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HE-500, LCD2, D5000, DT770, SR80, on a speaker amp (Emotiva mini-X A-100) Project - Page 85

post #1261 of 3613
Quote:
Originally Posted by TTNK View Post

I just got the emotiva based on what was said about it being an improvement over the magni. Now, I have an audiosource amp 100, but my magni, while had a smaller soundstage and a bit less bass on my HE 5 LE, overall was more detailed than the audiosource. Hearing that the emotiva had better clarity had me courios and the recent sale got me a new emotiva. Some people said upgrading to the emotiva would be a sidegrade. Not so. It is leaps and bounds better than the magni (maybe this shouldn't be a surprise...) and soo much better than the audiosource amp 100. The magni already had the audiosource beat not on power obviously, but on detail. This is with an HE 5 LE using the HE adapter, and a Dacport LX as source with JRiver w/ WASAPI.

Nice! I am loving the HE-5LE on the Emotiva as well! So much so, I am likely going to sell the HD650 in favor of this setup.

 

And I also have heard the HE-5LE on a friend's Magni, and then on the Emotiva. My impressions agree with yours - it's a substantial improvement. The difference between my NFB-15.1 and the Emotiva is less substantial than the Magni was (NFB-15.1 giving the HE-5LE ~2.5x the power of the Magni after all), but it's still a noticeable improvement.

 

Edit: I'll add, I actually think I prefer the HE-5LE over the HE-6. At least on this setup - and since I won't be able to upgrade any time soon, I'm happy to stick with the HE-5LE. On my setup, it's a little warmer & smoother than the HE-6, with more up-front vocals (which I love).


Edited by Biscuitz - 6/14/13 at 8:08pm
post #1262 of 3613
Quote:
Originally Posted by TTNK View Post

I just got the emotiva based on what was said about it being an improvement over the magni.

 

[snip]

 

...  and a Dacport LX as source with JRiver w/ WASAPI.

 

Yeah boyee!   
post #1263 of 3613

Hi,

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anda View Post

I am using a Music Hall a25.2 with HE-500 and an Audio-Gd NFB-17 DAC.

 

The DAC has a relatively high output (2.5V) so I am only able to use 16 out of 80 steps on the volume control. I would like a little more range on the knob for fine tuning. I have been thinking of getting an inline RCA attenuator, but I'm not sure which is the best solution. What do you think?

1. Attenuator between DAC and amplifier, and plug HE-500 directly into amp.

2. DAC directly into amp, and attenuate between amp and headphone (with resistor I guess).

 

Thanks!

 

I personally like the idea of going with option 2.  

 

I'm using 6 dB Harrison Attenuators to reduce (by 50%) the output of my DACmini CX into a Decware ZSTAGE (single-tube triode gain stage) that sits upstream from my Soloist.  

 

(I'm using the ZSTAGE to warm the Beyerdynamic T1, as explained in this post.)

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Harrison-Labs-Line-Level-Attenuator/dp/B0006N41AG

 

Put them at the downstream end of your RCA interconnect cable, to keep the voltage high while going through the cable, attenuating right as it goes into the amp.

 

I've found them to be colorless, noise-free, and well-matched.  They're quite transparent except for attenuation, of course.  

 

Mike

post #1264 of 3613

Has anyone tried the HE-400 on the Emotiva? I know they're super efficient, but just wondering if the Emotiva can bring out even better qualities from them.

post #1265 of 3613

yes, I used my HE-400 on the emotiva when I had them. 

 

I heard a noticeable improvement all around. 

post #1266 of 3613

Does anyone use Mad Dogs with the Emotiva a-100?  Would like to hear some impressions on the pairing.

 

I'm going to make this my bedroom rig.  Pretty cheap amp and I'm thinking about the John Kenny Ciunas DAC.

post #1267 of 3613

I seem to recall Mal testing the MD at the same time as the HE-400 with similar favorable results, not sure what rev he has though.

post #1268 of 3613
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

Yeah, their cables are an extremely good value.

Speaking of impulse purchases... I also ordered the Mini-X A-100...

Finally, I'll be able to hear what everyone's talking about.

biggrin.gif

Mike

I've had the Mini-X for two days and want to defer my in-depth assessments for later, but my initial impression is that the amp is not neutral. It's got recessed mids or, if you prefer, elevated bass and treble - the classic "smile" curve that's generally OK when the goal is to increase the fun-factor with typical loudspeakers, but not necessarily a good thing with most headphones.

Again, my impressions here might be premature and I don't know if this amp changes with burn-in, but after listening to it with my very neutral DACmini CX as a USB DAC, with just about everything I own in the way of transducers, including LCD-2, T1, K550, HD280 Pro, ATH-M50, as well as a pair of Definitive Tecnhnology StudioMonitor 45 two-way bookshelf speakers, which are highly praised by Chris Martens of Absolute Sound and are known to have a very balanced, accurate, lack of coloration - almost to the point of having no personality, much like the T1...

... I'm currently concluding that the Mini-X, in and of itself, has a signature that's like a gentler verizon of my friend's Ultrasone Pro 900 on a neutral source and amp - which are exceedingly heavy in the bass and sibilant in the treble - a big "smile" curve. The Mini-X is no where near as dramatic in this regard as the Ultrasone Pro 900, but what I'm hearing is in that direction.

Back in January, Head-Fi member Steppenout had posted that he'd purchased a Mini-X and expressed his distaste for sibilance as he requested recommendations for orthos to go with it. Some people recommended the LCD-2, but I've not seen any follow-up posts from him on the subject.

For my tastes, the LCD-2 coloration is perfect with a neutral source and amp, and I actually prefer my LCD-2 on my DACmini CX amp, which has the less "musical" more neutral, 1-Ohm output impedance mod, to using the LCD-2 with my Burson Soloist. (I've proclaimed my LCD-2 preference for the DACmini CX amp over the Soloist in several threads.). Barring changes that may come with further burn-in, with the LCD-2, the Mini-X is too energetic in the bass and treble for my tastes. I can live with the bass coloration - it's fun - but not with the excessive treble energy, which, with more recordings than not, is just too harsh and sibilant for my tastes. The LCD-2 has a nasty spike in the lower part of the treble region that's just exacerbated by the Mini-X. And going by what others have said, I would likely find the treble even less appealing with HiFiMan orthos.

With the T1, the Mini-X treble is almost unbearable for my tastes, but the bass is freaking wonderful. The LCD-2 is still a better match for the Mini-X than the T1 - again, for my tastes.

And for both headphones, there's no denying that the mini-X brings very appealing transparency, extension, speed and dynamics that demand my appreciation.

With the Definitive Tecnhnology StudioMonitor 45s, the experience is similar to the T1 - terrific bass in every aspect, but unsavory highs. (Note that the T1 is worse, however - and is often accused of being too bright with neutral source and amp combos.)

In short, I'm developing a love-hate relationship with the Mini-X.

Mike
post #1269 of 3613

I should be getting mine in an hour or so.

post #1270 of 3613
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post


I've had the Mini-X for two days and want to defer my in-depth assessments for later, but my initial impression is that the amp is not neutral. It's got recessed mids or, if you prefer, elevated bass and treble - the classic "smile" curve that's generally OK when the goal is to increase the fun-factor with typical loudspeakers, but not necessarily a good thing with most headphones.

Again, my impressions here might be premature and I don't know if this amp changes with burn-in, but after listening to it with my very neutral DACmini CX as a USB DAC, with just about everything I own in the way of transducers, including LCD-2, T1, K550, HD280 Pro, ATH-M50, as well as a pair of Definitive Tecnhnology StudioMonitor 45 two-way bookshelf speakers, which are highly praised by Chris Martens of Absolute Sound and are known to have a very balanced, accurate, lack of coloration - almost to the point of having no personality, much like the T1...

... I'm currently concluding that the Mini-X, in and of itself, has a signature that's like a gentler verizon of my friend's Ultrasone Pro 900 on a neutral source and amp - which are exceedingly heavy in the bass and sibilant in the treble - a big "smile" curve. The Mini-X is no where near as dramatic in this regard as the Ultrasone Pro 900, but what I'm hearing is in that direction.

Back in January, Head-Fi member Steppenout had posted that he'd purchased a Mini-X and expressed his distaste for sibilance as he requested recommendations for orthos to go with it. Some people recommended the LCD-2, but I've not seen any follow-up posts from him on the subject.

For my tastes, the LCD-2 coloration is perfect with a neutral source and amp, and I actually prefer my LCD-2 on my DACmini CX amp, which has the less "musical" more neutral, 1-Ohm output impedance mod, to using the LCD-2 with my Burson Soloist. (I've proclaimed my LCD-2 preference for the DACmini CX amp over the Soloist in several threads.). Barring changes that may come with further burn-in, with the LCD-2, the Mini-X is too energetic in the bass and treble for my tastes. I can live with the bass coloration - it's fun - but not with the excessive treble energy, which, with more recordings than not, is just too harsh and sibilant for my tastes. The LCD-2 has a nasty spike in the lower part of the treble region that's just exacerbated by the Mini-X. And going by what others have said, I would likely find the treble even less appealing with HiFiMan orthos.

With the T1, the Mini-X treble is almost unbearable for my tastes, but the bass is freaking wonderful. The LCD-2 is still a better match for the Mini-X than the T1 - again, for my tastes.

And for both headphones, there's no denying that the mini-X brings very appealing transparency, extension, speed and dynamics that demand my appreciation.

With the Definitive Tecnhnology StudioMonitor 45s, the experience is similar to the T1 - terrific bass in every aspect, but unsavory highs. (Note that the T1 is worse, however - and is often accused of being too bright with neutral source and amp combos.)

In short, I'm developing a love-hate relationship with the Mini-X.

Mike

 

I'm picking up another A-100 for modding purposes! I don't think many people suggested this amp was neutral. The first review of the unit I posted (I was the first purchaser) said that it at the least added a bit of a bass kick, although I due contribute this to some extent to the extra current running to orthodynamic drivers. As for the T1, well if you don't like sibilance, that headphone may not be your cup of tea tongue.gif. I had a love hate relationship with my T1s, and eventually sold them. If it was late at night and they were they only headphone I would listen to I enjoyed them. (my ears are sensitive in the mornings). But I was switching from my HE-500 or Mad Dogs, they just sounding painfully bright. I would love to find an amp that complimented that headphone. There were some really good qualities about it. 

post #1271 of 3613
Quote:
Originally Posted by Limniscate View Post

I should be getting mine in an hour or so.

Out for delivery last I checked cool.gif

post #1272 of 3613
Quote:
Originally Posted by modulor View Post

Out for delivery last I checked cool.gif

USPS usually delivers between 3 and 4 CST. ;)

post #1273 of 3613

Just got my second a-100 in today.  Haven't hooked it up yet, but I will let it play over the weekend.  Don't know about yours - but mine is brand new.  Thant means brand new caps, diodes, resisters TX the hole nine.  They need breaking in.  Got it this time for the bed room and to pair with the Mad Dogs..

 

I never heard any hot treble with this amp unless it was in the recording.  I've always found this amp to be pretty true - with an added punch in the bass.  I always found the mids to be clean - not forward and not recessed, just there, just where I wanted them.  

 

We all have different ears.  I mainly used mines with "POWER HUNGRY" headphones.  HE-6, HE-5LE, HE-4 and the Mad Dogs.  All other headphones the amp is just to much for IMO.  HE-500, LCDs, T1, Q701s - Just all the other headphones I tried I preferred them on other headphone amps.  When the amp is pushed is when it really sounds it's best.  Although it's best is still not great.  Just pretty good.  

 

Yeah - but I'm going to let all the caps and things get pretty warmed up.  I'll take it for another round with what I have now.  

 

My B22 is not neutral at all.  I would call it south of neutral,  yet the B22 is the best amp I have to pair with the T1s.  The GS-X mkII is dead to nuts neutral - yet IMO the T1s still sound better on the B22.  

 

Yes the a-100 has a lot of energy - that's a good description and one that I would agree with 100%  One would think it would make the HE-6, HE-5LE, HE-4 and the Mad Dogs listenable.  To my ears on these headphones the treble is more tamed than anything else.  It just extends very nicely.

 

Take a look on the Emotiva community form - They have an a-100 thread there - the users there use it with speakers mainly - but there impressions are mostly that the amp is a somewhat neutral amp.  

 

If the headphone can't make the amp work then you may get hot treble.  

 

Time to burn in..

post #1274 of 3613

Now, I know very little about speaker amps, or amp technology in general. But I know from experience that the same headphone model can often sound different due to unit variation. I've experienced this with Grados especially. I wonder if the same thing can happen with speaker amps, for instance the a-100? I'm just a little surprised by zilch0md's findings. And I know Preproman saying the T1's treble was very smooth on his a-100, which sounds in stark contrast to zilch0md's findings. I guess other factors could be at play...maybe his T1 was smoother.

post #1275 of 3613
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

Just got my second a-100 in today.  Haven't hooked it up yet, but I will let it play over the weekend.  Don't know about yours - but mine is brand new.  Thant means brand new caps, diodes, resisters TX the hole nine.  They need breaking in.  Got it this time for the bed room and to pair with the Mad Dogs..

 

I never heard any hot treble with this amp unless it was in the recording.  I've always found this amp to be pretty true - with an added punch in the bass.  I always found the mids to be clean - not forward and not recessed, just there, just where I wanted them.  

 

We all have different ears.  I mainly used mines with "POWER HUNGRY" headphones.  HE-6, HE-5LE, HE-4 and the Mad Dogs.  All other headphones the amp is just to much for IMO.  HE-500, LCDs, T1, Q701s - Just all the other headphones I tried I preferred them on other headphone amps.  When the amp is pushed is when it really sounds it's best.  Although it's best is still not great.  Just pretty good.  

 

Yeah - but I'm going to let all the caps and things get pretty warmed up.  I'll take it for another round with what I have now.  

 

My B22 is not neutral at all.  I would call it south of neutral,  yet the B22 is the best amp I have to pair with the T1s.  The GS-X mkII is dead to nuts neutral - yet IMO the T1s still sound better on the B22.  

 

Yes the a-100 has a lot of energy - that's a good description and one that I would agree with 100%  One would think it would make the HE-6, HE-5LE, HE-4 and the Mad Dogs listenable.  To my ears on these headphones the treble is more tamed than anything else.  It just extends very nicely.

 

Take a look on the Emotiva community form - They have an a-100 thread there - the users there use it with speakers mainly - but there impressions are mostly that the amp is a somewhat neutral amp.  

 

If the headphone can't make the amp work then you may get hot treble.  

 

Time to burn in..

So you don't like the Emotiva with the HE500? 

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