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Gain Issues on Hifiman EF2A

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi Everyone.... I recently bought a Hifiman EF2A to use as a DAC/amp with my HD-598. I really like it but a small problem is that it has too much gain and by the time I get rid of channel imbalance, the volume is really high. Is there any way that someone knows to reduce the gain on this? Would it perform with lower gain on higher impedance headphones?

 

I have tried looking for an answer for this around the site with no luck. I hope someone answers this...

post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by lithium1085 View Post

Hi Everyone.... I recently bought a Hifiman EF2A to use as a DAC/amp with my HD-598. I really like it but a small problem is that it has too much gain and by the time I get rid of channel imbalance, the volume is really high. Is there any way that someone knows to reduce the gain on this? Would it perform with lower gain on higher impedance headphones?

 

I have tried looking for an answer for this around the site with no luck. I hope someone answers this...

 

Very true of the EF2A. Saw one person couple weeks ago complaining about the exact same thing. I think he eventually sold his and bought something else so I guessing there is no fix for this.

post #3 of 15

Are you using any from of EQ? If so, that could be related to your issue. I would disable any EQ and also maybe turn down your digital volume by 10%. 

 

The EF2A's Hi-Gain is integrated, there's no option for a Lo-Gain setting. Another option for you is to just sit their and mess with the volume-knob.

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply....I am not using any EQ.

From what I know reducing the digital volume leads to a reduction in sound quality( at least thats what people say).....however if I do want to reduce the digital volume what is better- reducing from the music player or from the computer itself?

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

I have just asked this at the HIFIMAN customer service thread.....lets see

post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Destroysall View Post

Are you using any from of EQ? If so, that could be related to your issue. I would disable any EQ and also maybe turn down your digital volume by 10%. 

 

The EF2A's Hi-Gain is integrated, there's no option for a Lo-Gain setting. Another option for you is to just sit their and mess with the volume-knob.

 

WTF has EQ got to do with this?  Why do people like to blame EQ on anything and everything that goes wrong with their sound system?

 

/rage

post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

 

WTF has EQ got to do with this?  Why do people like to blame EQ on anything and everything that goes wrong with their sound system?

 

/rage

I am not pin-pointing or blaming EQ in a derogatory sense, but I did use it in wrong context. EQ can cause unwanted distortion or noise, while this is a gan related issue. That is definitely my fault there. My apologies. 

post #8 of 15

Hate to necro this thread, but yeah.  The gain issue is pretty bad.  I just keep my system volume maxed, and fiddle with the player volume.  Gonna try it with a higher impedance can, but I'm not sure if that will do anything.  Had a chance to roll yet?  

post #9 of 15

I was going to do the same thing you did (pair the ef2a with my hd 598s) but then I went to a very specialized headphone shop in Vancouver called the headphone bar and asked the guy there if it was a good idea. To which he replied "no" because the ef2a is meant for headphones with a high impendance (150 and above). Then he told me if I were to use it with a lower impendance headphone like a hd 598 then as I turned the volume knob up first I would get imbalance, then get way too much gain after that. So my recommendation is to sell your ef2a and buy a FiiO e7 and e09 combo. Now that works great with the 598's. Hope this helped.

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CockatooDude View Post

I was going to do the same thing you did (pair the ef2a with my hd 598s) but then I went to a very specialized headphone shop in Vancouver called the headphone bar and asked the guy there if it was a good idea. To which he replied "no" because the ef2a is meant for headphones with a high impendance (150 and above). Then he told me if I were to use it with a lower impendance headphone like a hd 598 then as I turned the volume knob up first I would get imbalance, then get way too much gain after that. So my recommendation is to sell your ef2a and buy a FiiO e7 and e09 combo. Now that works great with the 598's. Hope this helped.

well actually as my EF2A burnt in, the peakiness of the treble went away. So I actually enjoy my ef2a with HD598 now. I don't have a lot of usable volume however, I think there is a sweet spot at least for my listening levels. Thanks for your input

post #11 of 15
I too, am currently victim to the sudden gain explosion with my EF2A. Just when I get channel balance I am so high in volume with my HD650s that I can hardly stand to listen to most genres I enjoy...may be listing it soon
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Math-ECU View Post

I too, am currently victim to the sudden gain explosion with my EF2A. Just when I get channel balance I am so high in volume with my HD650s that I can hardly stand to listen to most genres I enjoy...may be listing it soon
Amp just put on Ebay....if stays unsold will list here with extra tubes!
post #13 of 15

Good luck. Should you be interested in calculating required voltage for headphones check out the older threads in the sound science forum. Add a bit (<10 dB) of excess gain to that.

More will very likely cause a whole load of problems, some of which are described in this thread.

 

With a hot source you might not even need any extra gain (0 dB).


Edited by xnor - 6/15/13 at 9:58am
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

Good luck. Should you be interested in calculating required voltage for headphones check out the older threads in the sound science forum. Add a bit (<10 dB) of excess gain to that.
More will very likely cause a whole load of problems, some of which are described in this thread.

With a hot source you might not even need any extra gain (0 dB).
Thanks!
post #15 of 15

I guess I got lucky with my EF2a, I haven't had the gain problem or the channel imbalance problem, and I use Grado's which are low impedance phones and the amp sounds great with them once I got it burned in. Treble was a bit peaky for the first several days but it smoothed right out pretty quickly and I love the sound now.

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