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Speaker amps for headphones - Page 54

post #796 of 2961

Stew,

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SMG52 View Post

Maybe sometime after you have the resistor box, and the better signal to noise ratio, you could compare  battery vs  ac power. I realize that many prefer the amp on battery power and that battery power may be how you will end up using it because of its' portability, but, well, inquiring minds need to know. wink.gif

 

I'll be testing the MG3 with various power sources, for sure.  I'm eager to hear how it sounds on some non-rechargeable Energizer e2 Lithium AAs in the battery compartment.  

 

 

 

x2

 

 

The MG3 user manual recommends these, so if Jan thinks they sound right, I want to hear them.  I know that in the second John Hoffman review of the MG3 (in a recent issue of TAS), he says that running on 12V sounds much different than on 24V external.  So, I want to test it all.  Thus far (in an hour and half total), I've only used the 25.2V external LiPo pack.  I haven't even unpacked the AC adapter yet.  Can't wait to get back at it...

 

Mike


Edited by zilch0md - 8/22/13 at 11:28am
post #797 of 2961
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

Stew,

 

 

I'll be testing the MG3 with various power sources, for sure.  I'm eager to hear how it sounds on some non-rechargeable Energizer e2 Lithium AAs in the battery compartment.  

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

 

 

 

 

x2

 

 

 

 

The MG3 user manual recommends these, so if Jan thinks they sound right, I want to hear them.  I know that in the second John Hoffman review of the MG3 (in a recent issue of TAS), he says that running on 12V sounds much different than on 24V external.  So, I want to test it all.  Thus far (in an hour and half total), I've only used the 25.2V external LiPo pack.  I haven't even unpacked the AC adapter yet.  Can't wait to get back at it...

 

Mike

popcorn.gif

post #798 of 2961
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMG52 View Post

Grounds are not shared on the Millenia.

 

If no one is able to send you a schematic, Jan may be willing to offer it. I assume values would vary depending upon the headphones used.

Would you be kind enough to ask Jan about a schematic for the HD-800 since you already have a repertoire with him?

post #799 of 2961

I've been using those exact batteries for a week or two, using the Millenia to drive a pair of TBI's little Diamond 1 speakers that I'm using as computer speakers.  You get a nice, clear, full bodied sound.  For kicks, I reconnected the AC last night, and the sound is a tiny bit drier, which actually fits the crappy acoustics of the computer hutch I have the speakers in better than the richer battery sound.  In most instances I would prefer the batteries, but in my particular case the AC adapter sounds slightly less boomy/congested, so I will probably keep it plugged in for a few days.  And then I'll switch back to batteries, and then probably back to the AC, because, well, I can...

post #800 of 2961
Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post

Would you be kind enough to ask Jan about a schematic for the HD-800 since you already have a repertoire with him?

I am really sorry but I don't feel that comfortable approaching Jan, as I have had so many email correspondences about my set up, I kinda don't wish to wear out my welcome. I'm sure you understand.

 

BUT, here is a link that Jan sent me early on when we were first dealing with this hiss issue. You may be able to garner some relevant information from it. Maybe Flysweep could also chime in, once he gets his HD-800s 'hiss free' with the appropriate resistor box for his Millenia amp. 

 

Here is the link Jan sent me. I hope it helps.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/198828/the-hissbuster-for-sensitive-headphones

 

Stew

post #801 of 2961
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMG52 View Post

I am really sorry but I don't feel that comfortable approaching Jan, as I have had so many email correspondences about my set up, I kinda don't wish to wear out my welcome. I'm sure you understand.

 

BUT, here is a link that Jan sent me early on when we were first dealing with this hiss issue. You may be able to garner some relevant information from it. Maybe Flysweep could also chime in, once he gets his HD-800s 'hiss free' with the appropriate resistor box for his Millenia amp. 

 

Here is the link Jan sent me. I hope it helps.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/198828/the-hissbuster-for-sensitive-headphones

 

Stew

Ok no prob, thanks for the info!

 

@Flysweep, do you have an idea of a workable schematic yet?

post #802 of 2961

 

There's some misinformation in that link.  The output impedance of the amp, as seen by the headphones, increase by R2.  The sound will change.  The damping factor will decrease.  The effects may be more pleasing.

 

Being an SS amp impedance matching may be less important, and it would be similar to most SS headphone amps, as to the load it drives.  If you want to load the amp with about 300 ohms nominal for the HD800, use a 180-185ohm resistor for R1 and R2.  The headphone will see an output impedance increase of 180-185 ohm.  It should sound warmer, with a frequency boost below 1K for the HD800.

 

You can tweak R1 and R2 from there.

post #803 of 2961
Originally Posted by SMG52 (Click to show)

Glad you (and Mike) like the Millenia. I liked it so much with my Paradox headphones, I tried it with my speaker system, and promptly sold my Musical Fidelity A1 amp, using the funds to purchase a second Millenia.

 

I agree with your assessment. I find the Millenia to be, more than anything, a very transparent transducer of what is coming into it. I don't recall hearing bass as deep and as taught, a midrange as clear and lifelike, nor treble any more extended  but without etch or brightness - attributes I cannot tolerate in the least. I believe, from all I have read about the HD800s, that what you are hearing is that headphone. The things that are standing out for you, appear to be strengths of the HD800, and the things you are wondering about, well, from what I have read, they are attributes of the headphone as well, as you were yourself wondering. With my speaker system in particular, I have never heard as dimensional a sound, even when using tube gear that is known for that. This may be highlighted again in your instance with the HD800 headphone in particular (soundstaging). With regard to that hiss, I assume you had told Jan what the impedance of your headphones were, and that he didn't just go ahead and make a resistor box like what he made for others? In any case, I would not give up on getting rid of that hiss some more, so definitely get in touch with him and see what he thinks. Make sure he has the stats for the HD800 to go by (impedance, efficiency, etc.) But of course he may have that info! rolleyes.gif

 

best

Stew

 

Thanks, Stew.. you know, when I was listening last night/this morning.. I thought about just how terrific the Paradox would sound with the Millenia.  Mine should be back soon (it's been on tour for the better part of eight months.. see my sig)... so I can't wait to hear it again.. especially on the Millenia.  Also, I hope an HE-500 owner gives this amp a try.. I sense there would some wonderful synergy there, as well.

 

Originally Posted by Gary in MD (Click to show)

Fly and Zilch:

 

Thanks for the write-ups, and for giving up sleep for the cause.  It's good to know that it wasn't just me and SMG imagining that the Millenia was really good... You folks at least have as good an imagination!

 

Fly:  if you bought the box from Jan, let him know you are still hearing hiss.  He might be able to drop the noise floor some more with additional/different resistors.  I believe the box is covered under the trial period, and I know that when I had problems with my first box, he replaced it for no charge (I had to pay for return shipping, but the box weighs so little that it didn't cost much).  Of course I didn't settle for that and also bought a second box with Mills resistors... all for the cause!

 

 

Thank you, Gary.. you and Stew really do deserve kudos for bringing this lovely amp to our attention.  I've already emailed Jan asking what can be done to reduce the hiss with the HD800.  It's probably the most sensitive of the phones I anticipate using with the Millenia.. so if the HD800 is hiss free, so should be my other phones (the Paradox & Fischer Audio FA-002w "High Edition").  In addition to being able to support a US-based company, buying from a CONUS based company makes shipping/exchanges much cheaper and faster.

 

Brunk, I'll let you know if/when I get the schematic for the HD800 box.. it might be a bit cause Jan/I won't know what works until he rigs one up, ships/exchanges what I have now..and I test it out w/ the HD80.. will keep you posted.

 

Originally Posted by zilch0md (Click to show)

Haha!  I hear you FlySweep!   And I love the way you can articulate what you are hearing!   I wish I could write about sound the way you and Gary can. But I agree, vigorously!  This amp is something special.

 

Not having the resistor box yet, I plugged some 8-Ohm speakers into it this morning before going to work.  No more hiss.  And whoa, what a difference that makes in being able to hear all the low-level signals against the blackness!  The imaging and sound stage suddenly popped.  And with near-field monitors, you get a much more pronounced and realistic soundstage than with headphones.  I might have to buy another MG3.  redface.gif 

 

I'm using Definitive Technology SM 45's - like the MG3, they are affordable giant-killers, highly praised in this review by Chris Martens of The Absolute Sound.

 

 

The MG3 has "unlocked" the SM45s!  In comparison, the Emotiva was a ball and chain for those fine instruments, but I didn't know what they could do until this morning.  I think I'll just leave the MG3 on the speakers until the impedance match arrives.  It's very happy there.  They deserve each other.  

 

So let's do some math here:  $300 laptop + $800 DAC + $500 amp + $400 speakers = $20,000 sound.   (That extra zero is no mistake!)

 

biggrin.gif

 

Mike

 

 

Appreciate the compliments, Mike.. be careful & don't encourage me.. I can get awful "flowery" with descriptions.. especially with gear I like.. LOL.  Thanks for the speaker recco, too.. I've been slowly eyeing bookshelf speaker that I eventually plan on getting to use with the Millenia.. and these look like just the ticket.  The speaker-wrold is a bit intimidating, frankly.. cause it seems infinitely larger (in terms of offerings) than Head-Fi.  I anticipate getting those e2 Lithium batteries, as well.

post #804 of 2961
Quote:
Originally Posted by holland View Post

 

There's some misinformation in that link.  The output impedance of the amp, as seen by the headphones, increase by R2.  The sound will change.  The damping factor will decrease.  The effects may be more pleasing.

 

Being an SS amp impedance matching may be less important, and it would be similar to most SS headphone amps, as to the load it drives.  If you want to load the amp with about 300 ohms nominal for the HD800, use a 180-185ohm resistor for R1 and R2.  The headphone will see an output impedance increase of 180-185 ohm.  It should sound warmer, with a frequency boost below 1K for the HD800.

 

You can tweak R1 and R2 from there.

Ok cool, thanks for providing a good starting point for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlySweep View Post

 

Thank you, Gary.. you and Stew really do deserve kudos for bringing this lovely amp to our attention.  I've already emailed Jan asking what can be done to reduce the hiss with the HD800.  It's probably the most sensitive of the phones I anticipate using with the Millenia.. so if the HD800 is hiss free, so should be my other phones (the Paradox & Fischer Audio FA-002w "High Edition").  In addition to being able to support a US-based company, buying from a CONUS based company makes shipping/exchanges much cheaper and faster.

 

Brunk, I'll let you know if/when I get the schematic for the HD800 box.. it might be a bit cause Jan/I won't know what works until he rigs one up, ships/exchanges what I have now..and I test it out w/ the HD80.. will keep you posted.

Thanks Flysweep, I'll be tuning in to this thread for a while then. Maybe you can send Jan the HD-800 and he can tinker with different value resistors? I'd assume he has decent ears L3000.gif

post #805 of 2961

Been chatting with Jan today, gang.. it appears the current resistor box is optimized for use with low sensitivity phones.. how low?  That might take some trial and error to zero in on.. but what we do know is that the HD800 is certainly too sensitive to use with the current resistor box.  I'll be sending the box, as well as my HD800, to Jan so he can tweak away find what'll work best.

 

Stay tuned..

post #806 of 2961
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlySweep View Post

Been chatting with Jan today, gang.. it appears the current resistor box is optimized for use with low sensitivity phones.. how low?  That might take some trial and error to zero in on.. but what we do know is that the HD800 is certainly too sensitive to use with the current resistor box.  I'll be sending the box, as well as my HD800, to Jan so he can tweak away find what'll work best.

 

Stay tuned..

Good call on sending the HD-800s in, I can't wait for the hopefully stellar results! What a great guy to go this length for us Head-Fi'ers.

post #807 of 2961

..more listening done with the Millenia this afternoon.. swapped over to the Schiit Bifrost DAC (with both the "Uber" upgrades) today.. and again.. the Millenia's transparency is something to behold.  The UB is more spacious, open, and a little more laid back than the smoother, more intimate sounding V800.  Both DACs are very much on par with each other in terms of technicalities.. so it really comes to a matter of taste (and $$$).  The UB/Millenia/HD800 combo's airy, liquid, effortless sound reminds me of a good e-stat rig.  Not surprisingly, the Millenia sounds great with most any genre you throw at it, but it feels particularly suited to jazz, soul, blues, folk, and acoustic work.  It's very detailed.. but that detail carries a certain delicacy which might explain why many SET die-hards who've spent time with the Millenia don't feel compelled to go running back to valves.

post #808 of 2961
Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post

Good call on sending the HD-800s in, I can't wait for the hopefully stellar results! What a great guy to go this length for us Head-Fi'ers.


Jan provides incredible customer service.  Plus, he is a blast to talk to, since he's been in this business for ~50 years.  A couple of times I called to ask a simple question and ended up talking to him for an hour or more, then felt guilty for wasting his time... but he never complained.  Of course, in my guilt, I'll be buying whole bunches of stuff from him (I already own a pair of his Diamond 1 speakers and WILL end up with at least one of those subwoofers that every professional reviewer has raved about... just not right now since I've already sent him and Klaus way more money than I should have spent this summer.  regular_smile%20.gif).  So it turns out that good customer service is good business... A fact that I wish other business owners would learn (Edit:  the last comment was not aimed at of any of the amp providers I've dealt with this summer -- they've all been great... but don't get me started about the desk chair I thought I was buying this month...)


Edited by Gary in MD - 8/22/13 at 8:45pm
post #809 of 2961
I long ago concluded that business people who mistreat their customers don't do so as a deliberate, carefully considered strategy for maximizing profits. They're just too short-sighted and naturally inconsiderate to be successful at a business that serves a niche market. It takes a servant's heart and an intrinsic desire to please others, qualities Jan Plummer seems to have.
post #810 of 2961
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

I long ago concluded that business people who mistreat their customers don't do so as a deliberate, carefully considered strategy for maximizing profits. They're just too short-sighted and naturally inconsiderate to be successful at a business that serves a niche market. It takes a servant's heart and an intrinsic desire to please others, qualities Jan Plummer seems to have.

Couldn't agree more.

 

Also, when I first got the Millenia amp, and had initial issues getting it to work with my headphones, I sincerely believe that Jan bent over backwards - not JUST to make a sale and because of his desire to please - but for me to experience  how great his little amp sounded. He is one of those guys who one really wishes to do well. But, with all my emails, etc., over the last year or so, I do hope at times he doesn't get burnt out!  He appears to run a very small business.....he's always been the one to pick up the phone, and even responds to emails over the weekends......confused_face.gif

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