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Total bithead losing power?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Maybe I should contact Headroom directly, but my old Total Bithead seems to be gradually failing. It used to be that, connected to my macbook pro via USB, I only had to put the volume up a certain amount for comfortable listening. Recently, I have had to put the control higher and higher - lately, I actually put it on maximum for some songs. No, I'm not going deaf; my other devices are still set to the same level as always.

 

Is this typical? Do portable amps have such a limited (~5 years) usable life? It's driving my Senn HD650 btw.

post #2 of 11

I've noticed I have to crank it up (with the gain on high) for my MacBook Pro, as well. But not at all for my iPod via LOD to the input 1/8th stereo... 

 

I don't recall it getting progressively worse though - I just assumed the line levels were much lower. Have you tried other sources? 

 

If it is consistent across sources, I would contact Headroom, for sure. 

post #3 of 11

Your output caps might be failing, but I don't know the guts of the Total Bithead very well even though I also own one.  I've never taken it apart. 

post #4 of 11

Have you replaced the batteries?

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjohnusa View Post

Have you replaced the batteries?

 

I only use it on (dirty, nasty ;-)) USB power. Good question though.

 

It's not dead yet, still gets loud enough... most of the time. No longer in warranty I would assume, but I'll look into it.

 

Thanks guys.

post #6 of 11

I also noted that the volume is low through USB even with gain set at high with my AKG headphones, totally unacceptable.

 

Used as a portable with batteries if works fine with the same headphones.

 

Is this typical of the Bithead?
 

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by MDR30 View Post

I also noted that the volume is low through USB even with gain set at high with my AKG headphones, totally unacceptable.

 

Used as a portable with batteries if works fine with the same headphones.

 

Is this typical of the Bithead?
 


Any Bithead experience out there?

post #8 of 11

There is a switch on the Bit head to keep the batteries -in circuit- even when plugged into the USB socket- Bit head recommend keeping the switch on . Other than that as tjohnusa says check the batteries. This model has now been discontinued by the manufacturer.I take it you are plugging it into a standard USB socket . The new ones have higher current capability allowing rechargeable batteries to be recharged.and would supply a higher current. 

post #9 of 11

Thanks! Will have a look at it tomorrow. But if I remember correctly this was one of the first portable DAC amps, according to Headroom / Tyll, so progress has been made...
 

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by duncan1 View Post

There is a switch on the Bit head to keep the batteries -in circuit- even when plugged into the USB socket- Bit head recommend keeping the switch on . Other than that as tjohnusa says check the batteries. This model has now been discontinued by the manufacturer.I take it you are plugging it into a standard USB socket . The new ones have higher current capability allowing rechargeable batteries to be recharged.and would supply a higher current. 

 

That battery switch is not mentioned in the manual for my Bithead, and the only switch I see is the high/low gain one. Anyway, I got it to work decently on high gain and the PC volume at 9,5/10 level, ordinary USB. Not so happy being near max volume and wonder if there is a straight/line (i e not volume controlled) digital USB output?

post #11 of 11

Doesn't seem to be a "straight " output. Also if using headphones like the Senn HD580/600/650and AKG K701  need to be run on batteries only and if you are using it as an amp you must only use the batteries not the USB to power it or you will lose volume. That's about all I can say  maybe somebody else can add to this. --Something just occurred to me. Like  a lot of portable equipment  it can be converted to take a power supply by  fitting an additional power socket which would be soldered onto the battery IN connections I have done that to lot of equipment that uses batteries as they are dear to buy. BUT--the power supply MUST be a large mains  transformer type and FULLY stabilized in other words expensive[when under no load to only produce the required voltage] The guarantee would be "out the window" but it isnt hard to do.and you wouldnt get any gradual reduction in voltage due to battery drain so no reduction in volume output. Yes I know it would not obviously be able  to be used in a portable situation.  


Edited by duncan1 - 8/1/13 at 6:54am
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