Some people like that. I for one don't. For a few reasons:

 

-These types of sources tend to trade details for euphony. I'm all for euphony at times, but that can be achieved via one's amp.

-If one's source is heavily colored, then it's going to limit what you can put at the end of your chain. That's fine if you're tailoring your system to a single headphone or two. But if you want to run a diverse set of headphones, it's easier to have one neutral source and several amps of different colors (rather than several different sources).

-That way if I want a colored sound, I use a colored amp. If I want something more neutral, I use a more neutral amp. A more neutral source will in theory get along with a wider array of amps.

 

post #3737 of 3746


Can't disagree with you there at all. Although I do own a DAP with a NOS DAC lol (hopefully it will be going on the for sale forum shortly after comparison).

Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post



DAC, CD player, whatever floats your blueberry boat.

 

Like everything else in our hobby, it comes down to preference. Obviously a source isn't going to be completely neutral, but one can strive to have something approximating neutral. The alternative approach is seen in DACs that are marketed as being "analog sounding" or use tubes in their stages. For instance Red Wine Audio, the Havana, etc. Some people like that. I for one don't. For a few reasons:

 

-These types of sources tend to trade details for euphony. I'm all for euphony at times, but that can be achieved via one's amp.

-If one's source is heavily colored, then it's going to limit what you can put at the end of your chain. That's fine if you're tailoring your system to a single headphone or two. But if you want to run a diverse set of headphones, it's easier to have one neutral source and several amps of different colors (rather than several different sources).

-That way if I want a colored sound, I use a colored amp. If I want something more neutral, I use a more neutral amp. A more neutral source will in theory get along with a wider array of amps.

 



 

post #3738 of 3746

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardgedee View Post

Quote:


TLDR: "All op-amps are exactly the same, and if they sound different to you, it's because whatever they're being used in is using them wrong. And you're being too sensitive about the differences anyway."

 

I tend not to trust the judgements of people prone to speak with such finality about why they are the only people doing/knowing the right things in complex or nuanced circumstances.


That's not all that he's saying. He's also saying that op amps are implemented as very specific parts of the design and that you can't always just roll them or other parts of the design will become unstable. This happened to Kiteki and proved that the most simple basic op amp swapping can cause very real dangers; namely his ex700 burning out.

post #3739 of 3746
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalFreak View Post

Anyone here know anything about op amps? I'm getting the Leckerton UHA-4 and I'm trying to decide between three different op amps. The standard op amp is the AD8610ARZ. For no extra charge I can get the OPA209AID or for an extra 50 bones the OPA627. What do you guys think, is the OPA627 worth the extra 50 bones? I'm looking for something that would give good definition and separation in the highs and give me great slam in the lows while not compromising detail in the mids. I'd look in the UHA-4 impressions thread but it's 51 freaking pages long.


I just got my UHA-4 today with the standard op amp.  I emailed Nick and asked him if any of them had a lower noise floor and he said that it wouldn't matter.  I'm assuming that's because the one you can get changed is the output stage and is at unity gain with maximum feedback already and most of the noise will come from the gain stage.  I don't think it matters too much but there's probably more variation using different op amps in the output stage than the gain stage the NwAvGuy was talking about.  Nick has a dScope just like NwAvGuy so he could post some measurements of the different op amps if he wanted to.

 

Subjectively I'm enjoying the UHA-4 a lot so far.  It has a much lower noise floor than my XM6.  On low gain there's no hiss with my Shure SE530s from the analog input feed by my D2+ and a very slight hiss from USB input.  Its lower gain and perfectly balanced digital volume control mean I don't have to use the software volume control on the PC.  The XM6 locked the Windows volume control and trying to adjust the volume precisely in the YouTube player is AFIK impossible and its a pain in the ass in Pandora.  The UHA-4 doesn't lock it in case anyone is interested.

 

I'd like the crossfeed to be a tad stronger or adjustable like the XM6's but the UHA-4's seems like its good enough to keep me from getting a headache.  The XM6 also has other nice features I used a lot like separate bass and treble boosts and an adjustable sleep timer along with other features I didn't use too much like an impedance switch, a volt meter to tell you the exact state of the batteries' charge, and even a flashlight mode.  The XM6 also has more power but I didn't use 'phones that needed that power with the XM6 very often.

 

I haven't done any A/B comparisons yet but it sounds clean, extended, and detailed with both my SE530s and Beyer DT1350s.  Low gain is also enough for the DT1350s from both my D2+ and the internal DAC.

 

Overall the UHA-4 is looking better for me.  I was hoping it would outdo the XM6 in noise floor and pocketability and it looks like the UHA-4 will replace the XM6.  I'll probably miss the XM6's extra features but the low noise floor and balanced volume control are more important than those other features.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post

Can I be the crazy voodoo priestess / soothsayer / oracle lady?


You're already the Wood Maiden right?  The beautiful Elven lass who lives in the heart of an ancient and mystical forest where headphones do in fact grow on trees and who brings down the wrath of Nature on any who transgress by harvesting the natural bounty.  Many wish to ask for A/B comparisons among your extensive collection but only those of firm resolve dare brave the mortal dangers of the forest, only those possessing a sense of humility, compassion, and charity pass the required tests of character, and only those of the keenest wit will puzzle their way through the natural labyrinth to find your sacred glade in order to ask.

 

That's how I've always though of you anyway...

 

wink_face.gif

 

post #3740 of 3746

I kinda wish I had actually read the post before commenting lol. Its a very tricky subject at that.

post #3741 of 3746
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardgedee View Post

Quote:


Instead, you should treat this as a decision tree:

 

  1. When I listen to this piece of equipment...
    1. I do not like how it sounds.
      • Replace with another piece of equipment. Return to first step.
    2. I like how it sounds.
      • END
  2. There is no step 2.

 

 

(Edit: 888 GET!)


Grats on the lucky post count. :] 

 

I get what you're saying, but at the same time I wish that I could just get an ideal amplifier and *never* have to worry about source synergy. I'd just want an amplifier that would ensure no roll off, the best possible transient response, the least amount of unwanted harmonics, etc. Even if it means that I end up with an amplifier that can only be paired with certain classes of headphones (ie: low impedance, high imepdance), that is okay because there are more than enough headphones out there to try in any particular class. I'm already just mincing my wallet into a find paste as it is jumping around listening to different earphones, I *don't* want to have to think about source synergy as well haha. In essence I just want everything on the source side, up to and including the amp, to be transparent.

 

On a related note, I plugged my old RE0's into my new little portable amplifier I got as a freebie from Audio Technica this morning and I was just reminded of how I got into this forum in the first place XD

 

post #3742 of 3746


Glad you are enjoying your UHA4. It was a huge upgrade for me in comparison to the Fiio E7 and I won't find myself parting from it anytime soon ;).

Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin View Post


I just got my UHA-4 today with the standard op amp.  I emailed Nick and asked him if any of them had a lower noise floor and he said that it wouldn't matter.  I'm assuming that's because the one you can get changed is the output stage and is at unity gain with maximum feedback already and most of the noise will come from the gain stage.  I don't think it matters too much but there's probably more variation using different op amps in the output stage than the gain stage the NwAvGuy was talking about.  Nick has a dScope just like NwAvGuy so he could post some measurements of the different op amps if he wanted to.

 

Subjectively I'm enjoying the UHA-4 a lot so far.  It has a much lower noise floor than my XM6.  On low gain there's no hiss with my Shure SE530s from the analog input feed by my D2+ and a very slight hiss from USB input.  Its lower gain and perfectly balanced digital volume control mean I don't have to use the software volume control on the PC.  The XM6 locked the Windows volume control and trying to adjust the volume precisely in the YouTube player is AFIK impossible and its a pain in the ass in Pandora.  The UHA-4 doesn't lock it in case anyone is interested.

 

I'd like the crossfeed to be a tad stronger or adjustable like the XM6's but the UHA-4's seems like its good enough to keep me from getting a headache.  The XM6 also has other nice features I used a lot like separate bass and treble boosts and an adjustable sleep timer along with other features I didn't use too much like an impedance switch, a volt meter to tell you the exact state of the batteries' charge, and even a flashlight mode.  The XM6 also has more power but I didn't use 'phones that needed that power with the XM6 very often.

 

I haven't done any A/B comparisons yet but it sounds clean, extended, and detailed with both my SE530s and Beyer DT1350s.  Low gain is also enough for the DT1350s from both my D2+ and the internal DAC.

 

Overall the UHA-4 is looking better for me.  I was hoping it would outdo the XM6 in noise floor and pocketability and it looks like the UHA-4 will replace the XM6.  I'll probably miss the XM6's extra features but the low noise floor and balanced volume control are more important than those other features.

 


You're already the Wood Maiden right?  The beautiful Elven lass who lives in the heart of an ancient and mystical forest where headphones do in fact grow on trees and who brings down the wrath of Nature on any who transgress by harvesting the natural bounty.  Many wish to ask for A/B comparisons among your extensive collection but only those of firm resolve dare brave the mortal dangers of the forest, only those possessing a sense of humility, compassion, and charity pass the required tests of character, and only those of the keenest wit will puzzle their way through the natural labyrinth to find your sacred glade in order to ask.

 

That's how I've always though of you anyway...

 

wink_face.gif

 



 

post #3743 of 3746

Quote:

Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post

 

-If one's source is heavily colored, then it's going to limit what you can put at the end of your chain. That's fine if you're tailoring your system to a single headphone or two. But if you want to run a diverse set of headphones, it's easier to have one neutral source and several amps of different colors (rather than several different sources).

-That way if I want a colored sound, I use a colored amp. If I want something more neutral, I use a more neutral amp. A more neutral source will in theory get along with a wider array of amps.


Makes a lot of sense, and while this is true for anyone, it's even more so for those with limited budgets.

 

When I bought the Fiio E7 I did so with the intent of using it as my desktop dac/amp because at the time 2 or so years ago there were really only portable combos at a price of $80. It was good enough with my brighter headphones and brighter recordings but absolutely murdered my darker headphones and decently recorded albums. It actually smoothed out the air in the vocals in my J-pop period, regardless of the headphone used (which irked me) but that is beside the point. 

 

I think the average headfier will be able afford a $300 dac or separate amp tops or around a $500 combo receiver. I plan on stopping my source components at a $500 combo dac/amp. I will probably add another $300 amp (SS or tube) on top of that at some point if I need the extra current or want more coloration than my headphones offer.


Edited by Sylverant - 1/21/12 at 3:59pm
post #3744 of 3746
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post

Glad you are enjoying your UHA4. It was a huge upgrade for me in comparison to the Fiio E7 and I won't find myself parting from it anytime soon ;).


I think some people might consider the UHA-4 a downgrade from the XM6 since its half the price and contains fewer buzzword compliant parts but the UHA-4 wins hands down for listening to sensitive IEMs at low volumes.

post #3745 of 3746

Gonna make a suggestion to anyone who has a pair of T50RP's in this thread:

 

Recently I was at the new Sydney branch of the Japanese chain Daiso and saw they had an entire section for melamine sponges, those white abrasive cleaning sponges. (Example pic, I didn't buy these ones - I bought thinner flat sheets.)

 

LL

 

Considering that everything is 2.80 there I bought some after a gander and a google search which stated that melamine sponge was actually a good open cell foam for absorbing high and mid frequencies. I went home and yesterday I cut some of the sponge out in a shape that would fit in the Fostex ear cups, with holes for the posts etc.

 

I can say that this was a fantastic improvement given the cost, since it cleaned up a lot of the plasticky backwave reflection in the sound, and did a much better job then the speaker damping fibre I was using before. Now I can say the Fostex's are on par with my Z1000's in some respects and excel them in others. Considering they cost me one quarter of the Z1000's price I think thats pretty good. If I could just improve the bass response further they would easily be my best pair.

 

I'm going to try stuffing this foam in my SQ5s next, since they exhibit the same issues: plasticky timbre. :D

post #3746 of 3746
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_recording View Post

Gonna make a suggestion to anyone who has a pair of T50RP's in this thread:

 

Recently I was at the new Sydney branch of the Japanese chain Daiso and saw they had an entire section for melamine sponges, those white abrasive cleaning sponges. (Example pic, I didn't buy these ones - I bought thinner flat sheets.)


Sweet.  I haven't caught up with the T50RP thread yet but those look like a good idea.  I'll have to check that out.  Hopefully I can find some online but if not there's a Japanese grocery store within driving distance.  Unless I load up on other stuff I'll end up spending more money just on gas...

 

Thanks for the tip.

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