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Harman Kardon HK 3490 receiver. Unlimited power for your phones and a nice DAC to boot? - Page 2

post #16 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brando View Post


Never thought of that.   Interesting....

Right?  I think that I'll head to B&H tomorrow for a cheap splitter to test it out.

post #17 of 54

Interesting, I wouldnt mind some more experienced user's insights into this as I also have this receiver and am about to receive Denon D5000s and am wondering if its going to better at driving them than my Woo Audio WA6.

 

I have been doing some of my own a/b testing, but sadly my ears are not experienced enough to make logical conclusions. But just cos I cant tell a difference now, does not mean I want to be listening to poor equipment, down the line my ears might learn.

post #18 of 54

Here's the four options I know, if you want to drive your phones with a receiver/integrated amplifier :

 

1. Directly from the headphone jack, that may powered by a) an opamp, or b) the speaker amp through resistors.

 

2. From the headphone jack, but through an impedance adapter (when you're in in option 1b with low impedance headphones).

 

3. From the speaker out, through a heaphone tap (which is a mix of option 1b and option 2).

 

4. Directly from the pre-out.

 

1a and 4 may give good results or not, you have to try it.

1b can be fixed with 2, if not good already.

 

A variable tap or impedance adapter may be the most flexible option.

 

Of course the mileage you get is function of the quality of the amplifiers involved.

 

Hoping this can help someone out there,


Edited by Headdie - 8/9/12 at 7:53am
post #19 of 54

Does anyone think the DAC portion of the amp will be any better/worse than comparable headphone DAC's? I'm contemplating on picking up an Amazon open box unit for $175, in hopes that they would either drive my soon to be T1's, or relay clean signal to a Valhalla(via pre-amp). It seems the Schiit is unrelenting with the amount of EMI it amplifies, where my SC can drive a pair of HD650's with nearly inaudible EMI; I'm really just looking for a clean, quality DAC

post #20 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by aleki View Post

Does anyone think the DAC portion of the amp will be any better/worse than comparable headphone DAC's? I'm contemplating on picking up an Amazon open box unit for $175, in hopes that they would either drive my soon to be T1's, or relay clean signal to a Valhalla(via pre-amp). It seems the Schiit is unrelenting with the amount of EMI it amplifies, where my SC can drive a pair of HD650's with nearly inaudible EMI; I'm really just looking for a clean, quality DAC

Aleki, I've got one on the way. I'll let you know how it sounds.

post #21 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by aleki View Post

Does anyone think the DAC portion of the amp will be any better/worse than comparable headphone DAC's? I'm contemplating on picking up an Amazon open box unit for $175, in hopes that they would either drive my soon to be T1's, or relay clean signal to a Valhalla(via pre-amp). It seems the Schiit is unrelenting with the amount of EMI it amplifies, where my SC can drive a pair of HD650's with nearly inaudible EMI; I'm really just looking for a clean, quality DAC

I'm going to "guess" a good sound card comes with a better DAC then what comes in receivers.

But I did find out the HK3490 comes with AKM DACs, which I'm assuming is a plus.

post #22 of 54
Thread Starter 

I can tell you that the noise floor seems to be about the same with the hk3490 headphone out and the one on my essence stx.  My ah-d7000's low impedance is the culprit I assume for the low hiss I hear.  Either way it's low enough that I could be mistaking background noise in my room leaking through the cracks between the pads and my head for hiss.  Both outputs sound good to me.  I think the hk3490 may be a little more punchy though.  Not complaining at all.  I think there may be a benefit to having the dac and amp all self contained in the same unit and quarantined from computer noise with an spdif connection.  One thing that I may or may not be imagining is that I felt like the coax output from the stx to the receiver sounded better than the toslink from my motherboard to the receiver.  Maybe the stx has a nice clock in it and less jitter sounds good but I can't find a solid answer on whether there's a difference between methods of digital delivery.  It's close enough that it could be placebo.
 

post #23 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brando View Post

I can tell you that the noise floor seems to be about the same with the hk3490 headphone out and the one on my essence stx.  My ah-d7000's low impedance is the culprit I assume for the low hiss I hear.  Either way it's low enough that I could be mistaking background noise in my room leaking through the cracks between the pads and my head for hiss.  Both outputs sound good to me.  I think the hk3490 may be a little more punchy though.  Not complaining at all.  I think there may be a benefit to having the dac and amp all self contained in the same unit and quarantined from computer noise with an spdif connection.  One thing that I may or may not be imagining is that I felt like the coax output from the stx to the receiver sounded better than the toslink from my motherboard to the receiver.  Maybe the stx has a nice clock in it and less jitter sounds good but I can't find a solid answer on whether there's a difference between methods of digital delivery.  It's close enough that it could be placebo.
 

Running my Audioengine D1 to the receiver via RCA cables into the CD inputs seems to sound better than running toslink straight into the receiver from my iMac. There is more low end using the receiver than using just my Audioengine D1, but it doesn't have the same separation and crispness of the D1 alone.

 

I can't really decide which is superior sounding...

post #24 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whereas View Post

Running my Audioengine D1 to the receiver via RCA cables into the CD inputs seems to sound better than running toslink straight into the receiver from my iMac. There is more low end using the receiver than using just my Audioengine D1, but it doesn't have the same separation and crispness of the D1 alone.

 

I can't really decide which is superior sounding...


I hear ya.  It's hard to tell when something is close.  It could all come down to how much earwax I have that day.  And maybe hearing changes a little after each song, needing a little time to recuperate before you can start again with a clean slate.  Too bad you can't cleanse your audio pallet with a piece of ginger like you can with taste.  Of course by the time you've let your ears rest you can't remember exactly how the last song sounded to compare.


Edited by Brando - 8/16/12 at 10:46am
post #25 of 54

Guess I should have seen this coming, but the headphone out is mighty noisy :(

Going to try pre-amp to a schiit valhalla and see what happens next..

 

PS: took a peek in the unit; here's more info on the dac: http://www.asahi-kasei.co.jp/akm/en/product/ak4589/ak4589_f00e.pdf


Edited by aleki - 8/16/12 at 11:19am
post #26 of 54
Thread Starter 

I don't hear any obvious hiss unless I turn the volume up to about -25db which is WAY higher than you should listen with.  I have it at -45 with the computer set to 100% output for the toslink output and it's loud enough.  -30 is more than almost anyone would need..  Past that would be too much IMO but to each his own.  Then again it could just be the 25ohm resistance of my d7000's that let me get that much volume.  But shouldn't low resistance get more hiss?


Edited by Brando - 8/16/12 at 11:46am
post #27 of 54
Thread Starter 

double post
 


Edited by Brando - 8/16/12 at 11:51am
post #28 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aleki View Post

Guess I should have seen this coming, but the headphone out is mighty noisy :(

Going to try pre-amp to a schiit valhalla and see what happens next..

 

PS: took a peek in the unit; here's more info on the dac: http://www.asahi-kasei.co.jp/akm/en/product/ak4589/ak4589_f00e.pdf


What do you make of the dac specs?  Some of it is jibber jabber to me but I like the sound of high jitter tolerance.
 

post #29 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brando View Post

I don't hear any obvious hiss unless I turn the volume up to about -25db which is WAY higher than you should listen with. I have it at -45 with the computer set to 100% output for the toslink output and it's loud enough. -30 is more than almost anyone would need.. Past that would be too much IMO but to each his own. Then again it could just be the 25ohm resistance of my d7000's that let me get that much volume. But shouldn't low resistance get more hiss?

Playing from a pair of HD650, I can already hear hiss at -79dB(stand alone, no sound). I have mine currently dialed at -50dB and computer set at 20% via Toslink(which is equivalent to ~8% volume out of the Creative Titanium HD). Unfortunately, using e9 as the amp reveals that the hiss comes from the DAC portion of the receiver. Wether its faulty or not, I'm a bit dissapointed in the outcome.. I was really hoping for an upgrade from my SC frown.gif

 

Edit: Specs are nice, but I was kinda hoping the Signal/Noise would be above 100dB. I had assumed the 3490 shared components with the 3600.. Turns out that AVR uses the Cirrus CS 49700 (which, going off someone elses feedack, mentioned sounded very clean out of their D2k)


Edited by aleki - 8/16/12 at 1:18pm
post #30 of 54
Thread Starter 

That's really weird because I don't hear any more hiss than i did with the stx amp or the gilmore lite I used to own and this is at a higher volume.

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