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 6

post #76 of 2631
I have had no hiss or distortion with the HD-800 or HE-5LE using the speaker amp. I am convinced now that the HD-800, in particular, thrives with the added power and beefy power supply of the speaker amp.

Considering that more-than-decent speaker amps are available for under (some well under) $1000, it's puzzling that more folks haven't gone this direction. Any fears are entirely unfounded as has been discussed here and in other threads.
post #77 of 2631
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mambosenior View Post

I have had no hiss or distortion with the HD-800 or HE-5LE using the speaker amp. I am convinced now that the HD-800, in particular, thrives with the added power and beefy power supply of the speaker amp.

Considering that more-than-decent speaker amps are available for under (some well under) $1000, it's puzzling that more folks haven't gone this direction. Any fears are entirely unfounded as has been discussed here and in other threads.
It goes against the purpose of this site to sell gear. You can buy a very nice $500 used speaker amp that's like 20 yrs old but quality and be much more satisfied in your gear. Same with old DACs with the new USB converters.
post #78 of 2631
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mambosenior View Post

I have had no hiss or distortion with the HD-800 or HE-5LE using the speaker amp. I am convinced now that the HD-800, in particular, thrives with the added power and beefy power supply of the speaker amp.

Considering that more-than-decent speaker amps are available for under (some well under) $1000, it's puzzling that more folks haven't gone this direction. Any fears are entirely unfounded as has been discussed here and in other threads.

 

Interesting point, Mambosenior, but my experience in life is that most folks go with the mainstream, what the press says, and now in modern times, what the  internet forums say.  Most folks don't "break  the rules"  Speaker amps for speakers, headphone amps for headphones.  Follow what the reviewers say. Follow the dogma: electrostatics sound like this, dynamics like that, and planar magnetics like so and so.  Everything in its box.  To think any further takes effort, and may involve risk, in folks' minds.  I'm not making fun of people, it's just sociology.  

 

And there is some element of risk, to be fair, if you don't know what you are doing and plug in a high efficiency headphone directly into a speaker amp and turn it up to where you play your speakers.

 

I won't go so far as to say this site is only interested in selling gear.  I would say that about magazines though!  That's their living, get people reading so circulation is up, and stressing the new products is the way to get readers excited,even if it means exaggerating and raving the mediocre.  Then, with good subscription numbers advertising rates are higher, and you can play ball with those whose products you rave and get lots of advertising dollars.

 

I'm not going to be on any mission to get folks to go the speaker amp route, there's nothing in it for me other than being happy I helped folks get better sound, in the cases it works well, such as yours.  We can just be happy we tried it and are enjoying better sound than we had.  I would have sold my HD800 if I did not find a way to get lower distortion/stridency.  

 

 

post #79 of 2631
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mambosenior View Post

I have had no hiss or distortion with the HD-800 or HE-5LE using the speaker amp. I am convinced now that the HD-800, in particular, thrives with the added power and beefy power supply of the speaker amp.

 

 

I have a feeling we will find that with many different headphones.  

post #80 of 2631
Quote:
Originally Posted by Operakid View Post

The loading resistor (across + and - terminals of amp) is to let the amp see a normal 8 or 10 ohm load instead of a much higher impedance load, which they are made for and could cause oscillation, and even if no oscillation will result in higher distortion.  There is power to throw away with speaker amps, even a 10 watter, so this is of no consequence.  But the amp is happy, and a series loading resistor makes the headphones happy, looking back at a higher impedance, as well as makes the often necessary attenuation possible.

 

I have to believe the right resistive network would result in as quiet operation as any other amp, including headphone amps, would show.   

 

Sounds backwards.

You often get less distortion with a higher impedance load on an SS amp.

SS amps normally oscillate due to an overly capacitive load, not a high impedance load.

When was the last time you saw an SS amp oscillate Open Circuit?

 

I have to be honest, & just my EE opinion here, but I don't see the point in driving headphones with a 25 Watt amplifier with an output impedance of 120 Ohms....confused_face_2.gif

post #81 of 2631
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mambosenior View Post

I have had no hiss or distortion with the HD-800 or HE-5LE using the speaker amp. I am convinced now that the HD-800, in particular, thrives with the added power and beefy power supply of the speaker amp.

 

The added power of the "Speaker amp" is limited by the value of the series resistor you add.

 

OTOH, maybe the speaker amp is a higher quality amp than any headphone amp that you own.

post #82 of 2631
At the moment, using a Threshold 400a speaker amp built in the 1970s. My experience with HP amps is: Burson 160; Woo 6SE; Luxman P-1; Graham Slee "Solo"; AE Nighthawk; Darkvoice 336 and 337. I was fortunate to also listen to the CSP-2 but not with my HD-800 and also with someone else's electronics. The Luxman and CSP-2 were very impressive, the others were also extremely satisfying but I decided to continue with the LF339 (slightly souped-up by my local electronic guru) which has given me the best sound for a reasonable price...
Is the Threshold better quality? I wouldn't say that myself. It just sounds best to me.
Edited by Mambosenior - 4/5/13 at 6:28pm
post #83 of 2631
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post

 

The added power of the "Speaker amp" is limited by the value of the series resistor you add.

 

OTOH, maybe the speaker amp is a higher quality amp than any headphone amp that you own.

 

One can calculate this, but one can also just look at the results: even with the parallel resistors at the amp to make my tube amp happy, and series resistors to let the headphones look back at a comfortable impedance, my volume knob setting on my preamp for normal listening through the headphones is exactly  where it is when playing my 99db/watt efficient speakers.  Now, since I usually listen to levels at 85db peaks, that setting results in a usage of far less than a watt.  

 

I would say, therefore, that the added power of the speaker amp over headphone amps, 100 watts, is not being limited in my case.

 

Really, I don't love commenting on the sonic quality advantage and especially possible parts/design quality advantages of the speaker amps, and the same for the preamps relative to the preamps in typical headphone amps, as I think most of these guys are trying hard.  That is the same reason why I won't name the headphone amps I have tested relative to speaker amps despite several requests. 


Edited by Operakid - 4/6/13 at 8:53am
post #84 of 2631

Frankly, I have a certain amount of bias in this discussion.

I tried the headphone jack in my Bryston 2B-LP and found myself underwhelmed! frown.gif

 

BTW, I'm a big fan of Threshold and Bryston gear.

 

 

I once calculated the output from a power amp with various series resistors and posted them in the Vintage Receivers Thread...............didn't get any comments back.

Either they didn't understand a word I said or......I can only guess!........confused_face_2.gif

post #85 of 2631
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post

Frankly, I have a certain amount of bias in this discussion.
I tried the headphone jack in my Bryston 2B-LP and found myself underwhelmed! frown.gif

Did you ever hook HPs to the speaker taps of the Bryston with a balanced cable?
post #86 of 2631
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mambosenior View Post

Did you ever hook HPs to the speaker taps of the Bryston with a balanced cable?

No.
Someday.....

But I have a pair of Sennheiser HD-424 headphones.
They are 2,000 Ohms.
I've converted them to balanced and now run them off the balanced outputs on my Bryston pre-amp. I've never heard them sound better!
They sure use a lot of voltage.

Someday when I get bored...........rolleyes.gif.......I plan on running them directly off a speaker amp.
Just give me a few months.
post #87 of 2631

Have you guys seen this post recommending the TBI Millenia MG3 integrated amp for use with headphones?

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/629352/he-500-lcd2-d5000-dt770-sr80-on-a-speaker-amp-emotiva-mini-x-a-100-project/1005#post_9328545

 

Mike

post #88 of 2631

All this talk about using speaker amps got me to thinking about utilizing some of my existing equipment. All of my gear is tube based, so after looking at the HiFiMAN HE-Adapter I thought I could build a nicer unit for the same kind of $ and I came up with this:

 

 

Internally it is almost identical to the HiFiMAN unit with the exception of having both XLR & mini XLR outputs, using a 10ohm parallel resistor with the 27ohm resistor in series, which will be adjusted later if needed:

 

 

I had planned to use this with the Golden Tube Audio SE-40 pictured on the lower right, but the level of the noise floor was high enough to be heard with no source input, the sound was very good but probably with too much gain, maybe I'll need to increase the value of the series resistor? Though this would eliminate any damping factor, but if Operakid's conclusions are correct, this may not be a problem. Surprisingly, the sound through the 300B monoblocks was very impressive and dead quiet, though this was only my initial impressions and I will need to spend more time with it to develop an honest opinion.

 

post #89 of 2631

That's a very pretty aluminum and wood box (in addition to being functionally very useful)!

post #90 of 2631
Quote:
Originally Posted by kozmo View Post

All this talk about using speaker amps got me to thinking about utilizing some of my existing equipment. All of my gear is tube based, so after looking at the HiFiMAN HE-Adapter I thought I could build a nicer unit for the same kind of $ and I came up with this:




Internally it is almost identical to the HiFiMAN unit with the exception of having both XLR & mini XLR outputs, using a 10ohm parallel resistor with the 27ohm resistor in series, which will be adjusted later if needed:




I had planned to use this with the Golden Tube Audio SE-40 pictured on the lower right, but the level of the noise floor was high enough to be heard with no source input, the sound was very good but probably with too much gain, maybe I'll need to increase the value of the series resistor? Though this would eliminate any damping factor, but if Operakid's conclusions are correct, this may not be a problem. Surprisingly, the sound through the 300B monoblocks was very impressive and dead quiet, though this was only my initial impressions and I will need to spend more time with it to develop an honest opinion.


I used the SE-40 with the 6s. Very nice sound but not enough power compared to my SS amps. You are right about being a tad noisy when nothing is playing but I wasn't using the adapter box either. Those 300b's should do very well.
Edited by Happy Camper - 4/9/13 at 9:03pm
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