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post #16 of 26

The only other conceivable explanation in your particular situation is tubes, or I have a magical low noise SBT/Lyr/Bifrost (highly doubtful), or, I have tin ears (possible/unlikely).  There are those who's hearing is very susceptible to tube microphonics.  It's possible you may be one of those people.  Do you have access to Lorenz, S&H CCa, or Mullard CV 2492?

 

For no personal reason other than perhaps curiosity, I would really like to understand why the noise floor problem exists in some systems, and not in others?

post #17 of 26
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rope View Post

The only other conceivable explanation in your particular situation is tubes, or I have a magical low noise SBT/Lyr/Bifrost (highly doubtful), or, I have tin ears (possible/unlikely).  There are those who's hearing is very susceptible to tube microphonics.  It's possible you may be one of those people.  Do you have access to Lorenz, S&H CCa, or Mullard CV 2492?

 

For no personal reason other than perhaps curiosity, I would really like to understand why the noise floor problem exists in some systems, and not in others?

 

I tried your advice and turned off 100% and had to set volume down to "20" to get in the appropriate range, however the idea worked and for some reason there does seem to be a lot less tube screech and whistle up in that 11:00 - 1:00 area.  It's bearable, though it's not a black background, there's some hiss and flutter to it.  And I'm introducing digital gain reduction which adds to some noise at the bottom.  

 

However it's much more bearable than the headache inducing mess I was getting from E11.  You saved me from putting the Denons entirely aside, at least until the O2 arrives.

 

Interesting, some of the "rustling leaves" RFI sound I was hearing is present in the Lyr too now with the Denons (not on any of the other cans.)  I assume it's coming from the Squeezebox itself somehow (WiFi transfers).  Or the Denons are so sensitive that the electronics are just picking up the WiFi radio frequency in the audio and the headphones actually reproduce it.  iPod friendly or not, I'm starting to think sensitive headphones are generally a bad idea :)  But it's FAR more bearable to hear than on the E11 which made it bore into my head....the Lyr's just sounds like a little noise in the background.

 

Hopefully with O2, I assume I won't be getting rid of the "rustling leaves" between and at the beginning of tracks as long as I'm using WiFi on the SBT (and there's no wires in that area without introducing a wireless bridge), but I'll at least get rid of the noise floor and not have the odd clipping/distortion at low levels on the E11 to mix with the RFI.

 

For what it's worth, Jason seems to strongly steer people away from Lyr for Denons citing that it's too noisy.  So I think you're the lucky one if you don't even have a high noise floor with yours bigsmile_face.gif  But still, you got mine to be bearable!

 

It's extremely likely that I'm sensitive to tube microphonics since I'm sensitive to high frequency in general (K702 is quickly fatiging, Denons can be, I don't want to think about Grado, HD800, T1....)   I don't have any other tubes on hand at the moment, short of a supply of the GEs.   I actually like those tubes...they're not overly drippy warm, they're pretty balanced with a warmed/softened edge.  Works for all my other headphones well....not sure I like them with the Denons though.  The Denon AVR is still my favorite amp for these for now!

post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 

For those interested, here are some thoughts on the O2 now that it has arrived (JDS version.)

 

In terms of its pairing with D5k, it's an absolutely perfect match, and sails beyond even what the AVR did in terms of detail, clarity, and transparency.   It bowled me over somewhat, though the Denon AVR provided a bit more warmth.  It's unbelievably precise, sounds very strong, articulate, and ultra precise.  Combined with D5k it gives me an idea of what HD800 highs may sound like, for better or for worse.  It's a bright amp.  Very bright.  Or more to the point, neutral, and combined with a bright headphone.  I get a black background with the Denons, just as I hoped, and the amazing clarity, as well as the very tight bass of the Denons really get a chance to shine.

 

It also pairs well with the HE-400, depending on your tastes.  On a purely technical level it really shows off what the HE-400s are truly capable of in terms of detail retrieval and precise transients.  It raises them up a level of technicality, and also makes them considerably brighter and drier than my Lyr (hybrid) does.   It somewhat turns my HE-400 into what I imagine HE-6 sounds like, and that's with pleather, not velour pads, and no silver cable. I can only imagine how it gets accented beyond there.   While the sharpness and detail is amazing in terms of wow-factor, however, I think I have to conclude that I prefer the syrupy sound of the HE-400 on Lyr significantly more than on the dead accurate Objective 2.  The all-too-pure sound of a completely accurate amp doesn't convey the same emotional character of listening in a large room to live music that the Lyr provides.   It's interesting both ways, but it also has me less certain that I ever want a silver cable!

 

I can't try it with HD650 for the moment since the drivers are still dead, and I don't think I have any inclination at all to subject myself to it with K702.  The double-analytical pairing would be too much for the ears to take for any purpose other than as a studio production tool to analyze faults.

 

Overall I will say that O2 sounds very expensive, and in a fancy case, would please a lot of people.   I do wish the designer had not taken certain shortcuts both for portability and for proving the point of cost/value.  The 1/8" jacks are no substitute for 1/4" jacks, but worse, they feel kind of cheap and stiff, there is no smooth connection as their is in, say, an iPod. When I plug in it feels like I'm trying to shave the jack apart.  They are the sky-blue Kycon specced in the original design, are a $0.69 part that feels like the cheap plugs on the back of a PC motherboard.  A $2 upgrade could buy a LOT of performance there.  The Alps pot is at least a decent Alps, but it doesn't have the silky glide that the Blue Velvets have, and there is some peridoic channel imbalance on it, unlike the Blue Velvet line.  Again, a few bucks could have really improved things.   I won't comment on my preference for rear-RCA jacks and 1/4 jacks too much since that's outside the design, much as I'd prefer it, but the parts that are there, the user-interactive parts could have been done a bit better.  The power switch while durable enough, is the type with the relatively loose cap over a loose spring and as such feels a bit like a wobbly cut-rate button.  It's fair enough to say you don't need designer parts to sound good, but user interactive parts such as volume pots and jacks are a part of the overall usage experience, and I'd gladly pay $10-20 more to get nicer quality on those components.  The amp design is great, but if anyone were to start producing it with higher quality appointments in terms of chassis, internal PSU's Neutrik jacks, good switches and a Blue Velvet large dial in a box, it would jump up in value considerably.  Still the ultra clean sound isn't for all uses.  It's a great amp to have on hand, and I prefer its sound to my Headroom Micro Amp (Desktop.)  And I prefer it above everything for D5k.  But for HE-400, I prefer the Lyr's warmth and smoothness, for K702 I think an analytical amp is always a bad match, and I can't try HD650, but I imagine my thoughts are same as for HE-400 there.  O2 is a great SS amp, it would be an even better SS amp with some better quality user-interaction appointments, but it's no replacement for tube and hybrid amps if you like tube and hybrid effects.

 

This comes down to where I start to disagree with the designer of the O2 (along with most of the measurement crowd) in their crusade against tubes and coloration.   For studio work, they are correct.  For leisure listening, I think their viewpoint is based on a false premise.  The assumption is that superior measurements are superior equipment, and I'm not sure that's true from the listening perspective.  Sure, for studios, the more bit-perfect to the recording one gets, the more valuable the analysis tool.  Thus the Benchmark performance.  But for listening there's a schism.  Some audiophiles prefer bit-perfect representation and maximum detail retrieval from the recording.  Technical merit.   But others use audiophile gear to try to recreate a live venue.  The sound at your ears, at your seats, in a live venue will not measure perfectly with what's on the stage.  Far from it. The venue has been designed in a way to color the sound.  A recording is taken, in most cases, as a "stage level" recording.  It expects that your room treatments and speakers will reproduce the listening environment.  With headphones, we have to rely on gear to color for the listening environment since there are no room treatments in the way.  I think that's where head-fi-ers get bad reputations with the measurement crowd.  Measurment-perfect gear works for studios, and for speakers (assuming appropriate room design.)  I think measurement perfect is in fact often undesirable for headphone gear.   But if you like T1 or HD800's appeal, O2 would appeal to you as well.  It's for the true detail seekers.  And in that role, it does the job exquisitly.  It may be bright, it may be sparkly, it may be sharp, but it has absolute control and authority over the headphones, and that can be a good thing.

 

Perfect for Denon.  Which is why I bought it.  And it offers a very different presentation of my HE-400's as well, should I ever want to feel like I went nuts and bought HE-6.... beyersmile.png

post #19 of 26

I suppose that I'd agree with you for the most part. Art/Music can not be measured with a ruler, but it is meant to be felt and appreciated by the listener. Sounds like that you really like the O2 with the denon's though. I'll have to keep that in mind. 

 

You do need a silver cable though, and oddly I have one for sale biggrin.gif

post #20 of 26

IEMCrazy -

 

I'm willing to bet two bits to a dog turd and hold the stakes in my mouth, you have a tube issue.  Since the Lyr tubes are on the input side, they are the circuit producing the sine wave to be amplified.  If the tubes are not doing their job correctly, any noise they input will be amplified on the output stage.  I'm not suggesting you spend $1,200.00 on a matched pair of Siemens & Halske CCa's, but you may want to consider some good Mullards (2492, 2493 CCa).

 

Another suggestion, if it's at all possible, connect the SBT via ethernet.  Here's a link discussing SBT connection and some other voodoo-hoodoo.

http://soundcheck-audio.blogspot.com/2011/11/touch-toolbox-30.html

post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rope View Post

IEMCrazy -

 

I'm willing to bet two bits to a dog turd and hold the stakes in my mouth, you have a tube issue.  Since the Lyr tubes are on the input side, they are the circuit producing the sine wave to be amplified.  If the tubes are not doing their job correctly, any noise they input will be amplified on the output stage.  I'm not suggesting you spend $1,200.00 on a matched pair of Siemens & Halske CCa's, but you may want to consider some good Mullards (2492, 2493 CCa).

 

Another suggestion, if it's at all possible, connect the SBT via ethernet.  Here's a link discussing SBT connection and some other voodoo-hoodoo.

http://soundcheck-audio.blogspot.com/2011/11/touch-toolbox-30.html

I would say plus1 on the tube issue. I had the lyr and had the identical issue.

post #22 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

I suppose that I'd agree with you for the most part. Art/Music can not be measured with a ruler, but it is meant to be felt and appreciated by the listener. Sounds like that you really like the O2 with the denon's though. I'll have to keep that in mind. 

 

You do need a silver cable though, and oddly I have one for sale biggrin.gif

 

O2 really is a great little amp if you're into a more analytical amp sound.  For the Denons it's a great match because the sparkle and the flat bass are their greatest assets, and because the wood cups provide their own warmth, so you're not relying on the amp for warmth as much.  From what I did hear on the Lyr of them above the noise floor, it made them sound kind of thin.  Maybe strained from warm+warm.    The treble sparkle really works well with a clean SS on them.

 

I also think the measurement crowd's primary flaw focusing on perfect reproduction of the recording as it is on the disc instead of trying to perfectly reproduce either live performance or speakers in a treated room.  Versus the recording, ruler flat equipment "measures better", however versus the sound wave as it enters your ear in a large treated room/hall, I suspect the "distortion box" actually produces the measurement more accurate to what would actually enter you ear at seat level.  The flaw is in the question "measures well as compared to what baseline?"  If they were comparing to the baseline of sound at seat level, I'm sure they could produce some very well measuring equipment with scientific method design that is pleasing to the ear as well. 

 

So in that sense, flat measurement may be the most colored sound of all. But its a sound that agrees with the Denons well.  

 

Silver?  Ugh.  I had some temptation of Silver on HD650....but that's the only headphone I have much silver temptation on smily_headphones1.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rope View Post

IEMCrazy -

 

I'm willing to bet two bits to a dog turd and hold the stakes in my mouth, you have a tube issue.  Since the Lyr tubes are on the input side, they are the circuit producing the sine wave to be amplified.  If the tubes are not doing their job correctly, any noise they input will be amplified on the output stage.  I'm not suggesting you spend $1,200.00 on a matched pair of Siemens & Halske CCa's, but you may want to consider some good Mullards (2492, 2493 CCa).

 

Another suggestion, if it's at all possible, connect the SBT via ethernet.  Here's a link discussing SBT connection and some other voodoo-hoodoo.

http://soundcheck-audio.blogspot.com/2011/11/touch-toolbox-30.html

 

Could be the tubes, but if it is, it's all the GE's.  Also since the only time there's ever such noise is with sensitive headphones such as Denons, I don't see it as a major issue.  They're dead-silent for my Senns, AKGs,  and HiFiMan.  And they sound excellent to my liking for all of them.  I do have some curiosity toward Mullards and the like, but honestly, the current GE sound agrees with me, so I'm not terribly tempted to mess with a good thing. 

 

I'm not too concerned about ethernet vs. wifi either.  Wifi is only an issue if it introduces audible RFI.  The E11 picked up RFI from it, but that's due to inadequate shielding on the E11.  The Lyr had picked some up but I resolved that.  Apparently the power plug wasn't fully inserted in the SBT (wiggled loose when I was moving things around after the E11) and somehow that was causing the WiFi to be audible.   That solved that on Lyr, but not on E11. Note for the future though: Somehow a loose SBT power connection causes WiFi RFI to be audible! confused.gif

 

My bigger concern is having to turn volume down on the SBT to 75% with the Denons.  That introduces resolution loss, however if the SBT is always converting 16 bit to 24 bit in the output, even that won't matter much.  If it's outputting at 16bit, that's a nightmare. I'd be listening to 14 bit audio....

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

I would say plus1 on the tube issue. I had the lyr and had the identical issue.

 

With the Denons specifically?  Schiit itself states that Lyr is too noisy for the Denons, so I'd say it's normal maybe without special tubes.  If you had that issue with HFM or other cans....yeah, tubes.   My tubes are silent for all the other cans.

post #23 of 26

I had heed canamp with D2000 and it worked like charm, so I would think that D5000 would work too.

post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Losingedge View Post

I had heed canamp with D2000 and it worked like charm, so I would think that D5000 would work too.


Read before posting?

post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

  

 

Could be the tubes, but if it is, it's all the GE's.  Also since the only time there's ever such noise is with sensitive headphones such as Denons, I don't see it as a major issue.  They're dead-silent for my Senns, AKGs,  and HiFiMan.  And they sound excellent to my liking for all of them.  I do have some curiosity toward Mullards and the like, but honestly, the current GE sound agrees with me, so I'm not terribly tempted to mess with a good thing. 

 

I'm not too concerned about ethernet vs. wifi either.  Wifi is only an issue if it introduces audible RFI.  The E11 picked up RFI from it, but that's due to inadequate shielding on the E11.  The Lyr had picked some up but I resolved that.  Apparently the power plug wasn't fully inserted in the SBT (wiggled loose when I was moving things around after the E11) and somehow that was causing the WiFi to be audible.   That solved that on Lyr, but not on E11. Note for the future though: Somehow a loose SBT power connection causes WiFi RFI to be audible! confused.gif

 

My bigger concern is having to turn volume down on the SBT to 75% with the Denons.  That introduces resolution loss, however if the SBT is always converting 16 bit to 24 bit in the output, even that won't matter much.  If it's outputting at 16bit, that's a nightmare. I'd be listening to 14 bit audio....

 

 There seems to be somewhat of a misconception about tubes in general.  All GE 6BZ7 tubes were/are not created equal, and the same applies to any tube, regardless of what stamped on the bottle.  Two kinds of tubes, the necessity period (1950s - 1960s), none necessity period (1970...forward) and manufacturing facilities, process and batch.

 

Matched pair doesn't mean exact match.  If tubes were matched exact, there'd be a whole lot less matched pairs and they would be incredibly expensive.

 

I've had cause to contact Jason on one account.  He's a gentleman, scholar and prince, and certainly knows his amps better than I....tubes, not so much.  When I first received my Lyr with the JJ's (didn't have the GE option), I was quite disappointed.  After multiple tubes, rolling time, and being able to tailor the sound of the Lyr to taste, one hellava amp for the price, even with the notorisly "noisy" Denon's. biggrin.gif


Edited by Rope - 5/9/12 at 1:09pm
post #26 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rope View Post

 There seems to be somewhat of a misconception about tubes in general.  All GE 6BZ7 tubes were/are not created equal, and the same applies to any tube, regardless of what stamped on the bottle.  Two kinds of tubes, the necessity period (1950s - 1960s), none necessity period (1970...forward) and manufacturing facilities, process and batch.

 

Matched pair doesn't mean exact match.  If tubes were matched exact, there'd be a whole lot less matched pairs and they would be incredibly expensive.

 

I've had cause to contact Jason on one account.  He's a gentleman, scholar and prince, and certainly knows his amps better than I....tubes, not so much.  When I first received my Lyr with the JJ's (didn't have the GE option), I was quite disappointed.  After multiple tubes, rolling time, and being able to tailor the sound of the Lyr to taste, one hellava amp for the price, even with the notorisly "noisy" Denon's. biggrin.gif

 

I apologize, I meant "All the GE tubes I have tried."  I ordered something of a stockpile of them, which actually confirms your statement.  I'd discovered a Japanese variant of them which were of exceptionally poor quality.  Along with your account of Jason, I've contacted him numerous times for various reasons, and he is indeed excellent to work with.  He was unaware of the Japanese tubes, had them all pulled from inventory, and sent me some new ones.  The US ones are of much higher quality though I did have to pull one that had a whine in it.  I agree, it's quite the amp.  Not so much for the Denons (and from what I compared above the noise floor, I do actually prefer SS to the Lyr for the Denons, but that's the solitary exception.)  Still, I'm so pleased with the Lyr with the stock GE's, that any incentive I have to mess with finding some Mullards that aren't going to whine etc on me tends to dissipate just as quickly as any desire to upgrade headphones or even HE-400 pads, every time I hear it.  The sound is "just right" on there, so I hate to mess with it.  People who have far more costly equipment than I seem to not have stumbled into the same "it's just right as it is" groove that I have, so I'm not prone to tempt fate wink.gif  Not that it didn't take a lot of tweaking and trying different gear to get to that point. 


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