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Who still has the Sony SA5000? - Page 31

post #451 of 580
Quote:
Originally Posted by elwappo99 View Post

 

1500mw? That information doesn't make sense. The SA5000 are incredibly easy to drive compared to other inefficient low resistance headphones. 


compared to what other headphones?

post #452 of 580
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmays1 View Post


compared to what other headphones?

 

 

I'm not sure what that 1500mw number means. That's not how a headphone is measured. Where did you get that number from? 

 

If I had to place these headphones near any other headphones I have heard, I would put them as needing a little more power than a Denon D2000. 

post #453 of 580
Quote:
Originally Posted by elwappo99 View Post

 

 

I'm not sure what that 1500mw number means. That's not how a headphone is measured. Where did you get that number from? 

 

If I had to place these headphones near any other headphones I have heard, I would put them as needing a little more power than a Denon D2000. 

 

1500mw is the amount of power the sa5000 can handle at its nominal ohm level before distortion. all headphones (drivers for that matter) have a rated power level, wether its listed in specs or not. mw being milliwatt= 1000ths of a watt. Correct me if i'm wrong. 

post #454 of 580
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmays1 View Post

 

1500mw is the amount of power the sa5000 can handle at its nominal ohm level before distortion. all headphones (drivers for that matter) have a rated power level, wether its listed in specs or not. mw being milliwatt= 1000ths of a watt. Correct me if i'm wrong. 

 

I think that is a lot of power for these headphones. I think they're spec'd for power at around 105db/mW, which makes them pretty darn efficient headphones. I think if you got 1500mW they would be pretty unlistenable. These are very easy headphones to drive. 

post #455 of 580
Quote:
Originally Posted by elwappo99 View Post

 

I think that is a lot of power for these headphones. I think they're spec'd for power at around 105db/mW, which makes them pretty darn efficient headphones. I think if you got 1500mW they would be pretty unlistenable. These are very easy headphones to drive. 

the power rating is not the same as db/mw rating nor are they slightly measured the same.

 

But your reply answers my pondering of why people think these have the problem they have.  So thanks, i think i'll approve of these with a proper amp.

post #456 of 580
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmays1 View Post

 

But your reply answers my pondering of why people think these have the problem they have.  So thanks, i think i'll approve of these with a proper amp.

 

What problems are you talking about?

post #457 of 580
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmays1 View Post

i cant see how 1500mw drivers at 70ohms is simply easy. That may be the reason why people think they have an overly high treble, undercutting power can have that effect certainly on a stiff diaphragm. But for clarification the CI VHP is the Ciaudio VHP-(2)? that's what i find when i search it.

Yes I mean the CI Audio VHP-2 (or VHP-1; they're almost the exact same (the VHP-2 has a few production revisions, like a better pot, but otherwise they're identical)). VHP-2 is current production. I did not find the VAC-1 to do anything for mine (I had the VHP-1).

You're mis-understanding/representing specs, but we'll get to that in the chain reply:

Quote:
Originally Posted by elwappo99 View Post

1500mw? That information doesn't make sense. The SA5000 are incredibly easy to drive compared to other inefficient low resistance headphones. 

Indeed. 1500mW represents Sony's claimed maximum input for the drivers, which is likely Tmax, not Xmax. The SA5000 *are* very sensitive, low-ish impedance, and very stable: http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/SonyMDRVSA5000.pdf

.09mW/ch into 75R ~90dBSPL - and there aren't any huge peaks or valleys on the impedance plot. Doesn't need much of anything to drive it at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmays1 View Post


compared to what other headphones?

Compared to something like the K701 or HD 650. The SA5000 are *very* easily driven, and *very* unpicky (the K701 are picky because they need something like 1.5mW/ch, and the HD 650 because their impedance plot looks like Kingda-Ka).

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmays1 View Post

1500mw is the amount of power the sa5000 can handle at its nominal ohm level before distortion. all headphones (drivers for that matter) have a rated power level, wether its listed in specs or not. mw being milliwatt= 1000ths of a watt. Correct me if i'm wrong. 

You are indeed wrong. redface.gif

All drivers (doesn't matter what kind) do have a number of specified maximum values (maximum excursion, power input (continuous, peak, instant, etc), thermal, SPL, etc) - you are right about that. Where it gets murky is how that spec relates to what you're talking about.

First we should assume that 1.5W/ch spec is thermal limiting, as in 1.5W/ch or greater will fuse the voicecoil (which sounds about right, given how thin the wires are, and how small the driver is). Not "amount of power before distortion" - it'll be distorting pretty terribly well before that point though, because the driver will be moving pretty dramatically (higher excursion = higher distortion), and you may hit Xmax or cook the driver off before 1.5W (because Sony is so vague on their specs - 1.5W could be an instantaneous value, or a peak value, or a thermal limit, but I'll tell you almost certainly is NOT a continuous limit, and it does not mean a zero distortion limit; further indication can be gleaned from the THD measurements that Tyll did - it rises pretty aggressively when he dumped more power into them).

But that isn't the entire story - you also have to consider sensitivity and impedance (as in the plot) in this equation of "is this hard to drive?" - a very sensitive headphone will translate less power into more intensity (and the MDR-SA5000 are *very* sensitive), and a stable impedance plot indicates a fairly stable load (which means it doesn't really care what you do with Zout as long as the amplifier doesn't blow itself up when you connect it; and the MDR-SA5000 are very stable). This means they are not going to be very picky about what they are plugged into (as in the FR won't shift around a lot due to Zsource), and they don't need a lot of power to drive.

And indeed they do exemplify this - I had no issues whatsoever driving them adequately on a variety of components of varying quality and specification and getting a consistent "this is an MDR-SA5000" effect.

However, this doesn't mean they're all sunshine and rainbows (just because your Fischer Price Speak And Spell can drive them doesn't mean it *should*) - because they're very sensitive, and because Sony actually put some time and thought into building them right, they're absolutely revealing of channel imbalance and noise on the part of the amplifier or volume control section of whatever they're hooked into. This means that noisy wipers, cheap pots, etc will all come through clear as crystal. They will also let you know about your amp's noise floor unless it's relatively low. So amp selection is somewhat important for headphones like this as well - not because you need a lot of power (or the perennial favorite "lots of current"), or some magical zero ohm output impedance (for a "high overall DF" (ha!)); but because if you get a pot that gives you that "rustling leaves" thing, changing the volume is really annoying. And if the pot doesn't track L/R together across the lower half of it's range, you will probably always be annoyed by the mismatch (and because they're so sensitive, you usually are using the "beginning" of the pot's range, which is usually where the mismatches occur). And if you think you're just gonna drop the signal going into whatever flimsy amp, and then run its output up, you'll probably pick up a lot of noise (white noise, RF, whatever - it's random), which they'll let you know about too.

This is why I couldn't stand the FiiO E9 with them. It's a fine amp, especially for something higher Z and darker like the HD 580, or less sensitive, like the K701, but for the SA5000 it's an exercise in annoyance.

The best setup I ever ran mine on was a PC soundcard with a built-in headamp; perfect tracking and no noise. Tried it on a pre/power combo (designed for speakers) with a digital volume control and it worked just as well. The CI amp also does that (more or less; the pot on mine was a little noisy (but it tracked well enough), but Dusty at CI reports the VHP-2 more or less fixed that complaint). I'd also say that the Musical Fidelity V-CAN-II is a good candidate here, as it is VERY quiet, and the pot tracks very well (at least mine does; no idea if they're 100% consistent and all that).

So basically you want a relatively clean and well put together amplifier is my point. They really don't care beyond that, and won't change "flavor" on you due to Zsource or similar. Now if the amplifier isn't perfectly flat on the output (e.g. it has a DSP or its tubed or whatever), that will come through too, and YMMV with what you like there. Because they're sensitive, but also have relatively large drivers (this means low excursion generally) and can take a reasonable amount of continuous power, they take well to equalization and other effects processing (as long as it's also clean, of course). This doesn't mean you can turn them into an XB1000 though; they will "fart" if you rack the bass up too high (which I'd wager is the excursion limit - usually super-stiff drivers aren't designed to move very far (if at all)).

Regarding the "they are bright due to undercutting power" - I don't think so. They're a bright headphone no matter what. The bass is very good though - one of the tightest and dryest dynamics I've ever heard, it just isn't very impactful. I mean yes, in principle what you're saying there is correct, but you'd be talking about an amplifier that delivers so little power (we're talking less than a fraction of a mW at clipping - most preamp outputs can beat that) in order to reproduce what you're describing. I just don't think you'd find that out in the wild (honestly the amplifiers they put into mobile phones these days can usually deliver at least 10mW/channel, which is so much more than the SA5000 would ever need).


Quote:
Originally Posted by elwappo99 View Post

I think that is a lot of power for these headphones. I think they're spec'd for power at around 105db/mW, which makes them pretty darn efficient headphones. I think if you got 1500mW they would be pretty unlistenable. These are very easy headphones to drive. 

It would be beyond unlistenable for the moment before they exploded. I honestly do not think you could keep them on your head unless you were restrained - it would HURT. We're talking something in the 120-140 dB range right before the pop; that's very painful (trust me if you've never done it - you don't want to, you aren't missing anything).

No hard feelings intended towards anyone. beerchug.gif
Edited by obobskivich - 12/19/12 at 8:18pm
post #458 of 580
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

they're absolutely revealing of channel imbalance and noise on the part of the amplifier or volume control section of whatever they're hooked into. This means that noisy wipers, cheap pots, etc will all come through clear as crystal. They will also let you know about your amp's noise floor unless it's relatively low. So amp selection is somewhat important for headphones like this as well - not because you need a lot of power 

Regarding the "they are bright due to undercutting power" - I don't think so. They're a bright headphone no matter what. The bass is very good though - one of the tightest and dryest dynamics I've ever heard, it just isn't very impactful. 
 

 

After begin so stuck on 'power' for an amplifier I forgot about the other components. You'd definitely hear a noise floor on an amplifier, so in that respect, a good source is pretty important. I also agree on the brightness / bass. The SA5000 probably has the most transparent bass of any dynamic I have heard. It is very good for analytical listening in that sense. Thanks for clearing up the 1500mW number, as I was really confused what it came from. 

 

Interesting plots by Tyll. It was the first time I saw them. The frequency response and the 300Hz make a lot of sense from my memory of these headphones. 

post #459 of 580
Quote:
Originally Posted by elwappo99 View Post

After begin so stuck on 'power' for an amplifier I forgot about the other components. You'd definitely hear a noise floor on an amplifier, so in that respect, a good source is pretty important. I also agree on the brightness / bass. The SA5000 probably has the most transparent bass of any dynamic I have heard. It is very good for analytical listening in that sense. Thanks for clearing up the 1500mW number, as I was really confused what it came from. 

Interesting plots by Tyll. It was the first time I saw them. The frequency response and the 300Hz make a lot of sense from my memory of these headphones. 

Source and source material should be noted too yes! An example here would be the Tron Legacy OST - the noise floor is relatively high on the entire record, and the SA5000 will bring that hissing to the fore (and it doesn't matter how good your amplifier or player are; the hissing is just part of the recording - and on headphones like the SA5000 it can get offensive). Good record too, especially for the SA5000. redface.gif

It's been said many times before, but they will let you know if you have garbage somewhere in the chain - IME that's usually either at the very top (source material), or the very bottom (amplifier), but "in the middle" is always at least possible.

On the bass - the only dynamics that I like better down low are the RS-1i; they're as tight (or tighter), but not as dry (and therefore not as "transparent" - they couldn't define "analytical" with a dictionary). The SA5000 low-end is VERY good though; coupled with their speed and staging, they truly are masters. But as with any other headphone - they aren't all things for everyone.
post #460 of 580

So what is the science behind my SA5000 and CD3000 being so easy to drive they can be too loud sometimes out of a ipod but can also handle the speaker taps of my 100w speaker amp HE-6 setup?  Also out of all the headphone amps I've listened to, the best these two headphones have sounded was from speaker amps.

post #461 of 580

i think old sony models tend to have this loud sound. even the 63ohm cd900st sounds loud when plugged in to a psp or clip+

post #462 of 580
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunneebear View Post

So what is the science behind my SA5000 and CD3000 being so easy to drive they can be too loud sometimes out of a ipod but can also handle the speaker taps of my 100w speaker amp HE-6 setup?  Also out of all the headphone amps I've listened to, the best these two headphones have sounded was from speaker amps.

How is the HE-6 setup setup (not to use that word twice...)?
post #463 of 580
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunneebear View Post

So what is the science behind my SA5000 and CD3000 being so easy to drive they can be too loud sometimes out of a ipod but can also handle the speaker taps of my 100w speaker amp HE-6 setup?  Also out of all the headphone amps I've listened to, the best these two headphones have sounded was from speaker amps.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dyaems View Post

i think old sony models tend to have this loud sound. even the 63ohm cd900st sounds loud when plugged in to a psp or clip+

 

 

I can't think of any really hard to drive sony cans. they are more in the market of consumer products than high end audio though. 

 

What's interesting about the whole speaker amp thing is how darn cheap speaker amps are in terms of their price/performance! A lot of members here are starting to find that out. 

post #464 of 580
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post


How is the HE-6 setup setup (not to use that word twice...)?

A power amp with a connection for headphones.  In my case a four pin XLR connected to the speaker output terminals.  I just call it the HE-6 setup cause really, what other mass produced headphone today can take that kind of power.

post #465 of 580
If there are resistors that's an easy explanation, but even without, they're 70R - so shave off a lot of the output power just due to that. And you probably aren't using that much power even with speakers (you'd have to know about how the gain is setup and so on).

And yeah - Sony is in-line with other Japanese style headphones - super easy to drive and consistent. The notion that good headphones have to be manbearpig is only true for a few brands, and they'll gladly sell that as "reality" to anyone with a credit card.
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