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Sennheiser HDVD800 Headphone Amplifier - Page 117

post #1741 of 2128
Dont sweat it Stan, remember how upset you got when you found out Santa Clause and unicorns arent real...
Edited by palmfish - 12/31/13 at 2:44pm
post #1742 of 2128
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

Dont sweat it Stan, remember how upset you got when you found out Santa Clause and unicorns arent real...

No wayyyy!  I always knew my mom was Santa Clause in disguise.  :D

post #1743 of 2128
Just got the hdvd800 today, and wired it in to both my Mac and Sony sacd player. Does anyone know if the DAC in this amp will play hi-res dad files?
post #1744 of 2128
I mean DSD files.
post #1745 of 2128
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

Dont sweat it Stan, remember how upset you got when you found out Santa Clause and unicorns arent real...

Hold it you mean he's a fraud? I thought you were kidding when you told me. :angry_face: Unicorn's too! I thought that Klipsch made their horns.

post #1746 of 2128
Quote:
Originally Posted by koiloco View Post
 

No wayyyy!  I always knew my mom was Santa Clause in disguise.  :D

That was her bringing me presents? Say hello for me.

post #1747 of 2128

Hi everyone!

 

High fidelity is more than a collation of specifications and measurements. Measurements, if done in accordance with industry standards in order to make them comparable and relevant, are usually a good showcase of the performance abilities of the amplifier. They do not, however, tell the whole story.

 

Let's take frequency response for example. It is measured at a nominal level. If the amplifier is flat between 20 Hz and 20.000 Hz, then the manufacturer will advertise it as such. However, very few manufacturers claim linearity across power bandwidth. In other words, while the amplifier might have a linear response at the nominal output level, it might not be flat at other levels. Listening to it at low volumes might induce deviation and the amplifier will sound coloured. 

 

Then there is the question of neutrality of the tone. An amplifier can sound linear and still not sound right. Why? Because the instruments do not sound realistic in some way. They can sound nasal or grainy and there is no way this can be measured.

 

Tube sound different because they oscillate on all harmonics, unlike solid-state devices. That is what gives them unique properties.

 

Why tube amplifiers should sound warm is a different matter. Warm is usually described as presence and blooming in the mid-range. It was very charactetistic of cheaper analog equipment of the time. The waffle-like mid-range is a colouration derived from imperfections in either the electrical circuit or the tubes themselves. Tubes produce very little power and need to be pushed beyond their nominal specifications. As a result, they colour the sound and run much hotter. Manufacturers then usually apply negative feedback in order to counter the distortion and this is what is commonly known as "tube sound". Tubes done properly are nothing like this - they maintain the harminic richness but posses the agility and neutrality of solid-state devices. 

 

Distortion, on the other hand, is a deviation that occurs in substandard equipment and/or improper application - when for instance the voltage demand on the amplifier far exceeds it's capabilities.

 

As for your questions what to get first - an amplifier or a pair of headphones. The answer is, amplifier comes first. All other reasons aside, there is one that is indisputable and that is there are far less differences between amplifier than there are between headphones, or speakers for that matter. Ideally, one would choose and entire system at the same timeJust remember, your budget has to include everything and that means - an amplifier, headphones and necessary cabling. Source as well, if you don't already have one.

 

It is very important to have include everything and match it to the best of your ability. Any changes at a later date will always result in additional cost - something you can avoid in the very beginning. 

 

One other thing that is very important is to start from the cheaper to the more expensive, not the other way around. If you have a definitive budget, it will be more reasonable to spend less and get more than to spend more and get something you could have gotten for less. So, if you have a 1000 Euro to spend for example, why not start searchiing for something at around half that price, 500 Euro? You might discover there is no need for you to spend more than that. You can then go upwards and that will also give you a good idea of how the prices reflect increase in quality. You might find some of the offerings reasonable and you might find some other offerings completely unacceptable. 

 

Trust less what you read in the magazines and trust your own ears. 

 

Hope this helps!

Cheers!

Antun

post #1748 of 2128
Quote:

Originally Posted by R Giskard View Post

 

You have interesting opinions. Mine are a bit different...

 

Let's take frequency response for example. It is measured at a nominal level. If the amplifier is flat between 20 Hz and 20.000 Hz, then the manufacturer will advertise it as such. However, very few manufacturers claim linearity across power bandwidth. In other words, while the amplifier might have a linear response at the nominal output level, it might not be flat at other levels. Listening to it at low volumes might induce deviation and the amplifier will sound coloured. 

 

First, you should clarify your use of the term "level." Do you mean "gain" or "volume?" Secondly, frequency response variations in the amplifier from one "level" to another will be extremely small or inaudible in a well designed amp. And any variation that might exist is completely trumped by the Equal Loudness Contour of the human auditory system, which no amplifier can (or should) compensate for.

 

Then there is the question of neutrality of the tone. An amplifier can sound linear and still not sound right. Why? Because the instruments do not sound realistic in some way. They can sound nasal or grainy and there is no way this can be measured.

 

If an amplifier is not adding distortion, then the "tone" coming out will be identical to the "tone" from the source. If this tone is different, then it is because the amplifier is introducing distortion. If there is distortion, then a difference in the waveform can be measured. If there is no difference in the waveform between the input and the output, then the "nasal" or "grainy" sound you are hearing is in your head or headphones, not the amp. Tone variations between headphones and even different listening "levels" are exponentially larger than any changes in "tone" from one amp to another. Hell, the tone can change based on how much sleep you got last night or how much coffee you drank in the morning!

 

Tube sound different because they oscillate on all harmonics, unlike solid-state devices. That is what gives them unique properties.

 

Why tube amplifiers should sound warm is a different matter. Warm is usually described as presence and blooming in the mid-range. It was very charactetistic of cheaper analog equipment of the time. The waffle-like mid-range is a colouration derived from imperfections in either the electrical circuit or the tubes themselves. Tubes produce very little power and need to be pushed beyond their nominal specifications. As a result, they colour the sound and run much hotter. Manufacturers then usually apply negative feedback in order to counter the distortion and this is what is commonly known as "tube sound". Tubes done properly are nothing like this - they maintain the harminic richness but posses the agility and neutrality of solid-state devices. 

 

Tubes do not have "unique properties." They are electrical devices just like SS components - only more primitive and inefficient and inconsistent. When all is said and done, the amplifier is still an electrical device that takes an incoming signal and increases the amplitude. Period. If a tube amp sounds different from a SS amp, it's because it is adding distortion.

 

Distortion, on the other hand, is a deviation that occurs in substandard equipment and/or improper application - when for instance the voltage demand on the amplifier far exceeds it's capabilities.

 

Distortion is the difference between the incoming and outgoing signal, minus the change in amplitude. Any change, audible or not, is distortion because it is not an accurate reproduction of the original, ie: a distortion of the truth.

 

As for your questions what to get first - an amplifier or a pair of headphones. The answer is, amplifier comes first. All other reasons aside, there is one that is indisputable and that is there are far less differences between amplifier than there are between headphones, or speakers for that matter.

 

I agree with you that there are far fewer differences between amplifiers. Most amplifiers that are well designed will perform very similarly. In fact, most amplifiers if they are performing properly will sound identical. This is precisely the reason why you should choose your HEADPHONES FIRST. Headphones sound very different from each other, so once you find a pair that sounds good to you, then pair it with an amp that will work well with it based on it's electrical properties. This is of course assuming you even need an amplifier at all! Many headphones are sufficiently easy to drive that an outboard amplifier is not even necessary - why buy an amp first if you aren't going to need it?

 


Edited by palmfish - 1/1/14 at 7:47am
post #1749 of 2128
Quote:
Originally Posted by R Giskard View Post
 

Hi everyone!

 

High fidelity is more than a collation of specifications and measurements. Measurements, if done in accordance with industry standards in order to make them comparable and relevant, are usually a good showcase of the performance abilities of the amplifier. They do not, however, tell the whole story.

Yes headphones and in some cases subjectivity add to the saga.

 

Let's take frequency response for example. It is measured at a nominal level. If the amplifier is flat between 20 Hz and 20.000 Hz, then the manufacturer will advertise it as such. However, very few manufacturers claim linearity across power bandwidth. In other words, while the amplifier might have a linear response at the nominal output level, it might not be flat at other levels. Listening to it at low volumes might induce deviation and the amplifier will sound coloured. 

Good spec's indicate flat to within a certain dB. These days most amps, even cheap ones, have an FR that is flat way beyond  human's hearing. Amps maintain FR at all volumes, unless you overload it and clipping comes into play. Generally, linearity and FR are two different things. Linearity is usually associated with distortion. An amp that has distortion levels that are perceptible to humans at different power levels is not the common case, your headphones usually produces more distortion than an amp, although some open loop amps can get close or equal this.  If listening at low levels affects the coloration it is not because of the amp, it is because we do not perceive tone the same at different volume levels. You can Google "Fletcher-Munson Curves" or "Loudness Contour" to find out more.

 

Then there is the question of neutrality of the tone. An amplifier can sound linear and still not sound right. Why? Because the instruments do not sound realistic in some way. They can sound nasal or grainy and there is no way this can be measured.

Then tell us what does this? This is not rocket science, the engineering behind amps is not all that complicated. I suspect that most of what people report might be imagination at work and then gets parroted by others to take on a life of its own.

 

Tube sound different because they oscillate on all harmonics, unlike solid-state devices. That is what gives them unique properties.

Please don't be insulted, but that statement is rediculous.  If one has an amp that oscillates under any conditions it is in need of repair. Tube amps tend to have higher harmonic distortion that tends to be of even order harmonics, which some people describe as warm. Any amp that has perceptible odd order harmonics will sound harsh. I do not want any distortion, give me what was recorded. I can probably find quality tube amps and SS amps where one couldn't tell the difference.

 

Why tube amplifiers should sound warm is a different matter. Warm is usually described as presence and blooming in the mid-range. It was very charactetistic of cheaper analog equipment of the time. The waffle-like mid-range is a colouration derived from imperfections in either the electrical circuit or the tubes themselves. Tubes produce very little power and need to be pushed beyond their nominal specifications. As a result, they colour the sound and run much hotter. Manufacturers then usually apply negative feedback in order to counter the distortion and this is what is commonly known as "tube sound". Tubes done properly are nothing like this - they maintain the harminic richness but posses the agility and neutrality of solid-state devices.

This statement contains a mix of myth and reality that has an incorrect outcome. Warm in the context of tube amps comes from as I've said previously comes from even order harmonic distortion. Warm from FR can come from any amp, using EQ. There are many modern SS amp designs that do not use negative feedback and produce very low distortion, far lower than any human can perceive. A really good amp, SS or tube, can use negative feedback to further reduce distortion for the benefit of specs and laboratory equipment. Your last statements about the tube sound are a bit confused, harmonic richness is being used as a talking point. From an electric guitarist's (and many musicians) viewpoint the tube sound is when an amp is overloaded, produces a clipped sound that is rich in even harmonics, sustain (compression) and effects that you do not want in your audio equipment that is used for playback. A fuzz box tends to produce more odd order harmonics which contributes to a harsher buzzy sound. Some metal band guitarists want that buzzy sound with a scooped midrange. Even the output transformers used in guitar amps are part of coloring the sound and these transformers are far from audiophile grade.

 

Distortion, on the other hand, is a deviation that occurs in substandard equipment and/or improper application - when for instance the voltage demand on the amplifier far exceeds it's capabilities.

Correct. 

 

As for your questions what to get first - an amplifier or a pair of headphones. The answer is, amplifier comes first. All other reasons aside, there is one that is indisputable and that is there are far less differences between amplifier than there are between headphones, or speakers for that matter. Ideally, one would choose and entire system at the same timeJust remember, your budget has to include everything and that means - an amplifier, headphones and necessary cabling. Source as well, if you don't already have one.

I'd rather not waste money on substandard headphones, been there, done that. Unless you have picked a set of cans that require extreme amping, I'd get good cans first. Heck a $99 Schitt Magni can do an excellent job of driving most cans and if you want or need something more expensive you can visit that later.

 

It is very important to have include everything and match it to the best of your ability. Any changes at a later date will always result in additional cost - something you can avoid in the very beginning. 

 

One other thing that is very important is to start from the cheaper to the more expensive, not the other way around. If you have a definitive budget, it will be more reasonable to spend less and get more than to spend more and get something you could have gotten for less. So, if you have a 1000 Euro to spend for example, why not start searchiing for something at around half that price, 500 Euro? You might discover there is no need for you to spend more than that. You can then go upwards and that will also give you a good idea of how the prices reflect increase in quality. You might find some of the offerings reasonable and you might find some other offerings completely unacceptable.

IMO, unless one is aiming for something very expensive, an alternate approach is to delay gratification and save a little more.

 

Trust less what you read in the magazines and trust your own ears.

That's good advice, for those that know what to listen for. I've put a pair of HD600's on someone's head that was thrilled with their Beats. Their usual reaction is, "Holy cow, I can't believe what I'm hearing now?" Now they are just at the first step of being able to discern what they are listening to. "Ignorance is bliss," and when hearing the real deal their bliss is usually shattered, in what I would consider a good way.

 

Hope this helps!

Cheers!

Antun

Happy New Year. :beerchug: 


Edited by StanD - 1/1/14 at 9:07am
post #1750 of 2128

Fellas, I suggest you keep an eye on this topic:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/667074/a-croatian-high-end-otl-headphone-amplifier

 

I intend to post several subjects there. Apart from the dictionary definition of distortion, there is nothing else I agree with. :)

 

Happy New Year to you too and your families as well!

Antun

post #1751 of 2128
Quote:
Originally Posted by R Giskard View Post
 

Fellas, I suggest you keep an eye on this topic:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/667074/a-croatian-high-end-otl-headphone-amplifier

 

I intend to post several subjects there. Apart from the dictionary definition of distortion, there is nothing else I agree with. :)

 

Happy New Year to you too and your families as well!

Antun

 

Looks like a really cool amp Antun! Thanks for posting the link. :biggrin:

post #1752 of 2128

haha, it is fun to read some reviews with "big" words which seems to be professional but end up with BS~~~

 

Personally, I think if anyone ever going to talk about FR and Distortion, they need to at least know what is Fourier Transform and equal loudness contour for the ear. They need to have a common sense that  a real "Flat" sound in the real world does not look "flat" at all in the electronic world. Not to mention impedance matching between different drivers to the amp can affect the sound and FR dramatically (this is just within the group of dynamic drivers, planner belongs to another space here:P)~~~~

 

Well, as an outsider, I will just stick with how I feel when I listen. What sonic difference I can hear with my ear without the economic bias (trust me, money plays a big role in review when you try to justify what you spend is "RIGHT!").

 

Happy new year guys!

post #1753 of 2128
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanHell View Post
 

haha, it is fun to read some reviews with "big" words which seems to be professional but end up with BS~~~

 

Personally, I think if anyone ever going to talk about FR and Distortion, they need to at least know what is Fourier Transform and equal loudness contour for the ear. They need to have a common sense that  a real "Flat" sound in the real world does not look "flat" at all in the electronic world. Not to mention impedance matching between different drivers to the amp can affect the sound and FR dramatically (this is just within the group of dynamic drivers, planner belongs to another space here:P)~~~~

 

Well, as an outsider, I will just stick with how I feel when I listen. What sonic difference I can hear with my ear without the economic bias (trust me, money plays a big role in review when you try to justify what you spend is "RIGHT!").

 

Happy new year guys!

Not to mention the acoustic coupling to each person's individual ears, something that no amp can change. That's why I always say that most of the magic is in the cans as amp design is much easier to achieve and can easily eclipse our ability to perceive. Of course there are amps out there that are crappy or good ones that are not used properly (matched for drive or impedance). You are so right about bias or expectation influencing judgement.

post #1754 of 2128
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

Not to mention the acoustic coupling to each person's individual ears, something that no amp can change. That's why I always say that most of the magic is in the cans as amp design is much easier to achieve and can easily eclipse our ability to perceive. Of course there are amps out there that are crappy or good ones that are not used properly (matched for drive or impedance). You are so right about bias or expectation influencing judgement.


True.

I think my ear is pretty much trained by HD800 + HDVD800 with DAC1. At least I can tell the difference on the DACs already.

My next move will be maybe STAX  system or GS-X MKII depends on who will be the first to increase their manufacturing performance.

I really do not want to put money into a product that I can only receive them almost a year after the purchase. They might go bankrupt already~~~~

post #1755 of 2128
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanHell View Post
 


True.

I think my ear is pretty much trained by HD800 + HDVD800 with DAC1. At least I can tell the difference on the DACs already.

My next move will be maybe STAX  system or GS-X MKII depends on who will be the first to increase their manufacturing performance.

I really do not want to put money into a product that I can only receive them almost a year after the purchase. They might go bankrupt already~~~~

If you hurry up and place enough orders, they won't go bankrupt. You getting a Stax SR-009?

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