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Did the Schiit Lyr Blow out my Headphone Driver?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Over the last couple months I've setup an audio system to use with my Sennheiser HD 650 Headphones. They're my first “audiophile” headphones and I really really enjoy them. My audio chain consists of Foobar WASAPI → X-Fi Titanium (non-HD) → Audio-GD NFB-3.1 (Via Optical SPDIF) → Schiit Lyr → headphones. This was all based on info I found from stalking this forum for months ;).

 

The Schiit Lyr is a wonderful amp and really makes the HD 650 shine, but there are some worrying issues during start-up of the amp. As per documentation provided by the amp, there is no audio for 20 or so seconds while the amp warms-up. What's not said though is after that 20 seconds, a very loud “pop” will be played thru the headphones (This happens no matter what position the volume pot is in), after which there will be a constant static “hiss” on the left channel, and no sound at all on the right channel. No music will play thru the amp after this, until you unplug the headphones and plug them back in. Being worried that the “pop” may damage my headphone's drivers, I always unplug my headphones after turning off the amp to avoid the issue, although I do occasionally forget.

 

Well, I forgot today.

 

The genre of music I mainly listen to is Dubstep, Drum n Bass and EDM, so generally there's a lot of bass emphasis in a lot of song of those genres. After listening to a few songs, I noticed that there is some type of problem on the right channel. In some bass heavy songs, there would be a very noticeable echo to the bass beat that is being played, while in some other songs there would be a hiss or buzz in the background. The “buzzing” is still there even after swapping the channels, both at the amp and the cables connecting the headphones. I tried playing the headphones from another source (iPhone), and the problem is still there!

 

Concluding that there is a problem with the right driver, I started taking apart the headphone. I did not take out the driver itself, but as far as I can see (from my very unqualified eyes) there didn’t seem to be any damage to the drivers. But you could definitely hear the sound difference. I always listen to music below  the 12 o'clock position, most of the time I have the volume at 10:30.

 

On bass-light songs there doesn’t seem to be any issues at all, they still sound fantastic, but considering I listen to electro music a lot I can hear the defect quite often. What should I do? Do you guys think it's possible to fix this? Or should I try to claim warranty? (Which would be a huge issue because I bought these from AccessoryJack.com and I live in the UK, hello custom charges!).

 

Sorry for the wall of text, but I'm just very disappointed at the state of my setup, after having spend so little time (about three weeks) with it only to have it break down like that. In either case, maybe Schiit was right. The Lyr really can "make magic smoke" come out of your headphones!

post #2 of 9

Tubes can output dangerous levels of DC offset before they have warmed up. So I expect that the muted start up delay on the Lyr is a safety feature against that. The loud pop after that seems odd to me. Maybe something is wrong with your Lyr. Have you tried contacting Schiit about it?

 

Buzzing in a driver sometimes means that there is a hair or some other small debris caught inside. The HD650s are pretty high impedance so they are harder to damage than say Grados or Denons.

 

Still, if you have a multimeter, you can try measuring the resistance of your drivers from the TRS plug. To check the right channel, clip the multimeter leads to the Ring and Sleeve of the TRS. The HD650 should be around 300 ohms. If it's far off from that then there's definitely something wrong with the driver.

 

post #3 of 9

*NM* re-read the post.

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply. Well I'll definitely try the multimeter method when I get my hands on a multimeter (probably could borrow one from my college). I haven't contacted Schiit and haven't really done so because beside from the popping issue there was not problem at all with the unit in terms of acoustic performance.

 

I ran a simple sound generator I found on softpedia and found that I could hear the right driver "flex" if I played it at a frequency between 1Hz and ~90Hz. Between 1Hz and 10Hz it's like a faint heartbeat "thump". Guess it means there's a definite problem with the driver, I guess I really should man up and take the headphone apart completely and check the driver, does anyone know if doing so voids the warranty?

 

Cheers.

post #5 of 9

Swap tubes, I thought it killed my HE-500 from the same thing, turns out it was just one of the tubes got jostled in shipping and I just replaced it with some other ones and everything went as resumed.

 

Although I did read that some dude who coincidently had a Lyr had a PS1000 and some other expensive **** which had two cases of drivers dying EACH. We dismissed him as kind of a tard cuz of how he conducted himself, but perhaps there might be some substance to this.

post #6 of 9

I had read about this in another thread regarding driver damage while using the Asgard (pre-relay version). So before hooking up my HD650 to the Lyr I decided to contact Schiit about the proper procedure for connecting/disconnecting my cans. I also gave them the serial # of my Lyr to see if they knew whether or not my amp had the relay. This is from their reply (super fast reply)  "turn on the amp, wait 20 seconds, insert headphone, remove headphone before turning off. Unless, when you turn it on, there's a distinct click 15-20 seconds after turn-on. That means you have the relay". If yours has the relay you should be able to do the opposite of this and have no problem, or you could use this procedure anyway just to be safe. Or as Chris_Himself noted your problem could just be bad tubes.

 

beerchug.gif

J

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_Himself View Post

Swap tubes, I thought it killed my HE-500 from the same thing, turns out it was just one of the tubes got jostled in shipping and I just replaced it with some other ones and everything went as resumed.

 

Although I did read that some dude who coincidently had a Lyr had a PS1000 and some other expensive **** which had two cases of drivers dying EACH. We dismissed him as kind of a tard cuz of how he conducted himself, but perhaps there might be some substance to this.

 

While the tubes do occasionally ring (usually the left channel), I think it's definitely a fault with the driver, I can recreate the problem on an iPhone, albeit playing at a much lower volume, using the same songs. I have bought some 6922 tubes to tube roll, but I don't think they'll be much use now if the headphone's faulty :(
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Locknar View Post

I had read about this in another thread regarding driver damage while using the Asgard (pre-relay version). So before hooking up my HD650 to the Lyr I decided to contact Schiit about the proper procedure for connecting/disconnecting my cans. I also gave them the serial # of my Lyr to see if they knew whether or not my amp had the relay. This is from their reply (super fast reply)  "turn on the amp, wait 20 seconds, insert headphone, remove headphone before turning off. Unless, when you turn it on, there's a distinct click 15-20 seconds after turn-on. That means you have the relay". If yours has the relay you should be able to do the opposite of this and have no problem, or you could use this procedure anyway just to be safe. Or as Chris_Himself noted your problem could just be bad tubes.

 

beerchug.gif

J


I do hear the click after around 15-20 seconds, but I don't hear it if I have the headphones plugged in because of the "pop" sound I mentioned earlier. I tried to follow a similar procedure you mentioned but sometimes I do forget (use these things everyday).

 

I tried prying out the right driver from it's housing today but I can't really do it without breaking the hinges that attaches it to the housing, I guess it's time to send an email over to AccessoryJack to arrange for a warranty claim :( 

 

 

 


Edited by mj0nesy - 3/24/12 at 2:44pm
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by mj0nesy View Post

 

While the tubes do occasionally ring (usually the left channel), I think it's definitely a fault with the driver, I can recreate the problem on an iPhone, albeit playing at a much lower volume, using the same songs. I have bought some 6922 tubes to tube roll, but I don't think they'll be much use now if the headphone's faulty :(
 

 


I do hear the click after around 15-20 seconds, but I don't hear it if I have the headphones plugged in because of the "pop" sound I mentioned earlier. I tried to follow a similar procedure you mentioned but sometimes I do forget (use these things everyday).

 

I tried prying out the right driver from it's housing today but I can't really do it without breaking the hinges that attaches it to the housing, I guess it's time to send an email over to AccessoryJack to arrange for a warranty claim :( 

 

 

 

Bummer, you definitely seem to have a bad driver. It sounds like your Lyr has the relay mute so that should never have happened. You might want to contact Schiit regarding this issue. Going forward I would say follow the aforementioned procedure for connect/disconnect and remind yourself that if you brainfart it could cost you. Good Luck!

 

beerchug.gif

J
 

 

post #9 of 9

edit


Edited by solserenade - 10/26/12 at 10:08pm
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