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Speaker amps for headphones - Page 31

post #451 of 2840
That would be why I asked if people thought the sound would be improved by using a speaker amp. I take it your answer would be no.
post #452 of 2840
Quote:
Originally Posted by DefQon View Post

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.

Have you tried it?
post #453 of 2840
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mambosenior View Post


Have you tried it?

Yes I have long before any of these threads popped up because I purchased a quad EL84 amp by accident and so I experimented with running my old HD800's on them through a dummy load. That said, you'd be better off investing a proper amp for the HD800's if you want to drive them good enough, they are a finicky little bastard and throwing lots of current at them won't fix any issues to tame that treble or wonky sound. 

post #454 of 2840
Appreciate your take on this. I realize the numbers for the HD-800 don't indicate a need for hefty amplification but my 40 years of listening to audio are telling me different. I feel that the 800 benefits (no brightness or lack of bass here...or noise) from the control a good/decent speaker amp brings to the table, not necessarily in respects to wattage.

More than the results achieved with the 800, the ones with the modest AKG 702 have been jaw-dropping: another HP that's been labeled as having brightness and poor bass.
post #455 of 2840
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mambosenior View Post

Appreciate your take on this. I realize the numbers for the HD-800 don't indicate a need for hefty amplification but my 40 years of listening to audio are telling me different. I feel that the 800 benefits (no brightness or lack of bass here...or noise) from the control a good/decent speaker amp brings to the table, not necessarily in respects to wattage.

More than the results achieved with the 800, the ones with the modest AKG 702 have been jaw-dropping: another HP that's been labeled as having brightness and poor bass.

 

Interesting comments on the AKG K702 and a power amp. Somewhere buried in these endless Head Fi threads there is a person who claims their AKG Q701 never sounded better than when they used it with a Bryston HPA-1 headphone amp. This is interesting because this headphone amp outputs a lot of voltage and a lot of power for a headphone amp. It also has an output impedance of approx. 2 Ohms.
post #456 of 2840

Just to put in another .02-worth, if Gonzfi already has a resistor box (the HE adaptor) and an amp he wants to try, and only needs to buy a balanced cable, then that seems to me to be a relatively cheap experiment.  The worst that will happen is that he spends a few bucks (much less than the cost of a decent amp... unless he goes crazy and buys solid gold cables or something like that) and it sounds like crap.  But having the cable isn't such a bad thing anyway, as it is possible that he will be able to use it with a balanced HP amp that he likes sometime down the road.  Or he could sell the cable around here and get most of his money back.  Or maybe he'll try another speaker amp that is voiced properly for the HD800s, and find a perfect match.  Or not.  But trying stuff is part of the fun, right?

post #457 of 2840
I hooked a pair of 4 pin XLR 702 anni's to a 125 watt speaker amp and they were a beast compared to a 1/2 watt OTL headphone amp. No trouble with bass. I ran the HE-6 on a 400 watt MacIntosh and it played just fine at .5 - 1 watt (this Mac had power meters). Don't let the wattage scare you. Just be responsible with the volume control knob. The volume will get too loud to listen to before you blow the headphone. No you won't use near the wattage available but you aren't putting the full wattage on your headphones immediately upon hearing sound. That's where the gain of the amp enters the picture. It's another story as to whether they sound good at that low a current draw with that amp but as Gary says, you won't know until you try it. If there isn't enough room on the volume knob for any adjustment range, then put on the load resistors/impedance box. Problem is most headphones are single ended with a common return, and people won't modify to a 4 pin XLR connector to try. But if you make all your headphones 4 pin XLR, you can make a XLR adapter cable for use with SE (1/4"), speaker amp, 4 pin balanced out flexibility. IMO

My amps are true power amps without volume control. I use my DAC volume control and it works great. I have blown a pair of HE-6s by accident (ignorance) with a new piece of gear so they certainly can be damaged. Fortunately for me, HiFiMan has a very good repair policy ($130) redface.gif.
Edited by Happy Camper - 7/23/13 at 2:10pm
post #458 of 2840
Drive audio gear (speaker or HP systems) with the same attention and responsibility as you would a car and you'll have no problems. Even a weak HP amp can blow things up without using caution so I've never understood the singular fear of speaker amps driving HPs. (I guess it must be a size thing.)

Well, back to Gary...keep the info coming.
post #459 of 2840
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mambosenior View Post

Appreciate your take on this. I realize the numbers for the HD-800 don't indicate a need for hefty amplification but my 40 years of listening to audio are telling me different. I feel that the 800 benefits (no brightness or lack of bass here...or noise) from the control a good/decent speaker amp brings to the table, not necessarily in respects to wattage.

More than the results achieved with the 800, the ones with the modest AKG 702 have been jaw-dropping: another HP that's been labeled as having brightness and poor bass.

You answered the last part yourself. With the orthos you can throw plenty of power at from even a decently designed budget integrated amp (I.e emotiva) and they still sound good. The same scenario won't apply to the HD800 unless you have one very special/expensive integrated amp that synergies well with the 800 while also delivering the right amount current. For that matter related you want an amp to fix and tame the flaws of the 800's sound Sig while retaining its original neutral sound signature. What is happening here is you're getting a slightly varied modified sound of the 800's, I know because I've tried this with the past 2 pairs of 800's I had (diff S/N) before any Hifiman's came out or any of these crazy speaker amp to drive headphone thread popped out.in fact I actually had a few ill-experiences from it.
post #460 of 2840
With all this talk about the K70X on speaker amps it makes me want to try with mine. Would plugging my Q701 straight into my mini-x using speaker taps be safe if I'm careful with the volume adjustment?
post #461 of 2840
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shazb0t View Post

With all this talk about the K70X on speaker amps it makes me want to try with mine. Would plugging my Q701 straight into my mini-x using speaker taps be safe if I'm careful with the volume adjustment?

No it is not safe, best to get the right resistors on to the taps to reduce the load, otherwise your volume is either be too loud or too low.

post #462 of 2840

Hey boys and girls, guess what Santa Klaus had the elves deliver today!  That's right, a brand spanking new Odyssey Cyclops amp!!!

 

Okay, I have to admit that the delivery elf showed up in a big, square brown truck, not a sleigh pulled by reindeer (I assume they get the summer off); he also was wearing brown shorts instead of knickers and pointy shoes and was more the size of a Tolkien elf vs. what we normally think of working with Santa Klaus... but hey, he brought me my toy so I don't care.

 

Now, first impressions of the toy.  It's big.  Really big compared to everything else I've demo'd here over the past month.  Approximately 16" square and 4.5 inches high.  And it feels like it weighs about as much as all of the other amps combined.  Wow.  Now that's some serious iron, man.  Oh, alright, it's actually aluminum, but you know what I mean.  Here's a crappy cell phone pic.  The amp is on top, and that's a 5-disc carousel CD changer below it, to give you some sense of size. 

 

 

Construction is solid, but the volume control was a bit loose when I first took it out of the box, probably due to moving around during shipping.  I pushed it in a bit, and it is okay.  Not the smoothest control I've ever used, but it works.  And volume is relatively easy to control.  It doesn't get outrageously loud extremely fast.  Nice levels are around 8 o'clock for most of my typical test tracks. I will definitely be trying a magic box with it at some point to see if I can get more into the sweet spot without adding noise and distortion. 

 

I can tell you that without the box there is NO audible noise or distortion.  None. Nada. Zilch.  Dead silent background.  Clear as any amp I have ever heard.  Makes the MJ seem muddy, if that is even possible.  Detail?  Ridiculous amounts.  Incredible instrument separation.  Amazing sound stage relative to everything else.  Not too big or too small.  You're right there but not intruding. You can feel the bass, and drums are incredibly tight but you can feel them reverberate in your head, even though I don't have the volume that loud -- although I haven't checked SPL, since this isn't my official comparison review yet... just first impressions out of the box during burn in.  And they really want you to burn it in.  They have 1.5 pages of discussion on it in the manual, which is a 1" binder.  To quote:  "After about 6 weeks + of operation when left on continuously, your unit should be very close to being fully broken in."  Yeah, close to broken in after 6 weeks.  I ain't waiting that long. 

 

I will say there is a tiny bit of harshness, as the manual says there will be for the first several hours at least.  But nothing compared to the Emo or the MJ.  It has the full depth and timbre of the sound, but just isn't as warm and forgiving as the Millenia, at least at this point.  Yet it is WAAAAAAY more detailed, and the Millenia is no slouch in that area. 

 

We'll see what happens after a few days.  I will leave it on and feed it my entire music catalog, pretty much continuously, until this weekend,  By then I should have the 2 new resistor boxes, and we'll see what I hear.  Or I'll hear what I'll hear.  Or something like that.  But even out of the box this amp is pretty damned impressive.


Edited by Gary in MD - 7/23/13 at 8:34pm
post #463 of 2840

Looks like you're going to get some serious enjoyment out of that "Made in North Pole" amp. popcorn.gif

post #464 of 2840

Already am, and I'm not supposed to.  Burn in?  Grumble...

post #465 of 2840

... see, I knew you were going to make me want one!

 

Fun times ahead, for sure.  Thanks for the sneak peak.  Look forward to more, for sure smily_headphones1.gif

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