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HE-500, LCD2, D5000, DT770, SR80, on a speaker amp (Emotiva mini-X A-100) Project - Page 72

post #1066 of 3639
Quote:
Originally Posted by DefQon View Post

The HD800's deserve better than driving off a speaker amp tap. They are one of the few cans that bitch about amplification so choosing the right weapon out of the arsenal is a difficult one.

 

 

I think you are being a bit unfair on the potential of a speaker amp with the HD800's.

There is no reason that if you can get it to work ( no hiss/noise) a complementary speaker amp could not sound excellent with the HD800's. The problem is getting it to work.

 

The HD800's sound truly excellent out of my Master-6 but the main reason for using a speaker amp for headphones is for the HE6's primarily but I like flexibility so if I was going to spend XPA1-L money it would need to work, or be made to work, well with more than one phone.

post #1067 of 3639
Quote:
Originally Posted by conquerator2 View Post

The Mini-X is really marvelous with the HE-6.

I mean yeah, there is certainly room for improvement

What needs to be improved?

post #1068 of 3639
Quote:
Originally Posted by Headphoner View Post

What needs to be improved?

 

Personally if I had to pick only one single thing that I'd like to be improved the most with Emotiva is transparency. It's very slightly blurry, but still noticeable. Definitely not at the level of O2 in terms of transparency. Although the Emotiva overall sounds much better than O2 for planars.

post #1069 of 3639
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post

 

Personally if I had to pick only one single thing that I'd like to be improved the most with Emotiva is transparency. It's very slightly blurry, but still noticeable. Definitely not at the level of O2 in terms of transparency. Although the Emotiva overall sounds much better than O2 for planars.

 

Interesting.  As I never heard the O2, I'm at a disadvantage of not being able to compare the two.  However, I think transparency one the the strong points of the amp.  IMO this also can point back to the DAC that's used.  You can tell just how transparent a amp is by comparing DACs on the same amp.  I've done this many of time.  The amp should give the headphones exactly what the DAC is giving the amp.

 

Most times the blurriness comes from the DAC.  This may sound bad.  However, the mark of a good amp will give you that same blurriness in return. 

post #1070 of 3639
Quote:
Originally Posted by nigeljames View Post


I think you are being a bit unfair on the potential of a speaker amp with the HD800's.
There is no reason that if you can get it to work ( no hiss/noise) a complementary speaker amp could not sound excellent with the HD800's. The problem is getting it to work.

The HD800's sound truly excellent out of my Master-6 but the main reason for using a speaker amp for headphones is for the HE6's primarily but I like flexibility so if I was going to spend XPA1-L money it would need to work, or be made to work, well with more than one phone.

I know this specifically because I've been there done that with the HD800's specifically and given some really cheap headamps synergising well with the HD800 like the M-Stage imo I don't see it being worthwhile wasting alot of $$ on a speaker amp for them and a pita to get them working properly as you said.

My first amp for them when I received back then was a pair of 100w/channel solid state class d monoblocks, then later on few sub $2.5k tube amps. Unless the amp is properly designed and engineered the HD800's can pick up a lot background noise, an emphasis to the whole fr spectrum of sounding extremely bright and lifeless. Also depending on if you're going to be using an old fashioned designed tube amp a simple impedence adaptor will not do any good as you will need a properly made dummy load box or resistors implemented inside between the taps and bypass to nearby chokes otherwise you will smoke the trafos on the amp and possibly damage the transducers on the headphones and believe me its happened before which is why I'm really skeptical of this whole process of using 100watt + integrated amps driving dynamic cans, orthos are a different story.
Edited by DefQon - 4/28/13 at 3:24pm
post #1071 of 3639
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

Interesting.  As I never heard the O2, I'm at a disadvantage of not being able to compare the two.  However, I think transparency one the the strong points of the amp.  IMO this also can point back to the DAC that's used.  You can tell just how transparent a amp is by comparing DACs on the same amp.  I've done this many of time.  The amp should give the headphones exactly what the DAC is giving the amp.

 

Most times the blurriness comes from the DAC.  This may sound bad.  However, the mark of a good amp will give you that same blurriness in return. 

 

I wil be testing that soon enough, with a Reference One DAC (that is 8x PCM1704UK)

As well as the C10 and the Phoenix

post #1072 of 3639
Quote:
Originally Posted by conquerator2 View Post

 

I wil be testing that soon enough, with a Reference One DAC (that is 8x PCM1704UK)

As well as the C10 and the Phoenix

 

Are all those Audio gd DACS?  If so you may run into a house sound where everything sounds the same.

post #1073 of 3639
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

Are all those Audio gd DACS?  If so you may run into a house sound where everything sounds the same.

C 10 is a power amp

Phoenix is a preamp/amp

Ref On is a DAC

 

All Audio GD

post #1074 of 3639
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

Interesting.  As I never heard the O2, I'm at a disadvantage of not being able to compare the two.  However, I think transparency one the the strong points of the amp.  IMO this also can point back to the DAC that's used.  You can tell just how transparent a amp is by comparing DACs on the same amp.  I've done this many of time.  The amp should give the headphones exactly what the DAC is giving the amp.

 

Most times the blurriness comes from the DAC.  This may sound bad.  However, the mark of a good amp will give you that same blurriness in return. 

 

I have a Fiio E10 and Marantz CD5004 for DAC's. Nothing top end yet, but at least the results I got were consistent for both amps. Even when I use E10 on both amps or Marantz with both amps, I can always tell the transparency there in the O2. I haven't heard vocals as clear and transparent on any other amp yet. For music, some people's opinion differs and I can see that (some people think the O2 is thin - I think it's just dead neutral - no added ingredients). Although from a movies perspective, the clear presentation is an absolute. Don't want to no tube thick sound for movies and gaming. I like it clean for that.

 

EDIT: In Emotiva's defense, I will say that even with Fiio E10 when paired with speakers, it's quite transparent. It just doesn't seem to converge when using headphones instead.


Edited by Zoom25 - 4/28/13 at 5:08pm
post #1075 of 3639

I have a question for all of you Emotiva owners. For the ones who have tried the amp with speakers, are the same qualities of the amp transfered to the headphones? (specifically HE-500's). I ask this because I am leaning towards this new TBI Millenia contender. which seems to have ''holographic imaging'' (sound stage is something very important to me) and I'm wondering if it's worth the extra money; If this holographic imaging should help the headphones as much ( or at least some) speakers.

 

Thanks

post #1076 of 3639
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drsparis View Post

I have a question for all of you Emotiva owners. For the ones who have tried the amp with speakers, are the same qualities of the amp transfered to the headphones? (specifically HE-500's). I ask this because I am leaning towards this new TBI Millenia contender. which seems to have ''holographic imaging'' (sound stage is something very important to me) and I'm wondering if it's worth the extra money; If this holographic imaging should help the headphones as much ( or at least some) speakers.

 

Thanks

 

The soundstage with Emotiva and my Precision Acoustic HD25 tower speakers is excellent for the money. Totally coherent and makes sense. No odd gaps anywhere. 

 

Now with HE-500, the Emotiva suppose in comparison to Fiio E10 or O2, the soundstage gets wider and the instrument separation is better. The imaging near the edges is the best I've heard - making it the best for Drum and Bass, Trap and other stuff where the percussion is heavily panned to the lefts and right. Now the one complaint I had with the HE-500 with Emotiva was that it didn't have the most coherent centerstage. It got kind of blurry a bit, especially judging by how well it was imaging near the sides. On the other hand with speakers, this never happened.

 

With LCD-2, in terms of soundstage, it's more 3D than HE-500, but all in all, not really a noticeable difference in soundstage in comparison to O2.

 

Also, Emotiva with headphones so far have lacked transparency for me. For example, I am using Fiio E10 as DAC or CD5004 for movies and songs with Emotiva. With speakers, it comes off quite clean. With Emotiva, it's slightly blurry. The reason why I noticed this was because I had the O2, which is definitely more transparent than Emotiva. It's more of a "what's not there" that you are interested in.

post #1077 of 3639
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post
 It's more of a "what's not there" that you are interested in.

 

I would think the opposite "what's is there" that you're interested in.  Maybe I missed your point..

 

Still haven't been able to hear the O2.  The Emo does a really good job at detailed resolution and being able to pick out those nasty artifacts on bad recordings and put a spotlight on them effortlessly.  Where other amps might mask that.  If the O2 is masking that by the "what's not there" and the Emo is putting the spotlight on it "what is there" To me that's the mark of transparency.  Crap in = Crap out.  

 

this will allow you to go back to your source - being it the recording, DAC, PC or whatever.  Again, I have not heard the O2, but the Emo. resolves deep into the music without being analytical, harsh or digital sounding.  Giving you back what you feed it.  

 

I've had the Magni, but I think I need to at least hear the O2.  While the Magni is fairly transparent.  I was able to pick out more bad artifacts on bad recording with the Emo when compared to the Magni.

post #1078 of 3639

Hi, Being new to this hobby I have some basic questions - appreciate your patience. Sorry if these questions are too simple.

 

 

 

1) I am using a Grace Design m903. In what way (s) can I use this unit if I want to use a speaker amp for the Hifiman HE 500/6? Do I get a power amp and use the Grace as a preamp? If so do I use the speaker terminals of the power amp. to connect to my headphone? What about a DAC, is that necessary or will the GD function as a DAC too?

 

 

2) If I get an Emotiva amp (mini) do I still need to use a separate DAC? If not then can I still use a separate DAC if I want to?

 


Thanks.

post #1079 of 3639
Quote:
Originally Posted by tigerkg13 View Post

Hi, Being new to this hobby I have some basic questions - appreciate your patience. Sorry if these questions are too simple.

 

 

 

1) I am using a Grace Design m903. In what way (s) can I use this unit if I want to use a speaker amp for the Hifiman HE 500/6? Do I get a power amp and use the Grace as a preamp? If so do I use the speaker terminals of the power amp. to connect to my headphone? What about a DAC, is that necessary or will the GD function as a DAC too?

 

 

2) If I get an Emotiva amp (mini) do I still need to use a separate DAC? If not then can I still use a separate DAC if I want to?

 


Thanks.

 

 

The Grace m903 gives you a few options.

 

1)  You can use the m903 as an all in one solution.  DAC\pre amp, volume control\Headphone amp.  I would not recommend it for the HE-6 though.  

 

2)  You can use the m903 as a dedicated DAC to the a-100 mini.  The mini already has a volume control - so i recommend using the volume control on the Emo.

 

3)  You can use the m903 as a DAC and pre amp, volume control with a power amp that does not have volume control.

 

Very good product that Grace m903 is

post #1080 of 3639
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

I would think the opposite "what's is there" that you're interested in.  Maybe I missed your point..

 

Still haven't been able to hear the O2.  The Emo does a really good job at detailed resolution and being able to pick out those nasty artifacts on bad recordings and put a spotlight on them effortlessly.  Where other amps might mask that.  If the O2 is masking that by the "what's not there" and the Emo is putting the spotlight on it "what is there" To me that's the mark of transparency.  Crap in = Crap out.  

 

this will allow you to go back to your source - being it the recording, DAC, PC or whatever.  Again, I have not heard the O2, but the Emo. resolves deep into the music without being analytical, harsh or digital sounding.  Giving you back what you feed it.  

 

I've had the Magni, but I think I need to at least hear the O2.  While the Magni is fairly transparent.  I was able to pick out more bad artifacts on bad recording with the Emo when compared to the Magni.

 

Lol yea kinda missed my point. I should've been more explicit. Of course as you said, one should always look for details and precision...and yes you do get that with the Emotiva to a limit. You also get those details, even more so with the O2 IMO. In fact, O2 is the one amp that can make good recordings seem great and bad records like crap. Not only is the O2 more detailed than Emotiva, it is also less forgiving. This is one of the reasons that makes the Emotiva enjoyable - it works with all types of recording.

 

The comment I made about looking for "what isn't there" wasn't about micro details not being present, but rather about having material at a particular moment, that shouldn't be there. If at a particular moment in the recording, there is a gap for a specific channel strip for an instrument, you're suppose to hear nothing technically during that point - it's supposed to be silent. Although in real life practicality, this never happens completely - this linearity (phase + amplitude) concept is only a theory. With amps differing on design, you'll run into some amps that are quite coherent and more linear in their presentation. The O2 in comparison to Emotiva is more linear based on my experience. It goes when it needs to and stops when it needs to.

 

The Emotiva doesn't seem to have the full control that the O2 has, especially noticeable is some complex passages. So the phase is a bit off and creates this smearing effect - kind of like a blur. Of course, one will not notice this problem until they have tried something that does that aspect better. This is both tuned psychoacoustically and just psychologically.

 

For example, back in the day when I was running headphones out of laptop jacks and then went to E10 one day, it sounded much cleaner with more controlled bass and treble, but also with more precise breaks. The breaks and silence that were programmed in the tracks came out much better and so this made it much easier for me to pay attention to tracks and less fatiguing - because other wise my brain before was always working on correcting those phase issues and caused a bit of fatigue overtime. 

 

While upgrading equipment, you can usually notice and predict over time suppose how bass might change or how the mids get better etc. Although the proper implementation of the silences and breaks is something that you really can't predict, until you hear for yourself, or rather "not hear for yourself"biggrin.gif

 

 

So with the Emotiva I noticed off the bat, that the breaks and transients were slightly sloppier and the overall transparency had gone down. 5 months later with the Emotiva and 9 months with the O2, I think I would still agree with my initial impressions that O2 was more transparent.

 

I hope this made more sense. 

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