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HE-500, LCD2, D5000, DT770, SR80, on a speaker amp (Emotiva mini-X A-100) Project - Page 156

post #2326 of 3790

I don't understand why a neutral amp has to be considered cold, analytical or sterile.  If you have an "un netrual" amp you will never heard what your tracks really sound like.  All amps have some kind of house sound.  Some more than others of course.  If there is no emotion in your music then a good amp will give you no emotion right back.  If you have a very good recorded track with lots of emotion then a good amp should give that right back to you.  Look at your main source of the music first - not the DAC but the recording.

 

I would call the Emotiva a tad bit north of neutral, It makes my headphones sound a bit bright.  I would call my old B22 a tad bit south of neutral, it made my headphones sound a bit on the warm side.  My F1J is the cleanest sounding amp I've heard (that I can afford) it's ruthlessly revealing without being bright or warm.  Next would be the GS-X mk2.  I had to find my reference for neutral so I had to look back to my recording and play the same tracks on all different amps to finds this out.  

post #2327 of 3790

After mulling over this amp for a while, I pulled the trigger on a good used deal. Just got my Emotiva today, and hooked it up to my HE-400 using a very ghetto adapter I made by stripping the end of a Radioshack 1/8 inch extension cable. Per Robrob's suggestion, I have the single ground conductor in the cable connected to one negative terminal on the amp.

With the volume knob at around 9~10 o'clock and digital volume at -10db in Foobar, there is a tiny bit of hiss with no music playing at listening volume, but not enough to notice with music playing. The hiss is at the threshold of being detectable, quieter than the ambient noise in my house. I tried some cheap Nuforce IEMS before plugging in the HE-400 to make sure everything worked, and there was a lot of hiss through those. 

Initial impressions vs my Little Dot MKIII -- Bass is much tighter and more controlled. Extension seems about the same, impact is snappier. Midrange is cleaner. Treble is less smooth, but not by much. I'm noticing a more detailed and airy presentation. Gonna have to listen more before I can make a serious comparison.

Next up:

Assembling a better adapter once my Mogami wire and Switchcraft 1/4 female jack come in the mail (I already have a 1/4 male jack with 300 ohm resistors that I will use with it as well). We'll see if the resistor helps with the hiss. 


Also, a question -- it's better to turn the amp on before I plug the HE-400 into the adapter (and unplug before turning off), right? Without music playing, of course. 

 

post #2328 of 3790

So here is my take on the recent discussion

 

It's hard to discuss certain terms on Head-Fi because they have the incorrect or weird personalized defintions of commonly used words like warm/cold/netural/dark/bright/colored, etc. What neutral most commonly refers to is a even tonality (same energy throughout the frequency response) from 20-20k hertz.

 

Any by this definition and by my ears the Emotiva mini-X is VERY neutral. It has great dynamic slam in the bass and treble, but the bass is not boosted or "louder" it just hits very hard without being louder or "colored". In fact the Emotiva is the most neutral amp I've ever heard. It's also quite transparent and will reveal your source. If you're using a colored source than your Emotiva will sound colored, either bright or dark or whatever your source is feeding it.

 

I think it's funnny how initially some people were saying the Emotiva is too bright. Now there is someone on here saying it's definitely dark. No it's actually neutral.

 

IMHO, YMMV, etc, etc.


Edited by M-13 - 11/9/13 at 9:48am
post #2329 of 3790

Alright guys, I need a little bit of help. Finally decided to try my D2000s as well on the Emotiva besides the planars. Malveaux used a 500 ohm resistor and it worked well for him. I thought of using a 500 ohm as well. Let me know if someone else is using another one.


With all the planars I basically used them with balanced male 4 pin XLR cables. To connect it to the Emotiva, I had a banana plugs to 4 pin female XLR. There were no resistors involved with any planar before.

 

My D2000 is currently terminated with 3.5mm or 1/4" with the screw on. So single ended basically. I was wondering if I could somehow use the balanced banana plugs adapter to add another adapter in between with the resistors to connect it to my single ended Denon cable. Makes sense?

post #2330 of 3790
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post
 

Alright guys, I need a little bit of help. Finally decided to try my D2000s as well on the Emotiva besides the planars. Malveaux used a 500 ohm resistor and it worked well for him. I thought of using a 500 ohm as well. Let me know if someone else is using another one.


With all the planars I basically used them with balanced male 4 pin XLR cables. To connect it to the Emotiva, I had a banana plugs to 4 pin female XLR. There were no resistors involved with any planar before.

 

My D2000 is currently terminated with 3.5mm or 1/4" with the screw on. So single ended basically. I was wondering if I could somehow use the balanced banana plugs adapter to add another adapter in between with the resistors to connect it to my single ended Denon cable. Makes sense?


Maybe you could use a female TRS to male XLR plug? I'm pretty sure these can be found.

I have parts coming in for a single ended adapter I'm going to build. My headphones are terminated in 3.5mm, I have a 3.5 to 1/4 jack with 300 ohm resistors inside, and then I'm going to plug the jack with the resistor into a Switchcraft model 1230 female TRS, with the other end of the wires going straight to the Emotiva. I'm only going to have a single wire connected to the sleeve, which gets connected to a single negative terminal on the amp. This probably isn't the optimal solution, but it's the best I can do without knowing how to solder. My Switchcraft jack has screw terminals instead of solder terminals. 

post #2331 of 3790
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post
 


Also, a question -- it's better to turn the amp on before I plug the HE-400 into the adapter (and unplug before turning off), right? Without music playing, of course. 

 

I find that the Emotiva muting circuit works very well and safe enough to leave the headphones plugged in. Both of my Emotiva XDA-1 and the Mini work together without any output spike on turn-on or turnoff. You may have to turn-on your source first before the amp. With my Schiit Lyr and my LD VI+  I have to wait until the amps warm up before plugging the headphones into in the amps and unplugging before turn-off.

post #2332 of 3790
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post
My D2000 is currently terminated with 3.5mm or 1/4" with the screw on. So single ended basically. I was wondering if I could somehow use the balanced banana plugs adapter to add another adapter in between with the resistors to connect it to my single ended Denon cable. Makes sense?

What I did is to use stackable banana plugs for two extension cables one with the 1/4 jack and the other the 4-pin XLR. Next project will be using the 4-pin XLR cable into a box with both 4-pin XLR and 1/4 to eliminate one cable and a neater appearance.

post #2333 of 3790
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post
 


Maybe you could use a female TRS to male XLR plug? I'm pretty sure these can be found.

I have parts coming in for a single ended adapter I'm going to build. My headphones are terminated in 3.5mm, I have a 3.5 to 1/4 jack with 300 ohm resistors inside, and then I'm going to plug the jack with the resistor into a Switchcraft model 1230 female TRS, with the other end of the wires going straight to the Emotiva. I'm only going to have a single wire connected to the sleeve, which gets connected to a single negative terminal on the amp. This probably isn't the optimal solution, but it's the best I can do without knowing how to solder. My Switchcraft jack has screw terminals instead of solder terminals. 

 

Yeah I'm thinking of getting an adapter like that one to add between the headphone cable and the banana plugs adapter. Where do I add the resistor on that adapter?

 

Since the amp's single ended, I wouldn't have to worry about it either. (I'm pretty sure)

post #2334 of 3790
Quote:
Originally Posted by john57 View Post
 

What I did is to use stackable banana plugs for two extension cables one with the 1/4 jack and the other the 4-pin XLR. Next project will be using the 4-pin XLR cable into a box with both 4-pin XLR and 1/4 to eliminate one cable and a neater appearance.

 

Pics?

post #2335 of 3790
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post
 

 

Yeah I'm thinking of getting an adapter like that one to add between the headphone cable and the banana plugs adapter. Where do I add the resistor on that adapter?

 

Since the amp's single ended, I wouldn't have to worry about it either. (I'm pretty sure)

I'm just thinking of a single jack, so I don't know if there's any room to add resistors inside. However, you can get a cheap 1/4 to 3.5 jack with resistors from Ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/281188408675?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649

 

I have the 300 ohm version from this seller and it seems transparent. Just plug that sucker into the female end of the TRS -> XLR jack. 

I imagine you could do something more elegant if you can solder. 

EDIT: something like this for the TRS -> XLR. You might want to get confirmation from someone with electronics knowledge that connections between pins are suitable, I'm just a guy on the internet 
 http://www.fullcompass.com/product/296222.html


Edited by manbear - 11/9/13 at 2:04pm
post #2336 of 3790

many of the dual banana plugs are stackable. I prefer closed screw. The picture below is open screw. You use two of these for a balanced cable connection.

 

 

The ones I used is the single solder type from Radio Shack because it can handle the smaller gauge of wiring. You would need three of these for singled end connection

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2103797#

post #2337 of 3790
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post
 

I don't understand why a neutral amp has to be considered cold, analytical or sterile.  If you have an "un netrual" amp you will never heard what your tracks really sound like.  All amps have some kind of house sound.  Some more than others of course.  If there is no emotion in your music then a good amp will give you no emotion right back.  If you have a very good recorded track with lots of emotion then a good amp should give that right back to you.  Look at your main source of the music first - not the DAC but the recording.

 

 

The recording, right. Just a small comment:

"Hearing what our tracks really sound like" is for many not important, what counts is the overall enjoyment from the music. Perfectly neutral gear makes too many artistically good recordings less enjoyable or unlistenable for many of us. A "solution" is to sacrifice some fidelity (and enjoyment) on the good recordings in order to gain listenability on the bad ones. In the context of the above "solution", a neutral amp (or dac or headphone or speaker) may indeed with suitable recordings contribute to cold, analytical or sterile sound for some - when compared to more forgiving options.

post #2338 of 3790
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post
 

I'm just thinking of a single jack, so I don't know if there's any room to add resistors inside. However, you can get a cheap 1/4 to 3.5 jack with resistors from Ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/281188408675?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649

 

I have the 300 ohm version from this seller and it seems transparent. Just plug that sucker into the female end of the TRS -> XLR jack. 

I imagine you could do something more elegant if you can solder. 

EDIT: something like this for the TRS -> XLR. You might want to get confirmation from someone with electronics knowledge that connections between pins are suitable, I'm just a guy on the internet 
 http://www.fullcompass.com/product/296222.html

 

Yeah that Ebay item looks good. Although the max the seller offers is 300 ohms. Malveaux's is a 500 ohms one. Don't know how much difference that would make.

 

That full compass item would work with the Ebay item if the full compass adapter was a 4 pin instead of 3 pin.

post #2339 of 3790
Quote:
Originally Posted by john57 View Post
 

many of the dual banana plugs are stackable. I prefer closed screw. The picture below is open screw. You use two of these for a balanced cable connection.

 

Gotcha. I was brain dead.

post #2340 of 3790
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post
 

 

Yeah that Ebay item looks good. Although the max the seller offers is 300 ohms. Malveaux's is a 500 ohms one. Don't know how much difference that would make.

 

That full compass item would work with the Ebay item if the full compass adapter was a 4 pin instead of 3 pin.


Silly me, you're right. I don't see any 4-pin XLR to female TRS plugs on that website... I guess you could also just get a 4-pin XLR and a TRS female separately and join them with wire. You could connect the TRS sleeve to either negative pin on the XLR. The unconnected negative pin's banana plug wouldn't need to be connected. Screw terminal plugs are harder to find but do exist if you don't want to solder. 

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