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- Headphone Impedance
burson new soloist headphone amp - Page 54
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I have to apologize in front of all of you ...
I have rediscovered my Soloist. Put it on high gain instead of low (never tried it before, don't know why - Norah Jones) and my HD650 never sung so beautifully before.
It was like if they were more detailed without being analytical, warmer without being muddier, offering a more spacious sound yet still coherent. The musicians played better, not any mistake anymore on live records. The Soloist even looked better !
Oh sorry, I was making it up ... It didn't change anything for me and I had already tried it :-(
But as I said: Use whatever gain setting which sounds best for you, you've paid for your amp so why shouldn't you use it the way you like ?
Cheers and just enjoy the sound and music :)
LOL! I was buying what you were saying until you came clean!
The Soloist's Gain setting doesn't make any audible difference for me either (using the DACMini CX DAC section as my source and either LCD-2 or T1).
I leave it on Low to enjoy greater finesse in adjusting the volume.
On Low, I can achieve 85 dB SPL between the ear pads at step 12 with the LCD-2, and step 14 with the T1 (roughly 12 o'clock and 1 o'clock, respectively). I really have no need to use Medium or High Gain.
CoolBurn...That's actually pretty good audio humor! There seems to be a quorum in this forum around the properties of the Soloist gain settings...cool - although I didn't pick up whether anyone was listening through the HE-500's. There is only a little difference between the sensitivity (and other properties) of phones like the HD650 (103) and the HE500 (89). That's a 15-16% gain in sensitivity - a significant difference that the Burson Audio tech was explaining to me when he recommended the high gain setting for HE500's. That may not sound like much, but if I were 15% taller I might be in the NBA rather than posing inquires about something that has achieved "flat earth"- like consensus (blahh...contradictory evidence). BTW, the Burson Audio guys recommended that there is enough difference between the LCD2 and the HE500 to consider a gain switch.
That said, all of this may be just me (and a few wayward reviewers)
So OK, regarding the HE500's (the only phones I am referring to) maybe its nothing ;-)......after all I live near Manhattan....the earth is flat as far as I can see.
Hey, this humor thing ain't bad!
Edited by Pasquale - 3/20/13 at 5:42am
Be nice if dB worked that way that's actually a 1600% decrease in efficiency. As for the reviews, they just worded it badly. Or more to the point you read too much into what was written. Likely because of the myth that if you are at 9 o'clock on the sweep you have all this reserve left. That was never true, just a marketing trick. Audio is an AC voltage value, take any value and divide it then multiply it and no matter what the divisor or multiplier if the result is the same voltage, that's what it sounds like. No curve change, ever.
..1600% difference. I was calculating from less efficient (89) to more efficient (103) - (14/89=16% difference), but I get your point about the scale. In any case, if I were 1600% taller I would be an absolute beast on the court..and maybe not fit in the gym...lol.
For me, the experience was actually the other way around. I was hearing what seemed like sonic differences between gain settings and I went looking for answers in equipment reviews, in this forum, etc. The consensus is not as clear overall as it is in this forum.
The difference with high gain was expressed as "liveliness" with relatively inefficient phones like the HE500 or HE-6. There are some in this forum who have deemed the Soloist incapable of making the HE-6 sound "their best", preferring modifications to component systems to drive the HE-6. That sounds a bit out there to me but I don't have their ears, equipment or an HE-6!
Any difference is indeed slight, having lessened with more break-in. It could be - in part - as you said, Solude, related to cognitive perceptions of "realistic" sweeps of volume dial. But those perceptions are as real as anything - more real than the numbers at times - given that listening to recorded music is largely a perception game anyway. Perceptions work both ways: some hear better sound with a more wide open dial while others hear better sound with a lot of sweep left. Problems with where I like to see the dial contributed to me returning my Lyr.
Ahh...you remind me that I do have a db meter around here somewhere. I used it some time ago in setting and positioning my full-scale system in the room it occupied. That meter might be a useful tool in solving this Scooby Doo mystery....Plight of the Phantom Gain...
Thank you for understanding it was some humor from me, I was not intending to hurt anyone with my words.
As far as Burson's recommendations, I consider they are only based on the lower efficiency of your phones: lower efficiency, lower volume for a given voltage (= for a given volume pot position and gain setting), so you should use a higher gain setting in order to use around the same volume attenuator position for this given volume than you would with other more sensitive phones on a lower gain setting.
That's all for me, and that should be pretty all for Burson also as they write in their user's manual that there is no bad or good gain setting ...
For me, the only thing it changes is ... gain, not the tone of the sound or other complex characteristics.
OF COURSE, I could be wrong (and there I'm not making any humor at all) but then I'm waiting for some serious explanations, mathematics, measures or AT LEAST some blind test with succesful results (at the VERY least of it !)
and cheers to you all.
P.-S.: Mike, you made me laugh by saying you were buying what I was saying until I cleared it up ;-)
Edited by CoolBurn - 3/20/13 at 12:48pm
Another thing comes through my mind by the way:
If you are "worried" (so to speak) about the sonic changes induced by the gain setting, why wouldn't you worry about the attenuator position for example ?
And if the sound were not the same (other than as far as the volume is concerned of course) when the attenuator is at 9 o'clock than it is at 12 o'clock ? Why shouldn't we worry about it then ?
Something is already far more important than these things though for sure: the position of the headphones on your head. Have you already seen how the frequency response curves vary from one position to another on the innerfidelity graphs, even with the full-size cans ? (Full-size being the less prone to this kind of variations.)
That worries me really I have to say. You really can hear dramatic changes when you knowingly change the position of the phones around your ear, and not just the tone of the sound but also the "dimensional/spatialization" effect (that's why some phones tilt the drivers towards the ears and put them in front of them - HD800 I am looking at you).
So, even if gain setting could change something, I just feel that there are a lot of other things more obvious which modify the sound. If you really can hear sonic changes with the different gain settings, then as I said, use the one you prefer (I would do the same and would not make any humor about it then).
Peace - no flaming please - just a discussion and not looking for any trouble.
- burson new soloist headphone amp
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