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HE-500, LCD2, D5000, DT770, SR80, on a speaker amp (Emotiva mini-X A-100) Project - Page 5

post #61 of 3626
Quote:
Originally Posted by rawrster View Post

How common are volume knobs on speaker amps? If they are not that common then it would be really limited  which amps can be used unless the OP has a preamp.

 

Integrated amps are what you'd want if you're looking for a volume knob.  Volume is most of what the preamp is, so in general a power amp is a fixed-gain amp; you feed it x-voltage in, and it applies x-gain to the input.  The whole point of the pre is volume attenuation and/or voltage gain.  Integrated amps have both.  Some call these "receivers" which is a word that's been kind of retired since the A/V receiver took over that market.  There's plenty of current production integrated amps out there that are quite a bit nicer than AVRs. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

I know a few people using these as well:   These also look just like another amp - I can't think of it's name at the moment.  I think grokit uses it.

 

http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/A500.aspx

 

 

1000

 

There's also that.  That's the Behringer version, Grokit's using the Alesis.  The thing I don't like about the Behringer is it has no relay mute on startup (it does have one on shutdown, and the mfr assured it it starts up in a sequence that mitigates thumps.  But for headphones I still don't like that.  I nearly got the Alesis, but Skylab assured me that what I already had (Marantz PM6004) was probably better, so I upgraded in style to an MM7025 power amp instead.  My Woo WDS-1 has volume control on it, so I didn't need the crummy preamp from the 6004 anymore. Even Marantz admitted the PM8004 has a better preamp than the 6004, so that should give an idea of the quality of that preamp in audiophile terms biggrin.gif  My bigger problem with the 6004 is just that it's crazy high gain (noise) for no reason.

 

However from my conversations with Grokit about the Alesis, he's extremely pleased with it and easily recommends it, so at least for HE-6 it's definitely a cheap option, and maybe for the HE-500 too.  Not as cute and space saving as that Emo though.

 

It should be mentioned that the "volume knobs" on those rackmount amps aren't really meant as volume control, they're input trim controls.  They're supposed to be one time set and forget to match the output levels of the pre/source.  However technically they can be used as volume.  The idea is, in pro audio terms, a set of monitors coming out of a pre or line level source would need much less gain than, say, a mic, but it's presumed in both cases level control is on the mixing board.  However in practical terms they can function as an attenuator since it does attenuate the input voltage before the gain stage.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

Heya,

 

Received my new cable today. Hooked her up. Absolutely love it. It's so much lighter than the stock hifiman cables and way more flexible (braid within a sheath). The adapters are just incredibly smart. I can swap to 3.5mm (with 1/4th adapter) for my normal headphone amp(s) and jump straight to speaker taps just by clicking the XLR connections and never have to unscrew the cable from the hifiman (which is one of my least favorite things to do, it's a pain to screw those on / off, I always feel like I'm going to eventually damage them doing it too often). So this is just a great simple and universal way to play around with all sources.

 

To test it out, I hooked up to my Pioneer and Onkyo receivers just to see if it would blow up or not and make sure everything worked, because the Emotiva Mini isn't here yet, it shipped today, so should be here soon. The Onkyo & Pioneer are rated in the 80wpc and 110wpc ranges respectively. Without getting into too much detail just yet, I have to say, I'm quite impressed with how good the Hifiman is with a simple receiver setup. Kind of makes the "all in one" really stick out as a really cost effective way to power these things. I noticed I didn't have an issue with volume, I had to turn it up to the higher level of listening volumes compared to speakers for the headphones, so definitely not worried about blowing up my headphones so far. I actually like this setup, I have the DAC and equalization and other fun options that AVR's can do with speakers all setup into a great headphone. As for the sound, it's much better than the headphone output of the same AVR. On the speaker taps, there is not a noise floor unless I put the volume up in the high-moderate level range and even then, it's the track, because when I hit pause, it's nearly inaudible. These are entry & mid-level AVR's, not even something "excellent." My Pioneer VSX1121 is a very nice match so far (110wpc). So if anyone wants a really neat way to power a Hifiman, a simple AVR with speaker taps is actually a pretty cool way to go. Sound is excellent. It's not "better" than a good headphone amp setup so far, but it's simple, and a lot more "universal."

 

I'll update with pictures of everything once the Emotiva amp shows up so I can compare a speaker amp and DAC (NFB12 as DAC) setup, compared to AVR's, and the HE-500's on speaker tap.

 

So far though, this is absolutely entertaining. The HE-500 definitely can take the energy from speaker oriented amps. It's not scared of them at all. Time to start testing more powerful equipment (as I'm sure the AVR's were outputting way less than their rated wpc).

 

Very best,

 

I'm looking forward to hearing your emo impressions.  It's interestiing that those AVRs are turning out so well, but ultimately, AVRs are...well...nasty.  Especially entry & mid-level ones...there's more compromises than should be at that range, and I've never heard an Onkyo AVR that I'd consider "good sounding" with any speaker.  Especially not the entry & mid tier ones.  They're dependable, but ultimately any upgrades I've made are better.  So, yeah, I bet you're in for another bump once your new amp comes in!  (FWIW, compared to an Onkyo 504 and a 604, I've found a Denon 2310 to sound far better with my JBL Studio L wallmounts to the point that both Onkyos lacked any and all detail by contrast and had a bloated midbass.  It also has a real HP out (main amp + resistors) rather than the cheesy op-amp HP amps that the low models have.)  It still doesn't hold a candle to the 7025, but in some ways it can give the 6004 a run for its money.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

 

Heya,

 

Both really. The NFB12 is not the most lively of amps. It's got a nice DAC in it. But it's amp portion is not the greatest from Audio GD. The Lyr was warmer and meatier. The VSX1121 sounds warmer, sound stage is different, I like it a better, it's not significant, it's subtle. I definitely however like the function of an EQ added that isn't coming from foobar and doesn't require a pre-amp or wired in hardware EQ. The AVR is of course huge unfortunately compared to the NFB12 of course, so it's size is rather cumbersome. I will say though that so far, listening on the VSX1121 compared to the NFB12, the HE-500 does sound more like what I would expect from a good stereo speaker setup with the AVR on speaker tap than it did from the NFB12. But I need a few more days to really get into it and form a better opinion, this is all just preliminary and of course I need to let the idea of the honeymoon "love" wear off from simply liking a new toy that is more fun to use wear out so I can be more objective.

 

Very best,

 

By the time you're done this project, you know you're going to end up with an HE-6, don't you? evil_smiley.gif  It's the only HE you're missing in the collection and you'll have all those huge amps just sitting there looking lonely... bigsmile_face.gif

post #62 of 3626
Thread Starter 

Heya,

 

The Emotiva will show up tomorrow. Looking forward to testing this out, as so far, even AVR's are a lot of fun to play with.

 

As for the Onkyo: It's dark, I had to EQ the treble up to bring back some excitement, the bass was a little wonky, but this is an entry level AVR, I was mainly testing it just to see since it was the least powerful one I had and wanted to see how the HE500 would behave with it.

 

Pioneer (VSX1121): sounds great, handles the power nicely, good detail, good noise floor (not over the top, barely notice unless I crank it up), seems to handle the input without there being too much interference or noise in general.

 

I have another Pioneer and a Denon, but they're lesser than the VSX1121 so I wasn't going to bother with them at this point.

 

As for the HE-6, I almost got it last year. It was between the HE-500 and the HE-6. At the time, they were costing about the same. I didn't like the idea of the brighter treble, so I went HE-500 instead back when they were first out. I probably still won't go HE-6 unless I just do a straight trade HE-500 for HE-6 with someone one day, but ever since the price alteration this year, that probably won't happen, even though last year, the HE-500 and HE-6 were traded as equals without question. Now of course, someone doesn't want to lose the idea of trading a rather more expensive headphone for something way less expensive at this point. I think it's dumb what they did with the prices. And I went Hifiman over the LCD series simply due to comfort, weight, and I didn't want something overly dark.

 

Will update tomorrow with pics of everything ensemble.

 

Very best,

post #63 of 3626
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

Heya,

 

The Emotiva will show up tomorrow. Looking forward to testing this out, as so far, even AVR's are a lot of fun to play with.

 

As for the Onkyo: It's dark, I had to EQ the treble up to bring back some excitement, the bass was a little wonky, but this is an entry level AVR, I was mainly testing it just to see since it was the least powerful one I had and wanted to see how the HE500 would behave with it.

 

Pioneer (VSX1121): sounds great, handles the power nicely, good detail, good noise floor (not over the top, barely notice unless I crank it up), seems to handle the input without there being too much interference or noise in general.

 

I have another Pioneer and a Denon, but they're lesser than the VSX1121 so I wasn't going to bother with them at this point.

 

As for the HE-6, I almost got it last year. It was between the HE-500 and the HE-6. At the time, they were costing about the same. I didn't like the idea of the brighter treble, so I went HE-500 instead back when they were first out. I probably still won't go HE-6 unless I just do a straight trade HE-500 for HE-6 with someone one day, but ever since the price alteration this year, that probably won't happen, even though last year, the HE-500 and HE-6 were traded as equals without question. Now of course, someone doesn't want to lose the idea of trading a rather more expensive headphone for something way less expensive at this point. I think it's dumb what they did with the prices. And I went Hifiman over the LCD series simply due to comfort, weight, and I didn't want something overly dark.

 

Will update tomorrow with pics of everything ensemble.

 

Very best,

 

Yay cant wait for that :D

post #64 of 3626
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

Heya,

 

The Emotiva will show up tomorrow. Looking forward to testing this out, as so far, even AVR's are a lot of fun to play with.

 

As for the Onkyo: It's dark, I had to EQ the treble up to bring back some excitement, the bass was a little wonky, but this is an entry level AVR, I was mainly testing it just to see since it was the least powerful one I had and wanted to see how the HE500 would behave with it.

 

Pioneer (VSX1121): sounds great, handles the power nicely, good detail, good noise floor (not over the top, barely notice unless I crank it up), seems to handle the input without there being too much interference or noise in general.

 

I have another Pioneer and a Denon, but they're lesser than the VSX1121 so I wasn't going to bother with them at this point.

 

As for the HE-6, I almost got it last year. It was between the HE-500 and the HE-6. At the time, they were costing about the same. I didn't like the idea of the brighter treble, so I went HE-500 instead back when they were first out. I probably still won't go HE-6 unless I just do a straight trade HE-500 for HE-6 with someone one day, but ever since the price alteration this year, that probably won't happen, even though last year, the HE-500 and HE-6 were traded as equals without question. Now of course, someone doesn't want to lose the idea of trading a rather more expensive headphone for something way less expensive at this point. I think it's dumb what they did with the prices. And I went Hifiman over the LCD series simply due to comfort, weight, and I didn't want something overly dark.

 

Will update tomorrow with pics of everything ensemble.

 

Very best,

 

I think the "bright treble" thing tends to be exaggerated with HE-6.  I'm the poster-child of treble fatigue, but don't have much issue with HE-6.  The one thing I did end up doing was trimming down the 1.5kHz range where there does happen to be a rather sharp spike that makes trumpet kind of harsh, but that aside, I do think there was a lot of stir over nothing.  At least when feeding it speaker power.

 

But I agree, the price split was kind of silly.  Most of keeping the HE-6 at the high price was probably a combination of segmenting the market, but also scale of economy.  HE-6 uses more expensive materials (gold traces, more powerful magnets, etc) and I recall was harder to assemble, and on top of that, I doubt there's much demand for them power guzzlers, so they simply don't have a full-time HE-6 production I'm guessing which means it costs that much more when they produce a batch of them.  So some of the price difference is probably warranted.  Some of it isn't.

post #65 of 3626
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post
 
I think the "bright treble" thing tends to be exaggerated with HE-6.

 

 

Agreed.  If anything the HE-500s treble can be a little sparkly up top.  Be interesting to see how it sounds on the miniX.  The HE-6 IMO has a pretty even tonal balance across the board.

post #66 of 3626
Thread Starter 

Heya,

 

Here's some shots of the cable and the headphone and how it looks hooked into my VSX1121, still listening on this setup until the Emotiva shows up tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some more info on the sound:

 

Compared to using my NFB12, the speaker output of the VSX1121 is giving a lot more meaty low range response and the sound stage is showing off more and treble has a lot more definition and there just seems to be more "black space" between separation of tones. In general it just sounds less blurry and more crisp and tight. There is virtually no noise floor unless I put the volume up really high, and even then, only if I have something playing. When I hit pause, it's silent. Tracks I'm testing with lots of "empty space" in them like acoustic sessions with Ani Difranco have noise floor, but they have noise floor in the track, it's present on all my headphones and amps combinations, so nothing new or different there. Listening to some binaural recordings was absolutely scary how realistic it was. It was like the speakers were turned on the room...

 

More to come tomorrow when the Emotiva arrives.

 

Very best,

post #67 of 3626

Awesome! I look forward to Emotiva impressions!

post #68 of 3626

I didn't know you could use an adapter to go from balanced to SE.  Does it work?  Hoe is the headband.  Is it a easy fit or do you have to force it on there?

post #69 of 3626
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

I didn't know you could use an adapter to go from balanced to SE.  Does it work?  Hoe is the headband.  Is it a easy fit or do you have to force it on there?

 

Heya,

 

The cable works flawless swapping between all connections with the two adapters. I'm able to bounce from the headphone amps to the speaker taps with a click of the neutrik XLR as I simply swap the terminations.

 

The headband is very comfortable. It's not an easy fit on the old HE-500 headband, I think the newer HE-400 headband is a little less wide, so it fits on there no problem. On the HE-500, this particular headband pad only snaps on the edges (without effort). I leave the middle/center snaps unsnapped because it simply doesn't fit around the top of the headband without folding the leather over a little. I've not found anything to truly wrap around the old HE-500 headband yet, still searching for something there. I can wear it stock, but I just like to have a big cushion on there for long sessions, it helps to even distribution of the weight and it starts to feel like it's floating instead of being held by your ears and jaw. I'm open to suggestions for more headband pads to try that are not permanent (I've considered putting some Sennheiser pads along the bottom of the HE-500 headband, but that would be a more permanent thing and I don't want a permanent mod just yet).

 

If forced (and fold the edges of the leather inwards), the snapped headband you see pictured does wrap around the entire HE-500 headband. I did it to see how it was, works. But I preferred to leave it unsnapped in the middle to avoid folding the leather and making a crease that would be difficult to remove later if left for a long period of time like that.

 

Very best,


Edited by MalVeauX - 11/6/12 at 12:56pm
post #70 of 3626
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

I didn't know you could use an adapter to go from balanced to SE.  Does it work?  Hoe is the headband.  Is it a easy fit or do you have to force it on there?

 

Huh?  Didn't your HE-6 come with a nearly identical adapter for XLR to TRS? blink.gif   Mine did!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

 

Heya,

 

The cable works flawless swapping between all connections with the two adapters. I'm able to bounce from the headphone amps to the speaker taps with a click of the neutrik XLR as I simply swap the terminations.

 

The headband is very comfortable. It's not an easy fit on the old HE-500 headband, I think the newer HE-400 headband is a little less wide, so it fits on there no problem. On the HE-500, this particular headband pad only snaps on the edges (without effort). I leave the middle/center snaps unsnapped because it simply doesn't fit around the top of the headband without folding the leather over a little. I've not found anything to truly wrap around the old HE-500 headband yet, still searching for something there. I can wear it stock, but I just like to have a big cushion on there for long sessions, it helps to even distribution of the weight and it starts to feel like it's floating instead of being held by your ears and jaw. I'm open to suggestions for more headband pads to try that are not permanent (I've considered putting some Sennheiser pads along the bottom of the HE-500 headband, but that would be a more permanent thing and I don't want a permanent mod just yet).

 

If forced (and fold the edges of the leather inwards), the snapped headband you see pictured does wrap around the entire HE-500 headband. I did it to see how it was, works. But I preferred to leave it unsnapped in the middle to avoid folding the leather and making a crease that would be difficult to remove later if left for a long period of time like that.

 

Very best,

 

Which headband wrap is that, Beyer's?  That looks interesting.  I've come to terms with the HE headbands, but that wrap looks like it could be a dream for at least occasional use!

post #71 of 3626
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

 

Huh?  Didn't your HE-6 come with a nearly identical adapter for XLR to TRS? blink.gif   Mine did!

 

 

Didn't pay attention - already had what I was going to use.

post #72 of 3626
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

 

Which headband wrap is that, Beyer's?  That looks interesting.  I've come to terms with the HE headbands, but that wrap looks like it could be a dream for at least occasional use!

 

Heya,

 

It's a generic actually. $13 shipped from Amazon.

 

It fits roughly. If you fold the leather of the HE headband a little, it fits over it snuggly. The material is stretchy so it does wrap around if you really want it to. Takes a little pulling to make it wrap around the center. It's not a perfect fit. But it does fit if you put a little force behind it. The comfort and weight distribution it adds is significant. When I wear my HE without it, it's obvious and I'm spoiled by it at this point. I think the only way to get what I want and have it fit perfectly would be to have something custom made. I would love one made from a very soft real leather that is hyper stuffed, with brass snaps. But that may take some time to find someone who can perform that task.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Very best,


Edited by MalVeauX - 11/6/12 at 2:27pm
post #73 of 3626

Why would you want to do this? I get extremely good results with my Rudistor RP010B / HE500 combo. The bass and spaciousness is incredible and there no sense of strain.

post #74 of 3626
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post

Why would you want to do this? I get extremely good results with my Rudistor RP010B / HE500 combo. The bass and spaciousness is incredible and there no sense of strain.

 

Why would you not want do this with any planar magnetic that isn't highly efficient?

 

Had great results with my Schiit Lyr and NFB12 with the HE-500 too. Doesn't mean there isn't room or curiosity to try something else and seek out new synergies for a personal preference sound combination. Why not branch into something rather different from typical headphone amps? Why be limited to one kind or another?

 

Very best,


Edited by MalVeauX - 11/6/12 at 3:18pm
post #75 of 3626
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

Why would you not want do this with any planar magnetic that isn't highly efficient?

Had great results with my Schiit Lyr and NFB12 with the HE-500 too. Doesn't mean there isn't room or curiosity to try something else and seek out new synergies for a personal preference sound combination. Why not branch into something rather different from typical headphone amps? Why be limited to one kind or another?

Very best,
Thank you very much:D
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