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O2 AMP + ODAC - Page 167

post #2491 of 5263

With the HD-800 imo it's not so much a matter of power, they have a nominal impedance of 300 Ohm but are very efficient, would have to look it up and see what the impedance does over the frequency range but I think power wise it'd work.  But they're very finicky about DAC/AMP combo's, partially also due to their resolving/detailed nature, it's easy to make them sound harsh or lifeless.  To me the combo with O2/ODAC is far from ideal but give it a try and judge for yourself.

post #2492 of 5263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenophon View Post

With the HD-800 imo it's not so much a matter of power, they have a nominal impedance of 300 Ohm but are very efficient, would have to look it up and see what the impedance does over the frequency range but I think power wise it'd work.  But they're very finicky about DAC/AMP combo's, partially also due to their resolving/detailed nature, it's easy to make them sound harsh or lifeless.  To me the combo with O2/ODAC is far from ideal but give it a try and judge for yourself.


 



Yeah it's very efficient at 102 dB/1Vrms. If I follow the guy's calculation, for HD800 to reach 115dB SPL it would need around 66mW of power. 115 dB is already very loud and could potentially be harmful for long term listening.

At 300 ohms the O2 can potentially put out around 170mW of power. Of course the load impedance can vary wildly at different frequency response. But still at > 100mW of power is more than enough to drive HD800.

Unless my calculations and understanding is off then I suppose sound preference could be more of the deciding factor for O2 driving HD800 rather than power output?
post #2493 of 5263

Fwiw I think you have it right.  Can't do an A/B now because my O2 combo is in my residence in Delhi and my HD 800 and myself are in Europe now with my other amps but I did try them with it and didn't much care for the sound.  There are a couple of threads about the pairing thing.  To me the 800 sound just right with my Violectric setup as those are not the ultimate in resolving capability and the v200 is voiced slightly warm. They also do very well with a good quality tube amp imo. I tried them with other amp combo's such as the Burson conductor and that was just too harsh for my liking.  Very detailed amp but just too much to take for extended sessions, it took away the pleasure of listening to music and turned it more into a technical exercise.  It's very much a matter of preference so beware of people who categorically and unconditionally state a 'best' combo.

post #2494 of 5263
I have a question (what, another?). I get the ethos of the O2 - a straight wire with gain for as little money as possible - but what about the ODAC? I'm not unhappy with it or anything as I'm currently getting the best sound I've personally ever experienced. However, I'm sitting here awaiting delivery of my latest purchase - Sennheiser's HD650 - and I'm already thinking about the next step. Can the ODAC be improved upon?

I've read that using an optical interface can bring improvements all by itself but how does the DAC used in the ODAC rank? I'm a great believer in the old saying, "garbage in, garbage out".

I'd be interested in anyone's opinions and, preferably, experiences.
Edited by Solrighal - 4/9/14 at 2:57am
post #2495 of 5263

Zorrofox read some about optical vs coax. When I was researching that subject it turned out that 1) optical connection has lower bandwidth and 2) it supposedly adds jitter (some tough-to-get-rid form). The only benefit of optical over coax is that you always get galvanic isolation, which is nice but not obligatory to get good sound. You can also achieve galvanic isolation with coax but then you have to worry about controlling the impedance of the whole connection (plugs, cables, etc).

 

Overall both optical and coax interfaces are used to transmit SPDIF signal, which is criticised for mixing clock info with signal info, and although with modern chips it is not much of a problem for quality audio it's just simpler to use straight USB->i2s conversion, rather than USB->SPDIF->i2s. That's what you get with ODAC. So technically speaking ODAC is not garbage, it's a very competent DAC. If I were you I wouldn't worry about it.

 

Give the combo a listen when your HD650 arrives and if you would still want to upgrade keep in mind that you wouldn't get much improvement, if any, from upgrading the DAC.

post #2496 of 5263
I wasn't implying the ODAC is garbage! I love it. I just want to know what more expensive DAC's bring to the party. Surely they must add something? This is why I pointed out that all the O2 has to be is transparent, ie transparent to the source data. That source data is surely variable depending on the DAC used?

Let me re-state; I think the ODAC / O2 work wonderfully together and if this truly is the pinnacle then great, I'll go on a better holiday smily_headphones1.gif
post #2497 of 5263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorrofox View Post

I wasn't implying the ODAC is garbage! I love it. I just want to know what more expensive DAC's bring to the party. Surely they must add something? This is why I pointed out that all the O2 has to be is transparent, ie transparent to the source data. That source data is surely variable depending on the DAC used?

Let me re-state; I think the ODAC / O2 work wonderfully together and if this truly is the pinnacle then great, I'll go on a better holiday smily_headphones1.gif

The odac is transparent , the odac/ O2 combo sounds identical to the benchmark dac1 and dac2. They are 2 of the most advanced / technically perfect dacs ever created. Our ears just can't hear that improvement .
post #2498 of 5263
post #2499 of 5263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorrofox View Post

I wasn't implying the ODAC is garbage! I love it. I just want to know what more expensive DAC's bring to the party. Surely they must add something? This is why I pointed out that all the O2 has to be is transparent, ie transparent to the source data. That source data is surely variable depending on the DAC used?

Let me re-state; I think the ODAC / O2 work wonderfully together and if this truly is the pinnacle then great, I'll go on a better holiday smily_headphones1.gif

 

From as far as I have seen, comparisons say that the bifrost (with uber and gen 2 usb, costing $520) is only slightly more resolving than the ODAC. Some have even said that if all you're using is USB input, then upgrading to the benchmark DAC 1 won't bring anything new.

post #2500 of 5263

It's not the pinnacle by a long shot.  But a lot depends on what you need and what you're willing to spend for incrementally smaller gains.  Extra money will bring you DAC's with more options, ,connectivity, up/resampling options, zero sampling (massively underrated imo if your source quality is good), digital filters that may or may not add anything etc etc.

 

You need to try them, it's as simple as that, regardless of the objective spiel they're not the same.  Or if cash is no object but time is precious, get an MSB Diamond dac+, the power base and femto upgrade and for a mere 85000 USD + UK VAT you're set.  Never seen an O2 connected to it, though.

 

About the USB/optical debate:  a lot if not all depends on the implementation.  A blanket statement that one will always outperform the other is not useful imo.

post #2501 of 5263
85 grand? Is that all? Nah, even if I had that kind of money spare I'd be too busy on my jetski. Good info though and nice to know that, even if this isn't the summit, at least I can see it from here.
post #2502 of 5263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorrofox View Post

USB cable - worth spending more?

 

IMHO no, the one with the ferrite pearl delivered by head_n_hifi should be just fine.

 

Joachim

post #2503 of 5263

Wow! I think I'll take my wife out for a meal at the weekend. That's quite an eye-opener and fair puts this hobby in perspective. Thanks.
post #2504 of 5263
Quote:
Originally Posted by jring View Post

IMHO no, the one with the ferrite pearl delivered by head_n_hifi should be just fine.

Joachim

I suspected this myself. Digital is digital eh? It either works or it doesn't. What's the purpose of the "ferrite pearl"?
post #2505 of 5263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorrofox View Post

85 grand? Is that all? Nah, even if I had that kind of money spare I'd be too busy on my jetski. Good info though and nice to know that, even if this isn't the summit, at least I can see it from here.

I wouldn't get it either, even if I had the disposable income commensurate with it.  If nothing else, DAC-technology is still evolving at a reasonably fast pace, a top of the line DAC purchased 7 years ago would be less than mid-end now.

 

My advice/'philosophy':  a) take your time to get to know what you have and don't lose yourself in sites like this, there's always 'better' and many wizards promoting things they may not even have heard, far less compared to other gear. The taller the claim, the higher the burden of proof.  b) Invest in quality music material after all, that's what this is all about and if that stinks, no expensive gear will fix it. c) Learn what your sound signature preferences are, once again, this takes time. d) Many roads lead to Rome, what's right for me/my music may not be right for you. e) Audition gear there's no substitute for your own ears.  I had to purchase some items unheard due to my situation living in 2 countries and in retrospect, some things I'd have done differently.  

 

For the rest, personally I like source/amp to be as neutral as possible and adapt the sound to my liking via a judicious choice of headphones.  Just my opinion.  Also, neutrality is not the end all and certainly does not equate euphony in all cases.  

 

If I were you I'd take a break from tinkering, enjoy the music and then go out and audition something radically different to see how it compares.  Try a tube amp/dac for instance, that'll provide significant contrast.

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