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Speaker amps for headphones - Page 61

post #901 of 2941
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post

Brunk:

 

It was a custom tube set-up.  He had 2 outputs and let me use one, since I hadn't brought a source.  It was about 10 feet away and he just brought the RCAs over and we hooked them up.  I just wasn't paying  that much attention (yeah, I know, I should have been).  We turned it on, tried it for a couple of minutes (not even one song), it was bad and I asked how many volts the amp was seeing, he said something like "oh, yeah, use this other one instead."  Voila, back to good sound.  Now that I think about it, I'm not sure I ever really heard him say anything about what the actual voltage was, I just assumed it was high.  In any case, I guess the lesson with the Millenia is that it is pretty sensitive to what you feed it.

Yeah that's interesting, he must have done something for the voltage to be so high!

post #902 of 2941

Yeah, when I say custom, I mean he built it himself.  There is no way for me to know what it was feeding the Millenia... I only know it didn't sound very good.

post #903 of 2941

When I inserted the Decware ZSTAGE (triode gain stage) between my DACmini CX and the MG3, I could make the MG3 distort badly by turning the gain well past unity - which, according to the ZSTAGE manual, can be as high as a 5 dB gain, depending on the tube that's mounted.   Doing the same with the Emotiva Mini-X a-100 wasn't nearly as bad.  It could handle the higher input voltage more readily.  

 

Mike

post #904 of 2941

It was interesting reading Michael's experience with his HE-6 headphones and the Millenia amp. When he said that he was waiting for the highs to tone down and the bass to fill out, I was shaking my head because even before any break in, the MG3 had lovely highs and some of the deepest, most defined bass I had ever experienced with all the hi fi systems I've had over many years. And I am not saying there aren't better amps out there. Gary found the Cyclops to better the MG3 in every way, and I would imagine - especially when you reach the teens and beyond, cost wise - that there are a multitude of others that might sound better, and/or compliment ones particular system better. 

 

Then last night I happen to be reading a review of the new Bakoon headphone amp, which is getting very high praise; Audeze has used it at their shows, and 6 Moons Audio is awaiting its arrival to complete their review of the LCD3 headphones, I believe. The review is here on Head-Fi, and he used his LCD3 headphones, but also his HD800 as well as his HE-6 headphones. Here is what he said about the HE-6 when using the Bakoon:

 

The bass has great impact, but not the attack of LCD-3 or HD 800, more like a sub plus satellites. The mids is very clean, but I miss the fullness of LCD-3. The treble is crispy but slightly exaggerated. All this is the nature of HE-6. HPA-21 does nothing to compensate for the tonality of HE-6. There are perhaps other amplifiers with a sound more adapted to HE-6. 

 

Here is a link to the whole review, if interested:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/664097/bakoon-hpa-21-headphone-amplifier\

 

I wondered if the same could be said about the Millenia with regard to how adapted it is to the HE-6s' tonality? 

post #905 of 2941
Batteries?



Joy!

Mike
post #906 of 2941
Uh-oh! $2,995!

http://www.bakoonproducts.com/store/shop/hpa-21/

Now comes the part where I go into denial that this product even exists...

I set a goal or myself, three years ago... new or used, no single component can cost me more than $1000. So far, so good...

I love the way the MG3 is no where near inelligible.

Mike
post #907 of 2941
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

Uh-oh! $2,995!

http://www.bakoonproducts.com/store/shop/hpa-21/

Now comes the part where I go into denial that this product even exists...

I set a goal or myself, three years ago... new or used, no single component can cost me more than $1000. So far, so good...

I love the way the MG3 is no where near inelligible.

Mike

So a $999 tube amp fitted with various $999 NOS tube is eligible?

 

bigsmile_face.gifbigsmile_face.gifbigsmile_face.gif

post #908 of 2941
For being under $1000, yes! I'm curious what you have in mind, but I really don't like the allegedly appealing sound of tube distortion.

My Decware ZSTAGE, which sounded pretty transparent with the Emotiva Mini-x a-100 and the Burson Soloist, is revealed by the MG3. No matter where I set its gain control, and no matter which of six tubes I roll, four of which are NOS, the MG3's most delicate details are simply destroyed by the unavoidable intrinsic nature of tubes. The MG3 gives me everything I like about tubes, without the distortion.

Mike
post #909 of 2941
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

For being under $1000, yes! I'm curious what you have in mind, but I really don't like the allegedly appealing sound of tube distortion.

My Decware ZSTAGE, which sounded pretty transparent with the Emotiva Mini-x a-100 and the Burson Soloist, is revealed by the MG3. No matter where I set its gain control, and no matter which of six tubes I roll, four of which are NOS, the MG3's most delicate details are simply destroyed by the unavoidable intrinsic nature of tubes. The MG3 gives me everything I like about tubes, without the distortion.

Mike

Despite my undying love to tube, I'm not a fan of the hazy syrupy sound that people usually consider "distortion". 

 

Also don't buy in tube distortion,unless people think they can distinguish distortion under 1% THD then I got nothing to say. Good tube designs are more linear than SS - just the bad ones that gives them a bad reputation.

 

About the 1000 mark, I'm just playing with your limit. I don't think it's possible to buy a (new) well-design tube amp using quality parts for just 1000 - even if I can, I sure as hell won't put $999 tubes on it tongue_smile.gif

 

The Z-stage is a buffer, whether tube or ss it may still impart its own sound into the chain. If you want to try moar tube buffer, I could point you to a very good one and .... wait for it .... battery powered.


Edited by khaine1711 - 9/1/13 at 7:50am
post #910 of 2941

^^ Lol @ pulling his heart strings with battery power tongue_smile.gif

post #911 of 2941
Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post

This is what I was wanting to hear (no resistor box) about the HE-6 and hopefully the HD-800. I'm still waiting for word on the HD-800/MG3 before I hop off the fence. popcorn.gif

 

Which is not to say there is no hiss... There is, but quite low amplitude.  

post #912 of 2941
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post

Michael (Potterma):

 

Just to be clear, you actually like the Millenia with your Yamahas and your resistor box, right?  So I'm not totally out of line with my appreciation of the TBI amp? redface.gif

 

I'm not the technical expert that most of the folks around here are, but as others have started to point out, and you have started to figure out, you appear to have a mismatch in components on both sides of the MG3 when using the Gungnir and your resistor box with the HE-6s.  I went to a meet today with the MIllenia and hooked it up to a source that was outputting too much voltage, and the MG3 hated it.  Bass got all boomy and mid-range got loud and distorted.  Hooked up a lower voltage input and ahhhh, back to normal.  The clue to me was your comment about the "too loud" volume, which probably indicates too much voltage going in, which the amp clearly is not designed to handle.  Have you tried pushing lower voltage to the Millenia yet?

 

On the output side of the Millenia, Jan has been very clear that the resistor box has to be tailored to the headphones used... so if your resistor box was set up for a higher impedance headphone or one that was much more efficient than the HE-6s (and that would be everything except the AKG-1000s, right?), you are obviously getting too much power attenuation.  I have never heard clipping with the LCD-3s.  I also have never had the amp above ~11 o'clock on the dial, and I'm normally using it at ~9 o'clock.  Where is the volume control set for normal listening with your resistor box using the HE-6s? 

 

It is entirely possible that you are going to have to have separate resistor boxes for each of your cans if you want to use them with the Millenia.  That's what you get for choosing cans with such different specs tongue.gif.  Or if there is no appreciable hiss using the HE-6s straight out of the amp, you can do that. 

 

In the end, it could be that you and your HE-6s are a candidate for an Odyssey amp... No resistor box needed (no hiss), probably doesn't care about input voltage, and at 110 wpc (and I'm guessing a very conservative 110 wpc) into 8 ohms, there isn't much chance of the HE-6s clipping the amp before your head explodes.

 

Interesting source observations, Gary.  I'll try a couple of things when I get back to it.  

I'm running Gungnir single ended, so only 2 volts out, max.  I should hook up my scope and see what it actually puts out for typical RMS voltage.  My guess is much lower, but it will be an interesting measurement.

Just discovered I'm out of AA batteries... Well, guess I'll have to make a trip to the store before doing any supply voltage experiments.  Just remembered I do have an old RadShak 12 V power supply... Might have to see if I can find that bad boy... :)

 

Listening level with the HP-1's direct to the amp is less than 9:00.  Closer to 8:00 or 8:30.  With the resistor box I'm still only at 10:30 or 11:00.  With the HE-6's I'm at about 10:00 without the box, up to 2:00 with it.  Sent an email to Jan last night to see if he has a recommendation on resistor values.

 

Yeah, I'd really like to check out the Cyclopse... One of these days...    Oh, and yes, I like the Millenia.  Once I get the bugs worked out I'm sure I'll like it even more :)


Edited by potterma - 9/1/13 at 9:56am
post #913 of 2941

Michael:

 

At 2 PM on the dial, I'm not surprised you're getting clipping.  Are you also getting clipping with the HP-1s?

 

I would recommend trying another source, whether a CD player, or even a DAP or phone plugged in to the port in the front.  If you're getting the same peaks at 2K with other sources I would think there's a problem with the amp.  If the problem clears up, then you know you have a mismatch with the Gungnir, whether voltage, sound signature or personal distaste for each other.  If the latter is true I'd keep them separated.  I mean, if they really got into it, sparks could fly...

 

Sorry...

post #914 of 2941

khaine1711,

 

khaine1711's very reasonable defense of tube gear (Click to show)
Quote:
Originally Posted by khaine1711 View Post

Despite my undying love to tube, I'm not a fan of the hazy syrupy sound that people usually consider "distortion". 

 

Also don't buy in tube distortion,unless people think they can distinguish distortion under 1% THD then I got nothing to say. Good tube designs are more linear than SS - just the bad ones that gives them a bad reputation.

 

About the 1000 mark, I'm just playing with your limit. I don't think it's possible to buy a (new) well-design tube amp using quality parts for just 1000 - even if I can, I sure as hell won't put $999 tubes on it tongue_smile.gif

 

The Z-stage is a buffer, whether tube or ss it may still impart its own sound into the chain. If you want to try moar tube buffer, I could point you to a very good one and .... wait for it .... battery powered.

 

 

I must confess that my experience with tube gear is very limited - to just the Decware ZSTAGE and the Schiit Lyr (hybrid), both of which destroy resolution, with every tube I tried, sufficiently to be detected even with my not so highly resolving LCD-2 rev.1.  The Lyr was much worse in this regard than the Decware ZSTAGE, which Steve Deckert himself has described as "almost too transparent" - referring to the ZSTAGE components other than the tubes one might roll - but whether one chooses to call it distortion or not, harmonics or not, with both the the ZSTAGE and the Lyr, resolution suffers - I can hear the difference - some tubes worse than others - but say goodbye to some measure of transparency with either of these products.

 

The DACmini CX > MG3 > SM45 (monitors) I'm using are revealing not just the destructive nature of the ZSTAGE, but also, in the absence of the ZSTAGE, a lot of recordings that are "acceptable" with less-resolving gear, but not so with this combo.  

 

Given that my experience with tube gear is extremely limited and that I've read reviews by Chris Martens, for example, of the likes of the Apex Peak/Volcano, which he describes as being "highly resolving,"  I don't doubt that there exists some tube gear that outperforms the gear with which I've spent time.  Absolutely.  But I'm not willing to pay the price of "good" tube gear, nor any further fuss with rolling tubes in an attempt to fix what can't be fixed in lesser tube gear.

 

Additional insight into my goals...

 

I find the MG3 > SM45 to be so revealing that I'm finding fault with my DACmini CX now.  For quite some time, I have on ocaision written about the DACmini CX having a very slight etch in the treble and have even argued that this creates an artificial "texture" that serves the less than perfectly resolving LCD-2 quite well - somewhat like "sharpening" an image in Photoshop can produce the appearance of greater resolution when, in reality, no additional subject detail has been introduced.  Sharpening adds acuity (edge sharpness) without actually increasing resolution (genuine subject detail).   

 

Before selling my Beyerdynamic T1, I had discovered this slight etch in the DACmini CX, and found it to be grossly incompatible with the T1, but I continue to find the DACmini CX to be a very good match to the LCD-2 rev.1.  

 

Now I'm on the hunt for a portable DAC that's worthy of the MG3, as my Sony PCM-M10 (recorder/player)'s Line Out is a little bit grainy and somewhat bright, too.  I've stared by ordering a refurbished HM-801 (with PCM1794UK) that should be here on Wednesday (with 30-day return and two-year warranty).

 

Mike

post #915 of 2941

Yeah, I understand that. Not everyone wants glowing glasswares in their room. I used to be a strong supporter of SS (the kinds of gigantic mosfet amps with heatsink everywhere) - until I heard some tremendous DHT SET amps. Well that's enough for my tube rambling - I still cuddle them every night beerchug.gif

 

Not sure on your definition of "portable", but a Lynx Hilo can be run completely from battery.

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