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This Schiit is Bananas! $99 Schiit Magni Amp and $99 Modi DAC - Page 89

post #1321 of 1366
Quote:
Originally Posted by themunce View Post
 

But how does one become a person that writes long messages late at night on mysterious internet forums?...wait, I'm that guy.

 

In a word, Rum.

 

:beerchug:

post #1322 of 1366
Quote:
Originally Posted by UmustBKidn View Post
 

 

In a word, Rum.

 

:beerchug:

Landsharks.

post #1323 of 1366
Quote:
Originally Posted by UmustBKidn View Post

Well, yes and no. You're confusing the issue. What you're referring to is generally quoted as how much sound is produced per watt (or milliwatt), at a given frequency, as measured by a sound pressure level meter, a set distance from the drivers. This value does not necessarily correlate with impedance. In other words, they are two different specifications.

As an example, let's look at the three different impedances offered by Beyerdynamic, for their DT 770 model:

Beyerdynamic DT770 / 250 ohm: 96 db @ 1mW / 500 Hz.
Beyerdynamic DT770 / 80 ohms: 96 db @ 1mW / 500 Hz
Beyerdynamic DT770 / 32 ohms: 96 db @ 1mW / 500 Hz

You will note that the manufacturer of this headphone lists the sensitivity as exactly the same, for three different impedances. So the sound level produced by each of these cans is exactly the same, given a 1mW input at 500 Hz. Using your terminology, they are equally efficient. Of course, they don't specify what sort of amplifier they used to achieve that result. They also ignored the effect of frequency (though I give them props for including the frequency used in this measurement).

Using the points in your discussion, if you drive any of these headphones with an amplifier that is capable of providing the necessary voltage and current, then theoretically you ought to get the same sort of result. Without resorting to a lengthy explanation on ohms law and calculating impedance using imaginary numbers, let's just postulate that you get the same result, if and only if your amplifier can indeed match the right voltage and current to the load presented to it. I assert that the load for each of those headphones is different, notwithstanding their equal efficiency ratings. Each requires a different voltage and current to achieve the same power, and thus the same sound level output. But those are two different things.

So back to the original question: is there any advantage to higher impedance headphones? Let me modify my previous answer thusly:

If you can hear the difference, AND if you have an amplifier that can produce the necessary voltage and current needed, then higher impedance headphones are better.

If you can't hear the difference, AND/OR you do not have an amplifier that can produce the necessary voltage and current needed, then skip the higher impedance cans. Go with what you can drive with an ipod alone, and leave the arguments to people who write long messages late at night on mysterious internet forums... tongue_smile.gif
We're pretty much on the same page, so I'll try to keep this brief...

1. Typically when we say "hard to drive," we are talking about efficiency, at least more than impedance. This is because, given the same impedance, a pair of headphones with less efficiency will require more power to get the desired volume level. Plug two models with the same impedance - but different efficiency - into the same jack, and one will be noticeably quieter than the other (and switching to an amp with higher power output can fix that if your cans are too quiet).

2. Again, impedance is a result of driver design, and that design is reactive (reaction varies with frequency). If you have an ideal source, the sound levels should be virtually the same on the Beyerdynamic models because you are delivering the same power. However, we don't have ideal sources, and the impedance reflects different parts in the driver that will react differently. Even if you have an ideal source, the quality would be different on each model because of frequency varying effects.

So you amp might not pair well with your headphones, but I would hesitate to say that one model was "easier to drive" based on impedance alone. (You can still tell whether or not you have an amplifier that will work well by looking at the impedance, though.)

Now, I'll get back to my coffee so I pair well with my job this morning smily_headphones1.gif
post #1324 of 1366

The question should be this.

Does a pair of headphones that requires an amp/dac to drive sound better than a pair of headphones that does not?

If it does, what are the reasons behind those headphones sounding better?

post #1325 of 1366
Quote:
Originally Posted by themunce View Post

The question should be this.
Does a pair of headphones that requires an amp/dac to drive sound better than a pair of headphones that does not?
If it does, what are the reasons behind those headphones sounding better?
Well first off, all headphones require amps, and you will always need a DAC if you want to play a digital file. A standalone, dedicated DAC will usually sound better than the one integrated in your cell phone because it has discrete parts that are better at converting 1's and 0's into an analog waveform.

Your amp delivers power to your headphones. The question is, can your amp deliver enough power to your headphones, and as a subset of that, can it deliver enough voltage and current (even though the power rating is high enough, some headphones are going to require more voltage swing to get a proper response). If we refer to your cell phone again, you have a pretty minimal voltage swing, and not a lot of current capacity because you will drain your battery.

Now if a pair "requires" an amp, do they sound better? I'm actually asking you, because "better" is a subjective analysis. If the headphones sound good, they sound good. There are many different models with different specifications because designers keep coming up with new ideas to deliver different (and in some cases, "better") responses. Some people can tell the difference, and some people will be perfectly happy with a cheap pair from Best Buy.

Different parts, different specifications, different sounds. Generally, people here notice a difference when switching to higher-tier headphones, which is why we keep with this expensive hobby biggrin.gif
post #1326 of 1366
Quote:
Originally Posted by themunce View Post

The question should be this.
Does a pair of headphones that requires an amp/dac to drive sound better than a pair of headphones that does not?
If it does, what are the reasons behind those headphones sounding better?

The question misses the point somewhat. The need for amplification is mainly to do with the driver's efficiency - how well the headphone system concerts electrical signal to the movements of the eardrum. While it is arguable that greater efficiency should imply a greater 'purity' there are also factors that increase efficiency while detrimental to the sound quality (closed back headphones, for example).
Another line of thought could propose that requirements for efficiency is a constraint and constraints usually mean compromise so a detriment to the ability of the product.

Too many other factors are involved here for one to be able to draw meaningful conclusions from things like sensitivity and impedance alone.
post #1327 of 1366
Quote:
Originally Posted by themunce View Post
 

The question should be this.

Does a pair of headphones that requires an amp/dac to drive sound better than a pair of headphones that does not?

If it does, what are the reasons behind those headphones sounding better?

 

Let me skip the previous argument to answer this question another way. What first started me on my journey to high fidelity headphone audio, was breaking a cheap set of headphones, and the desire for something better.

 

I broke a set of Sony MDR NC-40 on-ear headphones, that were driven by an ipod shuffle. Those cans have a teeny built-in amp/noise cancelling system, driven by an AAA battery. You can decide for yourself how powerful an amplifier driven by an AAA battery is. I used that setup for about 6 years, at work, daily. It suited my needs. It was portable. I know it wasn't perfect, but it was portable. That was the main goal.

 

When I broke the setup, I no longer needed portability. I needed over-ear cans, not on-ear cans. I bought over-ear cans, and then tried to drive them with a cheap amplifier (a cheap Fiio), that was about the size of my ipod shuffle. It sucked, badly. I did not want to revert to a new set of the Sony MDR NC-40's (though the thought did occur to me). No, I wanted something better. I did not want to keep blowing money on crappy amps, so I did a little research. I read some review on Amazon that mentioned Head-fi. I foolishly decided to sign up for a membership on this website. And that's where it all started. Just about a year ago, for me.

 

So my next purchase was a better amp. The main driver for my amp purchase was frugality, because this was going to sit on my desk at work, and I didn't want to feel bad if some moron walked off with my stuff. So I bought a Bravo V2 amp for under $70 from Amazon. It was cheap, it drove the cans a whole heckofalot better than the silly little Fiio, and it also had the interesting side effect of introducing me to tubes.

 

This setup was also not idea, because now the cans became noticeably bad within a month, and so I began buying new headphones. And on and on. And suddenly the motto of this website made sense: "Welcome to Head-Fi, sorry about your wallet!"

 

The answers to your questions are subjective. Sorry. There are no absolutes on this website. There are many opinions. Each opinion is valid for the person who wrote it, and maybe a few more people who believe it. Just keep in mind, your ears are different from everyone else's. What sounds good to me won't sound the same to you. There are a lot of reasons for that, some being your age, how badly you've mistreated your ears over time, your knowledge of music appreciation, whether you've been a musician or not, and so on. Even if you know little about music, if you're an Old Guy (tm) like me, it doesn't matter how much you know, if you have to live with tinnitus.

 

So. To be brief, we can't answer those questions for you. Only you can. In my personal opinion and experience, I think headphones sound better with amplifiers, simply because the headphone can be driven better with a good amp, than by an ipod/phone/computer alone. The reasons for that sounding better? I don't have the time, desire, or ability to explain it all, but you can read that for yourself on this website. Even if you believe that, if you're like me, your ears might not hear those improvements, because you're too old, your ears are damaged, you have no ear for music, and on and on.

 

This journey is very individual in many ways. We can only do so much to help you experience it. Good luck and hang on to your wallet.

post #1328 of 1366
Quote:
Originally Posted by UmustBKidn View Post
 

 

Let me skip the previous argument to answer this question another way. What first started me on my journey to high fidelity headphone audio, was breaking a cheap set of headphones, and the desire for something better.

 

I broke a set of Sony MDR NC-40 on-ear headphones, that were driven by an ipod shuffle. Those cans have a teeny built-in amp/noise cancelling system, driven by an AAA battery. You can decide for yourself how powerful an amplifier driven by an AAA battery is. I used that setup for about 6 years, at work, daily. It suited my needs. It was portable. I know it wasn't perfect, but it was portable. That was the main goal.

 

When I broke the setup, I no longer needed portability. I needed over-ear cans, not on-ear cans. I bought over-ear cans, and then tried to drive them with a cheap amplifier (a cheap Fiio), that was about the size of my ipod shuffle. It sucked, badly. I did not want to revert to a new set of the Sony MDR NC-40's (though the thought did occur to me). No, I wanted something better. I did not want to keep blowing money on crappy amps, so I did a little research. I read some review on Amazon that mentioned Head-fi. I foolishly decided to sign up for a membership on this website. And that's where it all started. Just about a year ago, for me.

 

So my next purchase was a better amp. The main driver for my amp purchase was frugality, because this was going to sit on my desk at work, and I didn't want to feel bad if some moron walked off with my stuff. So I bought a Bravo V2 amp for under $70 from Amazon. It was cheap, it drove the cans a whole heckofalot better than the silly little Fiio, and it also had the interesting side effect of introducing me to tubes.

 

This setup was also not idea, because now the cans became noticeably bad within a month, and so I began buying new headphones. And on and on. And suddenly the motto of this website made sense: "Welcome to Head-Fi, sorry about your wallet!"

 

The answers to your questions are subjective. Sorry. There are no absolutes on this website. There are many opinions. Each opinion is valid for the person who wrote it, and maybe a few more people who believe it. Just keep in mind, your ears are different from everyone else's. What sounds good to me won't sound the same to you. There are a lot of reasons for that, some being your age, how badly you've mistreated your ears over time, your knowledge of music appreciation, whether you've been a musician or not, and so on. Even if you know little about music, if you're an Old Guy (tm) like me, it doesn't matter how much you know, if you have to live with tinnitus.

 

So. To be brief, we can't answer those questions for you. Only you can. In my personal opinion and experience, I think headphones sound better with amplifiers, simply because the headphone can be driven better with a good amp, than by an ipod/phone/computer alone. The reasons for that sounding better? I don't have the time, desire, or ability to explain it all, but you can read that for yourself on this website. Even if you believe that, if you're like me, your ears might not hear those improvements, because you're too old, your ears are damaged, you have no ear for music, and on and on.

 

This journey is very individual in many ways. We can only do so much to help you experience it. Good luck and hang on to your wallet.

 

+1. Very well said!

post #1329 of 1366
Quote:
Originally Posted by themunce View Post
 

So from reading some of the recent posts, my macbook pro already has a pretty good sound setup, and I won't benefit all that much from this combo? Is there a thread somewhere that explains alot of the question I have right now? Like why would someone buy a 600 ohm headphone over 35 ohm, if 35 doesn't require an amp? What makes a headphone 600 ohm etc? I'm a total newbie and feel so stupid but it's hard finding beginner information. Thanks for everyone that's been a help thus far. I feel so lost amongst the jargon.

The 600 ohm voice coil is lighter than the 35 ohm coil, which will cause the transducer/diaphragm to behave differently. Mainly this will improve attack speed, decay, and control. The properly amped (and often even improperly amped) 600 ohm version will almost invariably sound better than the 35 ohm version of the same headphone.

 

There's also the output impedance damping factor to consider, but that's a lot more technical and trying to explain it would probably overwhelm you even worse, so we'll save that for a later time.

 

Though, to be honest, my 600 ohm K240 Sextett sounds damn excellent out of my laptop AND my phone; the only real benefit I notice from better amping is volume and a slight increase in control (which honestly might just be the additional current they're getting from being driven louder). In my opinion, you should always opt for the higher impedance headphone when given the choice; most modern gear is very sensitive and the only issue you'll ever realistically run into is not being able to drive them to earsplitting levels.


Edited by takato14 - 6/12/14 at 10:59pm
post #1330 of 1366

Just wanted to say Jason, loving my new Magni, and Modi(optical) great quality products! I haven't had a amp this good since my Gilmore version one. I've tried others, but your right you guys are the Schiit! Absolutely dead silent, no hiss or buzz like others I've tried, keep up the good work guys!  

post #1331 of 1366

Apparently I'm not allowed to post classifieds on the forum yet but If anyone are thinking about selling their Modi I'm looking for one to go with my Vali. Preferable in Europe but other locations are fine too.

 

I can also take the time to ask how big a difference an external DAC like Modi does? I haven't owned one before and are currently running my Vali straight from my Lenovo laptop. Will I hear a big difference?

post #1332 of 1366
Quote:
Originally Posted by Estremo View Post
 

Apparently I'm not allowed to post classifieds on the forum yet but If anyone are thinking about selling their Modi I'm looking for one to go with my Vali. Preferable in Europe but other locations are fine too.

 

I can also take the time to ask how big a difference an external DAC like Modi does? I haven't owned one before and are currently running my Vali straight from my Lenovo laptop. Will I hear a big difference?

 The difference will vary from headphone to headphone, but you should be able to hear a positive change :)

post #1333 of 1366
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bboy500 View Post

 The difference will vary from headphone to headphone, but you should be able to hear a positive change smily_headphones1.gif
Forgot to mention, I will use it with Sennheiser HD 650.
post #1334 of 1366

Headphones: Phillips Fidelio X1

Headphone Impedance: 32ohm

Headphone Sensitivity: 100db

 

Currently I am using the realtek motherboard audio on my PC.  The sound is decent. (compared to what I am used to - previously el cheapo $30 headphones)

 

Tomorrow in the mail I will get a creative labs OMNI usb soundcard.  This will provide me surround processing for games, as well as an improved DAC over the motherboard and a 600ohm headphone amp based on the MAXIM chipset.

 

Would I get any benefit from using a Magni amp attached to the OMNI?

Would I get any benefit in bypassing the DAC on the OMNI with a MODI?

 

Does anyone have experience using the Fidelio X1 headphones with this amp/dac combo?

post #1335 of 1366
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverwind View Post
 

Headphones: Phillips Fidelio X1

Headphone Impedance: 32ohm

Headphone Sensitivity: 100db

 

Currently I am using the realtek motherboard audio on my PC.  The sound is decent. (compared to what I am used to - previously el cheapo $30 headphones)

 

Tomorrow in the mail I will get a creative labs OMNI usb soundcard.  This will provide me surround processing for games, as well as an improved DAC over the motherboard and a 600ohm headphone amp based on the MAXIM chipset.

 

Would I get any benefit from using a Magni amp attached to the OMNI?

Would I get any benefit in bypassing the DAC on the OMNI with a MODI?

 

Does anyone have experience using the Fidelio X1 headphones with this amp/dac combo?

uh, "600 ohm headphone amp"? that doesn't make sense, does it have a 600 ohm output impedance or something?

 

also is it a desktop PC or a laptop? most laptops have good soundcards already and if so you probably wont notice a difference with a new DAC

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