Head-Fi.org › Forums › Summit-Fi (High-End Audio) › High-end Audio Forum › Speaker amps for headphones
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Speaker amps for headphones - Page 156

post #2326 of 2627
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post
 

 

With the BHA-1, the bass was super deep, had good impact, the mids were on point and transparent. Treble was clean, without harshness (although a bit fatiguing with the LCD-3 in balanced mode) but surprisingly not with the D2000 (single ended), which is supposed to be brighter. Both were being driven properly as far as I could tell. I mostly tried the BHA-1 and BDA-2 combo. I had to keep changing the volume, sometimes turning it up and sometimes down, just to get the perfect treble and bass ratio. I think I could've gotten used to if I had more time with it. However, in my four hour audition, it never really moved me, especially considering the price of the setup. Later on I tried the BHA-1 with Arcam D33. This took care of the treble for sure and preferred more, although had less energy and maybe dynamic. I can't tell which one I would've picked though.

 

With the Marantz combo so far, for a week or two, I'm going to figure it out more and report back, before getting all critical on it. Although I will say that music on the Marantz combo actually sounds music for a change. For me, with speakers I'm less nitpicky about the sound, but with headphones it has to be just right for me to really enjoy it. The BHA-1 while had everything going for it just couldn't really engage me in a fun sense. Like I kept listening to how well it did the music but just couldn't get it to sound fun after that.

 

I really want to try the BHA-1 again though.

 



Yeah, the Bryston stuff tends towards the analytical and neutral.
Personally, I like analytical and neutral.
OTOH, I used to be all about the tubes. I guess I changed.

 

That's why I love this unit. It has a bit of the tube sound in the mids, but still solid state dynamic and full of attack. Another thing I should note is that the volume knob can be controlled with the remote as well as from the knob directly. It seems to be going off in steps. With the remote, it's a noticeable change each time I turn the volume up or down. At 9:00 - 9:30, it's almost a BHA-1 and aggressive (but not hurtful). At 8:30 ish, with only slightly loss in volume, it's more relaxed in the treble. It's almost like having two different amps. Yet to figure out if this is an advantage or disadvantage. I am super busy in the week, so will get to try out the combo again either this or next weekend.

post #2327 of 2627
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post
 

 

I might still consider the PM6005 later on if I like the PM6004 enough and if the digital inputs are half decent. Another option is PM8004 but with resistors for sure. I had the LCD-2 and HE-500 with Emotiva. I loved those two pairings on the Emotiva. The HE-500 wasn't 3D enough for me on that and the treble at times got bright. Although the LCD-2 was amazing.

 

At the moment, I sold them both for the LCD-3, so can't comment. However, I think both would sound really well on the Marantz. The Marantz should merge perfectly with the HE-500 in the treble region.

 

The mids are quite involving on the PM6004. It's a dynamic and powerful sound. It's less aggressive and less in your face than the Emotiva, but the vocals and presentation of the music is still quite lively.

 

Even the headphone output jack was a success. While directly off the taps, the LCD-3 sounded better with more deeper bass, it was still good off the jack

 

A huge success was trying the KRK KNS 8400 off the headphone jack. It was driving it perfectly. Usually these are considered bass light, but on this combo, it worked perfectly, also no weird treble. I'm going to try a D2000 next week when I get back to the PM6004, but I think it should be able to drive it fine and take off the edge. If it can drive the D2000 well, I'm sure that in the future I'll be able to drive a TH-900 right off the headphone jack.

This sounds better and better. PM6004 and PM6005 are not that far apart pricewise for me and I figure PM6005 will have better aftermarket value because of the built in DAC. Sadly it's missing USB input. Pretty sure next model from Marantz will have that.

post #2328 of 2627
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiRobot View Post
 

This sounds better and better. PM6004 and PM6005 are not that far apart pricewise for me and I figure PM6005 will have better aftermarket value because of the built in DAC. Sadly it's missing USB input. Pretty sure next model from Marantz will have that.

 

Yeah, a USB input would've been nice, although I can use the mini toslink through the Mac. Limited to 96khz, but most of my music is in FLAC at 16/44.1, so no real loss here. Their reference stuff an other Marantz stuff have USB inputs. I was hoping that PM8005 would also have a DAC.

 

There's a local dealer here that carries Marantz as well as other good brands. I'll be paying him a visit later on when I have ample time to check out other Marantz. My plan is to walk in there with my LCD-3, D2000, KNS 8400 and ask the guy to show me all the speaker amps around 50 Watts or less at 8ohms, regardless of price, just to get a sense of how the PM6004 stands in there and if I can find something better.

 

I might still get a headphone amplifier, especially for saving space down the road, although my mentality is to rather spend the same money on an amp that can drive both headphones and speakers rather than just headphones.

post #2329 of 2627

No need to limit yourself to 50 wpc or less for the LCD-3s.  They are designed to handle the equivalent of ~80wpc (8 ohms) without any risk of damage -- except to your eardrums as they put out 120dBs at that power level.  I'm running straight out of a 110 wpc amp with no issues.

post #2330 of 2627
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post

With the BHA-1, the bass was super deep, had good impact, the mids were on point and transparent. Treble was clean, without harshness (although a bit fatiguing with the LCD-3 in balanced mode) but surprisingly not with the D2000 (single ended), which is supposed to be brighter. Both were being driven properly as far as I could tell. I mostly tried the BHA-1 and BDA-2 combo. I had to keep changing the volume, sometimes turning it up and sometimes down, just to get the perfect treble and bass ratio. I think I could've gotten used to if I had more time with it. However, in my four hour audition, it never really moved me, especially considering the price of the setup. Later on I tried the BHA-1 with Arcam D33. This took care of the treble for sure and preferred more, although had less energy and maybe dynamic. I can't tell which one I would've picked though.

With the Marantz combo so far, for a week or two, I'm going to figure it out more and report back, before getting all critical on it. Although I will say that music on the Marantz combo actually sounds music for a change. For me, with speakers I'm less nitpicky about the sound, but with headphones it has to be just right for me to really enjoy it. The BHA-1 while had everything going for it just couldn't really engage me in a fun sense. Like I kept listening to how well it did the music but just couldn't get it to sound fun after that.

I really want to try the BHA-1 again though.

The funny thing is, reading your comments makes me want to try a BHA-1 even more! LOL!
post #2331 of 2627
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post


Perhaps I should point out that I am one of those guys with the Mega Watt power amps and the inefficient loudspeakers.
Average power of a LOUD listening level is 1-4 Watts.

I wouldn't call the point where distortion is a minumum the sweet spot.
That would mean you are running the amplfier full out, maximum output voltage.
And since we often operate headphones with a Volt or less, often much less, then I guess we are not in the sweet spot.

Pre-amps?
Typically outputting 100 mV into a Power Amp.

The whole tubes are more wonky than Solid State comment gives me a headache.
It is one of the those statements which is not really true, but not really a lie.
If you are comparing Op Amp rolling to tube rolling then you are comparing Apples to Oranges.
When you roll Op Amps you are replacing one complete amplifier block with another.
A much better comparison would be to replace transistors in discrete circuits and compare that with tube rollling.
So we are back to "it depends".
How complex is the discrete transistor circuit?
How complex is the vacuum tube circuit?

However I do agree, it is rather masochistic to roll Op Amps and try to hear a difference. Or realize you don't really hear a difference.

 

I was just using THD as an example. It's not the absolute criteria, but it's not a bad one.

 

But no, an amp running full out is not necessarily where it has the lowest THD. But wherever it is, a headphone load is going to be far from it unless you finagle the resistors for ideal voltage and current output.

 

Not sure where the preamp part came in.

 

As for the tube/opamp/etc I was just tossing rhetoric in there.

 

I don't quite remember what I was trying to get at anymore. I just got back home after being stranded in the US midwest from that ridiculous blizzard (more of a windstorm, but still ugly) and I'm exhausted.

post #2332 of 2627
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post

I was just using THD as an example. It's not the absolute criteria, but it's not a bad one.

But no, an amp running full out is not necessarily where it has the lowest THD. But wherever it is, a headphone load is going to be far from it unless you finagle the resistors for ideal voltage and current output.

Not sure where the preamp part came in.

As for the tube/opamp/etc I was just tossing rhetoric in there.

I don't quite remember what I was trying to get at anymore. I just got back home after being stranded in the US midwest from that ridiculous blizzard (more of a windstorm, but still ugly) and I'm exhausted.

an Op Amp typically has lowest THD just before clipping.
Pre-amps often use Op amps.
So an Op Amp based pre-amp driving a power amp would be way out of it's "sweet spot".
BTW, I don't agree with that statement.

Basically you think using 100 Watt @ 8 Ohm amps for headphones is just DUMB!
post #2333 of 2627
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post
 

No need to limit yourself to 50 wpc or less for the LCD-3s.  They are designed to handle the equivalent of ~80wpc (8 ohms) without any risk of damage -- except to your eardrums as they put out 120dBs at that power level.  I'm running straight out of a 110 wpc amp with no issues.

 

It's just the volume play and noise floor that I'm worried about. I'll revisit the numbers later on in this thread when I am going to go hunting.

post #2334 of 2627
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post


The funny thing is, reading your comments makes me want to try a BHA-1 even more! LOL!

Haha, that's awesome :beerchug:

 

Post your results when you get to audition it. Or better yet, bring one to the upcoming meet :wink:

post #2335 of 2627

Noise and volume control really depend on the design of the amp.  I have excellent control of the Odyssey Cyclops volume, though it doesn't get past ~8:30 on the dial, and there is no audible noise.  The TBI Millenia has audible hiss at any volume level without resistors, though volume is still relatively controllable. 

 

My recommendation is just try as many amps as you can, buy/keep the one you like best.  Pretty original advice, huh?


Edited by Gary in MD - 1/27/14 at 8:17pm
post #2336 of 2627
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post
 

Noise and volume control really depend on the design of the amp.  I have excellent control of the Odyssey Cyclops volume, though it doesn't get past ~8:30 on the dial, and there is no audible noise.  The TBI Millenia has audible hiss at any volume level without resistors, though volume is still relatively controllable. 

 

My recommendation is just try as many amps as you can, buy/keep the one you like best.  Pretty original advice, huh?

 

Yeah, going to pretty much do that, within reasonable limits of course. I agree about the variation in amps and how they handle the load. A good indicator I've found is how loud the music is with the volume knob turned all the way down. Always start with the volume down to minimum. Plan is to go in there as soon as the shop opens and come out when it closes. Going to be driving the owner insane!

 

I really wish there were more places to try out headphone amps here, but it's still such a small niche in the audio world, that if you want to get it right by testing it yourself, speaker amps are the way to go.

post #2337 of 2627
Hafler P-1500. Very good. Balanced. Inexpensive.
post #2338 of 2627
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post

Yeah, going to pretty much do that, within reasonable limits of course. I agree about the variation in amps and how they handle the load. A good indicator I've found is how loud the music is with the volume knob turned all the way down. Always start with the volume down to minimum. Plan is to go in there as soon as the shop opens and come out when it closes. Going to be driving the owner insane!

I really wish there were more places to try out headphone amps here, but it's still such a small niche in the audio world, that if you want to get it right by testing it yourself, speaker amps are the way to go.

Have you tried Planet Of Sound?
They don't have a massive selection of headphone amps but they usually have one or three on display.
Also try the Headphone Shop on Yonge St.
post #2339 of 2627
Have you tried Al ,s for sale emporium. I am putting my KRELL kav400 xi for sale. PM me if interested.

Al
post #2340 of 2627
I have to ask this dummy question so please no harsh comments please. smily_headphones1.gif

I am considering buying HE6 back with intent to use on the speaker amps, saw very good reviews for Marantz PM6004 and Emotiva mini-x-a100.
My question is, when I look at the spec it outputs about 60-80 wpc at 4ohm or 45-50wpc at 8ohm.

How do you know what WPC produces at 50 ohm that HE6 requires ? and where do you buy the speaker tap cables for HE6 ?

Thanks in advance,
D.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: High-end Audio Forum
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Summit-Fi (High-End Audio) › High-end Audio Forum › Speaker amps for headphones