Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Onkyo A-5VL - A game changer
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Onkyo A-5VL - A game changer - Page 3

post #31 of 65

Do you (or any other a-5VL users out there) notice an issue in regard to noisy transformers?  I had an A-5VL, but returned it because I could hear transformer noise (external, not in the line/headphones/speakers) when the music would get lower in level.  I could even hear it in the background, with my headphones on. Again, I am not talking about line noise--such as a ground loop hum.  This is noise coming directly from the transformers, and mine was obvious.  I ask because I very much liked the A-5VL's build quality and design.  I am tempted to buy another and try some serious vibration control/isolation.  I want to avoid being disappointed, though.  A number of reviewers on Amazon have identified this issue.


Edited by gtortorella - 2/7/13 at 8:38am
post #32 of 65

I don't hear any with mine, though I've read all the complaints about it. Is there a surefire way to test it?

post #33 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gtortorella View Post

Do you (or any other a-5VL users out there) notice an issue in regard to noisy transformers?  I had an A-5VL, but returned it because I could hear transformer noise (external, not in the line/headphones/speakers) when the music would get lower in level.  I could even hear it in the background, with my headphones on. Again, I am not talking about line noise--such as a ground loop hum.  This is noise coming directly from the transformers, and mine was obvious.  I ask because I very much liked the A-5VL's build quality and design.  I am tempted to buy another and try some serious vibration control/isolation.  I want to avoid being disappointed, though.  A number of reviewers on Amazon have identified this issue.

 

Nope, no noise whatsoever.

post #34 of 65

Thanks very much, folks.  I very much appreciate the feedback.

 

In terms of testing, all I needed to do was put my ear within a foot or two of the amp.  I could hear it even from eight or so feet away, too.  It is a hum/buzz type of sound.  I could even hear it--when the music got quieter--with my headphones on.  

 

I welcome any more feedback, as I am itching to try another A-5VL, as I gather mine could have been defective.  What made me believe otherwise, though, is that others on Amazon had reported this issue.

post #35 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by gtortorella View Post

Thanks very much, folks.  I very much appreciate the feedback.

 

In terms of testing, all I needed to do was put my ear within a foot or two of the amp.  I could hear it even from eight or so feet away, too.  It is a hum/buzz type of sound.  I could even hear it--when the music got quieter--with my headphones on.  

 

I welcome any more feedback, as I am itching to try another A-5VL, as I gather mine could have been defective.  What made me believe otherwise, though, is that others on Amazon had reported this issue.

 

I'm sitting very close to mine and can't hear a beep from it. Using the EU version.

post #36 of 65

Wow, maarek99, this shocks me, as I could easily hear mine hum.  Perhaps I did get a defective unit...or perhaps the EU version is somehow different?  I cannot see why it would be different.


Edited by gtortorella - 2/7/13 at 11:36am
post #37 of 65

I just called Onkyo to inquire about the unit's operational characteristics and reliability. The Onkyo representative stated that they have never had a complaint on the A-5VL integrated. He said I should try another unit. Hmm...

post #38 of 65

Well, I just took the plunge...again.  I hope this, my second, A-5VL is quieter.  I will provide comments.

post #39 of 65

I just stick my ear on to the chassis. Couldn't hear anything. Completely silent. So fingers crossed man!

post #40 of 65

Thanks for the input...

 

I have said some prayers. We will see how it goes...

post #41 of 65

I have this amp and I think it's a real gem, great dac, good phono stage, the headphone stage is 95% of my dedicated headphone amp that costs about the same as the A5VL. It also drives my bookshelf speakers wonderfully, couldn't be happier with it.
 

post #42 of 65

Hi, all.

 

I joined this forum specifically to ask a question about this product.  Please pardon my ignorance.

 

I currently live in an apartment setting and my love is high quality FM tuners.  I am looking for the

best bang for the buck headphone amplifier for late night FM bliss from our local classical station.

 

At first I was looking at headphone amplifier only.  When I was in college I owned a Kenwood KA-9100

dual mono beast with a headphone output, and the sound was clear, detailed, fast, and very transparent,

to the point poorly recorded material sounded very bad and a good station sounded terrific.  I wound up

selling the unit a few years later due to a weak channel. 

 

Thinking back to this, I wondered if the audio quality off the headphone output in a discrete, no opamp

vintage integrated amplifier would be sonically superior to that of a "modern" opamp or tube based dedicated

headphone amplifier.  The other plus being that with patience I could score a recapped vintage integrated

with the "bonus" that when my finances allow for a more private dwelling situation, I would have the ability

to once again use speakers.

 

From studying this thread and a few others, it seems that many integrated amplifiers, especially the vintage

Kenwoods, do indeed run their headphone sockets directly off the main part of the amplifier.  Again, I apologize

for lacking the finer vocabulary in this hobby.

 

While staying up late reading headphone reviews, I found a reference to this amplifier, and read this thread. 

With apologies for the background information, here are my questions:

 

1)  Is the consensus that the headphone section on this amplifier would exceed that as compared to a dual mono

vintage Kenwood?    This design does indeed have two transformers.  I think it was stated one per channel. 

 

This is important to me, as I have found the dual mono to provide superior power and isolation between channels.

 

2)  Or, do you think for the same money a vintage, perhaps recapped/refurbished integrated would provide a superior headphone output?

 

3)  My primary concern is that with aging equipment, something else could go wrong, there are many pots and switches in need of cleaning, etc.  With the exception of the transformer hum some have been reporting, these (admittedly potential) issues would hopefully not be present in a modern product.  I am intrigued the the OP sold off the Belari HA540 which gets many respected reviews in favor of this integrated amplifier. 

 

Thank you for your time, especially the OP.

 

:-)


Edited by LEDAdd1ct - 11/20/13 at 2:51am
post #43 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by LEDAdd1ct View Post
 

Hi, all.

 

I joined this forum specifically to ask a question about this product.  Please pardon my ignorance.

 

I currently live in an apartment setting and my love is high quality FM tuners.  I am looking for the

best bang for the buck headphone amplifier for late night FM bliss from our local classical station.

 

At first I was looking at headphone amplifier only.  When I was in college I owned a Kenwood KA-9100

dual mono beast with a headphone output, and the sound was clear, detailed, fast, and very transparent,

to the point poorly recorded material sounded very bad and a good station sounded terrific.  I wound up

selling the unit a few years later due to a weak channel. 

 

Thinking back to this, I wondered if the audio quality off the headphone output in a discrete, no opamp

vintage integrated amplifier would be sonically superior to that of a "modern" opamp or tube based dedicated

headphone amplifier.  The other plus being that with patience I could score a recapped vintage integrated

with the "bonus" that when my finances allow for a more private dwelling situation, I would have the ability

to once again use speakers.

 

From studying this thread and a few others, it seems that many integrated amplifiers, especially the vintage

Kenwoods, do indeed run their headphone sockets directly off the main part of the amplifier.  Again, I apologize

for lacking the finer vocabulary in this hobby.

 

While staying up late reading headphone reviews, I found a reference to this amplifier, and read this thread. 

With apologies for the background information, here are my questions:

 

1)  Is the consensus that the headphone section on this amplifier would exceed that as compared to a dual mono

vintage Kenwood?    This design does indeed have two transformers.  I think it was stated one per channel. 

 

This is important to me, as I have found the dual mono to provide superior power and isolation between channels.

 

2)  Or, do you think for the same money a vintage, perhaps recapped/refurbished integrated would provide a superior headphone output?

 

3)  My primary concern is that with aging equipment, something else could go wrong, there are many pots and switches in need of cleaning, etc.  With the exception of the transformer hum some have been reporting, these (admittedly potential) issues would hopefully not be present in a modern product.  I am intrigued the the OP sold off the Belari HA540 which gets many respected reviews in favor of this integrated amplifier. 

 

Thank you for your time, especially the OP.

 

:-)

Let me see if I can offer some opinion.

 

1.  This question makes no sense to me, what are you comparing?  The Kenwood 9100 to "that"??????

 

2.  Again a little confusing Kenwood 9100 vs "any" vintage that has been updated?  If so, it depends, I do not think that the Dual Mono design per se will be superior to another type design.

 

I have experience with top of the line vintage Yamaha preamp with supposedly great headphone out, HK Dual transformer designed receiver, and a few Kenwood receivers.  All had direct taps off the speaker outs for headphone jack, except the Yammy pre.  And all were decent sounding yet if you compared them to a good headphone amp or modern integrated that has a strong headphone jack I think you would be disappointed.

 

Yes, the vintage pieces do sound impressive, warm, powerful especially with the volume knob low, but not compared to a good headphone amp, in my experience.  And you bring up good points.  30-40 year old caps that are drying out, dirty pots, low quality pots and any number of circuit board components that could go make the vintage route a non starter for me.  Unless you get one that has been professionally refurbished, and I don't mean just cleaned.  But then you are going to be paying $500 -$700 for a nicely refurbished piece.  At that price, I would be looking at new tube integrateds with great headphone outs, tube headphone amps or a great solid state headphone amps like the Violectric.

 

Which way to head might be best determined by source, file types, and preferred headphones.   

post #44 of 65

Congratulations to the OP, great find!!!

 

That looks like an outstanding product. It looks great, offers excellent flexibility and a price that makes rational sense. If you want the other side of the coin have a look at this:

 

Meridian prime headphone amplifier : https://www.meridian-audio.com/en/collections/products/prime-headphone-amplifier/41/

 

Little flexibility, a wall wart (a kings ransom will buy you a proper power supply) and a ridiculous price. The looks? I won't even go there, decide for yourself.

post #45 of 65

I just ordered this on Amazon to see how it would fare with my HD 650.  I'll post up brief impressions when I get the unit in a couple weeks.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphone Amps (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Onkyo A-5VL - A game changer