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HE-500, LCD2, D5000, DT770, SR80, on a speaker amp (Emotiva mini-X A-100) Project - Page 155

post #2311 of 3792
Quote:
Originally Posted by robrob View Post
 

 

With all the computer RFI many of us have to deal with I disagree with, "Most people would not see a difference," statement. Interference noise is much more important than cable "fidelity." People buy unbelievably expensive balanced cables for superior sound quality then connect them to single ended sources and end up with absolutely no noise protection. Single ended interconnects and headphone cables should always be shielded for RFI protection.

 

A screw on Speakon to 4 banana plug adapter can fry a balanced amp if a TRS plug is connected to it. I know this doesn't apply to the Mini-X though.

 

XLR connectors are interlocking too.

 

The no solder point is valid.

 

Rob

 

The Hifiman cable itself isn't shielded though, right?. I thought it was just L+,L-,R+,R-? After connecting via the Speakon, you could use SPC, OFC, whatever wire available and send it to 4 banana plugs, with minimal to no change in RFI compared to the Hifiman cable directly to a headphone out.

 

Balanced is where I get a little confused. For the Hifiman, wouldn't you be able to cut one end off a 4-pin XLR cable, and attach the bare wire into the applicable L+, L-, R+, R- on the speakon?

 

Since RFI is more of a high impedance issue, shouldn't 38ohm be less of an issue? I send a balanced connection to my subs from my MiniDSP over 30 ft via CL2 4 wire speaker cable, with no RFI issues whatsoever (4ohm and high power though).

 

I see it more as a budget way to connect. $250 cables are absurd, and I'll suffer some RFI to save $200+. To me, Speakon is the normal way to go over amped lines. Save the XLR for line level. I'm more of a home theater guy though, and the headphone world is somewhat new to me. I also think dual 3 pin is absurd.


Edited by bhazard - 11/8/13 at 12:32pm
post #2312 of 3792

Hey all,

 

Let me say up front that I don't consider myself an educated reviewer so FWIW I'm just expressing satisfaction with my results and gratitude for all your opinions.

 

Based on this thread, I've replaced my Schiit Magni with the Emotiva mini-X a-100. I'm very happy with the amp and for me, it's a SIGNIFICANT improvement over the Magni. The source is JRiver (FLAC) into the Schiit Modi. Headphones are Mad Dog 3.0. (Probably will upgrade to Alpha Dogs next year).

 

While I was figuring out the speaker tap connection, I went ahead and cabled up for a switch so that I could use the Emotiva volume control for either my headphones or my desktop speakers (AudioEngine A2; volume set at about 30%). Here's the rig I came up with:

 

Starting from the Emotiva, I have two of these on the Emotiva speaker taps. Plugged into those is one of these, which then feeds into a Niles AXP-1. Coming out of the AXP-1 and feeding the AudioEngine A2's is a monoprice RCA cable. The headphone connection to the AXP-1 is made up of this and then one of these.

 

It's all working great! Emotiva is dead quiet at 100% volume with the source stopped.

 

Along with the Alpha Dogs upgrade, I'm going to be shopping for a new DAC. I'm happy with the Modi, but I might be willing to upgrade at some point. TubeMagic D2 is a candidate.

 

Thanks!
 


Edited by rbclark - 11/8/13 at 1:53pm
post #2313 of 3792
Quote:
 The Hifiman cable itself isn't shielded though, right?. I thought it was just L+,L-,R+,R-? After connecting via the Speakon, you could use SPC, OFC, whatever wire available and send it to 4 banana plugs, with minimal to no change in RFI compared to the Hifiman cable directly to a headphone out.

 

This is all true. The OEM HiFiMan cable is completely open to RFI because of the single ended TRS plug. There's no shield and no twisted pair common mode noise rejection due to the single ended TRS plug.

 

Quote:
 Balanced is where I get a little confused. For the Hifiman, wouldn't you be able to cut one end off a 4-pin XLR cable, and attach the bare wire into the applicable L+, L-, R+, R- on the speakon?

Yes, and it would still be a balanced headphone cable but it must be connected to a balanced amp to reap the common mode noise rejection benefit.

 

Quote:
 Since RFI is more of a high impedance issue, shouldn't 38ohm be less of an issue? I send a balanced connection to my subs from my MiniDSP over 30 ft via CL2 4 wire speaker cable, with no RFI issues whatsoever (4ohm and high power though).

It just depends on the level of electronic noise around your equipment. I have picked up local radio stations through my speaker wires.

 

Quote:
 I see it more as a budget way to connect. $250 cables are absurd, and I'll suffer some RFI to save $200+. To me, Speakon is the normal way to go over amped lines. Save the XLR for line level. I'm more of a home theater guy though, and the headphone world is somewhat new to me. I also think dual 3 pin is absurd.

I totally agree on the price of headphone cables and Dual 3-Pin XLR was a dumb idea. Almost all of today's full size headphone amps are using 4-Pin XLR so that's why I recommend them but they do require soldering.

 

Here's my DIY for a HiFiMan headphone cable using Canare Star Quad. The cable is balanced and has a grounded shield for double RFI noise rejection: http://robrobinette.com/BalancedCable.htm#Make_a_HiFiMan_HE-500_Balanced_Cable_

 


Edited by robrob - 11/8/13 at 3:12pm
post #2314 of 3792
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicman View Post
 

this amp is neutral throughout the spectrum

 

doesn't have such punch like Lyr on HE-4 with drum kick - it is dead flat, no sign of sibilance from EF-5 on vocals, no upper mids peaks

 

nice soundstage - almost like on Lyr, much better than on EF-5, sound is very natural, neutral from bottom to the top, separation of instruments is great - reveals real character of HP, I might now try HE-6 or HE-500 because the bass is a bit weak for me now on HE-4 (even on EF-5 there was more punch and weight)


When I heard the mini-x, it sounded warm. Doesn't take away from it being a good sounding amp that power my HE-6 well, but I have a hard time calling it neutral as there was a very significant bass boost compared to my setup.

post #2315 of 3792
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohhgourami View Post
 


When I heard the mini-x, it sounded warm. Doesn't take away from it being a good sounding amp that power my HE-6 well, but I have a hard time calling it neutral as there was a very significant bass boost compared to my setup.


IMO, that's because now the HE-6 has enough power fed to it for the bass to come out.  I compared the HD800 driven by WA22 to Emotiva.

The Mini-X doesn't give more bass on the HD800.  This means, the amp is not boosting the bass and by my definition and ears, it's pretty darn neutral in this context.

post #2316 of 3792
Quote:
Originally Posted by koiloco View Post
 


IMO, that's because now the HE-6 has enough power fed to it for the bass to come out.  I compared the HD800 driven by WA22 to Emotiva.

The Mini-X doesn't give more bass on the HD800.  This means, the amp is not boosting the bass and by my definition and ears, it's pretty darn neutral in this context.


Yes, because now the HE-6 gets enough power... :rolleyes:

post #2317 of 3792
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohhgourami View Post
 


Yes, because now the HE-6 gets enough power... :rolleyes:


Impossibru

post #2318 of 3792
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nimzerz View Post
 


Impossibru


Was not expecting my comment to be read that way, but :beerchug:

post #2319 of 3792
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohhgourami View Post
 


Was not expecting my comment to be read that way, but :beerchug:


which way did you mean then?  ;)

post #2320 of 3792

Mini-x sounds warm to me, but it could have been the source too. I didn't bring RCA ICs so I couldn't hook it up to my DAC. Was a bit messy in a meet environment, but it clearly sounded warm. Along with the ample amount of power and low price, warmth explains why this amp is so popular.

 

If you were there with me and heard that setup and called it neutral, you'd probably call the LCD-2 and LCD-3 neutral too.

post #2321 of 3792

 I think that that is a good find since it is hard for me to find good audio switches that have low noise and with no crosstalk. Niles AXP-1 Not the cheapest and I will keep this in mind when I need those features. Thanks for the heads up.

post #2322 of 3792
Quote:
Originally Posted by koiloco View Post
 


IMO, that's because now the HE-6 has enough power fed to it for the bass to come out.  I compared the HD800 driven by WA22 to Emotiva.

The Mini-X doesn't give more bass on the HD800.  This means, the amp is not boosting the bass and by my definition and ears, it's pretty darn neutral in this context.


I thought about that - It may be true actually, great news, my next step is to try HE-6 anyway

 

How was the soundstage depth on a-100+he-6 ? because on HE-4 it is very wide but almost no depth - this is unacceptable for me, on other amps and the same dac soundstage has amazing depth so it's the amp itself or maybe it just reveals HE-4 nature if the amp is ultra neutral

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohhgourami View Post
 


When I heard the mini-x, it sounded warm. Doesn't take away from it being a good sounding amp that power my HE-6 well, but I have a hard time calling it neutral as there was a very significant bass boost compared to my setup.

 

actually the problem is you can't tell whether your amp is way down below neutrality being bass flat on HE-6 or a-100 is neutral and what you were hearing there was just the way HE-6 can play and your krell actually can't with it (and forget about for the pricing here)


Edited by magicman - 11/8/13 at 10:38pm
post #2323 of 3792
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohhgourami View Post
 

Mini-x sounds warm to me, but it could have been the source too. I didn't bring RCA ICs so I couldn't hook it up to my DAC. Was a bit messy in a meet environment, but it clearly sounded warm. Along with the ample amount of power and low price, warmth explains why this amp is so popular.

 

If you were there with me and heard that setup and called it neutral, you'd probably call the LCD-2 and LCD-3 neutral too.


If you listen to HE-4 + a-100 with your dac I bet you won't call it warm ;]

 

you are comparing completely different HP

 

it is really hard to tell which element is neutral there and which is warm, everything depends on something else in the chain

 

about that lcd-2 or lcd-3 - damn, you are calling me an idiot here I guess ?

 

hey guys stop being so paranoid about unshielded cables

 

I have lots of electronic equipment next to me and no sign of RFI noise, you d better worry about proper solder joints when you make you DIY cables or melting invisible insulation on wires before soldering it, make some measurements after the job is done and you'll be fine


Edited by magicman - 11/8/13 at 10:40pm
post #2324 of 3792
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicman View Post

 

actually the problem is you can't tell whether your amp is way down below neutrality being bass flat on HE-6 or a-100 is neutral and what you were hearing there was just the way HE-6 can play and your krell actually can't with it (and forget about for the pricing here)

 Dead neutral with my amp:

1000

 

I'd had my amp hooked up to a Master-7, which is also considered a very neutral DAC, and it sounded very very similar to my DAC. I'm going to have to say your definition of neutral is actually warm.

post #2325 of 3792
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohhgourami View Post
 

 Dead neutral with my amp:

1000

 

I'd had my amp hooked up to a Master-7, which is also considered a very neutral DAC, and it sounded very very similar to my DAC. I'm going to have to say your definition of neutral is actually warm.

I guess you need to listen more using your ears not only measured values, your ear is analog instrument, to be something neutral to your ear is to compensate its natural characteristic which is down below line on the extremes (so if it's dead neutral on your amp which is showed on your measured plots from AP or whatever after hearing by your ear has nothing in common with listening something neutral in nature)

 

this is why such dead neutral amps usually can't create emotions and give you any satisfaction from listening unless you compensate it with something - for instance something like lcd-2 or lcd-3 - then you can call it neutral to your ear and natural sounding (and it is the thing indeed with boring, analitycal sounding, dead flat amps - they sound great with lcd-2 or lcd-3)

 

I heard too many "super neutral, dead flat" out of the world measuring in tests equipment but reality showed it has nothing in common with real sound

 

I understand you are very excited about your krell and it has to be the best on the whole world (+price you paid says it is the best in the world) even if it is known to be analitycal, cold, sterile and technical sounding gear so this is your point of reference and neutral sounding, now go to the musical school and ask somebody to use any instrument - compare it to what you hear on your dead neutral amp and think a little about the results

 

actually what I'm saying is the term "neutral" is really hard to determine on your "ear side" and neutral on the plot does not mean it sounds like in real life, there are just too many variables in this equation, and it's not simple like that

 

when I go to acoustic/unplugged concert I hear real music there enjoying the performance or when I play instrument by myself this is my reference point and neutrality - this is what I try to achieve building my headphone rig not looking for some graphs or plots even from extra expensive Audio Precision equipment, that's the only reasonable comparison you can make that has any sense


Edited by magicman - 11/8/13 at 11:35pm
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