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Speaker amps for headphones - Page 30

post #436 of 2717

Mills resistors from Sonic Craft, MRA-12 for 12 watts (http://www.soniccraft.com/mills_resistors.htm).

Cardas all metal binding posts from Parts Connexion (http://www.partsconnexion.com/connectors_brand_cardas.html).

 

Sonic Craft also sells Cardas binding posts, less expensive than Parts Connexion (http://www.soniccraft.com/products/connections/bindingpost/cardas.htm).


Edited by wuwhere - 7/17/13 at 10:18pm
post #437 of 2717
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post

Folks:

Jan Plummer is willing to put whatever resistors I want in the revised magic box.  I'm thinking that Mills would be a good choice, since Duelunds are too expensive.  But if anybody has another idea, let me know.

In addition, I'm thinking of having him put some all-metal binding posts in.  As I told Jan, I'm a bit worried about going with plastic posts given that I'm going to be attaching me to the other end of the wires, not a set of speakers that aren't going to move around (much).  Anybody got any ideas on that?  I expect to order parts tomorrow.

Gary

Are you worried about getting an electrical shock?
post #438 of 2717
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post


Are you worried about getting an electrical shock?


No, the worry is about wear and tear on the binding posts.  I don't think most of them are designed to last as headphone jacks.  Not that I would ever yank on, or step on, my headphone cable redface.gif

 

In any case Jan Plummer of TBI convinced me that was just not necessary.  I'm going to use his stock binding posts (the same ones that are on the amp). 

 

He doesn't think the Mills resistors are necessary either, but he'll put them in for me.  In fact, what I'm doing is getting a 2nd box from him, and I'll do another comparison test -- this time a true blind test.  He will put his standard resistors in one box, the Mills in the other, mark one of the boxes but not tell me which is which.  I will audition both to see if I can tell the difference, and if so, which I prefer.  Then he'll tell me which one I picked.  And I'll let you folks know the results as well.  I expect the boxes to be here at the end of next week.  In  the meantime, I'm listening to the Millenia without the box.  Still sounds pretty good, even with the background hiss.

post #439 of 2717
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post


No, the worry is about wear and tear on the binding posts.  I don't think most of them are designed to last as headphone jacks.  Not that I would ever yank on, or step on, my headphone cable redface.gif

 

In any case Jan Plummer of TBI convinced me that was just not necessary.  I'm going to use his stock binding posts (the same ones that are on the amp). 

 

He doesn't think the Mills resistors are necessary either, but he'll put them in for me.  In fact, what I'm doing is getting a 2nd box from him, and I'll do another comparison test -- this time a true blind test.  He will put his standard resistors in one box, the Mills in the other, mark one of the boxes but not tell me which is which.  I will audition both to see if I can tell the difference, and if so, which I prefer.  Then he'll tell me which one I picked.  And I'll let you folks know the results as well.  I expect the boxes to be here at the end of next week.  In  the meantime, I'm listening to the Millenia without the box.  Still sounds pretty good, even with the background hiss.

 

I would argue that if you don't believe that cables make an audible difference, then it would be hard to argue that one resistor sounds better than another! My only advice is try to buy low inductance resistors!
post #440 of 2717
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post


...snip ....

 

He doesn't think the Mills resistors are necessary either, but he'll put them in for me.  In fact, what I'm doing is getting a 2nd box from him, and I'll do another comparison test -- this time a true blind test.  He will put his standard resistors in one box, the Mills in the other, mark one of the boxes but not tell me which is which.  I will audition both to see if I can tell the difference, and if so, which I prefer.  Then he'll tell me which one I picked.  And I'll let you folks know the results as well.  I expect the boxes to be here at the end of next week.  In  the meantime, I'm listening to the Millenia without the box.  Still sounds pretty good, even with the background hiss.

Ooooo interesting test!  Do you know what his "standard resistors" are?

post #441 of 2717

Chris:

 

I have no idea if resistors will sound different to me.  Jan says they won't.  But for a few bucks, I get to do another comparison test (hey, it's been almost a week... I need my fix).  If I can tell the difference, then I can add resistors to power inputs on the list of things that my brain thinks make a difference in how music sounds.  If not, then I have busted another audiophile myth.  Maybe I could get my own TV show... Okay, definitely no chance of that. 

 

The Mills are low-inductance.  They are also "1%" resistors (I guess that means they are higher precision?) whereas (to answer Potterma) the standard ones Jan uses are concrete 5% resistors.  His view is that the percentages might make a slight difference, but probably not, since we aren't pushing enough power through to the headphones for it to matter much.  But hey, I always wanted to do a true blind test -- this one will truly be blind as long as I don't open the boxes, and I have no intention of doing that.  The only difference in the boxes will be the resistors, so if I hear a difference, that will be the cause.  Or else it will be my delusional brain that will be causing it.  In any case, I shall endeavor to pass on whatever great truths I discover, either about resistors or my brain, in moving forward with this great trial. 

 

I hope to have the boxes here by the end of next week. So stay tuned...

post #442 of 2717
1% are higher precision.
In theory, you will hear less channel imbalance with 1% resistors.
In practice, 5% is probably not enough to make a difference channel to channel, assume the resistors actually did deviate by 5% from each other.

The truth is out there...........
post #443 of 2717

Yes... and since I have often been accused of being "out there" I am sure I will find said truth, whatever it may be...

 

I do know that I am pretty sensitive to channel imbalance, mostly because of the pressure differences, not necessarily the perceived loudness.  But 5% is likely a smaller difference than I can feel.  

post #444 of 2717
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post

Chris:

 

.. snip ..

 

The Mills are low-inductance.  They are also "1%" resistors (I guess that means they are higher precision?) whereas (to answer Potterma) the standard ones Jan uses are concrete 5% resistors.  His view is that the percentages might make a slight difference, but probably not, since we aren't pushing enough power through to the headphones for it to matter much.  But hey, I always wanted to do a true blind test -- this one will truly be blind as long as I don't open the boxes, and I have no intention of doing that.  The only difference in the boxes will be the resistors, so if I hear a difference, that will be the cause.  Or else it will be my delusional brain that will be causing it.  In any case, I shall endeavor to pass on whatever great truths I discover, either about resistors or my brain, in moving forward with this great trial. 

 

I hope to have the boxes here by the end of next week. So stay tuned...

 

Thanks.  Standard inductive wire wound, then.  popcorn.gif

post #445 of 2717

Folks:

 

Heard from Klaus today, and the Odyssey Cyclops has reportedly been shipped.  Should be here early next week, if the reindeer can find the house (they've never been here before... I really haven't been very good for the past decade or two). 

 

He urged me to burn in for 200 hours before critical listening.  Um, that's a full 8 days.  Not gonna happen.  I will leave it on and play something through it for several days, but I'm not patient enough to wait that long to listen critically.  I sort of said that, and he indicated it was a recommendation, not a rule. 

 

Right now I'm listening to Project Trio (low bit-rate MP3) on the Millenia.  For those of you old enough to remember cassette tapes, it sounds like a good cassette player playing a good master recording.  The hiss brings me back to the bad old days of the 1970s-80s, but the sound is still better than most of the stuff I could afford back then.  Not as good as the really good stuff I used to listen to in the stereo stores on rainy weekends when I used to drive their staffs crazy... to get sound quality that good I need resistors and to actually buy the CD instead of using the low-grade MP3 crap my nephew gave me for free... but I wanted to hear how it would sound with the Millenia, and the answer is really pretty good, considering...

post #446 of 2717
I feel very out of place in this thread because I understand very little of what is being said! So if the following is particularly stupid, do let me know....

I currently have my he-6 rigged up through an he-adaptor fed from a fairly bog standard pioneer speaker amp. I find the sound to be amazing and very powerful. I also have an HD 800 which I listen to through a musical fidelity DAC and amp (which feed the speaker amp as well). I find the HD 800 to be pretty good but not up to the standard of the he-6. The question I have is, if I purchased an adaptor or recabled it so I could run it through the speaker amp and he-adaptor, would I risk blowing up the headphones? Obviously I would need to be careful with the volume. Secondly would anyone care to predict if this might bring an improvement to the sound they provide?

Thanks in advance.
post #447 of 2717

Looking at the HD800 specs, they are 300-ohm and can handle 500mW long-term.  So you likely will need something between them and the speaker amp, at least to be able to control the volume -- without it you will go from very soft to very loud very quickly --  but also to protect the HD800s from inadvertent over-cranking.  There's no point in risking $1400 headphones.  It looks like the HE adapter is a resistor box, so it will likely do the trick.  Probably all you need is a set of balanced cables for the HD-800s to use with the adapter and you would be good to go.  If the HE-adapter is not exactly set up right (wrong resistor values?), you might have to invest another ~$100 in a resistor box that is better suited to the HD800s, but I'll let the real experts around here debate that. 

 

As to the sound... it is going to depend on how the sound signature of the HD800s matches with the amp's signature.  The HD800 can be particularly harsh on the top end and thin on the bottom if they aren't amped properly, and if your amp accentuates that, it could be painful.  On the other hand, if they match well, you could have the best HD800 setup around. 

 

Just my totally ignorant, and totally "audiophile snob's" prediction, but if your Pio is a recent, relatively low-end HT receiver, I would bet that its signature does not match the HD800 very well.  AVRs are really set up more for sound quantity than sound quality.  They depend on equalization programs to fix their major issues and make them listenable for home theater, which is not generally high-fidelity, critical listening:  the brain is engaged in watching at the same time as listening, so the sound can be lower fidelity and 90% of the people won't notice... Wait, I'm guessing that 95% of the people think the sound from an iPod's earbuds and/or Beats is high fidelity...  so make that 99% of the people don't notice how bad the sound of the average HT receiver is.  And mass market electronics companies like Pioneer, Sony, etc. aim straight for the middle of the market, not at audiophile 1%-ers.  

 

But you hang out here, and have large $ invested in very nice cans, so I assume you are part of the audiophile 1% (or at least pretending, like I am).  I doubt the Pio will make great music with the HD800s, but it doesn't cost you anything to try, other than a set of balanced cables which are a good thing to have anyway.  Just don't jump to the conclusion that, because that particular speaker amp didn't sound good, the HD800 can't be driven well by a speaker amp.  I'm guessing that it can be, you just have to find the right one.

 

My recommendation:  get a set of balanced cables for the HD800s, then try them on every amp you can find.  By the end of this week I hope to have tried 4 different speaker amps and 2 headphone amps over 5 weeks, and I can tell you that all of them sound significantly different from each other (caveat:  I haven't heard the Odyssey Cyclops yet... but it should be here in the next day or so).  So far, I've sent one speaker amp back already, along with 2 headphone amps.  My old Sony HTR is back in its corner collecting a new patina of crud.  My Adcom pre-amp is headed for semi-retirement as well.  None of them came even close to sounding as good as a tiny 30-wpc class-D amp that only costs $500.

 

I think most on these forums agree that the right way to find the perfect setup for you is to try as many as you can... and it's half the fun besides...


Edited by Gary in MD - 7/22/13 at 7:28pm
post #448 of 2717
Quote:
Originally Posted by potterma View Post

Thanks.  Standard inductive wire wound, then.  popcorn.gif

You're looking for lowest inductance.
It doesn't matter too much if you use a parallel resistor.
This is far more important in the series resistor.
I suspect a metal film resistor will the lowest inductance resistor you can get.
post #449 of 2717
Hook the 800 to the speaker taps using 10ohm/10W resistors in parallel. You'll be surprised...for the good. Only caveat is that the Pio is not a really good amp.
(I haven't used a HP amp on any of my current HPs for a very long time--probably never again. Using the LF339 as a preamp in a funky analog set-up.)

Your experiences have been great to read. Bravo on your perseverance!
Edited by Mambosenior - 7/22/13 at 7:52pm
post #450 of 2717

I don't understand why people are driving headphones such as the HD800 on speaker taps of integrated amp/receivers? These are not orthos, they don't require the power to sound good, the HD800 are not tailored to sound good just because you're throwing plenty of power at it, they are a finicky headphone to amp.

 

On the other hand with the resistor talk. I don't believe resistors do offer it's own sound characteristics such that capacitors can. The difference between all the resistors you see, high 1% precision, carbon film, carbon composite, wirewound is all related to providing the lowest inductance, making sure that it is rated what it is rated after pro-long usage in circuits where there is heat/rise in operative temperature etc which can cause specs to drift. In circuit's use metal film resistors when and where you can. Carbon film is better than carbon composite where was used before metal/carbon film was around. 

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