Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Audio GD SA-31 head amp/ preamp . A powerfull Head Amp with Diamond Difference design .
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Audio GD SA-31 head amp/ preamp . A powerfull Head Amp with Diamond Difference design . - Page 6

post #76 of 398

I suggest letting it warm up for 1/2 hour or more (if you can)

Gear mentioned in this thread:

post #77 of 398
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tim3320070 View Post

I suggest letting it warm up for 1/2 hour or more (if you can)

What kind of torture is that ? when i got a new good i want to try it as fast as i can tongue.gif , even if A-GD beneficit from warm up thing that i never paid attention to , 30 min is a long time for a comparison wink.gif sorry i don't find Audio memory enough accurate for this kind of thing , only having two SA.31 letting one warm up 30 min or more and compare to the one you just power up (or any Auther material that would need "warm up") , if not , no  valid comparison and mostly be things that occur in your head IMO . 

 

And even if warm up help it will not sound bad without warm up .


Edited by HaVoC-28 - 10/25/12 at 11:02am
post #78 of 398
Just got it set up, temporarily feeding the ODAC to the E9K - Line Out - SA-31 (wanted to do it this way as the SA-31 has pre-amped outs.)

DT990/250:

On high gain, the volume was at 30/79. On low gain, about the same volume is at 64/79. That was on one song. The next song was a bit louder, so I turned it down a bit.

Lol, I subconsciously reached for the 'volume knob' to turn it down... sigh, looks so much like my old NFB-5. Those wounds are still fresh, lol.

First things first.

Amp differences aren't huge (unlike a lot of head-fi, I don't suffer from expectation bias). The E9K is definitely dryer. The SA-31 favors the low end slightly vs the E9K. The SA-31's treble is less harsh than the E9K. I expect this. That's an A-GD trait. The E9K because it's dryer has slightly more forward mids, but it's thinner sounding. The SA-31's voicing is fuller, and the sound is more cohesive and blended in...more natural. And this is exaggerating the differences. I bet less than head-fi ears wouldn't hear the diff.

These are preliminary impressions just TWO songs in, quickly swapping from the E9K to the SA-31 at nearly matched decibel levels.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 10/25/12 at 11:46am
post #79 of 398
Oh yeah, I got mine with the remote.

The package came with some chip (looks like a secondary chip for the remote). Please confirm, and if you got an extra too.

That and some... mini pieces of plastic? I'm not not sure what they are. They definitely go inside the SA-31. I wonder if these are the jumpers needed to change the warmth levels?

Anyone that can confirm what they are? I hate having things that I have no idea what they are for.

I'll take a pic later. I have to sleep.

Also, gotta mess with the warmth settings, as well as let it 'burn in', if that'll even do anything. I doubt it, but I'll do it anyways.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 10/25/12 at 12:23pm
post #80 of 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

The package came with some chip (looks like a secondary chip for the remote). Please confirm, and if you got an extra too.
That and some... mini pieces of plastic? I'm not not sure what they are. They definitely go inside the SA-31. I wonder if these are the jumpers needed to change the warmth levels?
Anyone that can confirm what they are?

 

Jumpers, most of his products come with them which can change certain features of said amp/dac. As for the SA-31, I would check the manual.

 

http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/SA/SA31/SA31EN_Use.htm

 

Enjoy!


Edited by kidchunks - 10/25/12 at 12:26pm
post #81 of 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidchunks View Post

Jumpers, most of his products come with them which can change certain features of said amp/dac. As for the SA-31's case, I would check the manual.

http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/SA/SA31/SA31EN_Use.htm

Saw that, just that there were so many, lol.
post #82 of 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post
Saw that, just that there were so many, lol.

 

Kignwa likes to throw in a few extras. wink_face.gif

 

My NFB-10.2 came with a bunch also.

post #83 of 398
Ok, so my test for warm 1 and warm 2 have been directly vs the E9K.

The SA-31 (with no warmth jumpers) and E9K are close in tonality (this is just a tonality comparison), with the E9K being just a smidge brighter.

Warm 1: It does sound just a little bolder than no jumpers, but it's like VERY slight.

Warm 2: I honestly don't hear a diff from Warm 1.

I'll have to do more testing to hear exactly what changes.

Tube amps definitely alter the sound quite a bit more than these jumpers.

I must say though, the DT990s sound glorious off the SA-31 with the warm 2 setting (all 4 jumpers in).

One thing I notice is that the SA-31 controls the 250ohm's bass quite a bit compared to the E9K. Ironically, I prefer the looser bass on the E9K. However, on the 600ohm, it brought out the bass to where I feel it almost rivals the 250ohm's bass (both off the SA-31).

If I was keeping the E9K, I'd definitely keep the 250ohm. Off the SA-31, they're both near identical, so I'll stick to the slight refinement of the 600ohm.

edit:


To update from the last post, yes, the SA-31 with warmth jumpers all in, really add all I wanted from the DT990/600. It's not a big difference, but it's enough.

I would say the DT990/250 off the E9K has the most bass presence (but least control) out of all the combinations today (by a hair). However, the refinement and less edge in treble of the SA-31 + DT990/600 wins out.

Out of the E9K, the 250 has noticeably more bass than the 600. Out of the SA-31, that gap becomes smaller, to the point that I can't tell the bass presence apart when quick-swapping from the E9K/250 to the SA-31/600.

I'm gonna pack up the DT990/250 and E9K today. I've heard enough...

Am I gonna keep the 600ohm? Probably not, as Amazon is selling them Like New for $50 less than I paid. Since I'm within my return window, I'll save some money by getting another pair. Unless they wanna just refund me that price difference.

To identify between tthe different warmth settings of the SA-31, I basically went from no jumpers to all jumpers. The biggest difference is in the bass. The bass gets fuller with all four jumpers in compared to no jumpers. It does sound a hint darker... but it's minute.

I'd say for the sake of liking warmth in your cans, all 4 jumpers are not a BIG difference from no jumpers, so you may as well have them all pushed in for maximum warmth.

edit:

The differences between the SA-31 and E9K were more obvious on the KSC35. The SA-31 was considerably warmer.

I guess warm 2 may be a bit much for warmer sounding headphones like the KSC35. I preferred it off the E9K, and the E9K isn't technically a proper match for it due to high output impedance. I think the jumper settings are headphone by headphone basis. You'd do fine with no jumpers at all for all headphones, but some headphones can benefit from extra warmth, and some can be impacted negatively. So all in all, if you're lazy, stick to no jumpers. If you wanna tweak per headphone, leave the top unscrewed for easy jumper switching. biggrin.gif
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 10/26/12 at 7:05am
post #84 of 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

Ok, so my test for warm 1 and warm 2 have been directly vs the E9K.
The SA-31 (with no warmth jumpers) and E9K are close in tonality (this is just a tonality comparison), with the E9K being just a smidge brighter.
Warm 1: It does sound just a little bolder than no jumpers, but it's like VERY slight.
Warm 2: I honestly don't hear a diff from Warm 1.
I'll have to do more testing to hear exactly what changes.
Tube amps definitely alter the sound quite a bit more than these jumpers.
I must say though, the DT990s sound glorious off the SA-31 with the warm 2 setting (all 4 jumpers in).
One thing I notice is that the SA-31 controls the 250ohm's bass quite a bit compared to the E9K. Ironically, I prefer the looser bass on the E9K. However, on the 600ohm, it brought out the bass to where I feel it almost rivals the 250ohm's bass (both off the SA-31).
If I was keeping the E9K, I'd definitely keep the 250ohm. Off the SA-31, they're both near identical, so I'll stick to the slight refinement of the 600ohm.
edit:
To update from the last post, yes, the SA-31 with warmth jumpers all in, really add all I wanted from the DT990/600. It's not a big difference, but it's enough.
I would say the DT990/250 off the E9K has the most bass presence (but least control) out of all the combinations today (by a hair). However, the refinement and less edge in treble of the SA-31 + DT990/600 wins out.
Out of the E9K, the 250 has noticeably more bass than the 600. Out of the SA-31, that gap becomes smaller, to the point that I can't tell the bass presence apart when quick-swapping from the E9K/250 to the SA-31/600.
I'm gonna pack up the DT990/250 and E9K today. I've heard enough...
Am I gonna keep the 600ohm? Probably not, as Amazon is selling them Like New for $50 less than I paid. Since I'm within my return window, I'll save some money by getting another pair. Unless they wanna just refund me that price difference.
To identify between tthe different warmth settings of the SA-31, I basically went from no jumpers to all jumpers. The biggest difference is in the bass. The bass gets fuller with all four jumpers in compared to no jumpers. It does sound a hint darker... but it's minute.
I'd say for the sake of liking warmth in your cans, all 4 jumpers are not a BIG difference from no jumpers, so you may as well have them all pushed in for maximum warmth.
edit:
The differences between the SA-31 and E9K were more obvious on the KSC35. The SA-31 was considerably warmer.
I guess warm 2 may be a bit much for warmer sounding headphones like the KSC35. I preferred it off the E9K, and the E9K isn't technically a proper match for it due to high output impedance. I think the jumper settings are headphone by headphone basis. You'd do fine with no jumpers at all for all headphones, but some headphones can benefit from extra warmth, and some can be impacted negatively. So all in all, if you're lazy, stick to no jumpers. If you wanna tweak per headphone, leave the top unscrewed for easy jumper switching. biggrin.gif


Thanks for your impressions, this really helps me to understand what kind of amp the Sa-31 is!  Can you say anything about detail, soundstage, instrument separation and so on at this point?

post #85 of 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by AManAnd88Keys View Post

Can you say anything about detail, soundstage, instrument separation and so on at this point?

It's got all those in spades. Detail without fatigue.

post #86 of 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by tim3320070 View Post

It's got all those in spades. Detail without fatigue.


Great biggrin.gif How does it compare to other amps that are similarly priced (Lyr for example)?

post #87 of 398
I had the Lyr. The SA-31 doesn't have the tube like warmth of the Lyr. Ths SA-31 is more neutral than the Lyr with two sets of tubes I tried.

I felt the Lyr had a big bottom end and slight mid recession.

I will be getting my HE-4 in a few days, which was the headphone I used with the Lyr last year. The Lyr was great with it, but the Lyr had a slight hum, whereas the SA-31 is dead silent.

I think both are great so far, though the Lyr allows tube rolling to further alter the sound to your liking. I personally prefer the SS sound, so I like the SA-31 more.
post #88 of 398
I've come across my first problem. The SA-31 at high gain and max volume can't as much as drive my DT990/600 for ANY of my portable sources, whether the Galaxy Note II, PS Vita, or 3DS. I didn't have that problem with the E9K. The SA-31 is absolutely worthless with those sources. When you have to max out the SA-31 completely just to get a moderate volume out of your phone... you know there's a problem....

I'm gonna wait for the HE-4 to arrive and see how the SA-31 handles it. Perhaps it will function better at low ohms.

The SA-31 is supposed to be a LOT more powerful than the E9K (700mw at 600ohm vs 80mw at 600ohm), so what gives?

I noticed that on the E9K with the ODAC, I use High gain and have the volume at about 40% of the E9K's knob. The SA-31 is at over 50% (41) of it's max volume (79).

Did I confuse the SA-31 for being really powerful because of it's power specs? Because if so, I'll have to talk to Kingwa about this, since I'm afraid that the SA-31 wouldn't drive planars as well as I thought. I've only used it with the DT990's so far (and the super sensitive KSC35), and the 600ohm isn't exactly hard to drive in terms of decibel level, yet they're struggling off my portables+SA-31.

I can also hear the other input's music playing (lowly) when I switch to an unused input. For example, if I'm playing music on Input 3, and switch to input 4, I can hear the music still playing, faintly. The input does have to have nothing plugged in though, so it's not really an issue, as when I do have RCAs plugged in, I can't hear anything.


I want this amp. However for the $600+total it cost to get it (w/remote), I expect POWER and perfection.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 10/27/12 at 6:29am
post #89 of 398

In general, DAPs output is really weak in term of voltage level. They are way below the standard line level and you need an amp with a pretty high gain to make it work to proper volume. No matter how powerfull your amp is, if it does not have the proper gain to work with the DAP it will be a no-go.

 

My dad is having the same problem with his setup: cowon J3 -> m-stage -> HE-4. Even at max gain (+20dB) and both the j3 and m-stage maxed out, the volume is still slightly less than what he likes. It's just about perfect for me but then I have no headroom on quieter tracks. It's doable with the HE-500 but not the HE-4 (lower sensitivity).

 

The SA-31 is even lower in gain (+12dB if I remember correctly) so I would be even lower, despite its 10W power output capacity (40x that of the m-stage).

 

You need another gain in between if you want to use your portable source with it. Or you should ask to change the high gain to >20dB ;)

post #90 of 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post

In general, DAPs output is really weak in term of voltage level. They are way below the standard line level and you need an amp with a pretty high gain to make it work to proper volume. No matter how powerfull your amp is, if it does not have the proper gain to work with the DAP it will be a no-go.

My dad is having the same problem with his setup: cowon J3 -> m-stage -> HE-4. Even at max gain (+20dB) and both the j3 and m-stage maxed out, the volume is still slightly less than what he likes. It's just about perfect for me but then I have no headroom on quieter tracks. It's doable with the HE-500 but not the HE-4 (lower sensitivity).

The SA-31 is even lower in gain (+12dB if I remember correctly) so I would be even lower, despite its 10W power output capacity (40x that of the m-stage).

You need another gain in between if you want to use your portable source with it. Or you should ask to change the high gain to >20dB wink.gif

Thing is, the E17 (a portable amp) could drive the DT990/600 about as loud as the SA-31 off those portables. It doesn't make any sense. I'm sincerely hoping it's an issue just with high impedance. The KSC35 can barely go into high gain... (single digits off the ODAC).

The 990 does get ear shatteringly loud when using the Mixamp to SA-31 or ODAC to SA-31 (albeit at just over the SA31's max volume on high gain). I distinctly remember the HE-4 needing a crapton more than anything else I've driven, even off the Lyr (though with plenty of headroom). This scares me. If the SA-31 needs to be nearly maxed to be at a loud volume.... I'm definitely not going to be happy. I expect this amp to have as much, if not more headroom than the Lyr. I'm beginning to think I chose the wrong amp. The HE-4 will be the deciding factor. Tuesday can't come soon enough. If I have to ship the SA-31 back and be stuck with NO amp for two hard to drive cans... ugh... this is seriously going to irk me.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 10/27/12 at 7:22am
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphone Amps (full-size)

Gear mentioned in this thread:

Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Audio GD SA-31 head amp/ preamp . A powerfull Head Amp with Diamond Difference design .