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Looking for a powerful speaker amp for Piezoelectric headphones

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I recently bought a pair of Pioneer SE-500s, a power-hungry piezoelectric beast. Nothing I have has anywhere close to the output power needed to drive these things properly. I need a good speaker amp that will put out enough power for these headphones. They're most likely equally or harder to drive than a TakeT H2+.

 

Any suggestions? I'm trying not to spend too much.

post #2 of 13

What have you tried it with?

Even the cheap $20 TA2020 has decent sound if you want to try that. I feel like a decent headamp should provide enough power though.

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

I've tried driving it directly from the speaker terminals on my sub woofer and they were very quiet. These things are well over 20,000 ohms; I need LOTS of power.

post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by takato14 View Post

I've tried driving it directly from the speaker terminals on my sub woofer and they were very quiet. These things are well over 20,000 ohms; I need LOTS of power.

 

You mean you hooked it up to a miltimedia amp on a PC speaker set subwoofer? Or you hooked up an integrated amp into the crossover input of a subwoofer? If it's the latter hook it up directly to the speaker terminals, the crossover isn't designed for 20,000ohms. The amp isn't either but the crossover is likely to have worse effects.

 

If that doesn't work, try a Behringer A500.

post #5 of 13

Considering their impedance and low sensitivity, perhaps a step up transformer may help. A pair of vacuum tube output transformers with the Pioneers connected to the "primary" winding seems like it would work for you. Good luck!

 

Ciao!

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post

 

You mean you hooked it up to a miltimedia amp on a PC speaker set subwoofer? Or you hooked up an integrated amp into the crossover input of a subwoofer? If it's the latter hook it up directly to the speaker terminals, the crossover isn't designed for 20,000ohms. The amp isn't either but the crossover is likely to have worse effects.

 

If that doesn't work, try a Behringer A500.

The first is what I did. I hooked it up directly to the speaker terminals. My subwoofer IS the amp in this case, the other speakers attach TO it and the volume control and VU meter are on it. Not only was it quiet and distorty at max volume but all of the bass is removed from the speaker taps and sent to the woofer via a fixed internal EQ. 

 

I also have an old stereo receiver which gave much better results but still distorts like crazy at the volume I want from these cans. I'll start saving up for the Behringer and see if it works.

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

Nevermind, did some research and apparently Behringer is known for how crappy their equipment is. Any others?

post #8 of 13

I wasn't aware subwoofers actually amplify their output. Does yours power standard passive speakers?

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by tzjin View Post

I wasn't aware subwoofers actually amplify their output. Does yours power standard passive speakers?

 

He was using a multimedia amplifier mounted on a subwoofer, like the sort on most computer 2/5/7.1 speaker sets.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by takato14 View Post

The first is what I did. I hooked it up directly to the speaker terminals. My subwoofer IS the amp in this case, the other speakers attach TO it and the volume control and VU meter are on it. Not only was it quiet and distorty at max volume but all of the bass is removed from the speaker taps and sent to the woofer via a fixed internal EQ. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by takato14 View Post

Nevermind, did some research and apparently Behringer is known for how crappy their equipment is. Any others?

 

I dunno, last I read it was value for money, but then maybe that's before the products started crapping out? You could try a brick-n'-mortar pro audio store and hook up the headphones there. There's also Audiosource for affordable pro/Hi-Fi class A/B amps.

 

I won't bet on Class D amps though, AFAIK some of them supposedly distort at impedances below or, as in your case, too far above their rated range. 

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post

 

He was using a multimedia amplifier mounted on a subwoofer, like the sort on most computer 2/5/7.1 speaker sets.

 

 

 

 

I dunno, last I read it was value for money, but then maybe that's before the products started crapping out? You could try a brick-n'-mortar pro audio store and hook up the headphones there. There's also Audiosource for affordable pro/Hi-Fi class A/B amps.

 

I won't bet on Class D amps though, AFAIK some of them supposedly distort at impedances below or, as in your case, too far above their rated range. 

Hm, what about Class-T amps? They're exceedingly inexpensive, and I just don't know if the SE-500's sound is worth dropping a large sum of money on.


Edited by takato14 - 8/23/12 at 10:26pm
post #11 of 13

Piezo's aren't known for their sound quality. Namely, they're notorious for a lack of bass. A $20 amp is probably worth it to make your collector's item functional though.

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by takato14 View Post

Hm, what about Class-T amps? They're exceedingly inexpensive, and I just don't know if the SE-500's sound is worth dropping a large sum of money on.

 

Actually I meant the same thing - Class T is more like a brand term than a technical one, mostly referring to fullrange Class D amplifiers. If anything is technical about it, it's to distinguish it from the traditional Class D design which had too much distortion in frequencies above the bass range, thus they were initially used for subwoofers for home systems and cars.

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tzjin View Post

Piezo's aren't known for their sound quality. Namely, they're notorious for a lack of bass. A $20 amp is probably worth it to make your collector's item functional though.

I did mod these from open-back to closed with a little bit of blue tack and electrical tape. Brought the bass up considerably. They have a mostly neutral tonality now, though the bass and treble roll off a bit. Might see if Tyll will measure them for me, if he even has anything that can drive them >___>

 

And, actually, the higher-end SE-700 is supposedly a great headphone, though much rarer... and need I mention the TakeT H2+?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post

 

Actually I meant the same thing - Class T is more like a brand term than a technical one, mostly referring to fullrange Class D amplifiers. If anything is technical about it, it's to distinguish it from the traditional Class D design which had too much distortion in frequencies above the bass range, thus they were initially used for subwoofers for home systems and cars.

I figured as much, Class T didn't sound like it made much sense. However, I will order a high-wattage Class T to see if it can do anything for the SE-500s, if not I'll return it. 


Edited by takato14 - 8/24/12 at 11:05am
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