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FiiO Mont Blanc/E12 portable headphone amp, 880mW, slim design, full metal case. Bass boost and Cross feed! - Page 95

All very well designed amps should sound the same. They should add no signature at all. A straight wire with gain as someone once said. The problem is most amps aren't well designed or built

You are over simplifying the process. Cost, theoreticals, what can actually be done, tolerances, practicality and other things give us our amps today.

All humans should have 10 fingers and two eyes and be between X height and Y weight to be a "well designed" person. Our genes are 99.999% the same. But small changes do make us different.

Same with amps. I can definately see how prople can say they sound the same. They do sound "the same" in a way. It depends on if you care personally enough to isolate those very small things.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J

But Julian Hirsch said all amps sound the same.........
I'm not claiming to have special ears, and for my wallet's sake i wish all solid state amps sounded the same (which I think was Mr Hirsch's claim, sound science thread huge post with tons of links, right?), and the thread post seemed logical enough to be convincing in most cases once a certain quality level was reached. Ken Rockwell also wrote a lengthy article about just how good iPod audio is (even at 192 kbps AAC compression rate). All I'm saying is... My E12 battery ran out, I plugged it into my iPod to continue listening, and the difference was clear as opposed to something I would question as being up to my imagination. Like the difference between a toasted cheese sandwich and just a plain cheese sandwich... Same ingredients, different experience.

As Boweii said, the factors may be wider beyond E12 + L11 versus iPod's built-in hp amp, there is the whole consideration that my quite old iPod's headphone jack might be corroded or something, it's a whole different circuit path too. In the interest of full disclosure, I originally BOUGHT an LOD because my Sennheiser PX100 was sometimes producing a crackling sound as shorts occurred within the headphone jack. However, I used part of a Q-tip to clean in the jack a few times since then, and the shorting hasn't happened in a long time.
Edited by Evshrug - 2/26/13 at 7:35am

Relative to variation in headphone sound, variation in amp sound is subtle.  From the discussion, newbies might be perceiving that the differences from amp to amp are much more pronounced than they actually are.  The danger there is that the impression might be given that a different amp can change a headphone into something it isn't as opposed to subtle changes that enhance their SQ.

The exception would be high impedance headphones that require significant power to be driven to their full potential.  However, since we are talking about portable amps, the majority will be listening through 32 ohm or less headphones/earphones, although the E12 might be the only portable amp in or near its price range to also adequately power hungrier headphones.  Even with Vamp, I run my Sig DJ at about 85%.  Oddly, I can achieve the same volume level at about 50% with my E11, but the soundstage, air and midrange detail is superior with Vamp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craigster75

Relative to variation in headphone sound, variation in amp sound is subtle.  From the discussion, newbies might be perceiving that the differences from amp to amp are much more pronounced than they actually are.  The danger there is that the impression might be given that a different amp can change a headphone into something it isn't as opposed to subtle changes that enhance their SQ.

Yes.
$100 headphone with$300 amp and dac. Please, no.

$300 headphone with$100 amp and dac depending on need for driving or quality then sure
Well yeah, I said difference between cheese sandwiches (toasted vs not), not a cheese sandwich vs a BLT club sandwich
I try my best, but there will always be someone who misunderstands.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craigster75

Relative to variation in headphone sound, variation in amp sound is subtle.  From the discussion, newbies might be perceiving that the differences from amp to amp are much more pronounced than they actually are.  The danger there is that the impression might be given that a different amp can change a headphone into something it isn't as opposed to subtle changes that enhance their SQ.

The exception would be high impedance headphones that require significant power to be driven to their full potential.  However, since we are talking about portable amps, the majority will be listening through 32 ohm or less headphones/earphones, although the E12 might be the only portable amp in or near its price range to also adequately power hungrier headphones.  Even with Vamp, I run my Sig DJ at about 85%.  Oddly, I can achieve the same volume level at about 50% with my E11, but the soundstage, air and midrange detail is superior with Vamp.

For the most part yes. Of course it depends on the amp, solid state versus tube, but those comparisons usually aren't discussed.

High impedance headphones don't necessarily need gobs of power to reach their full potential and that's what kind of bugs me about the E12. Most decent portable amps have enough power to drive a DT880 600, or even an HD650 ohm just fine. Most portable amps don't have the power to drive low impedance, low sensitivity headphones such as the HE-400 or LCD-2. It's easy to overestimate how much power a headphone "needs" and Tyll agrees that power claims for even the power-hungry HE-6 (on the order of watts, not milliwatts) may be a bit over the top.

Edited by miceblue - 2/26/13 at 9:39am

It is the awful battery life of the E11 that had me only take a precursory look at the E12, although I really do like its looks. I bought higher capacity batteries, and that helps, but the battery life of the C&C BH is just so much better and has no issues driving my headphone and IEM of choice. (SR325is, SR80i and SE210). I would think if I had a set of cans with a higher impedance then I would lean to the E12, as the reviews have been mostly sparkling.

The nice thing is, these two Chinese companies have provided us incredible sound in the portable realm, without shredding our wallets!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006

True knowledge can only be attained in the HS lounge.

Hey, what's the HS lounge?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craigster75

Relative to variation in headphone sound, variation in amp sound is subtle.  From the discussion, newbies might be perceiving that the differences from amp to amp are much more pronounced than they actually are.  The danger there is that the impression might be given that a different amp can change a headphone into something it isn't as opposed to subtle changes that enhance their SQ.

The exception would be high impedance headphones that require significant power to be driven to their full potential.  However, since we are talking about portable amps, the majority will be listening through 32 ohm or less headphones/earphones, although the E12 might be the only portable amp in or near its price range to also adequately power hungrier headphones.  Even with Vamp, I run my Sig DJ at about 85%.  Oddly, I can achieve the same volume level at about 50% with my E11, but the soundstage, air and midrange detail is superior with Vamp.

Hey man, high impedance cans need more voltage.
Low impedance cans need more current.
A low impedance Beyer DT990 needs just as much power as a high impedance Beyer DT990.
Sorry if I sound like a Mr. Spock or a Sheldon Cooper.

I love trains!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006

Yes.
$100 headphone with$300 amp and dac. Please, no.

$300 headphone with$100 amp and dac depending on need for driving or quality then sure

True that!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J

Hey, what's the HS lounge?
Hey man, high impedance cans need more voltage.
Low impedance cans need more current.
A low impedance Beyer DT990 needs just as much power as a high impedance Beyer DT990.
Sorry if I sound like a Mr. Spock or a Sheldon Cooper.

I love trains!
True that!

In the interest of educating someone with admittedly less technical expertise who humbly relies on golden ears to assess SQ, why then is there a direct correlation between higher impedance headphones and lower volume output from those headphones at the same setting with a given amp?

P.S. No apologies needed for sounding like Mr. Spock or Sheldon Cooper as I am fans of both.

Edited by Craigster75 - 2/26/13 at 4:36pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craigster75

In the interest of educating someone with admittedly less technical expertise who humbly relies on golden ears to assess SQ, why then is there a direct correlation between higher impedance headphones and lower volume output from those headphones at the same setting with a given amp?

P.S. No apologies needed for sounding like Mr. Spock or Sheldon Cooper as I am fans of both.

And I'm a real big fan of Sheldon's sister!

I'll try to make it short and sweet, I don't want to put anyone to sleep!

Higher volume settings on a headphone amp actually mean more output voltage.
Virtually all headphone amps are voltage sources.
They will output voltage whether headphones are plugged in or not.
But current (and therefore power) are only drawn from a headphone amp if headphones are plugged in.
It can be confusing!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J

And I'm a real big fan of Sheldon's sister!

I'll try to make it short and sweet, I don't want to put anyone to sleep!

Higher volume settings on a headphone amp actually mean more output voltage.
Virtually all headphone amps are voltage sources.
They will output voltage whether headphones are plugged in or not.
But current (and therefore power) are only drawn from a headphone amp if headphones are plugged in.
It can be confusing!

Impedance acts like resistance in the analogue realm. Therefore, using Ohms Law, we can generally say that Since E=I*R (E = voltage, I = current, and R = resistance), with E being constant, a higher resistance (or in our example, impedance) means less current drawn. Now POWER equation is P = I*E. So with that less current, means less power, for the same potential (voltage). The volume knob varies the voltage, just like Chris said, so in all cases, there will be more power to the headphones when the knob is turned towards max. (It is a little more complicated than this with the alternating current, but for illustration purposes, this will suffice).

So, using canned specs, and comparing 32 ohm to 300 ohm cans, we get something similar to this:

MyAmp puts out 0-11 Volts.

At 5 volts, we can plug in our 32 ohm cans to compute current and wattage (or by substitution, P=E^2/R)

But lets keep things simple. Calculate current, which is I = E/R = 5/32 = .156 amps or 156 milliamps (mA)

Then the power ( in watts) would be P = I*E = .156 * 5 = .78 watts or 780 milliwatts (mW)

Now do the same thing for the 300 ohm cans. I=E/R = 5/300 = .017 amps or 17 mA

Just by knowing what that equation is, we can see that will give much less power to the headphones

P = I * E = .017 * 5 = .085 watts or 85 mW. Even at 11 volts the power is P = E^2/R = 11*11/300 = 121/300 = 403 mW

In fact, you would need 15.3 volts to get the same "wattage" delivered to the 300 ohm headphones as compared to the 32 ohm at 5 volts.

Now take this information, and apply it what Chris said earlier about: "A low impedance Beyer DT990 needs just as much power as a high impedance Beyer DT990."

And you can see why the volume level will be lower, given the same output voltage on the high impedance cans.

There has to be a balance though, because if the impendance is too low, there is too much current drawn from the output and bad things can happen, with the least impactful being a blown fuse on the amp)

hope this helps.

(Geek hat off now)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ravager

Impedance acts like resistance in the analogue realm. Therefore, using Ohms Law, we can generally say that Since E=I*R (E = voltage, I = current, and R = resistance), with E being constant, a higher resistance (or in our example, impedance) means less current drawn. Now POWER equation is P = I*E. So with that less current, means less power, for the same potential (voltage). The volume knob varies the voltage, just like Chris said, so in all cases, there will be more power to the headphones when the knob is turned towards max. (It is a little more complicated than this with the alternating current, but for illustration purposes, this will suffice).

So, using canned specs, and comparing 32 ohm to 300 ohm cans, we get something similar to this:

MyAmp puts out 0-11 Volts.

At 5 volts, we can plug in our 32 ohm cans to compute current and wattage (or by substitution, P=E^2/R)

But lets keep things simple. Calculate current, which is I = E/R = 5/32 = .156 amps or 156 milliamps (mA)

Then the power ( in watts) would be P = I*E = .156 * 5 = .78 watts or 780 milliwatts (mW)

Now do the same thing for the 300 ohm cans. I=E/R = 5/300 = .017 amps or 17 mA

Just by knowing what that equation is, we can see that will give much less power to the headphones

P = I * E = .017 * 5 = .085 watts or 85 mW. Even at 11 volts the power is P = E^2/R = 11*11/300 = 121/300 = 403 mW

In fact, you would need 15.3 volts to get the same "wattage" delivered to the 300 ohm headphones as compared to the 32 ohm at 5 volts.

Now take this information, and apply it what Chris said earlier about: "A low impedance Beyer DT990 needs just as much power as a high impedance Beyer DT990."

And you can see why the volume level will be lower, given the same output voltage on the high impedance cans.

There has to be a balance though, because if the impendance is too low, there is too much current drawn from the output and bad things can happen, with the least impactful being a blown fuse on the amp)

hope this helps.

(Geek hat off now)

in what faculty do you have E as Voltage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KamijoIsMyHero

Quote:
Originally Posted by ravager

Impedance acts like resistance in the analogue realm. Therefore, using Ohms Law, we can generally say that Since E=I*R (E = voltage, I = current, and R = resistance), with E being constant, a higher resistance (or in our example, impedance) means less current drawn. Now POWER equation is P = I*E. So with that less current, means less power, for the same potential (voltage). The volume knob varies the voltage, just like Chris said, so in all cases, there will be more power to the headphones when the knob is turned towards max. (It is a little more complicated than this with the alternating current, but for illustration purposes, this will suffice).

So, using canned specs, and comparing 32 ohm to 300 ohm cans, we get something similar to this:

MyAmp puts out 0-11 Volts.

At 5 volts, we can plug in our 32 ohm cans to compute current and wattage (or by substitution, P=E^2/R)

But lets keep things simple. Calculate current, which is I = E/R = 5/32 = .156 amps or 156 milliamps (mA)

Then the power ( in watts) would be P = I*E = .156 * 5 = .78 watts or 780 milliwatts (mW)

Now do the same thing for the 300 ohm cans. I=E/R = 5/300 = .017 amps or 17 mA

Just by knowing what that equation is, we can see that will give much less power to the headphones

P = I * E = .017 * 5 = .085 watts or 85 mW. Even at 11 volts the power is P = E^2/R = 11*11/300 = 121/300 = 403 mW

In fact, you would need 15.3 volts to get the same "wattage" delivered to the 300 ohm headphones as compared to the 32 ohm at 5 volts.

Now take this information, and apply it what Chris said earlier about: "A low impedance Beyer DT990 needs just as much power as a high impedance Beyer DT990."

And you can see why the volume level will be lower, given the same output voltage on the high impedance cans.

There has to be a balance though, because if the impendance is too low, there is too much current drawn from the output and bad things can happen, with the least impactful being a blown fuse on the amp)

hope this helps.

(Geek hat off now)

in what faculty do you have E as Voltage?

It's an annoying notation but I've seen it in textbooks often. The first time I saw it in a supplementary reading, I was like "whaaaat? Why did they use E??" D:

Also, ravager is correct about all of the math, but headphones also have a sensitivity rating that affects how much power is needed to get a headphone to reach X dB SPL. More sensitive headphones (i.e. earphones) require less power to reach X dB SPL than less sensitive headphones (i.e. regular 'ol over-ear headphones), thus requiring less voltage (P = E^2 / R), and thus less "volume on the amplifier"; this is why headphones with a lower sensitivity rating require a "higher volume level on the amplifier" than a less sensitive headphone to get to the same volume level.

Edited by miceblue - 2/26/13 at 11:39pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by KamijoIsMyHero

in what faculty do you have E as Voltage?

Probably E as in $\mathcal{E}$ for EMF or electromotive force.

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