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Speaker amps for headphones - Page 75

post #1111 of 2837

The T-1s are a completely different can from anything Jan has tuned for in the past (which is why he thinks it will be fun), starting with 600-ohm resistance combined with 102-dB output at 1mW.  They are terminated in a TRS jack, though reportedly use 4 wires. 

 

I'm guessing Jan would have to do about as much tweaking to Flysweep's box as mine, and I already own/paid for mine and will never use it for anything else (remember, it's the box that lost the competition to the one with concrete resistors)... plus I hate selling stuff, so it is just going to sit here taking up space.  This is a perfect use for it:  most of the cost is sunk (the box and the binding posts can be reused), and any resistors he would add would be cheap.  In return for whatever it cost me I might salvage enjoyable sound out of an expensive pair of cans that it appears I would otherwise be stuck with and never use.  I honestly don't care what he does inside that box, whether he keeps any of the Mills resistors or not, or whether he just fills it with sand or marbles or air.  In the end, it's whatever works, man.


Edited by Gary in MD - 9/26/13 at 9:22pm
post #1112 of 2837
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post

I respect the effort science puts in and their intent is noble but their confidence in their conclusions is galling. They talk about placebo and delusion and I think that's their problem. They can't hear a difference because they've already determined it can't. But this thread isn't about them or my view.

 

Being an engineer by profession, I use science every day.  I know from personal experience that making good measurements is non-trivial.  High dynamic range measurements are extremely difficult to perform correctly.  It takes a lot of attention to detail and very well characterized equipment.  You also have to know WHAT you are trying to measure.  Making measurements when you don't know what you are looking for is orders of magnitude more difficult.  (see CERN as an example).

Just because you can't measure a difference between two components doesn't mean there isn't a difference.  Maybe it just means you don't know what to measure or how to measure it.  

 

I think that is one of the conundrums of high quality audio and electronic measurements.  I don't think the measurements required to explain various audio phenomena are well understood.  I certainly don't have a firm grasp on the measurements required to quantify "resolution" or "space" or "grain".  Is it just frequency response that makes one amp sound "dark" and another "bright"?  What electronic phenomena contribute to "openness" and "space around instruments".  One can imagine that phase shift is involved in a system producing "well placed instruments" and "staging" but, is that it?  What makes a component "veiled"?

 

I certainly don't know...  


Edited by potterma - 9/26/13 at 9:26pm
post #1113 of 2837
Quote:
Originally Posted by potterma View Post
 

 

Being an engineer by profession, I use science every day.  I know from personal experience that making good measurements is non-trivial.  High dynamic range measurements are extremely difficult to perform correctly.  It takes a lot of attention to detail and very well characterized equipment.

Just because you can't measure a difference between two components doesn't mean there isn't a difference.  Maybe it just means you don't know what to measure or how to measure it.  

 

I think that is one of the conundrums of high quality audio and electronic measurements.  I don't think the measurements required to explain various audio phenomena are well understood.  I certainly don't have a firm grasp on the measurements required to quantify "resolution" or "space" or "grain".  Is it just frequency response that makes one amp sound "dark" and another "bright"?  What electronic phenomena contribute to "openness" and "space around instruments".  One can imagine that phase shift is involved in a system producing "well placed instruments" and "staging" but, is that it?  What makes a component "veiled"?

 

I certainly don't know...  

 

I agree. Audio is deeply rooted in both science and art. I love it.

post #1114 of 2837

Brunk,

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post
 

Awesome Mike! You're going to love that solder station, it's a rebranded Aoyue, which is right up there with Weller but cost much less. Now your possibilities are limitless! Let me know if there's something you'd like to build for whatever application and I can help steer you in the right direction. What solder did you end up with?

 

Cheers!

Brunk

:beerchug: 

 

EDIT: It just so happens i have an extra set of First Watt F5 boards and Universal PSU board, both from DiyAudio which actually makes a perfect beginner amplifier because of Mr. Pass' minimalistic approach. Let me know if you're interested!

 

 

Yeah, looking at the price of some of the Weller stations, this CSI unit seems to be a good deal.  I got it with the tips you suggested.  I already had some 60/40 solder, but I bought some of the Cardas Eucalyptus (or whatever it's called) - only ten feet of it (big spender).  :D

 

And after a ridiculous amount of research, I talked myself into ordering a pair of these, too: 

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CJ7ZYMQ

 

Now I won't have to worry about getting caught using my wife's favorite scissors to cut wire.  And I can use these to trim my nose hairs!  I've got an old pair of dikes that are just too large, not to mention dull. Haha!  I mean, too large and dull for working with electronics!  

 

F5 boards!  Wow, thanks!  But call me chicken. I've been looking at little crystal radio and solar car kits online! 

 

 

Mike

(Bawk, bawk, bawk...)


Edited by zilch0md - 9/26/13 at 9:39pm
post #1115 of 2837
Quote:
Originally Posted by potterma View Post

Being an engineer by profession, I use science every day.  I know from personal experience that making good measurements is non-trivial.  High dynamic range measurements are extremely difficult to perform correctly.  It takes a lot of attention to detail and very well characterized equipment.  You also have to know WHAT you are trying to measure.  Making measurements when you don't know what you are looking for is orders of magnitude more difficult.  (see CERN as an example).
Just because you can't measure a difference between two components doesn't mean there isn't a difference.  Maybe it just means you don't know what to measure or how to measure it.  

I think that is one of the conundrums of high quality audio and electronic measurements.  I don't think the measurements required to explain various audio phenomena are well understood.  I certainly don't have a firm grasp on the measurements required to quantify "resolution" or "space" or "grain".  Is it just frequency response that makes one amp sound "dark" and another "bright"?  What electronic phenomena contribute to "openness" and "space around instruments".  One can imagine that phase shift is involved in a system producing "well placed instruments" and "staging" but, is that it?  What makes a component "veiled"?

I certainly don't know...  
Potterma, I must apologize for grouping all into a stereotype. The science forum has a crew that has an answer for everything and there is no option from black and white. Science is explaining the observed world and there is a lot of cut and dry stuff that's pretty much set. There is some things that are still not quite there but there is no flexibility in the possibility that things are more complex than theory explains.
post #1116 of 2837

Haha way to go mike :) Yeah those wire cutters are very handy, i have a pair of excelite electrical pliers that i use all the time, nice and small and thin. Lol too bad you're chicken, it's a great learning experience! Just don't make the F5 boards your first PCB soldering experience hehe. I'm glad you got a sample of the Cardas stuff, I think you'll fall in love with it and buy a pound in no time flat.

post #1117 of 2837
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post

I respect the effort science puts in and their intent is noble but their confidence in their conclusions is galling. They talk about placebo and delusion and I think that's their problem. They can't hear a difference because they've already determined it can't. But this thread isn't about them or my view.

Don't take my post seriously, it was pure sarcasm! tongue.gif

Most of them wallpaper their lack of technical knowledge with their standard answer: placebo, delusion, fallacy, etc.
Edited by Chris J - 9/27/13 at 1:25am
post #1118 of 2837

I need a speaker amp pig tail for connecting my LCD-3 to my upcoming Odyssey Cyclops amp. I've seen btg-audio mentioned for making these, but before ordering I have a couple of questions.

 

Hooking up with the Odyssey Cyclops, does it matter if I go with a single ended or 4-pin XLR connector for hooking up the LCD-3?

 

I plan on going directly to the amp without any resistor box in between, as it seems Gary had good success doing that. I'm still a little worried of having enough volume adjustment range - won't like having to make micro surgery adjustments turning the knob just tiny fractions.

Any special procedure for hooking up and turning on the gear, when no resistors are in place (other than start with low volume)?

 

Unless convinced otherwise, I will be ordering an Emotiva XDA-2 as DAC and input hub. It does have a "precision analog resistor ladder volume control that maintains resolution even at low volumes" that might be useful should the volume adjustment range of the Cyclops amp be to restrictive for me. I don't know if it will hurt sound quality until I've tried it. The remote for the XDA-2 could come in handy as well.

 

And thanks to the significant contribution Gary and the rest of you have made to this thread.

post #1119 of 2837
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post

Potterma, I must apologize for grouping all into a stereotype. The science forum has a crew that has an answer for everything and there is no option from black and white. Science is explaining the observed world and there is a lot of cut and dry stuff that's pretty much set. There is some things that are still not quite there but there is no flexibility in the possibility that things are more complex than theory explains.

I didn't feel " grouped" at all. I have no connection to that group. I don't even visit that forum. I mentioned CERN exactly because it is an example of science reaching to understand what we do not understand. The more we observe the universe the more we learn and the more questions we raise. One needs to be prepared to abandon their preconceived notions at a moments notice!
- michael
post #1120 of 2837
Well said. CERN is a hallmark in our development.
post #1121 of 2837
Quote:
Originally Posted by henrikolsen View Post
 

I need a speaker amp pig tail for connecting my LCD-3 to my upcoming Odyssey Cyclops amp. I've seen btg-audio mentioned for making these, but before ordering I have a couple of questions.

 

Hooking up with the Odyssey Cyclops, does it matter if I go with a single ended or 4-pin XLR connector for hooking up the LCD-3?

 

I plan on going directly to the amp without any resistor box in between, as it seems Gary had good success doing that. I'm still a little worried of having enough volume adjustment range - won't like having to make micro surgery adjustments turning the knob just tiny fractions.

Any special procedure for hooking up and turning on the gear, when no resistors are in place (other than start with low volume)?

 

BTG seems to have a long queue for getting cables made. He does a good job and I think many places are just swamped on orders.

 

4 pin XLR should definitely work but I think SE requires a shared ground on the amp.

 

Having enough volume to play with depends on your DACs output (high starting volume) and the gain of the amp. Without resistors on my setup, I had to use the lowest 3 volume settings (digital control). Again it all depends on the DAC and amp. Amps normally sound better in the middle of their volume range as that's when their components work better anyway.

post #1122 of 2837
Quote:
Originally Posted by henrikolsen View Post
 

I need a speaker amp pig tail for connecting my LCD-3 to my upcoming Odyssey Cyclops amp. I've seen btg-audio mentioned for making these, but before ordering I have a couple of questions.

 

Hooking up with the Odyssey Cyclops, does it matter if I go with a single ended or 4-pin XLR connector for hooking up the LCD-3?

 

I plan on going directly to the amp without any resistor box in between, as it seems Gary had good success doing that. I'm still a little worried of having enough volume adjustment range - won't like having to make micro surgery adjustments turning the knob just tiny fractions.

Any special procedure for hooking up and turning on the gear, when no resistors are in place (other than start with low volume)?

 

Unless convinced otherwise, I will be ordering an Emotiva XDA-2 as DAC and input hub. It does have a "precision analog resistor ladder volume control that maintains resolution even at low volumes" that might be useful should the volume adjustment range of the Cyclops amp be to restrictive for me. I don't know if it will hurt sound quality until I've tried it. The remote for the XDA-2 could come in handy as well.

 

And thanks to the significant contribution Gary and the rest of you have made to this thread.

Henrik:

 

No reason not to go with 4-pin XLR, since the LCD-3s come with a balanced cable.  I used Ron Kerlin (Hiflight here on Head-Fi) who built me an XLR-terminated speaker tap for $50 delivered, much cheaper than BTG and it was delivered in a couple of days.  It works fine. 

 

Just start with the amp volume at zero, turn on the music and turn it up slowly until you get the volume you're comfortable with.  Unless you're either deaf or willing to sustain incredible sound pressure levels in your head, you'll stop turning before you could hurt the cans -- the LCD-3s will put out 120dB before breaking.  Assuming the XDA-2 output is the same as my XDA-1, you can leave the DAC volume control at neutral (wherever they say that is... for the XDA-1 it is at 80dB, i.e. max volume, since it uses a digital volume control) and use the amp to control volume.  You'll be between 7 o'clock and 8:30 for most recordings.  The change is relatively gradual and easily controllable in that range.

 

Once your are comfortable using just the amp volume control, you can start playing with the DAC volume control to optimize sound quality by gettng the amp more into its sweet spot.  I am interested to hear your impressions, since the XDA-2 might be added to my DAC comparo next summer.  It should sound the same as the XDA-1, but having that extra volume control, plus another headphone jack, might come in handy, and at $400 when not on sale, it is pretty cheap.


Edited by Gary in MD - 9/27/13 at 4:01pm
post #1123 of 2837
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post
 

Henrik:

 

No reason not to go with 4-pin XLR, since the LCD-3s come with a balanced cable.  I used Ron Kerlin (Hiflight here on Head-Fi) who built me an XLR-terminated speaker tap for $50 delivered, much cheaper than BTG and it was delivered in a couple of days.  It works fine. 

 

Just start with the amp volume at zero, turn on the music and turn it up slowly until you get the volume you're comfortable with.  Unless you're either deaf or willing to sustain incredible sound pressure levels in your head, you'll stop turning before you could hurt the cans -- the LCD-3s will put out 120dB before breaking.  Assuming the XDA-2 output is the same as my XDA-1, you can leave the DAC volume control at neutral (wherever they say that is... for the XDA-1 it is at 80dB, i.e. max volume, since it uses a digital volume control) and use the amp to control volume.  You'll be between 7 o'clock and 8:30 for most recordings.  The change is relatively gradual and easily controllable in that range.

 

Once your are comfortable using just the amp volume control, you can start playing with the DAC volume control to optimize sound quality by gettng the amp more into its sweet spot.  I am interested to hear your impressions, since the XDA-2 might be added to my DAC comparo next summer.  It should sound the same as the XDA-1, but having that extra volume control, plus another headphone jack, might come in handy, and at $400 when not on sale, it is pretty cheap.

 

 

Are they using the same DAC chip and output stage as the XDA-1?

post #1124 of 2837

Darryl:

 

I know it is the same chip (AD1955), and when I asked them last summer whether it made sense for me to try the XDA-2 when I was demo'ing the Mini-X, they said no, that the XDA-1 and XDA-2 sound the same using most of the inputs, they just upgraded the USB input (24/192 was added) changed from digital to analog volume control, and added a headphone jack.  I'm assuming this means that the two DACs use the same output stage.

 

The reason I am contemplating including it at all in my comparo next summer is that I want to test whether the analog volume control will allow me to get the Cyclops to sound better by increasing the amp's output into a sweet spot without using a separate pre-amp (whether passive or active).  In effect it might offer a unique price/performance point somewhere in between the XDA-1 that I already own, and the higher cost DACs I contemplate testing.

 

Hope that makes sense...

post #1125 of 2837

My "transportable" rig (until further notice):

 

 

 

HPRC 2400F case, with Touch shown for scale

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