Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › HE-500, LCD2, D5000, DT770, SR80, on a speaker amp (Emotiva mini-X A-100) Project
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

HE-500, LCD2, D5000, DT770, SR80, on a speaker amp (Emotiva mini-X A-100) Project - Page 28

post #406 of 3489
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post

Good to know. Any hiss with the LCD-2?

 

+1   

 

Any hiss with the LCD-2?

 

Mike

post #407 of 3489
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

 

+1   

 

Any hiss with the LCD-2?

 

Mike

 

 

I'll check tonight and report bac if no one gets to it befor i do.

post #408 of 3489

Here is a response I received from Simaudio about using my integrated to drive the HE-500's:

 

I wouldn't recommend to use the outputs of the i5.3 for headphone amplifying purpose. I would rather use a stand-alone headphone amplifier.
 
The i5.3 is not equipped with any protection at the output. If something shortens, or creates some capacitive reactance, it will not be tolerated by the amp's DC coupled design. It would rather damage the unit. That is if an accident happens, or if the headphone borrows a poor design.
 
I hope this will help.
 
Maybe I should listen to their warning and not try, or are they using a canned response to cover themselves in case of damage?
post #409 of 3489
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

 

I'll check tonight and report bac if no one gets to it befor i do.

 

I get a noticeable hum when I reach 9 o'clock on the volume knob (when no music is playing).  To me that's nothing..  I don't even listen that loud with these.  When the music is playing, I don't hear anyting.


Edited by preproman - 12/11/12 at 3:53am
post #410 of 3489
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

I get a noticeable hum [with the LCD-2] when I reach 9 o'clock on the volume knob.  To me that's nothing..  I don't even listen that loud with these.

 

Thanks for testing it!  

 

Mike

post #411 of 3489

Quoting my post from three days ago:

 

Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

[snip]

 

I just sent Emotiva an e-mail that reads as follows:

 

Quote:

Hi!
 
There's a thread at Head-Fi.org where people who own the Emotiva mini-X A-100 have been talking about how to attach a headphone to the amp's speaker terminals.  
 
Question:  When building an adapter for connecting a single-ended (unbalanced), 3-conductor headphone cable's 6.3mm or 3.5mm TRS plug to four banana plugs,
 
IS IT SAFE to short the two grounds of the mini-X A-100's speaker terminals?
 
Thanks!
 
Mike

 

When I get a response, I'll post it here and kill the dead horse I've been beating, once and for all. 

 

tongue.gif

 

Mike

 

Today, I received a reply from Emotiva:

 

 

Quote:
After talking with our technician it should be fine to short the two grounds since they are common.

 

Yay!

 

biggrin.gif

post #412 of 3489
Quote:

After talking with our technician it should be fine to short the two grounds since they are common.

 

 

 

Thanks for the update. So the initial adapter I suggested of banana plugs to a female 1/4" adapter would've worked safely.

post #413 of 3489

A bit late to the party, but I did something similar with my HE-6 about 9 months ago. My HE-6 obviously came terminated with a 4pin XLR so I made my own speaker adapter (4pin female to 4 pair wires) and hooked it up the Marantz PM-84 I bought during the time.

 

MalVeauX, I'm a bit surprised you didn't just make the adapter yourself. It's actually really easy!

 

Is your current cable the Appalachian from BTG? I can't tell as it's sleeved.

post #414 of 3489
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post

Thanks for the update. So the initial adapter I suggested of banana plugs to a female 1/4" adapter would've worked safely.

 

Yes, indeed!  

 

biggrin.gif

 

But that which could only be conjectured previously, despite a high probability, is now known to be fact: The mini-X A-100's speaker terminals already share a common ground between left and right channels.

 

Mike

post #415 of 3489
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohhgourami View Post

A bit late to the party, but I did something similar with my HE-6 about 9 months ago. My HE-6 obviously came terminated with a 4pin XLR so I made my own speaker adapter (4pin female to 4 pair wires) and hooked it up the Marantz PM-84 I bought during the time.

 

MalVeauX, I'm a bit surprised you didn't just make the adapter yourself. It's actually really easy!

 

Is your current cable the Appalachian from BTG? I can't tell as it's sleeved.

 

Heya,

 

I've never worked with stuff like that and wouldn't want to melt things down. I also really like a really professional looking job done, so I'm happy to pay Brian to make the cable with adapters and all. My cable is a midnight cable from BTG, terminates to XLR and then has adapaters for speaker taps and normal 6.3mm, the Appalachian from BTG terminates directly to speaker taps so it can't be adapted to unbalanced amps easily.

 

I have a Little Dot II tube amp on the way that I scored for next to nothing, will check it out as a pre-amp in my TubeMagic D2 + Emotiva A-100 setup on my HE-500's. The LD II will also function for headphones that are not balanced and cannot be used on the Emotiva until I get some more cable jobs performed. Will report in soon with impressions.

 

Very best,

post #416 of 3489
My Appalachian came as 4 pin XLR. Brain lets you terminate it however you want anyway.

The adapter section is quite easy to make, I guess Brain's price would be pretty good. Just buy cable and connectors and solder on yourself assuming you have the tools.
post #417 of 3489

Well I get hum with the HE6 so I think it's safe to say most headphones will have some form of hiss with music off that is. Of course this was with my dac preamp function maxed and the minix volume at around 12 o clock.

post #418 of 3489

Finally got the cables in today. After listening to the O2 for the past 4 months, the Emotiva sounds....different, but interesting. Will have pics and impressions soon.

post #419 of 3489
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post

Finally got the cables in today. After listening to the O2 for the past 4 months, the Emotiva sounds....different, but interesting. Will have pics and impressions soon.

 

You sound so credible - a good thing!  

 

I can't wait to hear the good news and the bad.  

 

Thanks,

 

Mike

post #420 of 3489

So here are some impressions of the HE-500 running off of Emotiva Mini X-a-100 in reference to the JDS Labs O2 - low gain (and the E10 briefly). Source used for this was Marantz CD5004 - all lossless music.

 

Bass Impact/Punch Factor - The Emotiva is one punchy amp! This was the first thing I noticed when I plugged in Emotiva. The bass is definitely more punchier than O2 “on average” across artists and genres. Although the O2 can be quite punchy with well mastered stuff. Like your traditional trance or hip hop / pop compilations that are average/good mastered - the Emotiva will do better here no doubt....but go into some well mastered studio albums rather than quick artists compilation stuff - the O2 does really good here. For example, I was listening to the studio albums from Armin Van Buuren, Late Night Alumni, Bassnectar, Pink Floyd, and Nelly Furtado - with the O2 all the subtle details really come out and sounds really great in every aspect. The O2’s bass is very punchy and just about perfect to me. Although when you go to your average compilation or typical hip hop/ pop/ or even A State of Trance monthly compilations - the bass punch of the O2 for some reason always goes down and just doesn’t sound fun to listen to.

 

The Emotiva so far has sounded punchy enough for my taste for all type of music and mastering level. So the Emotiva is the safer bet definitely. Although if all your music is very well mastered, then the O2 will do just as well as the Emotiva with regards to bass punch and quality.

 

Bass Extension - At this point I don’t want to give my final verdict on extension on the Emotiva because the punch of the Emotiva in the mid bass somewhat masks the extension (think Ultrasone Pro 900 vs Denon). After listening to bunch of electronica tracks, the extension definitely reaches into the sub-bass area and sounds very enjoyable. Although at the moment, I would say that the O2 might have a slight advantage in bass extension. This is only if I am being really critical, because for general listening the punchy nature of the Emotiva doesn’t really let you notice this.

 

Bass quantity/bloom - I don’t want to confuse this with bass punch. Among the E10, O2 and Emotiva - the Emotiva is the most punchiest of them all. However, I would say that the E10 has the most quantity/bloom. With regards to quantity, I would say that Emotiva has a bit more audible quantity than O2 - but again, with well mastered stuff, the difference becomes very, very little to none.

 

So on “average”, I would say that among the O2, E10 and Emotiva; the Emotiva probably has the best ratio between punch and quantity, the E10 comes second and the O2 comes last. 

 

With the Emotiva you can feel the HE-500 drivers literally punching with impact (still non fatiguing though), whereas the O2 makes the driver movement somewhat invisible to feel - while still delivering decent impact.  

 

One thing I would like to mention here is that so far I have only used the Marantz CD5004 with the Emotiva and not the E10. Overall the combo of CD5004 and Emotiva gives somewhat of an analog flavour - very musical yet quite transparent and full of detail. I don’t know if it’s due to the Emotiva or the Marantz, I will later report on any signature changes with E10 as DAC. This combo somewhat reminded me of the KRK KNS 8400 - but in a far more refined manner. 

 

Bass control - The Emotiva’s bass is doing well musically and the speed is good enough even for electronic music. Although I would say that the O2’s bass is more controlled and easier to track in quick passages than Emotiva. The Emotiva’s attack is good enough and has decent transient response - nothing sloppy here. The Emotiva is far from a one-note type amp, but when alternating though bass notes in fast passages - the O2 does it slightly better. For most people this won’t make a difference. Although if you listen primarily to classical, then this might come in to play. Overall for over 90% of the music, don’t even sweat about this. Even for 140+ BPM Dubstep, the Emotiva has enough control, and sounds actually better than the O2. 

 

Sibil~... First off I want to mention that notices a difference in sound between pleather and velour pads. If you don’t hear any difference between the two pads...then I guess you’ll have to ignore this section or just try it for yourself :)

 

I generally find the velour to sound more natural as well as have higher frequency extension as well as have a larger soundstage with better imaging. I find the pleather to have a blacker background. Bass usually stays same with both.

 

With the pleather, there is no sense of sibilance whatsoever. With the velour pads, there is definitely an emphasis on the sssss of the vocals, especially female, however I wouldn’t characterize it to be the typical sibilant sound like with Pro 900 where it’s piercing. With the Emotiva and velour, its like halfway there to being sibilant but it doesn’t get there - heck, sometimes it even sounds nice. It’s definitely not close to being a deal breaker, I just wanted to give a heads up to those very sensitive to high frequencies. 

 

The O2 on the other hand has virtually no sibilance issues.

 

Vocals - I previously read from Malveaux that the vocals of the Emotiva were similar to the Lyr - they were both on the warm side and a bit up front. With the Emotiva, the vocals on average are just slightly more upfront. I was expecting them to be all up in my face based on what I’ve read about Lyr and Emotiva and also taking into consideration that most people say that the O2 is thin on mids (especially Mike from Headfonia). I would say that the vocals and mids are slightly more upfront in presentation than the O2, however it doesn’t sound very liquid or smooth like what I was expecting. This shouldn’t be taken as bad sounding, in fact it’s quite the opposite - I very much prefer the vocals of the Emotiva, however it wasn’t anything magical that some people make it to be. It sounds very natural in fact. The O2 is somewhat less upfront and not as rich sounding as the Emotiva. However, I can for sure say that the vocals on the O2 are more clearer (by a little bit, but still distinguishable). I remember when I first moved from E10 to O2, I noticed two things immediately - less bass impact and far cleared vocals. With the O2 you can track the envelope of the vocals more clearly than pretty much any amp I have listened to.

 

So while the Emotiva has a bit more upfront vocals and more richer sounding, the sound is more clearer on the O2. However as I previously have mentioned, the mids on the O2 are really brought up and sound quite juicy on well mastered stuff. On average stuff, the O2 can sometimes quite dull on the vocals and laid back. The Emotiva on the other hand is never thin sounding.  

 

Instrument Separation - The O2 is good in this area, but the Emotiva is noticeably better with the wider soundstage as well as in presenting distinct locations of each instrument/synth and bass. The Emotiva wins hands down in this area and this is not even a preference thing - I’m absolutely certain that everyone will come to the same conclusion regarding the instrument separation between the Emotiva and O2.  

 

Soundstage Size - Between the O2 and Emotiva, no change in height. The soundstage is more wider on the Emotiva, although the O2 isn’t too far behind. I’ll discuss depth below separately.

 

Depth - I have always said of the HE-500 that its biggest shortcoming has been in its lack of depth. For movies, gaming and even binaural recording I have preferred the D2000 slightly more because of this. 

 

With the Emotiva, the depth of HE-500 hasn’t really changed much from the O2 and I am still sticking with my view on little inherent depth of HE-500. I don’t know if the lack of depth of HE-500 caused by Emotiva is because it’s more wider than O2, so it makes the depth:width proportion seem more even if the Emotiva is adding depth to the HE-500. For music, the depth is still enjoyable for most genres, although for classical, this might not be the best suited material for HE-500 (regardless of amp). 

 

I have yet to test out a movie with the Emotiva, but will update on how the Emotiva does with movies. I predict it to be better than O2 for movies. 

 

Imaging - The O2 has really good imaging capabilities, but can be dependent on the inherent quality of the music. Similarly to the other categories, the Emotiva is better at imaging than O2 in comparison to HE-500. Although this could be a power thing, as I still suspect that the O2 might be better (just like with micro-details discussed below) but this doesn’t come out with the HE-500 specifically due to it power requirement.

 

Layering - While the O2 is excellent in detail retrieval, it just can’t bring it out on the HE-500 as effectively as the Emotiva. I think this is where the crap load power of the Emotiva comes into play. The Emotiva is easily better in revealing the multi layering of the tracks and it does it quite effortlessly.

 

Micro-Detail - The HE-500 with Emotiva definitely has better layering, although in bringing out the micro details and room ambience, I think the O2 might actually be better, however with the HE-500, this might not be fully appreciated due to the lower power and a muffled soundstage presentation in relation to the Emotiva.

It would’ve been nice to have a HE-400 to compare the Emotiva and O2 with since I’m certain the O2 would have all the power needed for HE-400. So that way it would shine some light if the O2 is falling behind inherently or due to less power with HE-500.

 

Dynamic Range - Overall I would say the Emotiva clearly wins in this department. Although with well mastered stuff, the O2 does almost as good as Emotiva, but for most purposes, the Emotiva is clearly the winner - no arguments here whatsoever. 

 

Treble - Both O2 and Emotiva have great high frequency extension and both present treble very similarly IMO. I didn’t really find any differences between the treble of either amps. I very much enjoyed the treble quantity and extension of both amps here, nothing really else to mention here - both are spectacular.

 

Hiss/Hum/Noise - I guess I was lucky in this regard as some people have found their Emotiva’s to have a slight hum while others haven’t. Both O2 and Emotiva are dead silent when turning volume up or down, with music on or off. Whatever the scenario, both these amps are dead silent for me.  

 

Center Image - I left this category for last specifically. I still haven’t figured this out completely and I suspect I won’t have a solid opinion on this for the next one or two weeks. I really need to spend quite some time with this amp to have a final opinion on this.

 

When I initially plugged this amp in, besides noticing the punchy bass of Emotiva, I felt somewhat of a lacking center stage. I don’t know if this is because of the more wider soundstage or balanced nature of speaker amp causing this. After a day I feel this has gotten better, so it could perhaps be a thing to get used to psychologically since I was used to the O2 for over 4 months. It also took me a while to get used to O2. Although until now I have never really run into ever doubting an incoherent center stage with any headphones or amp - even IPods!

 

About 15 degrees from the midline is where I start to notice this incoherency/gap. This has gotten much better since Day 1, so might be just a thing to get used to. Instead of 15-20 degrees from day 1, it’s now close to 10 degrees. I am trying out all types of genres and artists to see if there is a pattern here.

 

In the first few hours, I was quite disappointed because of this but now with over 24 hours on this amp, I have finally started to enjoy the amp.

 

I’ll update later on how this progresses.

 

Overall

 

The Emotiva is definitely the safer bet for use with HE-500 specifically in comparison to O2. The Emotiva sounds really good with all types of genres and mastering level. The O2 doesn’t sound good with average recordings, however if all your material is well mastered, then the O2 can sound just as good as the Emotiva and perhaps even better - especially for classical.

 

I think most people will probably enjoy the Emotiva right off the bat. It took me a good month to get used to the O2 and start enjoying its presentation. After going from E10 to O2, I was initially like “Who turned off the bass?”.

 

O2 does well with all genres, but only with well mastered stuff. If the recording is meh - than the O2 can sound dull. The Emotiva is always sounding exciting in comparison.

 

However, the O2 can be used with IEMs, Denon, and planars whereas the Emotiva isn’t really made for high sensitivity stuff - without going into resistors and stuff. So the O2 has an advantage in that regard and also size.

 

I have been lucky so far in terms of heat production. The Fiio E10, Marantz CD5004, O2 and Emotiva all stay cool regardless of how much you use them. No noise whatsoever from any equipment - the fan hasn’t kicked in for the Emotiva so far - or maybe it has but I haven’t heard anything.

 

Regardless of the variance in impedance and sensitivity of the HE-500 models, the fact remains that Emotiva will provide far more than what the HE-500 needs, many watts over; whereas the O2 produces less than a watt. At this point, I am definitely enjoying the more fun and musical nature of the Emotiva in comparison to the O2, however the O2 with its power supply still holds up very nicely.

 

I think that the fun/musical factor of O2 is much dependent on the music source in comparison to the Emotiva when paired with the HE-500. The Emotiva will sound more enjoyable on average, although for classical material, the O2 still might be better.

 

As far as I’m concerned, both the Emotiva and O2 can power the HE-500 quite nicely. The Emotiva, as a speaker amp, didn’t do anything magical as some have professed here on head-fi and the O2 definitely held its own quite nicely. Sure the Emotiva improved on the O2 in some areas and made it sound more enjoyable - but the difference wasn’t as large as some may lead you to think - best to decide by listening to yourself.

 

The O2 cost me about $190 with shipping and taxes included here in Canada from Headphone Bar. The Emotiva cost me about $270 (with holiday discount of regular $179) with everything included plus another $200 for cables. So total of $470 for running the Emotiva combo. I’m sure you can get cables for much cheaper.

 

So far I am quite happy with the value of both the O2 and the Emotiva - although it took me much, much longer to get accustomed to the O2 (around a month). I can recommend either the O2 or Emotiva for use with HE-500. Although the Emotiva is definitely the safer bet considering how good it sounds with just about any music piece. The O2 on the other hand is more picky on the music source.

 

I will also upload pics shortly.  

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › HE-500, LCD2, D5000, DT770, SR80, on a speaker amp (Emotiva mini-X A-100) Project